NSERC PromoScience Program - 2021 Call for Applications

Sponsor

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

Program

PromoScience Program

For More Information

For full details on the program and how to apply, please visit the NSERC PromoScience Program webpage.

Description

NSERC's PromoScience Program offers financial support for organizations working with young Canadians to promote an understanding of science and engineering (including mathematics and technology). Organizations may request funds for up to three years at a time.

PromoScience supports hands-on learning experiences for young students and their teachers. Grants may be used to cover improvements to program content or delivery, as well as for new programs and activities. Grants can also be used to cover operational costs such as salaries, travel, postage, materials and supplies, provided that they relate to the promotion of science and engineering.

PromoScience grants support organizations that:

  • 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. 

These include organizations that:

  • Focus on groups that are traditionally under-represented in scientific and engineering careers; 
  • Provide instruction and resources to science, math and technology teachers.

Eligibility

Only one application may be submitted per faculty member per department per competition year. If you are interested in this opportunity, please discuss with your departmental colleagues, and also contact Vanessa Knox (contact information below) to confirm if any other faculty members from your department have expressed interest in applying. 

PromoScience supports hands-on learning experiences for young students and their teachers. Grants may be used to cover improvements to program content or delivery, as well as for new programs and activities. Grants can also be used to cover operational costs such as salaries, travel, postage, materials and supplies, provided that they relate to the promotion of science and engineering.

Note that grants may not be used to support research. Details on the eligibility of expenses are contained in the Use of Grant Funds section of the PromoScience Grants Guide. The information in this Guide may change without notice.

A very broad range of activities 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 the first year of college in Quebec and/or their teachers. Activities and content that specifically encourage Indigenous undergraduate students to pursue graduate studies in the NSE are also eligible. Programming for youth that involves their families is encouraged. We do not support activities targeting preschool-age children, the general post-secondary student population or the general public.
  • Teacher-focused programming: PromoScience supports the development of 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. Proposed programming must be independent of accredited courses or degree requirements.
  • Programming in the NSE: Proposed activities must include significant NSE-focused content and 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, nor is programming primarily focused on advocacy.
  • 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 under-represented groups in NSE.
  • 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. Grants may not be used to support research, but should motivate young people to study science and engineering and to pursue careers in these fields.
  • 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: The proposed science and engineering activities must address the PromoScience objectives and must not be for recruitment purposes. 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.
  • 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.

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 continued support of these activities. If the last payment of an ongoing award is scheduled for next January, wait until the following September to apply for continued support for the same activity. Note: In both cases, a new full application will be required at the time of application.

Organizations that received an extension in time due to COVID-19 are eligible to apply in the 2021 PromoScience competition for the same activities supported by their current grant. Applications will have to clearly outline how their balance of funds will be integrated into the first year of the new grant, if awarded. In your budget, funds should be listed in an additional row in the Revenue section called “PromoScience – current grant” and outlined in a separate column called “Expenditures covered by current grant” in the Expenses section for Year 1.

Mulitple awards

PromoScience will allow a non-profit organization, a non-federal museum or science centre, or a department in a post-secondary institution to hold multiple, concurrent awards as long as they clearly demonstrate in the application that there is no overlap in any way with the activities already supported through their active PromoScience grant(s). The onus is on the applicant to find out what other activities in their non-profit organization, science centre, museum or department are currently supported by PromoScience. Note: The expansion of currently funded activities into new geographical areas or to a new target audience is considered overlap. Applications proposing such expansions are ineligible. You may reapply when your active grant has ended, with your new outreach area/target audience clearly defined.

Eligibility inquiries

If you are not sure about the eligibility of your organization or activity for PromoScience support, contact NSERC at promoscience@nserc-crsng.gc.ca well in advance of the application deadline.

Maximum Project Value

The maximum allowable request is $200,000/year for three years.

Note: 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.

Indirect Costs

0%.

Project Duration

Up to three years.

Special Notes

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.

Deadlines

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

TypeDateNotes
External Deadline

Interested applicants are encouraged to attend the Webex program information session at 1:00 - 2:30pm ET on July 27, 2021. To join the webinar on the date and time specified, please use the link above and enter your name and email address. Note, the password is pre-filled.

Internal Deadline

Applicant submits complete application including the PromoScience application summary form, support letters, and signed OR-5 form to research.services@uoguelph.ca.

If more than one application is received from any given department at the internal deadline date, an internal adjudication process will take place to determine which application will be submitted to the PromoScience program. 

External Deadline

Applicant submits electronically via  NSERC’s ICSP secure submission site.

Note:  All the parts of your application must be combined into a single document in portable document format (PDF). Zip files and PDF portfolios will not be accepted. Material or updates to your application received separately (before or after the deadline date) will not be accepted.

How to Apply

Application Requirements

In addition to the PromoScience Application Summary Form, your submission (up to five pages maximum) must include:

  • an executive summary of up to 150 words including the nature and goals of the program, the number of youth or teachers 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.

  • 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, 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) - one page maximum.
  • An explanation of any relationship and/or overlap, conceptual or financial, with other PromoScience grants held by the organization/faculty, or support from other federal sources (one page maximum, see Multiple Awards on the program eligibility webpage).

Links to websites may not be included in application documents, including letters of support. Committee members will ignore any links in documents received.

Letters of support

Your organization may provide up to six letters to support your application. Your organization should choose which letters make the most convincing case for support of your application. There are two types of letters:

  • 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, or a letter of support from a member of that community.
  • Letters of commitment to confirm funding agreements or in-kind contributions from outside sources and/or from the host organization (i.e., postsecondary institution).
For Questions, please contact

NSERC PromoScience Program
Email: promoscience@nserc-crsng.gc.ca

Office of Research

Vanessa Knox, Awards and Agreements Officer
Office of Research Services
519-824-4120 x53429
knoxva@uoguelph.ca

Alert Classifications
Category:
Funding Opportunities and Sponsor News

Disciplines:
Health and Life Sciences
Humanities
Information and Communications Technology
Physical Sciences and Engineering
Social Sciences