The Government of Canada, through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), led by the US National Science Foundation (NSF)
For More Information
This initiative supports researchers from the Canada and the US, and optionally Australia, the UK, and/or other countries as well, in forming collaborative research partnerships to address themes related to climate change and/or clean energy. Global Centres proposals should be focused on cutting-edge, interdisciplinary and use-inspired research on climate change and/or clean energy with international collaborations that foster breakthroughs in knowledge. NSF Global Centres grants will support the creation of international hubs of research excellence that advance knowledge, empower communities, and generate discovery and innovative solutions at a regional, national and global scale.
These international hubs are expected to be driven by a bold vision for high-impact, use-inspired basic research, as well as a strategy to integrate diverse perspectives from different disciplines, international partners and other stakeholders into the research over the course of the project.
Global Centres is a joint initiative between the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the US National Science Foundation (NSF), Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to encourage and support international collaborative research on climate change and clean energy.
The Global Centres initiative includes two tracks:
- Track 1 – Implementation: Implementation grants support the establishment of a Global Centre and are expected to be four to five years in duration.
- Track 2 – Design: Design grants will support coordination and preliminary research efforts aiming to foster future Global Centre proposals.
More information about the difference between these two tracks is available on the NSF website. Canadian research teams may participate in either Track 1 – Implementation or Track 2 – Design funding proposals. Funding for Canadian researchers applying to Track 2 – Design is subject to the availability of funds.
Your team must include a US researcher who assumes the role of Principal Investigator (PI) for the NSF grant. The PI must meet the NSF eligibility requirements and is responsible for submitting the complete NSF application package to NSF.
Your partnership may include other US researchers who meet the NSF eligibility requirements.
Each team with Canadian involvement must also identify a Canadian researcher as the applicant who is eligible to receive funding from NSERC or SSHRC. Specifically, Canadian university researchers—whether they come from the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences or engineering fields—wishing to participate in a Global Centre proposal may apply for funding from NSERC to support their participation. Each Canadian team should submit only one application for their participation in a Global Centre proposal. The current competition includes CSIRO and UKRI as partner funding agencies as well. As such, you may also collaborate with researchers from the UK and/or Australia. These researchers must meet CSIRO and/or UKRI's respective eligibility requirements to receive funding from these organizations.
To be an applicant or co-applicant on a Global Centre proposal, you must be working in a research area supported by NSERC or SSHRC, and you must meet the relevant eligibility requirements at the time of your application.
You may participate as an applicant on only one Global Centre proposal, regardless of the track, but you may be a co-applicant or collaborator on multiple proposals. Researchers from colleges who meet NSERC’s eligibility requirements may participate as co-applicants.
Other researchers and organizations (e.g., from the public, private and/or not-for-profit sector) can participate as collaborators. Refer to the Tri-agency guide on financial administration for more information on the eligibility of expenses you may incur in support of such collaborations.
Canadian researchers can only include NSERC- and SSHRC-eligible direct costs of research in your project budget. Examples of this include:
- salary support for research trainees (undergraduate and/or graduate students and postdoctoral fellows) to perform research and related training
- salary support for technicians and research professional personnel
- materials and supplies
- activities that support collaborations and knowledge mobilization related to the Global Centre
- activities to develop and grow the research collaborations with the international partner(s)
You can also include the costs of equipment, provided that the equipment is:
- essential to achieving the objectives of the research project
- incremental to the equipment already available at your institution or your Canadian or international partner(s)
There should be no duplication of funding requests for the same items on budgets submitted to NSERC and SSHRC and budgets submitted to other funding agency partners.
Maximum Project Value
Track 1 – Implementation: Up to CAN$750,000/year
Track 2 – Design: Up to CAN$100K/year
0% on NSERC/SSHRC requested funds.
Track 1 – Implementation: 4 to 5 years
Track 2 – Design: 1 to 2 years
NSF Global Centres Initiative Joint Information Session Webinars:
NSERC and SSHRC will be offering joint information sessions on the NSF Global Centres initiative.
- English: Thursday, March 9, 2023, from 11 am to 12 pm (EST) (Password: GRC2023)
- French: Thursday, March 9, 2023, from 2 pm to 3 pm (EST) (Password: GRC2023)
Safeguarding your research
At all times, Canadian researchers are encouraged to exercise appropriate levels of due diligence when managing their research and establishing and/or continuing partnerships with national, international and multinational partners. Resources to do so are provided by the Government of Canada on the Safeguarding Your Research portal.
As NSERC’s funding will be provided via an NSERC Alliance grant, Canada’s National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships apply to NSERC-funded applications that involve one or more partner organizations from the private sector, including when they participate alongside other partner organizations from the public and/or not-for-profit sectors. These guidelines provide a framework through which researchers, research institutions and Canada’s granting agencies can undertake consistent, risk-targeted due diligence to identify and mitigate potential national security risks linked to research partnerships.
No further information is required at the time of application. If your proposal includes substantial content in the natural sciences and engineering fields and includes one or more partner organization from the private sector, you and your postsecondary institution will be contacted at a later date by NSERC and asked to complete the National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships’ Risk Assessment Form. Instructions for completing the form will be provided at that time.
If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.
OR-5 and full application must be submitted to the Research Services Office (email@example.com) a minimum of two (2) weeks prior to the intended submission date to NSERC. Please be sure to "submit" in NSERC's online system, following the instructions to create an application under 'How to Apply'.
The Research Services Office will submit the full application on behalf of the applicant to NSERC through their online system. Both Track 1 – Implementation and Track 2 – Design are due May 10, 2023, 8:00 p.m. (ET)
How to Apply
Through a lead agency model, the US Principal Investigator (PI) will submit a single collaborative proposal on behalf of the research team, which will undergo a review process by NSF, the lead agency. In parallel, the participating Canadian researchers on the team must submit one application to NSERC that includes a summary of the proposal, budget information for all Canadian participants on the team, and a Personal data form with CCV attachment (form 100A) all Canadian participants. Please refer to the Apply section for more details.
Eligible Canadian researchers may receive funding from NSERC or SSHRC while international researchers from the US, UK and Australia may receive funding from their respective funding agencies. NSERC funding will be provided as an Alliance grant and SSHRC funding will be provided as a Partnership-type grant.
Every member of the Canadian research team who is participating in the Global Centres grant application (the applicant and all co-applicants) must create an account in the NSERC online system if they do not already have one. The applicant and all co-applicants must create and submit a Personal data form with CCV attachment (form 100A) with the application. Researchers working in the social sciences or humanities fields should use research subject code 8000 when indicating their expertise. For more information, please refer to the instructions for completing a personal data form with CCV attachment (form 100A) or the NSERC Frequently asked questions page.
As the applicant, you are responsible for providing the following documents and information to NSERC via the online system by the application deadline:
- A completed form 101 (application for a grant), containing a summary of your proposed research and keywords.
- A proposal document that includes only the title of the proposal submitted to NSF, the name of the US PI, and, if applicable, the names and affiliations of collaborators and/or partners on the Canadian team from the private sector.
- If applicable, the Impact assessment form (appendix A) must be completed and uploaded to the Impact assessment section of your application.
- A budget (in Canadian dollars) and accompanying justification for the funds you are requesting from NSERC or SSHRC.
- A completed personal data form with CCV attachment (form 100A) for yourself and all Canadian co-applicants.
Instructions for submitting the above-mentioned documents and information to NSERC on behalf of the Canadian research team:
- Log in to NSERC's online system and select 'Create a new form 101.'
- Select 'Research partnerships programs', then 'Alliance grants.'
- For the 'Proposal type' field, select 'Letter of Intent.'
- For the 'Type of call' field, select 'NSF- Global Centres - Implementation or NSF- Global Centres - Design' from the drop-down menu as appropriate.
By submitting an application, you, your co-applicants and partners (when applicable) agree to the Terms and conditions of applying for applicants and the Terms and conditions of applying for partners.
The US Principal Investigator (PI) for your partnership is responsible for submitting the complete application package (including the research proposal) to NSF, following their instructions.
Information For Co-applicants
If you need to meet a deadline set by the lead institution for this opportunity, please ensure that you provide the Office of Research with at least five days in advance of the lead institution’s deadline to review the application, or your proposed component of the project. Please be in touch with the Office of Research (contact information below) ahead of the deadline if it looks like it will be difficult for you to submit all the required documentation on time (i.e. budget, proposal, OR-5 Form).