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NSERC Young Innovators

In 2018, NSERC launched a five-year pilot initiative to support the promotion of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to Canadian youth.

The purpose of the NSERC Young Innovators grant is to encourage youth to use their creativity by supporting their participation in competitions within the natural sciences and engineering, thus becoming role models for other youth.


To be eligible, you must:

  • be an organization that runs or hosts a recognized science or engineering competition in Canada for youth in elementary school or high school (including the equivalent first year of college in Quebec);
  • be federally or provincially incorporated as a not-for-profit organization.

NSERC Young Innovator

To be supported through this program, a young person must be:

  • participating in a recognized science or engineering competition;
  • enrolled in a Canadian elementary or high school (including the equivalent first year of college in Quebec) at the time of the competition (or planning to return to one of those schools the following September).

NSERC is acting on the evidence that equity, diversity and inclusion strengthen the scientific and engineering communities and the quality, social relevance and impact of research. Organizations are encouraged to consider using the grant to support youth from groups who are under-represented or disadvantaged in STEM, and/or those who would otherwise not be able to participate.

Value of grant

The value of the grant is $1,000. Each organization can receive a maximum of one grant per fiscal year (April 1 – March 31).


  • Youth recipients of the support shall be referred to as “NSERC Young Innovators”;
  • The full value of the grant must be used to support the participation of youth in the organization’s own event OR the participation of youth in the next level competition (national or international);
  • The grant must be used to support one individual, a team, or several independent Young Innovators;
  • NSERC’s support must be acknowledged;
  • The participation of the NSERC Young Innovator(s) in the event/competition must be shared publicly (e.g. online, social media) and reported back to NSERC.

Eligible expenses

The grant must cover costs associated with the participation of the Young Innovator(s) in a competition within the natural sciences and engineering. These include and are limited to:

  • material and supplies needed for creating a poster, model, and/or demonstration to be used in the competition;
  • travel (air, rail, car rental, taxi, etc.), meals and accommodation (hotel, etc.);
  • registration for the competition.

The full value of the grant must be used by or for the Young Innovator(s). This could entail providing the funds to the Young Innovator(s) or using the funds on the Young Innovator(s) behalf. In the latter case, the use and distribution of the funds must be disclosed to the Young Innovator(s).

How do you apply?

Organizations must submit a completed NSERC Young Innovators Application Form electronically via the This link will take you to another Web site Secure Submissions Site for NSERC’s Innovative Collaborations and Science Promotion Programs. The application must be submitted as a single document in Portable Document Format (PDF).

Application deadline

There are no fixed deadlines for this grant. Applications must be submitted between two and six months before the competition for which the requested funding will be used.

Notification of decision

NSERC will notify you of the decision on your application within one month of receiving it. The notification of decision will be sent by email to the contact person identified in the application. Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until all available funds for the fiscal year (April 1 - March 31) are expended.

For more information, or any questions about the initiative or the application process, contact us at using “NSERC Young Innovators” in the subject line.