Indigenous Scholars Awards and Supplements Pilot Initiative

Funding streams Indigenous Scholars Supplement Indigenous Scholars AwardFootnote **
Value $5,000 $17,500
Duration 12 months
Application deadlineFootnote * December 1, 2023
Apply Via the Canada Graduate Scholarships—Master’s program
Results announced May

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The Indigenous Scholars Awards and Supplements Pilot Initiative will provide financial support to meritorious Indigenous students who have applied to the Canada Graduate Scholars—Master’s program (CGS M).

Value and duration

The Indigenous Scholars Award is valued at $17,500 over 12 months.

The Indigenous Scholars Supplement is valued at $5,000 over 12 months.


Applicants must: 

  • be eligible to apply to the CGS M program;
  • self-identify as Indigenous for the purposes of this initiative;
  • provide a one-page (3,000 characters maximum) personal statement; and
  • have had their application deemed meritorious in the CGS M review process.

Meritorious applications include all applications that have received the status “Offered” or “Alternate” in the Research Portal (see selection process for the CGS M program for more information):

  • Offered: CGS M applicants who are offered and accept a CGS M award and who are eligible for the Indigenous Scholars Award will keep the CGS M award and will be offered the Indigenous Scholars Supplement, to the limit of available funding.
  • Alternate: CGS M applicants eligible for the Indigenous Scholars Award who are not offered a CGS M award but whose applications are considered meritorious and are selected as alternate candidates will be offered, to the limit of available funding, both the Indigenous Scholars Award and the Indigenous Scholars Supplement.
    • Note: NSERC will use the results of the Indigenous Scholars Awards and Supplements Pilot Initiative to offer awards through the Canada Graduate Scholarships—Master’s program. NSERC will also continue to offer Indigenous Scholars Supplements.

Application process

Applicants who meet the eligibility requirements for this funding stream must apply through the CGS M program.

Applicants select “Indigenous Scholars Award and Supplement Pilot Initiative” in the drop-down menu in the “Supplements/Joint Initiatives” section of the application form, under the “social sciences and/or humanities” or “natural sciences and engineering” field of research.

Applicants must also submit a personal statement. In this statement, applicants must describe how their proposed research project, career and/or education goals have been informed by their experience as a First Nations, Inuit or Métis person. If appropriate, applicants can discuss their existing connection, or efforts to develop or re-establish a link, with their Indigenous community.

Applicants will be asked to self-identify as Indigenous. They will also be asked to consent to SSHRC and NSERC using this information as part of their application to the Indigenous Scholars Awards and Supplements Pilot Initiative. SSHRC and NSERC will not share self-identification information with institutional selection committees.

Note: SSHRC and NSERC are reviewing their policies and guidance regarding self-identification. Any future changes will be communicated widely.

Merit review

Applications to the CGS M program are reviewed first by institutional selection committees, as outlined in the selection process for the CGS M program.

SSHRC and NSERC staff will review the self-identification documentation to ensure that applicants have provided the requested information.

The CGS M merit review process is used to determine potential recipients under the Indigenous Scholars Awards and Supplements Pilot Initiative. Should there be more applications than funds available, however, SSHRC and NSERC will each form a selection committee to rank the CGS M applications eligible for the award and supplement using the CGS M selection criteria.

Regulations, policies and related information

SSHRC and NSERC reserve the right to determine the eligibility of applications, based on the information included. They also reserve the right to interpret the regulations and policies governing their funding opportunities.

All applicants and award holders must follow the applicable policies, regulations and guidelines, as well as the regulations set out in the Tri-agency Research Training Award Holder’s Guide.

Location of tenure

Awards and supplements must be held at the institution where the offer originates. Awards and supplements are not intended to be portable; however, exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis at SSHRC and NSERC’s discretion.

Contact information

For further information, contact the appropriate agency:



Toll-free: 1-855-275-2861

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