NSERC Doctoral Research Awards


 Application Opens: August 1

Application Closes: October 1

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Doctoral Research Awards provide 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.

Successful applicants will win one of the following awards:

  • Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships-Doctoral Program (CGSD):
    $35,000 per year for 36 months
  • NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships-Doctoral (PGS-D): $21,000 per year for 36 months



  • August 1: Application opens.
  • October 1: Application deadline (before 8:00 p.m. EST).
  • October 2 - November 20: Western adjudicates awards. Students can obtain ongoing updates through Student Center.
  • November 21: Western submits applications to NSERC.
  • April: Anticipated notice of decisions

How To Apply

  • Review the APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS on the NSERC website.
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: In the online application, registered Western students must select Option C = You are currently registered in a degree program at a Canadian institution with a quota for NSERC, or are on an approved leave of absence from such a degree program.


Western University NSERC
  • Contact NSERC directly by EMAIL.

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 NSERC
    • 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. 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.
  • 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