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NSERC – Discovery Horizons Grants

Research Admin Offices:


Funding Type:


Opportunity Type:

  • Grant


  • Single applicant $50,000/year
  • Applicant and one co-applicant $75,000/year
  • Applicant and two or more co-applicants $100,000/year.

For the 2024 competition, NSERC is expecting to award approximately 10 to 20 grants.


  • Natural Sciences and Engineering



Internal Deadline:

May 26, 2023

Sponsor Deadline:

June 16, 2023

Additional Dates:

  • Internal - Intent to Apply - ASAP -
  • Internal - Draft LOI - May 26, 2023
  • Internal - Final LOI - June 12, 2023
  • Sponsor - Final LOI - June 16, 2023
  • Internal - Draft Applications - October 11, 2023
  • Sponor - Final Applications - October 26, 2023


Discovery Horizons grants support investigator-initiated individual and team projects that broadly integrate or transcend disciplines to advance knowledge in the natural sciences and engineering (NSE). Full applications submitted to this NSERC program will be reviewed by a tri-agency interdisciplinary peer review committee. In partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), NSERC is piloting this interdisciplinary peer review mechanism. The shared peer review committee will assess all full applications submitted to NSERC’s Discovery Horizons program, as well as relevant applications submitted to SSHRC’s Insight Grants and CIHR’s Project Grants programs.

The Discovery Horizons program provides NSERC’s entry-point to the tri-agency interdisciplinary peer-review mechanism. It supports Discovery research projects that would significantly benefit from being assessed by a tri-agency interdisciplinary peer review committee, and aims to:

  1. answer NSE research questions that are best addressed through interdisciplinary approaches.
  2. advance NSE disciplines through cross fertilization and new ways of thinking about research questions; ideas and frameworks; approaches and methods; platforms, tools, and infrastructure; people, partners, and trainees; and,
  3. provide leading-edge NSE training for highly qualified personnel (HQP) in interdisciplinary research environments.

In the context of this funding opportunity, the term “interdisciplinary” should be understood to fully encompass all research that connects, crosses, or falls in between the traditional disciplines of the three agencies, including transdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, convergence research and other approaches at the interface.

Additional Program Information:

Successful applicants during the LOI stage will be invited to submit a full application due to NSERC on October 18, 2023.

Additional Details


Both individuals and teams may apply to the Discovery Horizons program. The applicant and any co-applicants must all be eligible to hold NSERC funding. One person must be designated to administer the grant; this person is the “applicant” and is responsible for completing and submitting the full application on behalf of the team. While the research team is expected to have significant expertise in NSE research, not all members need to engage in research in the NSE. There are no requirements with respect to team size or composition. For more information, please visit NSERC’s eligibility requirements for faculty.

NEW for the 2024 competition: Individuals participating in a Discovery Horizons grant as an applicant or co-applicant cannot hold both a Discovery Grant and a Discovery Horizons grant. Individuals who plan on submitting a Discovery Grant NOI for the current competition may participate in a Discovery Horizons LOI as an applicant or co-applicant. However, they will need to choose which program they wish to pursue before proceeding to the full application stage, as a full application may be only submitted to one program.

Subject Matter Eligibility: An eligible proposal must meet both of the following criteria:

  1. Its primary objective must be to advance knowledge in the NSE.
  2. It must integrate or transcend disciplines in ways that would significantly benefit from peer review by a tri-agency interdisciplinary committee.

Research involving Indigenous Peoples and communities is particularly welcome in Discovery Horizons. Such research can be in any field or discipline, but it must be conducted by, grounded in or engaged with First Nations, Inuit, Métis and/or urban Indigenous communities, societies and/or individuals. The research must incorporate their wisdom, cultures, experiences and/or knowledge systems, as expressed in their dynamic forms, past and present. Furthermore, NSERC expects, when applicable, that research will involve the respectful and meaningful engagement of Indigenous Peoples in research activities.

The tri-agency peer review committee will assess projects submitted to all three federal granting agencies. Applications should be submitted to the agency that is responsible for the dominant research discipline(s) or area(s). For more information on subject matter eligibility, please see:

  1. Tri-agency interdisciplinary review committee.
  2. Selecting the appropriate federal granting agency.
  3. Addendum to the guidelines for the eligibility of applications related to health.

Successful applicants during the LOI stage will be invited to submit a full application due to NSERC on October 18, 2023.


For more information and to apply, contact: Ryan Heyden, Senior Advisor