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Graduate Studies

CIHR Canada Graduate Scholarship – Doctoral

 CIHR Canada Graduate Scholarships – Doctoral Awards provide special recognition and support to students pursuing a doctoral degree in a health-related field in Canada.

Key Dates

  • Monday, October 3, 2022, 11:59 p.m. – McMaster internal ResearchNet deadline
  • Early October 2022 – Quotas given to departments by Associate Dean
  • Thursday, November 3, 2022 at 12:00 noon – Recommended Candidates due to SGS from departments or Associate Deans.
  • No later than Monday, November 21, 2022 8:00 p.m. – McMaster will submit the selected applications to CIHR and inform the applicants of the internal results.

Value and duration

  • $35,000 per year for 36 months
    • Stipend: $30,000 per annum
    • Research Allowance: $5,000 per annum

CIHR’s Assigned Quota: 46

CIHR provided national quotas to Universities for the number of Recommended Applicants that can be submitted to the national CIHR competition.  For this year’s competition, CIHR’s assigned quota to McMaster University is 46.

Note: All applicants registered in a degree program at a Canadian university during the 2022 calendar year (January 1, 2022 to December 31,2022 ) must apply through that University even if they intend to pursue their studies at another institution. Students who were registered at McMaster during the above mentioned dates MUST apply through McMaster’s Internal CIHR Doctoral competition. For students not enrolled at McMaster in 2022, they can use CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC’s simplified flowchart to clarify where they should submit their application.

Indigenous Applicants

 Applicants who wish to self-identify as an Indigenous applicant to their Canadian institution with a quota may do so by completing the Canada Graduate Scholarship Doctoral Awards (CGS D): Voluntary Self-Identification Form for Indigenous Applicants [ PDF (253 KB) ] and uploading it to their application by McMaster’s internal deadline of October 3, 2022.  McMaster can recommend applications from self-identified Indigenous applicants to the doctoral awards competition beyond our application quota.


Impact on research and academic trajectory

“Pandemic” is in the list of special circumstances that applicants may cite as having an impact on their research and academic trajectory.

“Leaves of Absence and Impact on Research” application section

  • Applicants must describe any special considerations that have had an effect on their performance or productivity. They must include any considerations that may have resulted in delays in disseminating their research results, such as health problems, family responsibilities, disabilities, trauma and/or loss, pandemic impact or other circumstances (for example, the time necessary to complete a monograph, file a patent, or commercialize an industrial process or product). Applicants must explain any gaps in the chronology of their experience.
  • If there are none, leave this section blank.


To be eligible to apply, an applicant must:

  • 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 monthsof 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 monthsof 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
  • Eligibility for 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, 2022. Two terms of part-time study count as one term of full-time study.
  • Applicants can submit a maximum of one scholarship application per academic year to either CIHR, NSERC or SSHRC. Nominations to the Vanier CGS program do not count toward this limit (other exceptions may apply to CIHR internships).
  • Applicants cannot have already received a doctoral-level scholarship from CIHR, NSERC or SSHRC (does not apply to CIHR Fellowships).
  • Applicants cannot hold a tenure or tenure-track appointment concurrently with your CGS D award.

 Program of study

An eligible doctoral program must include a significant research component that leads to the completion of a thesis, major research project, dissertation, scholarly publication, performance, recital and/or exhibit that is merit/expert-reviewed at the institutional level as a requirement for completion of the program.

Joint programs with a professional degree (e.g., MD/PhD, DVM/PhD, JD/PhD, MBA/PhD) as well as clinically oriented programs of study, including clinical psychology, are eligible if they have a significant autonomous research component as described above.

Before beginning

Applicants and their supervisor(s) must make sure they have the following:

 General Application Process

  • Applications must be prepared, finalized and submitted by applicants using ResearchNet.
  • Any information that is not required or exceeds the page/character limits will be removed from the application prior to peer review.
  • Applicants must preview all components of their application to ensure its completeness.
  • CIHR cannot legally accept an application until the “Consent and Submit” task is completed on ResearchNet.
  • This document provides general instructions, but does not necessarily represent an exhaustive list of all information required to complete an application.
  • Applicants are not required to indicate their name, the project title, the section title (e.g., Research Project Summary) and the page number for each application section.
  • For the submission of attachments, candidates must use either Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman font size of 12 point, black type (other font may be used, but must be of similar size appearance of those indicated). Maximum of six lines per inch, margin of 2 cm (3/4 inch) – minimum – around the page. Do not use condensed/narrow font sizes, type density, or line spacing. Smaller text in tables, charts, figures, graphs, and references (format at discretion of candidates) is acceptable, as long as it is legible when the page is viewed at 100%. Note: failure to comply with these requirements can negatively impact the status and evaluation of your application in a competition.
  • Complete Instructions can be found here CIHR Doctoral application instructions

Institution Paid

Important: The institution paid field determines which organization will receive your application (Canadian institution with a quota OR CIHR).

  • To submit an application to our competition, select McMaster University from the “Institution Paid” drop down menu.


CIHR acknowledges that the widespread disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic may hinder the ability of some institutions to provide applicants with official and up-to-date transcripts in advance of the deadline date, particularly at institutions which do not currently provide official electronic versions of these documents. Therefore, for the fall 2022 scholarships and fellowships competitions, CIHR will continue to accept unofficial transcripts if official transcripts cannot be obtained.

Applicants are required to provide the following documents, which must be uploaded as a single PDF document (unprotected) not to exceed 30 MB under “Transcripts” in the “Attach Other Application Materials” task:

  1. Complete and print the Doctoral Studies Timelines form available from the CIHR website under Index of Funding Related Forms.
  2. Up-to-date official transcripts of the applicant’s complete academic record (this includes all undergraduate and graduate studies, completed or ongoing). Instructions below must also be followed:
    • One copy of the legend (reverse of each transcript) must be included;
    • Transcript text must be horizontal. Original copies of any uploaded transcripts must be retained since they may be requested by CIHR for verification purposes at any point in the process.
  • Transcripts printed from the applicant’s personal institution account are not accepted.
  • Up-to-date official transcripts are defined as transcripts issued by the Registrar’s Office and dated or issued in the fall session of the year of the application (if currently registered) or after the last term completed (if not currently registered). Opening the envelope to scan the transcript will not render it unofficial for CIHR’s purposes.

Sponsor Assessments

Note: Applicants can manage the deadline by which sponsors must submit their assessments. By default, the Sponsor Required Deadline in ResearchNet is set for two days before the application deadline. However, applicants can adjust this to any date prior to the application deadline.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to follow up with sponsors to ensure the assessments are submitted prior to the deadline date and therefore ensure the application completeness. Only after all sponsors have submitted their assessments will this task be marked as complete in the ResearchNet Application Task List. Applicants do not have access to the content of the assessment submitted by sponsors. However, applicants may follow the status of the assessments’ submission directly under this section and are encouraged to follow up with the sponsors if the task is not completed shortly before the deadline.

Clarification of Signature Pages

  • Only supervisor(s) signatures are required. Printed names should always accompany signatures.
  • No institutional signatures are required on the pages at the time of application.
  • Scan and upload the signed signature pages, including the routing slip, as one PDF (unprotected and not exceeding 30 MB), in the Print/Upload Signature Pages task in ResearchNet prior to submitting the application.

McMaster internal application deadline: Monday, October 3, 2022, 11:59 p.m.

Applications are prepared and submitted by students in ResearchNet by the internal deadline set by McMaster. You will not be able to submit your application to ResearchNet until all the required tasks are completed, including the letters from your sponsors. 

 Tasks required for completing a Doctoral Research Award application:

  1. Complete the Common CV
  1. Complete the Doctoral Research Award ResearchNet application
    1. Identify Participants
    2. Identify Sponsors
    3. Enter Proposal Information
    4. Attach Other Application Materials
    5. Apply to Priority Announcements / Funding Pools (Optional)
    6. Print/Upload Signature Pages
    7. Preview
    8. Consent and Submit

Selection criteria

Expandable List

Indicators of research ability and potential:

  • Quality of research proposal
    • specific, focused and feasible research question(s) and objective(s)
    • clear description of the proposed methodology
    • significance and expected contributions to research
  • Relevant training, such as academic training, lived experience and traditional teachings
  • Research experience and achievements relative to the applicant’s stage of study, lived experience and knowledge systems
  • Quality of contributions and extent to which they advance the field of research. Contributions may include: publications, patents, reports, posters, abstracts, monographs, presentations, creative outputs, knowledge translation outputs, community products, etc.
  • Demonstration of sound judgment and ability to think critically
  • Demonstration of responsible and ethical research conduct, including honest and thoughtful inquiry, rigorous analysis, commitment to safety and to the dissemination of research results and adherence to the use of professional standards
  • Enthusiasm for research, originality, initiative, autonomy, relevant community involvement and outreach
  • Ability or potential to communicate theoretical, technical and/or scientific concepts clearly and logically in written and oral formats

Indicators of relevant experience and achievements obtained within and beyond academia:

  • Scholarships, awards and distinctions (amount, duration and prestige)
  • Academic record:
    • Transcripts
    • Duration of previous studies
    • Program requirements and courses pursued
    • Course load
    • Relative standing in program (if available)
  • Professional, academic and extracurricular activities as well as collaborations with supervisors, colleagues, peers, students and members of the community, such as:
    • teaching, mentoring, supervising and/or coaching
    • managing projects
    • participating in science and/or research promotion
    • participating in community outreach, volunteer work and/or civic engagement
    • chairing committees and/or organizing conferences and meetings
    • participating in departmental or institutional organizations, associations, societies and/or clubs

Information Box Group