IMPORTANT NOTICE: The opportunity previously available to colleges through Level 1 Applied Research and Development Grants is now available through Engage Grants.
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|Duration||Up to three years|
|Application Deadline||No deadline|
|How to Apply||See below|
To view instructions, select PDF Forms and Instructions.
To create or access on-line applications, select On-line System Login.
|For More Information||
Consult the Contact List
The College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program is managed by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) in collaboration with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). All applications must be submitted to NSERC. Applied Research and Development (ARD) Grants can be across the spectrum of natural and social sciences, engineering, humanities and/or health. Grants are given by NSERC, with the exception of funded proposals exclusively in the social sciences, humanities and/or health sciences, which will be given by SSHRC or CIHR, as appropriate.
The Applied Research and Development (ARD) Grants are intended to provide companies that operate from a Canadian base access to the unique knowledge, expertise and capabilities available at Canadian colleges and to train students in essential technical skills required by companies. The mutually beneficial collaborations are expected to result in economic benefits to the company and/or Canada.
ARD Grants support well-defined applied research and development projects undertaken by college researchers with their private-sector partners. Direct project costs are shared by the company partner(s) and NSERC. Projects may range from one year to three years in duration.
ARD projects can be at any point in the research and development (R&D) spectrum that is consistent with the college's applied research, training and technology transfer mandate. All proposals require evidence of strong partnerships with firms, detailed planning and sound budget justification, and must clearly spell out the underlying assumptions, intended approaches, milestones and deliverables.
Projects that provide routine analysis, routine training, professional practice or consulting services, or routine use of college equipment; or collect data without interpreting underlying mechanisms are not eligible. Similarly, proposals that involve the set-up and operational management of an institute, a formal or informal group of researchers, or that are principally associated with the acquisition and maintenance of equipment in support of applied research will not be accepted.
The Partner Eligibility Guidelines section of the Guidelines for Organizations Participating in Research Partnerships Programs should be consulted to determine the eligibility of the participating company partner(s).
The company partner(s) must participate in the project and contribute to the direct costs of the applied research and development project. The expected company contributions vary with the grant size:
For grants up to $75,000 per year: The eligible company partner(s) must actively participate and contribute at least half of the amount requested from NSERC, in cash and/or in-kind—of which at least $10,000 annually must be in cash.
For grants between $75,000 and $150,000 per year: The eligible company partner(s)’s contribution(s) must be at least equal to the amount requested from NSERC, in cash and/or in kind—of which at least one half must be in cash.
Note: To be eligible, a company partner must operate from a Canadian base and must be able to fully exploit the results of the applied research so that it will lead either to significant economic benefit to the company or Canada. A sufficient maturity or capability must be demonstrated by at least one of the contributing company partners.
NSERC will recognize only those in-kind contributions that are fully documented and considered essential to carry out the work outlined in the proposal. For a full discussion of the eligibility and value of in-kind contributions, refer to the Guidelines on Eligibility and Value of In-Kind Contributions section of the Guidelines for Organizations Participating in Research Partnerships Programs.
Cash contributed by the partner before the proposal is submitted may be used to start the project, but NSERC will not recognize company funds spent more than three months prior to the date of application submission. ARD Grant funds cannot be applied to expenses incurred before a project was approved.
NSERC makes no claim to the ownership of any intellectual property (IP) generated from the research it funds. As a general principle, colleges need to develop and sign an agreement with each company partner on the ownership and disposition of IP arising from ARD-funded applied research before initiating any ARD activities. Any agreements made regarding the ownership of the IP resulting from ARD-funded research must take into account the ARD objective of creating partnerships. This implies a sharing of eventual benefits between the partners commensurate with their respective contributions.
Given the purpose of the projects and the fact that they are company-driven, the college must have the right to use the new knowledge or technology in future teaching and research; and faculty and students must have the right to describe the project on their curriculum vitae.
Canadian colleges that have been declared eligible to administer grants according to the eligibility requirements for colleges of at least one of the three federal granting agencies (NSERC, CIHR and/or SSHRC) may submit an application. If the proposed research and knowledge/technology transfer activities lie entirely within the mandate of a single agency (NSERC, CIHR or SSHRC), the college must be declared eligible to receive funding from that granting agency.
ARD Grant funds must be used for direct costs of research; however, some limited funds may be used for operating and equipment costs (up to 20 percent of the total expenditures), as well as for overhead and administration costs (a further 20 percent of the total award). Certain expenditures related to project management are eligible as a direct cost of research up to a maximum of 10 percent of the total direct costs. The college must provide for any additional indirect or overhead costs.
|Eligible expenses for Applied Research and Development Grants|
|Type of Expenditure||Eligibility of Costs|
|Salaries and benefits for students||Eligible|
|Salaries and benefits for technical/professional||Eligible|
|Operating, equipment, material and supply costs||Purchase or rental, up to 20 percent of project costs|
|Travel||Travel required by college personnel to conduct the project is supported. This does not include international conferences to present research results.|
Faculty release costs
|Networking and technology-transfer costs||Eligible|
|Overhead and administration||Up to 20 percent of the grant amount can be requested for eligible overhead costs.|
|Consulting fees||Consulting fees paid for additional expertise or completion of specific project tasks will be limited to a maximum of 20 percent of the project costs and will be approved only with strong demonstration of need.|
For further information on use of grant funds consult the College and Community Innovation Program Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide.
Proposals can be submitted at any time, using the Application for a College and Community Innovation Grant (Form 103), and the Information Required from Organizations Participating in Research Partnerships Programs (Form 183A). Instructions for applicants and their company sponsor(s) to complete the forms and the on-line submission are found on NSERC's On-line Services page.
Decisions on funding ARD Grants are anticipated to be made (after receiving a complete application) within three to five months.
Applications are evaluated on the following criteria:
The reporting requirements vary with the project duration:
Final reports providing the impacts of the research and development are required for all projects. In cases where the partner is a large consortium of private-sector companies, and/or when a formal administrative structure exists within the consortia, one company or the consortium administrator may provide this report on behalf of the group if appropriate.
Based on the results obtained or problems encountered, grantees may propose amendments to the project objectives, milestones or budget. Grantees proposing to change the allocation of project resources by more than 20 percent per budget line-item require prior approval by NSERC and must provide NSERC with a revised budget, a rationale for the proposed change and documentation from the partners supporting the proposed change(s).
For projects of duration longer than one year, the amounts of second and subsequent instalments are contingent on a demonstrated need for NSERC funds. The next instalment will not be released until the company partner(s) has made its previous year's contribution(s), re-confirmed its commitment to contribute in the next year and commented on the project's progress.
Grantees or companies that have failed to provide the requested feedback on projects may be declared ineligible to apply for or sponsor new proposals.