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Alliance Quantum grants

Call for proposals: Strengthening Canada's quantum research and innovation capacity

Review of your application

When NSERC receives an Alliance Quantum grant application, it first undertakes an administrative assessment to ensure the application is complete and complies with all requirements. Once the administrative assessment is satisfactorily completed, NSERC proceeds with the merit assessment of the application.

All proposals undergo peer review. A committee of national and international peer reviewers normally assesses the merit of applications on a quarterly basis. Committee members are drawn from universities as well as public, private or not-for-profit organizations. The members may be informed in their assessment by reports from external reviewers. NSERC reserves the right to select the most appropriate review process.

Merit evaluation criteria

The merit of your application is evaluated using the following four equally weighted criteria. The proposal must address all the listed points (criteria and sub-criteria) to be considered for funding.

Relevance and outcomes

  • Significance of the intended outcomes and of the economic, social and/or environmental benefits for Canada
  • Originality of the research to address the topic and the potential for generating new scientific knowledge
  • Extent to which the strategy to apply the research results is likely to achieve the intended outcomes


  • Appropriateness of the partnership to achieve the intended outcomes; leveraging of different types of partner organizations and the integration of their unique perspectives and knowledge in the project, as appropriate
  • Clarity of each partner organization's role in the collaboration with respect to defining the challenge, co-designing and implementing the research, and using the results to achieve the desired outcomes
  • Appropriateness of the level of in-kind contributions from each partner organization

Quality of the proposal

  • Clarity of the objectives and deliverables; appropriateness of the scope and size of planned activities to achieve the expected outcomes; justification for the planned expenditures
  • Appropriateness of the identified indicators and methods for monitoring progress during the project and for assessing outcomes after the project
  • Appropriateness of academic researchers' expertise, and that found within the partner organizations, both for carrying out the planned research activities and in mentoring trainees


  • Opportunities for enriched training experiences for research trainees (undergraduates, graduates, postdoctoral fellows) to develop relevant research skills as well as professional skills such as leadership, communication, collaboration and entrepreneurship
  • Consideration of equity, diversity and inclusion in the training plan (for guidance, consult the Equity, diversity and inclusion in your training plan web page)

NSERC uses established merit indicators to rate each evaluation sub-criterion/criterion. Since cash contributions from partner organizations are not required, they are not taken into account when assessing the appropriateness of the level of contributions from each partner organization. Only in-kind contributions are taken into consideration.

Risk assessment

In the case where your proposal involves one or more partner organizations from the private sector, including when they participate alongside other partner organizations from the public and/or not-for-profit sectors, NSERC reviews the National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships' risk assessment form that you provide with your application (including the risk mitigation plan, when applicable). When additional expertise is required, NSERC seeks advice from Canada's national security departments and agencies, and/or from academic experts.

Funding decision

NSERC's funding decision takes into consideration the merit evaluation as well as the assessment of potential risks for Canada's national security, when applicable.

NSERC uses the merit indicator ratings assigned to applications to select proposals for funding on a competitive basis. Decisions stemming from the national security risk assessment are based on the risks identified and the mitigation measures proposed.

After receiving an application, NSERC normally requires 12 to 24 weeks to complete its assessment. NSERC is committed to achieving these service standards for 80% of applications, recognizing that some proposals may require additional time.

What's next?
Receiving your funding and starting your project
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Application deadline
October 31, 2023

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