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Important Notice from NSERC Notification of Intent to Apply (NOI) for a Discovery Grant

It is time to start preparing your Discovery Grant application. A Notification of Intent to Apply (NOI) must be submitted by the deadline date of August 1.The NOI is mandatory when applying for a Discovery Grant. Applicants who do not submit a NOI cannot submit a full application later in the fall. The information contained in the NOI allows NSERC to start some aspects of the review process, including preliminary assignment to an Evaluation Group, selection of external reviewers and verification of the eligibility of the subject matter.

New Application Process for Discovery Grants

NSERC has recently launched its new Research Portal and started using the This link will take you to another Web site Canadian Common CV (CCV). The Research Portal provides a single point of entry for all of our interactions with applicants, reviewers, committee members, institutions and partners. Transition to the new system is being phased in gradually (program by program), starting with the Notification of Intent to Apply for a Discovery Grant, the full application for a Discovery Grant and all program elements of Subatomic Physics Grants. All NSERC funding opportunities are expected to be integrated by late 2015.

Starting this year, you must complete and submit your NOI using the Research Portal and the NSERC CCV (required for applicants and co-applicants). We encourage you to start completing your NSERC CCV early, as it can be time-consuming to populate the fields the first time. Please read the instructions on how to complete the NOI and NSERC CCV.

For more information on the Research Portal and the CCV, please visit the Research Portal page. 

Before Submitting a NOI

Verify that you are eligible for the program by consulting NSERC’s Eligibility Criteria – For Faculty.

In addition, you are encouraged to verify the balance of your current Discovery Grant account. If the available funds are sufficient to cover anticipated expenditures through the next fiscal year, you can choose to request a deferral of installment or take advantage of the automatic one-year extension to use the accumulated funds prior to submitting a new request for funding. Refer to the Administrative Matters and the Annual Funding of Grants sections of the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide for more information. Note that postponing an application does not adversely affect the review of your next application, but rather demonstrates good fiscal management of the funds and allows you to re-organize your activities and postpone the renewal/re-application date by one year. It also provides the opportunity for the Agency to fund other researchers with more urgent needs.

If you do not intend to apply this year, please let us know by sending an email, before August 1, to, with your name, Personal Identification Number (if available), department and institution name.

For more information on the Discovery Grants Program, contact the staff responsible for the program or send an email to

Important Changes to the Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) Program

Starting this year, NSERC will be holding a smaller-scale national RTI competition in which universities are provided with a quota of applications that they can submit to NSERC. This change comes as a result of the extensive consultations with the research community on the future of the RTI Grants Program. The quotas to universities are based on the number of NSERC-funded researchers supported at each institution, with a minimum quota of two applications. The NSERC criteria for evaluation remain the same.

To apply to the RTI program, you must first submit an application to your institution by its internal deadline. The institution will perform its own internal review process and submit the selected applications to NSERC by the October 25 deadline. Note that NSERC continues to receive the RTI applications (Form 101 and Form 100) through the NSERC on-line system. Please contact your research grants office for questions related to your university’s internal process.

The updated program description and instructions will be available at the beginning of August.

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