To: Graduate and 4th year students
From: Joanne Surette
Date: September 17, 2008
RE: 2009-2010 NSERC SCHOLARSHIPS COMPETITION
DEADLINE TO Joanne Surette: OCTOBER 17, 2008
Guidelines, complete instructions, and the online application forms for the 2009-2010 NSERC Postgraduate
Scholarships (PGS) and Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS) competitions are now available at the NSERC
website. The online application system and all required FORMS for the applications can be found at
Form 200: Form 200 is the NSERC application itself. It is completed online. Departments are responsible for
ensuring that applicants use the up to date version of Form 200.
Complete instructions to the applicant for completing Form 200 are found here:
Applicants MUST use the web-based application process to apply for these competitions. Applicants must then
print off, sign, and submit to their department (or to NSERC if they are eligible/required to apply directly to
NSERC) the completed final version of the application (including transcripts and other attachments).
Departments are responsible for ensuring that all applicants, referees and department reviewers use the current
version of all forms as found on NSERC’s website.
University Quota: This year, Queen’s may submit 138 applications to the national competition. Please keep
this in mind when processing your applications, and try to ensure that the most competitive applications are
**** NEW THIS YEAR****
1. Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS): This new program provides financial support to
Canadian and International students who have achieved outstanding success in their studies and will pursue a
doctoral program in a Canadian university. These highly prestigious scholarships allow scholars to fully
concentrate on their studies and to work with the best research mentors in their chosen fields in Canada.
Candidates must be nominated by the Canadian university at which they will be pursuing doctoral studies.
International students are eligible.
Full application, eligibility etc. details will be outlined in a separate memo, but here is some preliminary
a. The three federal granting councils (NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR) are each allocating their share of the
total Vanier CGS awards, and are all taking nominations for their allocation of Vanier CGS awards at
the same time. So, we have one internal, university deadline for nominees to all 3 Vanier competitions.
That deadline is October 23, 2008.
b. The tri councils are only accepting 120 Vanier nominations each, in total. So, each university is
assigned a quota of how many Vanier nominations we can put forward. We have not received our quota
from NSERC yet, but it will likely be quite a small number (less than 10, for sure).
c. The application processes will vary slightly between the tri-councils, as will the application forms to be
used. NSERC provides some details of their Vanier CGS competition here:
d. For NSERC Vanier CGS nominees: Applicants use the same form, Form 200, to apply to be nominated
for the Vanier CGS. There is one additional departmental requirement, which is to provide the
information for the required Letter of Nomination. The information this letter must contain is found
IMPORTANT: Deadline: There will be one common deadline for submission of all of Queen’s University
Vanier CGS nominees to each of the tri councils (NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR) for their consideration. The
deadline to submit the nominations to the School of Graduate Studies will be the same as the NSERC deadline:
October 23, 2008.
2. Canada Graduate Scholarships Foreign Study Supplements Program (CGS-FSS): This new program supports
high-calibre graduate students in building global linkages and international networks through the pursuit of
exceptional research experiences at research institutions outside of Canada. Supplements of up to $6000 can be
won to help cover the costs of a research study period abroad (4-6 months). A total of 187 awards will be
available in 2008. 52 % of the awards will be allocated to SSHRC CGS holders, 32 % will be allocated to
NSERC CGS holders and 16 % will be awarded to CIHR CGS holders. Universities will be allocated a certain
number of supplements based on the number of CGS and Vanier CGS awards held at that university. These
supplements are available to Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada only, who currently hold active
CGS M, CGS D or Vanier CGS awards. The three granting agencies are creating one application form to be
used for all three agencies. The deadline for submitting applications to the granting agencies will be
December 10, 2008, which means the Queen’s internal deadline will be prior to that date. From 2009
onward, the deadline will be May 15. More details will follow as soon as the agencies have finalized all details
of this new program.
3. Aboriginal Ambassadors in the Natural Sciences and Engineering Supplement Program (AANSE): This
supplement program is available to Aboriginal persons who maintain full-time study, and an active NSERC
scholarship or fellowship (USRA, CGS, PGS, PDF, IPS, IRDF or Northern Research Internship). The
supplement aims to engage Aboriginal students and fellows in promoting interest and participation in the natural
sciences and engineering by visiting Canada’s Aboriginal communities and schools and sharing their research
and education experiences or participating in science promotion events and activities. Supplements of up to
$5,000 will be awarded to successful applicants (one supplement per year). There is no fixed application
deadline for the program.
4. Posting of PGS/CGS/PDF award list on secure site in early March
In order to remain compliant with the Privacy Act, NSERC will no longer provide a complete list of awarded
PGS/CGS/PDF. Instead, NSERC will provide each university with an award list for only those applications,
which were recommended by that university. Thise list is expected to be available in early March.
For more information regarding this change, please forward your questions and comments to Victor Wallwork
(email@example.com), NSERC’s Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator.
5. Form 200 - Appendix 2
NSERC no longer requires that the departments complete and sign a portion of this form.
Although the departmental ranking and comments areas concerning the applicant no longer appear on Appendix
2, departments are required to submit a memo with their ranking for all applications submitted to the School of
Graduate Studies. This information will not be forwarded to NSERC. See “Departmental Ranking” below.
6. Industrial Scholarships and Fellowships Programs
Foreign Student Candidates eligible for IPS, IIS, and NSERC/MITACS:
a. Effective September 1, 2008, NSERC will accept IPS, IIS, and NSERC/MITACS nominations from qualified
foreign students. These candidates and their applications must meet all the other requirements of the program.
IPS, IIS, and NSERC/MITACS awards to foreign students will be permitted up to a maximum of 20% in each of
these programs. NSERC will notify universities when these limits are approaching.
Foreign award holders will be subject to the same regulations as other IPS / IIS / NSERC/MITACS award
holders as described in their respective Award Holders Guide.
b. The Industrial Innovation Scholarships (IIS) program, offered jointly by NSERC and the Fonds québécois de
la recherche sur la nature et les technologies (FQRNT) has replaced the IPS for students registered in Quebec
universities and working with an industrial sponsor in Quebec.
NOTE: The Industrial Scholarships and Fellowships Programs are not part of this annual competition. Eligible
students can apply for these programs at any time. Complete details are on NSERC’s website here:
In May 2008, NSERC launched the Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) Program to
provide an enriching, collaborative and integrative training experience for Canada’s next generation of
researchers in the natural sciences and engineering (NSE). The program intends to facilitate the transition of
new researchers from trainees to productive employees in the Canadian workforce, and support university
initiatives that have at least one of the following mandates:
• to help students (from undergraduates to postdoctoral fellows) acquire professional skills to complement
their qualifications and technical skills;
• to allow student mobility between universities, or between universities and the private sector or the
• to support interdisciplinary research within the NSE, or at the interface between the NSE and health
and/or the social sciences and humanities.
Grants will be provided to groups of accomplished researchers who will collaborate to deliver a defined
innovative research training program to outstanding students and postdoctoral fellows from Canada and abroad.
These grants are worth up to $1.65 million over six years, with 80 per cent of the funding going towards
stipends for students and fellows.
For further information, contact the Office of Research Services at Queen’s University or visit NSERC’s Web
site at: www.nserc.gc.ca/professors_e.asp?nav=profnav&lbi=create.
Awards available, 2009 Competition:
CGS M PGS M CGS D PGS D Vanier CGS
Value $17,500 $17,300 $35,000 $21,000 $50, 000
Duration 12 months (possibility of one 12 months Minimum 24 months, Minimum Minimum
year extension if eligible) (possibility of one maximum duration 24 months, 24 months,
year extension if 36 months (12 month maximum duration maximum
eligible) awards are not made). 36 months (12 duration
month awards are 36 months (12
not made). month awards
are not made).
Tenure Canadian universities ONLY Any eligible Canadian universities Any eligible May only be
Canadian ONLY Canadian held at the
university; OR; university; OR; Canadian
any eligible foreign any eligible foreign university
university, university, through which
provided the award provided the award the
holder has received holder has received nomination
a previous degree a previous degree was received.
in the natural in the natural
sciences or sciences or
engineering from a engineering from a
Eligibility Same as CGS M Same as CGS D
Must have completed Must have completed Same as
between 0 and 12 months of between 0 and 24 CGSD
studies (full-time equivalent) months of studies (full-
in the master’s program for time equivalent) in the
which funding is requested; doctoral program for
or which funding is
Must have completed
between 0 and 12 months of Must have completed
between 4 and
studies (full-time equivalent)
36 months of studies
in the doctoral program for
(full-time equivalent) in
which funding is requested,
the doctoral program for
if student was admitted into
which funding is
a doctoral program directly
requested, if student was
from the bachelor’s program.
admitted into a doctoral
Must NOT have previously program directly from a
taken up an NSERC PGS A, bachelor’s program;
PGS M, IPS 1, * or a CGS M Must not have
for the program of study for previously taken up an
which funding is requested; NSERC PGS B, PGS D,
AND or IPS* 2, or a CGS D;
Must not hold or have held a
CGS M from either CIHR or Must not hold or have
SSHRC. held a CGS D or Vanier
CGS from either CIHR
*IPS includes all NSERC industrial postgraduate scholarship programs.
PLEASE NOTE THAT a student will be eligible for only a two-year CGS/PGS D or Vanier CGS, if:
• The student previously held a two-year PGS A or IPS 1; or
• The student previously held a one-year CGS M or PGS M plus a PGS M Extension; or
• The student has completed more than the full-time equivalent of 12 months of the doctoral program
(24 months if admitted to the doctoral program directly from the bachelor’s program) as of
December 31, 2008.
If a student entered his/her doctoral program directly from their bachelor’s degree, and has completed between 4
and 12 months of studies in the doctoral program as of December 31, 2008, he/she may be eligible to apply for a
PGS M OR a PGS D. Applying for a PGS M, if the student is eligible, will maximize the potential period of
funding. The applicant is responsible for choosing the type of award to apply to.
If a student registered in a master’s degree and subsequently transferred to a doctoral degree, the months in the
doctoral degree will be calculated starting from the first academic session in which the student was officially
registered in the doctoral program.
There is a single application and selection process for the NSERC CGS and PGS. The top-ranked applicants at
each level, master’s and doctoral, will be offered a CGS, and the next tier of meritorious applicants will be
offered a PGS.
Applicant Eligibility: To be considered eligible to apply, applicants must, as of the application deadline date:
• Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada (NOTE: International students are eligible to
apply for the Vanier CGS);
• Hold, or expect to hold (at the time the award is taken up), a degree in science or engineering from a
university whose standing is acceptable to NSERC (if applicant has a degree in a field other than
science or engineering, NSERC may accept the application at its discretion);
• Intend to pursue in the following year full-time graduate studies and research at the master's or doctoral
level in an eligible program in one of the areas of the natural sciences and engineering supported by
• Have obtained a first-class average (80% at Queen’s) in each of the last two completed years of study
A student may NOT receive NSERC scholarship support while in a qualifying year of study.
In the evaluation of eligibility, NSERC will consider all studies counted towards a graduate degree, whether
completed at the degree-granting institution or not. Also, NSERC will count two sessions of part-time study as
one session of full-time study.
NSERC uses the date of degree completion to determine the eligibility of applicants. This is the date on which
all the requirements of the degree have been met, including successful defense and submission of the corrected
copy of the thesis (in accordance with the applicant’s university's regulations).
Any time spent in graduate studies in overlapping fields (as explained in CIHR/SSHRC Overlap, below) that
the applicant has completed at the time of submitting the NSERC application will usually be counted in
determining eligibility. This will be the case even if another federal granting agency supported the applicant
during this period of study.
Scholarship support for graduate studies through NSERC is limited to a lifetime maximum of four years full-
time equivalent. NSERC will include any graduate studies-level support offered by SSHRC and CIHR, and
taken up, in the calculation of available support. This may include up to 24 months of support, per eligible
natural sciences and engineering (NSE) degree program, through any combination of:
IPS 1* for up to 24 months;
CGS M for up to 12 months;
PGS M for up to 12 months;
PGS A for up to 24 months; and
PGS M Extension for up to 12 months;
and up to 36 months of support through any combination of:
IPS 2* for up to 36 months;
CGS D for up to 36 months;
PGS D for up to 36 months; and
PGS B for up to 24 months.
* IPS includes all NSERC industrial postgraduate scholarship programs.
Eligibility of Part-time students: NSERC’s CGS and PGS awards may be held by part time graduate students,
if these students are restricted to part-time studies for reasons of disability, or family responsibility. For eligible
part-time students, the stipend will be the equivalent of a full-time award spread over a longer period of time.
All other CGS or PGS regulations apply. For more details see:
Aboriginal Applicants: NSERC is continuing to encourage Aboriginal students to pursue university studies in
the natural sciences and engineering. Any Aboriginal student recommended by a Canadian university for a PGS
will not be counted in that university’s application quota.
Previous graduate studies counted in Determining Eligibility: Eligibility for NSERC awards is based on the
number of months in the program for which funding is requested. DO NOT count ANY previous graduate
studies except those months in the graduate program for which funding is requested, when determining
eligibility. For example, if an applicant is applying for support for a graduate degree program that he or she has
not yet begun, the number of “months of graduate studies completed” is ALWAYS 0. If the student is applying
for support of a graduate degree program already in progress, count the number of months they have been
registered in that program, as of December 31, 2008.
Eligibility of Proposed Research: To be eligible to apply for these awards, the applicant must be undertaking a
graduate program of study in one of the fields that NSERC supports. The proposed research must clearly be
intended to advance knowledge in one of the natural sciences or in engineering. In addition, a faculty member
whose own research is in a field that NSERC supports must supervise the research. More details on proposed
research eligibility can be found on NSERC’s website,
CIHR/SSHRC overlap: Students are sometimes confused as to whether they should apply to NSERC, or the
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), or the Canadian Institutes of Health Research
(CIHR). Applicants may only submit one application per academic year to NSERC or CIHR or SSHRC.
In cases where the proposed research is deemed to fall within the mandate of either CIHR or SSHRC, NSERC
will not accept the application.
Furthermore, if a student receives an award from NSERC, but then changes their field of study or research to a
field that NSERC does not support, they will no longer be eligible. As a result, NSERC will cancel the award.
Applicants must decide which of these three major federal granting agencies they should apply to. Applicants
should consult the guidelines of each body well before any applicable deadlines to select the agency best suited
to consider their application. Applicants may NOT apply to more than one Council per academic year.
Submission of applications to more than one of these agencies jeopardizes the applicants’ chances of receiving
ANY of the awards.
If, after consulting the websites of these organizations, applicants are still unsure as to which agency should
receive their application, they are encouraged to send a one-page summary to NSERC (firstname.lastname@example.org), well in
advance of the PGS deadlines, for NSERC’s review.
Eligibility to HOLD an Award:
To hold a CGS M or PGS M, the student must:
- Be registered full-time in the first or second year of a master’s or doctoral program at an eligible university;
- Take up the award in May following the announcement of the results if they have completed 12 months of
studies as of December 31, 2008;
- NOT have previously taken up an NSERC PGS A, PGS M, IPS 1, or a CGS M.
1. CGS/PGS M support will not extend beyond the 28th month of the master's program.
2. Some CGS/PGS holders may be eligible for the PGS M Extension, explained in the Award Holder’s Guide.
However, total CGS/PGS M support will not extend beyond the 28th month of a master's program
Total funding for graduate studies is limited to four years. Therefore, if a student holds the PGS M Extension,
they will subsequently only be eligible for a two-year PGS D or CGS D.
To hold a CGS D or PGS D or Vanier CGS, the student must:
-Be registered full time in a doctoral program at an eligible university;
-Take up the award in May following the announcement of the results if, as of December 31 ,2008 the student
has completed 24 months of studies in the program for which support was requested (36 months if student was
admitted to the doctoral program directly from a bachelor’s program);
- Not have previously taken up an NSERC PGS B, PGS D, or IPS* 2, or a CGS D
1. CGS /PGS D support will not extend beyond the 52nd month of the doctoral program (64th month if the
student was admitted to the doctoral program directly from a bachelor’s program).
2. See above for conditions under which students will be eligible only for a two-year CGS/PGS D.
3. Scholarship support for graduate studies through NSERC is limited to a lifetime maximum of four years full-
time equivalent. NSERC will include any graduate-level support offered by SSHRC and CIHR, and taken up, in
the calculation of available support. Any time spent in graduate studies in overlapping fields (as explained
above) completed at the time of application will usually be counted in determining eligibility. This will be the
case even if another federal granting agency supported the student during this period of study.
1. Applicants who are students currently registered at, or on an approved leave of absence from, Queen’s
University, apply through the department in which they are currently registered.
2. Applicants who:
-are not currently registered at Queen’s University, or
-are registered at Queen’s University, but not in a degree program, or
- are not currently registered at any university,
AND who graduated from a degree program in an NSERC-supported field from Queen’s University during the
year of application (Jan.-Dec. 2008) apply through their former department at Queen’s University.
3. Applicants who:
-are not currently enrolled at any university, or are registered at a university, but not in a degree program;
AND who graduated from a degree program in an NSERC-supported field from a Canadian university prior to
January 2008, apply directly to NSERC.
4. Applicants who are currently registered at a foreign university apply directly to NSERC.
This list does not cover ALL possible application procedures. Applicants who are unsure about how to apply
must contact NSERC (email@example.com).
If an applicant applied directly to NSERC when they were required to apply through a Canadian university, the
application will be deemed ineligible and will be rejected.
Application Deadline for Applicants Applying Directly to NSERC: The application deadline for direct
applicants is October 15, 2008.
Average calculation/notation: To determine if an applicant meets the 1 st class average qualification to be
eligible to apply, the averages used must be taken from each of the last 2 completed years of study (full time
equivalent). Annotate the transcripts (do not highlighters) to indicate which courses you have used in the
The following tables explain NSERC’s rules for which marks to use for calculating the last and second last
periods' academic averages:
For PGS M
Applicant's status when Last period's average, use marks Second last period's average, use
applying from marks from
Final year undergraduate 2nd last year of Bachelor's 3rd last year of Bachelor's
Not registered, Bachelor's
Last year of Bachelor's 2nd last year of Bachelor's
Qualifying year of graduate
Last year of Bachelor's 2nd last year of Bachelor's
1st year Master's Last year of Bachelor's 2nd last year of Bachelor's
1st year direct entry PhD Last year of Bachelor's 2nd last year of Bachelor's
For PGS D
Applicant's status when Last period's average, use marks Second last period's average, use marks
applying from from
Final year Master's Master's (all) Last year of Bachelor's
Not registered, Master's
Master's (all) Last year of Bachelor's
1st year PhD Master's (all) Last year of Bachelor's
1 year direct entry PhD Last year of Bachelor's 2nd last year of Bachelor's
2nd year PhD Master's and PhD Last year of Bachelor's
2 or 3 year direct entry PhD PhD (all) Last year of Bachelor's
These are the average calculations to be entered into Part II of Appendix II, the University Evaluation, under
Departments are NOT to convert marks or averages to one standard format, or to the “Queen’s equivalent”, or
indeed at all. When the marking system of the university is not based on a number out of 100 (a percentage),
you are to use the marking system of the university, AS IT IS (letter grades or GPAs are common grading
systems at many universities). For example, the overall average could be composed of the average of some
courses from Queen’s (a number grade) and the average of some courses from University of Ottawa (a letter
grade). In such instances, the average would be noted as “Queen’s 89, Ottawa A/A+ (A out of A+)”.
OFFICIAL, ORIGINAL TRANSCRIPTS REQUIRED: NSERC will accept only current and original
official transcripts for all applications. The only exceptions to this rule will be as follows:
a. Where the student is unable to get an original transcript from the issuing university because they do not
produce them. An original letter from that university giving the exact dates of the student’s registration in the
master’s/doctoral program, and the date the degree was completed, is required.
b. Where the country of the issuing university is in a state of war, political upheaval or other states of disorder.
Canadian universities may provide photocopies of original transcripts for the students in these circumstances
whose applications are sent forward to NSERC. These photocopies must be signed by the Scholarship Liaison
Officer (SLO) (at Queen’s University, the SLO is the Director of Admissions and Student Services, School of
International transcripts: If ALL of an applicant’s previous degree(s) have been completed outside
Canada/US, the Department Head, Chair, or Graduate Coordinator must provide a statement addressing:
• the applicant’s academic strength
• Reputation of former university.
Also, any transcripts that are not in English or French must be translated into English or French, and that
translation must also be submitted.
Departmental Ranking: All applications are to be separated into PGS M applications, and PGS D applications,
and then ranked by the department, before submission to the School of Graduate Studies.
All PGS M applications are to be ranked together, and all PGS D applications are to be ranked together.
Part-time students, and applicants who have graduated from Queen’s during the year of application (Jan.-Dec.
2008) who are not currently registered at another university, must be evaluated and ranked with full time
students currently registered at Queen’s at the appropriate level (PGS M or PGS D).
Selection Criteria and Relative Weightings (Table 2):
As required by NSERC, the School of Graduate Studies Fellowship Committee members will use the following
criteria and weightings when choosing applications to forward to NSERC:
Criteria PGS M PGS D
Academic Excellence 50 % 30%
Research Ability/Potential 30% 50%
Communication, Interpersonal and 20% 20%
Total 100% 100%
Submission of Complete Applications: Please submit your complete application to Joanne Surette, Room
3109b, BioSciences Complex by OCTOBER 17, 2008. A complete application consists of the following, in the
Outline of proposed research
Contributions and statements (PGS M – one page only*; PGS D - two pages maximum)
All official academic transcripts (undergraduate and graduate)
Appendix 1, Report on the Applicant, in a sealed envelope (two required)
Appendix 2, University Evaluation
Signed cover page
Appendix 3 (optional)
* PGS M applicants may append an additional third of a page to describe special circumstances, if applicable.
Applications submitted directly to NSERC: PGS applicants applying directly to NSERC are responsible for
making sure that the application documentation (including the required appendices) is completed and that a
paper copy is submitted to NSERC by October 15, 2008.
Graduate Studies Assistant
Department of Biology