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Advancing Climate Change Science in Canada

Instructions for completing an application – form 101

General information

About the grant

Read the program description before you complete the application.

Who completes the application?

The applicant must complete the application and include all required documentation using the On-line System. In addition, the Personal Data Form (Form 100) must be completed by applicants and co-applicants and linked to the application form.

Presentation standards

You are responsible for submitting a complete application that conforms to the presentation standards established by NSERC. Incomplete applications and applications that do not meet the presentation standards may be rejected, or be at a disadvantage, in comparison with those that are complete and respect the presentation standards. Where page limits are stated, pages in excess of the number permitted will be removed.

For more information, read the NSERC On-line Presentation and Attachment Standards.

Application deadlines

Your application must be received at your institution’s research grants office by their internal deadline date; contact your research grants office for those deadlines.

For programs with deadlines, the application must be received at NSERC by 8:00 p.m. (Eastern time) on the deadline date. If it is not received by the deadline, it will be considered late and will be rejected. Application deadlines are indicated in each of the program descriptions, as well as on the Application Deadlines and Notification of Decision page.

Material or updates received under separate cover (before or after the deadline date) will not be accepted.

Personal information

The collection, use and disclosure of personal information provided to NSERC are outlined in the following policy statements:

The information you provide in your application is collected under the authority of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Act. NSERC is subject to the This link will take you to another Web site Access to Information Act and the This link will take you to another Web site Privacy Act (ATIP). The information you provide is stored in a series of NSERC data banks described in This link will take you to another Web site Information about programs and information holdings.

Personnel from ECCC and HC will have access to relevant data and records for the purposes consistent with the program’s objectives.

Help with program information

  • Contact the staff responsible for the program to which you are applying.

Help with the NSERC on-line system

  • Check the Frequently Asked Questions on how to use the On-line System;
  • Review the instructions available in the application;
  • Contact the On-line Services Helpdesk. Send an email to: or call 613-995-4273. Include your email address and telephone number.

Completing the application

Application profile

Title of proposal

The title will be used for publication purposes. It should describe the subject of the research to be supported. It should not contain a company or trade name. Spell out scientific symbols and acronyms.

Time devoted to proposed research/activity

Enter the time devoted by the applicant (in hours per month) to the proposed research/activity.

Area(s) of research

Research subject codes

Consult the NSERC Code Tables. All applicants are required to select a primary research code.

Area of application codes

Consult the NSERC Code Tables. All applicants are required to select a primary area of application code from the list of Area of Application Codes.

Key words

Provide a maximum of 10 key words that describe the proposal.


Before completing this page, consult the Policies and Guidelines of the Program Guide for Professors concerning the requirements for certain types of research.

Research involving humans: If you select Yes, you must provide your institution's administration with the appropriate certification indicating that research involving humans has been reviewed and has received the required approval.

Research involving human pluripotent stem cells: If you select Yes, or if through peer review the application is found to fall into this category and is recommended for funding, it will be forwarded, with your consent, to CIHR’s Stem Cell Oversight Committee (SCOC) to ensure compliance with This link will take you to another Web site Chapter 12, Section F of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2). The SCOC review is in addition to the normal review by local Research Ethics Boards (REBs). Funding will not be released until approval has been obtained from the SCOC.

Research involving the use of animals: If you select Yes, you must provide your institution's administration with the certification from the animal care committee at the institution that the experimental procedures proposed have been approved and that the care and treatment of animals is in accordance with the principles outlined in the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) guide.

Research involving hazardous substances: If you select Yes, you must provide your institution's administration with the certification from the biosafety committee at the institution that the laboratory procedures being used comply with the safety precautions necessary for the level of containment required by the research.

Environmental impact: The Environmental Information Form (Appendix A) may be required. For more information, consult NSERC’s Guidelines on Environmental Review and Assessment.

Cover letter

The cover letter is optional and should only be used if you wish to provide NSERC with additional information that will not be shared with external reviewers, such as a justified request that an individual, a group of individuals, or an organization not be involved in the review of your proposal. NSERC will take such a request into consideration. The cover letter must contain your name, the NSERC program to which you are applying, and the title of your application.

Note: This letter may be accessible to these individuals under the Privacy Act.


Identify co-applicants who will participate on your application. Co-applicants must provide their NSERC Personal Data Form (Form 100). Co-applicants, except those from the applicant's institution, must advise the authorized officer of their organization that the applicant, or the applicant's institution, will be seeking their signature prior to submitting the application to NSERC, agreeing to their participation.

To invite co-applicants to link their Personal Data Form (Form 100) to the application, enter the email address of the co-applicant as it appears in the co-applicant's Form 100, as well as the family name. When you select Save, an automated email message will be sent to the person(s) to whom you have granted access to your application, informing them that they have been invited to participate in your application. The status will appear as Not Linked.

When a co-applicant links a Personal Data Form (Form 100) to the application, his/her personal information will appear in the Co-applicant page, and the status will change to Linked. At this point, enter the time (in hours per month) each co-applicant will devote to the proposed research/activity or the use of equipment or facility.

By submitting this form, the applicant certifies that the individuals listed as co-applicants have been informed of the precise uses and disclosures of their personal information by NSERC (see Use and Disclosure of Personal Information Provided to NSERC) and have authorized the release of the information by the applicant.

Supporting organizations

Enter information about each co-applicant organization's signing officer (other than the applicant’s organization). For supporting organizations such as an industrial partner or a government department, enter information about the authorized representative(s).

The applicant must ensure that the co-applicants from other institutions obtain the appropriate signature from the authorized officer of their organization prior to submitting the application to NSERC (see Signatures requirements within this document).


A collaborator is a member of the research team that is applying for a grant. The collaborator will not have access to the grant funds and must be qualified to undertake research independently. Collaborators are expected to contribute to the overall intellectual direction of the research project or program of research and to bring their own resources to the collaboration. Examples of collaborators may include government scientists, academic researchers, company staff members or research scientists.

Applicants are required to collaborate with at least one Federal Department or Agency from the Government of Canada. Please refer to the program description for more information.

Use the Other Documents section to attach a curriculum vitae (maximum six pages) for each collaborator. Other researchers providing specialized expertise can be briefly described in the Proposal section.

Summary of proposal

The summary is intended to explain the proposal in language that the public can understand.

Using simple terms, briefly describe the nature of the work to be done. Indicate why and to whom the research is important, the anticipated outcomes and how your field and Canada will benefit.

This plain language summary will be made available to the public if your proposal is funded.

If you wish, you may also provide a summary in the other official language in the text box identified for that purpose.

Activity schedule

List the activities/steps required to achieve the objectives for each year of the grant.

Indicate the start and end dates for the activities leading to the milestones, as well as the major results expected.  The milestone definition and the work plan will be used to assess whether a project is feasible and whether the available resources are adequate to complete it on schedule.


Use the guidelines outlined in the NSERC On-line Presentation and Attachment Standards  to provide the requested information in a document to be attached to the application.

Using the headings below and in a maximum of 10 single-sided pages (this page limit does not include references), describe your proposal.

Refer to the description of the Advancing Climate Change Science in Canada initiative- Evaluation Criteria for a list of criteria that will be considered by reviewers when evaluating the applications.


  • Provide a concise (maximum of one page) overview including the scope, the objectives and the proposed approach. Describe the nature of the linkages to supporting organizations and how the results from the various activities will be integrated to achieve the objectives during, and at the conclusion of, the project. Indicate the benefits expected to accrue to the academic and the public and/or private-sector participants. This summary may be used for public release.


  • Describe the context on which the proposed project is built.  Relate the proposal to current scientific and technical developments in the field.
  • Explain the relationship of the proposed activities to the program objectives and with other activities in this area in Canada and internationally.

Information in this section will be used to evaluate the Merit of the Proposed Activities.

Research proposal:

  • Describe the specific objectives, approaches, methods, schedule and milestones to be completed during the grant.
  • Describe the relevant expertise, role and expected contributions of the applicant(s) and participants and how these will be integrated.
  • Explain the rationale for the team composition, highlighting how it has the necessary expertise, experience, diversity and gender equity for successful execution of the proposed activities.

Information in this section will be used to evaluate the Excellence of the Researcher(s), the Merit of the Proposed Activities, and the Budget.

Contribution to training:

  • Describe the extent to which highly qualified personnel (undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research assistants, or others) are involved in the activities and the opportunities for enhanced training that will take advantage of the multidisciplinary academic setting.
  • Describe any gender or diversity specific elements associated with the project.

Information in this section will be used to evaluate the Contribution to Training.

Relevance to Canada:

  • Discuss the intended benefits of the proposed activities and their potential impact on science and/or policy development.
  • Describe the mechanisms for knowledge and/or technology transfer.
  • Describe the nature and the extent of involvement of supporting organizations in the proposed program.

Information in this section will be used to evaluate the Interactions with the Supporting Organizations and the Relevance to Canada.


  • Use this section to provide a list of literature references. Your list of references must not exceed two pages.
  • Do not refer readers to websites for additional information on your proposal.
  • Do not introduce hyperlinks in your list of references.

Proposed expenditures

Before completing this page, read the instructions and consult the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide for information about the eligibility of expenditures for the direct costs of research and the regulations governing the use of grant funds.

Enter the amounts planned to be spent in each budget category for each year of the project. A breakdown of each category and its detailed justification will be requested in the next section.

Use the Budget Justification section to explain and justify each budget item.

Budget justification

Provide a detailed explanation and justification for each budget item identified in the Proposed Expenditures page. Provide sufficient information to allow reviewers to assess whether the resources requested are appropriate. This page should only contain information pertinent to the budget.

Salaries and benefits

Give the names (if known), categories of employment and proposed salaries (with explicit indication of the non-discretionary benefits) of students, postdoctoral fellows, research staff, and the project manager. Briefly describe the responsibilities for each position and indicate the percentage of time they will be spending on this project over its life span. Do not include salaries of faculty in project costs.

Refer to Form 100 instructions for information regarding obtaining consent to name individuals in your proposal.

Equipment or facility

Give a breakdown of the items requested. Provide details on models, manufacturers, prices and applicable taxes. Justify the need for each item requested. Fees to be paid for the use of equipment or a facility should be described (e.g. hours and rate). 

Materials and supplies

Provide details and explain major items. Equipment and material obtained from the partner(s) must be provided as in-kind contributions. NSERC and the partner(s)’s funds must flow to the university(ies) and cannot be used to buy equipment, products and services from any partner.


Explain briefly how each activity relates to the proposed research.


Provide details of publication costs, user workshops or other activities.

Technology transfer activities

List the expenditure for field trials, building prototypes, scale-up costs, demonstration projects, workshops, and other miscellaneous expenses.

Summary of expenditures related to aspects outside the natural sciences and engineering

Provide a summary of all expenditures related to aspects incorporated into the proposal that are outside the natural sciences and engineering. These expenditures must not exceed 30 percent of the total project costs.

Relationship to other research support

Any relationship and/or overlap, conceptual or financial, with work supported by NSERC or other funding sources must be explained.

Use additional pages to provide the following information:

  • Clear and concise information on the conceptual and budgetary relationship or difference between this application and all other support currently held or applied for by the applicant and co-applicants. Also explain perceived duplication in funding or, if applicable, indicate how the current application complements research funded by other sources.
  • For each grant currently held or applied for, clearly describe the main objective, and provide a brief outline of the methodology, budget details and details on the support of highly qualified personnel. In addition, the relationships to the NSERC application must be explained. Such information may be provided, for example, in the form of a brief summary of the necessary details for each grant.

The onus is on the applicant to provide sufficient information to enable the reviewers to evaluate the relationship between this application and other sources of support, the incremental value of additional support from the grant, and to recommend the appropriate NSERC funding level.

The consequence of not providing adequate information to assess the relationship to other research support is that the reviewers may recommend reduced or no funding.

Contributions from supporting organizations

Use this page to report the contributions committed by the supporting organization(s) to the research project. Before completing this page, read the instructions and consult the Use of Grant Funds page of the NSERC Program Guide for Professors concerning the eligibility of expenditures for the direct costs of research and the regulations governing the use of grant funds, and Guidelines on Eligibility and Value of In-Kind Contributions.

Provide the information for each supporting organization.

List the resources the supporting organization will provide to support the proposed activities including:

  • the net cash contribution to direct costs of research (without the university overheads). This amount will be transferred to the appropriate line on the Proposed Expenditures page;
  • the in-kind contribution to direct costs of research (donations of services, materials and equipment);
  • the in-kind contributions to indirect costs. This amount is not transferred to the Proposed Expenditures page;
  • an indication of the amount paid to the institution for overhead.

Contributions from supporting organizations (attachment)

Provide a detailed explanation of the in-kind contributions to the direct costs of research. This information will be used to assess the level and nature of the supporting organization’s involvement and the importance of their contribution to the success of the project.  Please refer to Guidelines on Eligibility and Value of In-Kind Contributions for information on what costs are considered eligible.

  • Salaries for scientific and technical staff: list the name of each staff member, their role at the company and their specific expertise, details as to what they will be providing to the project (link to milestones if possible), the number of hours they will devote to the project, and their hourly rate.
  • Donation of equipment, software: list each item of equipment and/or software being donated to the project, explaining how it will be used and its importance to the success of the project; provide details on how the cost of the equipment/software was calculated.
  • Donation of material: describe the materials to be provided, their importance to the project and how the cost of the materials was calculated.
  • Field work logistics: describe the importance of the proposed field work to the project and provide details on how the cost of the field work was calculated.
  • Provision of services: provide details on the services to be provided, the importance of these services to the success of the project and how the cost of providing these services was calculated.
  • Other: provide sufficient details on items listed in this category, their importance to the project and the calculation of associated costs.

Form 183A and letter of support (and attachments, as required)

A completed Form 183A, letter of support and any other required documents must be attached for each supporting organization participating in a research project. In the case of a multinational partner collaborating from outside Canada, letters of support from both the company’s international R&D location and either its Canadian headquarters or the Canadian subsidiary are required. Either the applicant or the supporting organization must complete all applicable pages of the form and provide the required documents.

To allow a supporting organization the ability to link a Form 183A to your application, use the Access Manager page of Form 101. For details on how to use this function, refer to the Access Manager instructions.

For applicants who are filling out Form 183A on behalf of the participating organization use the Link Manager page of Form 183A to link to your application. For details on how to use this function, refer to the Link Manager instructions.

Other documents

If you need to provide other documents give a brief description of the document and indicate whether you will be submitting it as an attached file or as a paper copy. Do not use this section to provide additional information related to the Proposal section.

Note: For upload purposes, all other documents must be saved into a single PDF document.


Quotations are no longer required. The Quotations page on the On-line System does not need to be completed or submitted.

Environmental information form (Appendix A)

An Environmental Information Form (Appendix A) must be completed and uploaded to the Environmental Impact page if required.


NSERC does not require original signatures on applications or other documents submitted electronically through its On-line System. The electronic submission of applications through this system represents approval and replaces the traditional "physical" or "wet" signatures. Refer to the Frequently Asked Questions in the Program Guide for Professors for more details.

What do the electronic or original signatures on the application mean?

For applicants

Before you, as an applicant or co-applicant, can submit your application to NSERC or link your Personal Data Form to an application, you must read and agree to the the Terms and Conditions of Applying that appear in a pop-up window during the submission process. It is your responsibility to retain a copy of the agreed Terms and Conditions for your records.

The signatures of the institutional authorities certify that:

The signatures of authorized officers of other supporting organizations certify that the organization:

  • agrees with the content of the application and will provide the committed resources;
  • agrees to the release of the public summary of the award and to the publication of the organization's name as a supporter of the initiative.

If you are both the applicant or co-applicant and a principal of a collaborating organization, another senior official must sign on behalf of the organization.

List for a complete application

  • Application for a Grant (Form 101)
  • Application Profile (including areas of research, certification requirements, amounts requested)
  • Cover letter, if required
  • Co-applicants, Collaborators, Supporting Organizations
  • Summary of Proposal
  • Activity Schedule
  • Proposed Expenditures
  • Contributions from Supporting Organizations
  • Budget Justification (attachment)
  • Contributions from Supporting Organizations (attachment)
  • Proposal (maximum 10 pages)
  • Literature References (maximum two pages - attachment)
  • Relationship to Other Research Support (attachment)
  • Other Documents (attachment) - if required
  • Appendix A (Environmental Information Form) - if required
  • Personal Data Form (Form 100) - for the applicant and co-applicants
    • Personal information (appointment, academic background, HQP)
    • Experience
    • Research Support
    • List of HQP
    • Contributions
    • Appendix A (Personal Data) - one original only
    • Appendix B (Eligibility Questionnaire) - one original only (if required)
    • Appendix C (Description of Applicant's Activities) - (if required)
  • Information Required from Supporting Organizations (Form 183A) - for each supporting organization
    • Letters of Support from all supporting organizations(attachment)
    • Organization Profile from all supporting organizations.