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Alliance International (Catalyst grants and Collaboration grants)

Instructions for completing an application form 101

General information

About the program

Learn more about Alliance International.

Who can complete the application?

See Who can apply? to determine whether you are eligible to apply.

Submit your application through NSERC’s online system. The application includes

  • Proposal: complete an application for a grant (form 101). Select the appropriate option from the menu.
  • Applicant information: complete a personal data form with CCV attachment (form 100A), and ask any co-applicants to complete one as well. Include a biosketch for each international collaborator.

Application deadlines

You can apply at any time.


You may consult additional resources, including

If you have questions about the program email the Alliance International team.

If you have questions about the NSERC online system

Completing the application for a grant — form 101

The instructions below will guide you through the modules in NSERC’s online system.

Application profile

Title of proposal

Provide a title that describes the subject of the research in language that the public can understand. Spell out scientific symbols and acronyms. Do not include a company or trade name. The title will be made available to the public if your proposal is funded.
To determine the cost-sharing ratio, see Funding your research project.

Areas of research

Research subject codes

Select a primary research subject code. You may add a secondary research code (optional).

Area of application codes

Select a primary area of application code. You may add a secondary area of application code (optional).


Provide a maximum of 10 keywords that describe the proposal (e.g., nuclear physics, geochemistry, etc.).


Before completing this section, consult 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 and/or totipotent 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 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 Impact assessment form (appendix A) may be required. For more information, consult NSERC’s guidelines on impact assessment.

Cover letter (optional)

Attach a cover letter if you wish to provide NSERC with information that will not be shared with external reviewers, such as an explanation of how the project has changed since a previous submission (optional). Include in your cover letter your name, the NSERC program to which you are applying and the title of your application.


Indicate co-applicants who will participate in your application. Co-applicants will automatically be invited to provide their personal data form with CCV attachment (form 100A).

Enter the email address and family name of the co-applicant as these appear in the co-applicant’s form 100A. This allows the co-applicants access to your application. When you select Save, an automated email message will be sent to the co-applicants, informing them that they have been invited to participate in your application. The status of their participation will appear as Not linked.

When co-applicants link a personal data form with CCV attachment (form 100A) to the application, their personal information will appear on the Co-applicant page, and the status will change to Linked.

Advise co-applicants outside your institution that the authorized officer of their institution must agree to their participation. NSERC will confirm this agreement directly with the authorized officer.

International collaborator(s) and collaborator biographical sketches

Indicate the proposed international collaborator(s). The collaborator will not have access to the grant funds and must be qualified to undertake research independently. For Collaboration grants, your international collaborator(s) must have secured funding for their part of the project prior to you submitting your application to NSERC. On behalf of your collaborator(s), attach a biographical sketch. In a maximum of two pages for each collaborator, provide their name/affiliation, education/training, employment/affiliations, research funding and up to five significant contributions related to the project.

Note: For upload purposes, all collaborator biographical sketches must be saved as a single PDF file.

Summary of proposal

Write a summary of the proposed research, intended to explain the proposal in language that the public can understand.

Using simple terms, briefly describe the nature of the work. Indicate why and to whom the research is important, and describe the anticipated outcomes and advancements that will result in economic, social or environmental benefits for Canada and Canadians.

This plain-language summary will be made available to the public if your proposal is funded. The summary can be submitted in one official language or both official languages, at the applicant’s discretion.

The summary must fit in the field provided in Application for a grant – form 101.


Complete the proposal template within a total of three pages max. The suggested number of pages per section are outlined in the table below. Figures and tables are welcome within the specified page limits.

If you choose not to use the template, you must include the section headings and the text of the bullets from the proposal template. You must also respect the guidelines outlined in the NSERC online presentation and attachment standards.

In preparing your proposal, address the criteria that will be considered when evaluating the application.

Proposal sections and length

The number of suggested, maximum or additional pages always includes the NSERC template text.

Section Percentage of evaluation Suggested number of pages per section
Relevance and expected outcomes 20% 0.75








Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion





Please refer to the Proposed expenditures/Budget justification section below

Pages exceeding the maximum or documents not requested by NSERC (e.g., letters of support) will be removed and will not be taken into account in the assessment of the application. NSERC reserves the right to reject applications exceeding the maximum number of pages.

In preparing your proposal, consult NSERC’s NSERC guide on integrating equity, diversity and inclusion considerations in research.

If relevant to your research, consult NSERC’s Guidelines for the preparation and review of applications in interdisciplinary research and/or the Guidelines for the preparation and review of applications in engineering and the applied sciences.

Proposed expenditures/Budget justification

To complete these sections

The funds from NSERC must be paid to eligible universities.

In the Proposed expenditures section, enter the planned spending in each budget category for each year of the project.

For the Budget justification section, prepare a separate document that provides a breakdown of each category and a detailed justification for spending in each category. Provide sufficient information to allow reviewers to assess whether the resources requested are appropriate. Attach the document in the Budget justification section. The categories are as follows:

Salaries and benefits

Give the names (if known), categories of employment, proposed salaries and non-discretionary benefits of students, postdoctoral fellows, research staff such as technical/professional assistants and the project manager. Briefly describe the responsibilities of each position and indicate the percentage of time they will be spending on this project over its lifespan. Do not include salaries of faculty in project costs.

Consult the form 100A instructions for information on 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. Describe any fees for the use of equipment or a facility (e.g., hours and rate).

If your total expected equipment cost (including operation and maintenance) exceeds $400,000 over your project’s duration, you should apply for an alternate source of funding such as the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI’s) John R. Evans Leaders Fund. NSERC and CFI have developed a joint application and review procedure for these cases. You may contact NSERC or CFI for more details.

Materials and supplies

Provide details of materials and explain major items. Equipment and materials obtained from the partner organizations must be provided as in-kind contributions.


Explain briefly how each planned travel activity relates to the proposed research.

Dissemination and knowledge mobilization

Provide details of publication costs, user workshops or other activities that support collaboration and knowledge mobilization related to the project.

Technology transfer activities

List the expenditure for field trials, prototypes, scale-up costs, demonstration projects, workshops and other activities to develop and grow the research collaborations with the partner organizations.

Funding obtained by your international collaborator(s)

For Collaboration grants, please indicate, in the Budget justification section, the annual funding awarded to your international collaborator(s) by their funding agency. This amount needs to be provided in Canadian dollars at the time of application. This amount will be fixed for the duration of the grant and will not be adjusted by NSERC to reflect fluctuations in the currency exchange rate.

Other documents

Research proposal completed by the international collaborator(s) and confirmation of funding

For Collaboration grants, attach a copy of the proposal that was completed by your international collaborator(s), and peer-reviewed by their national research funding agency. This proposal must have included a description of your research project and your contribution to the international collaboration. It is expected that the Canadian researcher or research team will be an integral part of the larger international project. Include confirmation that this proposal was funded, such as the award letter received by the international collaborator(s).

At all times, Canadian researchers are encouraged to exercise appropriate levels of due diligence when managing their research and establishing and/or continuing partnerships with national, international, and multinational partners. Resources to do so are provided by the Government of Canada on the Safeguarding Your Researchportal, including the National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships.


You may also use this section if you need to provide other documents requested by NSERC.
Note: For upload purposes, all other documents must be saved as a single PDF file.

Impact assessment form (appendix A)

An Impact assessment form (appendix A) must be completed and uploaded to the Environmental impact page, as required.

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 Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. The information you provide is stored in a series of NSERC data banks described in Information about programs and information holdings.
You must ensure that others listed in the application have agreed to be included.


NSERC does not require original signatures on applications or other documents submitted electronically through its online 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 and co-applicants

Before you, as an applicant or co-applicant, can submit your application to NSERC or link your personal data form with CCV attachment to an application, you must read and agree to the terms and conditions of applying that appear in a pop-up window during the submission process.

The signature of the institutional authority certifies that