NSERC Discovery Grant




Discovery Grant Notification of Intent (NOI) - 2016 Competition

For More Information

Research Portal resource page
Frequently Asked Questions

NSERC will be hosting webinars about the Research Portal to further assist the research community. More details will be posted on NSERC’s Webinars page.


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. Recipients of Discovery Grants are not restricted to the specific activities described in their applications, but 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. 


  • Only Applicants are eligible to apply for and hold NSERC funds.
  • 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 prof 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 2, 2015.
    • 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).

Please review NSERC’s Discovery Grants webpage; NSERC’s Eligibility Criteria for Faculty webpage; and the UG NSERC Eligibility Criteria for Faculty webpage for further eligibility principles and criteria.

Project Duration

up to 5 years

Special Notes

NSERC has announced the start of another competition cycle. Researchers who intend to apply for a Discovery Grant in the 2016 competition must submit a Notification of Intent to Apply (NOI) by the deadline date.  NSERC will not accept any NOIs after the deadline. The NOI is mandatory when applying for a Discovery Grant. Applicants who do not submit an NOI by the deadline cannot submit a full application later in the fall.

Program update for 2016: NSERC will no longer be accepting Team Grant applications.  Researchers who are supported by an NSERC Team Grant should submit an individual Discovery Grant application when submitting a new request for funding.

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 postpose the application date by one year. It also provides the opportunity for NSERC to fund other researchers with more urgent needs.

If you do not intend to apply this year, please let NSERC know by sending an email, before August 3, 2015 to coord@nserc-crsng.gc.ca, with your name, department and institution name.


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

External Deadline

Please note that the system will be closed after this time.  Researchers do not need to send a copy to the Office of Research Services.

How to Apply

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. Applicants are reminded to 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.

For Questions, please contact

If you require further information, please contact NSERC by email at: coord@nserc-crsng.gc.ca or by phone at: 613 996-8020

Office of Research

Annette Clarke, Grants Officer
Research Services Office
519-824-4120 x56927

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