Tri‑Agency CGS‑D

Application instructions

2020-2021 Institutional deadline: October 1st, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. AST

Doctoral applications to Tri-Agency funding occurs in the fall of each year, with applications being subject to both departmental and university-level review.

SSHRC, CIHR and NSERC doctoral competitions each have their own eligibility and application requirements. This may include specific priority research areas for each funding body which may change year-over-year. Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to review funding opportunity announcements, award criteria and application preparation documentation available on each respective site. Links have been provided to the post-graduate funding pages of the respective agencies below.

For all doctoral competitions, your application must be submitted through the respective Tri-Agency portals. Paper or email copies are not accepted.

To facilitate the internal review process, you are also required to create a Tri-Agency Doctoral application in FGS’s new online Scholarship Management Platform.  This application is for internal administration only and does not replace your Tri-Agency application.  For NSERC doctoral applicants, you will use the Scholarship Management Platform to upload copies of your transcripts for our Scholarship Liaison Officer to link to your NSERC application (more details below).    

NSERC PGS-D/CGS-D Internal Application Submission/Review Process

Applicants are expected to review NSERC’s application instructions in detail.

NSERC applicants must obtain official electronic copies of their transcripts, whenever possible, and submit them with your Tri-Agency Doctoral application in FGS’s online Scholarship Management Platform (link to be provided in late August).  You must submit your NSERC application (Research Portal) and your transcripts (Scholarship Management Platform) before the October 1st deadline.   

Submitted applications will be downloaded by FGS, evaluated for completeness, and linked with the Tri-Agency Doctoral application in FGS’s Scholarship Management Platform.

The Scholarships Liaison Officer will link the transcripts to your application. You must enter the Scholarships Liaison Officer’s information within the NSERC Research Portal as the designated individual to upload their transcript. For the 2020/2021 competition, the individual is Niki Power (fgs.slo@dal.ca).

Complete applications will be sent to departments for review. Departments typically have up to one week to complete the review process, and may request for students to provide PDF copies of their applications in advance of the student submission deadline for additional review/feedback.

Applications supported at the department level are returned to FGS and forwarded to university-level review committees, which evaluate submitted applications based on Tri-Agency criteria and recommend which applications move forward to the national competition. University-level rankings may also be used to identify prospective candidates for additional internal awards.

Please note the following message from NSERC:

NSERC acknowledges that the widespread disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic may hinder the ability of some applicants to access official and up-to-date versions of their transcripts in advance of the deadline date, particularly at institutions which do not currently provide official electronic versions of these documents. As such, for the fall 2020 competition, NSERC will not immediately reject applications that include unofficial transcripts in lieu of official transcripts.

Further instructions can be found on the NSERC website.

CIHR: Doctoral Research Awards (DRA/CGS-D) Internal Application Submission/Review Process

Applicants are expected to review CIHR’s application instructions in detail.

Note that CIHR applicants upload their own official transcripts in accordance with very specific guidelines available on the above noted application instructions site.

Submitted applications will be downloaded by FGS, evaluated for completeness, and linked with the Tri-Agency Doctoral application in FGS’s Scholarship Management Platform.  This will then be used to distribute the applications to departments for review. Departments typically have up to one week to complete the review process, and may request for students to provide PDF copies of their applications in advance of the student submission deadline.

Applications supported at the department level are returned to FGS and forwarded to university-level review committees, which evaluate submitted applications based on Tri-Agency criteria and recommend which applications move forward to the national competition. University-level rankings may also be used to identify prospective candidates for additional internal awards.

Applicants intending to pursue studies at Dal are also strongly encouraged to participate in the Harmonized Scholarship Process.

SSHRC: Doctoral Fellowship & CGS-D Internal Application Submission/Review Process

Applicants are expected to review SSHRC’s application instructions in detail.

Note that SSHRC applicants upload their own official transcripts in accordance with very specific guidelines available on the above-noted application instructions site.

Submitted applications will be downloaded by FGS, evaluated for completeness, and linked with the Tri-Agency Doctoral application in FGS’s Scholarship Management Platform.  This will then be used to distribute the applications to departments for review. Departments typically have up to one week to complete the review process, and may request for students to provide PDF copies of their applications in advance of the student submission deadline.

Applications supported at the department level are returned to FGS and forwarded to university-level review committees, which evaluate submitted applications based on Tri-Agency criteria and recommend which applications move forward to the national competition. University-level rankings may also be used to identify prospective candidates for additional internal awards.

Applicants intending to pursue studies at Dal are also strongly encouraged to participate in the Harmonized Scholarship Process.

For more information on available awards and application procedures, please see Funding Opportunities for PhD Students [PDF - 396kb]

Acceptance of awards

Tri-Agency Doctoral awards (CGS-D or PGS-D) may be taken up in May, September or January in the year following the competition provided the student meets all eligibility criteria for the award. 

  • For CIHR awards, offers must be accepted or declined by completing the Response to Offer task in ResearchNet and other required steps, if applicable.
  • For NSERC and SSHRC awards, award recipients must accept or decline by sending an email to the appropriate program contact, stating whether they accept or decline, and confirming the start date.

Doctoral students wishing to activate a Tri-Agency award in May must submit a copy of the Notice of Award and a completed and signed Request for First Installment form  to fgs.slo@dal.ca as soon as possible to avoid delays in payment, and should consult with their department on the impact this might have on other department-level funding over the summer. 

Doctoral students wishing to activate the Tri-Agency award in September/January must provide this documentation to fgs.slo@dal.ca by May 31st to avoid delays in payment in the fall or winter. 

Note that students who are eligible for president awards can only hold the award while Killam-D or Tri-Agency Doctoral funding is active. 

All students receiving awards should familiarize themselves with the following documents: