Canada Graduate Scholarship Program (Master's)

Program Info

The CGS M program provides financial support ($17,500 for 12 months, non-renewable) to high caliber scholars who are engaged in eligible Masters or, in some cases, doctoral programs in Canada.This support allows these scholars to fully concentrate on their studies in their chosen fields. The CGS M program supports 2,500 students annually in all disciplines and is administered jointly by Canada’s three federal granting agencies: the Canadian Institutes for 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 selection process and post-award administration are carried out at the university level, under the guidance of the three agencies. Students submit their application to the university at which they propose to hold their award via the Research Portal.

University Award Allocations

When planning an application, you should be aware of the award allocations for the University you are planning on applying to. Eligible universities with a CGS Master's award allocations.

How to Apply

Applicants are strongly encouraged to read all instructions prior to starting the application!

Application Components
  • Create an application through the Research Portal;
  • Create a CGS M Canadian Common CV;
  • Outline of proposed Research (maximum 1 page attachment);
  • Bibliography/Citations (maximum 1 page attachment);
  • Transcripts - Only Up-to-date, official, transcripts are to be attached. A copy of the legend for each is also required; and
  • Reference Assessments (total of 2)

Qualifying Canadian universities receive a CGS M allocation indicating the number of students to whom they can award scholarships; these allocations are divided by broad fields of study: health, natural sciences and/or engineering and social sciences and/or humanities.

ADMISSION DEADLINE: Applicants MUST also apply to graduate studies at the Universities they propose to hold the award. Acadia University's admission application deadline is February 1st for consideration (except for December 15th for MSc in Psychology applicants and December 1st for M.Ed. in Counselling applicants). It is the applicant's responsibility to check admission deadlines at the Universities they are proposing.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: December 1st, before 8:00pm (ET). Complete applications must be submitted by this deadline using the RESEARCH PORTAL. If the deadline falls on a weekend, applications must be submitted by the following business day before 8:00pm (ET).

RESULTS DEADLINE: Competition results will be available in the RESEARCH PORTAL as of April 1st.

Eligibility Criteria
  • MUST have achieved a first-class average in EACH of the last two (2) completed years of study. If the last 2 completed years of study were taken at Acadia University, first-class average is defined as a GPA of 3.67/4.0. If the studies were elsewhere, the applicant is responsible for contacting the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the selected institutions for more detailed info;
  • Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada;
  • Be enrolled in, have applied for, or will apply for full-time admission to an eligible graduate program at a Canadian institution;
  • Respect the internal admission deadlines at the University(s) of choice. Contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the selected institutions for more detailed info;
  • Have completed between 0 and 12 months of full-time studies in the program for which you are requesting funding; and
  • Not have held a previous CGS Masters award;

Applicants MUST upload up-to-date, OFFICIAL, transcripts for this competition. 

Important Tips
  • Request your OFFICIAL transcripts early (as a request can sometimes take up to 5 days to process);
  • Make contact with your referees (2) as early as possible. You should refer them to the video on how to complete the reference form. You should also consider setting a personal deadline as to when their letter should be submitted (ie. Nov 25th). That way, if the reference letter isn't submitted, you will still have time to approach another referee;
  • If applicable, indicate how sex, gender and diversity considerations have been taken into account in your proposed research. Accounting for sex, gender and diversity makes research more ethically sound, rigorous, and useful; and
  • If there has been any impact on disseminating research results or academic achievement, due to health problems, family responsibilities, parental leave, disabilities, or other applicable circumstances, PLEASE indicate this under "Special Circumstances" within your free-form section.
Selection Process

After the December 1st deadline, the Graduate Studies Officer reviews all applications for eligibility (eligibility criteria listed above). Those that do not meet a requirement are marked in the Research Portal as Ineligible. All remaining applications are then shared with the selection committee.

The selection committee is comprised of 2-3 members of the Senate Committee on Graduate Studies, the Dean of Graduate Studies [Chair], and the Graduate Studies Officer.

The documents provided to the selection committee include:

The following evaluation criteria is used by the committee:

  • Academic Excellence (50%) - as demonstrated by the OFFICIAL transcripts, and scholarships/awards held;
  • Research Potential (30%) - as demonstrated by the research history, proposed research, its potential contribution to the advancement of knowledge in the field, and any anticipated outcomes; and
  • Personal Characteristics/Interpersonal Skills (20%) - as demonstrated by the past professional and relevant extracurricular interactions and collaborations (ie. work experience, leadership experience, or involvement is academic life)

The review of applications is based solely on the information provided in the application.

Conflicts of Interest

If an applicant is, has been, or will be under the direct supervision of a Selection Committee member, the member must withdraw from the discussion when the applicant's file is being discussed at the meeting.

If an applicant is, or will be, at the same institution (in the same or different department), the member is permitted to participate in the discussion.

If there is a personal link and/or situations in which a reviewer decides to declare a conflict of interest, the member must withdraw from the discussion when the applicant's file is being discussed at the meeting.


All application material is provided to members in confidence and must be used for review purposes only. All matters discussed during the review meeting are confidential and must not be divulged to others.

Notifying applicants of the results is the responsibility of NSERC staff. If approached by an applicant or other individual concerning a decision, or any other matter, members must decline discussion and refer the person to NSERC.