Tri‑Agency CGS‑M

Application deadline: December 1, 2020 at 9:00 p.m. ADT

The federal Tri-Agencies (CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC) and their provincial counterparts are dedicated to the creation of new knowledge for the benefit of all Canadians. These agencies support master’s students through the Canadian Graduate Scholarships-Master’s Program.

CGS-M scholarships are currently reviewed and awarded through Dalhousie University, with awards issued each year to applicants who, as of December 31 of the year of the competition, have not completed more than 12 months of full-time academic study in their master’s program.

Complete details on the CGS-M application process and eligibility criteria can be found on the Tri-Agency website.  Applications are submitted through the research portal.

NSERC has produced a number of videos to assist applicants through the postgraduate application process. In the case of the CGS-M, these are applicable for all three agencies so we highly recommend you watch them before applying:

Application instructions

  • Upload official transcripts issued by the registrar’s office.  Submission of unofficial transcripts, such as web-based print-offs from a university website, will result in an application being deemed ineligible. Please note that as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, many universities are providing electronic official transcripts.  Please contact the registrar’s office of previously attended universities well in advance of the application deadline to obtain electronic transcripts.  Official electronic transcripts from Dalhousie can be ordered through DalOnline, but please note this may take several weeks so please order transcripts well in advance of the application deadline.
  • Ensure that references and all application materials are submitted by the deadline.  Dalhousie cannot accept late applications or direct applications. They must be submitted through the research portal by the deadline set out by the Tri-Agency.
  • Contact prospective supervisors within the department prior to applying.  By contacting a prospective supervisor in advance, applicants can discuss research project alignment and can be considered for other awards through the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ Harmonized Scholarship Process. 
  • Write the research proposal in plain language. It is highly unlikely that a reviewer will be a technical expert in the area of the proposal. Also, focus on the proposed research topic, the planned approach, and the anticipated impact of the research.
  • Highlight leadership, volunteer and professional activities: CGS-M competitions are highly competitive. Often several applicants will have a similarly strong academic performance, awards histories, and research proposals.  Leadership, volunteer and professional activities both within and outside of the university often become significant deciding factors during application review. Take the time to highlight your activities, describe the scope of involvement, and note the impact.

CGS-M award results are announced in early April by Tri-Council.  Strong applicants are also encouraged to participate in the Harmonized Scholarship Process by opting in to use their CGSM application to be considered for other awards. Applicants who plan to opt-in to use their CGSM application for this purpose must do so in the FGS portal by December 1, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. ADT.

Acceptance of awards

Tri-agency Master's awards (CGS-M) 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. Master's students can indicate the desired starting term when accepting the award in the tri-agency research portal.

  • Offered: Students who have been offered an award must accept or decline it in the research portal within 21 days of receiving the offer or it will be automatically declined.  Students who have been offered an award but do not plan to take it up at Dalhousie are asked to decline the award in the portal as soon as possible.
  • Alternate: New award offers may be made to high-ranking students who have been marked as alternates as declines are recorded.  These new offers will be made prior to the end of May. 

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