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Advancing Climate Change Science in Canada

Duration 1 to 3 years
Application Deadline

Letter of intent:  November 30, 2018

Full application: January 9, 2019
How to Apply See below
Application Forms
  • Form 100 – Personal Data Form
  • Form 101 – Application for a Grant
  • Form 183A – Information Required from Organizations Participating in Research Partnerships (including letters of support)
To create or access an application, select On-line System Login. To view instructions, select PDF Forms and Instructions.
For More Information Consult the Contact List


With the This link will take you to another Web site Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change (PCF), Canada has set an ambitious agenda to guide actions that will grow the economy while reducing emissions, protect and enhance carbon sinks and build resilience to adapt to a changing climate. Science-based information underlies the effective delivery of many climate change actions and the PCF provides a driver for a more holistic planning and delivery of climate change science for Canada.

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), Health Canada (HC), and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) are partnering to strengthen collaborative efforts among federal scientists and the academic community to advance policy-relevant climate change science that supports work of the PCF.

The anticipated budget for this initiative is approximately $4.8 million and individual proposals should not exceed three years or requests beyond an average of $180,000 annually. Applicants are required to collaborate with at least one Federal Department or Agency from the Government of Canada. All project expenditures will be subject to NSERC’s Use of Grant Funds whose requirements are outlined in the Tri-agency Guide on Financial Administration.  The maximum level (stacking limit) of total government assistance (federal, provincial, and municipal assistance for the same eligible expenditures) will not exceed 100 per cent of eligible expenditures.

Program objectives

Advancing Climate Change Science in Canada is intended to provide support for activities that will:

  • Increase collaboration among federal scientists and policy makers and the extramural academic community to strengthen Canada’s research ecosystem;
  • Enhance the ability of Canadian universities to support the objectives of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change;
  • Increase the scientific information available to support government decision-making on climate action.

Research objectives

The proposed research project must address at least one of the following research objectives:

  • Heat: to help protect the health of Canadians through advancing innovation for energy efficient cooling technologies, such as the cooling potential of natural infrastructures;
  • Forests: accelerates knowledge of ecosystem services in the context of climate change, such as the role of forests and trees as natural infrastructure in increasing climate resilience, mitigating climate change, human health and wellbeing, and promoting biodiversity in urban or rural landscapes;
  • Carbon cycle: to improve understanding of carbon dynamics in Canadian ecosystems, with a focus on how to quantify, protect, and enhance natural carbon sinks.

Application procedure

Applicants must begin by submitting a Letter of Intent (LOI). The LOI must include a cover page (one page) and research proposal (one page). All documents should follow the NSERC On-line Presentation and Attachment Standards.

The cover page must include:

  • the project title;
  • a list of up to 10 keywords;
  • an approximate budget request, by project year;
  • the applicant’s name, affiliation, and email address;
  • a list of co-applicants, with affiliation and email address;
  • a list of collaborators, with affiliation and email address.

The research proposal should include:

  • a description of the main research challenges and activities;
  • a discussion of anticipated participation by collaborators from government departments;
  • a discussion of anticipated outcomes and benefits.

The LOI should be saved as a single portable document format (PDF) document, and uploaded to NSERC’s secure portal before the deadline.

Full application and review procedures

NSERC must receive the application by the deadline date. All applications are screened for completeness and adherence to program requirements and objectives. Applications that do not meet all program requirements will be rejected. An evaluation committee composed of distinguished members from academia, industry, and/or government organizations, will review applications. In arriving at an overall funding recommendation for the applications, the evaluation committee will consider the evaluation criteria listed below. No appeals of the results will be accepted.

A complete application includes:

  • an Application for a Grant (Form 101);
  • a Personal Data Form (Form 100) for each applicant and co-applicant;
  • Information Required from Organizations Participating in Research Partnerships form (Form 183A) for each supporting organization (refer to the instructions for completing Form 183A for details). For Federal Departments and Agencies, a letter of support must be signed by a Director General (or equivalent level).

Collaboration with federal departments and agencies

Applicants are required to partner with at least one Federal Department or Agency from the Government of Canada.  An eligible partner:

  • is a federal government organization that can apply the results in a way that strengthens public policy (how the research will strengthen public policy beyond a research collaboration must be clearly demonstrated in the letter of support);
  • collaborates in all stages of the research project, i.e., helps to develop the proposal and, as the project unfolds, interacts regularly with the academic researchers, students and other research personnel and provides input on the project;
  • validates the results of the research and/or provides guidance concerning the exploitation of the results; in kind contributions are expected.

Other participants can include private sector organizations, non-governmental organizations, hospitals and clinics, foreign research institutions, venture capitalists, implementation sites, but these participants do not qualify as eligible supporting organizations for this initiative.

Collaboration outside the natural sciences and engineering

In recognition that the ability to implement policy or directly apply the research results can depend on socio-economic considerations as well as scientific understanding, applicants are encouraged to collaborate with experts who work in fields other than the natural sciences and engineering, where appropriate. Academic researchers outside the natural sciences and engineering may participate in proposals as co-applicants if they meet NSERC’s eligibility requirements with respect to type, duration and nature of appointment. Research costs for these collaborations may comprise up to 30 percent of the project costs and must be identified in the project budget. All project expenditures will be subject to NSERC’s Use of Grant Funds guidelines.

Equity, diversity and inclusion

NSERC is acting on the evidence that equity, diversity and inclusion strengthen the scientific and engineering community and the quality, social relevance and impact of research. Increasing diversity and gender equity in the research enterprise are key priorities in our current strategic plan, NSERC 2020, and are highlighted in the strategic goal of “Building a Diversified and Competitive Research Base”. Applicants must strive for diversity and increased gender equity when developing their group of co-applicants, collaborators and trainees.

Evaluation criteria

Applications are evaluated according to the following criteria.

  • Excellence of Researcher(s): The researcher(s) involved must have all the expertise to address the defined objectives. The contributions of individuals to the research effort must be clear. Team composition must take into account diversity and gender equity considerations.
  • Merit of the Proposed Activities: The quality, originality and scope of the proposed activities and the extent to which the proposed activities will contribute to the research objectives of the Advancing Climate Change Science in Canada Initiative such as: protecting the health of Canadians through innovation for energy efficient cooling technologies; accelerating knowledge of forest ecosystem services; and improving understanding of carbon dynamics in Canadian ecosystems.  
  • Interactions with the Supporting Organizations: Each application must include at least one Federal Department or Agency as a supporting organization.  The supporting organization(s) must have the capacity to apply the results of the research and must be actively involved in all stages of the project.
  • Relevance to Canada: The research activities should generate results that will further knowledge, provide benefits to supporting organizations, as well as support the objectives of this program.
  • Contribution to Training:  The opportunities to develop the next generation of scientists in the domain.  The measures that will be implemented to advance diversity and gender equity with the project’s training activities should be outlined.
  • Budget:  The budget must be justified to support the proposed research activities.  The appropriateness of the budget will be evaluated.


Reporting requirements and the corresponding schedule will be provided to the successful applicants when they are notified of their award. ECCC, HC, NSERC will strive to streamline their reporting requirements in order to lessen the burden on researchers.