NSERC - Connect Grants




 Connect Grants

For More Information

Program Information

Materials for NSERC - Connect Grants

  • Form 401 - Connect Grant Application
  • Connect Grant Application Checklist


Effective February 1, 2018, Connect Grants have been revised to combine Levels 2 and 3 and to broaden the scope of eligible activities. 

Connect Grants provide targeted financial support to encourage post-secondary researchers at universities and/or colleges to connect with industry and other knowledge end-user communities in order to form new partnerships. There must be no existing or past relationship between, or on the one hand, the applicant and any researcher listed on the application, and on the other hand, the company or companies targeted. All of the activities (including travel, events or workshops) must take place in Canada.


Connect Grant applications can be submitted by researchers or administrators at NSERC-eligible universities or colleges, as well as by staff at not-for-profit and non-governmental organizations (including industry and producer associations). Applications from private-sector firms or government departments or agencies will not be accepted. 

Maximum Project Value

Level 1 Connect Grants provide up to $5,000 for travel, accommodation, meals and meeting costs within Canada for NSERC-eligible academic researchers at universities or colleges for outreach aimed at forming new partnerships in natural sciences or engineering research with Canadian companies. This funding enables researchers and their potential collaborators to identify and develop collaborative research partnerships.

Level 2 Connect Grants provide support for activities that will contribute to the goals of NSERC’s 2020 Strategic Plan, which positions NSERC as an enabler of discovery and innovation with a focus on the natural sciences and engineering, and that will create value for Canada, as well as:

  • research planning and networking activities to develop new academic–industry partnerships;
  • activities or promotional tools to encourage new partnerships;
  • activities or promotional tools to increase student–industry training opportunities in natural sciences or engineering research.

Typical funding requests range from $1,000 to $5,000. For large-scale activities, requests of up to $25,000 may be considered. 

Indirect Costs


Project Duration

Level 1 Connect Grants

Funding approved for these applications must be used within three months following the award start date. Individuals are limited to two Level 1 Connect Grants per fiscal year.

Level 2 Connect Grants

Funds must be used up to 12 months following the award start date.

Special Notes

Industrial Participation

For activities that aim to build research partnerships with an industrial partner, the Partner Eligibility Guidelines section of the Guidelines for Organizations Participating in Research Partnerships should be consulted to determine the company’s eligibility. In general, a company partner must operate from a Canadian base and demonstrate clear intentions and capacity to further develop and apply any technology within Canada. Start-up companies may be considered, provided that they meet the requirements below. To be eligible, a company partner must:

  • have a minimum of two full-time employees and

  • be in operation for a minimum of two years.

Companies must demonstrate the ability to exploit a research project’s results. In this context, the resources, capabilities and experience of the company and its staff are relevant. Holding companies and companies that are unable to further develop the technology in-house are not eligible.


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

Internal Deadline

There is a rolling intake of applications. Applicants must submit signed OR-5 form along with full application to: research.services@uoguelph.ca

  • If you are applying for Connect Grant Level 1 (no partner letters required), please submit the application to the Office of Research one week prior to the intended submission date to NSERC
  • If you are applying for Connect Grant Level 2, please submit the application to the Office of Research one week prior to the intended submission date to NSERC. For Level 2 applications, applicants must discuss their proposed activities with NSERC Regional Office staff before applying.
External Deadline

Applicant submits full application to NSERC. For both Level 1 and 2 applications: requests of $5,000 or less must be submitted at least four weeks before the activity. Requests exceeding $5,000 must be submitted at least 12 weeks before the proposed activity in order to ensure that there is sufficient time to finalize details and issue invitations following NSERC’s decision.  

How to Apply

Once completed, the following application documents (in PDF format) must be uploaded to NSERC’s Secure Upload Site:

  • A Connect Grant Application Form (Form 401): Applicants are advised to use the headings provided under Review Procedures and Selection Criteria to format their proposal.
    • Applications submitted through an NSERC-eligible institution must be endorsed by an authorized representative of the institution. Applications submitted through a non-academic organization must be endorsed by an authorized representative of that organization, and their position at the organization should be specified.
  • A Personal Data Form: Form 100 for university-led applications, Form 103CV for college-led applications, or a PDF version of the NSERC Researcher CV Type of the Canadian Common CV (CCV). Non-academic applicants must submit a résumé.
  • Supplementary information for Level 2 Connect applications:
    • if applicable, a draft agenda;
    • if available, a tentative list of invited participants.
For Questions, please contact

NSERC Regional Office
2655 North Sheridan Way, Suite 250
Mississauga, Ontario
L5K 2P8

Office of Research

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

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