CIHR Canada Graduate Scholarship - Doctoral (CIHR CGS-D)

The Canada Graduate Scholarships - Doctoral Program (CIHR CGS-D) program provides special recognition and support to students who are pursuing a doctoral degree in a health-related field in Canada (formerly the Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship Doctoral Awards).


The CGS-D is valued at $35,000/year (tenable only in Canada), for three years.


Eligibility requirements:

  • Must be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada or a Protected Person under subsection 95(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada), as of the application deadline date;
  • Intend to pursue, in the following year, a full-time doctoral program for which you are requesting funding
  • Have completed no more than 24 months of full-time study in their doctoral program OR the PhD portion of their joint professional undergraduate/PhD program (such as MD/PhD, JD/PhD, DVM/PhD) by December 31, 2023 if previously enrolled in a graduate program
  • Have completed no more than 36 months of full-time study in their doctoral program by December 31, 2023 if enrolled directly from a bachelor's to a PhD program (without having completed or enrolled in another graduate program).
    • direct-entry applicants must be enrolled in their doctoral program at the time of application
  • Have completed no more than 36 months of full-time study in the PhD portion of their joint professional undergraduate/PhD program (such as MD/PhD, JD/PhD, DVM/PhD) by December 31, 2023 if you have not previously enrolled in another graduate program
    • if you have not previously completed or enrolled in another graduate program, you must be enrolled in your joint MD/PhD program at the time of application
  • Have completed no more than 36 months of full-time study in their joint program by December 31, 2023 if enrolled in a joint program (such as, MA/PhD, MSc/PhD, MBA/PhD)
    • Applicants who fall into this category have access to the 36-month window whether or not they were previously enrolled in a master's program
  • Not have already received a doctoral-level scholarship from CIHR, NSERC or SSHRC (does not apply to CIHR Fellowships).
  • Must only submit one doctoral award application in the 2024-2025 competition year to either SSHRC, CIHR, or NSERC (nominations and applications to the Vanier CGS Scholarship program do not count towards this limit). Should more than one application be submitted, the eligible application submitted first chronologically will be retained.
  • Not hold a tenure or tenure-track appointment concurrently with a CGSD award.

For complete eligibility requirements, please visit the CGS-D website.

Selection Criteria

Applicants are evaluated and selected according to criteria in the following categories:

  • Research ability and potential - 50%
  • Relevant experience and achievements obtained within and beyond academia - 50%

For complete selection criteria, visit the CGS-D Website.

Application Procedures

The Application Deadline listed below is for applications submitted through the University of Alberta only. Failure to submit an application through the correct channel may result in an application being removed from the competition. For more information, refer to the flow chart of the "How to submit an application to CIHR's CGS D". This flowchart details which option should be selected within the online application form. Note: all applicants registered in a degree program at the U of A (with a quota) at any time during the calendar year of application (January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023) must apply through the U of A, even if they intend to pursue their doctoral studies at an institution other than the U of A.

Applications submitted this Fall 2023 term are for awards to start May or September 2024, or January 2025.

1. Review the following document: 2024 CIHR CGS Doctoral Memo to Students and Departments, and the CIHR Doctoral Award website for complete application instructions and other helpful links.

2. Start CIHR's Online Application: Students are to complete a full application by following CIHR Doctoral Research Awards - Application instructions and submit through the CIHR online application system, ResearchNet. It is the student's responsibility to read all instructions and be familiar with the application process before applying.

  • Students should consider requesting sponsor assessment as early as possible in order to meet the application submission deadline of October 3, 2023. It is highly recommended students give their sponsors a deadline at least one week prior to any application deadline in order to avoid possible delays/changes. Students are responsible for ensuring their sponsors have completed and successfully submitted their assessments online via the ResearchNet.

3. Transcripts: It is the students' responsibility to submit all up-to-date official transcripts (this includes all undergraduate and graduate studies, completed or ongoing) through ResearchNet.

  • GPS does not provide copies of transcripts from student records held at UAlberta (includes transcripts from other Canadian/international post- secondary institutions; UAlberta transcripts; and transcripts included in former, recent, or in progress admission/award applications). Students are responsible for ensuring transcripts for all institutions attended are included in their application.
  • Missing, unofficial, or illegible transcripts may deem students' applications as incomplete and will not be reviewed. It is the students’ responsibility to follow CIHR Application instructions for transcript requirement guidelines (ex. definition of up-to-date; ALL postsecondary coursework undertaken, etc). These instructions are imperative, as non-compliance with transcript-related guidelines is the primary reason for the rejection of applications.
  • Self-produced transcripts or marksheets from institutions’ self-served student systems (includes UAlberta transcripts produced from BearTracks) are considered unofficial and will not be considered.
  • The following transcripts are to be scanned and uploaded to ResearchNet:
  1. An up to date official U of A transcript; unofficial transcripts printed from BearTracks are not acceptable. U of A transcripts must show current Fall 2023 full time registration (courses/thesis in progress) if the applicant is currently registered. Visit the Office of the Registrar's website to easily obtain an official transcript: How to Request Official University of Alberta Transcripts. Either a scanned paper copy or e-Transcript are acceptable.
    • If ordering an e-Transcript, select the download PDF option for a “blue ribboned” PDF (must pay the associated fee). Do not add a password or expiry date. Students need to share the link with themselves (choose the send a link option to their own email). By accessing the shared link (login through the link they are sent), they can then have the option to download it from there. must view the etranscript in Adobe9 or higher.
    • To combine the e-Transcript with other transcripts, open it in a browser and print it to pdf (not download and save); students should be able to get the unsecured PDF in order to combine with other documents. The blue ribbon will be removed if combined with other transcripts and this is acceptable for uploading purposes to the portal; include the U of A Official Document Cover Page and Transcript Legend as this retains authenticity.
    • Students are to retain the original blue ribbon e-transcript as they could be asked to provide it for verification purposes.
    • Transcripts shared/sent to GPS’s email address or shared via the organization recipient option will not be accepted.
    • *Contact the Office of the Registrar for questions or issues with e-Transcripts issued through MyCreds™ system.
  2. Official, up-to-date transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate studies undertaken. Transcripts associated with transfer credit MUST be included.
  • It is the student's responsibility to ensure that their transcripts are complete and legible once uploaded. In all cases, the applicant is responsible for ensuring that the application is complete by reviewing the final version of the online application.

4. Application Deadline and Submission: October 3, 2023, 11:59 pm (MST): Deadline for students to submit their completed application via ResearchNet (including the sponsors' assessment and other attached documents as described under CIHR Application instructions). Applications submitted after this date will not be accepted and extension requests will not be granted.

  • GPS (institution) signature is NOT required on the signature pages at the time of application. Only the applicant's supervisor signature is required. Applicant must first identify their primary supervisor in the "Identify Participants" task of the application and this will generate a box for the Primary Supervisor to sign in the "Print/Upload Signature Pages".
  • It is highly recommended that students submit their application well ahead of the institutional deadline.
  • Only completed applications will be reviewed. Changes cannot be made after the application has been submitted and students will not be offered the opportunity to revise their applications. Incomplete applications will automatically be deemed ineligible.
  • Edits or corrections such as spelling, grammar, formatting, attachments, etc. are the responsibility of the student and will not be checked by GPS. Students who do not follow CIHR's application instructions and may jeopardize their application.
  • Submission of an application does not mean it has been forwarded to the national CIHR competition. All eligible applications will be shared with the Graduate Scholarship Committee (GSC) adjudicators for review.

NOTE: Institutions are permitted to recommend an unlimited number of self-identified Indigenous applicants to the CIHR CGSD Program above our application quota. Applicants who would like to self-identify as Indigenous and considered beyond the institutions quota must complete the Canada Graduate Scholarship Doctoral Awards (CGS D): Voluntary Self-Identification Form for Indigenous Applicants Form and must be uploaded in ResearchNet. Note applicants are not automatically forwarded to the national level; they will be reviewed and recommended by GPS’s Graduate Scholarship Committee (GSC) among the full pool of applicants.

Adjudication Procedures
All complete and eligible applications are reviewed by the Graduate Scholarship Committee (GSC). A list of recommended applications is selected and forwarded to CIHR for final adjudication at the national level. The University of Alberta's quota for recommended applications for 2024 is 36.
Deadline and Timelines

October 3, 2023, 11:59 pm (MST): Deadline for students to submit their completed application via ResearchNet.

October 4 - Mid October, 2023: FGSR Award Services reviews applications for eligibility and completeness. Note: Students will not be offered the opportunity to revise their applications.

Mid October - Mid November, 2023: GPS's GSC reviews applications and selects nominees to be forwarded to CIHR for review at the national level.

November 21, 2023: Deadline for FGSR to forward university nominations to CIHR for the national competition.

End of November, 2023: Results of the CIHR competition at the University level will be shared with Departments. Students whose applications have been forwarded to CIHR will receive a notification from GPS. Unsuccessful students will be notified via the CIHR ResearchNet.

April 2024: Final CIHR doctoral results are expected to be announced.

Research Allowance
For the 2022-23 first year recipients and prior, award funding was allocated as follows:
  • Stipend: $30,000/year
  • Research Allowance: $5,000/year

Note: the Research Allowance portion is administered by the Research Services Office (RSO). Award recipients are to contact the RSO for questions regarding the management of these funds.

If originally offered $30,000/year stipend plus the $5,000 per year Research Allowance, this funding allocation will remain for the whole tenure of the award.

For the 2023-24 recipients and beyond, the value is a $35,000 stipend. Funds will be paid directly by GPS. There is no Research Allowance.

Additional Information

Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement: Active CGS-D holders who wish to undertake research outside of Canada for a defined period of time may consider applying for this supplement.

Note: Applicants who are successful in receiving a Doctoral Priority Announcement award are NOT eligible to apply for a MSFSS award as these are not considered CGS level awards.

Award Acceptance

The Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) is the primary contact and administrator for the CIHR Doctoral award and its regulations for the term the student holds the award. Recipients planning to accept the award at the U of A (activate Payment of Award: Awards paid by Canadian institutions) are to proceed with the following steps:

1) Log in to ResearchNet and follow the instructions to accept the award offer. If applicable, consider other sources of funding that will be held or currently hold (ex. other awards, department funding) to ensure there are no conflicts.  

2) Submit the following two documents to to be signed:

  • Copy of Offer of an Award
    • This document contains the financial information of the award.
  • Response to an Offer of Award
    • A pdf version of this form will become available to the student's ResearchNet account after answering a few questions online regarding the proposed start date and the person and/or institution that will be administering the funds. The form must be signed by the student and the authorized institution official (GPS Awards Services) (Note: the Dean's signature is not required on this form).

 3) An official confirmation of registration is required to activate the award. Students are to ensure they are registered in the terms in which the award starts:

  • Enrolment Verification:
    • GPS will provide an Enrolment Verification document confirming students' full time registration.
    • The Enrolment Verification and the signed Response to an Offer of Award form will be returned to the student. Students will then need to submit them directly to CIHR (via email indicated on the form).
    • If the award start date needs to change from what was initially sent to CIHR, students are to let both CIHR and GPS know.

4) Send the following Tri-Agency documents to; GPS uses the Tri-Agency documents to accept the award offer at the university: 

  • Confirmation of Commencement (CFC) 
    • This form will become available in the recipients ResearchNet account 2 months prior to the start date indicated on the Response to an Offer of Award form (for example, if the start date of September 1st was chosen, it will appear on July 1st). If the start date is within 2 months of the current date, then the form will appear within a few hours of completing the Response to an Offer of Award. If it does not, it is because the information filled in the Response to an Offer of Award form (Institution, Faculty and/or Department) does not match the information provided on the original application. In this case, students are to email CIHR for further information.
    • This form must be signed by the student and their current program supervisor only, and must be submitted directly to CIHR via email indicated on the form.
  • Authorization for Funding Form
    • CIHR sends this document to the recipient upon receiving the Confirmation of Commencement Form from the student

5) Award payments will be processed according to the start date, and will be paid out in semi-monthly instalments over 12 months following the university's payroll schedule. Recipients are to refer to the Tri-Agency’s Research Training Award Holder’s Guide and GPS’s Scholarships and Awards Manual for all regulations and requirements relating to the award(s), including information on payment schedules, direct deposit, and renewal years (if applicable).

Award Renewals

Students’ renewable award will be viewable in the GSMS Awards Portal under “My Awards” with the status of "Awaiting Renewal". GPS will notify students approximately 2 months prior to the renewal start date when it will be viewable in GSMS.

It is the student’s responsibility to send the renewal request to GPS via GSMS approximately 4 weeks before the start of the renewal year. Requests for renewals are subject to review by GPS Awards Staff. Note that the value and specifics of the award may be adjusted. Renewal request requirements:

1) Student supervisor's authorization via GSMS 

To request the supervisor's authorization and to renew the award, follow the complete GSMS Awards: Renew My Award instructions (also available on GPS’s website under Awards and Funding/Award Resources/Student Resources/Renew my Award). 

Enter a due-date for the supervisor sign-off that is as late as possible before the renewal deadline. Ensure the request is properly submitted; incomplete submission requests may result in delayed payments. 

2) Required form for all Tri-Council (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC) Doctoral award holders: the completed Tri-Agency Doctoral Awards Progress Report (also available in the Forms Cabinet (under Awards\Awards Management)):

  • the Progress Report must be signed by the Department's Graduate Coordinator/Chair (not the student’s program supervisor); students are responsible for securing the appropriate signature from their Department.
  • the Progress Report is required to initiate payments; it is students’ responsibility to ensure that the Progress Report is complete in every respect, once uploaded. If incomplete, including missing signature(s) and/or unmarked checkbox (Student Progress), delays in processing will occur and may result in delayed payments

3) Award requirements: students must meet the eligibility requirements of their award set out within the Graduate Scholarship Committee Scholarships and Awards Manual (SAM). 

4) Full-time registration: students are to ensure they are full-time registered in their program during the tenure of the award. Students are to contact their home department if assistance with registration is required.