Supporting Information on Lower-Level Programs

Supporting information on lower-level programs is available on NSERC’s website and in the TBS InfoBase.

Sub-Program 1.1.1: Science and Engineering Promotion

Description

This sub-program stimulates the public’s interest in science, math, and engineering and encourages the next generation of students to consider careers in these fields, helping to ensure that Canada has an ongoing supply of future discoverers and innovators. These activities are necessary as Canada has fewer university students enrolled in the natural sciences and engineering disciplines and fewer doctoral students graduating and working in these fields, relative to most Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries. NSERC awards grants to support activities of community based organizations, museums, science centres and universities that stimulate the interest of young people and students and improve school performance in science and mathematics, notably groups that are underrepresented in the natural sciences and engineering, such as women and indigenous groups. In addition, NSERC offers several prizes that recognize and highlight Canadian achievements in training, research, and innovation. This sub-program uses funding from the Grants and Scholarships transfer payment.

Planned Results
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2016-17 Actual results 2015-16 Actual results 2014-15 Actual results
The next generation of university students select the natural sciences and engineering as a field of study. Percentage growth in bachelor's enrolment in the NSE at Canadian universities. 1% Ongoing 5.5% 5% 5.3%
Percentage of science promotion projects that successfully complete the planned activity. 80% 90.2% 89% 89%

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2016-17 Planned spending 2016-17 Actual spending (authorities used) 2016-17 Difference (actual minus planned)
7,083,210 9,351,604 2,268,394

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2016–17 Planned 2016–17 Actual 2016–17 Difference (actual minus planned)
6 7 1

Sub-Program 1.1.2: Scholarships and Fellowships

Description

This sub-program supports a significant number of students at various stages of their university studies. At the undergraduate level, support for 16 weeks of research internships in universities aims to nurture and develop students’ aptitudes towards research in the natural sciences and engineering, encourage them to undertake graduate studies and pursue a research career in these fields. At the postgraduate level, students earn a Master's or Doctoral degree in a domestic and/or foreign institution, after having spent time in an academic and/or industrial setting. The Council also supports the development of innovative training programs that encourage collaborative and integrative approaches, address significant scientific challenges associated to Canada's research priorities, include the acquisition of professional skills, and facilitate the transition of new researchers from trainees to productive employees in the Canadian workforce. Postdoctoral Fellowships provide support to promising doctoral graduates to further their research training in Canada or abroad. This sub-program uses funding from the following transfer payments: Grants and Scholarships.

Planned Results
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2016-17 Actual results 2015-16 Actual results 2014-15 Actual results
Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral students gain research experience in natural sciences and engineering that provides them with a competitive advantage in their careers. Percentage of student population in the natural sciences and engineering supported (directly or indirectly) by NSERC. 25% Ongoing 36.4% 36.7% 37%
Percentage of students supported that are motivated to pursue further studies or training. 20% 30.4% 30.4% 28%
Percentage of postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows supported engaged in R&D in their jobs (7 to 9 years after their award). 50% 58.6% / 88.1% 58.6% / 88.1% 57% / 93%

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2016-17 Planned spending 2016-17 Actual spending (authorities used) 2016-17 Difference (actual minus planned)
81,661,756 76,280,489 -5,381,267

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2016–17 Planned 2016–17 Actual 2016–17 Difference (actual minus planned)
19 23 4

Sub-Program 1.1.3: Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships

Description

This sub-program provides financial support to outstanding eligible scholars pursuing Master's or Doctoral studies in a Canadian university. This program is necessary to ensure a reliable supply of highly qualified personnel to meet the needs of Canada's knowledge economy. Supplementary funding is available in the form of Foreign Study Supplements to select recipients of the Canada Graduate Scholarships to build global linkages and international networks through the pursuit of exceptional, short term research experiences at research institutions outside of Canada. This sub-program uses funding from the following transfer payment: Canada Graduate Scholarships.

Planned Results
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2016-17 Actual results 2015-16 Actual results 2014-15 Actual results
Increased capacity to supply highly qualified personnel to the academic, public and private sectors Percentage of Canada Graduate Scholarship students supported, completing their degree 90% Ongoing 95.8% 95.8% 99%
Time of doctoral degree completion among recipients of a Canada Graduate Scholarship < 6 years 5.02 years 5.02 years 4.8 years

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2016-17 Planned spending 2016-17 Actual spending (authorities used) 2016-17 Difference (actual minus planned)
43,517,979 43,691,237 173,258

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2016–17 Planned 2016–17 Actual 2016–17 Difference (actual minus planned)
9 11 2

Sub-Program 1.1.4: Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

Description

This sub-program provides financial support to students who have achieved exceptional success in their studies and who demonstrate high potential in the pursuit of a doctoral program in a Canadian university. Both Canadian and international students are eligible for a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. This sub-program is necessary to attract and retain world class doctoral students by supporting students who demonstrate a high standard of scholarly achievement in graduate studies, as well as leadership skills. A high level steering committee, assisted by international review committees, ensures that the best and brightest students are chosen as recipients of the scholarships. Awards allow students to fully concentrate on their studies and work with the best research mentors in their chosen field in Canada. This sub-program uses funding from the following transfer payment: Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships.

Planned Results
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2016-17 Actual results 2015-16 Actual results 2014-15 Actual results
Compete worldwide for premier doctoral students to build world-class research capacity in Canada. Expert review of quality of the pool of applicants as measured by percent of fundable applications for a given competition year. 40% Ongoing 35% 39.7% 35%
Number of international students who were awarded a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. 50 52 50 46

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2016-17 Planned spending 2016-17 Actual spending (authorities used) 2016-17 Difference (actual minus planned)
8,482,648 8,474,961 -7,687

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2016–17 Planned 2016–17 Actual 2016–17 Difference (actual minus planned)
1 2 1

Sub-Program 1.1.5: Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships

Description

This sub-program supports postdoctoral researchers from Canada and abroad in order to attract the very best postdoctoral fellows to further their training and carry out research in Canada. Up to 25 percent of these awards can be held abroad to allow Canadian postdoctoral fellows the opportunity to gain valuable international experience. This sub-program helps reinforce Canada’s standing as a global player in research excellence and higher learning and as a destination of choice for the most gifted students and researchers. The high level of support provided ensures that these fellowships are internationally competitive. Awards provide a two-year stipend to the recipients. This sub-program uses funding from the following transfer payment: Grants and Scholarships.

Planned Results
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2016-17 Actual results 2015-16 Actual results 2014-15 Actual results
Compete worldwide for premier postdoctoral researchers to build world class research capacity in Canada Expert review of quality of the pool of applicants as measured by percent of fundable applications (for a given competition year) 25% Ongoing 22% 15.2% 22%
Number of international postdoctoral researchers or equivalent who were awarded a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship 22 20 18 22

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2016-17 Planned spending 2016-17 Actual spending (authorities used) 2016-17 Difference (actual minus planned)
3,405,170 3,081,889 -323,281

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2016–17 Planned 2016–17 Actual 2016–17 Difference (actual minus planned)
1 1 0

Sub-Program 1.1.6: Canada Research Chairs

Description

This sub-program provides support to research chairs in the form of salary and research funding to attract and retain some of the world's most accomplished and promising minds. It assists Canadian universities, together with their affiliated research institutes and hospitals, achieve the highest levels of research excellence and to become world class research centres in today’s global, knowledge based economy. Eligible nominees are full professors or associate professors and emerging scholars who may range from recent doctoral graduates to associate professors. National and international researchers can be chair holders. This sub-program uses funding from the following transfer payment: Grants and Scholarships.

Planned Results
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2016-17 Actual results 2015-16 Actual results 2014-15 Actual results
World-class research is enhanced in Canadian universities through the attraction and retention of excellent researchers. Percentage of institutions that found the Canada Research Chair program important or very important in their ability to support the existing research teams/ research clusters/ research centres 90% Ongoing 94% 91% 93%

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2016-17 Planned spending 2016-17 Actual spending (authorities used) 2016-17 Difference (actual minus planned)
118,210,800 107,886,841 -10,323,959

The variance is due to funds transferred to Research Tools and Instruments under sub-program 1.2.2.

Human resources (full-time equivalents)*
2016–17 Planned 2016–17 Actual 2016–17 Difference (actual minus planned)
0 0 0

*This sub-program is managed by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Sub-Program 1.1.7: Canada Excellence Research Chairs

Description

This sub-program offers eligible Canadian degree granting institutions the opportunity to establish highly remunerated research chairs at their institutions in research areas of strategic importance to Canada, including but not limited to: environmental sciences and technologies; natural resources and energy; health and related life sciences and technologies; and information and communication technologies, including the digital economy. This sub-program is necessary to attract the highest calibre of researchers for Canada's future prosperity. It uses funding from the following transfer payment: Canada Excellence Research Chairs.

Planned Results
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2016-17 Actual results 2015-16 Actual results 2014-15 Actual results
The attraction of the world's most accomplished researchers to help Canada build a critical mass of expertise in areas of strategic importance to Canada. Percentage of institutions that have reported significant growth, over the course of the term of the award, in areas of strategic importance to Canada due to CERC award 75% Ongoing 89% (FY: 2015-16) 74% 83%
Percentage of Chairs that have provided expert advice/opinion to target end-user groups at a moderate/significant level 75% 88% (FY: 2015-16) 89% 94%

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2016-17 Planned spending 2016-17 Actual spending (authorities used) 2016-17 Difference (actual minus planned)
25,200,000 25,448,000 248,000

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2016–17 Planned 2016–17 Actual 2016–17 Difference (actual minus planned)
0 0 0

* This sub-program is managed by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Sub-Program 1.2.1: Discovery Research

Description

This sub-program promotes and enables global excellence in discovery research in Canada. NSERC’s discovery based grants support long term, ongoing programs of research as well as shorter term research projects. The Council also offers substantial and timely additional resources to select researchers in order to accelerate progress and maximize the impact of their research program. In addition, the Council supports a limited number of large international activities, opportunities, or projects that are of high priority in the context of advanced research in Canada. These are led by world class Canadian researchers and are comprised of teams that will generate substantial impact for the benefit of Canada. Having a solid capacity for basic research across a broad spectrum of natural sciences and engineering disciplines is necessary to ensure that Canada remains at the leading edge of knowledge creation. It ensures that Canada can access and exploit science and technology developments from other countries, and forms the foundation for innovation and the training of the next generation of scientists and engineers. This sub-program uses funding from the following transfer payment: Grants and Scholarships.

Planned Results
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2016-17 Actual results 2015-16 Actual results 2014-15 Actual results
The discovery, innovation and training capability of university researchers in natural sciences and engineering is enhanced by the provision of support for on-going programs of basic research. Percentage of the Discovery Grants program budget spent on early career researchers. 10% Ongoing 12.7% 11.9% 11.1%
Percentage of funds spent on training students and postdoctoral fellows. 50% 51.7% 50.5% 50.4%
Percentage of Canadian publications in the natural sciences and engineering coauthored with foreign researchers. 50% 56.2% 55% 53%

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2016-17 Planned spending 2016-17 Actual spending (authorities used) 2016-17 Difference (actual minus planned)
392,951,453 391,586,184 -1,365,269

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2016–17 Planned 2016–17 Actual 2016–17 Difference (actual minus planned)
51 72 21

The variance is due to a change in the reallocation of internal services to programs, based on TBS’ Guide on Recording and Reporting of Internal Services Expenditures, effective April 1st, 2015.

Sub-Program 1.2.2: Research Equipment and Resources

Description

This sub-program supports the purchase or development of research equipment and the maintenance of unique research resources. Funds are also used to facilitate researchers’ access to major and unique research resources in Canada and abroad. Grants are awarded through a competitive peer review process. This activity is necessary because, in addition to funds to carry out research, top scientists, and engineers need state of the art equipment and resources to conduct research at world class levels. Access to equipment and resources plays an important role in attracting the best minds to Canada and keeping them here. This sub-program uses funding from the following transfer payment: Grants and Scholarships.

Planned Results
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2016-17 Actual results 2015-16 Actual results 2014-15 Actual results
The discovery, innovation and training capability of university researchers in natural sciences and engineering is supported by access to research equipment and major regional or national research facilities. Percentage growth in number of users conducting research at supported facilities. 5% Ongoing 25.8% -3.2% 1.5%
Average number of researchers benefiting from equipment awards. 750 1,193 853 1,006

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2016-17 Planned spending 2016-17 Actual spending (authorities used) 2016-17 Difference (actual minus planned)
10,965,313 46,359,610 35,394,297

The variance is due to unused funds from other NSERC sub-programs transferred to this sub-program.

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2016–17 Planned 2016–17 Actual 2016–17 Difference (actual minus planned)
11 13 2

Sub-Program 1.2.3: Canada First Research Excellence Fund

Description

This sub-program offers eligible Canadian postsecondary degree/diploma granting institutions the opportunity to turn their key strengths into world-leading capabilities and become global research leaders in research areas of strategic importance to Canada, including but not limited to: advanced manufacturing, the environment and agriculture, health and life sciences, information and communication technologies, and natural resources and energy. This sub-program is necessary to help Canadian postsecondary institutions compete with the best in the world for talent and partnership opportunities, to make breakthrough discoveries, and to excel globally in research areas that will create long-term economic advantages for Canada. It uses funding from the following transfer payment: Canada First Research Excellence Fund.

Planned Results
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2016-17 Actual results 2015-16 Actual results 2014-15 Actual results
Competitively-selected postsecondary institutions excel globally in research areas that create long term economic advantages for Canada. Percentage of institutions demonstrating progress toward global leadership targets. 100% March 2021 Not Available Not Available Not Available

New program launched in December 2014. Too early for results at this stage.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2016-17 Planned spending 2016-17 Actual spending (authorities used) 2016-17 Difference (actual minus planned)
31,607,277 66,506,108 34,898,831

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2016–17 Planned 2016–17 Actual 2016–17 Difference (actual minus planned)
0 0 0

This sub-program is managed by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Sub-Program 1.3.1: Research in Strategic Areas

Description

This sub-program supports research projects and activities in selected areas of national importance and in emerging areas that are of potential significance to Canada. This sub-program is necessary to take advantage of Canada’s established excellence in research and innovation, and to build capacity in areas that are critical to the Canadian economy. NSERC invests in research areas that have been carefully selected as strategic priorities for the country. These investments support a range of activities such as research projects and networks. Funded activities share the common goal of connecting researchers with end users in order to enable the transfer of knowledge/technology and expertise that increases Canadian prosperity. This sub-program uses funding from the following transfer payment: Grants and Scholarships.

Planned Results
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2016-17 Actual results 2015-16 Actual results 2014-15 Actual results
Research and training in targeted and emerging areas of national importance is accelerated. Percentage of projects demonstrating knowledge transfer in strategic areas. 50% Ongoing 52% 52% 51%
Number of students and fellows carrying out research in strategic areas. 1,500 2,870 1,989 2,295

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2016-17 Planned spending 2016-17 Actual spending (authorities used) 2016-17 Difference (actual minus planned)
76,838,134 91,316,075 14,477,941

The variance is due to a re-alignment of resources for the implementation of Federal Budget 2015 to support collaborations between companies and researchers.

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2016–17 Planned 2016–17 Actual 2016–17 Difference (actual minus planned)
15 18 3

Sub-Program 1.3.2: Industry-driven Collaborative Research and Development

Description

This sub-program fosters collaborations between university researchers and industry, as well as other sectors, to develop and transfer new knowledge to Canadian based organizations. It offers a range of industry driven programs that stimulate innovation in the Canadian economy and encourage greater science and technology investment by the private sector. These partnership programs and projects address real world challenges that are relevant to industry, help build sustainable relationships between the two sectors, and connect people and skills. This sub-program uses funding from the following transfer payment: Grants and Scholarships.

Planned Results
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2016-17 Actual results 2015-16 Actual results 2014-15 Actual results
Mutually beneficial collaborations between the private sector and researchers in universities result in industrial or economic benefits to Canada. Percentage growth in total amount of research funds (cash and in-kind) leveraged from industrial partners. 2% Ongoing 6.7% 7% 2.7%
Number of students and fellows solving industrial problems through collaboration. 4,000 5,049 4,694 4,292
Percentage of industrial partners indicating satisfaction with research results. 75% 94% 96% 89%

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2016-17 Planned spending 2016-17 Actual spending (authorities used) 2016-17 Difference (actual minus planned)
168,132,913 171,759,521 3,626,608

The variance is due to a re-alignment of resources for the implementation of Federal Budget 2015 to support collaborations between companies and researchers.

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2016–17 Planned 2016–17 Actual 2016–17 Difference (actual minus planned)
74 79 5

Sub-Program 1.3.3: Networks of Centres of Excellence

Description

This sub-program fosters partnerships among universities, industry, government, and not-for- profit organizations. This program helps to harness the creativity and inventiveness of the best minds in various disciplines and sectors to find solutions to critical issues of importance to Canada using internationally competitive research, building on multi-sectorial partnerships, and, accelerating the use of multidisciplinary research results by organizations that can use them for economic, social, and environmental benefit. The sub-program is jointly administered by the three federal granting agencies through the Network Centres of Excellence Secretariat. The networks supported through this program operate as virtual institutes to carry out research and knowledge/technology transfer activities among the participating organizations. The networks put in place well defined strategies to transfer knowledge to users, ensuring that discoveries and technological advances are turned into social and economic benefits for all Canadians. The networks supported by this activity are designed to develop Canada's economy and improve the quality of life of Canadians. This sub-program uses funding from the following transfer payments: Networks of Centres of Excellence and Business Led Networks of Centres of Excellence.

Planned Results
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2016-17 Actual results 2015-16 Actual results 2014-15 Actual results
Strong linkages and partnerships between university, government and industry, and other users (NGOs) and the research knowledge and technology produced by the networks and centres is transferred and used with economic and societal benefits to Canada. Percentage of established networks and centres demonstrating knowledge and technology transfer (e.g. number of patents, licenses, copyrights, number of new products or processes, policies created, new capacities established and/or processes or practices affected) 100% Ongoing 100% 100% 100%

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2016-17 Planned spending 2016-17 Actual spending (authorities used) 2016-17 Difference (actual minus planned)
41,459,768 41,321,816 -137,952

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2016–17 Planned 2016–17 Actual 2016–17 Difference (actual minus planned)
10 11 1

Sub-Program 1.3.4: Training in Industry

Description

This sub-program supports students and recent graduates during short or longer term research internships in Canadian companies. The support allows them to gain Research and Development experience in industry and encourages them to consider careers in industry. Canadian companies benefit from the advanced research skills of these trainees and gain access to new knowledge in their area of activity. The awards are leveraged by the host company, which contributes to the salary of the student or fellow. The sub-program supports an increase in the number of highly qualified people in Canadian industry to strengthen Canadian innovation. This sub-program uses funding from the following transfer payments: Industrial Research and Development Internship Program and Grants and Scholarships.

Planned Results
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2016-17 Actual results 2015-16 Actual results 2014-15 Actual results
Students and fellows gain research experience in an industrial setting Percentage of undergraduate students considering an industrial R&D career (after their Experience award). 50% Ongoing 55% 54.4% 51%
Percentage of Industrial R&D Fellows continuing to work in industry after their fellowship. 50% 71.3% 71.3% 68.9%
Percentage of Industrial R&D Fellows continuing to work in industry after their fellowship. 75% 95% 83% n/a

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2016-17 Planned spending 2016-17 Actual spending (authorities used) 2016-17 Difference (actual minus planned)
19,112,361 13,661,391 -5,450,970

The variance is due to the Industrial R&D Internships (IRDI) being transferred to the Department of innovation, Science and Economic Development.

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2016–17 Planned 2016–17 Actual 2016–17 Difference (actual minus planned)
5 6 1

Sub-Program 1.3.5: Commercialization of Research

Description

This sub-program supports the development of commercially promising technologies and promotes the transfer of knowledge and technologies to Canadian companies for commercialization. Strengthening Canada’s record in commercialization is necessary to achieve business growth, job creation, and a stronger, more resilient economy. By means of grants awarded through competitive peer review processes, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council aims to support the development of pre-competitive technologies and to help build the capacity of Canadian universities and colleges to work with industry and fuel economic growth. Federal investments serve to leverage significant amounts of private funding. This sub-program uses funding from the following transfer payments: Grants and Scholarships and the Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research.

Planned Results
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2016-17 Actual results 2015-16 Actual results 2014-15 Actual results
Pre-competitive development of promising technology and the promotion of its transfer to new or established Canadian companies is facilitated. Percentage of established centres in which technologies were commercially developed or projects resulting in creation or support of spin-offs, licensing revenue and/or agreements, venture capital funding or patents, copyrights, trademarks, registered industrial designs. 100% Ongoing 100% 100% 68.9%
Percentage of projects resulting in intellectual property protection (patents, copyrights, trademarks, registered industrial designs). 75% 90% 100% (FY 2012-13) 51%

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2016-17 Planned spending 2016-17 Actual spending (authorities used) 2016-17 Difference (actual minus planned)
20,105,576 20,620,730 515,154

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2016–17 Planned 2016–17 Actual 2016–17 Difference (actual minus planned)
10 11 1

Sub-Program 1.3.6: College and Community Innovation

Description

This sub-program increases the capacity of colleges and polytechnics to support innovation at the community and/or regional level. Its design and funding stimulate new partnerships and increased entrepreneurship and assist colleges and polytechnics to take risks and be nimble in developing new ways of working with local businesses and industries to spur innovation and economic growth. This sub-program uses funding from the following transfer payments: College and Community Innovation Program, College University Idea to Innovation, and the Industrial Research Chairs for colleges.

Planned Results
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2016-17 Actual results 2015-16 Actual results 2014-15 Actual results
Increased capacity of colleges to support innovation at the community and/or regional level. Percentage growth in number of partnerships with companies and other organizations. 5% Ongoing 1% -0.5% 39.9%
Percentage of companies indicating development of new and/or improved products, services, and/or processes. 25% 69% 69% 69%

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2016-17 Planned spending 2016-17 Actual spending (authorities used) 2016-17 Difference (actual minus planned)
49,709,712 54,377,396 4,667,684

The variance is due to the implementation of Federal Budget 2015 to support the College and Community Innovation sub-program.

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2016–17 Planned 2016–17 Actual 2016–17 Difference (actual minus planned)
18 21 3

Contact Newsletter

Get highlights of things happening at NSERC delivered to your email inbox. View all Newsletters

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Youtube
  • Instagram