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NSERC/FRQNT NOVA program for junior researchers


Value and duration

Maximum $75,000 per year for a maximum of three years


September 14, 2023, 4 p.m. (ET) 
(Letter of intent and application)

To apply

Submit letter of intent to NSERC via NSERC’s online system

Submit application to FRQNT via Portal Access - Fonds de Recherche — Nature et technologies

Important information


The NOVA program for junior researchers is offered jointly by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Nature et technologies (FRQNT). The primary objective of the NOVA program is to support research projects led by junior researchers from Quebec in collaboration with researchers from other provinces and territories of Canada. These projects must be in the fields of natural sciences, mathematics or engineering. The funding offered will enable research teams to do the following:

  • Increase the ability of junior researchers from Quebec to collaborate with researchers from other provinces and territories of Canada
  • Strengthen the competitiveness of researchers from Quebec and other Canadian provinces and territories on the international scene
  • Generate new knowledge and new ways of applying knowledge that may have social, environmental, technological and economic benefits or have an impact on public policy in Quebec or throughout Canada, regarding issues of importance for the community
  • Create a plan for mobilizing the knowledge resulting from the research findings both in Quebec and throughout Canada

Who can apply?

  • The applicant must be a researcher at a Quebec university who assumed their first career position at a Quebec university between September 2, 2017 and September 1, 2020.
  • The team must include at least one applicant from a Quebec university or college and at least one co-applicant from a university or college in another Canadian province or territory.
  • All team members must be employed by an institution that is eligible to administer funding from NSERC and from the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) and must satisfy the eligibility requirements for NSERC and for the FRQ.

Participation limits: See section 3.7 of the detailed description of the NOVA program for information on the number of NOVA applications in which researchers may participate as applicants or co-applicants.

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.

Submitting an application

To apply for a NOVA grant, you must submit the form in the Electronic Portfolio for researchers on the FRQnet portal. For more information on submitting applications, please consult the NOVA program description on the FRQNT website.

As the applicant acting on behalf of your team, at the same time as you submit the application to the FRQNT via the FRQnet portal, you must also submit a simplified letter of intent to NSERC, to which you must attach a duly completed NSERC Form 100A personal data form and a CCV for each team member and a description of the way in which EDI considerations have been integrated into the training plan. If applicable, the Impact Assessment Form (Appendix A) must be completed and uploaded to the Impact Assessment page.

Every member of the research team who is participating in the NOVA grant application (all applicants and co-applicants) must create an account in the NSERC online system. For more information on this topic, please consult the NSERC Frequently Asked Questions page.

The applicant and all of the co-applicants must complete the Personal Data Form with CCV Attachment — Form 100A following the instructions.

The applicant is responsible for providing all of the following documents and information:

  • A Personal Data Form with CCV Attachment — Form 100A for every member of the research team; co-applicants will automatically receive a message inviting them to fill out this form
  • The description of the way in which equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) considerations have been integrated into the training plan (one page maximum) in accordance with the eligibility criteria*
  • If applicable, the Impact Assessment Form (Appendix A) must be completed and uploaded to the Impact Assessment page

*Consult the Equity, diversity and inclusion in your training plan  web page and NSERC guide on integrating equity, diversity and inclusion considerations in research for more information.

NOTE: Integration of the principles of EDI into the training plan is essential; any application that does not meet this criterion will be eliminated at the stage where eligibility of applications is determined. Applicants must use the EDI template from the NOVA program toolbox.

Instructions for the applicant who prepares the letter of intent and submits the required information:

  • Open a session in the NSERC online system and click Create a new Form 101.
  • Select Research Partnerships Programs, then select Alliance Grants.
  • In the Proposal Type field, select Letter of Intent.
  • In the Type of Request for Proposals field, select NOVA-FRQNT from the drop-down menu.

The deadline for submitting the letter of intent to NSERC is the same as the deadline for submitting the application to the FRQNT: 4 p.m. on September 14 2023. Note that institutional approval is required prior to submission of the simplified letter of intent to NSERC. It is therefore likely that internal deadlines prior to this competition have been established by your institution. It is important to consider this for Co-I from Québec as well as from other Canadian provinces and territories. It is your responsibility to inform yourself so that your file can be transmitted to NSERC before the competition deadline.

Evaluation process 

Eligibility of applications will be determined by NSERC and the FRQNT jointly, based on the information and documents received as of the application deadline. Any project, research team or person not meeting the eligibility conditions set out in the guidelines will be rejected. Eligible applications will then be evaluated by multidisciplinary evaluation committees as well as by outside experts, on the basis of the following criteria.

Quality of the proposal

  • Innovativeness in relation to the state of the art
  • Clarity of the objectives and deliverables, appropriateness of the scope of the planned activities for the intended outcomes, justification of the planned expenditures
  • Appropriateness of the identified indicators and methods for monitoring progress during the project and for assessing outcomes at the end of the project

Research team 

  • Extent to which the collaboration brings together the best expertise from Quebec and the rest of Canada to achieve the stated objectives
  • Complementary nature of the expertise required to carry out the research project
  • Contribution of collaborators, if any

Relevance and outcomes for Quebec and all of Canada

  • Significance of the intended outcomes and of the social, environmental, cultural, technological, economic or other benefits
  • Potential for generating new scientific knowledge
  • Extent to which the strategy chosen to apply the research results is likely to achieve the intended outcomes

Training plan

  • Opportunities for enriched training experiences that let undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows develop both their research skills and their interdisciplinary professional skills (such as leadership, communication, collaboration, and entrepreneurship)
  • Experience of project members in mentoring students
  • Capacity to integrate highly qualified personnel into the labour market

Consideration of principles of equity, diversity and inclusion

  • Training: specific actions already taken or planned to promote EDI in the training of the next generation (recruitment, mentoring and career development practices, etc.)
  • Research: when relevant, consideration of EDI issues in the design and execution of research projects (research questions, methodology, etc.) and the dissemination and mobilization of knowledge to a diverse audience
  • Involvement: specific actions already taken or planned to promote EDI in the team’s community or field or within the research community in general (committees, inclusive scientific activities, awareness activities, etc.)

Reporting requirements

  • A follow-up report must be submitted to the FRQNT at 24 months after the start of the project.
  • The grantee must submit a final report no later than 15 months after the end date of the grant. This report must be submitted to the FRQNT via the researcher’s Electronic Portfolio on the FRQnet portal. If the final report is not filed within the time frame specified by the FRQNT or if this report is not to the FRQNT’s satisfaction, then the grantee becomes ineligible to receive further financial assistance from any of the three FRQ funds or may have its payments suspended until this condition is met.

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 planned for within the specified term of your grant. The extension is applicable for the NSERC portion of the grant only.

Contact for this program:

Margaux Gourdal
Program Officer
NOVA Program
418-643-8560 Ext. 3463