CIHR Doctoral Research Awards – Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the FAQ page for the Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarships Doctoral Award (CGS D) and the Doctoral Foreign Study Award (DFSA) programs. Please bookmark this page for future reference.

The information below is intended to supplement the information provided within the most recent versions of the funding opportunities indicated above.

For all other doctoral award funding opportunities, please consult the individual funding opportunity announcements, as these opportunities may have different requirements.

Application Questions

  1. Where can I find information about the Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarships Doctoral Award (CGS D) and the Doctoral Foreign Study Award (DFSA) funding opportunities?
  2. Where can I find instructions on how to complete an application for the Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarships Doctoral Award (CGS D) or the Doctoral Foreign Study Award (DFSA) competition?
  3. How do I determine the funding agency mandate under which my research proposal falls?
  4. What are the specific assessment criteria for these programs?
  5. Does my supervisor need to submit a Canadian Common CV?
  6. Can I have more multiple supervisors?
  7. Do I need to submit my official transcripts?
  8. Will the interruptions/delays in my schooling be taken into account when determining my eligibility?
  9. How are applications assigned to a specific Peer Review Committee?
  10. How and where to submit my application?
  11. Who can the candidate choose as a sponsor?
  12. How do the Sponsors Assessments work in ResearchNet and where can I find a sample form?
  13. How long should the "Research Project Summary", "Training Expectations" and "List of publications" attachments be?
  14. How can my potential Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarships Doctoral Award (CGS D) be considered for the Canada Graduate Scholarship to Honour Nelson Mandela?
  15. What are priority announcements?
  16. Can I still be considered for funding through the open competition if I apply for a priority announcement?
  17. Can I update my application after the deadline?

Award Administration Questions

  1. How much time do I have to respond to an offer of award?
  2. What documents will I need to provide before I can start my award?
  3. Do I need to do anything if I'm planning to decline the award?
  4. How does CIHR determine when my award ends?
  5. What should I do if there are any changes in my eligibility to hold my award and/or if I have to interrupt my award?
  6. Do I need to provide Proof of Registration every year?
  7. What happens if the required paperwork isn't received by CIHR until after my chosen start date?
  8. How much time am I required to spend on the research training to maintain my eligibility to hold the CIHR award?
  9. Am I allowed to receive funding from other sources while holding the CIHR award?

For more information or for technical help related to ResearchNet, email support-soutien@cihr-irsc.gc.ca.

Application Answers

1. Where can I find information about the Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarships Doctoral Award (CGS D) and the Doctoral Foreign Study Award (DFSA) funding opportunities?

Up until the application deadline, both the Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarships Doctoral Award (CGS D) and the Doctoral Foreign Study Award (DFSA) funding opportunities are accessible from here. Once the competition deadlines have passed, the information will eventually be accessible only from the list of archived opportunities section of ResearchNet.

2. Where can I find instructions on how to complete an application for the Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarships Doctoral Award (CGS D) or the Doctoral Foreign Study Award (DFSA) competition?

Applications must be submitted using Research Net. Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the Doctoral Research Awards – Application instructions.

3. How do I determine the funding agency mandate under which my research proposal falls?

Applicants are encouraged to read more about Selecting the Appropriate Federal Granting Agency and to review the mandates of CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC. Specifically, CIHR accepts applications in all areas of health research, biomedical research, clinical research, health services research, and social, cultural, environmental and population health research. Definitions of these four research themes can be found on the Selecting the Appropriate Federal Granting Agency page.

4. What are the specific assessment criteria for these programs?

Read through the CIHR Reviewers' Guide for Doctoral Research Awards to learn more about how your application will be assessed.

5. Do my supervisors need to submit a Canadian Common CV?

Only applicants are required to submit an Academic CV (validated for CIHR) using the Canadian Common CV (CCV) website. For details about how to complete the CCV, please consult the Doctoral Research Awards – Application instructions.

6. 6. Can I have multiple supervisors?

Yes. You may have multiple supervisors. The Nominated Principal Applicant must identify a Primary Supervisor. The Nominated Principal Applicant may also identify an additional supervisor if applicable. Consult the CIHR Application Administration Guide for more information.

7. Do I need to submit my official transcripts?

Yes. For more details regarding required documents, please consult the Doctoral Research Awards – Application instructions.

8. Will the interruptions/delays in my schooling be taken into account when determining my eligibility?

Interruptions and delays in your studies may be taken into account in determining eligibility if information on the interruptions and delays is provided in the specific section of your Academic CCV. For details about how to complete this section of the CCV, please consult the Doctoral Research Award – Application instructions.

9. How are applications assigned to a specific Peer Review Committee?

Applications are reviewed by one of the two peer review committees according to the scientific area indicated within the application. As such, candidates are encouraged to consult the CIHR four research themes and to consult with their supervisor/mentor about their research project in order to determine the most appropriate scientific area, representing more than fifty percent of the research project they are required to indicate in their application.

10. How and where to submit my application?

For detailed instructions on how and where to submit an application, please consult the Doctoral Research Awards – Application instructions. For quick referencing, please consult the How to Submit an Application to CIHR’s Canada Graduate Scholarships Doctoral Program (CGS D) flowchart.

11. Who can I choose as a sponsor?

Only two sponsor assessments are required. CIHR recommends that the applicants choose sponsors under whom they have trained and who have had a good opportunity to assess their potential for research. An applicant’s current supervisor can be chosen as a sponsor if they are able to provide a detailed assessment. Candidates are encouraged to choose their sponsors carefully, keeping in mind that there is no opportunity within the application to provide a justification for their choices.

Applicants should also refer their selected sponsors to the Information for Sponsors page for guidance.

12. How do the Sponsor Assessments work in ResearchNet and where can I find a sample form?

For details, please consult the Doctoral Research Awards – Application instructions. A sample of the "Sponsor's Assessment of a candidate for a Doctoral Research Award" form can be found in the Index of Funding Related Forms and is available for information purposes only.

Applicants must insert their sponsor’s first name, last name and email address in the Identify Sponsor task in their application. The sponsor will then receive an email invitation from Research Net inviting them to complete your sponsor assessment. Applicants should also refer their selected sponsors to the Information for Sponsors page for guidance.

13. How long should the "Research Project Summary", "Training Expectations" and "Publications list" attachments be?

For details on the maximum limits allowed for these attachments, please consult the Doctoral Research Awards – Application instructions.

14. How can my potential Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarships Doctoral Award (CGS D) be considered for the Canada Graduate Scholarship to Honour Nelson Mandela?

Applicants have to inform CIHR by selecting the Canada Graduate Scholarship to Honour Nelson Mandela from the dropdown of the "Priority Announcements / Funding Pools (optional)" task of their application in ResearchNet.

15. What are priority announcements?

Priority announcements generally offers additional sources of funding for highly rated applications relevant to specific CIHR research priority areas or mandates. Each priority announcement has its own specific objectives and requirements; however, applications must still meet the eligibility criteria and requirements for the open competition.

16. Can I still be considered for funding through the open competition if I apply for a priority announcement?

Yes, your application is still first and foremost submitted to one of these open competitions (Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarships Doctoral Award (CGS D) or Doctoral Foreign Study Award (DFSA)). If for any reason your application is withdrawn from any of these open competitions, it will not be considered for any priority announcements.

17. Can I update my application after the deadline?

In order to ensure fairness in the evaluation of applications CIHR will not accept application updates after the  deadline.

Award Administration Answers

1. How much time do I have to respond to an offer of award?

Successful applicants have 15 business days to accept or decline an award as of the date on the funding decision letter.

2. What documents will I need to provide before I can start my award?

In addition to the specific documents listed in the Notes section of the Offer of an Award, there are two mandatory documents that need to be provided:

  • Response to an Offer of Award: if you are successful in receiving an award, a pdf version of this form will become available to you in your ResearchNet account after you answer a few questions online regarding when you wish to start the award and the person and/or institution that will be administering the funds. Both you and the authorized official at the Primary Location of Research must sign the printed form. This form must be returned to us within 15 business days of it becoming available to you online.
  • Confirmation of Commencement: this form will become available to you in your ResearchNet account 2 months prior to the start date you indicated on the Response to an Offer of Award form (for example, if you chose a start date of September 1st, it will appear on July 1st). If your start date is within 2 months of the current date then the form will appear within a few hours of completing your Response to an Offer of Award. If it does not, it is because the information you filled in your Response to an Offer of Award form (Institution, Faculty and/or Department) does not match the information provided on your original application. In this case, please email CIHR for further information. The printed version of this form needs to be signed by both you and a Scholarship Liaison Officer (SLO) or equivalent official in the faculty of graduate studies or its equivalent and returned to us before we can process your award.

All required documents must be sent to CIHR by email or by mail at:

support-soutien@cihr-irsc.gc.ca

Canadian Institutes of Health Research
160 Elgin Street, 9th Floor
Address Locator 4809A
Ottawa ON K1A 0W9
Canada

3. Do I need to do anything if I'm planning to decline the award?

Yes. As we will potentially be offering your award to the next applicant on the ranking list, we need to know that you are declining the award as soon as possible and certainly no later than 15 business days after the offer has been posted to your ResearchNet account. Please send us a signed copy of the Response to an Offer of Award form stating that you are declining the award and letting us know why.

4. How does CIHR determine when my award ends?

You must consult the Tri-Agency Research Training Award Holder’s Guide for information about policies and guidelines related to the Termination of an award.

5. What should I do if there are any changes in my eligibility to hold my award and/or if I have to interrupt my award?

You must consult the Tri-Agency Research Training Award Holder’s Guide for information about policies and guidelines related to Changes to the award and/or Interruptions of award. It is important to note that a change of status may render you ineligible to hold your award, in which case the Termination of award policy must be followed. It is also important to consult the eligibility criteria noted in the original funding opportunity, as eligibility requirements must be maintained throughout the tenure of the award.

6. Do I need to provide Proof of Registration every year?

The Proof of Registration is required only to activate your award.

7. What happens if the required paperwork isn't received by CIHR until after my chosen start date?

As long as the delays fall within the allowable start dates stated in the Notes section of the Offer of an Award document, the only effect is that your payments will be delayed until we're able to process your paperwork. Payments can be made retroactively as of your indicated start date provided that you meet all the eligibility requirements.

8. How much time am I required to spend on the research training to maintain my eligibility to hold the CIHR award?

Award recipients must devote at least 75 per cent of their time to research training in order to maintain their eligibility.

9. Am I allowed to receive funding from other sources while holding the CIHR award?

Recipients are expected to respect the eligibility requirements and funding conditions throughout the tenure of the CIHR award.

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