Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
PromoScience Grant Program
For More Information
work with young Canadians to inspire an interest in science and engineering;
motivate young people to study science and engineering and to pursue careers in these fields;
bring interactive, hands-on science experiences to young people.
focus on groups that are traditionally under-represented in scientific and engineering careers;
provide instruction and resources to science, math and technology teachers.
To be eligible, you must:
- be a Canadian:
- registered non-profit organization,
- postsecondary institution, or
- non-federal museum or science centre.
- demonstrate ongoing involvement in the promotion of the natural sciences and engineering to young Canadians.
- There is a very broad range of activities promoting the natural sciences and engineering that are eligible for funding. The following points answer common questions about eligibility.
- Ongoing programming: Activities must be delivered on a continual basis from year to year. One-time, project-specific activities are not eligible.
- Youth-focused programming: Activities and content must be designed for youth in elementary school, high school, or their first year of college in Quebec and/or their teachers. Programming for youth that involves their families is encouraged. We do not support activities targeting pre-school aged children, postsecondary students or the general public.
- Teacher-focused programming: PromoScience is targeting resources and tools for teachers that make it easier for them to teach science well, as well as professional development for teachers to improve their knowledge, skills and enthusiasm for teaching science to youth.
- Programming in the natural sciences and engineering (NSE): Proposed activities must be primarily focused on promoting interest and careers in the NSE. Programming focused primarily on health, medicine, social sciences, or arts is not eligible for support.
- New/pilot programs: Such applications must include strong evidence of the feasibility and anticipated impact of the activities (i.e., support letters, data from similar successful programs).
- Proposals with broad impact and reach: We encourage proposals at the national, provincial, territorial and regional levels. We will not support local activities unless these target traditionally under-represented groups in science and engineering.
- Interactive, hands-on programming: Activities must involve social or technology-mediated interaction with a two-way flow of information and influence between youth and their facilitators. We will not support the production of books, videos, lectures, etc. that are not part of an interactive program.
- Research experience: Applicants must demonstrate how their program meets the objectives of the PromoScience Program by going beyond simply providing work experience.
- Program delivery using a website: Such applications must demonstrate that the website is of an ongoing nature and interactive, and should include a detailed plan that outlines the need for the site, its content and plans for ongoing maintenance.
- University-based activities: If an activity is linked to university course work (i.e., university students as instructors or mentors), the course work must be clearly delineated from the youth-based outreach component for the application to be eligible.
- For organizations receiving core government funding (i.e., museums and science centres), only activities that are not already funded through their existing core funding are eligible. For example, expanding collections or developing travelling and/or permanent displays would not be considered eligible for funding through PromoScience.
Current Award Holders
If your organization received the last payment of an active award in January of this year, it is eligible to apply in September for a renewal of funding for the same activity. If the last payment of an ongoing award is scheduled for next January, wait until next September to apply for a renewal of funding for the same activity.
PromoScience will allow an organization to hold multiple concurrent awards as long as the organization clearly demonstrates in the application that there is no overlap in any way with activities already supported by active PromoScience grants, or with other proposals submitted to the same PromoScience competition by the same organization.
NSERC encourages organizers of science and engineering promotion activities for youth to coordinate and prioritize their activities within their own organization (i.e., at the same university) and to collaborate with other organizations. Keep in mind that two applications from the same organization will be in competition with each other. When a single application requests funding for more than one program, the Selection Committee may choose to direct funding to one particular program.
NSERC will accept only one application per department. Concurrent awards must be held at different departments and applicants must demonstrate that there is no overlap between the activities proposed and those supported by other applications or active awards. The onus is on the applicant to find out what other activities at their institution are currently supported by, or being requested from, PromoScience. The proposed science and engineering activities must address the PromoScience objectives and must not be for recruitment purposes.
Maximum Project Value
NSERC will not fund 100% of the costs of a proposed activity. NSERC’s contribution is generally up to one-third of a program’s funding. The average grant typically ranges from $15,000 to $25,000 per year.
Organizations may request funds for up to three years at a time.
For Applicants with Current PromoScience Funding: A one-page report (as an additional page) must be provided, and will be reviewed by the Selection Committee in terms of the effective use of past funding and, for renewing applicants, the ongoing effectiveness of the programming.
New: Links to websites may not be included in application documents, including letters of support. Committee members will ignore any links in documents received.
New: Information Webinar for Prospective Applicants (click the appropriate date/language option for more information):
If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.
How to Apply
Applications must be submitted electronically via the Secure Submissions for NSERC’s Innovative Collaborations and Science Promotion Programs. Documents must be submitted in Portable Document Format (PDF) as a single document.
Material or updates received under separate cover (before or after the deadline date) will not be accepted.
In addition to the PromoScience Application Summary Form, your submission must include (up to five pages maximum):
- an executive summary of up to 150 words including the nature and goals of the program, the number of youth to be reached and an overview of how the PromoScience funding would be spent;
- a description of how your proposed program addresses the selection criteria.
Divide your application into three sections; use the selection criteria as headings and indicators as sub-headings. Requests for core funding must include a detailed description of the organization’s main activities.
Your PromoScience application must also include the financial information listed below. This information is not counted in the five-page limit and must also conform to the General Presentation Guidelines.
- Your organization's most recent financial statements (not applicable to postsecondary institution applicants).
- A general budget forecast covering each year of the requested granting period (January to December). This sample budget is intended as a guide for your organization to follow. Some items may not be listed or may not apply to your organization; adapt the template according to your needs. Include:
- projected revenues of your organization or program(s). Breakdown income by source: PromoScience, federal government (indicate other funds received from NSERC and other federal granting agencies), provincial government, private sector, foundations, self-generated, university, etc.;
- anticipated expenses of your organization or program(s) (breakdown by expenditure: salaries, equipment, materials and supplies, travel costs, publicity, etc.);
- estimated in-kind contributions (salaries, equipment, space, etc.). In-kind contributions should be included in the budget as a separate category and clearly indicated as in-kind.
- A budget justification for each budget item (indicate any priorities for funding) and an explanation of any relationship and/or overlap, conceptual or financial, with other NSERC funding or support from other sources (two pages maximum).
Letters of Support
- Up to three letters of reference; these are highly recommended, as applications without letters of reference may be at a disadvantage in the competition. Applicants that are specifically targeting an under-represented group are strongly encouraged to include a letter from an organization linked with the under-represented target audience.
- Up to three letters of commitment to confirm funding agreements or in-kind contributions from outside sources and/or from the host organization (i.e., postsecondary institution).