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Calling all young, curious minds across Canada

Government of Canada announces support for organizations to encourage the next generation of scientists and researchers

General news

September 17, 2018

September 17, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario

It could start after exploring the surface of the moon through a telescope, or watching butterflies. Perhaps it happens when a group of friends get together to build a robot that can fly. Whatever the activity, there is that special moment when a young person in Canada discovers a passion for science.

Our Government understands fostering that passion in our youth paves the way for the innovators and researchers of the future. The earlier young Canadians are exposed to the wonders of science, the stronger their drive to pursue research as their lifelong passion.

Today, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport kicked-off Science Literacy Week, a national celebration powered by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) that runs from September 17 to 23, by announcing $11.9 million in funding for 163 grants through the PromoScience Program.

This funding will be used to support science centres, day camps, after-school programs, and more to encourage young Canadians to make science part of their education, their careers, and their lives. These grants reached more than 1 million young people last year.

Minister Duncan made the announcement while visiting the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa. The Minister met with Jennifer Flanagan, CEO of Actua, one of largest recipients of PromoScience funding, receiving $936,000 over three years to bring science and engineering skills development to young women, indigenous youth and other underrepresented young people in every province. The Minister was also joined by PromoScience recipients from the Ottawa area, including representatives from Let’s Talk Science, Scouts Canada, and Carleton University.

The PromoScience Program delivered through NSERC supports hands-on learning experiences for young Canadians and teachers. This program not only inspires the next generation of scientists, it also makes sure people in communities across the country have access to job opportunities that fulfil their passion for science.


“Our government understands the importance of fostering a culture of curiosity and a passion for science among our children and youth. PromoScience funding will help inspire young Canadians to make science part of their education, their careers and their lives. When we support young Canadians, as these grants will do, we are building a brighter future for our entire country.”

The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport

“The fostering of curiosity in science and engineering opens doors to novel ideas, creative solutions and exciting career possibilities. By sharing their enthusiasm and expertise with Canada’s youth, the science outreach community is contributing to a healthy science culture in communities across this country.”

Dr. B. Mario Pinto, President of NSERC

Quick Facts

  • NSERC’s PromoScience Program offers financial support for non-profit organizations working with young Canadians to promote an understanding of science and engineering, including mathematics and technology.
  • In Budget 2018, the Government of Canada proposed a historic investment of nearly $4 billion over five years in research and the next generation of researchers.
  • The Government of Canada is committed to promoting a culture where young people and the public are engaged and excited about science, through campaigns including #choosescience and #ScienceAroundMe.

Associated Links

NSERC PromoScience Recipients

NSERC 2020 Strategic Plan


Zachary Caldwell
Parliamentary Affairs and Issues Advisor
Office of the Minister of Science
Tel.: 343-291-2692

Media Relations

Innovation, Science and
Economic Development Canada
Tel.: 343-291-1777

Valérie Levert-Gagnon
Media and Public Affairs Officer
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Tel.: 613-996-2341

NSERC invests over $1.2 billion each year in natural sciences and engineering research in Canada. Our investments deliver discoveries—valuable world-firsts in knowledge claimed by a brain trust of over 11,000 professors. Our investments enable partnerships and collaborations that connect industry with discoveries and the people behind them. Researcher-industry partnerships established by NSERC help inform research and development and solve scale-up challenges.

NSERC also provides scholarships and hands-on training experience for more than 30,000 post-secondary students and post-doctoral fellows. These young researchers will be the next generation of science and engineering leaders in Canada.

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