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In this issue

How to access to NSERC's facts and figures

Did you know that NSERC posts key data, facts and figures related to programs, grants and other funding opportunities on our Web site? We invite anyone who is interested in learning more about how NSERC funding is distributed to visit the Facts and Figures section to view funding breakdowns dating from 2005. There are also a series of fact sheets available that showcase how funding is allocated by province, topic and priority area.

Do you need more information about the numbers? You can contact someone at NSERC directly and they would be pleased to answer any questions related to our facts and figures. Simply call us at 1-855-275-2861 or e-mail us at

Upcoming NSERC deadlines

October 1, 2012 Application for Research Tools and Instruments Grants – Categories 2 and 3 (subatomic physics only)
October 1, 2012 Applications for College-University Idea to Innovation Grants
October 1, 2012 Applications (invitation only) for the Climate Change and Atmospheric Research initiative
October 10, 2012 Applications for Canada Graduate Scholarships – Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements Program
October 15, 2012 Applications for Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships and NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships
October 15, 2012 Applications for Postdoctoral Fellowships Program
October 15, 2012 Applications for Industrial Research Chairs for Colleges Grants
October 25, 2012 Applications for Research Tools and Instruments Grants – Category 1
November 1, 2012 Applications for Discovery Grants
November 1, 2012 Applications for the Discovery Grants – Northern Research Supplements Program
November 1, 2012 Applications (invitation only) for the International Opportunities Fund – G8 Research Councils Initiative on Multilateral Research Funding and Belmont Forum

Important Changes to the Research Tools and Instruments Grants Program – in effect for the 2013 competition

  • NSERC has made changes to its Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) Grants Program to reflect updated requirements for eligible costs. Applications to the RTI Grants Program cannot include equipment that was purchased before the application deadline.
  • In addition, in light of reductions in available program funding for the RTI Grants Program, individuals can only be included in one application—either as an applicant or as a co-applicant for the 2013 competition.

Connect with NSERC: Consultations on the future of the RTI Grants Program

Throughout the summer, NSERC has been consulting the research community on future options for the Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) Grants Program. Through a series of meetings and an ongoing online consultation, NSERC representatives have been gathering comments, questions and feedback on two proposed options for the RTI Grants Program, given its reduced funding envelope.

The on-line consultation is live until September 28, 2012. Please visit the Connect with NSERC page to share your thoughts on the future of the RTI Grants Program.

Postdoctoral Fellowships - no change to number of awards

Over the last ten years, the volume of applications to the NSERC PDF Program has doubled to about 1,300, impacting the workload of volunteer selection committee members. A change to the eligibility rules for the Postdoctoral Fellowships (PDF) Program was made to ensure that applicants' and reviewers' time was used productively.

The eligibility rules were changed to allow students to apply only once during the eligibility window. Please note that this change does not affect the budget for the PDF Program or the number of awards.

More information about the new policy is outlined in the Program Guide for Students and Fellows.

New Canadian Environmental Assessment Act

On July 6, 2012, the This link will take you to another Web site Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 came into force. As a result, NSERC's policy and application review process are being revised. As an interim measure, grant applicants are required to provide more specific information under Appendix A, but are no longer required to complete Appendix B. Details will be provided in the application instructions.

Climate Change and Atmospheric Research initiative

Earlier this year, researchers were invited to submit letters of intent (LOIs) for the Climate Change and Atmospheric Research initiative. Of the 58 LOIs received, NSERC invited 24 applicants to submit full applications by the October 1 deadline. In an effort to encourage collaboration between research teams and promote awareness of this research initiative, information about the teams that have been invited to submit full applications is now available.

Consultations on the Council of Canadian Academies panel report

NSERC is inviting feedback from the research community following the July 5 release of the This link will take you to another Web site Council of Canadian Academies' (the Council) Expert Panel report entitled This link will take you to another Web site Informing Research Choices: Indicators and Judgment. The report assesses international practices for evaluating research performance in the natural sciences and engineering.

NSERC's Committee on Grants and Scholarships met in mid-July to review the report and to plan consultations to receive feedback from the research community. The information contained in the expert panel's report and feedback from the research community will contribute to NSERC's evaluation of possible methodologies to allocate budgets among Evaluation Groups under the Discovery Grants (DG) Program. No changes to the budget-allocation methodology are expected for the 2013 DG competition. NSERC's goal is to implement any changes in this methodology in time for the 2014 competition.

For more information about how to participate in NSERC's consultations on the CCA panel report, see the Consultations section.

Discovery Grant application numbers rise

NSERC expects the number of applications submitted for Discovery Grants to increase this year. Almost 4,000 Notifications of Intent forms were received by the August 1 deadline for the 2013 Discovery Grants (DG) competition, including 700 first-time applicants.

In the 2012 and 2011 DG competitions, NSERC received 3,477 and 3,482 applications, respectively.