CGS Doctoral (CIHR / NSERC / SSHRC) Award Competitions

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Overview and Application Guidelines


The Canada Graduate Scholarships—Doctoral (CGS-D) program is a federal program of scholarships awarded through national competitions by the granting agencies: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

The program aims to promote continued excellence in Canadian research by rewarding and retaining high-calibre doctoral students at Canadian institutions. By providing support for a high-quality research training experience to awardees, the CGS-D program strives to foster impacts within and beyond the research environment.

Eligibility to Apply

Please refer to the Tri-Agency CGS-D website for complete eligibility requirements.

    • Level of Study: Doctoral
    • Required Legal Status: Domestic (Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or protected persons)

NOTE: CIHR application on ResearchNet will go offline for University of Toronto applicants on October 4th; however, the NSERC and SSHRC application systems will remain open. Applicants must submit their application by the graduate unit deadline.

Award Value & Duration

    • CGS-D: $35,000 CAD per year for 36 months
    • NSERC PGS-D: $21,000 CAD per year for 36 months
    • SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship: $20,000 CAD per year for 12–48 months

SGS Graduate Award Information Sessions for Students

Please visit the CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC websites for full information on these award opportunities. The information below contains information and reminders specific to students applying to hold one of these awards for PhD study in the Faculty of Information.

Graduate Award Information sessions are available to students interested in applying for Federal and / or Provincial awards (to start award in 2023-24 academic year). NOTE: international students are only eligible to apply for Vanier and OGS out of the sessions being offered.

Additional Resources

To access the videos, enter your utoronto email address when prompted to sign-in, then login using UTORid credentials.

How to Apply

Students registered in a University of Toronto graduate degree program at any time between January 1–December 31, 2023, or on an approved leave of absence must complete the appropriate agency’s online application form submit through their current or proposed graduate program at the University of Toronto. Applicants are to contact the unit’s graduate administrator directly regarding the submission deadline and process.

In addition to the CGS-D, each agency offers its own doctoral awards. Applicants complete and submit one application to be considered for both a CGS-D scholarship and an agency doctoral award. CGS-D scholarships are offered to top-ranked eligible applicants.

Applicants must access the online application through the respective granting agency’s portal:

CIHR and SSHRC applicants are encouraged to email their graduate unit with a screenshot of their application status after they have submitted to ensure that their unit is aware of their submission.

Deadline to Apply

    • NSERC Deadline: September 22, 2023
    • SSHRC Deadline: September 22, 2023

No late applications will be accepted.


The inclusion and completeness of up-to-date official transcripts are essential for the Tri-Agency to determine eligibility/confirm current registration and is an integral part of the evaluation material reviewed by the selection committees. As such, in addition to the most up-to-date transcripts for all previous degree programs/courses (complete or incomplete), applicants must order and include their transcript for their current degree program dated in the fall session of the year of application (i.e. September 2023) even when no grades are available. Applicants should make sure that any older official transcripts are indeed the most up-to-date version and no changes have occurred since the date if issuance. It is the applicants’ responsibility to ensure that transcripts are complete and legible once uploaded, even if a university official (graduate administrator) is responsible for uploading the transcripts (i.e. NSERC).

The Tri-Agency acknowledges that the widespread disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic may hinder the ability of some institutions to provide applicants with official and up-to-date transcripts in advance of the deadline date, particularly at institutions which do not currently provide official electronic version of these documents. Therefore, for the fall 2023 scholarships and fellowships competitions, the agencies will continue to accept unofficial transcripts if official transcripts cannot be obtained.

While applications containing unofficial transcripts will be accepted, applicants should note that submission of an application will continue to serve as a formal attestation that they provided true, complete, accurate information in the application and its related documents. The Tri-Agency may contact administrative staff at applicants’ institutions or applicants directly in order to verify that the contents of the submitted transcripts are true, complete and accurate.

Collection of Self-Identification Data

Beginning in August 2018, the Tri-Agency has been asking all applicants to self-identify with information on age, gender, Indigenous identity, disability and visible minority status. Though completing the self-identification form will be mandatory for applicants and co-applicants, each category has a “I prefer not to answer” option.

Indigenous Applicants

[First Nations (North American Indian – Status and Non-Status), Métis, or Inuit] are encouraged to self-identify their status and provide consent within the application form to share this information with their institutions and the Tri-Agency, as universities are permitted to recommend an unlimited number of self-identified Indigenous applicants above their application quota to the national competition. Self-identification data are not seen or used by Tri-Agency selection committee members or by the applicant’s references.

Selection Process

    • The Faculty of Information Awards Committee adjudicates all candidates for these awards and provides a ranked summary to the School of Graduate Studies.
    • The School of Graduate Studies facilitates a University-wide adjudication round with committee members from across the University.
    • Top applications are forwarded for a final, national adjudication round.
    • The SGS Graduate Awards Office will notify those who were forwarded to SGS of the University competition results in late-November. The results of the national competition are communicated directly by the Tri-Agency in April 2024.