Applied Research and Development grants


When NSERC receives an Applied Research and Development (ARD) grant application, it first undertakes an administrative assessment to ensure it is complete and complies with all eligibility requirements. Once the administrative assessment is completed and the application is deemed eligible, 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. Upon assessment, the most meritorious applications are selected for funding.

Application review types
Average yearly amount requested Type of review

$40,000 or less


$40,001 to $150,000

External reviewers

Application review timeline

For applications with an average yearly amount requested of $40,000 or less, the expected assessment time is 5 to 9 weeks.

Applications with an average yearly amount requested of $40,001 to $150,000 will be assessed in 24 to 28 weeks.

NSERC aims to achieve these service standards for 80% of applications, recognizing that some proposals may require additional review time.

Evaluation criteria

NSERC staff or external reviewers evaluate the merit of applications using the evaluation criteria detailed below. To be considered for funding, the proposal must address, in the following order, all the criteria and sub-criteria.

Quality of the proposal

  • Originality and innovation; knowledge applied in an innovative manner or the creation of new knowledge
  • Feasibility, clarity and soundness of the research objectives and methodology
  • Appropriate college and partner organization support, including financial support, equipment and/or access to facilities, to ensure the feasibility of the project
  • Clarity of the overall budget and the justification of individual budget items

Partnerships and impact

  • Evidence that the project will lead to improved and/or transformative products, processes, policies, procedures or service delivery that benefit the partner organization(s)
  • Appropriateness of the timelines to achieve the intended outcomes and impact
  • Capacity of the partner organization(s) to successfully implement and/or exploit the research results within a reasonable timeframe
  • Appropriateness of the partner organization(s)’ contributions and involvement in the project, consistent with the project's risks and rewards and the size of the funding request
  • Benefits for Canada, including economic, social, environmental and/or health benefits

Applied research competence

  • Alignment of the college research team and the partner organization(s)’ expertise with the applied research proposal (for multi-institution applications, synergy between the teams from the participating institutions should be described)
  • Demonstration that the research team has conducted a comparable-scale research project with partner organization(s) in the past
  • Identification of at least one concrete practice to ensure that equity, diversity and inclusion is intentionally and proactively considered in recruiting, selecting, and/or integrating personnel into the research team


  • Use of various approaches in the training plan to increase the job readiness of students and other trainees by developing relevant research and professional skills; the participation of college students and other trainees must be clearly described
  • Promotion of enriched experiences and interactions for the trainees outside the college sector, such as at private companies, industry associations, not-for-profit organizations, government departments and universities
  • Identification of at least one concrete practice that will promote the participation of a diverse group of students and other trainees, including those from underrepresented groups, as well as promote an equitable, inclusive and accessible training environment
What's next?

Tri-agency logos

Apply now


For help with online services

Application deadline
Applications can be submitted at any time.

Contact Newsletter

Get highlights of things happening at NSERC delivered to your email inbox. View all Newsletters

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Youtube
  • Instagram