SSHRC Doctoral Research Awards

The Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) offers two streams of awards through one application: the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships-Doctoral (CGS D) and the SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships.

The SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships and Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS) Doctoral Scholarships are research training awards and aim to develop research skills and assist in the training of highly qualified personnel by supporting students who demonstrate a high standard of scholarly achievement in graduate studies in the social sciences and humanities.

These funding opportunities help train Canada’s researchers and leaders of tomorrow.

Some Canada Graduate Scholarship recipients may be considered for the honour of having their scholarship named a “Canada Graduate Scholarship to Honour Nelson Mandela,” should SSHRC deem their application to be aligned with at least one of five themes championed by Mandela: national unity; democracy; freedom and human rights; leadership; children’s participation in society; and children’s health.

Value and Duration

  • CGS D: $35,000 a year for 3 years
  • Fellowship: $20,000 a year for 1 to 4 years

Timeline and Deadlines

  • July - SSHRC opens web-based Application
  • October - Graduate Program Deadlines close. Deadlines vary among Graduate programs.
  • Friday, November 9, 2018 - SGPS Deadline for Graduate Programs to submit ranked recommendations  
  • Late November/Early December - SGPS Selection Committee convenes   
  • January 9, 2019 - Agency Deadline
  • April - Results released to students and universities


How to Apply

Online Application and Forms
  • An applicant can submit only one application per year to one granting agency (NSERC, CIHR or SSHRC).
  • An applicant may submit an application to SSHRC and to the Vanier CGS competition in the same year, as long as the research proposed in the Vanier CGS application is also SSHRC-eligible.
  • An applicant must print the web-based application and, together with all required documents, submit it to the Graduate Program by its internal application deadline.


  • SSHRC requires official or certified copies of transcripts from each university attended or currently attending, regardless of the length of time spent at each institution. SGPS can provide the official Western transcripts for applications selected to go forward to the national competition. 
  • With regards to an exchange year abroad - if the grades from the foreign institution are appearing on the home university transcript, the foreign institution's transcript is not required.


  • Academic Eligibility: At Western, an eligible applicant must have achieved a minimum of 80% in each of the last two completed years of full-time study, or equivalent to full-time study. Eligibility averages for competitive scholarship are rounded ONLY to the nearest decimal place. The eligibility averages are based on grades on the transcript(s) up to August 31 of the year of application.
  • To be eligible to apply, an applicant must:
    • Be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada;
    • Be applying for support to pursue the first PhD (or equivalent);
    • Be pursuing doctoral studies in the social sciences or humanities;
    • Not have already received a scholarship or fellowship from SSHRC, NSERC or CIHR to undertake or complete a doctoral degree or combined MA/PhD; and
    • Not be applying in the same academic year to NSERC or CIHR
  • To be eligible to apply through Western University, an applicant must be a full-time registered student, or be on an approved leave of absence, during the Fall 2016 Term.
  • Complete details for all conditions that must be met: Eligibility to Apply

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 became effective September 1, 2016 and the Guide is available on NSERC's website. The Guide applies to Tri-Agency research training awards 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.
  • 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