NSERC: Advancing Climate Change Science in Canada


Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), and Health Canada


Advancing Climate Change Science in Canada (ACCSC)

For More Information

NSERC - Advancing Climate Change Science in Canada


With the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change (PCF), Canada has set an ambitious agenda to guide actions that will grow the economy while reducing emissions, protect and enhance carbon sinks and build resilience to adapt to a changing climate. Science-based information underlies the effective delivery of many climate change actions and the PCF provides a driver for a more holistic planning and delivery of climate change science for Canada.

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), Health Canada (HC), and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) are partnering to strengthen collaborative efforts among federal scientists and the academic community to advance policy-relevant climate change science that supports work of the PCF.

Advancing Climate Change Science in Canada is intended to provide support for activities that will:

  • Increase collaboration among federal scientists and policy makers and the extramural academic community to strengthen Canada’s research ecosystem;
  • Enhance the ability of Canadian universities to support the objectives of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change;
  • Increase the scientific information available to support government decision-making on climate action.


Applicants are required to collaborate with at least one Federal Department or Agency from the Government of Canada. All project expenditures will be subject to NSERC’s Use of Grant Funds whose requirements are outlined in the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide.  The maximum level (stacking limit) of total government assistance (federal, provincial, and municipal assistance for the same eligible expenditures) will not exceed 100 per cent of eligible expenditures.

Applicants are required to partner with at least one Federal Department or Agency from the Government of Canada.  An eligible partner:

  • is a federal government organization that can apply the results in a way that strengthens public policy (how the research will strengthen public policy beyond a research collaboration must be clearly demonstrated in the letter of support);
  • collaborates in all stages of the research project, i.e., helps to develop the proposal and, as the project unfolds, interacts regularly with the academic researchers, students and other research personnel and provides input on the project;
  • validates the results of the research and/or provides guidance concerning the exploitation of the results; in kind contributions are expected.

Other participants can include private sector organizations, non-governmental organizations, hospitals and clinics, foreign research institutions, venture capitalists, implementation sites, but these participants do not qualify as eligible supporting organizations for this initiative.

Funding Availability

The anticipated budget for this initiative is approximately $4.8 million.

Maximum Project Value

Individual proposals should not exceed three years or requests beyond an average of $180,000 annually. 

Project Duration

One to three years. 

Special Notes

The proposed research project must address at least one of the following research objectives:

  • Heat: to help protect the health of Canadians through advancing innovation for energy efficient cooling technologies, such as the cooling potential of natural infrastructures;
  • Forests: accelerates knowledge of ecosystem services in the context of climate change, such as the role of forests and trees as natural infrastructure in increasing climate resilience, mitigating climate change, human health and wellbeing, and promoting biodiversity in urban or rural landscapes;
  • Carbon cycle: to improve understanding of carbon dynamics in Canadian ecosystems, with a focus on how to quantify, protect, and enhance natural carbon sinks.


If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.

External Deadline

Principal Investigator to upload LOI as a single PDF document to NSERC’s secure portal.

Internal Deadline

Principal Investigator to submit a copy of the full application, including budget and signed OR-5, to research.services@uoguelph.ca.

External Deadline

The Office of Research Services will work directly with the Principal Investigator to submit the full application through the NSERC portal. 

How to Apply

Letter of Intent

Applicants must begin by submitting a Letter of Intent (LOI). The LOI must include a cover page (one page) and research proposal (one page). All documents should follow the NSERC On-line Presentation and Attachment Standards.

The cover page must include:

  • the project title;
  • a list of up to 10 keywords;
  • an approximate budget request, by project year;
  • the applicant’s name, affiliation, and email address;
  • a list of co-applicants, with affiliation and email address;
  • a list of collaborators, with affiliation and email address.

The research proposal should include:

  • a description of the main research challenges and activities;
  • a discussion of anticipated participation by collaborators from government departments;
  • a discussion of anticipated outcomes and benefits.

The LOI should be saved as a single portable document format (PDF) document, and uploaded to NSERC’s secure portal before the deadline.

Full Application

All applications are screened for completeness and adherence to program requirements and objectives. Applications that do not meet all program requirements will be rejected. An evaluation committee composed of distinguished members from academia, industry, and/or government organizations, will review applications. In arriving at an overall funding recommendation for the applications, the evaluation committee will consider the evaluation criteria listed below. No appeals of the results will be accepted.

A complete application includes:

  • an Application for a Grant (Form 101);
  • a Personal Data Form (Form 100) for each applicant and co-applicant;
  • Information Required from Organizations Participating in Research Partnerships form (Form 183A) for each supporting organization (refer to the instructions for completing Form 183A for details). For Federal Departments and Agencies, a letter of support must be signed by a Director General (or equivalent level).

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).

For Questions, please contact

Kristina Archibald

Lucia Martinez

Office of Research

Amy Bossaer, Senior Grants and Contracts Specialist
Research Services Office
519-824-4120 x58613

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