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College and Community Innovation Program Applied Research Rapid Response to Covid-19

Application Instructions

To create or access on-line applications, select On-line System Login.

For help with the On-line System, check the Frequently Asked Questions; or contact the On-line Services Helpdesk ( or 613-995-4273) and include your email address and telephone number.

Once logged into the On-Line System, create a “Form 103 - CCI”.  Under grant type, select “College and Community Social Innovation Fund Grants”. Continue filling out the application Form 103 by following the instructions below.

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.

Completing the application modules (Form 103)

Application Profile

  • 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.
  • For this call for proposals, the title of proposal must include “COVID-19”.

Area(s) of research

Research subject and area of application codes


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

Certifications / requirements

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 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) may be required. For more information, consult NSERC’s Guidelines on Impact Assessment.


  • List up to 5 participants (faculty and staff from the host institution involved with the proposal).

Supporting Organizations

  • Leave fields blank. Information about supporting organizations should be provided in the proposal.

CV - Applicant and Participants

  • Upload one blank page PDF (8 ½" x 11"). The expertise of the participants should be provided in the proposal.


  • Leave fields blank. Collaborators must be identified in the Team Expertise section of the proposal.

CV – Collaborators

  • Do not upload document. Collaborator CVs are not required.

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 research and the overall goal and objectives of the proposal. 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

  • Enter “Milestone” in the Milestone field and save. No other information is required. The planned activities must be described in the proposal.


  • Describe your proposal using the headings below within a maximum of five single-sided pages (four pages for the proposal + one page for the budget explanation).


Provide a brief introduction to the proposal. Present the overall context of the project and describe the relevance to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Detailed Proposal

Present the overall objectives of your proposal and clearly explain how it will addresses industry production challenges or community innovation challenges of the COVID-19 outbreak. Outline and demonstrate the appropriateness of the proposed approach to addressing these challenges. Applicants and the partner organizations must consider the unique present circumstances when planning their work (e.g., access to the institution vs. working remotely, respecting physical distancing, etc.). Describe the involvement of the partner organization and other relevant stakeholders in the design and conduct of the research and/or related activities.

Potential for impact

Specify how the proposal will rapidly mobilize solutions and expertise related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Explain how the knowledge and expertise will be effectively transferred to the local community and partner organizations. Describe the capability of the partner organization(s) to implement and/or use the project results leading to impact within their organization(s).

Team expertise

Explain how the knowledge and experience of the team provide the expertise needed to address the proposed objectives and to complete the project successfully. Describe the college’s ability to mobilize the necessary resources on timelines appropriate to this project and call for proposals.

Budget explanation (1 page max)

Provide an overall description of the proposed use of funds


  • Upload one blank page PDF (8 ½" x 11"). References are not required.

Proposed Expenditures

  • For each expenditure line item, enter the total cash amount for Year 1. In-kind amounts do not need to be entered. This call for proposals is limited to one year of funding. The maximum request from NSERC cannot exceed $75, 000.

Budget Justification

  • Upload one blank page PDF (8 ½" x 11"). The budget description must be included in the proposal and must not be uploaded as a separate document.


  • Upload one blank page PDF (8 ½" x 11"). Quotations are not required.

Relationship to other applied research support

  • Do not upload document. This section is not required.

Contributions from supporting organizations

  • Do not enter contributions of partner organizations. The involvement of partner organizations must be described in the proposal.
  • For Type of organization, select “Other”.
  • For Name of supporting organization, select “Not available from the selection list **”
  • Enter “Org” in the Name if not available field.
  • Enter “1” in the Year 1 field next to Salaries for scientific and technical staff and save.

Contributions from supporting organizations (attachment)

  • In lieu of formal letters of support, e-mail confirmation of partner participation in the project can be provided as an attachment to the proposal. Confirmation e-mails or letters must be saved into a single PDF document, and must include:
    • The organization name and complete contact information; and
    • The organization type: Public, Private, Not-for-profit, Other (if other, please specify).

Impact Assessment Form (Appendix A)

An Impact Assessment Form (Appendix A) must be completed and uploaded to the Environmental impact page, as required.

Cover letter (optional)

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

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