Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
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Discovery Accelerator Supplements Program

Value $120,000 usually over three years
Application Deadline Not applicable
How to Apply No separate application is required. Selection is made in conjunction with the review of Discovery Grant applications each year.
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Important Information


The Discovery Accelerator Supplements (DAS) Program provides substantial and timely additional resources to accelerate progress and maximize the impact of superior research programs.


The DAS Program provides substantial and timely resources to a small group of researchers whose research proposals suggest and explore high-risk, novel or potentially transformative concepts and lines of inquiry, and are likely to have impact by contributing to groundbreaking advances in the area. In particular, for the purposes of the DAS Program, a superior research program is one that is highly rated for originality and innovation. The timeliness of DAS support represents the potential for the researcher at this time to capitalize on an opportunity, such as a recent research breakthrough, a paradigm shift or a new strategy to tackle a scientific problem or research question.

Each award is valued at $120,000 over three years ($40,000 annually) and provides recipients with additional resources to compete with the best in the world. These resources may be used to expand the recipient’s research group (i.e., students, postdoctoral fellows, technicians), to purchase, or to have access to, specialized equipment, or for other initiatives/resources that would accelerate the progress of their research program.

Individuals who are awarded both a DAS and an E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship will be entitled to receive the two awards, but not concurrently. NSERC staff will contact recipients with more details when this situation applies.

Application Procedures

No separate application is required. Selection is made in conjunction with the review of Discovery Grant applications each year.

Review Procedures

A DAS will be awarded to applicants who best meet the objective of the program.

Evaluation Groups will review applications in accordance with the Discovery Grant criteria and will recommend a small number of applicants for an award according to the objective and description of the DAS Program. Evaluation Group recommendations will be forwarded, assessed and prioritized by the Executive Committee of the Evaluation Group, which will make the final recommendations to NSERC.

Universities, through their vice-president of Research, will be allowed to request a reduction in the duration of the Discovery Grant of a limited number of researchers from their institution who they believe would best meet the objective of the DAS Program. This reduction will allow those researchers to reapply earlier to the Discovery Grants competition and possibly be nominated for a DAS by the Evaluation Group.

Selection Criteria

Evaluation Groups will review Discovery Grant applications in accordance with the current established criteria for that program:

  • scientific or engineering excellence of the researcher(s);
  • merit of the proposal; and
  • contribution to the training of highly-qualified personnel.

During the review process, members of the Evaluation Groups will identify a number of researchers nominated for a DAS from within the applicant pool of their respective Evaluation Group. This number is based on a pre-determined quota assigned to each Evaluation Group by NSERC. Post-competition, the Executive Committee of the Evaluation Group will select the final recipients for the awards from amongst the nominated researchers for recommendation to NSERC. Potential recipients will:

  • meet the objectives of the DAS Program;
  • have an established research program; and
  • propose research suggesting and exploring high-risk, novel or potentially transformative concepts and lines of inquiry.


Each year, NSERC will award up to 125 DAS, of which at least 80 will normally come from one of the NSERC priority areas:

  • Environmental science and technologies;
  • Information and communication technologies;
  • Manufacturing; and
  • Natural resources and energy.

Each award will have a total value of $120,000 ($40,000 annually) and will normally be paid over three years. Under special, compelling circumstances, NSERC will consider profiling the award differently. Payments are made separately from the current Discovery Grant.

Reporting Requirements

DAS recipients are required to complete a Grants in Aid of Research, Statement of Account (Form 300) at the end of each fiscal year. Furthermore, they are required to submit a report at the end of the DAS period.

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