Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada
Per the revised quotas introduced by NSERC at the beginning of CY 2016, researchers are now limited to receive only one Engage award per NSERC fiscal year. While our fiscal year does not actually end until March 31, the NSERC Finance department closes in early March to permit year-end account reconciliations. No awards can be issued beyond that departmental closing date. Taking into account the time also needed to evaluate an application and complete the internal paperwork, the submission cut-off date for Engage applications hoping to qualify for a current-fiscal-year award is therefore much earlier than March 31. Please be aware of the following important deadlines:
- February 17th is the last date for the university RGO to click ‘submit’ for an Engage application that they/the applicant wish to have result in an award assigned to the current (2016-17) NSERC fiscal year. The last set of applications will be reviewed and decided on at the March 6th meeting of the NSERC Engage Evaluation Committee.
- Should the NSERC readers’ evaluation of an application generate a request for additional information from the applicant and/or the industry partner, all of the requested information must be submitted to NSERC by not later than March 3rd in order for the application to remain eligible for a 2016-17 award.
- Note that the February 17th deadline will accommodate well-prepared applications only. If NSERC’s evaluation of an application uncovers major issues that cannot be easily/promptly resolved, the award (if one is recommended) could very well end up assigned to the following, 2017-18 fiscal year. A more conservative submission deadline (i.e. one that will provide more latitude for fixing problems) would be February 3rd.
- Applications submitted as of February 18th will automatically fall into the new 2017-18 fiscal year.
- Engage Plus awards are not subject to the new, one-per-fiscal-year quota, nor do they count against an applicant’s Engage quota. Therefore, the above deadlines have no relevance in the case of Engage Plus applications.
The dates noted above apply only to regular (NSERC-only) Engage applications. They do not apply to applications for the special, co-funded ‘VIP1-Engage’ opportunity that NSERC offers in collaboration with the Ontario Centres of Excellence. Deadlines for VIP1-Engage applications are further upstream (sooner) and were transmitted to you by OCE before the holiday break.