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

Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council (NSERC)


Information regarding the 2024/25 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.

Please also reference the NSERC application playlist via Youtube for tips on applying for these awards.

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-caliber 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 2024-25 competition, Guelph may forward 63 applications for consideration by NSERC.

Indigenous student researchers

Institutions may recommend applications from self-identified Indigenous student researchers to the doctoral awards competition beyond their application quota. Self-identified Indigenous student researchers must agree to their personal information being used for this purpose by making the appropriate selection in the application form.

Black student researchers

The Government of Canada has deployed additional funds to increase direct support for Black student researchers. CGS D applicants who self-identify as Black and provide consent to be considered for funds targeted towards specific groups may be selected to receive this funding. Each agency has a limited number of additional CGS D awards reserved for this initiative.

For more information, consult the Frequently asked questions about the new Black scholars funding.

NSERC Doctoral Application Process

Please note that this information is specific to those students submitting their applications 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 is completed correctly.

There is a single application and selection process (Form 201) for the CGS D and the PGS D:

  • All applicants must submit their applications through the NSERC online application portal.
    • Access the application and instructions on the NSERC website.
  • The online application will prompt you to indicate if you are applying through a university or if you are applying directly to the agency.
    • Please refer to the CGS website for directions on how to determine if you must apply through an institution or if you may apply directly to NSERC.
    • If you are applying through the University of Guelph, enter the University of Guelph in your application. When you submit the application, it will be routed to the University of Guelph.
      • If you are applying through the University of Guelph, you must submit your complete application by the institutional deadline listed below.
  • Submitted applications will be reviewed and ranked by the institution:
    • Applications are first reviewed by the proposed or current academic department/school then 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.
  • NSERC then reviews nominated applicants. 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 required to upload a scan of their transcripts in the application portal:

  • Official up-to-date transcripts/proofs of registration for all undergraduate and graduate programs must be submitted.
    • Up-to-date transcripts are defined as transcripts dated or issued in the fall session of the year of application (if currently registered) or after the last term completed (if not currently registered).
  • If the applicant is already registered in their program of study at the time of application, they must submit a transcript for this program regardless of the number of months completed in the program or whether the transcript contains any marks. This requirement also applies to programs of study started in the fall session of the year of application.
  • Certified copies will be accepted only for transcripts from foreign locations where official transcripts cannot be obtained (normally only considered for transcripts from outside of North America). If an applicant cannot obtain official transcripts, they need to provide verification from the institution to demonstrate its inability to provide official transcripts.
  • If a university’s policy is not to provide transcripts, then a letter bearing the official university seal/stamp or a letter signed by the Dean of Graduate Studies confirming i) the applicant’s program of study and registration status, and ii) that the university does not provide transcripts must be submitted in lieu of a transcript.
  • Please have all of your transcripts sent to your home mailing address or personal email. Do NOT send your transcripts for this application to your academic department or to OGPS.
  • 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.

NOTE: Students are responsible for verifying the completeness and accuracy of transcripts uploaded to their application. Failure to do so may result in the disqualification of the application from consideration.

NSERC Doctoral Application Deadline

Complete applications are due online by 11:59 p.m. (Eastern) on September 28, 2023

  • Applications submitted online 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 before the deadline.
  • 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.