|Value and Duration||$1 million per year for four years|
|Application Deadline||March 2, 2015 - Letter of Intent
May 4, 2015 - Invitation to Apply
July 3, 2015 - Application, if invited to apply
|Application Procedure||See below|
|For More Information||See below|
Discovery Frontiers (DF) grants are initiatives that identify and capitalize on emerging opportunities where Canada can benefit from its world-class capacity to take a leadership role in key areas of research and innovation. Discovery Frontiers address national research priorities and global challenges by supporting a small number of major new transformative and integrative activities. These initiatives will generate substantial impact from a one-time injection of funding for a defined period, addressing challenges and seizing leadership opportunities in areas of national importance.
The DF initiative will bring together groups of researchers in new ways to address a major research challenge. The groups will incorporate new and emerging ideas, and combine their complementary expertise to conduct transformative, paradigm-changing research.
Discovery Frontiers grants support a limited number of large international activities, opportunities or projects that are of high priority in the context of advanced research in Canada. These will be led by world-class Canadian researchers and will comprise teams that will generate substantial impact, for the benefit of Canada.
This initiative will bring together groups of researchers in new ways to address a major research challenge. The groups will incorporate new and emerging ideas, and combine their complementary expertise to conduct transformative, paradigm-changing research.
The third call for proposals is in the area of New Materials for Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency.
Resource development of a diverse range of energy sources including wind, solar, nuclear, biomass, natural gas and oil will be of strategic importance to Canada’s economic well-being and the overall sustainability of our high quality of life. While conventional hydrocarbon resources will remain important into the future, important efficiencies could ensue from, for example, new technologies which exploit microbially-derived energy sources. Similarly, the development of new chemical catalysts which generate highly valued materials or energy-rich precursors from renewable sources will complement these biocatalysis approaches. Efficiencies associated with power transmission and energy storage have the potential to greatly reduce the need for increased generation of power, and have great promise for reducing the environmental footprint associated with the production of energy.
A common thread that binds together the above areas of energy development and use is materials research. New materials with improved characteristics are key to solving many energy related problems and creating new opportunities for clean energy production and increased energy efficiency. Many energy-related challenges are limited by the physical and chemical properties of currently available technological materials. New materials are only just beginning to lead to solutions to the key grand challenge of energy efficiency.
This DF initiative spans a wide range of disciplines including materials physics, chemistry, microbiology and engineering. It will support research in new materials to improve energy production and the efficiency of alternative and conventional energy systems and provide novel solutions to mitigate environmental challenges associated with energy production. It will also cover paradigm-shifting approaches to making molecules and materials with low waste/energy properties; developing methods to examine the persistence and ecotoxicology of high use molecules and seeking replacements for problematic ones leading to cleaner energy production.
It is expected that this DF grant will:
Approaches used will emphasize bold initiatives and interdisciplinary thinking with potential for long-term impacts. International linkages will be required.
Other than the general eligibility criteria found in the Discovery Frontiers grants description, there are no additional criteria that apply to this call for proposals.
Applicants begin by submitting a Letter of Intent (LOI). The LOI must include a cover page (one page), a research proposal (maximum five pages) and biographical information on the team (maximum two pages). All documents should follow the NSERC On-line Presentation and Attachment Standards.
The cover page must include:
The research proposal should include:
The biographical information should contain short biographies of the applicant and co-applicants and their areas of expertise.
The LOI should be saved as a single portable document format (PDF) document, and uploaded to NSERC’s secure portal before the deadline.
Note that details concerning proposals that are successful at the LOI stage will be published on NSERC’s website.
An international committee will review the LOIs. The review process at the LOI stage is intended to select those proposals that best fit the program objectives and best address the LOI review criteria with an emphasis on the merit of the proposal. The review criteria are as follows:
Merit of the research proposal
Excellence of the applicants and complementarity of expertise
Potential for value-added training of highly qualified personnel
Applicants who are invited to submit a full proposal will be given further instructions on submission details at the time of invitation.
Full proposals will be reviewed through a rigorous independent peer review process, undertaken by a multidisciplinary international committee, to assess their eligibility, research merit and potential for benefits to the research community as well as to ensure that sound management and financial practices are implemented. Excellence in terms of the review criteria at the very highest of international standards must be demonstrated for funding to be awarded to the most meritorious proposal.
The applications will be reviewed using the following criteria. Please note that the descriptive phrases that follow the criteria below are not exhaustive.
Research Context and Originality
Strategy for Realizing Benefits
Expertise for Realizing Benefits
Management Plans and Expertise
Budget and Expenditure Controls
Refer to the Use of Grant Funds section of the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide for details on eligible expenses.
Regular reporting will be required for this award. A scientific review committee will assess scientific progress annually. The review will provide information regarding the progress of the project according to the proposed timelines. The scientific review committee can also provide advice to the project team if it feels that changes to project milestones or direction are necessary. NSERC will use the scientific review committee’s report to determine whether funding for the project will be continued, reduced or terminated.
Financial reports will also be reviewed annually.
Specific details on the format and schedule and other required information will be available at the time of award.
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