Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
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Call for Applications

NSERC invites applications that promote the natural sciences and engineering to Canada's young people, particularly to groups such as girls and Aboriginal peoples* that are under-represented in scientific and engineering careers.

In addition, NSERC is issuing a targeted call for applications that focus on resources, tools and professional development for teachers. It is expected that an increased percentage of applications in this area will be supported in consequence. These professional development programs must be outside of accredited courses or degree requirements.

Furthermore, 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.

* For the purposes of this program, NSERC uses the Canadian Constitution Act, 1982 definition of Aboriginal peoples as including the Indian, Inuit, and Métis peoples of Canada.

PromoScience Application Summary Form

Read the PromoScience Program description before completing the PromoScience Application Summary Form. Accessibility notice: If you cannot access the content, contact the On-line Services Helpdesk by email at or by telephone at 613-995-4273. Indicate the email 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. Only the documents requested by NSERC will be made available to the selection committee.

For more information, read the General Presentation Guidelines.

New: Links to websites may not be included in application documents, including letters of support. Committee members will ignore any links in documents received.

Applicants should encourage persons providing letters of support to use these guidelines as well. If support letters are not readable, the application may be at a disadvantage in the competition.

Application Deadline

Your application must be received at NSERC by 8:00 p.m. (ET) on September 15. 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 must be submitted electronically via the Secure Submissions for NSERC’s Innovative Collaborations and Science Promotion Programs. Documents must be submitted in Portable Document Format (PDF) as a single document.

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

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;
  • 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 (not applicable to postsecondary institution applicants).
  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; 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.);
    • 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 an explanation of any relationship and/or overlap, conceptual or financial, with other NSERC funding or support from other sources (two pages maximum).

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. The average grant typically ranges from $15,000 to $25,000 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) may be required. For more information, consult NSERC’s Guidelines on Environmental Review and Assessment.

For Applicants with Current PromoScience Funding

A one-page 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;
  • a justification for continued NSERC support (for renewing applicants only).

Letters of Support

  • Up to three 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.
  • Up to three letters of commitment to confirm funding agreements or in-kind contributions from outside sources and/or from the host organization (i.e., postsecondary institution).

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 can submit your application to NSERC, you must read and agree to the terms and conditions listed on the Terms and Conditions of Applying Form. It is your responsibility to retain a copy of the agreed terms and conditions for your records.

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 website.

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