NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship - Doctoral (CGS-D)/Postgraduate Scholarship - Doctoral (PGS-D) Competition

There are two levels of NSERC funding for doctoral students:

• The Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship – Doctoral Program (CGS-D), and
• The NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship – Doctoral Program (PGS-D).

There is a single application and review process for the CGS-D and the PGS-D programs. The top-ranked applicants are awarded the CGS-D and highly-ranked applicants in the next tier are awarded
the PGS-D.

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

    The PGS-D is valued at $21,000/year (tenable in Canada and abroad), for three years.*

    *Please note that recipients of doctoral Tri-Council scholarships will also receive Top-Up funding in the form of the President’s Doctoral Prize of Distinction
  • Eligibility

    Eligibility requirements:

    • Must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, as of the application deadline date;
    • Have completed no more than 24 months of full-time study in their doctoral program by December 31 of the year of application (no more than 36 months if transferred directly from Bachelors to a PhD or enrolled in a joint program, e.g., MD/PhD, MA/PhD);
    • Submit only one doctoral award application in a given academic year. Nominations to the Vanier CGS program do not count towards this limit;
    • Not have already received a doctoral-level scholarship or fellowship from CIHR, NSERC or SSHRC.
    • Your proposed research must clearly lie within the natural sciences and engineering (NSE), rather than the health sciences. Refer to NSERC’s Eligibility Criteria for Students and Fellows for additional information. Students in joint programs with a professional degree as well as clinically oriented programs of study are to refer to NSERC’s website.

    For complete eligibility requirements, please visit the NSERC Website.

  • Selection Criteria

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

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

    For complete selection criteria, please visit the NSERC Website.

  • Application Procedures

    There is no separate application form or process for the CGS-D program. The highest-ranked PGS-D applicants will automatically be considered by NSERC for a CGS-D. It is the student’s responsibility to read all instructions and be familiar with the application process before applying.

    1. Students must complete their applications using NSERC’s On-line Services, and must notify their Department of their intention to apply. If Departments require a copy of their students’ applications for internal adjudication purposes, students must provide this directly to their Department. FGSR does not provide copies of students’ applications to Departments.

    2. Once students complete their application section and the letters of reference have been submitted, students must click “verify” only. At this time, students will not be able to click “submit” as FGSR (the University designate) will still need to upload their Transcripts at a later date. Only students nominated by their Department will have their transcripts uploaded.

    3. By the Department internal deadline:

    - Students are to print a copy of their application from the On-line system, and submit to the receiving Department for internal adjudication purposes. As referees are required to submit a confidential online form, letters are not available to students. If academic reference letters are required for Department internal adjudication purposes, Departments must contact the referee directly to obtain a copy. FGSR will not provide copies of students’ applications or reference letters to Departments or to students.

    - It is the students’ responsibility to submit any required official, up-to-date transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate studies to their Department by the Departmental deadline. Students are to refer to NSERC’s Transcripts or proof of registration for transcript requirement guidelines (ex. definition of up-to-date; ALL postsecondary coursework undertaken, etc). If FGSR has up-to-date official transcripts required for their NSERC application on file (example: submitted and all conditions cleared for Admissions purposes), applicants are not required to re-submit them. If students have not yet submitted the required up-to-date official transcripts to FGSR, Departments are requested to collect them from their students and submit them to FGSR by the nomination deadline.

    - University of Alberta transcripts are not required – FGSR will provide copies for those students nominated by the Department.

    4. Departments are to email an alphabetical list of their nominated students to FGSR by 4 PM on October 3, 2019. Students who apply to this competition, but are not included on the Department’s nomination list will not be considered. It is the responsibility of the Department to inform their nominated students the name and contact information of our U of A designate in order for FGSR to upload student transcripts. Students are to contact their Department directly for information.

    5. Following the Department nomination submission deadline of October 3, FGSR will then review students’ applications for eligibility and completeness based on the list provided by Departments.

    6. Early November: FGSR will upload students’ transcripts in NSERC’s On-line Services portal. Departments are to advise their students that all transcripts have been uploaded and that students can click “submit” in their on-line application. FGSR will send a notification email to Departments when transcripts are uploaded.

    7. Mid – end November: Results of the NSERC competition at the University level will be shared to Departments. Only those students who’ve been nominated to NSERC will receive a notification email from FGSR that they have been forwarded to the national competition level. Unsuccessful students will be notified via the NSERC portal.

    8. Final NSERC doctoral results are expected to be announced in April 2020.

  • Nomination Procedures

    Students must contact their department to indicate their intent to apply and be considered for the NSERC doctoral awards. Departments forward necessary students’ transcripts and an alphabetical list of eligible nominees (including Student ID numbers) to the FGSR by 4 PM on October 3, 2019.

    Results of the NSERC competition at the University level will be shared to Departments. Only those students who’ve been nominated to NSERC will receive a notification email from FGSR that they have been forwarded to the national competition level. Unsuccessful students will be notified via the NSERC portal.

    2020 NSERC Memo to Departments
  • Adjudication Procedures

    All complete and eligible applications are reviewed by the Graduate Scholarship Committee. A list of recommended applications is chosen and sent to NSERC for final adjudication at the national level by November 21, 2019. The University of Alberta’s quota for recommended applications for the 2020 is 86.

    NSERC will notify all recommended applicants of final decisions by April 2020.

  • Deadline

    Each department sets its own internal deadline for receipt of applications and students are encouraged to apply well in advance. Contact the Department for their deadline information.

    The deadline for Departments to forward students’ transcripts and an alphabetical list of eligible applicants (including Student ID numbers) to the FGSR is 4 PM on Thursday, October 3, 2019.

    The deadline for FGSR to forward nominations to NSERC is November 21, 2019.

    Final NSERC doctoral results are expected to be announced in April 2020.