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PromoScience encourages a wide variety of organizations to help young Canadians in elementary school and high school (including the equivalent first year of college in Quebec), and their educators, develop skills and interests in science and engineering. Organizations that encourage Indigenous undergraduate students to pursue graduate studies in natural sciences and engineering (NSE) are also eligible.

PromoScience grants support organizations that:

  • work with young Canadians to inspire an interest in science and engineering
  • motivate young people to study science and engineering and to pursue careers in these fields
  • bring interactive, hands-on science experiences to young people

These include organizations that:

  • focus on underrepresented groups in NSE careers
  • provide instruction and resources to science, math and technology educators

Is your organization eligible?

To be eligible, you must:

  • be a Canadian registered non-profit organization, post-secondary institution or a non-federal museum or science centre
  • deliver ongoing programming in the promotion of NSE to young Canadians

Examples of ineligible organizations include:

  • federal departments and agencies
  • federal museums and “friends of a federal museum” societies
  • provincial, territorial, regional and municipal government departments
  • organizations running one-time, project-specific activities
  • elementary schools, high schools and school boards

What activities are eligible?

A very broad range of activities promoting NSE are eligible for funding. The following points answer common questions about eligibility.

Ongoing programming
Activities must be delivered on a continual basis from year to year. One-time, project-specific activities are not eligible.
Youth-focused programming
Activities and content must be designed for young Canadians in elementary school, high school (or the equivalent first year of college in Quebec) and/or their educators. Activities and content that specifically encourage Indigenous undergraduate students to pursue graduate studies in the NSE are also eligible. Programming for youth that involves their families is encouraged. We do not support activities for preschool-age children, the general post-secondary student population or the general public.
Educator-focused programming
PromoScience supports the development of resources and tools for educators that make it easier for them to teach science well, as well as professional development for educators to improve their knowledge, skills and enthusiasm for teaching science to youth. Proposed programming must be independent of accredited courses or degree requirements.
Programming in the NSE
Proposed activities must include significant NSE-focused content and be primarily focused on promoting interest and careers in the NSE. Programming focused primarily on health, medicine, social sciences or arts is not eligible for support, nor is programming primarily focused on advocacy.
New/pilot programs
Such applications must include strong evidence of the feasibility and anticipated impact of the activities (i.e., support letters, data from similar successful programs).
Proposals with broad impact and reach
We encourage proposals at the national, provincial, territorial and regional levels. We will not support local activities unless they are part of targeted programming for underrepresented groups in NSE.
Interactive, hands-on programming
Activities must involve social or technology-mediated interaction with a two-way flow of information and influence between youth and their facilitators. We will not support the production of books, videos, lectures, etc., that are not part of an interactive program.
Research experience
Applicants must demonstrate how their program meets the objectives of the PromoScience program by going beyond simply providing work experience. Grants may not be used to support research but should motivate young people to study science and engineering and to pursue careers in these fields.
University-based activities
The proposed science and engineering activities must address the PromoScience objectives and must not be primarily for recruitment purposes. If an activity is linked to university course work (i.e., university students as instructors or mentors), the course work must be clearly delineated from the youth-based outreach component for the application to be eligible.

Current award holders

If your organization received the last payment of an active award in January of this year, it is eligible to apply in September for continued support of these activities. If you anticipate having remaining funds by the end date of your current grant, you have two options: you can either request an extension before the end date of the grant or apply in September for ongoing support of these activities. Opting for the latter will require the return of the residual balance of your current grant.

If the last payment of an ongoing award is scheduled for next January, wait until the following September to apply for continued support for the same activity.

A new full application will be required at the time of application.

Multiple awards

PromoScience will allow a non-profit organization, a non-federal museum or science centre, or a department in a post-secondary institution to hold multiple, concurrent awards as long as they clearly demonstrate in the application that there is no overlap in any way with the activities already supported through their active PromoScience grant(s) (see Call for applications, under Organization’s financial status, point 4). The onus is on the applicant to find out what other activities in their non-profit organization, science centre, museum or department are currently supported by PromoScience.

The expansion of currently funded activities into new geographical areas or to a new audience is considered overlap. Applications proposing such expansions are ineligible. You may reapply when your active grant has ended with your new outreach area/audience clearly defined.

Only one application may be submitted per non-profit organization, non-federal museum or science centre, or department in a post-secondary institution per competition year. NSERC encourages organizers of science and engineering promotion activities for youth to coordinate and prioritize their activities within their own organization and to collaborate with other organizations.

Umbrella group members

NSERC defines an umbrella organization as an association of groups that work together formally to coordinate activities or pool resources. The umbrella organization provides services, support, resources and/or an identity to the smaller organizations. Members of umbrella groups may submit individual applications but must include an explanation of any relationship and/or overlap with PromoScience grants awarded to their head office (see Organization’s Financial Status).

Eligibility enquiries

If you are not sure about the eligibility of your organization or activity for PromoScience support, contact us at promoscience@nserc-crsng.gc.ca well in advance of the application deadline.

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