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

There are two levels of NSERC funding for doctoral students:

  • The Canada Graduate Scholarships - Doctoral Program (NSERC CGS-D) (formerly the Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship - Doctoral Program), 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.

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.

Eligibility

Eligibility requirements:

  • Must be a Canadian citizen, 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;
  • Have completed no more than 24 months of full-time study in their doctoral program by December 31 of the calendar 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 - 50%
  • Relevant experience and achievements obtained within and beyond academia - 50%

For complete selection criteria, please visit the NSERC Website.

Application Procedures

The application submission 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 “Where should I submit my application?” of the CGS D Scholarships descriptions. This flowchart details which option should be selected within the online application form. Note: all applicants registered in a degree program at the UofA (with a quota) at any time during the calendar year of application must apply through the UofA, even if they intend to pursue their studies elsewhere.

Applications submitted this Fall 2021 term are for awards to start May or September 2022, or January 2023.

1. Review 2022 NSERC Memo to Students and Departments
2. Start NSERC's Online Application:
Students are to complete a full application by following NSERC's Application instructions, and submit through NSERC's On-line Services portal. It is the student's responsibility to read all instructions and be familiar with the application process before applying.
  • Students should consider requesting letters of recommendation (NSERC's Reports on the Applicant) as early as possible in order to meet the application submission deadline of October 4, 2021. It is highly recommended students give their referees a deadline at least one week prior to any application deadline in order to avoid possible delays/changes. Students are responsible for ensuring their references have completed and successfully submitted the Report on the Applicant via the NSERC online portal.
  • Edits or corrections such as spelling, grammar, formatting, attachments, etc. are the responsibility of the student and will not be checked by FGSR. Students who do not follow NSERC's application instructions and On-line Presentation and Attachment Standards may jeopardize their application.
  • "Verify" the application:
    - 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", until FGSR (the University designate) uploads students transcripts (see step 3-4).

3. University Designate:
FGSR Award Services is the University Designate. In the "Transcripts - University" task of the online application, students are to indicate the following information for the University Designate (do not reverse):

Family name: Services
Given name: Award
Email address: grad.awards@ualberta.ca
Organization: Alberta
Department: Graduate Studies and Research, Faculty of

  • After completing the University Designate section/fields, students are to send the online request.
  • NSERC's online system will then send an email notice to grad.awards@ualberta.ca with a link to access the student's individual application portal in order to upload transcripts. Important: FGSR will not receive the email notice if only the University Designate fields are filled out, and the request is not sent. The email notice with the link is required for FGSR to upload each student's transcripts. Students MUST send the request by the Transcript Submission deadline of September 22, 2021 (see step 4).
  • FGSR will upload student's transcripts to the online portal after step 3 is completed.
4. Transcript Submission:
Wednesday, September 22, 2021 at 11:59 pm (MST): Deadline for students to submit scanned copies of transcripts to FGSR via Google form submission (hard copies mailed to FGSR are not accepted. Please do not have institutions email PDF copies directly to FGSR; doing so may cause delays or misdirection to a different award competition).
  • Students are to ensure the University Designate request has been sent to FGSR.
  • FGSR does not provide copies of transcripts held on file at FGSR. 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 NSERC's Transcripts or proof of registration for transcript requirement guidelines (ex. definition of up-to-date; ALL postsecondary coursework undertaken, etc). This is imperative, as non-compliance is the primary reason for the rejection of applications.
  • The following transcripts are to be scanned and submitted to FGSR by uploading to the following Google Form link (note students must use their UofA CCID/email; further instructions are in the form):
    1. An up to date official UofA transcript; must show current Fall 2021 full time registration (courses/thesis in progress). Visit the Office of the Registrar's website: 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. Only PDF e-Transcripts with the blue ribbon and cover letter are considered official and unmodified. Transcripts shared/sent to FGSR’s email address or shared via the organization recipient option will not be accepted. 
    2. Official, up-to-date transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate studies undertaken. Transcripts associated with transfer credit MUST be included. 
5. Transcript Upload
Week of September 27, 2021: FGSR will upload transcripts to the student's application in NSERC's online portal by using the University Designate link.
  • As per NSERC's application instructions: 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.
6. Application Deadline and Submission
October 4, 2021, 11:59 pm (MST): Deadline for students to submit their completed application via NSERC's On-line Services portal.
  • Once students have verified the completeness of the final version of their application (including Reports on the Applicant and uploaded transcripts), they are to click "submit".
  • Changes cannot be made after the application has been submitted. Students will not be offered the opportunity to revise their applications.
  • Students are responsible for ensuring their references have completed and successfully submitted the Report on the Applicant via the NSERC online portal.
  • Edits or corrections such as spelling, grammar, formatting, attachments, etc. are the responsibility of the student and will not be checked by FGSR. Students who do not follow NSERC's application instructions and On-line Presentation and Attachment Standards may jeopardize their application.
  • Clicking "Submit" does not mean that a student's application has been forwarded to the national NSERC competition. All eligible applications will be shared to the Graduate Scholarship Committee (GSC) adjudicators for review.
Adjudication Procedures

All complete and eligible applications are reviewed by the FGSR Graduate Scholarship Committee. A list of recommended applications is chosen and sent to NSERC for final adjudication at the national level by November 22, 2021. The University of Alberta's quota for recommended applications for the 2021 is 78.

NSERC will notify all recommended applicants of final decisions by April 2022.

Deadline and Timelines

See Application Procedures for complete details leading up to the application submission deadline.

September 22, 2021, 11:59 pm (MST): Deadline for students to submit copies of official transcripts to FGSR.

October 4, 2021, 11:59 pm (MST): Deadline for students to submit their completed application via NSERC's On-line Services portal.

October 5 - 15, 2021: FGSR Award Services reviews applications for eligibility and completeness. Note: Students will not be offered the opportunity to revise their applications.

October 16 - Mid November, 2021: FGSR's Graduate Scholarship Committee reviews applications and selects nominees to be forwarded to NSERC for review at the national level.

November 22, 2021: Deadline for FGSR to forward university nominations to NSERC for the national competition.

Mid - End of November, 2021: Results of the NSERC competition at the University level will be shared with Departments. Students whose applications have been forwarded to NSERC will receive a notification from FGSR. Unsuccessful students will be notified via the NSERC portal.

April 2022: Final NSERC doctoral results are expected to be announced.