|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.
If the university researcher’s partners include a private-sector partner and the Department of National Defence (DND), apply for a DND/NSERC Research Partnership Grant (a targeted CRD Grant).
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 from NSERC) are reviewed by a site visit committee. An additional review by the Advisory Committee on University-Industry Grants (ACUIG) will take place after the site visit is completed and after the site visit committee has made a recommendation. The ACUIG normally meets four times a year—in March, June, September, and December. Regardless of the amount requested, NSERC reserves the right to conduct an in-depth review of any proposal through a site visit, a virtual site visit and/or a referral to the ACUIG.
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:
Report on an ongoing or past CRD grant
If the application is a continuation of research undertaken in a recently completed or nearly completed CRD project, receiving at least $100,000 per year from NSERC, an additional report (maximum three pages) detailing the results achieved is required. The continuing industrial partner(s) must clearly outline the impact of the ongoing or recently completed CRD in its letter(s) of support.
NSERC/Mitacs Joint funding opportunity
Applicants may include in their CRD grant application a request for additional support through Mitacs Accelerate internships as a component of the training of highly qualified personnel (HQP). Note that Mitacs internships cannot be the only mechanism for HQP training, and Mitacs internships must be funded through industry support separate from the support for the CRD grant. The internships may result in an increase in the overall number of students and postdoctoral fellows involved in the project, or may provide opportunities for students and postdoctoral fellows to deepen their relationship with an industrial partner. Applications for a combined CRD grant–Mitacs internship are required to provide additional information relevant to the internship(s) (see Instructions for Completing an Application – Form 101). NSERC will conduct the peer review of the joint application and will communicate the results to Mitacs.
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.
DND/NSERC Research Partnership Grants support projects where DND and at least one eligible industrial partner are involved in the collaboration.
A key strategic goal of the Department of National Defence (DND) and NSERC is to collaborate fully in the development of an innovative, knowledge-based economy.
To achieve this goal, DND and NSERC have established a jointly managed and funded DND/NSERC Research Partnership Grant that aims to:
DND and NSERC will provide funding for university-based research, research training and research-related activities carried out in collaboration with DND and Canadian-based companies. The maximum value of the research grants that will be made available is normally limited to $500,000 per project. Requests exceeding this amount will only be considered under special circumstances and on a case-by-case basis.
Eligible activities are the same as those for any CRD project.
To be eligible for support, a proposal must involve a collaborative effort with at least one eligible industrial partner and at least one DND Scientific Authority; it must also include information about intellectual property agreement(s) being negotiated or in place that specifically address the disposition of intellectual property rights coming into and/or emanating from the proposed research project.
The grant will support unclassified university-based research dedicated to the development of non-weapon specific technologies with dual-use applications oriented towards the objectives of DND and with broader commercial applications.
Proposals should address the following priority research areas as agreed to by DND and NSERC:
Electronics – Technologies for the secure and reliable transmission and reception of information over long distances, and for the accurate and reliable determination of position, velocity and time (possibly under interference).
Undersea Systems – Undersea sensors and response systems, including integration and persistence of undersea systems.
Information Systems – Integration of technologies for decision-making, for situational awareness, and for secure distribution of data and information among users, and, in particular, solutions for the fusion of quantitative and qualitative information from large, heterogeneous and/or unreliable datasets.
Autonomous Systems – Technologies to ensure that autonomous systems can deal with unexpected situations (changes, errors, etc.) or tasks that challenge their sensing, modeling, planning, or movement envelopes.
Air Vehicles – Technologies related to flight safety and endurance in the Earth's atmosphere, and integration of these technologies.
Naval Platforms – Technologies related to the safe, efficient and effective operation of surface ships and underwater vehicles, and their signatures.
Mobility Systems – Technologies that affect mobility and endurance of land vehicles.
Space Systems – Technologies that affect the affordable and effective use of Space for defence and security.
Surveillance Systems – Technologies that exploit the electromagnetic spectrum for reliable detection, tracking, classification and identification of objects of interest.
Human Performance Effectiveness – Technology and integration of technology to optimize human performance including, but not limited to, human-machine teaming and robotic collaboration, information fusion, human-machine interfaces, augmented reality, and wearable sensors.
Life Support Systems – Technologies concerned with human effectiveness, protection, health, safety and survival in austere operational environments.
Proposals will be evaluated using the selection criteria for CRD grant applications as well as relevance to the DND and NSERC research priorities listed above.
The participants recognize that DND will normally seek rights to use or have used resulting intellectual property for defence purposes. An intellectual property agreement will be established between DND and the participants of each research project supported through this grant. Awards will be made on the condition that the parties reach an agreement on the disposition of intellectual property acceptable to DND and NSERC. DND, as a co-founder of the grant, must be a signatory to the intellectual property agreement.
As a first step, applicants must contact the DND scientific authority to ensure that the proposed research activity aligns with the DND research priorities.
Research proposals must be submitted on NSERC forms. Applicants are required to meet all NSERC regulations described in its Program Guide for Professors. Proposals can be submitted at any time using Forms 100, 101 and 183A. Full instructions for professors and their industrial sponsors on how to complete the DND/NSERC Partnership Grant forms and on-line submission are found on NSERC's On-line Services page.
DND support to the project must be documented by filling the appropriate section of Form 101, and a Form 183A.
Before submitting an application, applicants and industrial partners are invited to discuss their proposals with the NSERC Manager, who can also comment on written drafts. The NSERC Manager does not assess the scientific or technical content, which will be done by peer reviewers, but can suggest changes that may strengthen the proposal. Applicants should ensure that their proposals include all the necessary information, since they may not have the opportunity to clarify their proposals during the review process.
The application can be submitted at any time throughout the year.
It is not necessary to submit an additional application to DND.
Acknowledgement of the DND and NSERC assistance is expected in any communication arising from, or referring to, the activities supported by the DND/NSERC Research Partnership Grant.