Performance and Service Standards

NSERC is committed to providing a high quality, responsive and accessible service to all the organizations and individuals that interact with the agency. We will vigorously apply our service standards, including compliance with the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act, as follows:

NSERC Operations and Transactions

  • Ensure that all services are available in both official languages and that clients be served in the official language of their choice.
  • Protect the privacy and confidentiality of our clients and the security of their electronic transactions with NSERC.
  • Uphold high standards of integrity in all areas of operations, in compliance with established policies and guidelines.
  • Consult with stakeholders who have an interest in NSERC policies, processes and services, and maintain open channels for the receipt of unsolicited comments.
  • Provide contact details (address, telephone, fax, e-mail and Web site address) on all correspondence and ensure that contact details on the Web site are up-to-date.
  • Operate a central help line where clients can get prompt, accurate, informative and courteous replies to all incoming enquiries within one business day after receipt.

Program Delivery

NSERC service standards apply to all Transfer Payment Programs administered by NSERC.

Achieving these service standards is a shared responsibility between applicants / funding recipients and NSERC. Applicants / funding recipients must submit all required documentation in accordance with the funding opportunity’s guidelines and within NSERC’s deadlines.

The following service standards apply only under normal circumstances (i.e., business-as-usual operating times), and exclude special circumstances such as holidays, natural disasters, information technology system outages, and similar events outside of NSERC’s control.

  • Acknowledgement of receipt of application:
    • Acknowledge the receipt of on-line grant and scholarship/fellowship applications immediately, following their electronic delivery to NSERC. NSERC aims to meet this service standard 100% of the time.
  • Notification of competition results:
    • Notify all applicants of the outcome of their applications (deemed complete), from the date of receipt by NSERC, in accordance with the established deadlines.
  • Grant, Scholarship and Fellowship Funding Transfers to Administering Institutions:
    • Financial payments are provided to institutions to administer to funding recipients via global payment systems. The following service standard applies to payments made by NSERC to administering institutions. NSERC will process each global payment within two business days of the day scheduled for the transfer as per the payment schedule defined by NSERC’s Finance division. NSERC aims to meet this standard 90% of the time.
  • Scholarship and Fellowship Direct Payments:
    • NSERC will process a funding recipient’s eligible direct deposit payment request within 10 business days of receiving all required documentation as per the relevant Award Holder’s Guide. NSERC aims to meet this standard 90% of the time.
  • Communicating the Network Progress Monitoring Results:
    • For Networks and Centres funded through the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) whose annual progress reports will be reviewed by the NCE Monitoring Committee, the NCE Secretariat will communicate the Network Progress Monitoring Results within 60 days after the assessment by the Committee. The NCE Secretariat aims to meet this service standard 95% of the time.
  • Participation to the funded Networks and Centres Board of Directors’ meetings by a NCE Secretariat liaison:
    • A liaison from the Networks of Centre of Excellence Secretariat will participate to 75% of all its funded Networks and Centres Board of Directors’ meetings. 

Responding to Enquiries

  • Reply to telephone enquiries as soon as possible and within a maximum of two working days after receipt.
  • Acknowledge the receipt of all written enquiries (including e-mails and faxes) within five working days after receipt.

NSERC On-line Services

  • Ensure and maintain an annual system availability rate of 98% for NSERC’s On-line Services, so that they operate swiftly and accurately without major breakdowns and unscheduled interruptions.
  • Make application forms, pertinent instructions, and information about policies and programs readily available via the Web.
  • Strive to ensure that up-to-date forms and information are available from NSERC's Web site 24/7 and that all forms for general use can be downloaded as required.

Service Improvement Initiative (SII)

In compliance with the Service Improvement Initiative (SII) instituted by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, NSERC has developed and published service standards, and established baselines and targets for improvement. These baselines are based on surveys conducted since 2004 with the Council’s main clients regarding their satisfaction levels with the key services delivered by NSERC.

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