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

Common menu bar links

Contact Newsletter

February 2013 - Volume 37 No. 1

PDF Version
[504 KB]

In this issue



Exploring Big Data: Two new calls under Discovery Frontiers

Earlier this month, NSERC launched two new calls for proposals under its Discovery Frontiers (DF) Program. Both linked to the theme of "exploring big data", these calls offer teams of multi-disciplinary researchers an opportunity to help push Canada to the forefront of research that will focus on the development of tools and techniques to better understand big data leveraged by a wide range of disciplines.

To learn more about these calls, please review our program news item.


Upcoming NSERC deadlines



Preferred Option for the Future of the Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) Grants Program

As you know, NSERC recently conducted extensive consultations with the research community on the future of the Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) Grants Program, given its reduced funding envelope. Feedback received through these consultations highlighted a preference for Option 2 - a smaller scale competition where universities will be provided with a quota of applications that they can submit to national competitions conducted by NSERC. These quotas to universities will be based on the number of NSERC funded researchers in the natural sciences and engineering supported at each institution, with a minimum quota of two applications.

We again thank the community for its help and feedback as we move to implement a new future for the RTI Grants Program. The program description and instructions on our Web site will be updated with further details in the coming months. In the meantime, for more information on the next RTI Grants competition, please contact us via connect@nserc-crsng.gc.ca or review the program news item.

Discovery Grants Five-Year Review

NSERC has begun to conduct an evaluation of the Discovery Grant Program. Part of NSERC's regular program evaluation cycle, this review will assess the extent to which the program is achieving its intended outcomes in light of the changes to the peer review process introduced in 2009 and 2010. The evaluation will use multiple lines of evidence and entail a review of the results by an international panel of experts.

A key element of this evaluation is a survey of researchers currently receiving Discovery Grant funding or who have applied for a Discovery Grant since competition year 2009.

Launch of the Long Range Plan for Mathematical and Statistical Sciences Research in Canada

In 2010, NSERC requested the Canadian mathematical and statistical sciences communities undertake a comprehensive long range planning exercise, with the aim of establishing a unified vision of priorities and directions for the development of research in the mathematical and statistical sciences in Canada. A Long Range Plan Steering Committee of leading mathematical and statistical scientists, chaired by Dr. Nancy Reid, was established to guide the process.

The plan follows more than two years of work and extensive consultations, and reflects the dynamism, strength and diversity of aspirations of the different segments of the mathematical and statistical sciences research communities in Canada. One of the key recommendations in the plan is the establishment of a Long Range Plan Implementation Committee. NSERC welcomes this recommendation and will soon be inviting the mathematical and statistical sciences research communities to propose potential members for this initiative.

Solutions for a Complex Age: Long Range Plan for Mathematical and Statistical Sciences Research in Canada 2013–2018 was released on December 8, 2012, at the Winter Meeting of the Canadian Mathematical Society. The plan sets out a vision for global excellence in research, building on three pillars: People, Research and Discovery, Innovation and Connections.

Launch of the Collaborative and Thematic Resources Support in Mathematics and Statistics (CTRMS) Program

NSERC recently launched a new opportunity in support of thematic institutes in mathematics and statistics. The newly established Collaborative and Thematic Resources Support in Mathematics and Statistics (CTRMS) Program reflects recommendations made in the This link will take you to another Web site Long Range Plan for Mathematical and Statistical Sciences Research in Canada, which was developed by a committee of leading researchers from the mathematics and statistics research communities.

For more information about this funding opportunity, please refer to the program description.

Brazil and CREATE

NSERC recently established an agreement with the Research Foundation for the State of São Paulo, la Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) Brazil. Researchers in the State of São Paulo will be able to access funding from FAPESP to collaborate with existing or potential Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) Program grantees in Canada.

This new opportunity will benefit both existing or potential CREATE Program grantees, allowing them to leverage the resources of counterparts in the State of São Paulo to develop international joint training activities.

For more information, please review the detailed instructions.

Renewal of the NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering - Quebec Region

The Chair for Women in Science and Engineering for the Quebec Region, held by Dr. Nadia Ghazzali, has recently been renewed. The Chair’s second term will be held at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières where Dr. Ghazzali holds the position of University President as well as professor in the Département de mathématiques et d’informatique.

The goal of the Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering Program is to increase the participation of women in science and engineering and to provide role models for women considering careers in these fields. The program offers one Chair for each of the Atlantic, Québec, Ontario, Prairie, and British Columbia and Yukon regions.

For more information, please refer to the program description.

March 7 Update: Update on NSERC's Research Portal and the Canadian Common CV

NSERC will launch its Research Portal and begin using the Canadian Common CV (CCV) in spring 2013. The Research Portal will be used to manage application and peer review processes, acceptance of awards, notification of results and reporting.

The transition to the Research Portal and the CCV will be phased in gradually (i.e., program by program) starting with the Notification of Intent for Discovery Grants (Individual and Team) and all the program elements for the Subatomic Physics Grants suite, followed by Collaborative Research and Development Grants. Details and dates will be communicated as we get closer to launching the Research Portal.

The NSERC CCV will be available in spring 2013. We strongly encourage the research community to start entering their data once the template is available as it can be time consuming to populate the fields the first time. Once data is entered, only updating is required, and it can be re-used for future applications to NSERC and/or other participating organizations. For these reasons, the CCV will lighten the load on the research community in the long run. For more information, including timelines and frequently asked questions on the CCV, please visit the Research Portal.

All other funding opportunities will continue to use the current on-line system and the NSERC Personal Data Form (Form 100) until they are migrated to the Research Portal. All NSERC programs are expected to be integrated by late 2015. In the meantime, applicants to multiple programs will need to maintain and update both their NSERC Personal Data Form (Form 100) and NSERC CCV, given the gradual migration of programs to the Research Portal.

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), with whom NSERC shares all of its administrative services, including Information Technology services, recently completed its first competition using the Research Portal and the CCV with Insight Development Grants.

April 24 Update: NSERC Common CV Template Now Available

In preparation for the launch of the Research Portal in early May 2013, NSERC is gradually phasing in the new This link will take you to another Web site Canadian Common CV (CCV) to replace the Personal Data Form (Form 100), starting with:

  • The Notification of Intent for Discovery Grants (Individual and Team);
  • The full application for Discovery Grants; and
  • All the program elements for the Subatomic Physics Grants suite.

The This link will take you to another Web site NSERC CCV template is now available and applies only to these programs for the time being. Instructions for completing the NSERC CCV are also on-line.

Benefits

We are confident that together, the Research Portal and the CCV will improve the application and peer review processes, and provide students, researchers and partners a better way to manage their interactions with NSERC.

  • The CCV will lighten the load on the research community in the long term. Once data is entered, only updating is required, and it can be re-used for future applications to NSERC and/or other participating organizations, including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Canada Foundation for Innovation.
  • Over the past year, NSERC has been working with the Canadian Association of University Research Administrators (CAURA) and a panel of prospective users from the research community to adapt the CCV to the needs of NSERC stakeholders, which has resulted in a simplified template and reduced number of mandatory fields.

We encourage the research community, particularly those who plan on applying to the programs listed above, to start entering their data into the NSERC CCV now as it can be time consuming to populate the fields the first time.

Other NSERC Programs

  • Other funding opportunities will continue to use the current On-line System and Form 100 until they are migrated to the Research Portal.
  • Applicants will be notified in advance of the dates when others will migrate; all NSERC funding opportunities are expected to be integrated by late 2015.
  • In the meantime, applicants to multiple NSERC programs will need to maintain and update both their Form 100 and NSERC CCV given the gradual implementation.

Support

For support with the NSERC CCV, please contact the On-line Services Helpdesk by e-mail at webapp@nserc-crsng.gc.ca or by telephone at 613-995-4273.

Your Feedback

The CCV is continuously improving based on feedback received from the research community. The next release of the CCV, with enhancements to search functionality and reference table data requirements, will be available in the coming weeks. The release will not impact information already entered in the system, including the NSERC CCV. Details will be communicated in a separate message.

We are committed to providing quality service and thank you for your collaboration as we work to modernize our systems. For more information, including frequently asked questions, visit the Resource Centre.

Stay tuned for further updates on the launch of NSERC’s Research Portal.


People Discovery Innovation