|Duration||Up to five years|
|Application Deadline||Any time|
|How to Apply||See below|
|For more information||Consult the Contact List|
The Collaborative Research and Development (CRD) Grants are intended to give companies that operate from a Canadian base access to the unique knowledge, expertise, and educational resources available at Canadian postsecondary institutions and to train students in essential technical skills required by industry. The mutually beneficial collaborations are expected to result in industrial and/or economic benefits to Canada.
CRD Grants support well-defined projects undertaken by university researchers and their private-sector partners. Direct project costs are shared by the industrial partner(s) and NSERC. Projects may range from one year to five years in duration, but most awards are for two or three years.
CRD projects can be at any point in the research and development (R&D) spectrum in the domains of the natural sciences and engineering that is consistent with the university’s research, training, and technology transfer mandate. Information on the eligibility of research topics under NSERC’s mandate is available in the guidelines about Selecting the Appropriate Federal Granting Agency. Eligible collaborations include focused projects with specific short- to medium-term objectives, as well as discrete phases in a program of longer-range research. All proposals require evidence of detailed planning and sound budget justification, and must clearly spell out the underlying assumptions, intended approaches, milestones, and deliverables. Certain expenditures related to project management are now eligible as a direct cost of research up to a maximum of 10% of the total direct costs (see the Guidelines for Research Partnerships Programs Project Management Expenses).
Projects that focus on the application of existing technology, provide routine analysis, collect data without interpreting underlying mechanisms, or provide professional practice or consulting services (contract research) 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 scientific equipment will not be considered.
Each project must be supported by at least one eligible industrial partner that must:
The Partner Eligibility Guidelines section of the Guidelines for Organizations Participating in Research Partnerships Programs should be consulted to determine the eligibility of the industrial partner to participate.
Industrial cash contributed before the proposal is submitted may be used to start the project, but NSERC will not leverage industrial in-kind contributions received or funds spent more than three months prior to the date of submission. NSERC funds cannot be applied to expenses incurred before a project was approved.
NSERC's Policy on Intellectual Property (IP) supports the premise that every effort should be made to exploit the results of NSERC-funded research in Canada, for the benefit of Canadians. For most projects, a copy of the final and signed research agreement—compliant with NSERC’s IP Policy between the industrial partner(s) and the university covering, at a minimum, the entire duration of the grant—must be provided to NSERC within six months from the date of the conditional offer.
Proposals can be submitted at any time, using a Personal Data Form (Form 100), an Application for a Grant (Form 101), and an Information Required from Organizations Participating in Research Partnerships Programs (Form 183A). Full instructions for professors and their industrial sponsor(s) to complete the forms and the on-line submission are found on NSERC's On-line Services page. All proposals undergo peer review. Large or complex proposals (requesting $200,000 or more per year) are reviewed by a site visit committee. Those requesting $150,000 or more per year from NSERC are reviewed by a selection committee – the Advisory Committee on University-Industry Grants (ACUIG). The ACUIG normally meets four times a year: in March, June, September, and December.
Decisions on funding CRD Grants are usually made within three months of receiving a complete application; however, large or complex applications may take up to six months for processing.
Applications are evaluated on the following criteria:
University commitment and infrastructure: For large or complex proposals (greater than $200,000 per year), the proposal must demonstrate adequate university support for the project by detailing the specific commitments of the university regarding the provision of financial support, equipment, and/or facilities.
If an application is made with the intention of continuing the research undertaken in a recently completed or almost completed CRD project, a report detailing the results and the impact achieved at the time of the application must be provided. The continuing industrial partner(s) must clearly outline the impact of the ongoing or recently completed CRD in their support letters.
CRD projects are monitored closely. Progress reports are requested according to the size and the total duration of the award:
On the basis of the results obtained or problems encountered, grantees may propose amendments to the project objectives, milestones or budget. Even when no progress report is required, the university and the grantee are required to inform NSERC of any change that may affect the grant.
When a progress report is required, the industrial partner(s) will be invited to provide comments on the project’s progress. When no progress report is required, the industrial partner(s) will still be invited to provide NSERC with any pertinent comments pertaining to the project and the collaboration. The next instalment will not be released until the industrial partner(s)’s current year’s contribution is made, the commitment to contribute in the next year is re-confirmed (if requested), and (if requested) an evaluation of the project’s progress is provided.
The amounts of second and subsequent instalments are contingent on a demonstrated need for NSERC funds. When a progress report is requested, grantees must provide statements of actual expenditures and anticipated future costs. When no progress report is due, NSERC will request information from the grantee and the university to ensure that there is a continuing need for funds and that leveraged industrial contributions were provided in the preceding period.
Grantees or industrial partner(s) that have failed to provide the requested feedback on projects may be declared ineligible to apply for, or sponsor, new proposals.