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NSERC Alliance COVID-19 grants (Apply ASAP)

Research Admin Offices:

  • MILO

Funding Type:



You can request up to $50,000 from NSERC. Cash contributions from partner organizations are not required. If you are not yet sure how the funds will be used for this project, you can enter “Other” in the Proposed Expenditures. In order to quickly advance the research objectives, participation of trainees is encouraged, yet optional, in these grants.

Collaborating outside the natural sciences and engineering: Developing applications or policies based on your research results may require socio-economic and other expertise in addition to scientific understanding. You are encouraged to collaborate with academic researchers in fields other than the natural sciences and engineering. Such researchers may serve as co-applicants for these grants. Research costs for these collaborations must be identified in the project budget, up to a maximum of 30% of the cost-shared project costs.


  • Health Sciences
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering



Internal Deadline:

June 1, 2020

Sponsor Deadline:

June 1, 2020


NSERC supports over 11,000 world-class researchers across Canada, and we fund their research collaborations with over 4,000 companies.  In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, NSERC is leveraging the expertise of researchers in natural science and engineering and their partners across Canada to address this unprecedented crisis.

NSERC is providing up to $15 million in total support to stimulate collaborations between academic researchers and the public and not-for-profit sectors, and industry to address pandemic-related research and technical challenges. Support for up to $50,000 for one-year projects is being made available immediately.

NSERC will process these applications in an accelerated fashion. Partners do not need to provide cash contributions to participate, but must be engaged throughout the research process, from input in design to using the expertise and/or the research results.


The objectives of the NSERC Alliance COVID-19 grants are to:

  • accelerate the flow and exchange of research results and research expertise in the natural sciences and engineering sectors between academic researchers and public, not for profit and industry partners by supporting these organizations as they face challenges in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • support research and analysis activities that address partner organization questions or issues in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to applications in the short term.

Making connections

Industry, not-for-profit or public sector organizations that have a challenge or question that could benefit from research expertise in the natural sciences and engineering disciplines can submit their challenge or question to NSERC, and we will communicate them publicly to the academic community. Please complete the survey to submit your challenges or questions.

Research topics

Science, technology and engineering topics within NSERC’s mandate, directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic, are appropriate for these applications. Teams can be multidisciplinary, however the major focus should not be medical or clinical research (see the Addendum to the guidelines for the eligibility of applications related to health for more details). Examples of eligible projects include, but are not limited to:

  • computational modeling and simulation for improved understanding of viral populations and of viral evolution;
  • new technologies relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic; • better understanding of viral persistence in the environment;
  • design and engineering expertise in advanced manufacturing of COVID-19-relevant equipment and supplies.

Applicants and the partner organizations must consider the unique present circumstances when planning their work (e.g., access to the institution vs. working remotely, respecting physical distancing, etc.).

Applicants and partners commit to sharing progress and results with relevant government organizations. In line with NSERC’s Policy on Intellectual Property, this call requires the utilization of results of research for the benefit of Canada and Canadians, and the publication of research results in the open literature.

Application/Nomination Process:

If you are a Canadian university researcher who is eligible to receive NSERC funds, you can apply on your own or as a team with co-applicants who are also eligible academic researchers.


You must have at least one partner organization (in the private, public or not-for-profit sector) who will be engaged throughout the research process and that can utilize the expertise or the research results from the project. These are partner organizations whose contributions would normally be recognized for NSERC cost-sharing in the project, even if the partner is not providing funding in this particular COVID-19 focused application.  Consult the Role of Partner Organizations for types of partner organizations whose contributions can and cannot be recognized in NSERC cost-sharing.

You may also include other partner organizations who play an important role in your project.



For support, please contact Ross Huyskamp, MILO.