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Spring 2015 - Volume 39 No. 2

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In this issue

Update on NSERC 2020 Consultation Sessions

This past spring, our President, Dr. B. Mario Pinto, toured the country to consult with colleges and universities on NSERC 2020: Strategic Plan for 2015-20. Dr. Pinto presented NSERC’s 2020 vision to Presidents, Vice-Presidents of Research, faculty members, administrators and students at campuses across Canada. The consultation sessions provided an opportunity for the academic community to be involved in shaping the future of science and engineering in Canada. Participants contributed valuable feedback that will provide a base to steer the next phases of the strategic plan. Some of the overarching themes brought forward were to expand NSERC’s capacity on the international stage, to boost the number of women in the fields of science and engineering, and to be more flexible with our definition of partnerships. We would like to thank those who participated in the NSERC 2020 consultation sessions.

We would like your input on the NSERC 2020: Draft Strategic Plan for 2015-20 by responding to our survey before June 19, 2015. Your feedback is crucial as we build a vision for science and engineering in Canada over the next five years.

Upcoming NSERC Deadlines

June 10, 2015 Application Deadline: Canada Graduate Scholarships — Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements Program
August 1, 2015 Notification of Intent to Apply: Discovery Grants Program
Notification of Intent to Apply: Subatomic Physics Discovery Grants (Individual, Team, Project)
Notification of Intent to Apply: Subatomic Physics Team and Project Discovery Grants Applications requesting $500,000 or more per year
Notification of Intent to Apply: Subatomic Physics Major Resources Support
Notification of Intent to Apply: Subatomic Physics Research Tools and Instruments Applications, Categories 2 and 3
September 1, 2015 Nominations: NSERC Awards for Science Promotion
Application: Ship Time Program
September 15, 2015 Application: PromoScience
September 22, 2015 Application: Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) Program
October 1, 2015 Application: Subatomic Physics Team and Project Discovery Grants Applications requesting $500,000 or more per year
Application: Subatomic Physics Major Resources Support
Application: Subatomic Physics Research Tools and Instruments, Categories 2 and 3
October 10, 2015 Application: Canada Graduate Scholarships – Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements Program
October 15, 2015 Application: Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships-Doctoral
Application: NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships-Doctoral
Application: Postdoctoral Fellowships Program
October 25, 2015 Application: Research Tools and Instruments Grants
Application: Subatomic Physics Research Tools and Instruments Grants Program, Category 1
October 30, 2015 Deadline to apply for the second This link will take you to another Web site Canada First Research Excellence Fund inaugural competition
November 1, 2015 Application: Discovery Grants Program
Application: Subatomic Physics Discovery Program (Individual, Team, Project)
Application: Discovery Grants - Northern Research Supplements
December 1, 2015 Application: Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master’s Program
Deadline set by University Application: Undergraduate Student Research Awards
Application: Industrial Postgraduate Scholarships Program

Community Engagement Visits 2015

NSERC is hitting the road for its third round of community engagement visits to provide researchers, students and other stakeholders an opportunity to connect with us to learn more about some recent program and policy developments. These visits also serve as a platform for the community to ask questions and seek more information from NSERC's grants and scholarships staff.

Some of the topics being discussed include:

  • Discovery Research (update on Federal Budget, NSERC Strategic Plan, program news, etc.);
  • Scholarships and Fellowships (update on post-doctoral fellowships and Collaborative Research and Training Experience Program);
  • Women in Science and Engineering (update on new Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering as well as other initiatives); and
  • Policies and guidelines (update on a variety of issues ranging from grant funding extensions to Open Access).

Where We’ve Been:

  • April 24: Brandon University (Brandon, Manitoba)
  • May 4: MacEwan University (Edmonton, Alberta)
  • May 5: Saint Mary's University (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
  • May 22: University of Northern British Columbia (Prince George, British Columbia)
  • May 27 : British Columbia Institute of Technology (Burnaby, British Columbia)

Where We’re Going:

  • June 8 : University of Prince Edward Island (Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island) from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (ADT)
  • June 10 : Wilfrid Laurier University (Waterloo, Ontario) from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (EDT)
  • June 11 : Brock University (St. Catharines, Ontario) from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (EDT)
  • June 17: Trent University (Peterborough, Ontario) from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (EDT)
  • June 18 : University of Lethbridge (Lethbridge, Alberta) from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (MDT)

NSERC Welcomes Two New Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering

The Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology) and Dr. B. Mario Pinto, President of NSERC, announced two leading Canadian researchers as new NSERC Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering.

Dr. Lesley Shannon is an associate professor at the School of Engineering Science at Simon Fraser University. She specializes in computing system design, particularly in improving the speed of different types of computer systems and creating the ability to run a wider range of applications.

Dr. Eve Langelier is an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Université de Sherbrooke. She works in the field of mechanobiology and human biomechanics. She is particularly interested in developing approaches to prevent and treat long-term injuries to tissues like tendons, ligaments and cartilage.

Learn more about NSERC’s two new Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering.

Colleges and Businesses Supported with New Applied Research Partnerships

On April 8, 2015, the Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology) announced over $40 million in grants to colleges across Canada to support applied research and development activities with industry. The 38 projects will create jobs and opportunities in key areas including manufacturing, green buildings and mobile technology, while training the next generation of highly skilled Canadians. Colleges also received support to purchase specialized research equipment.

The funding announced was awarded through the College and Community Innovation Program and the College Industry Innovation Fund Program.

Congratulations to the Winners of NSERC’s Science, Action! Video Contest

The public has voted, the judges’ scores have been tallied and the results are in. The 15 winners of NSERC’s Science, Action! video contest have been revealed.

NSERC would like to thank all of the students who submitted videos for this competition and members of the public who took the time to watch and share these great examples of science and engineering research.

Congratulations to all of the winners!

We encourage students to film their research activities over the summer in preparation for the second installment of the Science, Action! video contest being planned for early 2016.

A New Look for NSERC’s Website

On April 1, 2015, NSERC launched Phase 1 of its website redesign. The new homepage highlights the two core themes for NSERC: Discovery and Innovation. As a result of this refresh, you will notice that the former partnerships website has been merged.

The new look demonstrates NSERC’s commitment to delivering online content that is more accessible, user friendly and optimized for mobile devices.

Funding Announced for Arctic Observing and Research for Sustainability

We are pleased to announce $150,000 in funding as part of a multinational research collaboration, the Belmont Forum, studying sustainability issues in the Arctic. The NSERC-supported researchers are:

New NSERC Pilot Initiative: Discovery Development Grants

NSERC has launched a new pilot initiative, the Discovery Development Grants (DDG), as a special complement to its flagship Discovery Grant Program. This new initiative is targeted at researchers working at smaller universities, thus enabling them to contribute to a diversified and competitive research base across Canada.

Awards will be worth up to $20,000 (up to $10,000 per year for two years). These resources may be used to expand the recipient’s research group (e.g., students, postdoctoral fellows, technicians), to purchase or access specialized equipment, or for other initiatives or resources that would accelerate the recipient’s research program. NSERC also expects that the DDG will facilitate recipients’ access to additional funding from other sources.

Learn more about Discovery Development Grants.

Phase-out of Discovery Team Grants

Effective for the 2016 Discovery Grants competition, NSERC will no longer accept Team Grant applications through the Discovery Grants Program. After careful evaluation, it was determined that Team Grants are not the most effective way of meeting the needs of the research community.

About one per cent of Discovery Grant applications come from teams. NSERC’s analysis has shown that the team grant model does not fit well within the Discovery Grants Program. The objective of Discovery Grants is to support ongoing research programs over a number of years. Research evolves quickly and individual Discovery Grants can offer more flexibility than Team Grants.

Learn more about the phase-out of Discovery Team Grants.

Scholarships and Fellowships Information Visits

To help students with decisions regarding scholarship or fellowship applications, NSERC staff from the Scholarships and Fellowships Division will be visiting a number of universities in late August or early September.

If your university is interested in hosting such a visit, contact NSERC by June 5, 2015 at NSERC expects to confirm locations by June 26.

Revisions to Collaborative Health Research Projects

This Collaborative Health Research Projects (CHRP) opportunity has undergone major revisions for the 2015-16 Competition. These revisions include new application materials and a new review process for the Letter of Intent stage, which will improve clarity and provide feedback to the applicants. As well, the budget module has been removed from the Letter of Intent phase and the Partnership Guidelines have been consolidated and described in more detail.

Learn more about the revisions to the CHRP Projects.

Increase to Eligible In-kind Partner Contributions for Research Partnership Grants

Effective June 1, 2015, the maximum eligible actual salary costs that can be noted on applications as the industrial partner in-kind contribution, will increase from $80 per hour to $100 per hour. This change is in response to requests from the industrial community, recognizing that salaries for industrial scientific, engineering and technical staff have increased over the past ten years.

The $100 per hour cost is an upper limit that can be submitted in applications to capture actual salary costs (this includes benefits, but not overhead, consulting or external charge-out rates).

NSERC grants which recognize and match in-kind contributions are Collaborative Research and Development, Applied Research and Development, Industrial Research Chairs for Colleges, and College-University Idea to Innovation grants. In-kind contributions are also taken into account for most other Research Partnership grants.

This change is for new applications. Please refer to NSERC’s Guidelines for Organizations Participating in Research Partnerships for further details.

Strategic Partnership Grants – Consultations on Target Areas and Research Topics for 2016-20

This spring, consultations will be held on the new research topics under the four Strategic Partnership Grants Target Areas that will be in place for the 2016-20 Strategic Partnership Grants (projects and networks) competitions. The target areas (as identified in the This link will take you to another Web site Science, Technology and Innovation strategy in Chapter 4.0 - Focusing on Priorities) are:

  • Environment and Agriculture
  • Natural Resources and Energy
  • Information and Communications Technologies
  • Advanced Manufacturing

Each target area includes a number of research topics that NSERC will be consulting on with experts in academia, industry and government. The objective of the consultation is to identify important research challenges that could be considered for the different research topics. Further information on this process will be available over the coming weeks.

Networks for Centres of Excellence Highlights Illustrate Network and Centre Impacts

The 2015 edition of the NCE’s annual highlights – This link will take you to another Web site Turning Public Investments into Practical Solutions – has been posted. The report shows how NCE investments have led to a broader knowledge base, more training, new companies and products, and better policies and practices.

Networks for Centres of Excellence 2015 Competition

The This link will take you to another Web site 2015 competition held by Networks for Centres of Excellence (NCE) has funded the following national research networks and made them part of the NCE community: Aging Gracefully across Environments using Technology to Support Wellness, Engagement, and Long Life – AGE-WELL (Toronto), Biotherapeutics for Cancer Treatment – BioCanRx (Ottawa), the Canadian Arrhythmia Network – CANet (London), and the Canadian Glycomics Network – GlycoNet (Edmonton). NeuroDevNet (Vancouver) was renewed as a NCE network for a second five-year term. As of December 2014 CANet will receive $26.3 million over five years to research heart rhythm disturbances and minimize the harm they cause. Investments in the new networks will foster knowledge and new technologies on aging, biochemistry, cancer treatment, brain development and arrhythmia.

Help Shape the Next Generation of Canadian Scientists

Take advantage of an opportunity to mentor and encourage the next generation of Canadian scientists. You can directly help gifted students on their paths to careers in science by taking part in the Ontario On-Line Research Co-op for high school students and contributing about 10 hours of your time over a four month semester.

Visit This link will take you to another Web site for more information, or contact

Share Your Stories

Is there exciting research going on at your university or college campus? Do you have interesting stories or ideas to share? If so, email us at