Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada 2022

The application process for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) for the year 2022 is still open!

The goal of the Canada Graduate Scholarships – Master’s (CGS M) program is to support students who have demonstrated a high level of success in their undergraduate and early graduate studies in order to aid improve research capabilities and assist in the training of highly competent employees.

Please read through this article to discover more about this program, including the qualifying criteria, prerequisites, application deadline, and more.

About Natural Sciences and Engineering Research

The CGS M Program provides financial assistance to high-caliber scholars enrolled in qualifying master’s or doctorate programs in Canada (refer to Eligibility). This assistance enables these students to focus entirely on their studies in their chosen professions.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) together manage the CGS M program, which supports up to 3,000 students yearly across all disciplines (SSHRC). The institute is in charge of the selection process and post-award management.


To be eligible to apply, you must;

  • As of the application due date, you must be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, or a Protected Person as defined by paragraph 95(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada).
  • be enrolled in, have applied for, or will apply for full-time admission* to an eligible master’s or doctorate program at a CGS M-allocated Canadian institution.
  • Respect the internal deadline for applying for admission to your desired program of study—for more information, contact the department of graduate studies (or its equivalent) at the chosen Canadian institution(s).
  • having completed between 0 and 12 months of full-time study (or full-time equivalent) in the program for which you are requesting financing as of December 31 of the year of application, which may be one of the following:
    • a master’s program
    • a doctoral program that you are entering directly from a bachelor’s program without having ever been enrolled in any graduate programs (direct-entry)
    • a combined master’s-doctoral program
    • a master’s program that will transition to an eligible doctoral program, either before or after award activation, with no master’s degree conferred (fast-track)
    • a master’s program for which the degree requirements will be completed before the end of the award, allowing the award to continue into an eligible doctoral program
    • or between 4 and 12 months of full-time study (or full-time equivalent) in an eligible master’s program for which the degree requirements will be completed before activation of the award, allowing it to be activated during the first 12 months of the subsequent doctoral program for which you are requesting funding
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An eligible graduate program must include a significant research component that leads to the completion of a thesis, major research project, dissertation, scholarly publication, performance, recital, and/or exhibit that is merit/expert-reviewed at the institutional level as a requirement for completion of the program.

Joint programs with a professional degree (for example, MD/Ph.D., DVM/Ph.D., JD/MA, JD/Ph.D., MBA/Ph.D., MA/MBA) as well as clinically oriented programs of study, including clinical psychology, are eligible if they have a significant autonomous research component, as described above.

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Master’s programs that are based only on course work are typically not eligible since they do not include a significant research component, as described above.

Given the specific requirements of certain disciplines, institutions are invited to contact the appropriate agency for guidance on the eligibility of programs of study.

Eligible locations of tenure

Field of research and subject matter eligibility

CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC support and promote high-quality research in a wide variety of disciplines and areas, which are divided into broad fields of research (health, natural sciences, and engineering, and social sciences and humanities). This includes research that bridges two or more disciplines or that requires the skills of several disciplines.

You must ensure that you are submitting your application to an institution that has an allocation for the field of research you intend to pursue. Applications deemed by a host institution to have been labeled incorrectly will be re-labeled according to the agency’s research subject matter guidelines (refer to Selecting the appropriate federal granting agency). You should contact the faculty of graduate studies (or its equivalent) at the institution where you intend to hold the award for further guidance on subject matter eligibility.

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Equity, diversity and inclusion

The Tri-agency is acting on the evidence that achieving a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive Canadian research enterprise is essential to creating the excellent, innovative, and impactful research necessary to advance knowledge and understanding and to respond to local, national, and global challenges. This principle informs the commitments described in the Tri-agency statement on equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI).


Eligible Canadian institutions are assigned a separate allocation of awards to offer from each agency. Institutions must respect the agency-specific allocation. Refer to the Canada Graduate Scholarships – Master’s award allocations page for a list of allocations by the institution and by the agency.


  • Application deadline: December 1, before 8:00 p.m. (ET). Complete applications must be submitted by the deadline using the Research Portal. If the deadline falls on a weekend, applications must be submitted by the following business day before 8:00 p.m. (ET).
    • As the application deadline approaches, delays may occur due to a high volume of users on the Research Portal, which may prevent the timely submission of your application. Requests to submit late applications will not be accepted.
  • Results deadline: Competition results will be available in the Research Portal as of April 1.

Selection process

The faculty of graduate studies (or its equivalent) at each institution is responsible for coordinating the selection process for the CGS M applications. Refer to Information and instructions for scholarships liaison officers for managing the Canada Graduate Scholarships – Master’s program for more information on the selection process.

Selection criteria

The merit review of CGS M applications will be carried out by institutions with an allocation and will be based on the following evaluation criteria:

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Criteria Description Weight
Academic excellence As demonstrated by past academic results, transcripts, awards, and distinctions

Indicators of academic excellence: academic record scholarships and awards held duration of previous studies type of program and courses pursued course load relative standing (if available)
Research potential As demonstrated by your research history, your interest in discovery, the proposed research, its potential contribution to the advancement of knowledge in the field, and any anticipated outcomes

Indicators of research potential: quality and originality of contributions to research and development relevance of work experience and academic training to the field of proposed research significance, feasibility and merit of proposed research judgment and ability to think critical liability to apply skills and knowledge initiative and autonomy research experience and achievements relative to expectations of someone with your academic experience
Personal characteristics and interpersonal skills As demonstrated by the applicant’s past professional and relevant extracurricular interactions and collaborations

Indicators of personal characteristics and interpersonal skills: work experience leadership experience project management including organizing conferences and meetings ability or potential to communicate theoretical, technical, or scientific concepts clearly and logically in written and oral format involvement in academic like volunteerism/community outreach

Application procedures

To apply to the CGS M program, you must complete and submit an application to up to three institutions using the Research Portal. You should consult the Canada Graduate Scholarships – Master’s program: Instructions for completing an application.

Click on the BUTTON below to apply.Application Link

For more information

The first point of contact regarding the CGS M program is the faculty of graduate studies (or its equivalent) at the institution(s) where you intend to hold the award.

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You can also contact any of Canada’s three agencies for information about this program. You should communicate with the agency whose mandate corresponds to your field of research.

The agencies aim to respond to inquiries within 48 hours. During peak periods (November to January), response time may be delayed.

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