Read the relevant College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program grant description before you complete the application.
CCI Grants are institutional grants. The applicant, normally a senior manager in the administration of the college and delegated by the college president to prepare the application and manage the grant, must complete the application and include all required documentation using the On-line System.
The applicant and participants must also complete the College Personal Data Form (a form-fillable PDF document) and attach it to the application using the On-line System.
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 its internal deadline date; contact your research grants office for that deadline.
For programs with deadlines, the application must be received at NSERC by 5:00 p.m. local time (at your location) 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 Deadline Table.
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 is 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. The information you provide is stored in a series of NSERC data banks described in Info Source Publications.
For the IE Grants, one person (also referred to as “applicant”) from a college must be designated to complete Form 103, using NSERC's On-line System, on behalf of the college. The “applicant” refers to the "authorized representative"— an individual delegated by the college president to prepare the application and manage the IE Grant if successful. IE Grants are institutional grants; as such, it is expected that the “applicant” will be a senior manager in the administration of the college.
Note: When submitting an IE Grant application, a senior administrator at the college must approve the application to confirm the college’s wish to submit the application as proposed. The person identified to approve the grant should be a peer or a superior to the applicant, and must be a member of the college’s senior administration. This person must have an account on NSERC’s On-line System, and must submit to NSERC the Registration Form for Authorized Institutional Representatives to be accepted as a proposal approver. Contact NSERC at least one month before the application deadline to verify that the application approver has been properly registered in the NSERC On-line Submission system.
Title of proposal
The title will be used for publication purposes. It should describe the subject of the research to be supported. It should not contain a company or trade name. Spell out scientific symbols and acronyms.
Research subject codes
Consult the NSERC Code Tables. If the applied research focus of the proposal is in the natural sciences or engineering, you are required to select a primary area of research subject code from the list of Area of Research subject codes. You can also select a secondary Area of Research subject code. Otherwise, leave the fields blank.
Area of application codes
Consult the NSERC Code Tables. If the applied research focus of the application is in the natural sciences or engineering, you are required to select a primary Area of Application code from the list of Area of Application Codes. You can also select a secondary Area of Application code. Otherwise, leave the fields blank.
Provide a maximum of 10 key words that describe the proposal.
Provide your primary place of employment, the organization and department names and telephone number.
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.
Since all CCI Program funds are institutional grants, faculty and staff involved with the proposal can be listed as participants. A College and Community Innovation Program Personal Data Form (Form 103CV) from the applicant and key college personnel involved in the project (up to five including the applicant) should be provided.
List each participant’s name, personal identification number (if known), organization name, as well as the time (in hours per month) each participant will devote to the proposed applied research/activity or the use of equipment.
Only the main participants should be listed on the proposal. Participants need to obtain their organization's approval and must provide a Form 103CV to the applicant, which should be submitted as part of the application.
Participants, except those from the applicant's institution, must advise the authorized officer of their organization that NSERC will be seeking their signature through its secure site, agreeing to their participation.
By submitting this form, the applicant certifies that the individuals listed as participants 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.
Enter information about each participant's organization's signing officer (other than the applicant’s organization). For supporting organizations such as a private-sector partner or a government department, enter information about the authorized representative (s).
The CV for the applicant and participants is made up of two sections and a consent form. Part I collects specific information on the person using Form 103CV. Part II is free-form text, limited to five pages and used to list contributions such as the person’s relevant experience and contributions to applied research and innovation. See the instructions for completing a Form 103CV.
When completed, the applicant’s and participants’ CV, together with a signed copy of the Consent to Disclosure of Personal Information Form, must be saved into one PDF document and attached to the application.
In the space provided, briefly describe the nature of the proposal, the context in which it is made, its objectives, the planned activities, and the anticipated results and benefits to local or regional innovation in plain language that the public can understand. Your summary must not exceed 21 lines on the printed copy. To ensure that your text will fit in the limited space, save your information, select Preview, and then adjust accordingly. If you wish, you may also provide a summary in the second official language in the text box identified for that purpose.
Use the guidelines outlined in the NSERC On-line Presentation and Attachment Standardssection to provide the requested information in a document to be attached to the application. Using the headings below and in a maximum of five single-sided pages for the Entry-Level IE Grant or 15 single-sided pages for the Build and Extend IE Grants, describe your proposal (not including literature references). You may also use one additional page for literature references. Refer to the Selection Criteria section for the IE Grants description for a list of criteria that will be considered by reviewers when evaluating your application.
Refer to the IE selection criteria in the program description for guidance in preparing your Entry-Level IE Grant application.
For the Build or Extend IE Grant
First, please describe the overall context of the proposal as follows:
Following this section, your application should be divided into three sections, using the selection criteria as headings as follows.
Excellence of the proposal
You should briefly describe:
* At the full application stage, applied research projects must be defined at least for the first two years. They can change during the course of the grant and will be monitored on an ongoing basis through progress reports to be submitted to NSERC. Any changes or new applied research projects would have to be reported in progress reports.
Potential to contribute to local or regional innovation
You should briefly describe:
Need for, and use of, resources
You should briefly describe:
Before completing this section, read the instructions and grant description, and consult the College and Community Innovation Program 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.
Use the Budget Justification section to explain and justify each budget item.
Note: If you are applying to the NSERC/Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) joint initiative (available through the fourteenth competition of the five-year IE Grants), do not include in your IE Grant application any proposed expenditures for which you are applying to CFI for funding.
This section collects information on specific performance indicators of the IE grant. The objective of collecting this information is to allow you to demonstrate your progress towards the goals that you have set on an annual basis. NSERC recognizes that the measures provided in the applications are estimates that suggest emphasis and scales of anticipated achievement.
The "Baseline" column is intended to collect performance information for indicators prior to the funding from the proposed IE Grant and, as such, this information will be important to assess the impact of the IE Grant on your college. The timeframe for baseline data is the full calendar year prior to submitting your full application to NSERC. All performance indicators, including the Baseline, should be limited to the applied research area of the application. Also, please identify additional optional performance indicators that are unique to your full application.
The data reported in this table will be kept confidential (all reviewers sign a confidentiality form with NSERC) and will only be reported in aggregate form except with the specific permission of the institution.
Please include a summary of the college's overall strategy, and research strategy (two pages maximum). In this please indicate the top three to five research priorities. Indicate how the current proposals help the college achieve its strategic goals.
Provide a detailed explanation and justification for each budget item identified in the Proposed Expenditures page. Provide sufficient information to allow reviewers to assess whether the resources requested are appropriate. Use up to one page for the Entry-Level IE-Grant or up to four pages for the Build or Extend IE Grant.
Salaries and benefits
Give the names (if known), categories of employment and proposed salaries (with explicit indication of the non-discretionary benefits) of research staff (research assistants and technical professionals), students and the project manager, if applicable. Briefly describe the responsibilities for each position and indicate the percentage of time they will be spending on this project over its lifespan. Salary for full-time faculty is not an eligible expense and should not be included in project costs. Faculty release costs are eligible as described in the College and Community Innovation Program Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide. Salary for part-time faculty is eligible. It should be included under “d) other” and explained in the budget justification.
Provide details and explain major items with regards to knowledge and dissemination/sharing eligible expenses limited to costs attributable to specific projects/activities to be undertaken. Specify the amount of funds you require for travel.
Research and technology transfer support services
Provide details and explain major items with regards to research and technology transfer support services to costs attributable to specific projects/activities to be undertaken.
Operating and equipment
The maximum allowable percentage for operating and equipment expenditures is 20% of the total project costs to a recipient college. Give a breakdown of the items requested.
Requests for equipment must be incorporated into the IE full application; separate equipment requests will not be accepted in this program. For equipment, provide details on models, manufacturers, prices and applicable taxes. Justify the need for each item requested. Provide two recent quotations for components or systems costing more than $25,000. The Quotations section will allow you to describe the quotations to be sent with the proposal.
Applicants who are applying to the NSERC/CFI joint initiative (available through the fourteenth competition of the five-year IE Grants) should not include in this section any expenditures for which they are applying for funding from the CFI.
Overhead and administration
Provide details and explain major items with regard to overhead and administration costs attributable to specific projects/activities to be undertaken.
Since the funding received through the IE Grants is not eligible for the Research Support Fund, colleges may request funds for overhead and administration costs attributable to the specific initiative, but not for general overhead and administration costs of the college as a whole. The maximum allowable percentage for overhead and administrative costs is 20% of the annual grant amount.
Any relationship and/or overlap, conceptual or financial, with work supported by NSERC or other funding sources must be explained.
Use additional pages to provide the following information:
You must provide a letter from the college president supporting your IE Grant application. The letter should outline the support from the college for the IE Grant application, in terms of resources to be contributed to the application. State the importance of the proposal to the college and the fit to its strategic plan.
Include at least one (and up to three) letter of support from organizations or firms.
The letter(s) should describe the need for applied research in the area of the proposal and the anticipated benefits (one page maximum for each letter). Letters should come from a senior executive and also indicate any current or past associations with the college.
If you have many supporting firms or organizations, consider providing a letter from a typical organization, or from a partner that summarizes the input from other partners. Contributions and interactions from the partners for whom letters are not provided can be described within the Proposed Initiative section.
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 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 program to which you are applying and the title of your application.
Note: This letter may be accessible to these individuals under the Privacy Act.
Use this section to report the contributions committed by the supporting organization(s) to the specific projects/activities of the full application. Before completing this page, read the instructions and consult the 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:
Note that an Information Required from Organizations Participating in Research Partnerships Programs (Form 183A) and a letter of support are required for each partner organization contributing to the project. Cash contributions are those made to accounts for which the applicant has signing authority. Other contributions are considered in-kind.
In some cases, it may be anticipated that additional partners will join the project during the granting period. If you anticipate contributions for later years in the grant for which you do not yet have firm partner commitments, you can describe these anticipated contributions in the budget explanations or in the main proposal. Limit the partner contributions and budget expenses to funds for which firm commitments have been obtained.
Updated budget information, partner contributions, associated Forms 183A and letters of support can be provided to NSERC as additional partners join the project.
Form 183A and letter of support
A completed Form 183A and a letter of support (there are no page limits) must be attached for each organization participating in an IE Grant application. Either the applicant or the supporting organization must complete all applicable sections of the form and provide the required documents.
Note: NSERC does not need or want a copy of financial statements or annual reports from partner organizations.
The letters of support from all organizations not providing cash or in-kind contributions must be compiled as a single document and included in the IE full application (Other Letters of Support Module). NSERC will accept up to 10 letters from partners not making cash or in-kind contributions.
Note: For uploading purposes, all the letters of support must be saved into a single PDF document (maximum file size is 3 Mb).
These letters of support should describe:
Provide two recent quotations for items or systems costing more than $25,000 before taxes. Provide a justification if two quotations are not available.
An Environmental Information Form (Appendix A) must be completed and uploaded to the Environmental impact page if required.
Colleges are invited to suggest the names of five people competent to assess the technical aspects of the proposal.
Give the name, complete mailing address, telephone and facsimile numbers, e-mail address and the area(s) of expertise of potential reviewers.
Reviewers 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.
Suggested reviewers 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 participant, can submit your application to NSERC or link your Personal Data Form to an application, you must read and agree to Terms and Conditions of Applying Form that appears 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.
Each participant submitting a Form 103CV as part of the application must sign and fill out the Terms and Conditions of Applying Form included in the Form 103CV.
The signatures of the institutional authorities certify that:
The signatures of authorized officers of other supporting organizations certify that the organization:
If you are both the applicant or participant 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.
Entry-Level Innovation Enhancement Grants:
Build or Extend Innovation Enhancement Grant: