Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Common menu bar links

NSERC Indigenous Student Ambassadors

Accessibility notice: If you cannot access the following content, contact the online services helpdesk by email at or by telephone at 1-855-275-2861. Indicate the email address and telephone number where you can be reached.

Value Up to $5,000
Application deadline Between two and six months before start of activity
How to apply See below
Application form Application form (fillable)


The NSERC Indigenous Student Ambassadors (NISA) grant aims to engage Indigenous students and fellows in promoting interest and participation in the natural sciences and engineering (NSE) by visiting Indigenous communities and schools in Canada. Ambassadors could share their research and education experiences at an information booth at a community event or Powwow, or they could deliver hands-on science promotion activities at a workshop for youth in the community, among other possibilities.

NSERC is acting on the evidence that achieving a more equitable, diverse and inclusive Canadian research enterprise is essential to creating the excellent, innovative and impactful research necessary to advance knowledge and understanding, and to respond to local, national and global challenges. This principle informs the commitments described in the Tri-agency statement on equity, diversity and inclusion.


To be eligible, you must be:

  • an Indigenous person in Canada
  • registered at a Canadian postsecondary institution, polytechnic, college or CEGEP in the NSE or have been registered last term and plan to return next term to one of those institutions for studies in the NSE or be a postdoctoral fellow in the NSE at a Canadian postsecondary institution

Application procedures

To be considered for this grant, you must submit the following documents:

  • A completed application form with your signature on the final page
  • A letter of reference from your supervisor, other faculty member or senior staff at your institution, which attests to your skills and aptitudes for becoming an Indigenous Ambassador
  • A letter or email from the Indigenous community or school you plan to visit, confirming the proposed arrangements
  • A self-identification questionnaire*

*At the time of submission, you must complete a self-identification questionnaire. Your consent is requested within the application form for NSERC to confirm your Indigenous identity based on the data within the questionnaire for verification of eligibility. For the role, select Applicant. For the ID field, provide your NSERC PIN or enter Unknown. The program collects self-identification data from all applicants to monitor levels of diversity, policies and processes for potential systemic barriers. Although completion of the questionnaire is mandatory and required before review of your application, each question includes the option Prefer not to answer.

Applications must be submitted electronically using NSERC’s ICSP secure submission site. The application must be submitted in portable document format (PDF) as a single document.

Eligible expenses

The grant will cover costs associated with the proposed NSE promotion activity and visit to an Indigenous community or school. These include costs incurred for:

  • travel (air, rail, car rental, taxi, etc.)
  • accommodation (hotel, etc.)
  • meals
  • materials and supplies needed for the outreach activity
  • hosting the event (refreshments, renting the facility, renting audiovisual equipment, short-term video conferencing subscriptions, etc.)
  • promoting the event (photocopying, social media advertising, etc.)

Value of grant

The value of the grant will be based on the budget proposed in your application, up to a maximum of $5,000. You may hold only one NISA grant per fiscal year (April 1 to March 31).

Review procedures

NSERC will review applications using the following criteria:

  • Impact and reach of the proposal
  • Anticipated value to Indigenous youth and the Indigenous community
  • Feasibility of the proposal


There are no fixed deadlines for this grant. Applications must be submitted between two and six months before the start of a proposed outreach activity. The grants available in a given year will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.


Before you can submit your application to NSERC, you must read and agree to the terms and conditions listed in the application form. It is your responsibility to retain a copy of the agreed terms and conditions for your records.

Notification of results

NSERC will notify you of the results of your application by email within one month of receiving it.

Final report

You must provide NSERC with a final report after the completion of the activities supported by the grant. Details will be provided to grantees along with the notification of results letter. Original receipts for expenses do not need to be sent to NSERC but should be kept, as NSERC reserves the right to ask for receipts at a later date.