NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships


Deadline:

TBA: likely September 15, 2021 at 12:00 PM (PDT)


Eligibility of Citizenship: Canadian and Permanent Residence
Degree Level: Doctoral
Award Status: Closed
Applicant Status: Incoming Students and Continuing Students

Description

Quick Facts

The NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships – Doctoral (PGS-D) program provides financial support to high-calibre scholars who are engaged in an eligible doctoral program in the natural sciences or engineering. This support allows these scholars to fully concentrate on their studies and seek out the best research mentors in their chosen fields.

Effective fall 2019, Canada’s three federal granting agencies (CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC) have now harmonized the Canada Graduate Scholarship – Doctoral program. Please visit the new CGS-D Program page for the harmonized application process and timeline. Applications to the CGS-D program will automatically be considered for NSERC’s Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship – Doctoral (CGS-D) award, which is offered to the top-ranked applicants. The next tier of meritorious applicants will be offered a PGS-D award. The majority of information about the PGS-D program is contained within the harmonized CGS-D program description.

Value: $21,000/year for up to 3 years

Eligibility

To be eligible to apply, an applicant must:

  • be enrolled in a program of study that includes a significant research component that leads to the completion of a thesis, major research project, dissertation, scholarly publication, performance, recital and/or exhibit;
  • be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, as of the application deadline date;
  • have completed no more than 24 months of full-time study in their doctoral program by December 31 of the calendar year of application if previously enrolled in a master’s program
  • have completed no more than 36 months of full-time study in their doctoral program by December 31 of the calendar year of application if enrolled in a joint program; for example, MD/PhD, MA/PhD
    • applicants who fall into this category have access to the 36-month window whether or not they were previously enrolled in a master’s program
  • have completed no more than 36 months of full-time study in their doctoral program by December 31 of the calendar year of application if enrolled directly from a bachelor’s to a PhD program (with no time spent in a master’s program)
    • direct-entry applicants must be enrolled in their doctoral program at the time of application
  • submit only one doctoral award application in a given academic year. Nominations to the Vanier CGS program do not count towards this limit;
  • not have already received a doctoral-level scholarship or fellowship from CIHR, NSERC or SSHRC.

Number of months

Eligibility for PGS-D/CGS-D is based on the number of months of full-time study in the degree for which you are requesting funding by December 31 of the calendar year of application. Two terms of part-time study count as one term of full-time study.

Note: In general, the agencies count all studies toward the doctoral degree for which funding is requested, whether or not they were completed at the degree-granting institution.

Fast-track and joint programs

For those registered in a master’s program and subsequently transferred to a doctoral program (fast-track), the months of study completed are calculated starting from the date on which an applicant transfers into the doctoral program.

For those registered in a doctoral program, if a master’s degree is obtained as part of the program (for example, MA/PhD), the months of study are still calculated starting from the date on which an applicant is officially registered in the joint program (including the master’s portion of the program).

Note: To be considered eligible for the PGS-D program, the applicant’s proposed research must clearly lie within the natural sciences and engineering, rather than the health sciences. Applicants are encouraged to review NSERC’s addendum to the guidelines for the eligibility of applications related to health, which provides examples of research subject matter that are eligible and ineligible for NSERC’s funding support, in addition to NSERC’s eligibility criteria for students and fellows and Tri-Agency’s guidelines on selecting the appropriate federal granting agency.

Complete eligibility criteria are available on the CGS-D program page (the NSERC PGS-D shares eligibility criteria with the CGS-D).

Evaluation Criteria

Complete evaluation criteria are available on the CGS-D program page (the NSERC PGS D shares evaluation criteria with the CGS D).

The evaluation of NSERC doctoral award applications is based on the following criteria:

  • Research ability and potential (50%)
  • Relevant experience and achievements obtained within and beyond academia (50%)

Application Procedures

Students registered in a UBC degree program (or on an approved leave of absence from UBC) between January 1st and December 31st of the competition year must complete the NSERC online application by the application deadline indicated above. Please follow the application instructions.

Applications to the CGS-D program will automatically be considered for NSERC’s Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship – Doctoral (CGS-D) award, which is offered to the top-ranked applicants. The next tier of meritorious applicants will be offered a PGS-D award.

Instructions:

  1. Confirm eligibility
  2. Confirm subject matter: Select the appropriate funding agency. Applicants should complete the agency application that is best aligned with their research subject matter
    • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
    • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
    • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)
  3. Determine where to submit an application (through a Canadian institution such as UBC or directly to the appropriate agency). See the CGS-D program page for guidance. If applying via UBC, complete the application by the UBC application deadline indicated above
  4. Read the application instructions and complete the NSERC online application
    • Online submission of transcripts: Applicants who submit their application to UBC will be asked to identify a ‘university designate’ who will upload the applicant’s transcripts to their NSERC application. For UBC Okanagan applicants, the university designate is Nathan Sletten (nathan.sletten@ubc.ca). Applicants are responsible to confirm with the College of Graduate Studies which transcripts need to be provided by the student and which transcripts the College already has on file to be uploaded. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure the College of Graduate Studies has their complete, official, up to date transcript package on file. The transcript requirements are outlined in the application instructions
      • NSERC has indicated that they will accept unofficial transcripts temporarily. Applicants should order and submit their up-to-date, official transcripts as soon as they are available, and preferably by the application deadline. We will permit applicants to provide official transcripts up to 6 November 2020. In cases where an official transcript is delayed, a scan of an official transcript must be submitted in its place by the 15 September 2020 application deadline
    • Online submission of reports on the applicant: Applicants are required to invite their referees via the NSERC online application. Reports are to be submitted by referees using the online system. Applicants are responsible for inviting two referees: one referee should be very familiar with their research and abilities (i.e., current or previous research supervisor) and the other should be sufficiently familiar with their research and abilities to provide a meaningful commentary. Applicants will not be able to verify their application until each referee form has been successfully verified and completed. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure their referees complete and submit their assessments in advance of the application deadline

Killam Doctoral Scholarships application: PGS-D applicants applying through UBC Okanagan do not need to submit a separate Affiliated Fellowships-Doctoral (Killam) application. For students who would like to be considered for the Killam Doctoral Scholarships but have not submitted a PGS-D application, they must submit the Affiliated Fellowships-Doctoral (Killam) application to the College of Graduate Studies.

Nomination Procedures

  • The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at UBC’s Vancouver campus (G+PS) provides electronic copies of applications submitted by current and prospective students of the Okanagan campus to the College of Graduate Studies shortly after the internal, university application deadline
  • The College of Graduate Studies Scholarship and Awards Committee reviews and ranks the applications received and nominates the top ranked applications to G+PS
  • G+PS convenes an adjudication committee composed of UBC faculty members to review nominations submitted by Vancouver graduate programs and the Okanagan campus and select UBC’s nominees to the national competition
  • Results of the national competition are released to applicants by spring

Further Information

Questions? Please contact: graduateawards.ok@ubc.ca