Applied Research and Development grants


NSERC staff evaluate applications based on the amount requested as per the table below.

Application review timelines
Average yearly amount requested Type of review Expected assessment time

$40,000 or less


5 to 6 weeks

$40,001 to $150,000

External reviewers

3 to 5 months

When NSERC receives an ARD application, it first undertakes an administrative assessment to ensure the application is complete and complies with all eligibility requirements. Once the administrative assessment is completed, NSERC proceeds with the merit assessment of the application, using a variety of tools and taking into account the average annual amount of funding requested.

NSERC staff or reviewers evaluate the merit of the application using the evaluation criteria (see the ARD grants application instructions for more details). The general requirements for the criteria are given here. The proposal must address all of the criteria and sub-criteria to be considered for funding.

Quality of the proposal

The proposal is evaluated for its originality and innovation, including the project's objectives and methods. Proposals must show that the college, participating institutions and partners can collectively support a feasible project and that the budget is clear and justified.

Partnerships and impact

Projects must benefit the partner organization, and their timelines must be appropriate to achieve the outcomes and impacts. The proposal must show that the partners will be able to use the results within a reasonable timeframe, and that the partners will have appropriate involvement and make appropriate contributions. The project must have economic, social, environmental and/or health benefits.

Applied research competence

Proposals must outline the expertise of the broader research team, demonstrate that the team has previously conducted projects of a similar scale with partner organizations, and explain how equity, diversity and inclusion are considered in assembling the team. For multi-institution applications, synergy between the teams from the participating institutions should be described.


Proposals must explain the training and mentoring plan for trainees from the participating institutions, including approaches to make them job-ready by developing their skills, experiences and interactions with partners and participating institution(s), and recruitment and mentorship that take equity into account and create an inclusive training environment.

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Application deadline
Applications can be submitted at any time.

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