Award Applications

Prepare your Application

Before applying to a McMaster University scholarship, you need to prepare your application:

  • Some awards require official transcripts. Read the award instructions carefully.
  • To order official transcripts or print unofficial transcripts please log in to your Mosaic.
  • Your curriculum vitae (or academic resume) normally has a section to list publications, conference presentations, book chapters, previous awards, and other academic achievements.
  • The required length will vary. Read the award instructions carefully. Some awards specify margin sizes and page numbering. Be sure to add your name to the footer.
  • This is an academic reference from instructors most familiar with your academic work.
  • Confidential letters of support are normally sent directly in a sealed envelope that speak to your accomplishments and potential. Non-confidential letters don’t need to be sealed. 

Application Instructions

This guide will lead you through the online process for McMaster awards and bursaries that are available in Mosaic. 

The Federal tri-agency (CIHR,NSERC, SSHRC) fund the Canadian Graduate Scholarships. Each agency has their own application process:
  • CGS-Master’s (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC)

Students apply directly for a CGS-M in the NSERC government portal no later than December 1st of each calendar year
Link to the portal:

For complete instructions, please visit:

 If the student would like McMaster to consider his/her CGS-M application, the student must choose McMaster as 1 of the 5 universities where to submit his/her CGS-M application. McMaster will rank the applications submitted and upload the results in the CGS-M portal on April 1st of each academic year as specified by CGS-M.

  • CGS-Doctoral (CIHR)

Students must complete their CIHR Doctoral Research Award application on ResearchNet:

For complete instructions, please visit:

There is an internal McMaster deadline of Friday, September 23, 2016, 12:00 p.m. for the student to submit the application on ResearchNet. The School of Graduate Studies will review the applications on ResearchNet and return it back to the student if any changes are required. McMaster will submit all eligible applications to CIHR through ResearchNet by their deadline of Tuesday, October 4, 2016. CIHR will release the results to the winners in the spring of 2017.

CIHR Webinar

CIHR will be offering information sessions to students and university staff about CIHR award programs as well as recent improvements made to these. Information will also be provided on relevant CIHR policies, tips for applicants, and guidelines on how to submit an application. These sessions will be interactive and there will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions.

The sessions will allow all participants to be connected and discussions will be supported with a view of a PowerPoint presentation.  Participants must have access to a computer with internet connection to access the session and view the PowerPoint presentation. Questions may be directed to CIHR via the webinar chat function.

If you are interested in participating in one of these sessions, please follow the instructions below to register to one of the three sessions that will be offered.  Interested participants may also register via our CIHR Website at the following address:

Date, Time & Duration

Language Session

Link to Register

·   September 7, 2016
·   Time: 12:00 pm, EST
·   Duration : 2  hours


·   September 8, 2016
·   Time: 11:00 am, EST
·   Duration : 2  hours


·   September 9, 2016
·   Time: 1:30 pm, EST
·   Duration : 2  hours




  • CGS-Doctoral (NSERC)

Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships-Doctoral Program and NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships-Doctoral Program

Students are to complete their NSERC doctoral application on NSERC’s On-Line System

For complete instructions, please visit:

There is an internal McMaster deadline of Wednesday, October 5, 2016 for you to submit your application through NSERC’s On-Line System. Please work closely with your department as there may be an earlier department deadline for you to submit your application.  Your department will assist you in uploading your transcripts to your application. Once all the applications are received through the On-Line System, the applications will be ranked by the internal McMaster NSERC Doctoral Ranking Committee.  We will put forward the top candidates to NSERC through the On-Line System by November 25, 2016.  We will advise all applicants if they will be going forward or not be going forward to the federal competition. NSERC will release the federal results in the spring of 2017.

  • CGS-Doctoral (SSHRC)

Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships Program Doctoral Scholarships, and SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships

Once that is complete, please complete your application through SSHRC’s Web Based Forms link:

For complete instructions on how to complete the SSHRC application please visit:

Please note, SSHRC Doctoral is a paper application, it is not electronic. Each department will submit all recommended applications that are to be ranked at the University by Thursday, November 3, 2016. Please work closely with your department as there will be an earlier department deadline for you to submit your application to your department.  Once all the applications are received by the School of Graduate Studies, the applications will be ranked by the internal McMaster SSHRC Doctoral Ranking Committee.  We will put forward the top candidates to SSHRC by sending them the applications in January of 2017.  We will advise all applicants if they will be going forward or not be going forward to the federal competition. SSHRC will release the federal results in the spring of 2017.


  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships Doctoral Program (CGS-D), CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC

There is a 2 stage internal process at McMaster for the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships Doctoral Program (CGS-D). Applicants are required to have support from their department in order to submit a stage one application. Please contact your department graduate administrator for assistance with submitting a stage one letter of intent (LOI) package. Students will be notified if their application has been endorsed proceed to stage two. 

Stage 1 Letter of Intent (LOI) packages are due to the School of Graduate Studies on Monday, September 12, 2016.
Stage Two applications for Stage 1 endorsed candidates are due to The School of Graduate Studies on Thursday, October 13, 2016.

The deadline for complete application submission by the university is Wednesday, November 2, 2016 (8:00pm EDT).

For general information regarding the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, please refer the link below.

Funding agencies sometimes post awards on their own website that you can apply to. This guide will lead you through the online process for non-McMaster award applications.

Start your application

  • The agency normally include instructions on how to apply and what’s required. Your department administrator or supervisor are an excellent resource if you have questions.

Get appropriate Signatures

  • Some funding agencies require  a McMaster signature. Graduate Studies will help you get the necessary signatures from senior officials (President, Dean, Vice President Research). It can take up to 2 business days.
  • Please bring the following completed documents to Gilmour Hall, Room 212:
  • Complete this form: <URL to summary sheet>
  • Printed copy of the full application

Submit your application

  • Please let us know the outcome of their decision. We wish you the best success!
  • McMaster has posted most of our bursaries and ‘awards (Aid) by application’ in Mosaic. There are instructions on how to fill out each section on the McMaster Financial Aid website:
  • Review the descriptions for each award criteria, and click Apply for scholarships you are eligible for. 
  • Each award has a PDF file with a checklist of all required documents. Awards have different due date and instructions for submission. Please review them carefully.
  • Late or incomplete applications will NOT be accepted. 

After You’ve Applied

Now that you’ve applied for a McMaster bursary or award, what’s next?

  • Once you have clicked apply for all eligible awards and bursaries in Mosaic, you must submit all required documents.
  • You can check your application status online anytime by logging into Mosaic. You will initially see a status in Mosaic of “incomplete”. This is a default status created by the system. The status will be updated after the adjudication committee meets.
  • The adjudication process varies for each award. We cannot give specific dates for a decision.
  • Awardees will additionally receive a letter by email with the details of the award.


The details about your funding will be in an award letter.

  • If it is a McMaster award, the funding will be applied to your student account.
  • If if it’s a non-McMaster award, please let us know the details of your success and we can help answer questions about how to receive the funding. Sometimes it gets sent to you, and sometimes it gets sent to us. Each agency has their own rules 

Saying "thank you" to your donor 

McMaster University encourages all award recipients to take the time to express appreciation and thanks to the donor(s) of their award by sending a personal Thank-You Letter*. The letter should be sent to McMaster University - University Advancement, and from there it will be forwarded directly to the specific donor(s) of your award.

A letter is an expression of personal appreciation, reinforcing the value of the gift and encouraging future giving. Individuals or organizations who provide funding for these awards truly appreciate hearing from you – it's an opportunity to learn about your research endeavors, scholastic accomplishments, goals and future plans. 

Helpful tips

Your letter should include:

  • date;
  • address of the McMaster University Advancement office;
  • a thank you to the donor for their generosity by referring to the name of the award or scholarship, and mention how the award has helped you;
  • provide information about you – why you chose McMaster University, your graduate program of study, the year of the program, field of major research study;
  • academic accomplishments, leadership qualities, volunteering, goals and future plans;
  • an appropriate closing;
  • your hand-written signature, with your name printed below.

OPTIONAL: You may include your address, phone number and/or e-mail address. 


  • Proofread for spelling and grammatical errors.
  • Be prompt in sending your letter to the University Advancement Development office.

Please send your donor Thank You Letter to:

Stewardship & Donor Relations
University Advancement
McMaster University
1280 Main Street West, OJN 432
Hamilton, ON, Canada, L8S 4L8

* By submitting your thank you letter you are authorizing your name and your award name, as well as any quotes taken from your thank you letter, to be used in future stewardship materials and university communications such as McMaster newsletters. You are acknowledging that your letter may be edited before delivery to a donor, and you are releasing McMaster from any responsibility regarding how a donor may choose to use or publish your letter. If you choose to include your address, phone number and/or e-mail address you should be aware that the University will have no control over the donor’s use of this information.