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1 University of Victoria NSERC Postgraduate Grants Facilitation Tips for NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship Master’s Applications (CGS-M Applications) 7.

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Presentation on theme: "1 University of Victoria NSERC Postgraduate Grants Facilitation Tips for NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship Master’s Applications (CGS-M Applications) 7."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 University of Victoria NSERC Postgraduate Grants Facilitation Tips for NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship Master’s Applications (CGS-M Applications) 7 October 2013 Dr. Brad Buckham UVic NSERC CGS/PGS Grantscrafter

2 (Following the maxim of the 5 W’s and 1 H…) –What is NSERC? What is a CGS/PGS application? –Why should I apply? –Who are the people evaluating my application? –Where can I tenure the award? –How do I craft a successful proposal? –When can I meet with the UVic NSERC Grantscrafter & When do I submit? Overview

3 3 What is NSERC? NSERC – Natural (a.k.a. “National” ) Sciences and Engineering Research Council. NSERC represents 1/3 of the Canadian Tri-council and is the primary granting agency for academics studying in the Natural Sciences & Engineering (NSE). NSERC – for Students: Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS). “…ensure a reliable supply of highly qualified personnel to meet the needs of Canada's knowledge economy…and be the research leaders of tomorrow.”

4 4 What is a CGS-M application? A CGS-M application has 4 distinct components that need to be completed: Application Form: personal data, research title and summary, lay title & summary, field of study, host organization(s). Outline of Proposed Research (“free” form). Canadian Common CV (CCV on-line portal). Transcripts. Reference Assessments. Collectively, these components must address the 5 W’s and 1 H and define your master’s research program (Who, What, When, Where, Why & How).

5 CGS-M 5 Outline of Proposed Research (1 pg. + 1 pg.) Give a detailed description of your proposed research project. State the objectives and hypothesis, and outline the experimental or theoretical approach to be taken. State the significance of the proposed research Research Portal (formwork) Application profile, field of research, start date & host organization, activity details Candidate’s CCV Personal profile, experience, research contributions, special circumstances Referee’s Report (x2) Why is this applicant worth the investment. Can the applicant complete a graduate level research project? What is the value of the research itself? What is a CGS/PGS application? What When Where What How Why Who Why

6 6 1.What: Describe clearly the research challenge in your project. Provide background information to position your research within the context of the field. State the objectives and the hypothesis. 2.How: Describe what you will do. Outline the experimental or theoretical approach to be taken. Ensure the methodology fits within the constraints of the PhD program. 3.Why: State the significance of the proposed research to a field or fields in the natural sciences and engineering. What are the benefits to Canada. How will the research results facilitate further work in the area? Outline of Proposed Research What is a CGS/PGS application?

7 7 You, and possibly the project itself. The members of the selection committee(s) are investing federal $’s. They are evaluating potential returns on that money. A return on that investment is not likely to be realized in the short term. In the span of 3-5 lines, can you show you have the long term vision to be “a research leader of tomorrow?” What are the benefits to Canada? What is a CGS/PGS application? Scope of your CGS-M project Scope at which the “Benefit to Canada” is evident

8 8 Why should I apply? …to be a research leader of tomorrow. NSERC supports: “…high-calibre Canadian graduate students in building global linkages and international networks through the pursuit of exceptional research experiences.” “... the training of teams of highly qualified students that address significant scientific challenges associated to Canada's research priorities.” The CGS application process is an excellent exercise in identifying research goals and career objectives. $17,500 in financial support. 1 page to glory...

9 9 Who are the people evaluating my application? The Faculty of Graduate Studies is responsible for coordinating the selection process for the CGS M applications. UVic has been allotted 18 NSERC CGS-M awards. Faculty of Grad Studies will review each student’s declared “Field of Research” to ensure applications are in the natural sciences and engineering domain. Two stage review (proposed): 1. Faculty/Departmental – nominate up to 18 awards. 2. Campus wide interdisciplinary – select 18 awards.

10 10 Where can I tenure the award? The research portal allows applicants to declare up to 5 potential host institutions. Only those institutions that have >0 CGS-Ms allotted to them are eligible. QuotasBESC_eng.asp You must be enrolled or have applied for admission to the institutions you indicate or, “your application will be removed from the competition for that university.” Make sure you consider how selecting 5 host institutions affects the integrity of your research proposal.

11 11 How can I craft a successful proposal? READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. It is surprising how many people don’t do this, and then get in trouble. “Free” form is not actually free. Far from it. Specific font, paragraph, header/footer formats are required. The “Outline of Proposed Research” is a 1 pg. proposal. The second page is only for references Also make sure that you read and understand the criteria that will be used by the committee to assess the risk associated with investment in you.

12 12 Academic excellence academic record. scholarships and awards held. duration of previous studies. Research potential quality of contributions to research and development. relevance of work experience and academic training to field of proposed research. significance, feasibility, and merit of proposed research. ability to think critically and apply skills and knowledge. Initiative, autonomy and independence. Research experience and achievements relative to expectations of someone with the candidate’s academic experience. How can I craft a successful proposal?

13 13 Personal Characteristics and Interpersonal Skills As demonstrated by the applicant’s past professional and relevant extracurricular interactions: Work experience. Leadership experience. Project management including organizing conferences and meetings. The ability or potential to communicate theoretical, technical and/or scientific concepts clearly and logically in written and oral formats. Involvement in academic life. Volunteerism/community outreach. How can I craft a successful proposal?

14 14 Academic excellence. Transcripts CCV (progression through previous degrees, honours & awards). Research potential. Research Proposal. Referee reports (academic ability). Personal characteristics & interpersonal skills. Research Proposal CCV (past experiences). Referee reports (leadership ability). How? (to show you meet the criteria)

15 15 Selection Criteria CGS M Weight Academic excellence 50% Research potential 30% Personal characteristics 20% interpersonal skills How? (to show you meet the criteria)

16 16 Follow the specifications for free form attachments. PortailDeRecherche/Instructions-Instructions/CGS_M- BESC_M_eng.asp#presentation 1 pg: address the “What”, “How” and “Why” of your research program. 1 pg: references. Celebrate “white space” – Use section headings to separate out sections of the proposal. References – used to support your statement of the research program’s central problem. You are under the microscope – not other researchers already working in your chosen field. How? (to prepare the research proposal)

17 17 Title Opening paragraph. Problem statement, background information and motivation. Objectives. What you are going to do? Methodology. How are you going to reach your objectives? A high level description of numerical & experimental technique and process. The committee understands that plans change. Contributions. Why is the research worth pursuing? What are the benefits to Canada? How will your work contribute to Canada’s “knowledge economy”? How? (to prepare the research proposal)

18 18 Make sure to follow the formatting specified in the Form 201 Instructions. 0.75” (1.9 cm) margins all around. No smaller than a 12pt Times New Roman font. Recommend 6 pt spacing before and after paragraphs. Ensure your name and NSERC PIN (if you have one) are in the header/footer. “Outline of Proposed Research” is NOT a title. Can use the header/footer to identify the attachment. How? (to prepare the research proposal)

19 19 The “CCV” (or “Generic CV”) is new for faculty and students applying to NSERC. Your CCV is a living document that will evolve as you move through your career. It contains a complete list of fields that any funding agency may ask for in a “Funding CV” Each funding agency can apply its own rules for validation, formatting and assembling a “Funding CV”. CCV data entry can be laborious and extremely particular: Combination of drop down lists and text entry. For articles: single field text entry for title, publisher, editor, publisher, pages, home city… How? (to complete the CCV)

20 20 The reference assessment needs to present an accurate and complete picture of your achievements and research potential. The more information a referee has to draw from, the better the case for support she/he can make for you. Draft “Outline of Proposed Research”. 1 pg. Highlight sheet – why should the referee jump at taking you as a CGS-M scholar? Expand on your most proud moments from your CCV. A chart showing your sessional/cumulative GPA progression? d/scholarshipapps/index.php How? (to select/solicit your referees)

21 21 When can I meet with the UVic NSERC Grantscrafter? The Research Portal closes 5:00pm,December 1 st. December 1 st 2013 is a Sunday: “…your application must be submitted by the following working day.” (?) Organize meeting times via . Meet in EOW 531. First review (content, organization, clarity) October 7 – November 1. Second review (fine tuning) November 1-15.

22 22 Final Comments When all is said and done, grants competitions are still going to be unfair on occasion. It is not a perfect world. Please remember that after one rejection, you do not need to despair. When you rewrite the application use the advice you can accept and make sure you have covered off the rest. Applying for grants is actually a professional skill — one skill in an academic’s bag of tricks. Scholars who are good at getting grant money are looked upon with significantly greater favour by university hiring committees than those who are not.

23 23 UVic Graduate Studies Scholarships Officer:Ms. Yvonne Rondeau: (250) , Scholarships Officer:Ms. Kathy McCarthy: (250) , NSERC CGS M program overview: CGS-M application instructions: Instructions/CGS_M-BESC_M_eng.asp#presentation Technicalities


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