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February 2011 - Volume 35 No. 1

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In this Issue

Upcoming NSERC deadlines

March 18, 2011 Full applications (invitation only) for Discovery Frontiers grants
March 31, 2011 DEADLINE EXTENDED – Proposals for the Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering Program (Ontario, Atlantic and Prairie regions)
April 1, 2011 Nominations for the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, and the Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Engineering
April 9, 2011 Preliminary applications for Chairs in Design Engineering
April 15, 2011 Applications for the Strategic Project Grants Program
April 15, 2011 Nominations for the Synergy Awards for Innovation
April 18, 2011 Applications for the Idea to Innovation program
May 1, 2011 Letters of Intent for the Major Resources Support program (except for subatomic physics applications)
May 1, 2011 Letters of Intent for the Collaborative Health Research Projects Program
May 2, 2011 Nominations for the Innovation Challenge Awards
May 3, 2011 Letters of Intent for the Collaborative Research and Training Experience Program

Discovery Grants competition concluded

The 2011 Discovery Grants competition has concluded, with the reviewers evaluating 3,462 applications over a two-week period. As in 2010, the number of applications increased, whereas the available budget remained stable. In the coming weeks, NSERC staff will process the recommendations made by the Evaluation Groups. Applicants and their universities will be advised of the results in late March.

NSERC plans to consolidate information about the competition and the results in the For Professors section of the Web site and add content such as frequently asked questions about the current peer review process. Watch for information at in the coming weeks.

Governor General presents NSERC awards

NSERC honoured the winners of all its major awards at a ceremony hosted by Governor General David Johnston at Rideau Hall on February 14. The recipients of awards for the top candidates in NSERCís postgraduate scholarship and post-doctoral fellowship competitions joined established researchers whose award-winning achievements have attracted international attention. The ceremony recognized the winners of 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 Synergy Awards for Innovation, the NSERC Howard Alper Postdoctoral Prize and the NSERC Andrť Hamer Postgraduate Prizes.

Prize-related content posted on NSERCís Web site includes a special media section with downloadable, high-resolution photos and video (ĎB-rollí footage) of the winning researchers and their labs.

Read the news release.

CREATE adds industrial and international opportunities

The CREATE program will have two new dimensions in the 2012 competition. In keeping with NSERCís goal to give students the opportunity to learn skills needed in Canadian enterprises, an industrial stream has been added to the program. Up to half of the grants for the 2012-13 fiscal year will be awarded to proposals featuring a formal industrial link. Applicants who want to qualify under this aspect of the program must demonstrate in their Letter of Intent that their Program Committee includes at least one member from an industry collaborator and provides for mandatory internships in the private sector. An industrial financial contribution is encouraged, but not required.

The second opportunity stems from a new agreement between NSERC and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) (NSERCís counterpart in Germany). Canadian applicants can submit a CREATE proposal in parallel with a German collaborator who is applying for an International Research Training Grant from the DFG. The intent of the agreement is to support a bilateral training program that involves an exchange of students between Germany and Canada. Read the news release.

Details about both opportunities will be incorporated into the CREATE program description and FAQs shortly. For more information, please contact

Support for northern research increased by $4 million

NSERC has made a number of changes to its support for northern research in recent months. Last fall, researchers were invited to submit letters of intent for the first $4 million Discovery Frontiers grant, which is focused on studying northern earth systems. Of the 16 letters received, NSERC invited six applicants to submit full applications by the March 18 deadline. In an effort to encourage collaboration between research teams and promote awareness of this research initiative, information has been posted about the teams invited to submit full applications.

To ensure the effectiveness of ongoing support for northern research, NSERC is also consolidating existing northern funding to strengthen the Northern Research Supplements Program. The value of existing and new awards will rise to a maximum of $15,000, and more awards will be issued each year. The programís budget has doubled for 2011, providing extra support to Discovery Grant holders conducting research in Canadaís North, in recognition of the extra logistical costs involved. NSERC expects to have up to 100 active grants as of this year.

Enhanced CHRP program includes research partnerships

NSERC and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research expect to announce changes to their joint Collaborative Health Research Projects (CHRP) program in March. Key features of the enhanced CHRP program will include increased funding, a requirement for researchers to work with non-academic partners, and the possibility of special calls for proposals that focus on research in identified priority areas. Letters of intent for CHRP grants must be submitted by May 1. More information about these changes will be posted on NSERCís Web site in the coming weeks.

Scholarships on-line system expands again

NSERC plans to introduce a fully electronic submission process for applications for Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA) and Industrial USRAs this summer. This follows the successful implementation last year of a similar process for the Postgraduate Scholarships and Postdoctoral Fellowships programs. Feedback from students and Scholarships Liaison Officers has helped improve the system, which will provide for increased data integrity and result in a reduced workload for universities to verify that applications are complete.

The support provided to applicants on NSERCís Web site is also being expanded. Tutorial videos on the on-line application system posted last year will be updated and improved, and new videos will be posted that provide tips on preparing research proposals and outline the steps in NSERCís peer review process.

Upcoming consultations on the Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research

NSERC, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, in collaboration with the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, continue to update and strengthen the current Tri-Council Policy Statement: Integrity in Research and Scholarship. Beginning in mid-March, the research community will be invited to provide input on the Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research consultation document.

The consultation document will be accessible through each organization's Web site from mid-March to the end of April. The feedback received will be considered when finalizing the Framework, which is expected for June 2011. More information on the consultations will follow in the coming weeks.

Join NSERC on Facebook and Twitter

NSERC has begun using social media to communicate with the research community more effectively. Follow us on Facebook or sign up for our Twitter feed.

Error corrected in Brockhouse prize call for nominations

The initial version of the call for nominations for the Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Engineering contained a formatting error that could lead to confusion about the content of the various elements that must be submitted with a nomination. This error was corrected in the version posted on January 13, 2011. Now, the required contents for the four-page nomination letter in sections 1a), 1b), 1c) and 1d) under the Nomination Process heading are identified more clearly. NSERC apologizes for any confusion this may have caused.

Grand Challenges Canada funds global health innovations

Grand Challenges Canada, a not-for-profit organization hosted at the McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health, is seeking emerging (within 10 years of completing their PhD) Canadian scientists with innovative ideas to solve challenges in global health. The Canadian Rising Stars in Global Health funding program aims to tap into the skills of Canadian researchers to solve some of the most persistent health challenges in the developing world through scientific, business and social innovation. Each award is valued at $100,000 and the application deadline for this round of funding is March 7, 2011.