Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Common menu bar links

ARCHIVED – Annual Funding of Grants

This information has been archived. Visit the Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration for current information.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the This link will take you to another Web site Policy on Communications and Federal Identity, you can request alternate formats by contacting us.

Communication of Competition Results

The Agency will do the following:

  • notify applicants (NSERC and SSHRC) or Nominated Principal Applicants (CIHR) of the outcome of their application;
  • provide applicants with copies of all available assessments of their application;
  • provide the results to the designated research and business officials in each institution for all applications submitted from their institution to the Agencies whether the application is submitted directly to the granting Agency or through the institution.

Note: The above information is provided in the strictest confidence. The Agency does not publish or otherwise disclose details related to unsuccessful applications.

In addition, for successful applications only, the Agency will post limited information on its website (e.g., the name of the applicant, department, institution, amount awarded, field of research, project title, and, in some instances for grant programs, a summary of the research proposal prepared by the applicant for public release).

For details on other information about successful applications the Agency may post on its website, consult the relevant program and/or policy literature.

Payment of Grants

Most grant funds are paid through a common grant account and sent directly to the institution's business officer for retention on the grantee's behalf. The institution, through its business officer, maintains control of the grant funds, disburses salaries and other expenditures authorized by the grantee and provides periodic reports to the grantee and to the Agency on the status of grant funds.

The institution must not disburse any funds on behalf of the grantee until all specified certification requirements, including those in respect of animal care, human ethics and any other requirements have been met, and any other special permits or licenses have been delivered.

No grant funds can be released by the Agency until all payment conditions have been met, such as confirmation of receipt by institution of partner's contribution, activity reports, eligibility of applicants and environmental assessment.

Some grants are not paid through the Common Grant Account and are made directly to recipient institutions. In these cases, the terms and conditions of the administration of the funds are determined on an individual basis between the Agency and the recipient institution. The terms and conditions could include a memorandum of understanding, reporting requirements and method of payment.

To ensure that institutions have complete and accurate funding data on the grants they administer, the Agency will make a list that identifies all new grants and awards and continuing instalments available to the research grants officers and business officers at designated times of the year.

All subsequent instalments are subject to Parliamentary appropriations and the conditions that may be attached to them. The Agency reserves the right to defer or suspend subsequent instalments if the Parliamentary appropriations are reduced or cancelled, or if the need for funds is not demonstrated.


The Agency is not responsible for funding expenditures or commitments by grantees that exceed grant funds applied to the grantee's account at the institution for current and prior fiscal periods. These are the responsibility of the institution.

Continuing Eligibility

To comply with government policy, the Agency must confirm the grantee's continued eligibility before releasing future instalments to the institution. Once a year, the Agency will provide the institution's Research Office and/or Business Office with a listing of grant instalments for the next fiscal year, at which time the institution will be required to confirm to the Agency that the grantees continue to meet the Agency’s eligibility criteria.

However, the institution must notify the Agency's Finance (NSERC and SSHRC) or Program Delivery (CIHR only) Division as soon as a grantee's eligibility changes at any time during tenure of the grant. These changes could include a change in position at the institution, a change from full-time to part-time status, a change to a term position during the course of the grant, or taking a position outside of Canada (academic or other).

Upon notification that a grantee is no longer eligible to hold an Agency grant, the Agency will hold back a grantee’s next instalment/annual commitment pending confirmation from an institution that the grantee has obtained an eligible status. This confirmation must be received by the Agency within three months of the grantee losing their eligible status (i.e., grace period) or the grant will be cancelled. In addition, grantees may not use their grant funds during this three-month grace period.

In order to confirm the grantee’s eligible status and the start date of the academic or research appointment, the appropriate authorized official at the new institution must sign and submit a letter to the Agency within the three-month grace period.

If a grantee is no longer eligible to hold a grant due to non-compliance with the requirements outlined in the Agencies' guides, the grace period is not applicable.

Information pertaining to the documents to be submitted can be found on the Grant Amendment Form.

Extension Period for Use of Funds Beyond a Grant Period

See the chart below for a list of programs and extension periods.

For some programs, an extension is automatically given to allow the grantees to use funds remaining in their account for a set period following the funding expiry date of their grant. This period allows grantees to bring research activities to a close. Grantees may make and pay new commitments during the extension period but not beyond.

Other programs may allow extensions by request. For these programs, a written request must be submitted to the Agency's program staff before the funding expiry date of their NSERC or SSHRC grant, or 30 days before the end of the automatic extension period of their CIHR grant. The request must explain the need for an extension and provide a date when the research activities will be completed.

If the extension is not approved, the grantee has three months to pay all commitments made prior to the end of the grant period.

The Authority to Use Funds Period ends:

  • when the original grant reaches its expiry date (NSERC and SSHRC only);
  • when the extension period ends;
  • three months following the expiry date of the original grant in the case where an extension has been requested, but not approved (NSERC and SSHRC only).

If funds remain in the account at the end of the Authority to Use Funds period, refer to the paragraph on Residual Balances.

No requests for extensions will be considered after the account has been closed and any remaining balance has been returned to the Agency (CIHR only) or transferred to the institution’s General Research Fund (NSERC and SSHRC only).

It is the responsibility of the grantee to inform co-investigators, other concerned individuals and all involved research institutions of the outcome of extension requests.

No requests for extensions will be considered if the Institution Paid has not submitted a Form 300 for each period of the grant ending March 31.

Agency Automatic Extension Period
(1 Year)
Extension by Request Only
NSERC Discovery Grants (Individual, Group); Discovery Development Grants; Major Resources Support; Research Tools and Instruments; Subatomic Physics Envelope (Individual, Group, Research Tools and Instruments, Major Resources Support, Project); Supplements to Discovery Grants (Discovery Accelerator Supplement, Northern Research Supplement, DND/NSERC Discovery Grant Supplement)1, 2

Networks of Centres of Excellence

Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Engineering; Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering; NSERC John C. Polanyi Award
For all other programs not listed in the Automatic Extension Period column, the extension will be upon request only.
Agency Automatic Extension Period
(1 Year)
Extension by Request Only
SSHRC Connection Grants; Sport Participation Research Initiative (Research Grants); Standard Research Grants; Aid to Scholarly Journals; Partnership Development Grants; Partnership Grants; Insight Development Grants; Insight Grants, Partnership Engage Grants; Knowledge Synthesis Grants For all other programs not listed in the Automatic Extension Period column, the extension will be upon request only.
Agency Automatic Extension Period Extension by Request Only
(1 Year)
CIHR All grants2

The unspent balance of a grant does not lapse at the end of the grant period. Unless otherwise specified on the Authorization for Funding, grantees have a minimum of one additional fiscal year, beyond the expiry date of their grant, to use their unspent funds (i.e., up to March 31 of the next full fiscal year). This authority to use funds is provided to the end of CIHR's fiscal year.

This also applies for grants funded all in one year (unless otherwise specified on the Authorization for Funding).

For example:
  • if a funding expiry date is March 31, 2016, the automatic extension period will end on March 31, 2017;
  • if a funding expiry date is September 30, 2016, the automatic extension period will end on March 31, 2018.
All grants beyond the automatic extension1,2,3

Grantees may request one additional extension (one year) to the Authority to Use Funds period. 
1 Additional extensions to the Authority to Use Funds period beyond the automatic extension period will be considered only in the case of extended leaves of absence during the grant period or due to uncontrollable delays to project activities.
2 Grantees can submit another grant application and hold a new grant during the extension period.
3 Grantees must write to program staff for an additional extension.

Jointly administered by