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Subatomic Physics Major Resources Support program Frequently asked questions

The NSERC Subatomic Physics Major Resources Support (SAP-MRS) program is accepting new applications for review by the Subatomic Physics Evaluation Section.

Program

1. I am an individual researcher from a Canadian institution, and I carry out research in subatomic physics. I want to use a unique national resource based in Canada. Does the SAP-MRS program help individual researchers pay for the use of such resources?

No, the SAP-MRS program does not directly assist individual researchers using national resources in subatomic physics. Rather, the SAP-MRS program contributes to the operating and maintenance costs of such resources to facilitate their use by researchers.

2. I am an individual researcher from a Canadian institution, and I carry out research in subatomic physics. I want to use a major resource based outside Canada. Does the SAP-MRS program help individual researchers pay for the use of such resources?

The SAP-MRS program assists Canadian subatomic physics researchers in accessing major resources located abroad, if no equivalent is available in Canada. This support is given to national user consortia or collaborations rather than directly to individual researchers. Such consortia must be composed of researchers from more than one research project/program and from several institutions (including universities or government laboratories) across Canada. The objective is to enable access to a large Canadian user base. For a single project/program, access to a major resource located abroad by can be supported through a project/program grant.

Support to access major resources located abroad excludes any direct contribution toward the operating and maintenance costs of those resources.

3. A team of specialized engineers and technicians in our department supports the subatomic physics research activities for several major projects, with users from across Canada. We would meet the definition of a “major resource” under this program. Is it necessary for our resource to expand and establish nodes in several other universities across Canada, with an overarching organizational structure, to be considered national in scope?

No, this is not necessary. What defines a resource are its user base and its accessibility to the subatomic physics community at large. Any resource must provide support to members of the community beyond a single institution or a region, as well as beyond a single project or collaborator.

4. Our team of specialized engineers and technicians, located in University A, provides support that is complementary to that offered by a specialized technical team in University B. Can we establish a single resource with two coordinated nodes, one in University A and the other one in University B, and submit a single grant application?

Yes, this is possible. A resource can have multiple nodes (locations). This is similar to major collaborations that have research groups in numerous institutions across Canada. Their coordinated research activities are typically supported through one Subatomic Physics Discovery Project grant.

Application

5. What is the difference between a co-applicant and a major user?

Major users are those that have made repeated use of the resource in recent years for projects of some significance. NSERC defines a co-applicant as member of a research group applying for a team grant (i.e., university faculty). In the case of SAP-MRS, a co-applicant should be a major user. NSERC suggests that some co-applicants be drawn from the management team of the resource. It is important to note that all co-applicants must be eligible for NSERC funding. Refer to NSERC’s Eligibility criteria for faculty. The application must include the This link will take you to another Web site Canadian Common CV (CCV) of each of the co-applicants. Information regarding major users can be provided in the full application. The layout of the application, the use of the available space, and the choice of researchers to include as co-applicants are left to the discretion of the applicant.

6. Are co-applicants necessary, or can the application refer to major users without having any actual co-applicants?

The layout of the application, the use of the available space and the choice of researchers to include as co-applicants are left to the discretion of the applicant. However, without co-applicants and their CCVs, the Subatomic Physics Evaluation Section may have some difficulty in assessing the excellence of the users and the national or international scope of the resource.

7. What if a significant major user is not eligible for NSERC funding?

Co-applicants must be eligible for NSERC funding, but this is not a requirement for all major users. An applicant may list the major users who are not eligible for NSERC funding but who are important to the merit of the proposal as “collaborators.” Collaborators, and any other users, may be listed within the maximum number of free-form pages allowed to describe the proposal and address the selection criteria in the application.

8. What is a collaborator?

A collaborator is a major user who is expected to contribute to the overall intellectual and scientific direction of the resource’s activities and research programs. Collaborators must be qualified to undertake research independently. Collaborators do not have access to NSERC grant funds. Examples of collaborators are government scientists, company personnel or research scientists from other countries. There is no typical number of collaborators and no limit to the number of collaborators that can be included in an application. Collaborators may be listed within the maximum number of free-form pages allowed to describe the proposal and address the selection criteria in the application.