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DND/NSERC Research Partnership Grants

Duration See description below
Application Deadline Any time
How to Apply See below
Application Forms Form 100 – Personal Data Form
Form 101 – Application for a Grant
Form 183A – Information Required from Organizations
Participating in Research Partnerships Programs

To view forms and instructions, select PDF Forms and Instructions.
To create or access this application, select On-line System Login.
Program Contact See below


A key strategic goal of the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (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:

  • capitalize on the complementary R&D capacity existing in the universities and in DND in order to generate new knowledge and support the development of new technical capabilities relevant to the development and application of dual-use technologies in selected areas of interest to both DND and NSERC;
  • build strong two- and three-way linkages and create synergy between researchers in DND and universities and the private sector;
  • achieve the efficient and effective transfer of research results and technology to identified receptors in the public and the private sector; and
  • train and develop highly qualified personnel in priority areas consistent with the future human resource requirements in the public and private sectors.

Funding Available

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 include research projects and research programs (composed of a number of related research projects).

Terms of Support

Approved activities may be supported for terms of up to five years with funding beyond the first year contingent upon evidence of satisfactory progress and, where applicable, evidence of continuing support from the industrial partner(s).


Academic staff members of Canadian universities are eligible to apply for this grant. Applicants must satisfy normal NSERC Eligibility Criteria as outlined in NSERC's Program Guide for Professors.

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.

An eligible industrial partner is a single Canadian-based firm or consortium of companies incorporated and operating in Canada. The industrial partner(s) must include at least one eligible industrial partner but can include other eligible and non-eligible companies.

Research Priorities

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 ensuring the secure transmission of information over the entire electromagnetic spectrum;

Undersea Systems – Undersea sensor and response systems, including integration of undersea systems;

Information Systems – Integration of technologies for decision-making and for distribution of data and information among users;

Air Vehicles – Technologies and their integration that relate to flight in the earth's atmosphere;

Naval Platforms – Technologies that relate to the safe, efficient and effective operation of surface ships and underwater vehicles;

Mobility Systems – Technologies that affect mobility of land vehicles;

Surveillance Systems – Exploiting the electromagnetic spectrum for detection, tracking and classification of objects;

Human Systems Integration – Technologies supporting maximization of personnel readiness and performance through effective training strategies, human information processing, human-computer and human-machine interfaces;

Life Support Systems – Technologies concerned with human effectiveness, protection, health, safety and survival in operational environments.

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:

Relevance to DND and NSERC Research Priorities

  • the extent to which the proposed research activity addresses the research priorities established by the DND/NSERC Steering Committee.

Merit of the Research Proposal

  • the originality and quality of the research;
  • the focus and coherence of the research proposal;
  • the appropriateness and advantages of a collaborative approach to the proposed research;
  • the quality of the research team, including the mix of expertise and the contribution individual participants will make to the research effort;
  • the availability and suitability of the equipment and facilities;
  • the benefits of the proposed research, and its potential impact, within a reasonable time, on Canada's defence capabilities, economy, industry, or society; and
  • the justification for the level and duration of funding requested vis-à-vis the stated objectives.

Interactions and Partnerships

  • the nature and extent of the contributions and potential contributions from all participants;
  • the ability of the participants to exploit the research results to the benefit of Canada;
  • a plan for ensuring effective interaction among all participants in the research; and
  • a strategy for communicating the achievements and results of the project to all interested parties.


  • the extent to which all participants are involved in the training of highly qualified personnel; and
  • a plan to facilitate the training of highly qualified personnel in settings that encourage interaction with the participants.

Management and Budgeting

  • the appropriateness of the overall budget, which includes the funds requested from NSERC and the contributions from other sources;
  • the level of commitment of the applicant and key researchers to the project and its management; and
  • where appropriate, a management structure that will ensure effective research, research planning, budgeting, and interaction among all participants.

Company Contributions

Cash and in-kind contributions from industry are recognized by NSERC as eligible contributions and valid commitments if they are used to defray the direct cost of the proposed activity. These include expenditures essential to carry out the activity, such as stipends to students and postdoctoral fellows, salaries for professional and technical staff, cost of materials and consumables, purchase of technical services, research-related travel and other direct costs incurred in meeting the research objectives.

Cash contributions from industry not recognized by NSERC include payments towards university overheads, licensing fees, faculty honoraria and consulting fees.

The company can make an in-kind contribution (at fair market value and standard labour rates) in addition to the cash contribution. The recognized company contribution is the total cash or cash and in-kind and this contribution may be matched by NSERC funding on the basis of a 2:1 ratio, i.e., NSERC may contribute up to two dollars for every dollar invested in cash by the company. The value of the in-kind contributions recognized by NSERC will not exceed the value of the cash contribution. For a full discussion of valid in-kind and appropriate cost-sharing ratios, refer to the Guidelines on Eligibility and Value of In-Kind Contributions.

Intellectual Property

With regards to the ownership of the rights to intellectual property resulting from the research, refer to NSERC's Policy on Intellectual Property in the Program Guide for Professors.

When applying for grants, applicants must describe any agreements being negotiated or in place concerning the protection and disposition of intellectual property, exploitation of research results, and publications. In addition, provisions for the ownership of intellectual property resulting from the research must be included in the application and are subject to approval by the participants. 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.

Application Procedures

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 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.

DND/NSERC Research Partnership Grant
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council
350 Albert Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 1H5

It is not necessary to submit an additional application to DND.

All decisions are final and appeals will not be entertained.


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.

Other Information

Questions about the grant, its objectives, policies, completion of forms, etc. should be addressed to:

Sylvia Williams
Research Partnerships Programs
Manufacturing, Communications and Technologies Division

Tel.: 613-996-2571
Fax: 613-992-5337

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