NSERC Alliance Missions Special Call: Anthropogenic greenhouse gas research


Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)


NSERC Alliance Missions: Anthropogenic greenhouse gas research

For More Information

Program Information: NSERC Alliance Missions Grants Call for Proposals and NSERC Alliance - Frequently Asked Questions

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: Alliance Grants: Equity, diversity and inclusion in training plansNSERC guide on integrating equity, diversity and inclusion considerations in researchEquity, Diversity and Inclusion Resource Document for Researchers

National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships' Risk Assessment Form: U of G Guide for Completing the National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships’ Risk Assessment Form - NSERC AllianceNSERC Alliance Grants - National Security Guidelines for Research PartnershipsSafeguarding your Research Portal

Contributions (Form100a): Revised Guidelines on assessment of contributions to research, training, and mentoring


NSERC is pleased to announce that Alliance Missions is returning with a new and exciting challenge to help address climate change, focused on Anthropogenic Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions.

Budget 2022 prioritizes Canada's ongoing efforts to fight climate change and protect the environment by taking bold and immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while strengthening the Canadian economy with sustainable jobs and clean industrial growth. The 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Clean Air, Strong Economy, outlines a sector-by-sector path for Canada to reach its emissions reduction target of 40% below 2005 levels by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050. Advancing science through critical investments in climate change research, applying existing knowledge and incorporating new insights that inform our GHG emissions pathway analysis and mitigation planning will be essential to address the challenges ahead.

Canada's approach to climate change mitigation reflects input from more than 30,000 Canadians, provinces and territories, Indigenous Peoples, industry and the independent Net-Zero Advisory Body. This underscores the need for an interdisciplinary, collaborative effort built on an understanding of real issues and opportunities for inclusive and shared decision-making models.

Alliance Missions grants are intended to provide support for research activities that will:

  • promote interdisciplinary collaboration among academic researchers, federal scientists, private-sector scientists and policymakers to increase the scientific information available to support government decision-making to achieve net-zero GHG emissions targets
  • build on scientific capacity in earth system climate science, atmospheric monitoring/modelling and socio-economic analysis to understand anthropogenic GHG emissions at regional and national scales or by sector to inform ambitious GHG mitigation opportunities and to improve understanding of how GHG emissions are changing over time
  • advance Canadian knowledge and tools to inform decision-making processes for achievement of net-zero GHG emissions by 2050 through the investigation of anthropogenic GHG emissions and their changes over time

Researchers can apply to support any R&D project that builds on scientific capacity in earth system climate science, atmospheric monitoring/modelling, and socio-economic analysis to understand anthropogenic GHG emissions at regional and national scales or by sector to inform ambitious GHG mitigation opportunities and to improve understanding of how GHG emissions are changing over time.

However, researchers cannot use an Alliance Missions grant to support secret or contract research.


Research Team

If you are a Canadian university researcher who is eligible to receive NSERC funds, you can apply on your own or as a team with co-applicants who are also eligible academic researchers.

Given the limited funding, applicants will be allowed to participate in only one Alliance Missions grant application for this call, either as the principal investigator or a co-applicant. However, you may concurrently apply to Alliance grants Option 1 and/or Alliance grants Option 2 to support other research activities not included in your Alliance Missions application.

NSERC encourages the participation of early career researchers (ECRs) as applicants or co-applicants on Alliance Missions grant applications. Accordingly, a proportion of awards equal to the proportion of applications submitted that are led by early career researchers will be reserved for these researchers. For more information on how NSERC categorizes an applicant as an ECR, refer to the Discovery Grants—applicant categories.

Project Expenses

Alliance Missions grant funds from NSERC cover the direct costs of the research. The funds from NSERC are paid to eligible universities and cannot be used to buy equipment, products or services from any partner organization, or to cover any part of the travel and travel-related subsistence expenditures for partner organization personnel.

Applicants can include only NSERC-eligible direct costs of research in the project budget, such as

  • salary support for undergraduate and graduate students as well as 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 project
  • activities to develop and grow the research collaborations with the partner organizations

Refer to the guidelines on the use of grant funds in the Tri-agency guide on financial administration.

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 the university or at the partner organization's location

If your total expected equipment cost (including operation and maintenance) exceeds $400,000 over your project's duration, then you should apply for an alternate source of funding such as the Canada Foundation for Innovation's (CFI's) John R. Evans Leaders Fund. NSERC and CFI have developed a joint application and review procedure for these cases. Contact NSERC or CFI for more details.

For projects involving multiple partner organizations and/or universities, you may include project management costs, up to 10% of the total direct research costs (see Guidelines for research partnerships programs project management expenses).

Partner Organizations

Partnerships are strongly encouraged across academia, government, private-sector organizations and not-for-profit organizations to leverage existing data and models, and to facilitate the uptake of new knowledge related to GHG emissions mitigation in order to identify new GHG mitigation opportunities, inform mitigation action plans, and report on changing emissions over time. An interdisciplinary network of researchers from at least three separate departments, faculties, institutions or organizations is also strongly encouraged. The participation of at least one partner organization that is recognized for cost-sharing is required.

Maximum Project Value

Grant support ranges from $100,000 to $500,000 per year, for a duration of three years. NSERC will provide support for 100% of the eligible costs of research. Although partner organizations do not need to provide cash contributions to participate, they must actively play a role in the project and support it through in-kind contributions. A broad range of in-kind contributions could be made toward a project; refer to the Partner organizations web page for additional information.

A lead applicant and their co-applicants may receive funds from other sources to cover direct costs of their project. These sources of funds could include cash contributions provided by the university or by other funding agencies. Such funds would add to and complement those requested from NSERC. The lead applicant must include all of the project's direct costs funded by sources other than NSERC in the budget table. All costs must be explained in the proposal and are considered in the merit assessment of your proposal.

In-kind contributions are important for the success of the project. All partner organizations participating in the project must play an active role in it and make in-kind contributions through such involvement (see Partner organizations). In-kind contributions are considered in the merit assessment of your proposal (see Review of your application).

Indirect Costs


Project Duration

Three years. Decisions will be communicated by the end of March 2023.

Special Notes

Non-Natural Sciences and Engineering (NSE) Collaboration

Developing and implementing policies or directly applying your research results may depend on scientific understanding beyond the NSE. Alliance Missions grants support collaborations with academic researchers in fields other than the NSE. Research costs for these collaborations can represent up to 30% of project costs. Research proposals are expected to demonstrate an interdisciplinary approach that reflects the complexity and interconnections inherent in climate change. NSERC may prioritize the funding of interdisciplinary projects.

Please note that research activities carried out in the context of COVID-19 need to adhere to the University of Guelph COVID-19 research principles, policies, guidelines and processes as they may be updated from time to time and communicated on the Office of Research web-page.


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

Internal Deadline

LOI Interal Deadline: A Letter of Intent must be submitted to the Office of Research Services (ORS) (research.services@uoguelph.ca) a minimum of one (1) week prior to the deadline to submit to NSERC. Please be sure to "submit" in NSERC's online system (following instructions under 'How to Apply').

Please note, no OR-5 is required at this stage, as a budget is not included in the LOI. However, the lead applicant must notify research.services@uoguelph.ca, as ORS is responsible for reviewing and submitting the Letter of Intent on behalf of each lead applicant. 

External Deadline

LOI External Deadline: The Office of Research Services will submit the Letter of Intent on behalf of the applicant to NSERC through their online system. 

Internal Deadline

Full Application Internal Deadline: A signed OR-5 and the Full Application must be submitted to the Office of Research Services (research.services@uoguelph.ca) a minimum of one (1) week prior to the deadline to submit to NSERC. Please be sure to "submit" in NSERC's online system (following instructions under 'How to Apply'). 

External Deadline

Full Application External Deadline: The Office of Research Services will submit the Full Application on behalf of the lead applicant to NSERC through their online system. 

How to Apply

Applicants must begin by submitting a letter of intent (LOI) before the LOI deadline. All eligible applicants will then complete a full application to be submitted before the full application deadline.

Step 1: Letter of Intent (Internal Deadline September 8, 2022; External Deadline September 15, 2022)

Provide a summary of the main objectives and research challenges of the proposed research as it relates to anthropogenic GHG science. In the summary, briefly explain how the proposed research responds to the research topic for this call and provide a brief description of the planned involvement of the partner organization(s). This plain language summary will be available to the public if the proposal is funded.

No changes in the academic research team composition are permitted after an LOI is reviewed and approved by NSERC.

LOI Instructions:

  1. Log in to NSERC's online system and choose 'Create a new form 101.'
  2. Select 'Research partnerships programs', then 'Alliance grants.'
  3. For the 'Proposal type' field, select 'Letter of intent'.
  4. For the 'Type of call' field, select 'Missions – Anthropogenic greenhouse gas research' from the drop-down menu.
  5. Follow the instructions to invite co-applicants you wish to participate on your application, if applicable.
  6. Provide a summary of the proposal as described above and following the instructions provided through NSERC online.
  7. Submit your completed LOI and supporting documents, including the personal data form with CCV attachment for the applicant and all co-applicants, through NSERC's online system. Once submitted, contact research.services@uoguelph.ca to formally review and submit the Letter of Intent on your behalf. 

Step 2: Full Application (Internal Deadline November 1, 2022; External Deadline November 8, 2022)

A full application form will be made available to the lead applicant in the online system within two weeks after the LOI deadline. Teams will be notified that they cannot submit a full application if their LOI is not complete and/or does not adhere to program requirements and objectives.

Full Application Instructions:

  1. Log in to NSERC's online system.
  2. Select the appropriate form 101 from your portfolio ('Form 101 – Missions – Anthropogenic greenhouse gas research' created at the LOI stage).
  3. Following the instructions for completing an Alliance grant application, fill out the proposal template (maximum 10 pages regardless of $ amount requested) and complete the other sections of your application.
  4. Delete the 'Public impact value proposition' section from the proposal template—it does not apply to Alliance Missions grants, even though NSERC provides support for 100% of the eligible costs of research.
  5. In the case where your application involves 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, also complete the National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships' risk assessment form.
  6. Submit your completed application and supporting documents, including the personal data form with CCV attachment for the applicant and all co-applicants, through NSERC's online system.
  7. Your partner organization's contact person will be invited through the online system to provide information about the organization following the partner organization instructions.
  8. By submitting your application, you and your co-applicants (when applicable) agree to the terms and conditions of applying for applicants. By participating in your application, your partner organizations agree to the terms and conditions of applying for partner organizations.
  9. Once submitted, complete an OR-5 and submit to research.services@uoguelph.ca to formally review and submit the Full Application on your behalf. 

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


Office of Research

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

Gregor Lawson, Industry Liaison Manager
Research Innovation Office
519-824-4120 x54807

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