Award Holder's Guide A

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Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS) Master's Scholarship award holders: Please note that, except where otherwise specified in this guide, the information in this guide only applies to holders of CGS Master’s Scholarships awarded during or prior to the 2013 competition. Those holding a CGS Master’s Scholarship awarded 2014 or later should refer to the harmonized tri‑agency Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master’s (CGS M) Award Holder’s Guide.


Regulations

General Regulations
Value and Duration of Award
Acceptance and Refusal of Award
Start Date
Change of Start Date
Deferment of Award
Activation of Payment
Interruption of Award
Reinstatement of Award
Change of Program of Study/Research Project/Degree
Change of University
Other Sources of Income (employment and other awards)
Annual Progress Reports
Termination of Award
Degree Completion
Taxation and Legal Issues



General Regulations


CGS Master's Scholarship holders: Information in this section applies to all award holders.

All award holders must:

  • have been unconditionally accepted into a recognized graduate studies degree program in a field supported by SSHRC;
  • not be registered simultaneously in any other degree program;
  • be registered full time or be restricted to part-time registration due to a disability or family responsibilities, and be progressing satisfactorily in a graduate studies program at an eligible university;
  • abide by the regulations governing awards, as described in this Guide, in the Notice of Award and in the program description;
  • abide by regulations regarding ethical considerations in the use of human subjects in research (see the Tri‑Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans);
  • comply with the policies outlined in the Tri‑Council Policy Statement on Responsible Conduct of Research;
  • acknowledge SSHRC’s funding assistance for the research;
  • not hold or accept full-time employment during the tenure of the award; and
  • agree to have your university administer your award.

In addition:

  • your award may be cancelled without notice if you violate the conditions under which it was granted.


Value and Duration of Award

The value and duration of your award are detailed in your Notice of Award.

The value and duration of your award will be adjusted to take into account any change in your registration status, e.g., early completion of your degree, termination of your graduate studies program, employment, etc.

CGS Master's Scholarship holders: If you complete your master's degree or transfer to a doctoral degree program prior to the end of the term of the award, you can request and use the balance of your award to immediately start a doctoral degree program (at the first available start date of the program). To receive the balance of the award, you must have completed a minimum of one full-time term of studies at the master's level.

If your doctoral program is at the same university at which you pursued your master's degree, see your graduate studies office to request the balance. If your doctoral program is at a different university than your master's, see Change of University.

Support for part-time graduate studies: Awards are available for part-time study, but only to students who are restricted to part-time registration status for reasons of disability or family responsibilities. However, this is not automatic: award holders must submit their request for part-time status to SSHRC for approval. SSHRC will notify you whether you can hold an award while registered part-time. If approved, the award will have the same total value as the full-time award, but spread over a longer period of time. All other regulations will apply.

For purposes of holding an award part-time, disability is defined as "a functional limitation resulting from a physical, sensory or mental impairment, which, for an indefinite period, affects the ability of the student to perform the activities necessary to participate fully in his or her learning."

If you intend to hold your award on a part-time basis because a disability prevents you from pursuing a full-time program of studies, you must have Form 5 “Medical Certification to Hold a SSHRC Award on a Part-time Basis for Reasons of Disability” (PDF document, 64KB) completed by the qualified health professional most familiar with your situation. He or she must either mail the form directly to SSHRC or return it to you in a sealed envelope to be forwarded to us. This form will be treated as confidential and will be used only by SSHRC staff and only to assess your eligibility to hold an award while registered part-time. In addition, your university must submit to SSHRC a letter supporting your request to hold the award while registered part-time.



Acceptance and Refusal of Award

You must notify SSHRC within four weeks of the date on the Notice of Award of your decision to accept or refuse the award.

To accept the award, send SSHRC an email or fax (613-943-1329), specifying the start date of your award and, if you know it, the university and department of tenure.

To refuse the award, send SSHRC an email or fax (613-943-1329), specifying your reasons for refusal (e.g., employment, acceptance of another award).

SSHRC will cancel any award not accepted by the above deadline.

Notification by telephone is not acceptable.

You must notify SSHRC of your acceptance or refusal as specified above—even if you plan to request a deferment of your award. See Deferment of Award.

To initiate payment of your award, see Activation of Payment.



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Start Date

If you have already begun the program of studies for which you were awarded funding, you must take up your award on the first day of the May or September academic term following the announcement of the results.

If you have not yet begun the program of studies for which you were awarded funding, you may take up your award on the first day of the May, September or January academic term following announcement of the results.

If you anticipate that you will not be able to complete all requirements of your previous degree by December 31 (including, if applicable, successful defence and submission of the corrected copy of your thesis), you must decline the award. However, you may apply again in the following competition as long as you remain eligible.

Note: A change in the start date from that indicated on your application may affect your eligibility for the award or the award value or duration. Please consult SSHRC accordingly.



Change of Start Date

If you intend to change your start date, you must immediately:


Note: A change in the start date from that indicated on your application may affect your eligibility for the award or the award value or duration. Please consult SSHRC accordingly.



Deferment of Award

Before commencing your award, you may defer it for up to three years, but only for reasons of maternity, child rearing, illness, or health‑related family responsibilities. You may only defer your award for a maximum of one year at a time. Updated documentation will be required for each period of deferment.

You may not defer your award in order to take up another award, or to accept or hold employment, or to pursue studies other than those for which you received funding.

You must complete Form 3—Request for Deferment of Award (PDF document, 16KB) and send it to SSHRC as soon as possible but no later than one month after the scheduled start date of your award. Supporting documentation (e.g., birth, adoption or medical certificate) confirming the reason for deferment must also be included with the request.

Furthermore, if you are currently registered in the program for which funding was awarded, you must obtain an authorized leave of absence from your university. SSHRC will not approve a deferment if it is in conflict with your university's policies.

Even though you intend to defer your award, you must, if you have not already submitted such with your application, submit confirmation to SSHRC, by December 31 of the year of the original award, that you have completed all requirements of your previous degree (including, if applicable, successful defence and submission of the corrected copy of your thesis). If you do not do so, your award will be cancelled.



Activation of Payment

Activation of Payment
(for new awards and awards transferred to another university only)

  • You must complete Form 1—Payment Activation Form - Part I (PDF document, 23KB) and submit it to your university eight weeks before the start date of your award, along with a copy of your SSHRC Notice of Award.
  • You must also complete Form 1—Payment Activation Form - Part II (PDF document, 25KB) and submit it promptly to your university, so that your university is able to complete their section and submit it to SSHRC at least one month before your start date. Otherwise your payment will be delayed.

Note: SSHRC recognizes that students with an award start date of May 1 may not be able to respect the above deadlines and should not be penalized for this.

SSHRC must receive your duly completed Form 1—Payment Activation Form - Part II (PDF document, 25KB) no later than one month after the scheduled start date of your award or your award may be cancelled.

Your award payment will be activated based on the information contained on your Payment Activation Form, provided you have met all general award conditions applicable to all recipients, as well as any specific conditions indicated on your Notice of Award.

If any of the information that you provided to SSHRC changes, contact SSHRC and your university immediately; this will reduce the likelihood of a delay in the payment of your award.

Before activating your award, your university will verify that you have met all the conditions of your award.

If you are uncertain whether you have met all conditions of your award, please contact your university. If you wish to transfer to a different university, see Change of University.

If you hold full-time employment, see Other Sources of Income.

Payments

You will receive payment of your award from your university.

The payment schedule will be based on your university's schedule, and acceptance of this schedule is a condition of your award.



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Interruption of Award


CGS Master's Scholarship holders: Information in this section applies to all award holders.


You may interrupt your award to take:

  • unpaid leave for reasons of maternity, child rearing, illness, or health-related family responsibilities;
  • paid parental leave; and/or
  • leave for relevant work experience.

You must obtain approval from your university prior to any interruption of your award.

For approved interruptions, your university will suspend payment of your award for the duration of the interruption and will resume payment when all the conditions of your award are met (generally, on your return to full-time studies).

You may not interrupt your award in order to take up another award or to pursue studies of any kind.

Unpaid Leave for Reasons of Maternity, Child Care, Illness, or Health-Related Family Responsibilities

You are eligible for an unpaid leave of absence of up to three years, in accordance with your university's policies, for reasons of maternity, child rearing, illness, or health-related family responsibilities only, provided your university permits such leaves.

You must obtain approval from your university prior to interruption of your award.

Contact your university to find out what documentation it requires to approve the interruption. This may include birth, adoption or medical certificates.

Paid Parental Leave

If you will be interrupting your studies/award within six months following a child's birth or adoption in order to be the primary caregiver for the child, you may request a paid parental leave supplement at your current stipend level for up to four months, provided your university permits parental leaves.

You may not receive this supplement while your award is being deferred.

You must obtain approval from your university prior to interrupting your award.

The maximum period of paid leave is four months, even in cases of multiple births or adoption of more than one child at the same time.

If both parents are supported by SSHRC, each parent may take a portion of the leave, for a combined maximum duration of four months.

Contact your university to find out what documentation it requires to approve the paid parental leave. This may include birth, adoption or medical certificates.

If the paid parental leave is approved by your university, your university will administer the supplement and notify SSHRC.

In addition, you must certify in writing to the university that:

  • you are not eligible for and will not receive employment insurance or other maternity or parental benefits from other sources;
  • during the parental leave, you will not be engaged in your studies or research activities or employed in any capacity; and
  • you will be the primary caregiver of your child during the parental leave.

Leave for Relevant Work Experience

You may interrupt your award to obtain relevant work experience. The interruption will not reduce the total amount of support available to you.

You are not entitled to receive your award payments during such interruptions.

CGS Master’s Scholarship award holders: You are permitted one four‑month interruption for this type of leave during the tenure of your master's award.

Doctoral award holders: You are permitted two four‑month interruptions for this type of leave during the tenure of your doctoral award.

No two periods of leave for work experience can be consecutive. You must be registered for no less than the equivalent of one full-time academic term between such leaves.

You must obtain approval from your university prior to interrupting your award.

Vacation Leave

Your university's regulations apply with respect to vacation leave.



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Reinstatement of Award

To reinstate a deferred award, you must complete Form 1—Payment Activation: Part I (PDF document, 23KB) and Form 1—Payment Activation: Part II (PDF document, 25KB), and submit them to your university, along with a copy of your SSHRC Notice of Award, at least eight weeks before resuming your studies. See also Activation of Payment.

To reinstate an interrupted award, you must notify your university in writing at least eight weeks before resuming your studies, confirming the exact date you intend to reinstate your award.

Awards will be governed by the regulations applicable at the time of reinstatement.



Change of Program of Study/Research Project/Degree


CGS Master's Scholarship holders: Information in this section applies to all award holders.


Requests to change your program of study, research project or degree will be evaluated by your university. Contact the office at your university that administers your award for further information.

If you modify your research project to the extent that the new field of study is not one that SSHRC supports, you will no longer be eligible to hold the award and it will be cancelled.

CGS Doctoral Scholarship holders: In the case of subject matter that falls under the mandate of more than one federal research granting agency (e.g., psychology, management studies, geography, physical education, optometry or health sciences), the university is required to consult the relevant agency for a ruling.



Change of University


Information pertaining to Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (Vanier CGS) holders
The Vanier CGS must be taken up at the university that nominated you for the award. If you wish to study at another Canadian university, you must decline the Vanier CGS.

To change your university of tenure, you must obtain prior approval from SSHRC. Such requests should be made as soon as possible, preferably at least eight weeks prior to your start or transfer date, to give the new university time to activate payment of your award.

Changing to a Canadian University

Changing Your University Before Activation of the Award

If you have not yet submitted your Payment Activation Form, you must fill out Form 1—Payment Activation: Part I (PDF document, 23KB) and Form 1—Payment Activation: Part II (PDF document, 25KB), indicate the new university, and submit the forms, along with a copy of your SSHRC Notice of Award, to your new university.

Changing Your University After Activation of the Award

If you have already submitted your Payment Activation Form, you must complete Form 2—Request to Change University (PDF document, 16KB) and submit it to SSHRC.

SSHRC will notify you and the universities if your request to change university has been approved. If the request is approved, you must then submit Form 1—Payment Activation: Part I (PDF document, 23KB) and Form 1—Payment Activation: Part II (PDF document, 25KB), indicate the new university, and submit the forms, along with a copy of your SSHRC Notice of Award, to the new university.


Note: A transfer will only be approved if credit for studies in your previous graduate degree program is granted by the new university.


If you are a CGS Master’s Scholarship holder who has completed your master’s degree before the end of your award and you want to use the balance of the award to start your doctoral program at another university, you must complete Form 2—Request to Change University (PDF document, 16 KB), and submit it to SSHRC.

Changing to a Foreign University

If you are a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship holder, your award may be held at a university outside Canada only if one of your previous degrees was obtained at a Canadian university.

If you intend to hold your award at a university outside Canada, you must contact the appropriate agencies for immigration and taxation regulations. SSHRC cannot advise award holders on such matters.


Note: CGS scholarships (doctoral and master's) are only tenable at a Canadian university.



Other Sources of Income (employment and other awards)


CGS Master's Scholarship holders: Information in this section applies to all award holders.


SSHRC expects award holders to devote the majority of their time to the timely completion of their degree programs. As a guideline in this context, SSHRC strongly suggests that award holders limit the number of hours of employment per 12-month period to 450. Universities may, however, set their own guidelines. Please contact your university for further information.

You may not hold full-time employment during any period of time in which you hold the SSHRC award.

If you held full-time employment at the time of application, you must provide your university with a letter from your employer attesting that you will be on an approved leave of absence during the period of tenure of your award. If you were a federal government employee, the letter must attest that you will be on an unpaid leave of absence during this period. Awards will not be paid unless these letters have been received.

Payment of the award during paid internships and co-op work terms is permitted, regardless of your registration status, provided that they are a requirement of your program of studies.

You may not concurrently hold an award from SSHRC and another federal granting agency (CIHR or NSERC). You may, however, accept awards from other sources, regardless of value, e.g., foreign sources, Canadian provinces, private organizations, your university.

You may work as a research assistant (receiving an hourly wage).

Part-time award holders: No employment is permitted during tenure of the award without SSHRC's prior authorization.


Annual Progress Reports

Your university will administer an annual progress report on SSHRC's behalf. This report must be completed in conjunction with your supervisor and submitted to your department head.

SSHRC may cancel the award if your progress is judged unsatisfactory.


Note: that no annual progress reports are required for CGS Master's Scholarship holders.



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Termination of Award


CGS Master's Scholarship holders: Information in this section applies to all award holders.


If you terminate your program of study for any reason prior to the end of your award tenure, you must contact your university and SSHRC as soon as possible.

In accordance with its policies, your university will determine the end date of your award based on information pertaining to your termination.

Your registration status may change in certain circumstances; e.g., when you complete your degree, start another program of studies, terminate your studies, change to part-time status, and/or accept full-time employment. If you are uncertain whether your registration status has changed, please contact your university.

If your registration status changes, the final value of your award will be prorated based on the end date as determined by your university.

If you accept full-time employment, regardless of whether you have completed your degree or not, your award will be terminated as of the effective date of your contract of employment. The value of the award will be prorated and any funds already paid that are intended for use beyond this date must be returned.

Either your university or SSHRC will contact you to reclaim any overpayment of your award.



Degree Completion

“Date of degree completion” refers to the date on which you have met all requirements for your degree (including, if applicable, successful defence and submission of the corrected copy of your thesis).

Award holders must use Form 4—Notice of Receipt of Degree (PDF document, 16KB) to inform SSHRC once they have obtained their degree.



Taxation and Legal Issues


CGS Master's Scholarship holders: Information in this section applies to all award holders.


Taxation

Your university will issue the T4A form. You are not permitted to defer an installment to the next taxation year.

Individual students may be exempted of federal and provincial income tax attributed to their award. Please see “Line 323 - Tuition, education, and textbook amounts”, published by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), for the applicable conditions.

SSHRC cannot offer advice on income tax matters to individual students and fellows, given the uniqueness of each award recipient's personal financial situation. Consequently, you are encouraged to seek advice from the CRA, or from a qualified income tax specialist. For more information on income tax related to scholarships and fellowships, please see Income Tax Folio – S1-F2-C3: Scholarships, Research Grants and Other Education Assistance, published by the CRA.

Insurance

SSHRC cannot assume liability for accidents, illnesses, or losses that may occur during the tenure of an award. You are responsible for ensuring that you have appropriate insurance.

We encourage you to read the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act as they pertain to application information.