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Alliance International Catalyst Quantum grants


Canadian university researchers working in partnership with international collaborators from the academic sector

How much?

Up to $25,000

How long?

1 year


Quantum science is the study, manipulation and control of systems at the atomic and subatomic level. Quantum technologies are at the leading edge of science and innovation, both in Canada and worldwide. They will support the growth and transformation of key sectors, enable new economic opportunities and help advance a range of benefits for society. Canada is a leader in quantum research, and Canadian scientists are well positioned to capitalize on these opportunities.

Following up on Budget 2021, the Government of Canada launched the National Quantum Strategy (NQS) to amplify Canada’s significant strengths in quantum research; grow its quantum-ready technologies, companies and talent; and solidify Canada ’s global leadership in this area. The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) supports the implementation of the NQS through funding opportunities that build on NSERC ’s sustained investments in quantum research. The NQS and the results of the associated consultations held by the Government of Canada informed these funding opportunities.

Alliance International Quantum grants provide support for researchers in Canada to establish and grow international research collaborations that will strengthen research excellence in Canada and abroad, and further develop Canadian research strengths and leadership in quantum science and technology. Alliance International Catalyst Quantum grants provide up to $25,000 for one year to support Canadian academic researchers in initiating and developing research collaborations with international researchers from the academic sector in the areas of quantum science and quantum technologies.

Proposals may address any challenge in quantum science, but their thrust must aim to advance one or more of the NQS missions by advancing research in any of the following areas of quantum technologies, or a combination thereof:

  • quantum algorithms/encryption, including post-quantum cryptography
  • quantum communications
  • quantum computing
  • quantum materials
  • quantum sensing

Proposals may also synergistically couple any of these quantum technology thrusts to other research topics in the natural sciences and engineering. Proposals that do not address one or more of the NQS missions may be removed from consideration; see the Important note below for additional information on what to include in your proposal.

The complete program information and guidelines governing Alliance International Catalyst Quantum grants are provided on the Alliance International grants web pages. Potential applicants should review this material for details pertaining to the eligibility criteria for applicants, application limits, the review process and merit indicators, award conditions and instructions for preparing your application.

How to apply

You can apply at any time up until March 31, 2024. As this is a continuous intake process, applications will be assessed upon receipt, and funding decisions will be communicated within 5 to 9 weeks from the date NSERC receives the complete application. You and any Canadian co-applicants must hold, as a primary applicant, an active NSERC peer-reviewed grant at the time of application. For this call, you are limited to one application as either applicant or co-applicant. This limit applies to Alliance International Catalyst Quantum grants and does not count against application limits for other Alliance International grants or calls.

To start your application:

  • log in to the online system and choose Create a new form 101
  • select Research partnerships programs, then Alliance grants
  • for the Proposal type field, select Full proposal
  • for the Type of call field, select International - Catalyst - Quantum from the drop-down menu

Following the instructions for completing an Alliance International grants application, fill out the proposal template and complete the other sections of your application. Submit your application and all other documents as required for an Alliance International Catalyst grants application via NSERC’s online system.

Important note

In your proposal, under Relevance and expected outcomes, you should:

  • outline the objectives of the proposed international collaboration, and explain the potential outcomes and impacts
  • explain how the international collaboration will address important research challenges in the natural sciences and engineering disciplines as well as in quantum science and/or technologies, and how its thrust aims to advance one or more of the NQS missions
  • describe the global importance of the topic and how the expected outcomes could benefit Canada

Complete the other sections of your proposal as per the instructions and bullets provided in the proposal template.

Equity, diversity and inclusion

NSERC is acting on the evidence that achieving a more equitable, diverse and inclusive Canadian research enterprise is essential to creating the excellent, innovative and impactful research necessary to advance knowledge and understanding, and to respond to local, national and global challenges. This principle informs the commitments described in the Tri-agency statement on equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and is aligned with the objectives of the Tri-agency EDI action plan.

Excellent research considers EDI both in the research environment (forming a research team, student training) and in the research process. For Alliance grants, EDI considerations are currently evaluated in the training, mentorship and professional development opportunities for students and trainees. The aim is to remove barriers to the recruitment and promote full participation of individuals from underrepresented groups, including women, Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Inuit, and Métis), persons with disabilities, members of visible minority/racialized groups and members of 2SLGBTQI+ communities. Applicants are encouraged to increase the inclusion and advancement of underrepresented groups as one way to enhance the excellence in research and training. For additional guidance, applicants should refer to Alliance grants: Equity, diversity and inclusion in your training plan and the NSERC guide on integrating equity, diversity and inclusion considerations in research.


You will be informed of reporting requirements upon reception of your award letter. You must provide a final report within three months of the end of your project. Please refer to the Alliance International Post-award page for additional information.

Terms and conditions

At all times, Canadian researchers are encouraged to exercise appropriate levels of due diligence when managing their research and establishing and/or continuing partnerships with national, international and multinational organizations. Resources to do so are provided by the Government of Canada on the Safeguarding Your Research portal, including the National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships. NSERC reserves the right to request additional information, as needed, before making a final funding decision.


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Application deadline
Applications will be accepted anytime up until March 31, 2024

As this is a continuous intake process, applications will be assessed upon receipt, and funding decisions will be communicated within 5 to 9 weeks from the date NSERC receives the complete application.

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