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NSERC Doctoral Competitions

For more information about the NSERC competitions, including a summary of eligibility information, see NSERC information for applicants.


Fall 2014 Academic Unit deadlines for nomination to GPS are: October 15th, 2014.

Academic Unit quotas

Academic Units may recommend 10% of their Doctoral enrolment, to a maximum of 8. 

Eligibility and evaluation

Academic Unit should ensure candidate's eligibility based on the criteria outlined in the "To be eligible to apply" section of the NSERC website.

Academic Unit evaluations should be based on the criteria and weighting outlined in the "Selection Criteria" section of the NSERC website.

Required forms/tools

Competition process

Click image below to enlarge view of NSERC application process flow chart

Image of NSERC roles for department, student, and GPS in swim-lane chart

Note: “Academic Unit” roles usually refers to work led by appointed fellowships coordinator of the Academic Unit

  1. Student requests transcripts and referee letters sent to the Academic Unit: referee letters can be sent electronically from an official institutional email address. 
  2. Student fills out online application (must include e-mail address of the person responsible for uploading transcripts in the application).
  3. Student saves application online. 
  4. Student saves application as a PDF file. Status of application at this point is 'in progress'.
  5. Student sends via email attachment, the PDF of the application to the Academic Unit (note that some units may request printed copies). 
  6. Academic Unit confirms receipt of entire application including supporting documents from students.
  7. Academic Unit scans and uploads official transcripts, including the transcript key. In the case of international students, the Academic Unit must scan and upload the original transcripts and the translation. 
  • Transcripts must be scanned in black and white, and all transcripts saved as a single PDF file. The orientation of the transcript text must be upright (if possible), regardless of whether the transcript itself is in portrait or landscape orientation. The text must be oriented so that it is readable on a computer monitor from left to right without any adjustment by the viewer. You must include one copy of the legend located on the reverse of each transcript, to help the committees and NSERC understand the grading system at your university. Do not scan the legend multiple times.
  • Student finalizes online application to NSERC. Student clicks ‘verify’ (will verify that all components are attached to the student’s application) and ‘submit’.  The status of the application at this point will be ‘submitted’.
  • Academic Unit file review committee reviews files and decides to “recommend” or “not recommend” to GPS Graduate Funding (submit via GPS-FAD*).
  • Academic Unit communicates outcomes of their file review to applicants.
  • GPS Graduate Funding's file review committee reviews the recommended files and decides to “recommend” or “not recommend” to granting agency.
  • GPS Graduate Funding notifies every applicant (whose application was recommended to GPS by Academic Unit) of the file review outcome.
  • Agency announces winners in Spring.
    1. Additional resources