Tri-Agency Funding

The 'Tri-Agency' refers to three federal government research funding agencies: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). The Tri-Agency is responsible for managing public funds to enable and support Canadian research. Despite being a core component of the Canadian funding landscape, award amount have been stagnant for nearly 20 years and have not kept pace with inflation. Currently, master's students receive $17,500/yr (CGS-M) and P.hD. students receive $21,000/yr (PGS-D). Postdoctoral fellows, who have completed their doctoral degree, receive $45,000/yr (PDF).


These low wages keep individuals in precarious financial positions and can prevent people from pursuing graduate degrees or continuing in research. Canada notes the strength in a diverse, highly-skilled labour force, yet pay levels exclude individuals who cannot persist in low-paying positions.


Graduate student (CGS-M & PGS-D) and postdoctoral funding (PDF) award amounts have not kept pace with inflation (dashed lines). Data available here.


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