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NSERC Discovery Grants – Notification of Intent (NOI)

Research Admin Offices:


Funding Type:


Opportunity Type:

  • Grant


  • Faculty of Engineering
  • Faculty of Science



Internal Deadline:

July 18, 2024

Sponsor Deadline:

August 1, 2024

Additional Dates:

  • NOI - ASAP -


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. The objectives of the Discovery Grants Program are to:

  • promote and maintain a diversified base of high-quality research capability in the natural sciences and engineering in Canadian universities;
  • foster research excellence; and
  • provide a stimulating environment for research training.

DGs are typically five (5) years in duration and 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.

Researchers interested in the Sub-atomic Physics Discovery Grants Program (individual and project) should contact ROADS for additional information and requirements.


Applicants to the Discovery Grants Program must apply with 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 intended objectives of the research program must be, primarily, to advance knowledge in the natural sciences or in engineering. If NSERC determines that the subject matter is outside of its mandate at any time during the review cycle, the application will be rejected. 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.

Application/Nomination Process:

Before Submitting an NOI

NSERC has released a memo to all potential applicants for the 2025 competition:

If you currently hold a Discovery Grant, you are encouraged to verify the balance of your account. If the available funds are sufficient to cover anticipated expenditures through the next fiscal year, you can request a deferral of instalment or take advantage of the automatic, no-cost one-year extension to use the accumulated funds prior to submitting a new request for funding. Note that postponing an application does not adversely affect the review of your next application but, rather demonstrates good fiscal management of the funds and allows you to reorganize your activities and postpone the submission of a new application by one year. It also provides the opportunity for the agency to fund other researchers with more urgent needs.

If you currently hold a Discovery Grant and have taken maternity, parental, medical or family medical leave during the grant period, you may request an extension of the term of the current grant, and in certain cases additional funds, for a period of up to two years. Learn more on the Family and medical leave web page.

Current DG holders may be eligible for a COVID-19 Extension with funds. Eligible active grants are those that received a payment or had a planned payment in the 2020–21 fiscal year (April 1, 2020–March 31, 2021) when the Discovery Grants one-year extension with funds due to COVID-19 initiative was launched. Eligible grant holders will be notified in June.

Active grants held by ECRs may also be eligible for an ECR extension with funds. Grant recipients who are eligible to begin their early career researcher’s extension with funds will be offered and asked to accept that one-time funded extension before being offered the Discovery Grants one-time one-year extension with funds due to COVID-19 the following year.


Additional Details.


For more information and how to apply, contact Ryan Heyden, Senior Advisor, ROADS.