Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Common menu bar links

Industrial Postgraduate Scholarships Program

Important Announcement

In the Economic Action Plan 2015, the Government of Canada stated that going forward, Mitacs’ This link will take you to another Web site Accelerate program will become the primary delivery agent for federally supported graduate-level industrial research and development internships. NSERC’s Industrial Postgraduate Scholarships Program will be wound down following the fulfillment of current commitments.

Note that applications for Industrial Postgraduate Scholarships will be accepted until August 31, 2015.

Value $15,000 per year for up to three years plus a minimum contribution from the sponsoring organization of $6,000 per year
NSERC-FRQNT Industrial Innovation Scholarships Program for students enrolled in universities in the province of Quebec only
Application Deadline No NSERC deadline (there may be university deadlines)
How to Apply See below
Application Forms
  • Nomination by the Graduate Studies Office
  • Form 200 – Application for an Industrial Postgraduate Scholarship, an Industrial R&D Fellowship or a Visiting Fellowship in Canadian Government Laboratories
  • Terms and Conditions of Applying Form (form-fillable)
To create or access an application, select On-line System Login. To view forms and instructions, select PDF Forms and Instructions.

To complete the Terms and Conditions of Applying Form, select the link above.
For More Information Consult the Contact List

What kind of support do these scholarships provide?

Industrial Postgraduate Scholarships (IPS) provide financial support for highly qualified science and engineering graduates. The support allows them to gain research experience in industry while undertaking advanced studies in Canada. These scholarships are aimed at encouraging scholars to consider research careers in industry where they will be able to contribute to strengthening Canadian innovation. Students registered at Quebec universities must apply through the NSERC-FRQNT Industrial Innovation Scholarships (IIS) Program.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • The university must ensure that eligibility criteria and standards of excellence are satisfied.
  • The university's Graduate Studies Office coordinates all of NSERC's industrial postgraduate scholarship applications and sends the nomination documents to NSERC.
  • NSERC reviews nominations and decides which applicants will receive scholarships. The award is made for a specific research proposal involving a student, a faculty supervisor and a sponsoring organization. The ideal project is one that matches the interests of the faculty member, the needs of the sponsoring organization and the student's skills.
  • A university faculty member and a researcher from the sponsoring organization will jointly supervise the project.
  • The scholarship will be administered by the university.

Are you eligible for scholarship support?

To be considered eligible for support, you must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada. Applications will also be accepted from qualified foreign candidates;
  • hold, or expect to hold (at the time you take up the award), a degree in science or engineering from a university whose standing is acceptable to NSERC (if you have a degree in a field other than science or engineering, NSERC may accept your application at its discretion);
  • have certification from the Dean of Graduate Studies showing that, over the last two completed years of study, you had a first-class academic standing (minimum average of "A-"; see the Note below for more details); and
  • be pursuing full- or part-time graduate studies in the natural sciences or engineering at an eligible Canadian university in accordance with the regulations in effect at the university.

Note: If your academic average is slightly below a first-class academic standing, but you have other qualifications and experience relevant to the research project, the Graduate Studies Office must make a case on your behalf for an exception to this requirement.

To determine if you are eligible for the IPS Program, NSERC will count the number of months of graduate studies completed in the program for which you are requesting funding in an NSERC-supported field. It will count two sessions of part-time graduate study as one session of full-time study at the time of nomination.

In evaluating your eligibility, NSERC will consider all studies counted towards a graduate degree, whether completed at the degree-granting institution or not. You must be eligible as of the date the application is received at NSERC.

If your eligibility for the award could run out while the IPS Agreement is in preparation, the university should forward the incomplete application to NSERC with an explanatory cover letter.

What types of scholarships are available?

Industrial postgraduate scholarships are available in two categories: IPS 1 and IPS 2.


This scholarship support is for a minimum of 12 months (in exceptional circumstances only) up to a maximum of 24 months and must be held during the first three years of graduate study.

At the time NSERC receives the nomination, you:

  • may be entering, or have begun the first year of a master’s program;
  • may be entering, or have begun the first year of a doctoral program (if you were admitted to the PhD program directly from your bachelor’s program);
  • must not have been registered in graduate studies for more than 12 months or the award start date must not be beyond the 12th month of studies;
  • must not have held a previous IPS 1*, PGS A, CGS M or PGS M award;
  • are not eligible to apply for a CGS M if you take up an IPS 1 award.

IPS 1 support will not extend beyond the 28th month of your master's program. If you are a successful applicant and if you have completed more than four months full-time equivalent in a master's program at the time you take up your award, the normal 24-month duration of the award will be decreased by the number of months in excess of the four that have been completed at that time.


This scholarship support is for either 24 or 36 months and must be held during the first four years of doctoral-level studies. You are eligible for this type of scholarship only if you are, or will be, a doctoral candidate.

At the time NSERC receives the nomination:

  • you must have completed no more than the full-time equivalent of 24 months of studies in the doctoral program for which you are requesting funding in a field of research that NSERC supports, or the award start date must not be beyond the 24th month of studies;
  • if you were admitted into a doctoral program directly from your bachelor’s program, you must have completed between four and 36 months of studies in the doctoral program for which you are requesting funding in a field of research that NSERC supports. You must hold the IPS 2 during the first five years of your doctoral program, and support will not extend beyond the 64th month;
  • if you previously held an IPS 2*, a PGS D, a CGS D, Vanier CGS or PGS B you are not eligible for further support of your graduate studies; and
  • if you take up an IPS 2 award, you are no longer eligible to apply for a PGS D, CGS D or a Vanier CGS.

You will be eligible for only a two-year IPS 2, if:

  • you previously held a PGS A or IPS 1* for more than 12 months;
  • you previously held a one-year CGS M, or PGS M, plus a PGS M Extension; and
  • you have completed more than the full-time equivalent of 16 months of your doctoral program (28 months if you were admitted to the doctoral program directly from the bachelor’s program) as of the date of receipt of the nomination.

Maximum total duration of scholarship support

Scholarship support for graduate studies through NSERC is limited to a lifetime maximum of four years (48 months) of full-time equivalency. NSERC will include any graduate-level scholarship funding provided by SSHRC and CIHR in the calculation of previous funding support.

If you have had up to 12 months of support at the M level (through an IPS 1*, PGS M or CGS M) you are eligible for a maximum of 36 months of support at the D level (through an IPS 2*, PGS D, CGS D or Vanier CGS D) providing you meet the other eligibility criteria for those programs (months of study, etc.).

If you have had between 12 and 24 months of support at the M level (through an IPS 1*, PGS A, PGS M + PGS M Extension or CGS M plus PGS M extension), you are eligible for a maximum of 24 months of support at the D level (through a 24-month IPS 2, CGS D, PGS D or Vanier CGS) providing you meet the other eligibility criteria for those programs (months of study, etc.).

Note: If you have held a 24-month IPS 1, you may still be eligible to hold a CGS D for a period of 36 months, providing you meet the other eligibility criteria (months of study, etc.). This is the only exception to the maximum four years of support.

* For purposes of duration of support and eligibility, IPS includes all NSERC industrial postgraduate scholarships programs.

You are not eligible to receive scholarship support while you are in a qualifying year of study.

Value of scholarships

NSERC will pay a stipend of $15,000 per year to your university. In addition, your sponsoring organization is required to pay at least $6,000 per year to the university in scholarship funds to support you (you should not be paid directly by the organization). Although NSERC cannot award you more than $15,000, the sponsoring organization can contribute more than $6,000 to support you or the project. As a result, the scholarship is worth a minimum of $21,000. IPS award holders may be eligible for some postgraduate supplements (see Table of Supplements).

Condition of award tenure

You must:

  • hold your scholarship only at your nominating university;
  • spend a minimum of 20 percent of your time (at least 50 days per year) at the sponsoring organization on activities related to your thesis project; and
  • be sponsored by an organization which is eligible for the IPS Program.

Interaction with the sponsoring organization

To satisfy the conditions of your scholarship, you must spend a minimum of 20 percent of your time (at least 50 days per year) at the organization (on company premises or under company supervision “in the field”, not at a university or affiliated hospital) on activities related to your thesis project. During these periods, you are not an employee of the sponsoring organization and must not directly receive payment for work done.

  • Using the template, clearly describe your plans for interacting with the organization during the period of the award in the Outline of Proposed Research part of the free-form section of Form 200.

Make sure you document the time you actually spend at the organization so you can include it in your progress report.

Letter from Industrial Research Supervisor

So that NSERC can evaluate the type of experience that the student will receive from his/her time at the organization, a one- to two-page letter written by the student’s industrial research supervisor must accompany each application. For the application to be considered, this letter must cover each of the following topics:

  • Description of facilities, including research facilities, offered by the host organization;
  • Credentials of industrial research supervisor and other organization staff directly involved in the student’s project;
  • Expected tasks for the student;
  • Planned interactions between the student and organization staff;
  • Details of any travel or field work that will be required of the student.

The person signing this letter should be the student’s direct industrial research supervisor. If an organization is hosting more than one IPS award, the organization must provide a separate, individualized letter for each student.

If the expected student experience described in the letter does not meet the expectations for the IPS Program, the application may be rejected.

Part-Time IPS Awards

If you are a part-time student, the organization’s contribution must be at least $3,000 per year, and you will be eligible for up to 72 months of support at one-half the normal stipend level ($7,500 per year). You must spend at least 25 full-time equivalent days at the organization per year.

Which organizations are eligible to participate?

Refer to the Guidelines for Organizations Participating in NSERC Industrial Training Programs. Organizations that are participating in NSERC’s industrial training programs for the first time should send their eligibility application (Application [new or renewal] for Eligibility of Organizations to Participate in NSERC's IRDF Program, IPS Program and Industrial USRA Program [Form 183B]) to NSERC in advance of the IPS application.

How do you apply?

Contact the Office of Graduate Studies at your university. It is responsible for submitting nominations to NSERC.

Please note that NSERC expects that the mandatory elements in NSERC’s new Policy on Intellectual Property will be addressed in the IPS Agreement.

Use the Industrial Postgraduate Scholarships Program Application Checklist in consultation with the Scholarship Liaison Officer in Graduate Studies at your university to verify your nomination package.

Application deadlines

There are no NSERC deadlines for this program, but there may be internal university deadlines. For more information about university deadlines, contact the Graduate Studies Office or the Scholarship Liaison Officer.

Notification of decision

NSERC will notify you and the nominating university of its decision within three months of the date NSERC receives a complete nomination. If nominations are incomplete, the processing time is significantly increased. Nominations which are not complete four months after the proposed start date of the award may be rejected by NSERC. Please verify your application using the Industrial Postgraduate Scholarships Program Application Checklist.

Start date of award

The start date of the award should be within three months of the date NSERC receives the nomination.

Payment of award

The university will be responsible for making regular payments to the scholarship holder.

If you do not hold a scholarship for the full period, NSERC will make a prorated reduction in the stipend.

Termination of support

  • If you no longer meet the eligibility criteria that were in effect at the time your award was approved, you will no longer be eligible for scholarship support.
  • If your sponsoring organization withdraws its financial support for your scholarship, you will no longer be eligible. Contact NSERC if you would like to find another sponsoring organization to complete the research.

In both cases, notify NSERC and the Graduate Studies Office at your university. Your scholarship will be cancelled.

Progress reports

NSERC authorizes subsequent instalments of the scholarship only upon receipt of satisfactory annual progress reports from the Graduate Studies Office. The reports are due at NSERC on the anniversary date of the scholarship.

Exit Survey

Near the end of the final year of your award, please complete and return an Exit Survey to NSERC. A completed copy of this survey should also be given to the Scholarships Liaison Officer in the Graduate Studies Office at your university.

This survey will be used to identify successful projects for promotional purposes and may contribute to the assessment of subsequent applications from the student or the organization. Do not submit a technical report.

Foreign student candidates for IPS

Qualified foreign candidates and their applications must meet all the other requirements of the program.

NSERC may choose to limit the number of foreign students participating in the program. NSERC will notify universities of any such restrictions.

Foreign award holders will be subject to the same regulations as other IPS award holders as described in the For Industrial Postgraduate Scholarships (IPS) Holders section of the Award Holder’s Guide.

Visa implications

IPS awards are scholarships, not employment; therefore, foreign students are not required to obtain a work permit in order to collaborate with sponsoring organizations through an IPS.

Eligible organization locations for foreign IPS holders

Foreign students must work with organizations that have offices or other facilities in Canada. As well, they must remain in Canada while spending the required 20 percent time at the sponsoring organization.

Extra documentation needed in IPS applications for foreign students

As for all NSERC’s scholarships, applications to the IPS Program for foreign students must include certified translations of transcripts that were not issued in either English or French. Universities must also document their assessment of the foreign qualifications on which the student’s admission to the program of graduate studies was based.