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June 2010 - Volume 34 No. 3

In this issue

Upcoming deadlines

July 5, 2010 Application deadline for the Idea to Innovation Program (support to accelerate the pre-competitive development of promising technology and promote its transfer to Canadian companies)
August 1, 2010 Submission deadline for Letters of Intent (Form 180) for Discovery Grants (individual, group and subatomic physics projects)
August 1, 2010 Submission deadline for Letters of Intent (Form 181) from subatomic physics facilities for the Major Resources Support program
August 27, 2010 Application deadline for those invited to submit a full application for Chairs in Design Engineering
September 1, 2010 Deadline to submit Expression of Interest letters for the
This link will take you to another Web site Industrial Research and Development Internships program

NSERC celebrates award winners

The winners of a number of prestigious NSERC awards were announced June 1, 2010, at a ceremony on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Covering the full spectrum from master’s studies to lifetime achievements in research, awards were presented for the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, the Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Engineering, the NSERC John C. Polanyi Award the E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowships, the NSERC Howard Alper Postdoctoral Prize, and the NSERC André Hamer Postgraduate Prizes.

Read the news release.

Applications open soon for prestigious new PDF program

Budget 2010 announced that the three granting agencies would establish a new and prestigious postdoctoral fellowships program to attract top-level talent to Canada. The program is designed to be internationally competitive, with 70 new two-year fellowships, valued at $70,000 each per year, to be awarded on an annual basis. The first fellowships will be awarded in 2010–11.

As the program details are finalized over the coming months, NSERC, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council will communicate updates regularly to the university and researcher communities. Updates will also be posted to the agencies’ Web sites as they become available.

Information sessions replaced

As of summer 2010, NSERC is adopting new ways of communicating information to prospective applicants for grants and scholarships about program updates and application procedures. Effective immediately, scheduled Grants Information Sessions and Scholarships and Fellowships University Visits will be replaced with other resources and materials. These will be available in late summer in the Professors and Students and Fellows sections of NSERC’s Web site.

These changes will enable researchers and students to access information 24/7 at their convenience. While the focus will be on Web-based content, NSERC staff will continue to be available to respond to specific questions.

NSERC staff will also continue to hold Grants Information Sessions at scientific society meetings when the agenda of those meetings permits. In some cases, their travel schedule may permit them to offer the same presentation on campus. Staff members may also be available to participate by teleconference in information sessions for grants or scholarships organized by the universities themselves.

Mathematics and statistics community to develop long-range plan

At NSERC’s request, the Canadian mathematics and statistics communities will conduct a collaborative long-range planning (LRP) exercise over the next 15-18 months. The exercise will include broad consultation, identify areas of strength and establish a unified vision of priorities and directions for mathematics and statistics research in Canada. The resulting plan will inform the Mathematics and Statistics Evaluation Group of the priorities for current and emerging areas, thereby allowing for the best use of resources to advance the work of the communities as a whole. 

Key partners in this process include the Canadian Mathematical Society, the Canadian Applied and Industrial Mathematics Society and the Statistical Society of Canada, as well as the three Mathematical Institutes (the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences, the Centre de recherches mathématiques and the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences) and the Banff International Research Station. 

Currently, the Mathematics and Statistics-NSERC Liaison Committee is working with the communities to establish a steering committee, which will develop Terms of Reference that reflect how the communities at large will be consulted and discuss how their input will be incorporated into the final LRP report.

For more information, contact Anne-Marie Thompson, NSERC’s Director of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, at or 613-943-7651.

Competitions to open for NCE programs

Competitions are being launched this summer for new Networks of Centres of Excellence as well as the new Networks of Centres of Excellence – Knowledge Mobilization (NCE-KM) initiative. Successful NCE-KM applicants will receive four-year grants of up to $400,000 per year to enable them to collaborate and network across sectors, focusing on the transfer and application of new knowledge. Visit the This link will take you to another Web site NCE Web site for more details.

Did you know? Award holders can claim parental leave benefits

Holders of NSERC Discovery Grants or other grants who plan to take parental leave can take advantage of various provisions to extend their funding. Depending on the grantee’s circumstances, the options include:

  • extending the period for using funds in the current grant by up to two years, or
  • adding up to two years of funding at the same level as the current grant.

More details can be found in the appropriate section of the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide. Grantees applying for extended funding will also need to refer to the Checklist for Maternity, Parental, Medical or Family Medical Leave for Grantees.

Students and fellows who are paid out of an NSERC grant, and those receiving NSERC awards, are also eligible to receive up to four months of paid parental leave. See the section on Paid Maternal and Parental Leave for Students and Postdoctoral Fellows in the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide or the section on Paid Parental Leave in the Award Holder’s Guide for students.

EU Framework offers opportunities to Canadian researchers

The European Union’s (EU) 7th Framework for Research and Technological Development (FP7), a €50 billion, seven-year research initiative, offers a number of opportunities for researchers from countries outside the EU. The peer review process for FP7 proposals strongly encourages the use of independent expert evaluators from Canada and other countries. Serving in this capacity can offer researchers valuable networking experience, knowledge about the process of developing proposals for EU projects and information about research being conducted in Europe. Interested researchers must first register in the European Commission’s This link will take you to another Web site expert database, a process that can be completed individually or by an organization.

The European Commission also offers the This link will take you to another Web site CORDIS Partners Service, a free, on-line service to help match partners for research projects. More information about collaboration between Canadian and European researchers can be found on the This link will take you to another Web site ERA-Can Web site.

Agencies consolidate common Web content

The three federal granting agencies and the Canada Foundation for Innovation are working more and more closely together through a number of harmonization and streamlining initiatives, including the joint posting of common Web pages. A new link on each agency’s Web site will take visitors to the This link will take you to another Web site Research Funding Collaboration Web pages. The new pages provide "one-stop shopping" for information about co-operative programs, joint policies, recent highlights and more.

Engage Grants Program takes off

NSERC's new Engage Grants Program is a big hit with researchers and their business partners. Aimed at igniting new research partnerships, Engage is fulfilling its mission, and quickly. The program, launched late last year, has helped cement scores of new R&D relationships in a diverse array of sectors across Canada. As of June 1, more than 115 partnered research projects were approved for funding, most of which involved companies new to NSERC. Managed by NSERC's regional offices, Engage supplies grants of up to $25,000 for six-month projects that address a specific company problem.