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Frequently Asked Questions for Applicants

General Questions

  1. How and when can I apply for a PGS D or a PDF?
  2. I am interested in applying for a CGS D but this program is not available from the dropdown menu in Form 201. Can you help?
  3. I am applying for a PGS D but I am not sure whether it should be submitted through a Canadian university or directly to NSERC.
  4. What is the university deadline for a PGS D applicant submitting an application to a Canadian university?
  5. I have missed the department and/or the university submission deadline at my Canadian university. Can I apply directly?
  6. I am applying directly to NSERC and may not be able to submit my application by the deadline of 8:00 p.m. (ET) on October 15. Is it possible to get an extension?
  7. Do I need to provide proof of citizenship when submitting my application?
  8. My application has been submitted to NSERC and needs to be updated. Can it be returned to me?

Completing Form 201

  1. Is there a page limitation for the free-form attachments?
  2. What type of information should be included in the Outline of Proposed Research?
  3. Do I need to complete the Justification for Eligibility of Proposed Research?
  4. How do I list each entry and what format do I need to use for my Contributions to research and development?
  5. Can I submit the attachments separately from my application?
  6. Where can I find guidance regarding transcripts and how they are submitted?
  7. I am ready to submit my application but the Submit button is greyed out. How can I submit my application?

Reports on the Applicant

  1. When do I need to contact my references in order for them to complete a Report on the Applicant?
  2. I am having problems contacting my reference and the deadline is fast approaching. Can I get an extension to the deadline date?
  3. My reference is confirming that the Report on the Applicant has been completed; however, the status of the report in my application is showing Document Created. How can I confirm that it has been attached to my application?
  4. I have unlocked a Report of the Applicant and now it shows that it was not submitted. What do I do?

General Questions

1. How and when can I apply for a PGS D or a PDF?

You must complete Form 201 using the On-line Services. Read the instructions carefully to ensure that the form is completed properly and that the required free-form attachments are provided. The on-line system is available for applications as of mid-August.

2. I am interested in applying for a CGS D, but this program is not available from the dropdown menu in Form 201. Can you help?

If you are interested in applying for a CGS D, you must apply for a PGS D. There is no separate application form (or process) for the CGS D Program. The highest-ranked PGS D applicants will automatically be considered by NSERC for a CGS D.

3. I am applying for a PGS D but I am not sure whether it should be submitted through a Canadian university or directly to NSERC.

The correct channel for submission depends on your registration status as of the application deadline date and/or in the year of application. Refer to the How do you apply for a scholarship? section in the CGS D and PGS D program description for further information.

4. What is the university deadline for a PGS D applicant submitting an application to a Canadian university?

Most Canadian universities have two deadlines: a departmental deadline and a university deadline. These deadlines differ from one university to the other. Contact your Faculty of Graduate Studies (or its equivalent) to confirm the deadline date for submission of your application. University deadlines are different from the NSERC deadline as the universities must go through a selection process before they submit their applications to NSERC.

5. I have missed the department and/or the university submission deadline at my Canadian university. Can I apply directly?

No. Applications sent directly to NSERC that should have been submitted through a Canadian university will be rejected. There are no exceptions.

6. I am applying directly to NSERC and may not be able to submit my application by the deadline of 8:00 p.m. (ET) on October 15. Is it possible to get an extension?

No. NSERC will not approve an extension to the deadline date or time. There are no exceptions.

7. Do I need to provide proof of citizenship when submitting my application?

No. NSERC will ask award recipients for proof of citizenship or residency status upon acceptance of an award. However, you must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada by the application deadline.

8. My application has been submitted to NSERC and needs to be updated. Can it be returned to me?

No. However, personal contact information may be updated by sending an email to schol@nserc-crsng.gc.ca.

Completing Form 201

9. Is there a page limitation for the free-form attachments?

Yes. For the Outline of Proposed Research, you are entitled to one page including citations (PGS D and PDF). For the Contributions and Statements, you are entitled to two pages for the PGS D and four pages for the PDF. Note that the online system will not allow you to attach additional pages.

10. What type of information should be included in the Outline of Proposed Research?

You must provide a detailed description of your proposed research project for the period during which you are to hold the award. Refer to the instructions for details on the Outline of Proposed Research.

11. Do I need to complete the Justification for Eligibility of Proposed Research?

Complete this section if your research has any link with, overlap, or relevance to health or social sciences and humanities. If there is even the slightest perceived overlap, you should fill it out. The completed justification must accompany your application at the time of application. Refer to the instructions for details on the Justification for Eligibility of Proposed Research.

12. How do I list each entry and what format do I need to use for my Contributions to research and development?

Refer to the instructions for details on the Contributions to research and development.

13. Can I submit the attachments separately from my application?

No. All documents must be attached and your application must be verified for completeness on your Portfolio page by selecting the Verify button. Once you have verified successfully that the application is complete, the Submit button will appear and only then will you be able to submit your application.

14. Where can I find guidance regarding transcripts and how they are submitted?

Refer to the Transcripts/Proof of Registration section of the instructions. Applications that do not meet the requirements will be rejected.

15. I am ready to submit my application but the Submit button is greyed out. How can I submit my application?

The Submit button will not appear until you select Verify on your Portfolio page. Once your application is completed and verified successfully, the Submit button will appear and you will be able to submit your application.

Reports on the Applicant

16. When do I need to contact my references in order for them to complete a Report on the Applicant?

You should contact your proposed references as early as possible to give them sufficient time to complete a report on your behalf; if they are unable to evaluate you as an applicant, you must find another reference. Ask them to complete and submit the report well in advance of the university or NSERC deadline, in case of delays.

17. I am having problems contacting my reference and the deadline is fast approaching. Can I get an extension to the deadline date?

No. NSERC will not approve an extension to the deadline date or time. There are no exceptions. It is your responsibility to ensure your completed application is submitted on time.

18. My reference is confirming that the Report on the Applicant has been completed; however, the status of the report in my application is showing Document Created. How can I confirm that it has been attached to my application?

If your reference has completed the report and the status on your Portfolio is not showing Completed, it means that your reference has not verified completeness by selecting Verify in their portfolio. You must contact the reference and ask that the report be verified in order for it to be attached to your application. Once the reference has verified the report successfully, the status of the report on your Portfolio will change to Completed.

19. I have unlocked a Report on the Applicant and now it shows that it was not submitted. What do I do?

When you unlock a report, it allows the reference to make changes. You must select the Resend function to resubmit the invitation to the reference. Ask your reference to make the required modifications and then verify and resubmit the report. The report's status will change to Document Completed once it is resubmitted. Note that unlocking the report does not allow you to view the report. Don't forget to Verify completeness in order for the Submit button to appear.