` NSERC NSERC/FRQNT NOVA program for early career researchers (pilot program)
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NSERC/FRQNT NOVA program for early career researchers (pilot program)

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


September 22, 2021
To apply This link will take you to another Web site Portal access – Fonds de recherche – Nature et technologies

Important information


The NOVA program for early career researchers is offered jointly by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the This link will take you to another Web site Fonds de recherche du Québec Nature et technologies (FRQNT). The primary objective of the NOVA program is to support research projects led by early career researchers from Quebec in collaboration with researchers from other provinces and territories of Canada. 

The funding provided by this program will enable research teams to generate new knowledge in the natural sciences and engineering and to combine complementary expertise to carry out highly competitive research projects that can generate social, environmental, technological or economic benefits or have an impact on policies concerning issues of importance to the community.

Who can apply?

  • The applicant must be a researcher who assumed their first career position at a Quebec university on or after January 1, 2016. 
  • Teams must include at least one co-applicant from a Quebec college or university and at least one co-applicant from a college or university in another Canadian province or territory.
  • All team members must be employed by institutions that are eligible to administer funding from NSERC and the FRQ and must meet NSERC’s eligibility criteria for faculty as well as the FRQ’s eligibility criteria.

Researchers from Quebec can submit only one application as the principal investigator and can participate in no more than two applications as a co-applicant for this program. Researchers may still participate in carrying out other projects, but as collaborators only.

Equity, diversity and inclusion

It is up to the research team to create an equitable, diverse, inclusive research environment in which the climate and culture let everyone feel supported and respected. Describe the specific, concrete practices that you will put in place to ensure that EDI is considered in your training plan, referring to the Alliance grants: Equity, diversity and inclusion in your training plan and the Guide for applicants: Considering equity, diversity and inclusion in your application. Integration of EDI considerations in the training plan is a mandatory eligibility criterion; if it is not satisfied, your application will be rejected.

Submitting an application

To apply for a NOVA grant, you must fill out the form available in the This link will take you to another Web site FRQnet Electronic Portfolio for researchers. Principal investigators and co-applicants must register first in the NSERC online system. For more information on how to submit applications and how they are evaluated, please consult the This link will take you to another Web site FRQNT website.

Evaluation process

The 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:

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
  • Appropriateness and quality of the team for achieving the intended outcomes
  • 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

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


  • 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

Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI)

  • Implementation of EDI considerations in the training plan (recruitment, mentoring, etc.)
  • Implementation of concrete actions and practices to proactively integrate EDI considerations in the team composition
  • Implementation of EDI considerations in the project design and delivery, where appropriate

Reporting requirements

  • A follow-up report must be submitted to the FRQNT at nova@frq.gouv.qc.ca within 24 months after the start of the project.
  • The principal investigator is required to submit a final report to the FQRNT no later than 15 months after the end date of the grant (not including the additional year, where applicable).

Contact for this program

Catherine Dhont
Program Officer
Nova Program
418-643-8560 Ext. 3460