NSERC Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) Program




The NSERC Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) Program supports the training of teams of highly qualified students and postdoctoral fellows from Canada and abroad through the development of innovative training programs that:

  • Encourage collaborative and integrative approaches, and address significant scientific challenges associated with Canada’s research priorities; and
  • Facilitate the transition of new researchers from trainees to productive employees in the Canadian workforce.

These innovative programs must include the acquisition and development of important professional skills among students and postdoctoral fellows that complement their qualifications and technical skills.

In addition, these programs should encourage the following as appropriate:

  • Student mobility, nationally or internationally, between individual universities and between universities and other sectors;
  • Interdisciplinary research within the natural sciences and engineering (NSE), or at the interface between the NSE and health, or the social sciences and humanities. However, the main focus of the training must still lie within the NSE;
  • Increased collaboration between industry and academia; and
  • For the industrial stream, an additional objective is to support improved job-readiness within the industrial sector by exposing participants to the specific challenges of this sector and training people with the skills identified by industry.

To build on Canada’s research strengths and priorities and to enhance our success, at least 60 percent of the CREATE funding will be directed to the following priority areas:

  • Environmental science and technologies;
  • Natural resources and energy;
  • Manufacturing; and
  • Information and communication technologies.

A complete description is available from the NSERC CREATE website (check for updates in March 2016)

Special Notes

International Collaboration – Germany

An agreement between NSERC and the German Research Foundation, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), has been established to ascertain a formal mechanism for supporting a bilateral training program that involves an exchange of students between Germany and Canada. See DFG for further information. Proposals will be evaluated through the agencies’ (NSERC and DFG) respective peer review processes. Both proposals must be accepted in order to move forward to the application phase. Please also see the CREATE program information for further guidelines.

International Collaboration – Brazil

NSERC has established an agreement with the Research Foundation for the State of São Paulo, la Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP), in Brazil to allow researchers in the state of São Paulo to access funding from FAPESP to collaborate with existing or potential Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) Program recipients in Canada. For more information, please refer to the detailed instructions. FAPEP funding is conditional on the success of the CREATE proposal. 


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

Internal Deadline

The Office of Research Services invites interested faculty to submit an OR-5 Form, and an NSERC CREATE LOI (PDF format, Form 187), excluding the letter of institutional support from the Vice-President Research, to Annette Clarke (acclarke@uoguelph.ca) by March 24 2016.

LOIs will be reviewed and adjudicated by Research Services Sub-Committee (RSSC). Institutional letters of support will be provided for those LOIs selected to be forwarded to NSERC. It is anticipated that RSSC will adjudicate LOIs in early April 2016; applicants will be notified of the adjudication results shortly thereafter.

Applicants MUST meet with their Assistant/Associate Dean Research to discuss college-level support and then meet with the Associate Vice-President Research Services (Dr. John Livernois) to discuss institutional support prior to the submission of their full LOI. LOIs are due to the Office of Research Services (research.services@uoguelph.ca) by April 25, 2016.

External Deadline

(next working day after May 1 - a Sunday)

Applicants must submit their final, complete LOI using NSERC’s online system by May 1, 2016. The Office of Research Services is not responsible for final submission to NSERC.

A complete LOI includes the following:

  • Form 187;
  • Form 100 for the applicant;
  • Letter from the applicant’s university Vice-President Research; and
  • For the industrial stream only, one letter or e-mail from the collaborating industry(ies) to the applicant, confirming its (their) willingness to participate in the program committee and to host internships for trainees.

How to Apply

Phase 1: Letter of Intent

The University of Guelph may forward up to six (6) Letters of Intent (LOIs).  The Vice-President Research or equivalent must write a letter that clearly confirms the applicant’s proposal is one of the proposals endorsed by the university as part of their quota of submissions, and should describe the university’s support and commitment for this new initiative.

Phase 2: Application

Only applicants successful at the LOI stage will be invited to submit an application.

For Questions, please contact


Office of Research

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

Alert Classifications
Funding Opportunities and Sponsor News

Health and Life Sciences
Information and Communications Technology
Physical Sciences and Engineering