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Graduate Studies

SSHRC Doctoral Scholarships and Fellowships

SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarships and the SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships support high-calibre students engaged in doctoral programs in the social sciences and humanities. This support allows scholars to fully concentrate on their doctoral studies, to seek out the best research mentors in their chosen fields and to contribute to the Canadian research ecosystem during and beyond the tenure of their awards. Both programs are administered through a single application.

Applications are prepared and submitted by students in the SSHRC On-line System by the internal deadline set by McMaster.  Students are no longer required to submit a paper application.  Students will now be uploading required documents and their transcripts to their application.

Applicants are now required to invite their referees via an automated email generated by the SSHRC On-line System. Letters of appraisal are to be submitted by referees using the On-Line System. Applicants will not be able to submit their application without both letters.

Indigenous applicants

Institutions may recommend applications from self-identified Indigenous applicants to the doctoral awards competition beyond their application quota. Students can self-identify as Indigenous when completing the doctoral application on the SSHRC On-Line System.

SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral

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 year of application (no more than 36 months if transferred directly from Bachelors to a PhD or enrolled in a joint program, e.g., MD/PhD, MA/PhD);
    submit only one doctoral award application in a given academic year. Nominations to the Vanier CGS program do not count towards this limit;
  • not have already received a doctoral-level scholarship or fellowship from CIHR, NSERC or SSHRC.

Value and duration: $35,000 per year; for 36 months

SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships

To be eligible to apply, an applicant must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, as of the application deadline date;
  • not have already received a doctoral-level scholarship or fellowship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) or SSHRC;
  • submit only one doctoral award application in a given academic year to either SSHRC, CIHR or NSERC. Nominations to the Vanier CGS program do not count towards this limit;
  • have completed no more than 48 months of full-time study in their doctoral program by December 31 of the year of application.

Value and duration: $20,000 per year; varied for 12, 24, 36 or 48 months

Number of months completed by December 31 of the year of application

SSHRC Fellowship eligibility table

Number of months completed by December 31 of the year of application Duration of SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship
Between 0 and 12 months 48 months
Between 13 and 24 months 36 months
Between 25 and 36 months 24 months
Between 37 and 48 months 12 months
49 months or more Not eligible

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.

Selection criteria

  • Research ability and potential: 50%
  • Relevant experience and achievements obtained within and beyond academia: 50%