Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
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PromoScience encourages a wide variety of organizations to help young Canadians in elementary school, high school, or their first year of college in Quebec, and their teachers, to develop science and engineering skills and interests.

PromoScience grants support organizations that:

  • work with young Canadians to inspire an interest in science and engineering;

    From robotic workshops to youth-focused conservation projects, we are interested in imaginative programs connecting young people and their families with science ideas.

  • motivate young people to study science and engineering and to pursue careers in these fields;

    New talents need support and encouragement to flourish. If your organization helps encourage the next generation of innovators to aim higher and appreciate the huge potential of careers in science and engineering, let us know.
  • bring interactive, hands-on science experiences to young people.

    Does your organization actively engage youth in doing and learning about science and engineering? Tell us about your work.

These include organizations that:

  • focus on groups that are traditionally under-represented in scientific and engineering careers;

    Access to science and engineering skills means access to success. If your organization is taking science out to young people in groups or communities that do not get equal exposure to science learning opportunities, we are ready to help.
  • provide instruction and resources to science, math and technology teachers.

    We welcome proposals for professional development programs outside of accredited courses or degree requirements.

Is Your Organization Eligible?

To be eligible, you must:

  • be a Canadian:
    • registered non-profit organization,
    • postsecondary institution, or
    • non-federal museum or science centre.
  • demonstrate ongoing involvement in the promotion of the natural sciences and engineering to young Canadians.

Examples of ineligible organizations include:

  • federal departments and agencies;
  • federal museums and “friends of a federal museum” societies;
  • provincial, territorial, regional and municipal government departments;
  • organizations running one-time, project-specific activities; and
  • elementary schools, high schools, and school boards.

What Activities are Eligible?

There is a very broad range of activities promoting the natural sciences and engineering that are eligible for funding. The following points answer common questions about eligibility.

  • Ongoing programming: Activities must be delivered on a continual basis from year to year. One-time, project-specific activities are not eligible.
  • Youth-focused programming: Activities and content must be designed for youth in elementary school, high school, or their first year of college in Quebec and/or their teachers. Programming for youth that involves their families is encouraged. We do not support activities targeting pre-school aged children, postsecondary students or the general public.
  • Teacher-focused programming: PromoScience is targeting resources and tools for teachers that make it easier for them to teach science well, as well as professional development for teachers to improve their knowledge, skills and enthusiasm for teaching science to youth.
  • Programming in the natural sciences and engineering (NSE): Proposed activities must be primarily focused on promoting interest and careers in the NSE. Programming focused primarily on health, medicine, social sciences, or arts is not eligible for support.
  • New/pilot programs: Such applications must include strong evidence of the feasibility and anticipated impact of the activities (i.e., support letters, data from similar successful programs).
  • Proposals with broad impact and reach: We encourage proposals at the national, provincial, territorial and regional levels. We will not support local activities unless these target traditionally under-represented groups in science and engineering.
  • Interactive, hands-on programming: Activities must involve social or technology-mediated interaction with a two-way flow of information and influence between youth and their facilitators. We will not support the production of books, videos, lectures, etc. that are not part of an interactive program.
  • Research experience: Applicants must demonstrate how their program meets the objectives of the PromoScience Program by going beyond simply providing work experience.
  • Program delivery using a website: Such applications must demonstrate that the website is of an ongoing nature and interactive, and should include a detailed plan that outlines the need for the site, its content and plans for ongoing maintenance.
  • University-based activities: If an activity is linked to university course work (i.e., university students as instructors or mentors), the course work must be clearly delineated from the youth-based outreach component for the application to be eligible.
  • For organizations receiving core government funding (i.e., museums and science centres), only activities that are not already funded through their existing core funding are eligible. For example, expanding collections or developing travelling and/or permanent displays would not be considered eligible for funding through PromoScience.

Current Award Holders

If your organization received the last payment of an active award in January of this year, it is eligible to apply in September for a renewal of funding for the same activity.

If the last payment of an ongoing award is scheduled for next January, wait until next September to apply for a renewal of funding for the same activity.

Multiple Awards

PromoScience will allow an organization to hold multiple concurrent awards as long as the organization clearly demonstrates in the application that there is no overlap in any way with activities already supported by active PromoScience grants, or with other proposals submitted to the same PromoScience competition by the same organization.

NSERC encourages organizers of science and engineering promotion activities for youth to coordinate and prioritize their activities within their own organization (i.e., at the same university) and to collaborate with other organizations. Keep in mind that two applications from the same organization will be in competition with each other. When a single application requests funding for more than one program, the Selection Committee may choose to direct funding to one particular program.

Postsecondary Institutions

NSERC will accept only one application per department. Concurrent awards must be held at different departments and applicants must demonstrate that there is no overlap between the activities proposed and those supported by other applications or active awards. The onus is on the applicant to find out what other activities at their institution are currently supported by, or being requested from, PromoScience. The proposed science and engineering activities must address the PromoScience objectives and must not be for recruitment purposes.

Umbrella Group Members

Members of umbrella organizations may submit individual applications (see Multiple Awards); however, PromoScience prefers to receive applications for support from head offices of umbrella organizations, rather than individual member groups. NSERC defines an umbrella organization as an association of groups that work together formally to coordinate activities or pool resources. The umbrella organization provides services, support, resources and/or an identity to the smaller organizations. Proposals from an umbrella organization will be grouped together in the review process.

Also, the applicant must submit a letter from the head office of the umbrella organization that:

  • approves the submission of a separate application by the member group;
  • describes the relationship between the head office and the member group (i.e., services provided, funding transferred);
  • clearly delineates the activities delivered by the head office and those delivered by the member group;
  • explains how the activities proposed by the member group are separate and distinct from the umbrella organization’s (or another member group’s), activities currently supported by PromoScience, or proposed to PromoScience in a separate application to the current competition.

Eligibility Enquiries

If you are not sure about the eligibility of your organization or activity for PromoScience support, contact us well in advance of the September 15 application deadline.