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Call for Applications

NSERC is continuing to support eligible organizations that promote the natural sciences and engineering to Canada’s young people with an increased emphasis on proposals focussing on groups that are traditionally under-represented in scientific and engineering careers.

In addition, NSERC encourages organizations to consider the needs of official language minority communities in their area while developing the activities to be proposed in the application and to strive to have official documentation and promotional material in both official languages.

PromoScience Application Summary Form

Read the PromoScience Program description before completing the PromoScience Application Summary Form. Accessibility notice: If you cannot access the content, please contact the On-line Services Helpdesk by e-mail at or by telephone at 613-995-4273. Indicate the e-mail address and telephone number where you can be reached.

Presentation Standards

You are responsible for submitting a complete application that conforms to the presentation standards established by NSERC. Incomplete applications and applications that do not meet the presentation standards may be rejected, or be at a disadvantage, in comparison with those that are complete and respect the presentation standards. Where page limits are stated, pages in excess of the number permitted will be removed.

For more information, read the General Presentation Guidelines.

Application Deadline

Your application must be received at NSERC by September 15, 2014. If the deadline falls on a weekend or federal holiday, your application must reach NSERC by the following working day. Late applications will not be accepted.

Applications may be submitted:

Electronically: via the Secure Submissions for NSERC’s Innovative Collaborations and Science Promotion Programs Web site. Documents should be submitted in Portable Document Format (PDF) as a single document.

By mail:
350 Albert Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 1H5

Material or updates received under separate cover (before or after the deadline date) will not be accepted.

Personal Information

The collection, use and disclosure of personal information provided to NSERC are outlined in the following policy statements:

The information you provide in your application is collected under the authority of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Act. NSERC is subject to the This link will take you to another Web site Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act (ATIP). The information you provide is stored in a series of NSERC data banks described in This link will take you to another Web site Info Source.

Selection Criteria

In addition to the PromoScience Application Summary Form, your submission must include (up to five pages maximum):

  • an executive summary of up to 150 words including the nature and goals of the program, the number of youth to be reached and an overview of how the PromoScience funding would be spent; and
  • a description of how your proposed program addresses the selection criteria.

Divide your application into three sections; use the selection criteria as headings and indicators as sub-headings. Requests for core funding must include a detailed description of the organization’s main activities.

Organization’s Financial Picture

Your PromoScience application must also include the financial information listed below. This information is not counted in the five-page limit and must also conform to the General Presentation Guidelines.

  1. Your organization's most recent financial statements:
    • Non-profit organization applicants must submit audited or unaudited financial statements.
    • Post-secondary institution applicants must submit a detailed summary of revenues and expenses for the relevant program(s) from the previous year. Please do not submit institutional financial statements.
  2. A general budget forecast covering each year of the requested granting period (January to December). This sample budget is intended as a guide for your organization to follow. Some items may not be listed or may not apply to your organization; please adapt the template according to your needs. Include:
    • projected revenues of your organization or program(s). Breakdown income by source: PromoScience, federal government (indicate other funds received from NSERC and other federal granting agencies), provincial government, private sector, foundations, self-generated, university, etc.;
    • anticipated expenses of your organization or program(s) (breakdown by expenditure: salaries, equipment, materials and supplies, travel costs, publicity, etc.); and
    • estimated in-kind contributions (salaries, equipment, space, etc.). In-kind contributions should be included in the budget as a separate category and clearly indicated as in-kind.
  3. A budget justification for each budget item (indicate any priorities for funding) and explain any relationship and/or overlap, conceptual or financial, with other NSERC funding or support from other sources.

Note: NSERC will not fund 100% of the costs of a proposed activity. NSERC’s contribution is generally up to one-third of a program’s funding. In past competitions, the average grant ranged from $15,000 to $20,000 per year.

Certification Requirements

Consult the policies and guidelines described in the Requirements for Certain Types of Research. While these policies were written for research-related activities, in the context of PromoScience they may also apply to outreach, teaching and instructional activities. In the event of any uncertainty, applicants should contact the PromoScience Program Officer.

Note: Most programs supported through PromoScience involve human participants, but the youth involved in the activities are not considered ‘human subjects’ unless data (excluding program evaluation surveys) or samples are being collected from them. Only then does the ‘Humans’ box on the PromoScience Application Summary Form need to be checked.

Upon the award of a PromoScience grant, applicants may be required to submit their program for review by a Research Ethics Board, or Animal Care Committee, administered by a local university or college. In such cases, awards would be made conditional upon a satisfactory review.

Environmental Impact

The Environmental Information Form (Appendix A) must be completed and submitted with the grant application only if at least one of the following situations applies to your research activities: (A) any phase of the proposed research will take place outdoors and on federal lands in Canada, as defined in This link will take you to another Web site section 2(1) of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012); (B) any phase of the proposed research will take place outdoors and outside of Canada; (C)(i) the grant funds will permit a designated project (listed in the CEAA 2012 This link will take you to another Web site Regulations Designating Physical Activities [RDPA]) to be carried out in whole or in part; or (C)(ii) any phase of the proposed research will depend on a designated project (listed in the This link will take you to another Web site RDPA) that is being carried out by an organization other than NSERC. If none of these situations apply to your proposed research activities, Appendix A is not required.

Note: The NSERC Policy on Environmental Assessment has been revoked and replaced by NSERC’s Guidelines on Environmental Review and Assessment.

For Applicants with Past or Current PromoScience Funding

A one-page activity report (as an additional page) must be provided, and will be reviewed by the Selection Committee in terms of the effective use of past funding and, for renewing applicants, the ongoing effectiveness of the programming.

The report must include:

  • a brief description of the activities supported with previous PromoScience funding;
  • an overview of the outcomes and impacts from previous funding; and
  • a justification for continued NSERC support (for renewing applicants only).

Letters of Support

  • Up to five letters of reference; these are highly recommended, as applications without letters of reference may be at a disadvantage in the competition. Applicants that are specifically targeting an under-represented group are strongly encouraged to include a letter from an organization linked with the under-represented target audience.
  • An unlimited number of letters of commitment to confirm funding agreements from the host organization and/or outside sources; please do not include copies of cheques (optional).

Note that other documentation, such as appendices, brochures, and CD ROMs, will not be accepted as part of the application process.


For applicants

Before you, as an applicant, submit your application to NSERC, you must read and agree to the terms and conditions listed on the Terms and Conditions of Applying Form.

For postsecondary institutions

The signatures of the institutional authorities certify that:

Notification of Decision

NSERC will inform all applicants (in writing) of the results of the annual PromoScience competition by mid-January. NSERC will not provide results by telephone. Grantees can expect to receive their first instalment by early February. A list of the successful grantees will also be posted on the PromoScience Web site.

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