Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
Collaborative Research and Development (CRD) Grants
For More Information
The Collaborative Research and Development (CRD) Grants are intended to:
- create mutually beneficial collaborations between Canadian universities and private and/or public sector partners that lead to advancements that will result in economic, social or environmental benefits for Canada and Canadians;
- expand the scope of research undertaken at Canadian universities, fostering dynamic interaction between discovery-based and innovative research, and allowing the research results to be translated into new knowledge, products or processes;
- provide an enhanced experiential learning environment for graduate students and, where appropriate, postdoctoral fellows, by exposing them to research challenges unique to partnerships, and by providing them with the opportunity for significant ongoing interactions with the partnering organization(s);
- allow partners to access the unique knowledge, expertise, infrastructure and potential highly educated and skilled future employees graduating from Canadian universities.
CRD Grants support well-defined projects undertaken by university researchers and their partners. Direct project costs are shared by the partner(s) and NSERC. The Guidelines for Organizations Participating in Research Partnerships include a list of partner types eligible for fund matching by NSERC and describe the potential involvement of additional partners.
If the university researcher’s partners include a private-sector partner and the Department of National Defence (DND), apply for a DND/NSERC Research Partnership Grant (a targeted CRD Grant).
- CRD projects can be at any point in the research and development (R&D) spectrum in the domains of the natural sciences and engineering that is consistent with the university’s research, training and technology transfer mandate. Verify the eligibility of research topics with Selecting the Appropriate Federal Granting Agency.
- Eligible collaborations include focused projects with specific short- to medium-term objectives, as well as discrete phases in a program of longer-range research. All proposals require evidence of detailed planning and sound budget justification, and must clearly spell out the underlying assumptions, intended approaches, milestones and deliverables.
- Certain expenditures related to project management are now eligible as a direct cost of research up to a maximum of 10% of the total direct costs (see the Guidelines for Research Partnerships Programs Project Management Expenses).
- Projects that focus on the application of existing technology, provide routine analysis, collect data without interpreting underlying mechanisms or provide professional practice or consulting services (contract research) are not eligible. Similarly, proposals that involve the set-up and operational management of an institute, a formal or informal group of researchers or that are principally associated with the acquisition and maintenance of scientific equipment will not be considered.
Industry Partner Eligibility:
- There must be at least one industry partner that satisfies the following requirements:
- Collaborates at all stages of the research project (i.e., helps 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);
- Demonstrates a clear intention and the capacity to exploit the research results within Canada; and
- Contributes to the direct project costs.
- The Partner Eligibility Guidelines section of the Guidelines for Organizations Participating in Research Partnerships Programs should be consulted to determine the eligibility of the industrial partner to participate.
NSERC's Policy on Intellectual Property (IP) supports the premise that every effort should be made to exploit the results of NSERC-funded research in Canada, for the benefit of Canadians. For approved projects, a research agreement that is compliant with NSERC’s IP Policy between the industrial partner(s) and the university covering, at a minimum, the entire duration of the grant must be executed through the Office of Research Services.
Maximum Project Value
Projects are typically funded up to $200,000 per year for up to five years, however funding above this amount can be requested from the NSERC Selection Committee.
The industrial partners must collectively provide contributions in an amount equal to, or greater than, the amount requested from NSERC. The industrial cash must be at least 50% of the NSERC request, with the balance provided as in-kind contributions to the project by the industrial partner(s). NSERC will recognize only those in-kind contributions that are fully documented and considered essential to carry out the work. For a full discussion of the eligibility and value of in-kind contributions, refer to the Guidelines on Eligibility and Value of In-Kind Contributions section of the Guidelines for Organizations Participating in Research Partnerships Programs.
Industrial cash contributed before the proposal is submitted may be used to start the project, but NSERC will not leverage industrial in-kind contributions received or funds spent more than three months prior to the date of submission. NSERC funds cannot be applied to expenses incurred before a project was approved.
Projects may range from one year to five years in duration, but most awards are for two or three years.
If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.
There is no formal deadline. Applications are accepted on a rolling intake basis. Please plan on submitting the complete application for internal review by the Office of Research Services (see below) at least two to three weeks in advance of the intended submission date to NSERC.
Internal review in the Office of Research is initiated for applications once the following steps have been completed by the applicant:
How to Apply
Proposals can be submitted at any time, using a "Personal Data Form" (Form 100), an "Application for a Grant" (Form 101), and an "Information Required from Organizations Participating in Research Partnerships Programs" (Form 183A).
Decisions are usually made within three months of receiving a complete application; however, large or complex applications may take up to six months for processing.
If the application is a continuation of research undertaken in a recently completed or nearly completed CRD project, receiving at least $100,000 per year from NSERC, an additional report (maximum three pages) detailing the results achieved is required. The continuing industrial partner(s) must clearly outline the impact of the ongoing or recently completed CRD in its letter(s) of support.