Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada
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Canadian Common CV (CCV) (Required at NOI Stage)
The Discovery Grants Program supports ongoing programs of research with long-term goals rather than a single short-term project or collection of projects. These grants recognize the creativity and innovation that are at the heart of all research advances. Discovery Grants are considered “grants in aid” of research, as they provide long term operating funds and can facilitate access to funding from other programs, but are not meant to support the full costs of a research program.
Recipients of Discovery Grants are not restricted to the specific activities described in their applications, and may pursue new research interests, provided they are within NSERC’s mandate. This provides researchers with the flexibility to pursue promising research avenues as they emerge and the opportunity to address higher-risk (higher reward) topics. Researchers can use their grants to participate in collaborative efforts.
The Discovery Grants Program assists in:
- promoting and maintaining a diversified base of high-quality research capability in the natural sciences and engineering in Canadian universities;
- fostering research excellence; and
- providing a stimulating environment for research training.
Applicants are encouraged to increase the inclusion and advancement of women and other under-represented groups in the natural sciences and engineering, as one means to enhance excellence in research and training. Applicants should refer to the Discovery Grants application instructions and the Guide for Applicants: Considering equity, diversity and inclusion in your application.
- Eligibility for applying for/holding an NSERC grant:
- Hold (or have a firm offer) for an academic appointment at an eligible Canadian university at the time of application. This can be a tenured, tenure-track or lifetime professor emeritus position; or a paid or unpaid term or contract position of no less than three years. The position must be finalized no later than six (6) weeks following the competition deadline of November 1, 2021.
- The position must require the individual to engage in research that is not under the direction of another individual; and
- The position must authorize the individual to supervise or co-supervise the research of students registered in an undergraduate or graduate degree program, or postdoctoral fellows (e.g. thesis supervision and not supervision of regular course or laboratory assignments).
- While there are no specific sections dedicated to naming or describing specific collaborations, it is at the applicant’s discretion if they would like to disclose such information.
- Applicants are categorized as either Early Career Researchers or Established Researchers. Refer to the Discovery Grants - Applicant Categories for more information.
- Researchers can apply for and hold only one Discovery Grant at a time. Researchers who hold a Discovery Grant cannot reapply for another Discovery Grant until the last year of their current award. If you currently hold a team grant and wish to apply individually, consult NSERC.
- NSERC does not consider requests for supplements to existing Discovery Grants, except for E. W. R. Steacie Memorial Fellows and Discovery Grant Northern Research Supplements holders. Recipients may, however, apply for all other types of NSERC grants.
Please review the following parameters as well as NSERC’s Eligibility Criteria for Faculty, UG NSERC Eligibility Criteria for Faculty and the Addendum to Guidelines for Eligibility to determine your specific eligibility.
Applicants cannot submit the same proposal to both NSERC and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) or the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) (see Selecting the Appropriate Federal Granting Agency and Relationship Between NSERC Proposals and Other Sources of Funds.) NSERC encourages researchers to obtain funds from other sources, but does not allow duplication of funding for the same research.
Applicants to the Discovery Grants Program must apply with a program of research that is eligible under NSERC’s mandate, which is to promote and assist research in the natural sciences and engineering, other than health. The intended objectives of the research program must be, primarily, to advance knowledge in the natural sciences or in engineering. If NSERC determines that the subject matter is outside of its mandate at any time during the review cycle, the application will be rejected. Refer to Selecting the Appropriate Federal Granting Agency, the Peer Review Manual, and NSERC Discovery Grants Process for Decisions on Mandate Eligibility for further information on the eligibility of subject matter.
If you are uncertain about subject matter eligibility or overlap, please contact NSERC directly.
Grants are normally awarded for five (5) years. Although a shorter duration can be requested,
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 you are considering a grant extension for a current NSERC Discovery Grant and want to learn more about potential impacts on the 2022 competition, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions and visit the NSERC program information in relation to COVID‑19 webpage, which are updated regularly.
If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.
Notification of Intent to Apply (NOI): Researchers submit directly to NSERC via the Research Portal. Researchers do not need to send a copy to the Office of Research Services.
Note: The system will be closed after this time
How to Apply
Researchers who intend to apply for a Discovery Grant (DG), Subatomic Physics Discovery (SAP-DG), Major Resources Support (SAP-MRS), or Category 2 or 3 Research Tools and Instruments (SAP-RTI) in the 2022 competition must submit a Notification of Intent to Apply (NOI).
Applicants who do not submit an NOI by the deadline cannot submit a full application later in Fall 2021.
Discovery Grant NOI now available on Research Portal.
Subatomic Physics NOI now available on Research Portal.
Complete Instructions on How to Apply: Completing a Notification of Intent to Apply (NOI) for NSERC Discovery
- Researchers applying for a Discovery Grant must submit a NOI using the Research Portal and the NSERC CCV. Completing the CCV the first time can be time-consuming, so applicants should start completing their CCV early and allow ample time to complete this task in order to meet the NOI deadline date. Researchers submit directly to NSERC via the Research Portal.
Tips for applicants currently holding a Discovery Grant:
- Grantees are encouraged to verify the balance of their current Discovery Grant (DG) account before applying. If the available funds are sufficient to cover anticipated expenditures through the next fiscal year, they can choose to request a deferral of the installment or take advantage of the one-year extension to use the accumulated funds prior to submitting a new request for funding.
- Refer to the Administration Matters and the Annual Funding of Grants sections of the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide for more information.
- Postponing an application does not adversely affect the review of the next application, but rather demonstrates good fiscal management of the funds and allows the grantee to re-organize his/her activities and postpone the application date by one year. It also provides the opportunity for NSERC to fund other researchers with more urgent needs.