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Ship Time Program

Duration Up to two years
Application Deadline September 1
Application Procedures See below
How to Apply
  • 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.
For More Information Consult the Contact List


The Ship Time Program allows those holding an NSERC Discovery Grant to apply for additional funds to access vessels in support of their research programs.


This Ship Time Program is aimed at all NSERC-funded researchers who intend to use a vessel for their Discovery Grant-supported research in the coming years. It applies to: the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) vessels, undersea vehicles operated by the This link will take you to another Web site Canadian Scientific Submersible Facility or other similar research platforms, and any other Canadian or foreign vessels crewed in conformance with the This link will take you to another Web site Canada Shipping Act 2001.

Ship Time grants support ongoing Discovery Grant research programs. These grants recognize the high costs associated with chartering research vessels in Canada and abroad. Applicants must hold a Discovery Grant to be eligible to receive a Ship Time grant. Recipients of Ship Time grants must use the funds as described in the application. Requests to use an alternate vessel will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Ship Time applicants may apply for more than one vessel at a time. Should the two vessels be part of the same project (e.g., a remotely operated vehicle and a support vessel), only one application is to be submitted.

The normal duration of Ship Time grants is one year. Two-year grants will be considered in exceptional circumstances, where the project completion requires a firm commitment of funding for more than one year.

NSERC does not consider requests for supplements to existing Ship Time grants or ship time associated with other NSERC programs.

Application Procedures

Grantees and applicants whose research is, or will be, supported under the Discovery Grants program must submit their completed Ship Time application by September 1. If you are intending to access a This link will take you to another Web site Canadian Coast Guard vessel, you also need to contact DFO directly for their full application requirements.

For each project requiring a vessel, please submit one original of the following documents (except in cases where the vessel is combined with a remotely operated vehicle):

  • Application for a Grant (Form 101), Ship Time;
  • Personal Data Form (Form 100) for the applicant and co-applicants;
  • Quotation for all vessels to be used (including DFO and non-DFO); and
  • Additional material, as required.

The onus is on the applicant to submit a complete application that conforms to the presentation standards requested by NSERC. Incomplete applications and applications that do not meet the presentation standards may be rejected or be disadvantaged. Late applications and material received under separate cover (before or after the deadline date) will not be accepted.

Review Procedures and Selection Criteria

Applications are evaluated by the Ship Time Allocation Committee according to the following criteria, which are based on the information provided in the Ship Time application and cruise reports:

Need for ship time:

  • Importance of the ship time to the advancement of the research program and achievement of the scientific goal;
  • Demonstration that proposed methods are the best approach to answering research questions.

Scientific excellence:

  • Scientific excellence of the proposed project(s).


  • Urgency and timing of expedition.

Need for funds (cost):

  • Attempt to maximize existing resources (extent to which the required platform may be shared with others);
  • Availability of the equipment required to undertake the research;
  • Provision of technical support;
  • Alternate provisions for using other (less costly) methods to obtain data.

Effective use of previous ship time allocations (if applicable)

Cruise Report

Successful applicants will be required to submit a short report immediately following the completion of the expedition, highlighting specific accomplishments in relation to the original objectives. Note that this will factor in the evaluation of your next Ship Time proposal. The cruise report should outline and address the following:

  • Vessel used;
  • Type of cruise (i.e., dedicated, joint, opportunity, shared);
  • Cruise start/end dates;
  • Cruise location (a cruise track or map would be helpful);
  • Cruise objectives;
  • Objectives and/or other work accomplished;
  • Time lost due to weather;
  • Problems encountered (e.g., degree of satisfaction with research platform);
  • Amount and type of data collected;
  • Plans for scientific analysis and publication.

Note: It is the responsibility of the grant holder to ensure that any vessel being used for NSERC-supported research is crewed in conformance with the This link will take you to another Web site Canada Shipping Act.