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Summary of Changes

2017-18 Program Guide for Professors

NSERC has revised the Program Guide for Professors.

This summary is meant only to help you focus on the main changes. Read the program descriptions that are relevant to you, and the appropriate instructions to review all the changes.


Programs (in alphabetical order)
CCSIF – College and Community Social Innovation Fund
Created: September 15, 2017

Following the success of the Community and College Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF) pilot program, the 2017 federal budget provided an additional $10 million over two years beginning in 2017–18 to continue the pilot. The pilot will be delivered under the College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program managed by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), in collaboration with the Social Sciences Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). CCSIF Grants are intended to support college social innovation research projects in partnership with local community organizations.
DF – Discovery Frontiers: Biodiversity and Adaptation of Biosystems
Created: January 26, 2017

NSERC is pleased to issue a call for proposals for a unique funding opportunity through its Discovery Frontiers initiative. This initiative addresses national research priorities and global challenges by bringing together groups of researchers with complementary expertise and supporting their new and emerging ideas. This round of Discovery Frontiers funding will focus on emerging opportunities in the area of Biodiversity and Adaptation of Biosystems. NSERC will provide total funding of up to $1.0 million per year for four years.
DG Discovery Grants Program
Revised: August 9, 2017

Applicants are asked to self-identify as either Early Career Researchers (ECR) or Established Researchers (ER) in the application. ECR definition has changed. For more information consult Discovery Grants – Applicant Categories.

Information regarding the criterion on the contribution to the training of HQP was revised to provide applicants and peer reviewers with clearer guidance on what to include in the application and how this criterion is assessed.

Applicants are encouraged to increase the inclusion and advancement of women and other under-represented groups in the natural sciences and engineering, as one means to enhance excellence in research and training.

Information regarding the relationship to other research support was revised to clarify the information that is required in the application and how it is assessed.
DDG – Discovery Development Grants (Pilot)
Revised : May 10, 2017

Researchers may only hold a DDG once for the duration of the Pilot.
DND/NSERC Discovery Grant Supplements
Revised: August 9, 2017

The Department of National Defence (DND) has revised the Defence and Security Target Areas.

The DND/NSERC Discovery Grant Supplement module is now also available on the Research Portal for applicants submitting Subatomic Physics Discovery - Individual grant applications.
RTI – Research Tools and Instruments Grants Program
Revised: August 9, 2017

University quotas have been removed and applicants can submit one application, either as an applicant or a co-applicant, but not both.

The application in the Research Portal was modified and RTI Instructions were updated accordingly. A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document is now available.
SAP-DG – Subatomic Physics Discovery Grants Program (Individual and Project)
Revised: August 9, 2017

Applicants are asked to self-identify as either Early Career Researchers (ECR) or Established Researchers (ER) in the application. ECR definition has changed. For more information consult Discovery Grants – Applicant Categories.

Information regarding the criterion on the contribution to the training of HQP was revised to provide applicants and peer reviewers with clearer guidance on what to include in the application and how this criterion is assessed.

Applicants are encouraged to increase the inclusion and advancement of women and other under-represented groups in the natural sciences and engineering, as one means to enhance excellence in research and training.

Information regarding the relationship to other research support was revised to clarify the information that is required in the application and how it is assessed.
SPG - Strategic Partnership Grants
Revised: December 1, 2016
Minor clarifications have been made to the descriptions of the Environment and Agriculture and Natural Resources and Energy target areas.

SPG-N - Strategic Partnership Grants for Networks
Revised: December 1, 2016
The following changes have been made for the 2017 SPG-N competition:
  • The anticipated budget for the 2017 SPG-N competition is expected to result in up to three new awards across the four target areas.
  • Strategic Networks are encouraged to promote approaches that increase the inclusion and advancement of women and other underrepresented groups in the natural sciences and engineering to foster excellence in research and training.  
SPG-P - Strategic Partnership Grants for Projects
Revised: December 1, 2016
The following changes have been made for the 2017 SPG-P competition:
  • The anticipated budget for the 2017 SPG-P competition is expected to result in about 16 to 20 new awards per target area.
  • A mandatory letter of intent stage has been added to the process.
People Discovery Innovation