NSERC Discovery Grant Program
Research Admin Offices:
- Natural Sciences and Engineering
Internal Deadline:July 20, 2020
Sponsor Deadline:August 1, 2020
he Discovery Grants Program assists in:
- promoting and maintaining a diversified base of high-quality research capability in the natural sciences and engineering in Canadian universities;
- fostering research excellence;
- providing a stimulating environment for research training.
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. Discovery Grants are considered “grants in aid” of research, as they provide long term operating funds and can facilitate access to funding from other programs, but are not meant to support the full costs of a research program.
Recipients of Discovery Grants are not restricted to the specific activities described in their applications, and 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.
Applicants are encouraged to increase the inclusion and advancement of women and other under-represented groups in the natural sciences and engineering, as one means to enhance excellence in research and training. Applicants should refer to the Discovery Grants application instructions and the Guide for Applicants: Considering equity, diversity and inclusion in your application.
Discovery Grants are awarded to individual researchers, normally for five years. Researchers can apply for and hold only one Discovery Grant at a time. Researchers who hold a Discovery Grant cannot reapply for another Discovery Grant until the last year of their current award.
Applicants to the Discovery Grants program must meet the NSERC – Eligibility Criteria for Faculty.
Subject matter eligibility and funding from other sources
Applicants to the Discovery Grants Program must present a program of research that is eligible under NSERC’s mandate, which is to promote and assist research in the natural sciences and engineering, other than health. The objectives of the research program must be to advance knowledge in the natural sciences or in engineering. The application will be rejected if NSERC determines, at any time during the review cycle, that the subject matter is outside of its mandate. Refer to Selecting the Appropriate Federal Granting Agency, the Addendum to the guidelines for the eligibility of applications related to health, the Peer Review Manual, and NSERC Discovery Grants Process for Decisions on Mandate Eligibility for further information on the eligibility of subject matter.
Applicants to the Discovery Grants program must present a program of research that is conceptually distinct from research supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) or the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).
NSERC encourages researchers to obtain funds from other sources to support the full costs of the research program presented in their Discovery Grant application, as long as the funding source is not CIHR or SSHRC and the funds cover different expenses than the ones proposed in the Discovery Grant application.
Applicants to the Discovery Grant Program are categorized as either Early Career Researchers or Established Researchers. Refer to the Discovery Grants – Applicant Categories for more information. Applicant categorization is the responsibility of NSERC staff and is based on the information provided by the applicant in the CCV and application.
To apply for a Discovery Grant, applicants must first submit a Notification of Intent to Apply (NOI) by the deadline date. The NOI is a mandatory step in the application process. It allows NSERC to start the review process (e.g., preliminary assignment to an Evaluation Group (EG), selection of appropriate external reviewers and verification of the eligibility of the subject matter). Applicants must then complete and submit the Application by the deadline date.
Applicants are required to complete and submit the NSERC version of the Canadian Common CV (CCV) at the NOI and Application stages for this program. The CCV can be updated following the submission with the NOI, prior to submission with the full application.
For support, please contact, Nathan Coschi, Senior Advisor, ROADS.