Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council (NSERC) | Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies

Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council (NSERC)


Information regarding the 2021/22 NSERC Doctoral, Master's and Post-doctoral Awards will be presented by NSERC personnel online, with event details to be confirmed soon. This session is intended for students who are enrolled in or planning to pursue graduate studies. You may now access a copy of NSERC's Fall 2019 presentation slides on the Tools and Resources tab, but an updated 2020 presentation will be posted after NSERC's presentation. In addition, NSERC provides Resource Videos that may be helpful in preparing your application.

Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master's (CGS M) Program

The objective of the Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master's (CGS M) Program is to help develop research skills and assist in the training of highly qualified personnel by supporting students who demonstrate a high standard of achievement in undergraduate and early graduate studies. The Tri-council allocates CGS M awards to universities specifying the number of awards that each may offer to their students annually. CGS M awards can only be offered to students pursuing graduate studies at eligible Canadian universities, and the award must be held at the university that has made the offer.

Find out how to apply to hold a CGS M at the University of Guelph here.

NSERC Doctoral Scholarships

NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships-Doctoral (PGS D) and Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships-Doctoral (CGS D) provide financial support to high calibre scholars who are engaged in a doctoral program in the natural sciences or engineering.  Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada are eligible to apply.

Value & Duration

PGS Doctoral - $21,000 per year for three years
CGS Doctoral - $35,000 per year for three years


Eligibility criteria vary for the PGS Doctoral and CGS Doctoral awards, so please carefully review both the PGS and CGS websites.


The University of Guelph is an institution with a quota from NSERC. For the 2020-21 competition, Guelph was able to forward 59 applications for consideration by NSERC. For the upcoming 2021-2022 competition, allocations are not yet released but will be updated here once they are available. 

NSERC Doctoral Application Process

Please note that this information is specific to those students submitting their application through the University of Guelph only. Refer to the detailed instructions on NSERC's website to ensure that you are submitting your application to the correct institution - it is the applicant's responsibility to ensure this step.

Access the application and instructions on the NSERC website. There is a single application and selection process (Form 201) for the CGS D and the PGS D.  If selected by NSERC, the top-ranked applicants will be offered a CGS D, and the next tier of meritorious applicants will be offered an NSERC PGS D.

Transcript Submission & Deadline

Applicants are not able to upload their own transcripts to the application. When completing the transcript section of the on-line application you will be asked to input the name and email address of the person who will upload your transcript(s). Please enter the name and email address for your Graduate Program Assistant.  You will receive a confirmation email from this person once the transcripts have been successfully uploaded.  You may submit your application on-line once all of the required documents are uploaded to the application.

Original, official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended are due to your Graduate Program Assistant by September 23, 2020 at the very latest, so they can be uploaded to your application before the application deadline. All transcripts must be sent to Graduate Program Assistants via e-mail in pdf format as staff continue to work remotely. Current Guelph students may be able to obtain their Guelph transcripts at no charge; please refer to “Ordering Transcripts” under Tools and Resources on our website.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Students are responsible for checking the completeness and accuracy of transcripts after the Graduate Program Assistant has uploaded the file in the NSERC Online System, and communicating with the Graduate Program Assistant in the event of any error in the uploaded transcript file. Failure to do so may result in the disqualification of the application from consideration at the national level. This error cannot be appealed. 

NSERC Doctoral Application Deadline

Complete applications are due on-line by 11:59p.m. (Eastern) on Wednesday, September 30, 2020.  Applications submitted on-line after this date will not be considered. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that their entire application, including transcripts and all attached files, is complete and in adherence to all guidelines set by NSERC, and that the application is submitted prior to the deadline.

Applications will be reviewed and ranked by the applicant’s proposed or current academic department/school and forwarded to the Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies (OGPS). The OGPS Awards Committee reviews the applications and selects those that will be forwarded to the national competition. The university is given a quota for applications that can be forwarded each year.

Applicants will be notified whether or not their application has been selected to be forwarded to the national competition by late-November.

Contacts & Resources

If you have questions, please contact the Graduate Awards Officers by email.