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NSERC Alliance-Mitacs Accelerate grants

Overview
Duration Up to 5 years
Application deadline No deadline
How to apply
  • Form 100A – Personal data form with CCV attachment
  • Form 101 – Application for a grant
  • Mitacs Accelerate supplemental application and budget spreadsheet
To create or access an application, select online system login. To view instructions, select PDF forms and instructions.
For more information Consult the contact list.

Context and objectives

Joint NSERC Alliance-Mitacs Accelerate grants support projects of varying scale and complexity, from short-term smaller projects involving one researcher to long-term projects involving researchers across several universities, and from one-on-one collaborations with a single partner organization directly involved in the research to projects involving many partner organizations across multiple sectors. Applicants seeking support from both an Alliance Advantage grant and a Mitacs Accelerate grant can apply through a streamlined submission and review process. Following a lead agency model, applicants will submit a joint proposal that will undergo a single review process at NSERC, the lead agency. These grants will be reviewed in the same manner as other Alliance Advantage grants. NSERC and Mitacs will communicate funding decisions to the applicants under separate cover.

This joint funding opportunity allows applicants to leverage cash contributions from partners for funding from both NSERC and Mitacs. To take advantage of this opportunity, applicants must complete an Alliance Advantage application and include a Mitacs supplemental application form to request additional support through Mitacs Accelerate internships as a component of the training of highly qualified personnel (HQP). As in all Mitacs internships, a cash contribution from an eligible partner is required. Mitacs internships cannot be the only mechanism for HQP training in the joint proposal; HQP should also be supported by NSERC funds.

NSERC Alliance-Mitacs Accelerate applications require the following information when outlining the training of HQP:

  • A description of the role of the Mitacs interns in the research project, and an explanation of the quality of the research-based training experiences provided to the interns
  • A description of how the internship partner organization is committed to providing supervision and mentorship to the interns
  • An explanation of how the number of Mitacs interns and the number of internship units are appropriate to the scope of the project

Applications will be reviewed following the same process as Alliance Advantage grants. NSERC and Mitacs will communicate funding decisions to the applicants under separate cover.

Who can apply?

  • Applicants must meet both NSERC’s and Mitacs’ eligibility criteria when the application is submitted and when funding is released.
  • Canadian university researchers eligible to receive NSERC funds can apply independently or as a team with co-applicants who are also eligible academic researchers. Applicants must have at least one partner organization (in the private, public or not-for-profit sector) whose cash contributions will be recognized for cost-sharing (see Alliance Advantage: Role of partner organizations), but other partner organizations who play an important role in the research project may be included in the application, whether or not their cash contributions are recognized for cost-sharing.

Please note that Mitacs will undertake a preliminary administrative assessment of the Accelerate application to determine applicant, partner organization and project eligibility before the applicant submits their application to NSERC. Please contact your local Mitacs business development representative for details on this process.

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.

How to apply

To apply to the NSERC Alliance Advantage-Mitacs Accelerate program, you must make a joint submission through NSERC’s online system. Before starting your application, you must first contact your local Mitacs business development representative to obtain the Mitacs supplemental application form. Additionally, you must complete the Alliance Advantage application forms, including the Alliance Advantage proposal template following the instructions for completing an Alliance grants application. Submit the completed proposal template and supporting documents, including the personal data form with CCV attachment for the applicant and all co-applicants, and the Mitacs supplemental application form, through NSERC’s online system. For this program, you are required to complete a partner contributions form that indicates Mitacs as a joint call funding partner. Note that Mitacs should be invited to confirm its support of the application using the contributions form. Please contact a Mitacs business development representative for further guidance on how to complete this form.

As of July 12, 2021, applicants (and their institutions) are required to complete the National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships risk assessment form for all Alliance grants applications involving one or more partner organizations from the private sector. For more information, please see the Alliance Advantage Overview page and the news release.

You are not required to share completed risk assessment forms with joint call funding partner organizations if you do not wish to do so.

The information you provide in your application is collected under the authority of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Act. NSERC is subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. The information you provide is stored in a series of NSERC data banks as described in Information about programs and information holdings. You must ensure that others listed in the application have agreed to be included.

To start a NSERC Alliance Advantage-Mitacs Accelerate joint application:

  • Login to the online system and select Create a new form 101
  • Select Research partnerships, then Alliance
  • For the Proposal type field, select Full proposal
  • For the Type of call field, select Mitacs Accelerate from the drop-down menu

Proposal: Training of HQP: Describe the role of the Mitacs interns in the research project and explain the quality of the research-based training experiences provided to the interns. Describe how the partner organization is committed to providing supervision and mentorship for the interns. Explain how the number of Mitacs interns and the number of internship units are appropriate to the scope of the project. The instructions for completing an Alliance grant application provide additional guidance for questions not addressed on this page.

Proposed expenditures/budget justification: Provide the breakdown of funds requested from both NSERC and Mitacs in support of HQP, including Mitacs interns.

Joint call funding partner contributions form: To capture Mitacs’ contributions to the project, you must complete a partner contributions form (joint call funding partner) outlining Mitacs’ contributions on a yearly basis. Please ensure that you select the Joint call funding partner contributions form in the online system to correctly enter the contributions. In the contact section, provide the name of your local Mitacs business development representative and the email of the Mitacs Research Officer (grant-management@mitacs.ca).

Mitacs supplemental form: Upload the Mitacs supplemental form as a PDF attachment to the Other documents section of the Alliance grants form 101. Note that the Mitacs supplemental form should also be provided to Mitacs.

Consult the Alliance grant application checklist for a summary of information that needs to be addressed in a completed application.

Evaluation criteria

Full proposals will be reviewed by NSERC according to the procedures and processes for Alliance Advantage grants, with additional considerations given to the training of HQP. Proposals will be reviewed based on the Alliance Advantage merit evaluation criteria and the Mitacs adjudication criteria. These joint applications may require additional time to review than other Alliance Advantage applications. Funding decisions will be made separately by NSERC and Mitacs. NSERC will communicate Alliance funding decisions to applicants while Mitacs will communicate Accelerate funding decisions under separate cover.

Expected assessment time

Small project

Medium project

Large project

7 to 11 weeks if evaluation is supported by existing NSERC peer review (the applicant and each co-applicant – with the exception of co-applicants who are Early Career Researchers - must hold an active peer-reviewed grant from NSERC as primary applicant at the time of application)

11 to 20 weeks if there is no existing NSERC peer review for the applicant or one of the co-applicants (with the exception of co-applicants who are Early Career Researchers)

11 to 20 weeks

16 to 26 weeks

NSERC is committed to achieving these service standards for 80% of applications, recognizing that some proposals may require additional time.


Note: By submitting an application to the joint NSERC Alliance Advantage-Mitacs Accelerate program, you consent to the two organizations sharing information contained in the application, including personal information, and information on the administration of a resulting grant/award, which may include peer review assessments, outcomes of merit review assessments, or project reports required as a condition of award. You also confirm that you have obtained the consent of any individuals whose personal information is contained in such documents to share this information in the same manner.

Funding

All project expenditures are subject to the principles and directives governing the appropriate use of grant funds, as outlined in the Tri-agency guide on financial administration. Applicants must follow the Tri-agency open access policy.

If your application is approved for funding, you will receive an award letter from NSERC, and you must adhere to the terms and conditions set out in it. You will also receive an outcome letter from Mitacs, and you must adhere to the terms and conditions set out in it.

Extension of grants

NSERC automatically provides an extension period of one year for using the grant funds. This extension period allows you to complete your planned research activities within the specified term of your grant. The extension is applicable for the NSERC portion of the grant only.

Reporting

Successful applicants will be informed of reporting requirements and the corresponding schedule for reports when they are notified of the funding decision. NSERC and Mitacs will strive to streamline their reporting requirements to lessen the burden on participants.