The recent federal budget announcement brings promising news for current and prospective graduate students at Canadian universities. As part of a comprehensive package to address the cost-of-living challenges and enhance Canada’s research capabilities, significant increases have been made to fund master's and doctoral student scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships. 

The annual value of all current and new master's and doctoral student scholarships will increase to $27,000 and $40,000, respectively, and current and new postdoctoral fellowships will increase to $70,000 effective September 1, 2024.

The Vanier and Banting programs will continue under their current parameters, $50,000 and $70,000 per year respectively, until they are replaced by the new, streamlined talent program proposed in Budget 2024.

The agencies have indicated that additional details will be communicated to award holders in July 2024.

Tri-Agency encompasses the three primary research funding agencies in Canada: CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC. These agencies offer awards to new and continuing graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Many University of Saskatchewan internal awards require recipients to apply for Tri-Agency awards each year, if eligible.

  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

The Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration (TAGFA) is in effect for all eligible administering institutions on April 1, 2020. This Guide streamlines and simplifies the administration and use of grant funds by creating a ‘principles-based’ guide that promotes efficiencies, reduces administrative burden, and provides greater flexibility to administering institutions and grant recipients in ensuring the appropriate accountability and use of grant funds.

This principles-based guide will foster a balance between control and flexibility, and it will also take into consideration existing administering institutions’ policies, processes, and internal controls.


Each competition has unique eligibility criteria; potential applicants should refer to each scholarship program website for comprehensive eligibility information. 

I want to apply for:

Scholarship How do I apply
Vanier Applicant must be nominated by the department at the university* where they wish to study
Canada Graduate Scholarship – Doctoral
I am currently registered in a graduate program at a university, or I was registered in a graduate program within the past 12 months Applicants must apply to the university* where they are currently registered or were recently registered within the past 12 months
I was registered in a graduate program more than 12 months ago. Applicants must apply to the appropriate Tri-Agency directly.
Canada Graduate Scholarship – Master’s
I am currently registered in a graduate program at a university, or I was registered in a graduate program within the past 12 months Applicants must apply to the university* where they are currently registered.
I am current registered in an undergraduate program or have not yet started a graduate program. Applicants to apply to up to three separate universities*.

* The university must receive a Tri-Agency quota.

Departments may have internal deadlines and/or preliminary review procedures in place. Contact your department's Graduate Chair to confirm.

Get Topped Up

For Master's Students

The Honourary CGPS 75th Anniversary Scholarship is available to graduate students holding CGS-M funding. Students will automatically be topped up by $6,000 (made in two installments) in the first year of their holding a CGS-M. 

For PhD Students

The Honourary SIOS Doctoral Scholarship is available to graduate students holding CGS-D and/or PGS-D funding. Students will automatically be topped up each year they hold Tri-Agency funding by $7,500. This funding is made possible by the Government of Saskatchewan’s Innovation & Opportunity Scholarship program.

Tri-Agency Programs

The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS) program aims to strengthen Canada's ability to attract and retain world-class doctoral students and establish Canada as a global centre of excellence in research and higher learning. Vanier Scholars demonstrate leadership skills and a high standard of scholarly achievement in graduate studies in the social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and/or engineering and health.

USask receives an annual quota of the number of applications in each of the three disciplines that may be entered in the competition. Candidates must be nominated by the institution at which they want to study. Candidates cannot apply directly to the Vanier CGS program. Vanier CGS application packages submitted through ResearchNet will first be adjudicated by the Graduate Awards Committee to determine which applications will compete at the national level, up to the prescribed quota amount. Applications are evaluated and ranked.

The CGS D program supports high-calibre students engaged in doctoral programs in all academic disciplines. This support allows scholars to fully concentrate on their doctoral studies, seek out the best research mentors in their chosen fields and contribute to the Canadian research ecosystem during and beyond the tenure of their awards.

The University of Saskatchewan receives an annual quota for the number of students that can be recommended for the national competition for each of the 3 disciplines. Submission is through each agency’s respective online portal.

Meritorious CGS D applicants may also be eligible for agency-specific doctoral awards. Applicants complete and submit one application to be considered for both a CGS D scholarship and an agency doctoral award. CGS D scholarships are offered to top-ranked eligible applicants.

Some eligibility requirements for CGS D differ from those of the agency-specific doctoral awards.

For information on doctoral awards tenable at foreign institutions, refer to the agency-specific doctoral awards.

Students entering a joint/fast-tracked Masters to PhD program, or a PhD program without having previously held a CGS at the Master’s level should first refer to the CGS M eligibility criteria, as they may be eligible under that program.

In addition to the CGS D, NSERC and SSHRC have their own doctoral awards. Refer to the appropriate literature for NSERC and SSHRC for further details.


The CIHR Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship Doctoral Awards (CGS D) cannot be held at an international institution. The CIHR Doctoral Foreign Study Award (DFSA) provides special recognition and support to students who are pursuing a doctoral degree in a health-related field abroad.

These awards provide financial support to high-calibre scholars who are engaged in an eligible doctoral program. One important distinction is that these scholarships may support studies at an institution outside Canada.

Applications to the NSERC PGS D competition and the SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship competition will automatically be considered for the CGS D award, which is offered to the top-ranked applicants.

The CGS M program provides financial support to high-calibre scholars who are engaged in eligible Master’s or, in some cases, Doctoral programs in Canada (refer to Eligibility). This support allows these scholars to fully concentrate on their studies in their chosen fields.

The CGS M program supports up to 3,000 students annually in all disciplines and is administered jointly by Canada’s three granting agencies: CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC. The selection process and post-award administration are carried out at the institutional level, under the guidance of the three agencies. Students submit their application to the institution at which they intend to hold their award using the Research Portal.

Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships are awarded by all three of Canada’s research granting agencies – NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR. These prestigious awards are designed to recruit top-tier postdoctoral researchers. The two-year fellowships are worth $70,000 per year, and are open to recent graduates with a completed PhD, PhD-equivalent, or health professional degree. Applications must be done in close collaboration with the university. For information on these fellowships, contact CGPS.

Application Tips

The objective of the Canada Graduate Scholarships-Doctoral (CGS D) Program is to promote continued excellence in Canadian research by rewarding and retaining high-calibre doctoral students at Canadian institutions. By providing support for a high-quality research training experience to awardees, the CGS D program strives to foster impacts within and beyond the research environment. 

Get advice from former successful USask Tri-agency scholars .

Doctoral Tutorials


Canada Graduate Scholarships are available in all disciplines and administered jointly by Canada’s three federal granting agencies (CIHR, NSERC, & SSHRC). To be considered, your graduate program must have a significant research component (i.e. original, autonomous research that leads to the completion of one of the following:  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). Master’s programs that are based only on coursework are typically not eligible since they do not include a significant research component. Please review the program instructions for other eligibility criteria:

USask receives an annual quota for the number of students it can nominate for the national competition. Applicants who have not yet started their Master’s program at the time of application may apply through the quotas of up to three eligible institutions in Canada.

Awards are valued at $17,500 over 12 months. CGS-M holders at USask also receive an additional $6,000 top-up.

NEW!  Indigenous Scholars Awards and Supplements Pilot Initiative

The Indigenous Scholars Awards and Supplements Pilot Initiative consist of a one-year, non-renewable supplement valued at $5,000 for all meritorious Indigenous CGS M applicants and a one-year, non-renewable award valued at $17,500 for all alternate candidates, subject to the limit of available funding. If you self-identify as Indigenous you are eligible to apply for this initiative.  Note: CIHR is not participating in this initiative.  For more information, see the pilot initiative webpage.



I’m not sure which Tri-Agency my research falls under.
If it seems like your research could fall under more than one Tri-Agency mandate, visit the Selecting the Appropriate Federal Granting Agency website. If you’re still not sure, speak to your supervisor or Graduate Chair. You can also forward a copy of your Research Proposal to Vanier. If you choose to do this, make sure you give Vanier plenty of time to review your proposal and reply.

Do I really need to provide all of my transcripts?
Vanier requires that you supply all transcripts from all institutions where you have taken courses for credit. This includes transfer credits that have counted towards any degree program.

I supplied by transcripts from previous universities as part of my degree program application package. Can those be used or do I have to order new ones?
We should be able to use the ones from your degree application. If you send us an email with your name and BID or NSID, we will see what transcripts we can access and use. When you send the email, please put “Requesting transcripts for scholarship competition”.

This is my first term at the university and I have no grades in my courses. Do I still need to provide current University of Saskatchewan transcripts?
Yes, Vanier wants to see the registration status in your current degree program.

But since on-campus offices are closed because of COVID-19, I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to get my current USask transcripts. What now?
Vanier is allowing us to submit unofficial transcripts for this competition only. We will download your unofficial transcripts and include them in the transcript package when we attach it to your application.

My reference isn’t able to log in using the link he was provided. What do I do?
Go into your application, delete the reference’s information, then re-enter it. This will trigger a new e-mail to your reference, which should allow them to access the reference section. If they still have trouble, they will need to contact ResearchNet for assistance.

It’s almost time to submit and one of my references hasn’t completed their portion and I can’t get in touch with them. What should I do?
You’re going to need to find another reference and quick, so you might want to think about who that would be, just in case. Delete the previous reference’s information from your application, enter the new reference’s information, send them the invitation e-mail, then think about a nice gift to get for the new reference for helping you.

I’m getting an error message when I try to upload my attachments.
Make sure your attachments follow the attachment standards required by Vanier. Even a small deviation in page size or file size can render your attachments invalid.


I still have questions!

Program information

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