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Ship Time program

Instructions for completing an application – form 101

General information

About the program

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 online system. In addition, the This link will take you to another Web site Canadian Common CV (CCV) must be completed by applicants and co-applicants and attached to the application form as a single PDF attachment. CVs and CCVs of scientific partners/collaborators must not be included.

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 online presentation and attachment standards.

Application deadlines

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

For this program, the application must be received at NSERC on September 1 by 8:00 pm (ET). If the deadline falls on a weekend or a federal holiday, your application must reach NSERC by the next working day.

Once an application has been submitted to NSERC, it cannot be updated or modified, either before or after the deadline.

In instances of systems interruptions, refer to the Service standards for NSERC and SSHRC's online application systems' policy on sustained interruptions.

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.

Self-identification information (research team)

You (applicant and co-applicants) must complete the self-identification form found in the Maintain user profile section of the online system when applying for funding. This data provides information on the diversity of the population applying for and receiving agency funds. This information increases NSERC’s capacity to monitor its progress on increasing equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in its programs, to recognize and remove barriers, and to design new measures to achieve greater EDI in the research enterprise. If you do not want to self-identify, you have the option to choose I prefer not to answer for each question, but you are required to select a response for the questionnaire to be marked as complete. Self-identification information is not part of the application and will be neither accessible to, nor shared with external reviewers and/or selection committee members.

For more information, refer to the This link will take you to another Web site Frequently asked questions about the self-identification questionnaire.

Help with program information

Help with the NSERC online system

  • Check the frequently asked questions on how to use the online system
  • Review the instructions available in the application
  • Contact the online services helpdesk

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.


Provide a maximum of 10 keywords that describe the proposal.


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 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 Impact assessment form (Appendix A) is required for this program. For more information, consult NSERC’s guidelines on impact assessment.

List of co-applicants (if applicable)

For team applications, identify all co-applicants who will participate on the expedition. 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.

Teams should strive for a diverse group of co-applicants, including balanced gender representation. EDI considerations should be reflected in the rationale of the team composition and, where applicable, in the designated roles within the team. Moreover, the applicants should describe how they have implemented and/or will implement strategies and practices to support EDI within the team (for example, recruitment of team members, management of the team, mentorship). For more information, refer to the guide, Equity, diversity and inclusion considerations for research teams.

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.

Attaching your CCV

For individual applications, attach a PDF copy of your CCV.

For team applications, attach a PDF copy of your CCV and those of your co-applicants in a single PDF file.

NSERC Canadian Common CV ( CCV)

Refer to How to complete NSERC's version, to access and complete the NSERC CCV. Do not use the PIN/System Account functionality to submit your CCV. NSERC does not use this functionality to validate your account.

  • Once you have completed the NSERC CCV, click Submit
  • A confirmation number will automatically be provided onscreen after you agree to the consent statement
    • Click History in the top menu bar to view your submission history
  • To upload a PDF version of your completed CCV, from History select the PDF icon to preview your completed version
  • Verify that it was uploaded correctly and that it contains all of the records that you wish to submit for peer review
    • Your CCV should be in the same language as your application
  • Download and save a copy
  • Attach that copy of your CCV and those of your co-applicants (if applicable) in a single PDF file

In absence of these steps, only a draft copy will be included with your Personal Data Form with CCV Attachment.

Note: While the This link will take you to another Web site Canadian Common CV website is bilingual, you can only save your NSERC CCV in one official language at a time. For example, to save a French version of your NSERC CCV, you must sign into your account using the French platform.

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 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.

Ship time requirements

If the proposed project requires more than one platform (for example, remotely operating vehicle and supporting vessel), you must complete a Ship time requirements page for each platform. Do not complete multiple applications.

Two-year grants will be considered in exceptional circumstances, where the project completion requires a firm commitment of funding for more than one year. If you are requesting funding for more than one year, you will need to complete the Year 2 portion of the Ship time requirements page for each platform being requested. Applicants who need to confirm funding for expeditions taking place well into the future should contact NSERC to discuss.

Duration and related costs of cruise

Identify the number of ship days, daily rate and total cost of the platform(s) being requested.

Mission type

University researchers should be clear about the type of mission they are requesting and should capitalize on shared or joint expeditions and days of opportunity whenever possible.

  • Dedicated
    • ship time fully dedicated to university objectives
    • incremental daily cost of the specific platform
  • Joint
    • ship time used by a federal department and university where project definition and objectives have been jointly agreed upon and supported in a formal agreement
    • terms of charges specified in the joint agreement
    • applicants must submit details of agreement
  • Opportunity
      • use of unassigned space on existing expeditions (government or university led)
      • hotel cost only (room and board)
  • Shared
    • ship time shared by two or more organizations conducting separate missions
    • pro-rated incremental daily cost based on the use of the platform
    • amount agreed upon prior to the mission

If your mission does not clearly fall into one of the four above-noted mission types, please contact NSERC to discuss.

Geographical location

Identify the geographical region(s) where the proposed work is to take place. Include latitude and longitude, estimated distance from departure port to work site and total distance steamed (refers to the total distance travelled to and from the work site, plus the additional distance travelled while on the work site) for the duration of the cruise (identify units of measure).

Platform requested

You must provide the name of the platform requested, and the names of two alternate platforms. This list must be ranked in order of preference.

Detailed information on the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) fleet can be obtained on the This link will take you to another Web site CCG website.

Preferred dates

You must provide the dates of the proposed cruise. Alternate dates should be provided when possible.


For the preferred choice of all platforms requested, you must provide a letter/quotation from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) science ship representative in the region where the vessel is operated (for DFO/CCG vessels) or from the vessel provider (for all other vessels).

When requesting any non-DFO/CCG vessels, include details on the type and origin of the vessel, basic characteristics (that is, specifications), day rate and crew capabilities in the quotation.

The quotation should outline the entire cost of the cruise.

All quotations must be in Canadian dollars. To convert to Canadian currency, you must use an exchange rate consistent with the Bank of Canada rate at the time of application.

Letter(s) of support

Provide a letter from the appropriate representative of each participating or supporting organization other than Canadian universities (for example, a co-applicant, a collaborator or the person responsible for the organization’s participation in, or support of, the project), on letterhead, that indicates

  • the organization’s intended participation in, or support of, the collaborative activities and its agreement with the proposal
  • the nature and extent of the interaction/collaboration
  • the support/resources committed
  • the organization's reasons for its involvement in the joint undertaking
  • how the organization expects to benefit

Note: For upload purposes, all letters of support must be saved into a single PDF document.

Relationship to other research support

Refer to This link will take you to another Web site Selecting the appropriate federal granting agency for additional information.

Provide the following information (maximum two pages, plus one additional page per co-applicant):

Explain any relationship and/or overlap, conceptual or financial, with relevant research supported by NSERC or other funding. The onus is on the applicant to provide sufficient information to enable the reviewers to evaluate the relationship between this application and other relevant sources of support and to assess it accordingly. Other sources of support include grants and contributions from funding agencies, organizations, the private sector, institution start-up funds, research chairs, the primary place of employment (for adjunct professors) and other institutional research support.


Use the guidelines outlined in the NSERC online presentation and attachment standards to provide the requested information in a document to be attached to the application.

Refer to the selection criteria section of the Ship Time program description for a list of criteria that will be considered by reviewers when evaluating the application.

Using the headings below and in a maximum of five pages (excluding references), provide details on the following:

Scientific objectives and methodology

  • Describe the scientific objectives of the expedition, and explain the importance of the ship time to your Discovery Grant-funded program(s). If the requested ship time is intended to support more than one NSERC project, the ship time needs for each project should be clearly explained
  • Demonstrate that the proposed methods are the most appropriate approach to answering research questions

Previous experience

  • Summarize previous ship-based experience (a brief description of relevant experience, including that of collaborators; that is, technical support staff, students and any other scientific staff)
  • Do not include cruise reports with the application

Cruise and operational plan

  • Document the cruise track/map and cruise plan (cruise track and a description of the work to be done, including an outline of the amount of steaming time versus data collection time)
  • Detail the operational plan (activities planned, operational procedures, geographic location, station pattern required, explosives or radioactive materials used, rough layout of survey timing, etc.)

Scientific and ship equipment

  • Describe the scientific equipment to be used and the logistics involved, if loading/departing from a distant port—note that NSERC would normally expect any associated costs (including travel or shipping) to be met by the researcher(s)
  • List any ship equipment to be used (winches, navigation equipment, fishing gear, etc.)

Participants’ roles and sharing of ship time

  • Describe the roles of all participants (applicant, co-applicant[s] and collaborators) benefiting from this ship time
  • Highlight team members ' relevant expertise and expected contributions and collaborations
  • Consider EDI in the team composition
    • Qualitatively describe the challenges or barriers encountered when building a diverse research team and the specific actions taken to support EDI in your research team
  • Demonstrate attempts made to establish sharing of ship time and how the expedition fits with others in the area.

Highly qualified personnel training opportunities and urgency

  • Outline the role of highly qualified personnel (HQP) in the expedition
  • Show the impact on the need and urgency for ship time for HQP
  • Consider EDI in the training of HQP

Important: Demographic data is not requested or required to assess impacts resulting from consideration of EDI in the research teams.

Two-year award requests (if applicable)

  • Requests for two-year awards must be clearly justified


  • 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

Note: It is the responsibility of the grant holder to ensure that any platform being used for NSERC-supported research is crewed in conformance with the This link will take you to another Web site Canada Shipping Act (or similar, for foreign vessels).

Impact assessment form (appendix A)

An Impact Assessment form (Appendix A) must be completed and uploaded to the Environmental impact page, even if the response to all the questions is “no.”


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

Before you, as an applicant or co-applicant, can submit your application to NSERC 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, they 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 certification requirements, amounts requested)
    • Co-applicant information (if a group application)
    • Summary of proposal
    • Ship time requirements
    • Quotation(s) (from the platform provider)
    • Letter(s) of support, if applicable (no page limit; documents collected as one PDF)
    • Relationship to other research support (attachment; maximum two pages plus one page per co-applicant)
    • Proposal (attachment; maximum of five pages)
    • References (attachment; maximum of two pages)
    • Appendix A (Impact assessment form)
  • CCV for the applicant and each co-applicant; documents collected as a single PDF

CVs and CCVs of scientific partners/collaborators must not be included. Cruise reports must not be included. Pages in excess of the number permitted will be removed and not seen by the Ship Time Allocations Committee (STAC).