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Discovery Grants – Northern Research Supplements Program

Value Up to $25,000 per year, for up to five years
Application Deadline November 1
How to Apply See below
Application Forms
  • Form 100 – Personal Data Form
  • Form 101 – Application for a Grant
To create or access an application, select On-line System Login. To view forms and instructions, select PDF Forms and Instructions.
Contacts View the Contact Directory


The Discovery Grants Northern Research Supplements (NRS) Program has been established to help augment and promote Canadian university-based northern research and training. The main purpose of the Northern Research Supplements program is to recognize the added logistical costs unique to conducting research in the Canadian North.1


The NRS Program is aimed at NSERC-funded researchers who intend to conduct research in Canada's North. You must apply for a Northern Research Supplement at the same time you apply for an NSERC Discovery Grant. Applications will be accepted only from researchers who are applying for a Discovery Grant in the same year’s competition.

Successful applicants will receive a supplement to their NSERC Discovery Grant of between $10,000 and $25,000 per year, for the duration of their Discovery Grant. Awards at the upper end of this range will be made to those with higher logistical costs and to recognize outstanding contributions to outreach and interactions with northerners. Renewal of the supplement will be considered at the time of your Discovery Grant reapplication.

Recipients of Northern Research Supplements are not restricted to the specific activities described in the application, but must pursue research interests in the North. In order to reduce field costs, researchers may also consider Natural Resources Canada’s This link will take you to another Web site Technical Field Support Services (TFSS), which also provides logistics support to field projects through issuance of field equipment.

Application Procedures

To be considered for this supplement, you must submit a separate Application for a Grant - Discovery Grants – Northern Research Supplement (Form 101), and a Personal Data Form (Form 100) by November 1.

Your application must explain how your research program addresses the following points:

  • Northern Canadian location:1 Define the location where you plan to conduct your research. Give the names of surrounding towns or specific communities, or the latitudes and longitudes.
  • Need for funding: Provide an outline of the logistical expenses that you expect to incur due to the high costs of undertaking your research in the North. This outline should be in the form of a budget and should include any outreach initiatives that are planned.
  • Outreach and interaction with northern communities: Describe your plans, including costs, to incorporate and involve northerners in your research program.

Review Procedures and Selection Criteria

Applications are reviewed by the Northern Research Supplements committee that will make recommendations on funding levels to NSERC. This will be a multidisciplinary panel comprised of experts in the natural sciences and engineering, as well as experts from public and/or private sector organizations with experience in northern issues.

Applications are judged according to the following criteria (the onus is on the applicant to address these explicitly in the proposal):

  • Need for Funds
    • Special needs related to the unique logistical expenses (excluding student stipends and salaries for research personnel) you expect to incur due to the high costs of undertaking your research in the North;
    • Special needs related to the unique education, outreach, and communications initiatives undertaken in the North (e.g., extended accommodation costs, honoraria, stipends, and salaries directed at community members are eligible, if well justified);
    • Appropriateness of, and justification for, the budget;
    • Availability of other sources of funding and their relationship to the current proposal; and
    • Amount of time to be spent conducting research in the North.
  • Contribution to the Training of Highly Qualified Personnel
    • Quality and extent of past contributions and potential opportunities to train highly qualified personnel (e.g., postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students, technicians) in the North; and
    • Impact of the planned training on non-university researchers and participants, especially on northerners and northern communities.
  • Outreach, and Communication Initiatives
    • Training and education activities for northern communities and other non-university researchers and participants;
    • Outreach activities to engage northerners in the planning, conducting, and dissemination of research;
    • Strategy to communicate northern research results and promote northern research and training; and
    • Plans for inclusion of traditional knowledge in the research.
  • Excellence of the Applicant
    • Focus on experience and recent progress in conducting research in the North.
  • Merit of the Proposal
    • Objectives and plans for research in the North;
    • Plans to interact and collaborate with other researchers, non-university organizations, and northern and Aboriginal community organizations;
    • Potential to produce new knowledge and research results of benefit to Canadians and the North; and
    • Feasibility and practicality of the proposed research, given the available facilities, services, and infrastructure support.
1 For the purposes of the program, Canada's North is defined as the land- and ocean-based territory that lies north of the southern limit of the sporadic discontinuous permafrost, from northern British Columbia to northern Labrador. For a map outlining the location of permafrost, visit Natural Resources Canada’s This link will take you to another Web site The Atlas of Canada Web site.