Does an institution have to complete a form when requesting eligibility to administer NSERC programs?
No, there is no specific request form. The institution must send a written request signed by the institution’s president/principal or delegate, with all the documentation required to support the submission. Consult the Institutional Eligibility Requirements before submitting an institutional eligibility request to NSERC.
What requirements must an institution meet when requesting eligibility?
To be recognized as eligible, an institution must meet eight requirements and submit all the supporting documentation. Refer to the Institutional Eligibility Requirements for details; note that the first three requirements apply slightly differently to universities than they do to colleges.Once the requirements are met, the institution must sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Roles and Responsibilities in the Management of Federal Grants and Awards and return one copy to NSERC. Funding to an institution will not be released before NSERC receives a signed MOU.
Is there a deadline to request institutional eligibility?
No. An institution can submit a request at any time. However, before submitting applications, an institution must be eligible before the program’s application deadline. Consult the following documents for a list of all the programs and their application deadlines:
Is there a specific person to call at NSERC for further information about preparing an eligibility request?
Yes. See the names listed in the Contacts section of the Institutional Eligibility Requirements and note each person’s area of responsibility. The phone numbers and e-mail addresses are provided.
Can an institution that has not met all the requirements at the time of application be recognized as conditionally eligible?
No. NSERC will not accept applications from an institution that has not been formally declared eligible.
Are faculty members automatically eligible to apply to NSERC programs once the institution is recognized as eligible?
No, faculty members must meet additional criteria regarding their academic position at the time of application and during tenure of the award. Consult the Eligibility Criteria – For Faculty page.
How long will it take NSERC to determine an institution’s eligibility?
The review can take as little as three months if the institution has submitted all the required documentation at the outset and has clearly demonstrated its full compliance with NSERC’s policies on research. The review process is lengthened when submissions are incomplete. For information on eligibility requirements and contact information, see NSERC’s Institutional Eligibility Requirements.
If a college is interested in applying to the College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program in areas other than the natural sciences and engineering, does it need to be eligible at NSERC?
No. Colleges that are already eligible at the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) or the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), but not at NSERC, may participate in the CCI Program as long as the research area proposed falls within the social sciences and humanities and/or health sciences.
If a college is eligible at NSERC only, can it apply to the College and Community Innovation Program in areas other than the natural sciences and engineering?
Yes. Colleges that are eligible at NSERC only and propose research area(s) within the social sciences and humanities and/or health sciences may submit Letters of Intent or proposals in those areas. However, eligibility from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) or the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) will be required for payment of the grant. In order to prevent a delay in the release of the grant, the eligibility requirements of SSHRC or CIHR, if applicable, need to be fully met by the time the funding decisions are made. In those instances, colleges would be informed of the additional eligibility requirements.