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Government of Canada invests over half a billion dollars to support thousands of students and researchers across the country

Funding includes support for science and engineering researchers starting their careers

May 21, 2019 – Hamilton, Ontario Fresh ideas have the power to change the way we view the world and can lead to discoveries that will help solve some of our biggest challenges. When we invest in the innovative and creative work being done by our scientists and researchers, we are helping to ensure that our health, environment, communities and economy thrive.

Today, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced an unprecedented investment of more than $588 million through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) Discovery Grants program.

The funding, stemming from the historic $4 billion for research committed in Budget 2018, will also support graduate scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships for students in the natural sciences and engineering.

This funding will go to more than 4,850 researchers and students across the country as they pursue their world-leading discovery work. It also includes support for nearly 500 early-career researchers who will bring a diversity of new voices and new insights to their fields.

Minister Duncan made the announcement at This link will take you to another Web site McMaster University, which is receiving $17.8 million for researchers working in fields ranging from physics and civil engineering to neuroscience and molecular medicine.

This investment is part of This link will take you to another Web site Canada’s Science Vision, and the Government of Canada’s commitment of more than $10 billion to science, which includes the largest-ever increase in funding for fundamental research.


“The funding announced today demonstrates our strong and enduring commitment to science and researchers. Since taking office, our government has worked hard to bring science and research back to their rightful place and this historic investment in the discoveries of tomorrow is just one example of how we are achieving this goal.”
- The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport

“NSERC’s Discovery Grants, scholarships and fellowships provide a firm foundation for the research programs of thousands of exceptional researchers at every stage in their career. These students, postdoctoral fellows and professors make up the backbone of Canada’s science and engineering research enterprise. ”
- Dr. Digvir Jayas, Interim President of NSERC

“These awards are at the very core of our research enterprise. They afford our faculty the opportunity to pursue long-term projects and breakthrough discoveries, while training teams of students along the way. Congratulations to all of McMaster’s Discovery Grant recipients.”
- Dr. Patrick Deane, President, McMaster University

Quick facts

  • The investment announced today includes $426 million in Discovery Grants going to more than 2,295 researchers across the full range of science and engineering disciplines, from biology and chemistry to advanced materials engineering and astrophysics.
  • $6.2 million in Discovery Launch Supplements will be going to 499 early-career researchers in the first year of their Discovery Grants to help them launch their careers.
  • $83 million in Scholarship and Fellowships to support nearly 1,700 graduate students and fellows in the early stages of their careers.
  • The Government of Canada recently launched This link will take you to another Web site Dimensions: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Canada. This new pilot program, which is inspired by the United Kingdom’s internationally-recognized This link will take you to another Web site Athena SWAN program, will address systemic barriers in research, particularly those experienced by members of underrepresented or disadvantaged groups.

For Canadian science news, follow @CDNScience on social media: This link will take you to another Web site Twitter, This link will take you to another Web site Instagram, This link will take you to another Web site Facebook
Follow Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada on Twitter: This link will take you to another Web site @ISED_CA
Follow NSERC on Twitter: This link will take you to another Web site @nserc_crsng


Daniele Medlej
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Science and Sport

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Valérie Levert-Gagnon
Media and Public Affairs Officer
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada


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.