Frequently Asked Questions About Canada Graduate Scholarships—Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements

For the latest and most up-to-date information regarding the Canada Graduate Scholarships—Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements, see Upcoming Deadlines and the funding opportunity description.


  1. Where can I find detailed instructions on how to apply for a Canada Graduate Scholarships—Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements (CGS-MSFSS)?
  2. I do not hold a CGS award. Can I apply for this supplement?
  3. Can my trip last longer than six months?
  4. Can my trip last less than three months?
  5. The trip I plan to take is after my CGS award end date. Can I still apply?
  6. Is my proposed host institution abroad eligible?
  7. What expenses are eligible as part of the budget proposal?
  8. How should I submit my host supervisor letter?
  9. My university has informed me that I have been put forward as an “alternate.” What does this mean?
  10. Can I request a change of start date/proposed activities/host institution/supervisor?



1. Where can I find detailed instructions on how to apply for a Canada Graduate Scholarships—Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements (CGS-MSFSS)?

You must create an online account on one of the following agency-specific web-based forms sites and log on:

Once you have started your application, you can click “Instructions” at the top of the page for more details.

2. I do not hold a CGS award. Can I apply for this supplement?  

No. In order to be eligible for this program, you must have accepted or hold:

3. Can my trip last longer than six months?

Yes. Your trip can last longer than six months. However, your CGS-MSFSS application should only request support for three to six months.

4. Can my trip last less than three months?

No. Your trip must be for a minimum of three months.

5. The trip I plan to take is after my CGS award end date. Can I still apply?   

No. This would make you ineligible. To be eligible for a CGS-MSFSS award, you must:

  • hold an active CGS at the time your research study period abroad starts;
  • be registered full time in a graduate research studies program at a Canadian institution for the duration of your research study period abroad;
  • take up the award within one year of receiving the notice of award for the CGS-MSFSS; and
  • return to complete your degree in Canada.



6. Is my proposed host institution abroad eligible?

Eligible institutions abroad include foreign universities, international or national research institutes, or other institutions that actively carry out research.

If you are uncertain whether your institution is eligible, please contact the appropriate granting agency.

7. What expenses are eligible as part of the budget proposal?

The supplement will cover costs associated with travel, living and other expenses (such as accommodation, meals, tuition, insurance and other necessary, non-research-related costs) during the research study period abroad.

8. How should I submit my host supervisor letter?

Supervisor letters can be sent by mail, fax (must be on official letterhead) or email. In the case of emails, the supervisor’s signature must be in the email, and the email must be sent from his or her institution’s email address (personal email accounts are not acceptable).

9. My university has informed me that I have been put forward as an “alternate.” What does this mean?

This means that your application was ranked high enough for your name to be placed on a list of candidates recommended for a CGS-MSFSS in the event that additional funds become available, but that you have not received an award. In the event that a recipient who is offered a CGS-MSFSS declines it, the agencies will use the waiting list of alternate candidates to contact the next eligible alternate candidate, by both email and mail, with the offer of an award.




10. Can I request a change of start date/proposed activities/host institution/supervisor?

You must receive approval from your granting agency before making any changes to the location and dates of your foreign research study period, your choice of host supervisor, your choice of host institution or your proposed activities. Such requests should be made as soon as possible, preferably at least four weeks prior to your travel date.

Send an email to your granting agency (include “CGS-MSFSS” in the subject line) and include a brief rationale for the proposed change, as well as a letter or email from both your current and host supervisors confirming support for the change. Ensure that your student liaison officer is informed of this request.

For more information, please refer to the  Changes to the Proposed Research Study Period Abroad section of Award Holder's Guide C.