program area

Interdisciplinary Studies


award type

Student research funding

The Canada Graduate Scholarships—Doctoral (CGS D) program is a federal program of scholarships awarded through national competitions by the granting agencies: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

The objectives of the CGS D and Fellowships program are to reward and retain top-level graduate students at Canadian institutions, to enable a high-quality research training experience for award holders and to foster impacts within and beyond the research environment.


To be eligible to apply, an applicant must:

  • be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or protected person 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. The calculation assumes that all studies were uninterrupted except for university approved leaves of absences;
  • submit only one doctoral award application (CIHR, NSERC or SSHRC) in a given academic year;
  • not have already received a doctoral-level scholarship or fellowship from CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC.

In addition to the CGS D, each agency also offers its own doctoral awards. Refer to the literature for CIHR, NSERC or SSHRC for further details.

*Students who have completed more than 24 months of study may still qualify for a Doctoral Fellowship. Applicants eligible for both a Doctoral Fellowship and CGS D Scholarship will be automatically considered for both awards. CGS D is offered to the top tier recipients.

Check out these resources to help plan and prepare your application:

  • Federal Scholarships Doctoral YouTube Video
  • How to prepare a Canada Graduate Scholarships - Doctoral (CGS D) and Doctoral Fellowship program application BLOG
  • Scholarships, Awards, and Bursaries: Playing the Game Pays Off BLOG
  • How to Write a Research Proposal PowerPoint

How to apply

Both awards have a single application tailored to each agency.  Once you have determined the most suitable agency, referring to, apply through the relevant portal.

CIHR: ResearchNET (Select application form Doctoral Research Award)
NSERC: On-line System (Select application Form 201)
SSHRC: On-line System (select application Doctoral Awards Program)

Normal Royal Roads University quotas:
SSHRC = 3+
NSERC = 3+
CIHR = 3+

+Institutions may recommend meritorious applications from self-identified Indigenous applicants to the doctoral awards competition beyond their application quota. This includes Indigenous students from outside of Canada but they must be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or protected person of Canada.

An RRU committee of researchers will review all applications received, rank them, and submit the recommended applications to the agencies by November 21. The scholarships administrator will then notify applicants of the outcome of the institutional evaluation.

    Important Dates  
    August competition launch
    October 17 application for nomination deadline
    November 22 nominations due to agencies
    mid-April results announced by email
    within six months of the end of the scholarship period Talent Achievement Report due