Read the grant description in the Program Guide for Professors before you complete the application.
The applicant must complete the application and include all required documentation using the On-line System. In addition, the Personal Data Form (Form 100) must be completed by applicants and co-applicants and linked to the application form.
You are responsible for submitting a complete application that conforms to the presentation standards established by NSERC. Incomplete applications and applications that do not meet the presentation standards may be rejected, or be at a disadvantage, in comparison with those that are complete and respect the presentation standards. Where page limits are stated, pages in excess of the number permitted will be removed.
For more information, read the NSERC On-line Presentation and Attachment Standards.
Your application must be received at your institution’s research grants office by their internal deadline date; contact your research grants office for those deadlines.
For programs with deadlines, the application must be received at NSERC by 8:00 p.m. (Eastern time) on the deadline date. If it is not received by the deadline, it will be considered late and will be rejected. Application deadlines are indicated in each of the program descriptions, as well as on the Application Deadlines and Notification of Decision page.
Material or updates received under separate cover (before or after the deadline date) will not be accepted.
The collection, use and disclosure of personal information provided to NSERC are outlined in the following policy statements:
The information you provide in your application is collected under the authority of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Act. NSERC is subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act (ATIP). The information you provide is stored in a series of NSERC data banks described in Info Source.
See the instructions for completing Form 183A.
It is very important that the letters from the supporting organizations address the points outlined in the instructions for Form 183A.
Title of proposal
The title will be transferred from the letter of intent.
Time devoted to proposed research/activity
Enter the time devoted by the applicant (in hours per month) to the proposed research/activity.
The target area and research topic will be transferred from the letter of intent. Use the Proposal section to explain why the research you propose is strategic and how it addresses the research topic. If the research you propose falls outside the priority research topics listed (“Exceptional Opportunity Outside the Research Topics”), provide an explanation in the Proposal section.
Research subject codes
Consult the NSERC Code Tables. All applicants are required to select a primary research code.
Area of application codes
Consult the NSERC Code Tables. All applicants are required to select a primary area of application code from the list of Area of Application Codes.
Provide a maximum of 10 key words that describe the proposal.
Before completing this page, consult the Policies and Guidelines of the Program Guide for Professors concerning the requirements for certain types of research.
Research involving humans: If you select Yes, you must provide your institution's administration with the appropriate certification indicating that research involving humans has been reviewed and has received the required approval.
Research involving human pluripotent stem cells: If you select Yes, or if through peer review the application is found to fall into this category and is recommended for funding, it will be forwarded, with your consent, to the Stem Cell Oversight Committee (SCOC) to ensure compliance with Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Research: Guidelines for CIHR-Funded Research. The SCOC review is in addition to the normal review by local Research Ethics Boards (REBs). Funding will not be released until approval has been obtained from the SCOC.
Research involving the use of animals: If you select Yes, you must provide your institution's administration with the certification from the animal care committee at the institution that the experimental procedures proposed have been approved and that the care and treatment of animals is in accordance with the principles outlined in the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) guide.
Research involving hazardous substances: If you select Yes, you must provide your institution's administration with the certification from the biosafety committee at the institution that the laboratory procedures being used comply with the safety precautions necessary for the level of containment required by the research.
Environmental impact: The Environmental Information Form (Appendix A) may be required. For more information, consult NSERC’s Guidelines on Environmental Review and Assessment.
For group applications, list each co-applicant's name, personal identification number (if known), organization name, as well as the time (in hours per month) each co-applicant will devote to the proposed research/activity or the use of equipment or facility.
Co-applicants, except those from the applicant's university, must obtain the signature of an authorized officer of their organization agreeing to their participation.
By submitting this form, the applicant certifies that the individuals listed as co-applicants have been informed of the precise uses and disclosures of their personal information by NSERC (see Use and Disclosure of Personal Information Provided to NSERC) and have authorized the release of the information by the applicant.
Co-applicants, except those from the applicant’s institution, must advise the authorized officer of their organization that the applicant, or the applicant’s institution, will be seeking their signature prior to submitting the application to NSERC, agreeing to their participation.
A collaborator is a member of the research team that is applying for a group grant. The collaborator will not have access to the grant funds and must be qualified to undertake research independently. Collaborators are expected to contribute to the overall intellectual direction of the research project or program of research and to bring their own resources to the collaboration. Examples of collaborators are: government scientists, academic researchers, company staff members or research scientists.
Enter information about each co-applicant organization's signing officer (other than the applicant’s organization). For supporting organizations such as an industrial partner or a government department, enter information about the authorized representative(s).
The applicant must ensure that the co-applicants from other institutions obtain the appropriate signature from the authorized officer of their organization prior to submitting the application to NSERC (see Signatures requirements within this document).
The summary is intended to explain the proposal in language that the public can understand.
Using simple terms, briefly describe the nature of the work to be done. Indicate why and to whom the research is important, the anticipated outcomes and how your field and Canada will benefit.
This plain language summary will be available to the public if your proposal is funded.
If you wish, you may also provide a summary in the other official language in the text box identified for that purpose.
List the activities/steps required to achieve the objectives for each year of the grant.
Indicate the start and end dates for the activities leading to the milestones, as well as the major results expected.
Use the guidelines outlined in the NSERC On-line Presentation and Attachment Standards to provide the requested information in a document to be attached to the application.
Using the mandatory headings and associated numbering below, and in a maximum of 65 single-sided pages (including the executive summary but not including the reference pages or acronym list), describe your proposal. A table of contents (which is not included in the page count) should also be included. Category B applications may have up to an additional five pages (total of 70) to briefly describe previous network activities at the beginning of the proposal. These additional five pages cannot be used for other sections of the proposal. Refer to the Selection Criteria section in the Strategic Partnership Grants for Networks description for a list of criteria that will be considered by reviewers when evaluating your application.
Before completing this page, read the instructions and consult the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide for information about the eligibility of expenditures for the direct costs of research and the regulations governing the use of grant funds.
Provide a Proposed Expenditures page for:
When you are filling out your application on-line, the Proposed Expenditures page "Sum Total" for the entire project will be calculated and printed automatically.
Use the Budget Justification section to explain and justify each budget item.
Provide a detailed explanation and justification for each budget item identified in the Proposed Expenditures section by individual project and component (international, administration, knowledge translation/technology transfer). Provide sufficient information to allow reviewers to assess whether the resources requested are appropriate. Use additional page(s) to explain and justify each budget item.
Salaries and benefits
Give the names (if known), categories of employment and proposed salaries including non-discretionary benefits of students, postdoctoral fellows, assistants, network manager, etc. Briefly describe the responsibilities for each position for which support is requested. Ensure that particular justification is made for each position.
Equipment or facility
Give a breakdown of the items requested. Provide details on models, manufacturers, prices and applicable taxes. Justify the need for each item requested.
List purchase or rental fees, operation and maintenance costs, and user fees.
Fees to be paid for the use of equipment or a facility should be described (e.g., hours and rate).
If more than 10% of the NSERC budget request (i.e. more than $550,000) is being used for equipment, prior discussion with NSERC staff is required.
Materials and supplies
Provide details and explain major items.
Explain briefly how each activity relates to the proposed research. All international travel for the network researchers and students must be included in the international budget page and discussed in a separate section.
Justify funds for user workshops and the expected participation of industry and/or government.
List all items not relevant to previous categories, and provide a brief explanation for major items.
Include expenses associated with operating the administrative centre for the network, including costs for network meetings, annual meetings, communications, and knowledge/technology transfer.
Use this page to report the cash and in-kind contributions committed by the supporting organization(s) to the Network. Refer to the Networks description for an outline of the application categories and for the associated cash requirements from supporting organizations for Category B applications.
Before completing this page, read the instructions and consult the Use of Grant Funds page of the NSERC Program Guide for Professors concerning the eligibility of expenditures for the direct costs of research and the regulations governing the use of grant funds, and Guidelines on Eligibility and Value of In-Kind Contributions.
Provide the information for each supporting organization.
List the resources the supporting organization will provide to support the proposed activities including:
Use the Contributions from Supporting Organizations (Attachment) page to provide an explanation of the cash and eligible in-kind contributions.
Provide an explanation of the cash and eligible in-kind contributions; use an additional page if necessary. Include a summary table with a full list of the Network partners.
Form 183A and letter of support (and attachments, as required)
A completed Form 183A, a letter of support detailing how the proposed network results will benefit their organization and the amount of cash or in-kind they will contribute to aid network activities and any other required documents must be attached for each organization participating in the Network. Either the applicant or the supporting organization must complete all applicable pages of the form and provide the required documents.
The letter of support from the organization must include:
For Category B networks, the letter of support must also discuss:
Quotations are no longer required. The Quotations page on the On-line System does not need to be completed or submitted.
Use additional pages to provide the following information on all major research projects (over $100,000 annually) that are complementary or overlap with the proposed Network.
You must provide a letter from the host university President or Vice-President of Research supporting your Network. The letter should outline the support from the host university for the proposed Network in terms of resources to be contributed to the Network, and state the importance of the Network to the host university.
In accordance with the Strategic Partnership Grants for Networks philosophy, it is proposed that all network partners have unrestricted, non-exclusive access to all intellectual property generated by the network. It is recognized that intellectual property management may differ between sectors and require a different approach to that proposed. Please be aware that all IP agreements must adhere to NSERC’s Policy on Intellectual Property.
Discuss plans for the protection and disposition of intellectual property arising from the grant. Outline the broad terms of the agreement between supporting organizations and academic institutions on the rights to exploit the technology being transferred (see Policy on Intellectual Property in the Program Guide for Professors).
If available, include a copy of the research or intellectual property agreement that exists between the academic institution and any supporting organizations (see Policy on Intellectual Property in the Program Guide for Professors).
The cover letter is optional and should only be used if you wish to provide NSERC with additional information that will not be shared with external reviewers, such as a request that an individual or group of individuals not be involved in the review of your proposal. NSERC will take such a request into consideration. The cover letter must contain your name, the NSERC grant to which you are applying and the title of your application.
Note: This letter may be accessible to these individuals under the Privacy Act.
This letter should include details of how the parties would work together and benefit both countries. Details regarding training and networking should be included. Give a brief description of each letter and submit it as an attached file and upload under “Other Documents”.
If you need to provide other documents, such as a collaborator's curriculum vitae (C.V.), give a brief description of the document and submit it as an attached file.
An Environmental Information Form (Appendix A) must be completed and uploaded to the Environmental Impact page if required.
Applicants and their partner(s) are invited to suggest the names of at least 20 Canadian or international people (with a balance from academia, industry and government) who are competent to assess the technical aspects of their proposal.
Give the name, complete mailing address, telephone and facsimile numbers, e-mail address and the area(s) of expertise of potential external reviewers (referees).
External reviewers (referees) should be able to review the proposal in the language in which it is written.
You may also request, in a cover letter, that some individuals or companies not be involved in the review of your application. Your request will be taken into account by NSERC.
Suggested external reviewers (referees) should not be in a conflict of interest. Refer to the Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policy of the Federal Research Funding Organizations for more information. In addition, reviewers must sign the Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Agreement for Review Committee Members, External Reviewers, and Observers before they access the application material.
NSERC does not require original signatures on applications or other documents submitted electronically through its On-line System. The electronic submission of applications through this system represents approval and replaces the traditional "physical" or "wet" signatures. Refer to the Frequently Asked Questions in the Program Guide for Professors for more details.
Before you, as an applicant or co-applicant, can submit your application to NSERC or link your Personal Data Form to an application, you must read and agree to the Terms and Conditions of Applying that appear in a pop-up window during the submission process. It is your responsibility to retain a copy of the agreed Terms and Conditions for your records.
If you are both the applicant or co-applicant and a principal of a collaborating organization, another senior official must sign on behalf of the organization.
Use the following list to make sure your application is complete.