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Government of Canada invests almost $500 million in science and engineering

Funding supports fundamental research that will fuel the science and technology discoveries of tomorrow

News release Professors

June 17, 2020

As the Government of Canada focuses on responding to the challenges of COVID-19, it also recognizes the invaluable contributions of Canadian researchers in the natural sciences and engineering. That is why the Government continues to support the discovery research being done at Canadian universities to help build the foundation for innovation and economic growth.

As part of this commitment to fundamental research, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced more than $492 million in funding by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), through its Discovery research program.

This funding will go to some 2,400 researchers across the country as they pursue research in a wide variety of natural sciences and engineering disciplines, including biology, mathematics and statistics, computer science and artificial intelligence, chemistry, and chemical engineering. It also includes support for more than 500 early-career researchers who will bring new perspectives and insights to their fields, enabling them to become the research leaders of tomorrow.

Advances in the natural sciences and engineering promise to unlock discoveries that will help address some of our world’s biggest challenges, while also delivering real benefits to Canadians’ health, environment, communities and economy.


“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I’d like to thank the country’s researchers for the hard work they continue to do at such a challenging time. With this support, we are investing in, and celebrating, the creativity and innovation that are at the heart of all research.”
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“At NSERC, we take great pride in the Discovery Grants program as our funding flagship. It provides a firm research foundation for the research programs undertaken by thousands of exceptional science and engineering investigators—professors, students, postdoctoral fellows and support staff across Canada.”
Alejandro Adem, President, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Quick facts

  • The Discovery Grants program supports ongoing research with long-term goals, while also allowing researchers to pursue promising high-risk, high reward topics and ideas.
  • In addition to supporting high-quality research, Discovery Grants invest in research training and other opportunities for students, researchers and fellows, helping to support the next generation of researchers.
  • This investment reflects the historic $4 billion increase for research committed in Budget 2018, which included an increase of more than $1.7 billion over five years to support the next generation of Canadian researchers through Canada’s granting agencies and research institutes.
  • On May 15, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a new, temporary program, to be administered through the federal granting agencies, to help sustain the academic research enterprise through the crisis caused by COVID-19.

Associated links

Follow NSERC on Twitter: @NSERC_CRSNG
For Canadian science news, follow @CDNScience on social media: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook
Follow Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada on Twitter: @ISED_CA


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 the makers and users of discoveries. Research 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.


Media Relations
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Alexander Jagric
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

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