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Frequently Asked Questions on Institutional Eligibility

General Process, Requirements or Submission

  1. What types of institutions may apply for NSERC’s eligibility?
  2. Does an institution have to complete a form when requesting eligibility to administer NSERC programs?
  3. What requirements must an institution meet to be granted eligibility?
  4. Is there a deadline to request institutional eligibility?
  5. Who should I contact at NSERC for further information about preparing an eligibility request?
  6. Can an institution apply for funding if it has not met all the eligibility requirements?
  7. Are faculty members automatically eligible to apply to NSERC’s programs once the institution is recognized as eligible?
  8. How long will it take NSERC to determine an institution’s eligibility?
  9. If a college is interested in applying to the College and Community Innovation Program (CCI Program) in areas other than the natural sciences and engineering, does it need to be eligible at NSERC?
  10. 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?
  11. If an institution has signed the Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions (the Agreement), is it automatically eligible to the three granting agencies?
  12. How can the eligibility request documentation be submitted?

Policies

  1. If an institution does not conduct research involving humans, does it need a policy on that matter?
  2. Does NSERC require a copy of the institution’s policies?

Management of Grants and Awards

  1. Who should I contact at NSERC for further information about the financial documentation required?

General Process, Requirements or Submission

1. What type of institutions may apply for NSERC’s eligibility?

An institution applying for NSERC’s eligibility must be a Canadian university or college that grants degrees and/or diplomas in the natural sciences and engineering fields. For universities, the degrees granted must generally be accepted by other Canadian universities for direct admission into their own postgraduate degree programs, without the necessity of a period of qualifying study.

An institution that is federated with, or affiliated to, or a constituent portion of another institution that is already eligible to authorize grant applications will not normally be accorded its own independent authority.

2. 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 letter signed by its president/principal or delegate, with the supporting documentation. Consult the This link will take you to another Web site Institutional Eligibility Requirements for the Administration of Grants and Awards before submitting an eligibility request to NSERC.

3. What requirements must an institution meet to be granted eligibility?

To be recognized as eligible, an institution must meet all the This link will take you to another Web site Institutional Eligibility Requirements for the Administration of Grants and Awards, sign the This link will take you to another Web site Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions (the Agreement) and return it to NSERC. Funding to an institution will not be released until NSERC receives the signed Agreement.

4. Is there a deadline to request institutional eligibility?

No. An institution can submit an eligibility request at any time. However, the institution must be eligible before submitting an application to a specific funding opportunity. Consult the following Web pages for a list of NSERC’s programs and their application deadlines:

5. Who should I contact at NSERC for further information about preparing an eligibility request?

Consult the This link will take you to another Web site Contacts section of the Institutional Eligibility Requirements for the Administration of Grants and Awards and note each person’s area of responsibility. The telephone numbers and email addresses are provided.

6. Can an institution apply for funding if it has not met all the eligibility requirements?

No. NSERC will not accept applications to any funding opportunity from an institution that has not been formally declared eligible.

7. Are faculty members automatically eligible to apply to NSERC’s 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.

8. How long will it take NSERC to determine an institution’s eligibility?

The review can take as little as one month if the institution has submitted all the required documentation at the outset. The review process is lengthened when submissions are incomplete. For information on eligibility requirements and contact information, consult the This link will take you to another Web site Institutional Eligibility Requirements for the Administration of Grants and Awards.

9. If a college is interested in applying to the College and Community Innovation Program (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 of Canada or the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, 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.

10. 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 of Canada (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.

11. If an institution has signed the This link will take you to another Web site Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions, is it automatically eligible to the three granting agencies?

No. An institution must request eligibility to the three granting agencies separately to be eligible to more than one agency. However, joint reviews may be conducted. Contact one of the agencies to discuss the course of action and documents required. Consult the This link will take you to another Web site Contacts section of the Institutional Eligibility Requirements for the Administration of Grants and Awards. The telephone numbers and email addresses are provided.

12. How can the eligibility request documentation be submitted?

The documentation must be numbered and assembled in the order indicated in the This link will take you to another Web site Institutional Eligibility Requirements for the Administration of Grants and Awards and be submitted by email.

Policies

13. If an institution does not conduct research involving humans, does it need a policy on that matter?

Yes. An institution that does not conduct research involving humans needs a policy on that matter. However, it has up to one year from the date of signing the This link will take you to another Web site Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions to put in place a policy or a formal written agreement with another eligible institution that adheres to the This link will take you to another Web site Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans. Consult the This link will take you to another Web site Institutional Eligibility Requirements for the Administration of Grants and Awards.

14. Does NSERC require a copy of policies?

No. NSERC only requires statements attesting that the institution has approved policies that follow its requirements.

Management of Grants and Awards

15. Who should I contact at NSERC for further information about the financial documentation required?

Consult the This link will take you to another Web site Contacts section of the Institutional Eligibility Requirements for the Administration of Grants and Awards and note each person’s area of responsibility. The telephone numbers and email addresses are provided.

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