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Frequently asked questions for references completing a Report on the applicant form 201

General questions

  1. I have received an email from an applicant inviting me to complete a Report on the applicant with a completion date; however, I do not see the time stamp. Can I assume that I have until midnight to complete and submit?
  2. I am unable to evaluate the applicant. How do I communicate this to the applicant?
  3. I do not want to use the link received to complete my Report on the applicant online. Will you accept a paper copy or an email attachment?
  4. I want to resume/begin completing a Report on the applicant, but I do not have access to the link anymore. How do I proceed?
  5. I have been asked to complete a Report on the applicant; however, I need more time. Can I get an extension from NSERC?
  6. It is past the application deadline date, and I was unable to complete my Report on the applicant on time. Will you accept a late report?
  7. I have completed my Report on the applicant but I don’t see the Submit button.
  8. Once my Report on the applicant has been submitted, can the applicant view my report in the NSERC online system?
  9. Can the applicant request a copy of my report?
  10. Why is it important to preview my report?
  11. For the PDF program, do I need to use the second text box?
  12. I have completed and submitted my Report on the applicant; however, I need to modify the text. Can it be returned to me?

General questions

1. I have received an email from an applicant inviting me to complete a Report on the applicant with a completion date; however, I do not see the time stamp. Can I assume that I have until midnight to complete and submit?

Unfortunately, the invitation does not contain a time stamp. There are various deadlines to keep in mind. Applicants have been advised to provide their references with a deadline that is well in advance of the application deadline to allow you the time to successfully complete and submit your Report on the applicant (status changes to Document Completed on the applicant’s page). However, for the PGS D and PDF candidates applying directly to NSERC, the deadline is before 8:00 pm (ET) on October 17. For the PGS D candidates applying through a Canadian institution, the department sets an internal deadline for receiving applications. Refer to the relevant descriptions for the CGS D, PGS D and the PDF program web pages for more information on deadlines.

2. I am unable to evaluate the applicant. How do I communicate this to the applicant?

You have two options:

  • Send an email directly to the applicant.
  • Follow the link from the invitation email you received, which will bring you to the page to complete a report. Select Unable to complete a report on the Applicant, and a notification will be sent to the applicant. It is important to inform the applicant as soon as possible so that they can find another reference.

3. I do not want to use the link received to complete my Report on the applicant online. Will you accept a paper copy or an email attachment?

No. You must use the link from the email you received from the applicant and follow the steps. The link is the only way to access the Report on the applicant form. Once the report is completed and submitted, it will be attached to the applicant’s application. If you are experiencing technical difficulties, contact the online services helpdesk by sending an email to webapp@nserc-crsng.gc.ca or by calling 1-855-275-2861. Include your email address and telephone number in your message.

4. I want to resume/begin completing a Report on the applicant, but I do not have access to the link anymore. How do I proceed?

You must communicate with the applicant and ask that the invitation email be resent. Once you have received the invitation, you may want to bookmark the site in case you need to go back. After you have submitted your report, the link will no longer be available.

5. I have been asked to complete a Report on the applicant; however, I need more time. Can I get an extension from NSERC?

No. Applicants have been advised to provide their references with a deadline date that is well in advance of the application deadline to allow you to successfully submit your completed Report on the applicant on time (status changes to Document Completed on the applicant’s page once submitted). The applicant’s deadline may be flexible if it is prior to NSERC’s deadline. You should contact the applicant if you are unable to meet their deadline. NSERC will not consider the application completed without your report, and references cannot be submitted under separate cover.

6. It is past the application deadline date, and I was unable to complete my Report on the applicant on time. Will you accept a late report?

No. Reports on the applicant submitted after the application deadline date and time will not be accepted under any circumstance. In addition, the applicant will not be able to submit their application successfully if they are missing Reports on the applicant.

7. I have completed my Report on the applicant, but I don’t see the Submit button.

Once the Report on the applicant is completed, you must successfully verify your report (all mandatory fields of the form must be completed). On the Accept and Submit page, select Click here to verify your report. Once it is verified, you must agree to the terms and conditions by selecting I accept, and your report will then be attached to the application.

8. Once my Report on the applicant has been submitted, can the applicant view my report in the NSERC online system?

No. Your report cannot be viewed by the applicant. However, the applicant will see that the report’s status on their portfolio has changed to Document Completed.

9. Can the applicant request a copy of my report?

Yes. After the results have been released, the applicant may request and have access to an edited copy of their reports on the applicant. Refer to the Personal information section of the Instructions for completing a Report on the applicant - form 201 for more information.

10. Why is it important to preview my report?

You need to preview your report before it is submitted to ensure that the text fits within the available space. Text that is not visible on the previewed report will not be seen by NSERC staff or the selection committee members.

11. For the PDF program, do I need to use the second text box?

You are not required to use the second text box. However, NSERC encourages references to make full use of the allotted space. Do not forget to preview your report before it is submitted.

12. I have completed and submitted my Report on the applicant; however, I need to modify the text. Can it be returned to me?

If the applicant has not yet submitted their application to NSERC, you will be able to make changes. Communicate with the applicant and ask that your report be unlocked in order for you to update and resubmit it. Note that unlocking a report does not allow the applicant to view it. If the application has already been submitted to NSERC, you will not be able to update your report.