The Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS) is Canada’s national association providing leadership, fostering community, and promoting collaboration to advance excellence in graduate education, research, and scholarship. Our members consist of 60 Canadian universities and research institutes with graduate degree programs, the three federal research granting agencies (NSERC; SSHRC; CIHR), and other stakeholders with an interest in graduate studies. Our vision is to support the formation of individuals who, through scholarship, research, innovation, and practice contribute to the flourishing of societies in Canada and around the world.

CAGS stands firmly behind the open letter published on 10 May 2022 to Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Champaign in support of increased funding for NSERC graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. As the national association for the advancement of graduate studies in Canada, CAGS believes that increases to trainee funding are desperately needed across all three federal research granting agencies, including NSERC, SSHRC, and CIHR.

The future of this country will be marked by a number of significant and unprecedented challenges, including climate change, demographic shifts, income inequality, and the changing nature of work, transportation, and communication. CAGS believes that high quality, affordable, and accessible graduate education will continue to play an essential role in better understanding and tackling complex problems facing society. As we enter into this new, post-normal moment in our history, it is absolutely critical that graduate students and postdoctoral fellows – the bright, talented, and innovative researchers and leaders of the future – are well-supported and equipped.

For these reasons CAGS fully supports the calls made in the open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Champaign to:

  1. Increase the level of support provided to NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship Masters (CGS-M) recipients, and the NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship Doctoral (PGS-D) recipients;
  2. Increase the number and level of funding for NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowships (PDF);
  3. Establish annual increases to scholarships to keep pace with inflation.

The Executive Committee of the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies