Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
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Update: how NSERC is deploying new funding from Budget 2018 for discovery research

Budget 2018 announced new funding for discovery research, ramping up from $44 million per year in 2018-19 to $90 million in 2021-22. NSERC has invested these funds into the Discovery Research Program, while taking into account Budget 2018 priorities for equity, diversity and inclusion, and support for early career researchers.

The ramped-up funding commitments ($59 million in 2019-20, $71 million in 2020-21, and $90 million afterwards) have allowed NSERC to increase Discovery Grant awards made in 2018 by an average of 20%, and will allow the Council to increase the funds available for future Discovery Grants competitions.

This year, the Council has been able to award the following amounts in each of the various components of the discovery portfolio:

  • $398 million in Discovery Grants to more than 2,100 researchers at all career stages. Established Researchers are now receiving over $200k on average over the five years of their award.
  • $5.4 million in new funding for Early Career Researchers through the new Discovery Launch Supplement worth $12,500 each to provide additional support for ECRs when they receive their first Discovery Grant. This is in addition to the average Discovery Grant of almost $150k for Early Career Researchers.
  • $26.4 million for the subatomic physics envelope (projects, equipment, and facilities)
  • Over $25 million in Research Tools and Instruments Grants that will allow researchers to purchase new equipment needed for world-leading discovery, innovation and training.
  • $15 million for 125 Discovery Accelerator Supplements.
  • $900,000 for 30 Discovery Development Grants. Individual awards have been increased from $10,000 to $15,000 per year.
  • $3 million for 37 Ship Time Program grants and Northern Research Supplements.