Breakthrough answers to timeless questions

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada funds visionaries, explorers and innovators who are searching for the scientific and technical breakthroughs that will benefit our country. We are Canada’s largest supporter of discovery and innovation. We work with universities, colleges, businesses and not-for-profits to remove barriers, develop opportunities and attract new expertise to make Canada’s research community thrive. We give Canadian scientists and engineers the means to go further because we believe in research without borders and beyond frontiers.

Investing in discoverers

Discovery is the foundation of all scientific advancements, and NSERC’s largest area of investment. We back people with bold, promising ideas and give them the freedom to explore when their research points them in exciting, unexpected directions. We encourage young talent and create unparalleled training opportunities for the next generation of scientists and engineers. We forge international collaborations that connect Canadian researchers to the global network of ideas, and attract the world’s brightest minds to our country to increase the impact of science, technology and innovation in Canada.

At a glance

$513 million

Funding allocated to support research trainees through grants last year.


of Canada’s world-class researchers in the natural sciences and engineering are backed by NSERC Discovery investments.


Discovery Grants, scholarships and fellowships are awarded each year for research ranging from the nanoscale to the astronomical, and the prehistoric to the futuristic.

Partnering with innovators

NSERC helps organizations of all sizes tap into the talent and technology at Canada’s universities and colleges. Researchers offer partners innovative ideas, specialized laboratories and highly trained students who are ready to launch their careers. Partners provide researchers with new perspectives, market knowledge and pathways to commercialization. Together, they turn scientific and technical breakthroughs into benefits for Canadians.

At a glance


partnerships between researchers and the private, public and not-for-profit organizations were supported by NSERC last year.

$1.43 billion

in cash and in-kind contributions came from partners over the past five years.


students receive unique training experiences each year working on real R&D challenges.

Empowering through science

NSERC encourages Canadians to embrace a STEM mindset, so they can grow up curious and critical of the world around them. We popularize science culture by supporting museums, libraries and not-for-profits putting on activities for youth and families that promote STEM as an important part of their lives. We work closely with the research community to make science and engineering more equitable, diverse and inclusive. NSERC wants all Canadians to see themselves as discoverers and innovators.

At a glance


expert peer reviewers reflect and represent the full diversity of Canada’s science and engineering community each year.

2.5 million

young people, parents, teachers and curious Canadians are reached each year through our science promotion activities.


partners come together each year to offer 1,000 events in every province and territory.

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