CIHR Doctoral Research Awards

The CIHR Doctoral Research Awards Program funds applications in any area of health research. Two streams of scholarships are administered through a single application:

  • The Frederick Banting & Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarships-Doctoral Awards (CGSD)program provides special recognition and support to students who are pursuing a doctoral degree in a health-related field in Canada.
  • The Doctoral Foreign Study Awards (DFSA) program provides special recognition and support to students who are pursuing a doctoral degree in a health-related field abroad.

Students apply to the CIHR Doctoral Awards program and top-ranked applicants are awarded a CGSD or DFSA depending on the proposed location where the doctoral degree will be pursued. Both awards are of equivalent value. Additional funds are available in specific research areas to support Doctoral Research Award applications that are funded outside of the CGSD or DFSA program. The annual Priority Announcement identifies the specific research areas for applications.


  • $30,000 per year plus a $5,000 research allowance per year

Timeline and Deadlines

  • Application opens: July
  • ResearchNet Application Deadline for Western University: September 28 (8:00 p.m. EDT)
  • Agency Deadline for Institutions: October 2
  • Anticipated Notice of Decisions: April 15


How to Apply:

Institutional Signatures:

Western uses the Electronic Approval Tool in ResearchNet to submit applications to CIHR. Applicants at Western no longer need to provide ink signatures on Page 3 of the Signature Pages section. It is, however, the responsibility of the applicant to obtain any other required ink signatures prior to submitting the application by September 30, or institutional approval cannot be granted and the application will not be submitted to the agency.


Holding the Award at Western

Acceptance and Activation

  • Accept the offer of award from the agency following the instructions provided in the letter of offer, and then activate it for payment by completing the required agency forms.
  • Initiate the payment process at Western by following these steps:
    • Access the Student Center
    • Select ‘Self Service’ from the main menu, then 'Campus Finances'
    • Select ‘My External Scholarships’ and follow the activation steps for the Vanier CGS
    • Choose the start date that matches the date stipulated by the agency in the offer

Method of Payment

  • At Western University the annual value of an award is divided into three equal installments and each is pre-paid to the award holder’s Student Center account at the start of every term (September, January and May).

Terms and Conditions

  • The Tri-Agencies (CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC) have harmonized their post-award policies, where possible, for research training programs and have incorporated these policies into a harmonized Tri-Agency Research Training Award Holder's Guide. These policies were effective September 1, 2016 and the Guide is available on NSERC's website. The Guide applies to Tri-agency research training award such as Vanier CGS, NSERC PGSD/CGSD, SSHRC DF/CGSD, CIHR CGSD and all CGSM. It contains all the forms that training award holders and the University need to facilitate post-award activities allowed by the Tri-Agencies.
  • Access and review your Tri-Agency Research Training Award Holder's Guide and comply with the regulations governing use of the award.
  • Complete an annual SGPS Progress Report Form
    • Submit the form by the deadline specified by SGPS in the annual notification email
    • Annual deadlines will vary for each Vanier Scholar depending on the anniversary of the award start date, but will annually fall in either August, December, or April
    • A Progress Report can be submitted no earlier than 60 days prior to the anniversary date
    • Failure to submit the annual Progress Report will result in the suspension of further payments