National Science Foundation Global Centres

Call for proposals: Bioeconomy



All NSF and partner funding agency eligibility requirements must be met before submitting an application. Each agency is responsible for reviewing the eligibility of its researchers, institutions and subject matter.

When your simplified Alliance application is received, NSERC and SSHRC first undertake an administrative assessment to ensure the application is complete and complies with all requirements.

NSERC and SSHRC will review the eligibility of Canadian participants on Global Centres proposals using the simplified Alliance application.

In supporting research partnerships that endeavour to obtain the greatest possible benefits to Canada and for Canadians, NSERC and SSHRC reserve the right to:

  • determine the eligibility of proposals and request additional information from Canadian applicants, as may be required for the review of their application
  • interpret the regulations and policies governing the national funding opportunities
  • apply conditions to individual grants as appropriate
  • terminate, suspend, reduce the amount or duration, or change the terms and conditions of an award with due notice to comply with Government of Canada laws, regulations, policies and directives, which are subject to change.

NSF intends to return, without review, proposals that do not meet the eligibility requirements of any of the involved funding agencies. Only applications deemed eligible by all funding agencies will proceed to merit assessment.

Merit assessment mechanisms

Full applications submitted to the NSF will be reviewed in competition with other proposals using the NSF’s merit review process. NSERC, SSHRC and other funding agency partners will be invited to suggest reviewers, and NSERC and SSHRC representatives will observe the review process. NSERC and SSHRC will not conduct a parallel merit review.

Evaluation criteria

The merit of your NSF application will be assessed using the evaluation criteria outlined in the NSF solicitation (section VI. NSF PROPOSAL PROCESSING AND REVIEW PROCEDURES).

Specifically, reviewers will be asked to assess proposals using the following approved National Science Board criteria:

  • Intellectual Merit: The Intellectual Merit criterion encompasses the potential to advance knowledge.
  • Broader Impacts: The Broader Impacts criterion encompasses the potential to benefit society and contribute to achieving specific, desired societal outcomes.

In addition to the above, the following specific criteria will be used to assess Global Centre proposals:

International collaboration:

  • Why can this global challenge only be addressed through the complementary knowledge, skills and resources of this group of international partners? What are the roles and responsibilities of the foreign partners in the Centre?


  • Why can this global challenge only be addressed through the complementary knowledge, skills and resources of this multidisciplinary team?


  • How will the Centre utilize the Knowledge to Action Framework to produce results likely to contribute to addressing a societal challenge related to the bioeconomy? What stakeholder groups will be involved in the co-design and co-generation of the research to ensure that the results are relevant? Centres should address the ethical, legal and social aspects of the work.

Fostering participation:

  • How will the project foster the participation of the full spectrum of diverse talent in STEM (e.g., as the principal investigator (PI), co-PI, senior personnel, postdoctoral scholars, graduate or undergraduate students, or trainees)? This includes historically underrepresented or underserved populations, diverse institutions, including Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs), two-year colleges, and major research institutions, including in EPSCoR jurisdictions.

Funding decision

NSF, NSERC, SSHRC and, if applicable, the other partner funding agencies will determine recommendation outcomes for the proposals submitted to the NSF which have undergone a merit review. NSERC and SSHRC’s funding decision will take into consideration the NSF merit review.

When making their funding decisions, NSERC and SSHRC will take into account the involvement of the Canadian team as described in both the NSF application and in the NSERC proposal, as well as the benefit to Canada and the concrete measures to support EDI in the training plan as laid out in the simplified Alliance proposal that you will submit to NSERC.

Where applicable, NSERC’s funding decision will consider the potential risks for Canada’s national security pursuant to the National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships.

NSERC will provide funding for research primarily in the natural sciences and engineering fields, while SSHRC will support research primarily in the social sciences and humanities fields. NSERC and SSHRC will decide upon the allocation of funds from each agency to successful Canadian research teams.

Once a funding decision has been made, the US PI will be provided with feedback about their proposal. Copies of reviews, excluding the names of the reviewers or any reviewer-identifying information, will be sent to the PI from the NSF. NSERC and SSHRC will provide separate notifications of awards to the Canada-based researchers on successful proposals.

What's next?
Apply now


Application deadline
June 11, 2024, 8:00 p.m. EST

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