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Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) maintains a number of recurring granting programs. Please visit our Funding Deadlines Calendar for information on current competitions and internal submission processes.


Discovery Grants : Promote and maintain a diversified base of high-quality research capability in Canadian universities, as well as provide a stimulating environment for research training. The annual fall Discovery Grant competition is the largest research funding competition in Canada.

Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) : Provides funding to university researchers for the acquisition of research tools and instruments. As this competition is quota based, there is an internal faculty election of applications to go forward in each competition. Details are announced each summer.

Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) supports the training of teams of highly qualified students and postdoctoral fellows from Canadian and abroad through the development of innovative training programs that encourage collaborative and integrative approaches and address significant scientific challenges of priority for Canada. Contact the Institutional Programs Division of Research Services.


NSERC offers a suite of programs that foster collaborations between university researchers, colleges, and other sectors, including government and industry, in order to develop new knowledge and expertise, and transfer it to Canadian-based organizations.

Strategic Partnerships Grants fund research that falls within NSERC’s Strategic Target Areas.

Strategic Partnership Grants for Projects : Fund one- to three-year projects with long-term outcomes of benefit to Canada, in collaboration with government or industry partners.

Strategic Partnership Grants for Networks : Fund large-scale, complex research proposals that involve multi-sectoral collaborations in targeted areas with long-term outcomes of benefit to Canada (contact the Institutional Programs Division of Research Services).

Industry-driven programs

Support research performed in collaboration with industry for the purpose of addressing industry research problems and disseminating knowledge to industry for the benefit of Canada. NSERC offers a suite of programs for each phase in an industry partnership.

Connect Grants : Provide targeted financial support to encourage post-secondary researchers at universities and/or colleges to connect with industry and other knowledge end-user communities in order to form new partnerships.

Engage Grants : Provide funding for six months to address an industry partner’s research problem. Industry cash contributions are not required. Engage Plus grants extend or follow up an Engage Grant with matching funds from the industry partner.

Collaborative Research and Development Grants: Support well-defined projects and match industry funds at a ratio of up to 2:1 for projects of any size and up to five years in duration.

Industrial Research Chairs : Prestigious appointments that fund a five-year research program led by an outstanding researcher in collaboration with one or more industry partners. A parallel Strategic or Industrial Chair may be obtained through Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures. These complex institutional applications are submitted by the University of Calgary. Qualified researchers with firm industry support should contact their Dean to initiate a formal application.



For Industry Collaborations:

For more information on NSERC please contact:

Morgan Alkin│Senior Research Grants Officer

Grants and Awards Division | Research Services | University of Calgary

Phone: 403.220.3016│Fax: 403.289.0693│ E-mail: