1. I am collaborating with a researcher at a foreign institution. Are there NSERC funds available to host a visiting researcher at my university?
There is no NSERC program to support the hosting of a visiting researcher. However, this activity is an eligible grant expense under many regular NSERC programs. Stipends may be paid to visiting researchers not eligible for NSERC funding for up to 125 days per year and to a maximum of $2,000 per month, not including travel and subsistence costs. Travel and subsistence costs (meals and accommodation) for visiting researchers are eligible grant expenses and can include reasonable out-of-pocket expenses for fieldwork, research conferences and collaborative trips. For more information, please refer to NSERC guidelines on the use of grants funds.
2. Is there funding available for international exchange or collaboration purposes through the bilateral agreements between NSERC and other countries?
Bilateral agreements are primarily a tool to facilitate the flow of information between each country’s scientific communities. Granting agencies in partner countries may have funding available to encourage exchange and collaboration between their nationals and Canadians. Canadians interested in exploring funding opportunities offered by foreign granting agencies are invited to visit their Web sites.
NSERC currently has bilateral agreements with counterparts in Chile, China, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. More details
3. I am interested in recruiting international students or postdoctoral fellows into my research group. Are there NSERC programs to assist with this?
Support to recruit international students and postdoctoral fellows is available through various NSERC programs. For more information, please review the International Opportunities section that is addressed to foreign students and fellows.
4. Can I use my Discovery Grant for international exchange and collaboration activities?
NSERC is committed to supporting international collaborations. These collaborations can take the form of cooperation with peers at foreign organizations or involve participation in multinational research teams or other collaborative programs with long-term research horizons.
NSERC Discovery Grant funds can be used to collaborate with colleagues abroad in a variety of ways—from fieldwork and research conferences to collaborative trips and stipends for students and visiting researchers. Reasonable out-of-pocket travel and subsistence expenses may also be paid for an NSERC grantholder and his/her research personnel, or for students and colleagues working with the grantholder for visits (international or national) and for visiting researchers. More details
5. I am not a Discovery Grant holder. Can I engage in international collaboration through other NSERC programs?
NSERC programs support researchers engaging in a broad spectrum of international activities. The nature of the collaboration and the use of funds are entirely at the discretion of individual researchers, as long as they are in line with the program’s objectives and within NSERC guidelines on the use of grant funds.
6. Aside from NSERC, are there other programs and resources available to support collaboration with European Union countries?
Funded jointly by the European Commission and Canadian federal partners, ERA-Can is a collaborative, international initiative to increase science and technology cooperation between Canada and the European Research Area (ERA). ERA-Can offers information and services through a one-stop-shop Web site. It also offers workshops to raise awareness and promote exchanges between Canadians and researchers in the ERA. For more information, please visit the ERA-Can Web site.
The Seventh Framework Program for research and technological development (FP7) is the European Union's main instrument for funding research in Europe and covers the years 2007–2013. Canadians interested in investigating collaboration opportunities with EU researchers are invited to visit the FP7 Web site.
7. Aside from NSERC, are there other programs and resources available to Canadian researchers interested in collaborating with foreign scientists?
8. Are there programs to support the participation of teams of Canadian researchers in large multinational research projects or international scientific initiatives?
A number of programs support the participation of Canadians in international leading-edge initiatives. They are the Major Resources Support Grants, the Strategic Network Grants and the Networks of Centres of Excellence International Partnership Initiative
9. Does NSERC target specific areas of research when supporting international exchange and collaboration?
NSERC programs may target specific areas of research to respond to emerging needs and government priorities, to seize scientific opportunities for Canada or as a result of agreements with other research funding organizations. The following programs target specific areas of research:
1. As a professor/researcher at a foreign institution, am I eligible to apply for an NSERC grant?
To be eligible as an applicant or co-applicant, and to have access to the grant funds, you must hold, or have a firm offer of, an academic appointment at an eligible Canadian university. For more information, please view the eligibility criteria to NSERC funding.
2. Does NSERC provide research funding to non-Canadians?
NSERC will provide research funding to researchers who are not Canadian citizens, provided that they hold, or have a firm offer, for an academic appointment at an eligible Canadian university. If they live abroad or hold a position of any kind outside of Canada, they must spend a minimum of six months per year at an eligible Canadian institution.
Research scientists based in another country are not eligible to hold NSERC grants; however, they can be members of a research team that is applying for a group grant, as collaborators. As such, they must be qualified to undertake research independently and will be expected to contribute to the overall intellectual direction of the research project or program of research and bring their own resources to the collaboration.
3. I am interested in seeking employment at a Canadian university. Are there any programs to help Canadian universities recruit foreign researchers?
Foreign researchers interested in considering a research career in Canada can be candidates to hold a Canada Excellence Research Chair or a Canada Research Chair. These programs aim to attract and retain, in Canada, some of the world’s most accomplished or promising researchers. For more information, please explore the following links:
4. I am interested in collaborating with Canadians. How do I go about it?
Successful collaboration between researchers is often based on personal contact and a clear understanding of each other’s research objectives. Scientific conferences and workshops provide an ideal setting to establish new contacts with Canadian researchers and to explore potential collaboration.
5. How can I identify potential Canadian collaborators in my field?
The following searchable databases can help foreign researchers identify potential collaborators in Canada.
6. Can professors at Canadian universities use their NSERC funds to collaborate with foreign researchers?
Canadian researchers are allowed to use part of their funds to cover the costs of their international exchange and collaboration activities. These may include the costs incurred to attend international conferences, workshops and planning sessions to develop research projects. They can also use part of their funds to cover some of the costs associated with their participation in international research initiatives or to host visiting foreign researchers and foreign students in Canada.