SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship - Doctoral (CGS-D)/Doctoral Fellowship Competition

SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships support high-calibre students engaged in doctoral programs in the social sciences and humanities. There are two levels of SSHRC funding for doctoral students:

  • The Canada Graduate Scholarships - Doctoral Program (SSHRC CGS-D) (formerly the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Graduate Scholarship - Doctoral Program), and
  • The SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships Program

There is one application process for these two scholarships; students apply for the Doctoral Fellowship and are automatically considered for the CGS-D if eligible.


The CGS-D is valued at $35,000/year, for three years

The Doctoral Fellowship is valued at $20,000/year, for one, two, three, or four years.


Each scholarship has different eligibility requirements. It is the responsibility of the applicant to fully review all requirements before submitting an application. For complete eligibility and to determine registration status at the time of application submission, review the following websites:

General Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be a Canadian Citizen, permanent resident of Canada, or a “protected person” under subsection 95(2) of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act as of the application deadline date;
  • Must be pursuing doctoral studies in the social sciences or humanities. An eligible doctoral program must include a significant, autonomous research component that leads to the completion of a thesis, major research project, dissertation, scholarly publication, performance, recital and/or exhibit. This component must be merit/expert-reviewed at the institutional level as a requirement for completing the program.
  • Must meet the months in program eligibility requirements as outlined on the CGS-D and Fellowship websites (Note: If your time in program makes you eligible for only one of the scholarships, you can still submit an application, and will only be considered for that scholarship);
  • Must not have already received a doctoral-level scholarship or fellowship from SSHRC, NSERC, or CIHR to undertake or complete a doctoral degree or combined MA/PhD;
  • 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.
  • Must review and meet the General Guidelines for the Eligibility of Subject Matter at SSHRC. If your research is health related, consult CIHR's mandate first to explore eligibility.
  • Cannot hold a tenure or tenure-track appointment concurrently with a CGSD award.
Selection Criteria

The evaluation of SSHRC CGS-D and Fellowship applications, whether by institutions or by SSHRC, is based on the following criteria:

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

For further details please consult the respective SSHRC CGS-D and Fellowship websites.

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 “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 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 SSHRC Memo to Students and Departments, and the Fellowship/CGSD Program details and requirements.

2. Start SSHRC's Online Application: To complete a full application students must follow SSHRC's Application Instructions, and submit through SSHRC's Online Services portal. It is the student's responsibility to read all instructions and be familiar with the application process before applying. This includes making sure to click "preview" and "verify" on each page in order to submit the application. GPS accesses U of A applications from the agency portal for university review and adjudication.

  • Students should consider requesting letters of recommendation (SSHRC's Letter of Appraisal) as early as possible in order to meet the application submission deadline of October 10, 2023 (Extended Deadline). 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 Letters of Appraisal via the SSHRC online portal.
  • 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 SSHRC’s Application Instructions may jeopardize their application.

3. Transcripts: It is the student's responsibility to submit online through SSHRC'S On-line Services portal any and all required official, up-to-date transcripts.

  • Missing, unofficial, or illegible transcripts may deem students' applications as incomplete and will not be reviewed. Refer to SSHRC’s Application Instructions. 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.
  • GPS does not provide copies of transcripts from student records held on file at GPS (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.
  • The following transcripts are to be scanned and uploaded to the Transcripts section of the student's application:
  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 to upload to SSHRC's portal.
    • 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. Adobe9 or higher is required to view the e transcript.
    • 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. “Official letter to confirm part-time study and/or leave of absence”: if applicable, students who as part of their doctoral studies have studied on a part-time basis, or interrupted their studies (ex. leave of absence), must send a request to GPS ( by Wednesday, September 20, 2023, 11:59 pm (MST) to obtain a letter.

  • GPS can only confirm part-time registration/leaves of absences that have been officially approved (i.e. reflected on the current U of A transcript).
  • GPS will return the letter for students to upload to their application in the portal by the Application Deadline .

5. Application Deadline and Submission: October 10, 2023, 11:59 pm (MST) (Extended Deadline). Deadline for students to submit their completed application via SSHRC's On-line Services portal (including Letters of Appraisal and uploaded transcripts). Note that there is no system shutoff in SSHRC's portal October 3, 11:59 pm; however, student’s applications will be date and time stamped once submitted and this will be the copy used for university review and adjudication. Applications submitted after this date will not be accepted and extension requests will not be granted.

  • 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 Letters of Appraisal via the SSHRC online portal by October 3, 2023.
  • 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 SSHRC's application instructions may jeopardize their application.

NOTE: Institutions may recommend applications from self-identified Indigenous applicants to the doctoral awards competition beyond their application quota. Indigenous applicants who wish to have their application considered for submission beyond their institution’s quota are asked to select the “Option for Self-identified Indigenous Applicants” in the “Application Profile” section of the online application form.

This information will be visible only to the applicant and institutional officials with appropriate access to the SSHRC online system. 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
Eligible applications will be reviewed by the Graduate Scholarship Committee. A list of recommended applications is selected and forwarded to SSHRC for final adjudication. The University of Alberta's quota for recommended applications for 2024 is 66.
Deadline and Timelines

September 20, 2023, 11:59 pm (MST): GPS Deadline to request an "Official letter to confirm part-time study and/or leave of absence", if applicable. Refer to the Application Procedures for full instructions.

October 10, 2023, 11:59 pm (MST) (Extended Deadline): Deadline for students to submit their completed application via SSHRC's on-line services portal. Refer to Application Procedures for full instructions.

October 10 - Mid October, 2023: GPS Award Services reviews applications for eligibility and completeness. 

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

November 21, 2023 (may subject to change): Deadline for GPS to forward university nominations to SSHRC for the national competition.

End of November, 2023 (may subject to change): Results of the SSHRC competition at the University level will be released. Students whose applications have been forwarded to SSHRC will receive a notification from GPS. Unsuccessful students will be notified via the SSHRC portal.

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

Postgraduate Supplements

SSHRC offers supplementary funding to scholarship and fellowship award holders, some of which is offered through joint initiatives. Unless otherwise indicated, there is no separate application process for most initiatives and supplements:

Award Acceptance

The Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) is the primary contact and administrator for the SSHRC 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) Advise SSHRC if the award will be accepted (for May 1, Sept 1, or Jan 1).

2) Submit the following two documents to

  • Copy of the offer letter “Notice of Award” from SSHRC’s secure site
  • Copy of the “Notice of Decision” from SSHRC’s secure site
  • Tri-Agency's Request for First Instalment or Reinstatement of Award Paid by Canadian Institution form:
    • This form is required to pay the award at the university. Students are to ensure to complete the appropriate form “Paid by Canadian Institution”, not “Award Paid Directly to Award Holder”.
    • Complete Parts 1, 2, and 3; leave Part 4 blank. GPS will sign and complete this section as the university official, and will return to the agency on students’ behalf.  
    • Note that the start date may be changed from the "Proposed Start Date" as initially indicated on the application.
    • When selecting the start date, consider other sources of funding (if applicable) that will be held or currently hold (ex. other awards, department funding) to ensure there are no conflicts with overlap. 
3) 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 GPSS 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.