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College and Community Innovation Program – Innovation Enhancement Grants

Instructions for Completing an Application – Form 103

General Information

About the Grant

Read the relevant College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program grant description before you complete the application.

Who Completes 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.

Presentation Standards

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.

Application Deadlines

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.

Personal Information

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 This link will take you to another Web site Access to Information Act and the This link will take you to another Web site Privacy Act. The information you provide is stored in a series of NSERC data banks described in This link will take you to another Web site Info Source Publications.

Help with Program Information

  • Contact the staff responsible for the program to which you are applying.

Help with the NSERC On-line System

  • Check the Frequently Asked Questions on how to use the On-line System;
  • Review the instructions available in the application; and/or
  • Contact the On-line Services Helpdesk. Send an e-mail to: webapp@nserc-crsng.gc.ca or call 613-995-4273. Include your e-mail address and telephone number.

Completing the Application

Personal Profile

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.

Application Profile

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.

Area(s) of Research

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.

Key words

Provide a maximum of 10 key words that describe the proposal.

Current Employment

Provide your primary place of employment, the organization and department names and telephone number.

Certification/Requirements

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 This link will take you to another Web site 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.

Participants

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.

Supporting Organizations

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).

CV – Applicant and Participants

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.

Summary of Proposal

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.

Proposal

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:

  • Describe the short- and long-term strategy of the college for contributing to local innovation, specific objectives of the initiative and the priority of this proposed initiative within the college’s overall strategic plan.
  • Describe briefly the environment in which the college operates, including its available resources and opportunities and the commitment of the college to undertake this initiative.
  • Identify the area (subject or topic) that the initiative will focus on and explain why it was selected in terms of the college and the community and needs for increasing the current level of activity.
  • For an Extend IE Grant application, specify the title and application number of the related five-year IE Grant. Briefly describe what was accomplished during the five-year term of the grant, what additional accomplishments will result from the Extend IE Grant, and what impact these will have on the local companies.

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:

  • the proposed initiative, including information on the plan for involving students, faculty, college staff, local companies and, if any, other relevant organizations;
  • a work plan for the duration of the proposed initiative describing your portfolio of fixed short-term (i.e., at least for the next two years) and long-term expected applied research and development projects for each fixed applied research project/activities, *the project leader and participants; summarize the specific objectives, plan, relevant expertise and skills of the team, operational needs, plan to involve professors and students, key milestones and expected outcomes and its transfer to partners. An organizational chart for college staff is recommended, but not mandatory;
  • your plan for technology and knowledge transfer/outreach activities with companies and, if any, other partners;
  • your plan and a rationale on how to manage the IP generated by the CCI activities;
  • how the work plan relates to the expected performance measures;
  • the state-of-the-art and how your project is going to improve on, or is complementary to, what already exists;
  • the expertise, experience and skills of the person responsible for managing the IE Grant and how it will be managed and monitored.

* 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:

  • the extent to which the proposal addresses the needs of the local community or region, and the potential to have a significant and sustainable impact on local or regional innovation;
  • how you plan to involve various partners in the community, specifically companies (especially SMEs) and, if any, other relevant stakeholders from the public sector and non-governmental organizations; your strategy for increasing their commitments as the work progresses;
  • the track record of the college in contributing to local or regional innovation and the potential to enhance its capacity to work with local or regional businesses;
  • your plan for transferring any new or improved know-how, technology, products, processes developed in the course of the grant to local or regional companies; and
  • the need for enhanced student training skills in the local community or region.

Need for, and use of, resources

You should briefly describe:

  • the need for increased capacity for applied research and development in the area of the proposal at the college and for supporting its transfer to private-sector or other relevant partners; and
  • the likelihood for this investment to result in sustainable capacity at the college allowing for continued collaboration with local companies in the area of the proposal.

Proposed expenditures

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.

Performance Measures Table (not applicable for the Entry-Level Innovation Enhancement Grant)

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.

Strategic Plan of the College (not applicable for the Entry-Level Innovation Enhancement Grant)

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.

Budget Justification

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.

Knowledge dissemination/networking

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.

Relationship to Other Research Support

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:

  • Clear and concise information on the conceptual and budgetary relationship or difference between this application and all other support currently held or applied for by the college for applied research and technology transfer activities. Also explain perceived duplication in funding or, if applicable, indicate how this application complements research funded by other sources.
  • For each grant currently held or applied for by the college for applied research and technology transfer activities, clearly describe the main objective and provide a brief outline of the methodology, budget details, and details on the support of highly qualified personnel. In addition, the relationships to the NSERC application must be explained. Such information may be provided, for example, in the form of a brief summary of the necessary details for each grant.
  • For Extend IE Grant proposals, describe how previous IE Grants established the research capacity, links with partners, and any other aspects for the proposed grant.

College President's Letter

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.

Letters of Support from Organizations or Firms (instructions specific to the Entry-Level Innovation Enhancement Grants; see sections below for Build or Extend Innovation Enhancement Grants)

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.

Cover Letter (not applicable for the Entry-Level Innovation Enhancement Grant)

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.

Contributions from Supporting Organizations (not applicable for the Entry-Level Innovation Enhancement Grant)

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:

  • the cash contribution to direct costs of applied research and development. The total amount of the "Cash contribution to direct costs of research" will be transferred automatically to page three (Proposed Expenditures) of the printed form;
  • the in-kind contribution to direct costs of applied research (donations of services, materials, and equipment). This amount will be transferred to page three (Proposed Expenditures) of the printed form;
  • the in-kind contributions to indirect costs. This amount is not transferred to page three (Proposed Expenditures) of the printed form; and
  • an indication of the amount paid to the institution for overhead.

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.

  • For the IE Grant, we expect that most letters of support would come from local or regional companies.
  • Even though the contributions (cash and in-kind) do not apply toward the minimum company contribution requirements, active participation and contributions from government (provincial, municipal, federal) and any other organizations will strengthen the application since they broaden the impact of the application on the local or regional community.
  • To demonstrate the importance of the economic area of the IE Grant application, colleges are encouraged to submit, as part of the full application, letter(s) of support confirming the needs for more applied research and technology transfer activities from local or regional business associations, chamber of commerce, and/or provincial and federal government offices.

Note: NSERC does not need or want a copy of financial statements or annual reports from partner organizations.

Letters of Support from Partners not Making Cash or In-Kind Contributions (not applicable for the Entry-Level Innovation Enhancement Grant)

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:

  • the organization's support for and agreement with the proposal submitted to NSERC;
  • the reasons for being involved in the proposed collaboration;
  • the potential for benefit to the regional and Canadian economy, and the relevant time frame; and
  • the anticipated interaction role of the organization with respect to the proposed project (i.e., how the organization will help to make the college's project a success).

Quotations (not applicable for the Entry-Level Innovation Enhancement Grant)

Provide two recent quotations for items or systems costing more than $25,000 before taxes. Provide a justification if two quotations are not available.

Environmental Information (Appendix A)

An This link will take you to another Web site Environmental Information Form (Appendix A) must be completed and uploaded to the Environmental impact page if required.

Reviewer Suggestions – Appendix C (not applicable for the Entry-Level Innovation Enhancement Grant)

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.

Conflict of Interest

Suggested reviewers should not be in a conflict of interest. Refer to the This link will take you to another Web site Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policy of the Federal Research Funding Organizations for more information. In addition, reviewers must sign the This link will take you to another Web site Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Agreement for Review Committee Members, External Reviewers, and Observers before they access the application material.

Signatures

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.

What do the Electronic or Original Signatures on the Application Mean?

For applicants

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 institution will abide by the roles and responsibilities as set out in the  This link will take you to another Web site Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions with the three federal granting agencies, including the This link will take you to another Web site Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research;
  • the applicant has met, or will meet, the eligibility requirements;
  • prior to submission of this application, the institution has obtained written approval from any other institutions involved in the application process; and
  • if the applicant discloses any potential intellectual property (IP) arising from the research, he or she and the institution will endeavour to obtain the greatest possible economic benefit to Canada from the resulting commercial activity. Note: This requirement for disclosure is not intended to supersede any IP ownership policy that the institution already has in place.

The signatures of authorized officers of other supporting organizations certify that the organization:

  • agrees with the content of the application and will provide the committed resources; and
  • agrees to the release of the public summary of the award and to the publication of the organization's name as a supporter of the initiative.

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.

List for a Complete Application

Use the following list to make sure your application is complete.

Entry-Level Innovation Enhancement Grants:

  • Application for an Innovation Enhancement Grant (Form 103), pages 1 to 3
    • Application Profile (including areas of research, certification requirements, amounts requested)
    • Participants
    • Summary of Proposal (must not exceed 21 lines on the printed copy)
    • Proposal (maximum five pages, not including literature references; attachment) plus one additional page for literature references.
    • Proposed Expenditures
    • Budget Justification (maximum one page; attachment)
    • Letter from college president (no page limit; attachment)
    • Letter of support from organizations or firms (up to three letters; no page limit; attachment)
    • Appendix A (Environmental Information Form), if required
  • College and Community Innovation Program Personal Data Form (Form 103CV) for the applicant, and from one to four college participants:
    • Personal information (appointment and academic background);
    • Relevant experience; and
    • Relevant contributions to applied research and innovation.

Build or Extend Innovation Enhancement Grant:

  • Application for a CCI-IE Grant (Form 103)
    • Application Profile (including areas of research, certification requirements, amounts requested)
    • Participants
    • Supporting Organizations
    • Summary of Proposal (must not exceed 21 lines on the printed copy)
    • Proposal (maximum 15 pages, not including literature references; attachment) plus one additional page for literature references.
    • Proposed Expenditures
    • Performance measures table
    • Strategic plan for the college (maximum two pages; attachment)
    • Budget Justification (maximum four pages; attachment)
    • Relationship to Other Research Support (no page limit; attachment)
    • Letter from college president (no page limit; attachment)
    • Letter of support from all supporting organizations (no page limit; attachment)
    • Letter of support from all supporting organizations not providing cash or in-kind contributions (up to 10 letters with no page limit; attachment)
    • Cover Letter, if required (no page limit; attachment)
    • Contributions from Supporting Organizations
    • Quotations (minimum of two) for equipment requests over $25,000 (attachment)
    • Applicants applying to the NSERC/CFI joint initiative (available through the fourteenth competition of the five-year IE Grants) should also complete the CFI College-Industry Innovation Fund application.
    • Appendix A (Environmental Information Form), if required
    • Appendix C (Reviewers Suggestions) one copy only, do not photocopy
  • College and Community Innovation Program Personal Data Form (Form 103CV) for the applicant, and from one to four college participants;
    • Personal information (appointment and academic background);
    • Relevant experience; and
    • Relevant contributions to applied research and innovation.
  • Information Required from Organizations Participating in Research Partnerships Programs (Form 183A) for each supporting organization