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DND/NSERC Research Partnership Grants

Instructions for Completing an Application – Form 101

General Information

About the Program

Read the program description in the Program Guide for Professors before you complete the application.

Who Completes the Application?

The applicant must complete an Application for a Grant (Form 101) 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 may 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.

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. 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.

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 (F100) 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 (F100) 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.


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. The collaborator will not have access to the grant funds and must be qualified to undertake research independently. Examples of collaborators are government scientists, academic researchers, company staff members or research scientists.

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).

Summary of Proposal

Using simple terms, briefly describe the nature of the work to be done. 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 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 (provided in the Proposal page) will be used to assess whether a program 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. For large and complex projects, contact NSERC staff if you feel additional pages are needed to appropriately describe what is being proposed.

Refer to the DND/NSERC Research Partnership Grants description in the Program Guide for Professors for a list of criteria that will be considered by reviewers when evaluating the applications.

If the application is a continuation of research undertaken in a recently completed or nearly completed project, an additional report detailing the results achieved may be required (see “Other Documents”).

Synopsis: Provide a concise overview of the scientific or technical objectives, approach, and the new knowledge, expertise, or technology that could be transferred for the benefit of the partners and of Canada and Canadians. Indicate the benefits expected to accrue to the partner(s), to the academic institution(s), and to the scientific or engineering discipline.

Background: Relate the proposal to current scientific, technical and commercial developments in the field, referring to the current literature and market conditions. Describe the background research on which the project is built.

Detailed proposal: Discuss the scientific issues, research problems or technical complexities, and describe the research methodology and experimental design proposed to explain or resolve them. Provide a work plan and relate it to the milestone schedule from the Activity Schedule section. Describe the roles of any undergraduate or graduate students, or postdoctoral fellows who will be involved in the project. If applicable, clearly justify the need for any additional support staff such as research assistants, technicians or other professional staff who may be required to carry out the project.

Team expertise: Explain how the knowledge and experience of each researcher relates to the expertise needed to accomplish the project objectives, and how the contributions of the team members (including, if applicable, industrial partner(s)’s) will be integrated. If the applicant or any co-applicant anticipates taking sabbatical or other leave during the grant period, describe the impact on the research.

Research management: Provide a plan for how the project will be managed to provide both day-to-day direction and scientific leadership, as well as maintain good communication between the university research group(s) and the partner(s). If applicable, please detail the project manager's qualifications, involvement, role and responsibilities.

Training of highly qualified personnel: The proposal must include a student training component. Describe how the knowledge and experience gained by graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research assistants or others, including partner(s)’s personnel, is relevant to the advancement of the field, to developing practical applications of knowledge, or strengthening the industrial research base. The number of undergraduate and graduate students trained is expected to be commensurate with the size of the project. Students and postdoctoral fellows are expected to enhance their experiential learning and gain new skills through interactions with the partner(s) (e.g., participation in planning meetings, internships or other means that allow active exposure to industrial processes such as R&D, manufacturing, regulatory, intellectual property or commercialization issues).

Describe the nature of the proposed interactions where appropriate.

If this is a joint DND/NSERC–Mitacs Accelerate application, please use additional pages to provide a proposed workplan for the Mitacs internship unit(s) (IU). Summarize the workplan by showing which intern will work on which objective and when. You may use a Gantt chart or the table from Section 1.9 in the standard Accelerate template. For each intern or subproject, provide the following information:

  • name of intern,
  • specific objectives of the internship or subproject,
  • expected deliverables,
  • benefit to the intern,
  • partner interaction (indicate which activities will be performed, and the percentage of time during the project that the intern will spend on-site at the partner’s location. The expected minimum interaction is 50%; if less, please include a justification).

Industrial Relevance and Benefits: Describe the anticipated impact of the research results, highlighting the relevance and potential value of the scientific or technical advances for the partner(s). 

If applicable, explain how this research may address critical knowledge gaps that pose barriers to developing new and innovative products, services, processes, or technologies in Canada. Demonstrate clearly the relevance of the research and the benefits that will accrue to the partner(s).

Clearly identify how the research will benefit the partner(s) and show how the outcome will address a current or future industrial or market need, or will supply crucial knowledge. To the extent possible, outline the partner(s)’s plan for exploiting the research results.

Benefits to Canada: In addition to the anticipated benefits for the partner(s) described under the Industrial Relevance and Benefits criterion, detail any additional economic, social or environmental benefits for Canada and Canadians, as well as any advantages Canada stands to gain from the planned partnership(s).

University support:  For large and complex proposals (requesting $200,000 or more per year from NSERC), describe the specific commitments made by the university for the project, including financial and technical support as well as equipment and/or facilities.


  • Use this section to provide a list of literature references.
  • 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 spending planned 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.

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.

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 section should only contain information pertinent to the budget.

Provide sufficient detail to allow reviewers to evaluate whether the level of partner(s)’s cash commitment is appropriate. Refer to the Guidelines for Organizations Participating in Research Partnership Programs for a discussion on eligible contribution levels.

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 program, 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;
  • if the project includes Mitacs internships, the partner contribution to the DND/NSERC project and the Mitacs internships must be separate and distinct. Only the partner contributions towards the direct costs of the CRD project should be transferred to the Proposed Expenditures page. The contributions towards the Accelerate internship(s) from both Mitacs and the partner(s) should be included under the “Total support from other sources” line item. The total contributions made by the partner to support both the DND/NSERC project and the Mitacs internships should be clearly described on the Contributions from Supporting Organizations – Attachment page.
  • the in-kind contribution to direct costs of research (donations of services, materials and equipment). This amount will be transferred to the Proposed Expenditures page (if applicable);
  • 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.

Use the Contributions from Supporting Organizations (Attachment) page to provide an explanation of the cash and eligible in-kind contributions.

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 partner 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.

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, the importance of their contribution to the success of the project and an appropriate cost-sharing ratio.

  • 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.

Intellectual Property

NSERC's Policy on Intellectual Property (IP) is based on the principle that the results of NSERC-funded research should be exploited for the benefit of Canada and Canadians. An intellectual property agreement will be established between DND and the partner(s) of each DND/NSERC research project, in compliance with NSERC’s IP Policy. Confirmation that a research agreement has been signed will be requested by NSERC for the DND/NSERC projects. This confirmation must be provided within six months from the date of the conditional offer.

Discuss plans for the protection and disposition of IP arising from the grant. Outline the broad terms of the agreement between the partner(s) and academic institutions on the rights to the research results, and on the freedom to publish (see Policy on Intellectual Property).

Note: A copy of the signed research agreement does not have to be submitted to NSERC for review, unless otherwise requested. A research agreement may not be required if all results will be openly disseminated and there will be no publication restrictions.

Other Documents

If you need to provide other documents, such as a collaborator's curriculum vitae (CV), a report of an ongoing or past  project, or an application for Mitacs internships, give a brief description of the document and submit it as an attached PDF file.

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

Report on an ongoing or past DND/NSERC grant: If the application is a continuation of research undertaken in a recently completed or nearly completed grant of $100,000 or more per year from NSERC, an additional report (maximum three pages) detailing the results achieved is required. The report must be uploaded as a PDF under Other Documents. The partner(s) providing a continuing commitment in the new DND/NSERC application must clearly indicate the impact of the ongoing or past project in the new letter(s) of support.

NSERC/Mitacs Joint Funding Opportunity: Applications for a joint DND/NSERC grant-Mitacs Accelerate internship must include a modified Accelerate application as a PDF attachment to the DND/NSERC grant. Please contact a This link will take you to another Web site Mitacs business development representative to access the Accelerate application template.

Note: By submitting a DND/NSERC application to the NSERC/Mitacs joint funding opportunity, you consent to the three organizations sharing information contained in the application, including personal information, or information related to the administration of a resulting grant/award, which may include project reports required as a condition of award. You also confirm that you have obtained the consent of any individuals whose personal information is contained in such documents to share this information in the same manner.

Environmental Information Form (Appendix A)

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

External Reviewer Suggestions – Appendix C

Suggest the names of five independent experts competent to assess the technical aspects of the proposal. This list should include experts from the academic community, the government sector and at least one expert from the industrial sector. As appropriate, also include people competent to assess the research aspects outside the natural sciences and engineering. This list should also take into consideration equity, diversity and inclusion; for example, the list should include women. 

Give the name, complete mailing address, telephone and facsimile numbers, email address and the area(s) of expertise of potential external reviewers.

External reviewers should be able to review the proposal in the language in which it is written.

You may also request, in a cover letter, that some individuals or companies not be involved in the review of your application. Your request will be taken into account by NSERC.

Suggested external reviewers should not be in a conflict of interest. Refer to the This link will take you to another Web site Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policy of the Federal Research Funding Organizations for more information. In addition, reviewers must sign the This link will take you to another Web site Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Agreement for Review Committee Members, External Reviewers, and Observers before they access the application material.


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 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 institution will abide by the roles and responsibilities as set out in the This link will take you to another Web site Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions with the three federal granting agencies, including the This link will take you to another Web site Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research;
  • the applicant and co-applicant(s) have met, or will meet, the eligibility requirements;
  • prior to submission of this application, the institution has obtained written approval from any other institutions involved in the application process;  
  • if the applicant discloses any potential intellectual property (IP) arising from the research, he or she and the institution will endeavour to obtain the greatest possible economic benefit to Canada from the resulting commercial activity. Note: This requirement for disclosure is not intended to supersede any IP ownership policy that the institution already has in place.

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

Use the following list to make sure your application is complete.

  • Application for a Grant (Form 101)
    • Application Profile (including areas of research, certification requirements, amounts requested)
    • Cover Letter, if required (attachment)
    • Co-applicants
    • Collaborators
    • Supporting Organizations
    • Summary of Proposal
    • Activity Schedule
    • Proposal (attachment)
    • References (attachment)
    • Proposed Expenditures
    • Budget Justification (attachment)
    • Quotations (minimum of two) for equipment requests over $25,000 (attachment)
    • Relationship to Other Research Support (attachment)
    • Contributions from Supporting Organizations
    • Contributions from Supporting Organizations (justification of in-kind) (attachment)
    • Intellectual Property description
    • Other Documents (attachment)
    • Appendix A (Environmental Information Form) - if required
    • Appendix B (CEAA Pre-Screening Checklist) - if required
    • Appendix C (External Reviewer Suggestions)
  • Personal Data Form (Form 100) – for the applicant and each co-applicant
    • Personal information (appointment, academic background, HQP)
    • Experience
    • Research Support
    • List of HQP
    • Contributions
    • Appendix A (Personal Data) - one original only - do not photocopy
    • Appendix B (Eligibility Questionnaire) - one original only - do not photocopy (if required)
    • Appendix C (Description of Applicant's Activities) - if required
  • Information Required from Supporting Organizations (Form 183A) – for each partner
    • Letters of Support from all supporting organizations
    • Company profiles from all supporting organizations