On January 16, 2024, the Government of Canada published its Policy on Sensitive Technology Research and Affiliations of Concern. This funding opportunity is in scope of this new policy, wherein grant applications that involve conducting research that aims to advance a sensitive technology research area will not be funded if any of the researchers involved in activities supported by the grant are currently affiliated with, or in receipt of funding or in-kind support from, a named research organization. Please read the Tri-agency guidance on the STRAC Policy to understand how this policy may impact your grant application.

Alliance International


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

How much?

$25,000 (Catalyst grants) up to $100,000 per year (Collaboration grants)

How long?

1 year (Catalyst grants) up to 3 years (Collaboration grants)


Canadian researchers work with international colleagues to pursue new knowledge, technologies, and solutions to complex problems. These collaborations strengthen research excellence in Canada and abroad, and NSERC recognizes the need to support engagement with international collaborators to further develop areas of Canadian research strength and leadership. By combining the expertise of Canadian and leading international researchers, it is expected that Canadian researchers will leverage the best international knowledge to help address important research challenges in the natural sciences and engineering (NSE) disciplines and will provide trainees with an outstanding research environment.


Alliance International will provide support for researchers in Canada to work with leading international researchers from the academic sector, and to establish and grow international research collaborations and projects that have a high potential for impact in NSE disciplines. The overall objectives are to: 1) allow Canadian researchers to initiate the development of international collaborations; and 2) provide support for Canadian researchers participating in international collaborative projects of global importance and benefit to Canada. Two grant types are offered: Catalyst grants and Collaboration grants.

Alliance International Catalyst grants

Catalyst grants will provide funding for one year to support Canadian researchers in initiating international research collaborations in the NSE disciplines. These grants will allow Canadian researchers to identify and initiate the first stage of collaboration with the intent of

  • supporting exploratory research activities
  • initiating exchanges for Canadian personnel where appropriate

Alliance International Collaboration grants

Collaboration grants will allow Canadian researchers to participate in international projects and leverage the best international expertise in the NSE disciplines to help address research challenges of impact and benefit for Canada. International academic collaborators are expected to have already secured funding from their own national funding agency for the collaborative project and identified the Canadian academic researcher(s) in their proposal. This proposal must have been peer-reviewed. The eligible Canadian researchers participating in the international project can then apply for a Collaboration grant to cover the costs of their participation in the global-scale project. The funding obtained by the international academic collaborator(s) will be recognized for cost sharing. This funding must be at least equal to the amount requested from NSERC.

These grants cannot be used to support secret or contract research, nor can they be used to support the work or expenses incurred by the international collaborator(s).

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.

Who can apply?

If you are a Canadian university researcher who is eligible to receive NSERC funds, you can apply on your own or as a team with co-applicants who are also eligible academic researchers. You and any Canadian co-applicants must have an active NSERC peer-reviewed grant, as primary applicant, at the time of application. There is no requirement for partner organizations or contributions from partner organizations for this funding opportunity. However, at the time of application, you must identify at least one international academic researcher with whom you will collaborate. In the case of an Alliance International Collaboration grant, your international collaborator must have secured funding from their own funding agency at the time of your application to NSERC.

What's next?
International Collaborator(s)
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Application deadline
No deadline

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