Call for applications

Application deadline: before 8:00 pm (ET) on September 15. If the deadline falls on a weekend or federal holiday, your application must reach NSERC before 8:00 pm (ET) the following business day.

NSERC invites applications for initiatives that promote natural sciences and engineering (NSE) to Canada’s young people, particularly to underrepresented groups in NSE careers. In the context of PromoScience, underrepresented groups include, but are not limited to, girls; Indigenous youth (First Nations, Inuit, and Métis); youth with disabilities, members of visible minorities/racialized groups; and members of 2SLGBTQI+ communities. Recognizing the need to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in the NSE, NSERC may support additional meritorious applications with targeted programming for underrepresented groups if sufficient funds become available. PromoScience supports activities and content designed for youth in elementary school and high school (including those in the equivalent first year of college in Quebec), and their teachers, and activities that will encourage Indigenous undergraduate students to pursue graduate studies in the NSE.

Furthermore, NSERC encourages organizations to consider the needs of official language minority communities in their area while developing the activities to be proposed in the application and to strive to have official documentation and promotional material in both official languages.

PromoScience application summary form

Read the PromoScience program description before completing the PromoScience application summary form. Accessibility notice: If you cannot access the 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.

Selection criteria

In addition to the PromoScience application summary form, your submission (up to five pages maximum) must include:

  • an executive summary of up to 150 words including the nature and goals of the program, the number of youth or teachers to be reached and an overview of how the PromoScience funding would be spent
  • a description of how your proposed program addresses the selection criteria

Divide your application into three sections; use the selection criteria as headings and use the indicators as subheadings.

Organization’s financial picture

Your PromoScience application must also include the financial information listed below. This information is not counted in the five-page limit and must also conform to the general presentation guidelines.

  • Proof of non-profit status—e.g., certificate of incorporation, audited financial statement, notification of registration (not applicable to post-secondary institution applicants)
  • General budget forecast covering each year of the requested granting period (January to December); this sample budget is intended as a guide for your organization to follow; some items may not be listed or may not apply to your organization; adapt the template according to your needs—include the following:
    • projected revenues of your organization or program(s) (breakdown by source: PromoScience, federal government, provincial government, private sector, foundations, self-generated, university, etc.)
    • anticipated expenses of your organization or program(s) (breakdown by expenditure: salaries, equipment, materials and supplies, travel costs, publicity, etc.)
    • estimated in-kind contributions (salaries, equipment, space, etc.); these should be included in the budget as a separate category and clearly indicated as in-kind

Note: Organizations that received an extension in time due to COVID-19 must clearly outline how their balance of funds would be integrated into the first year of a new grant supporting the same activities. Existing funds should be listed in an additional row in the Revenue section called “PromoScience – current grant” and expenses outlined in a separate column called “Expenditures covered by current grant” in the Expenses section for Year 1.

  • Justification for each budget item (indicate any priorities for funding)—one page maximum
  • Explanation of any relationship and/or overlap, conceptual or financial, with other PromoScience grants or federal funding held by the non-profit organization, non-federal museum or science centre, or department in a post-secondary institution (one page maximum, see Multiple awards)

Note: NSERC will not fund 100% of the costs of a proposed activity. NSERC’s contribution is generally up to one-third of a program’s funding. If your request deviates significantly from the one-third guideline, demonstrate your efforts to secure other sources of funding in the budget section of your application. The maximum allowable request is $200,000/year for three years.

Environmental impact

The Impact assessment form (appendix A) may be required. For more information, consult NSERC’s guidelines on impact assessment.

Letters of support

Your organization may provide up to six letters to support your application. Your organization should choose which letters make the most convincing case for support of your application. Applications without letters of reference may be at a disadvantage in the competition. There are two types of letters:

  • Letters of reference: Applicants proposing targeted programming are strongly encouraged to include a letter from an organization linked with their underrepresented audience. For targeted programming with Indigenous youth, a letter of support from an individual in a community leadership position is strongly encouraged; evidence of community support may be verified. In all cases, the process of obtaining a letter of support should be as efficient as possible, and mindful of any unique circumstances the community is experiencing.
  • Letters of commitment: To confirm funding agreements or in-kind contributions from outside sources. Applicants from post-secondary institutions are strongly encouraged to include a letter of commitment from the host institution.


For applicants

Before you, as an applicant, can submit your application to NSERC, you must read and agree to the terms and conditions listed on the Terms and conditions of applying form. It is your responsibility to retain a copy of the agreed terms and conditions for your records. Note: This form must be signed by the applicant identified on the PromoScience application summary form, not the contact person.

For post-secondary institutions

The signatures of the institutional authorities certify that the institution will abide by the roles and responsibilities as set out in the Agreement on the administration of agency grants and awards by research institutions with the three federal granting agencies including the Tri-agency framework: Responsible conduct of research.

Presentation standards

You are responsible for submitting a complete application that conforms to the presentation standards established by NSERC. A checklist to help you ensure that your application is complete is part of the PromoScience application summary form. Incomplete applications and applications that do not meet the presentation standards may be rejected or be at a disadvantage in comparison with those that are complete and respect the presentation standards. Where page limits are stated, pages in excess of the number permitted will be removed. Only the documents requested by NSERC will be made available to the selection committee. For more information, read the general presentation guidelines.

Links to websites may not be included in application documents, including letters of support. Committee members will ignore any links in documents received.

Application deadline

Your application must be submitted to NSERC before 8:00 pm (ET) on September 15. If the deadline falls on a weekend or federal holiday, your application must reach NSERC before 8:00 pm (ET) the following working day. Late applications will not be accepted.

Applications must be submitted electronically using NSERC’s ICSP secure submission site.

All the parts of your application must be combined into a single document in portable document format (PDF). Zip files and PDF portfolios will not be accepted.

Material or updates to your application received separately (before or after the deadline date) will not be accepted.

Notification of results

NSERC will inform all applicants electronically of the results of the annual PromoScience competition in mid- to late-January. NSERC will not provide results by telephone. Grantees can expect to receive their first instalment in February. A list of the successful grantees will also be posted on the PromoScience website once the new grants are made public.

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