Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council

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The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Conseil de recherches en sciences naturelles et en génie du Canada
Nserc logo.png
NSERC header.png
Agency overview
Formed May 1, 1978
Jurisdiction Government of Canada
Headquarters Ottawa, Ontario
Annual budget CAD$ 1.1 billion (2015)[1]
Minister responsible

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) is a Canadian government agency that provides grants for research in the natural sciences and in engineering.

NSERC supports postsecondary students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. The agency promotes discovery by funding postsecondary professors and students and fosters innovation by encouraging Canadian companies to participate and invest in postsecondary research and training.[2]


NSERC came into existence on May 1, 1978. University-based research had previously been supported through the National Research Council. It is a separate employer of the Government of Canada and reports to Parliament through the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. It is governed by a Council composed of the president and up to 18 members appointed from the private and public sectors.[3] On June 17, 2014, B. Mario Pinto was appointed President of NSERC, effective fall 2014.[4]

Types of grants[edit]


NSERC offers research grants for a wide range of programs and projects, covering every discipline of the natural sciences and engineering. Some of its most popular grants include:[5]

  • Discovery Grants Program
    NSERC’s flagship grant program. Discovery Grants support ongoing programs of research. These grants recognize the creativity and innovation that are at the heart of all advances in research, whether made individually or in teams. Researchers are free to work in the mode most appropriate for the research area.
  • Discovery Accelerator Supplements Program
  • Collaborative Health Research Projects Program
  • Collaborative Research and Training Experience Program
  • Research Tools and Instruments Grants Program

Students and Fellows[edit]

NSERC offers scholarships and fellowships for every stage of study, from undergraduate to postdoctoral. Some examples are:[6]

  • Undergraduate Student Research Awards
  • Canada Graduate Scholarships
  • Industrial Postgraduate Scholarships
  • Postgraduate Scholarships – Master’s and Doctoral
  • Postdoctoral Fellowships
  • Industrial R&D Fellowships Program

Institutions and Colleges[edit]

Grants for Colleges:

The College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program offers six types of grants:

  • Applied Research and Development (ARD) Grants
  • Applied Research Tools and Instruments (ARTI) Grants
  • College-University Idea to Innovation (CU-I2I) Grants
  • Innovation Enhancement (IE) Grants (Formerly CCI grants)
  • Industrial Research Chairs for Colleges (IRCC) Grants
  • Technology Access Centres (TAC) Grants


Grants for College Researchers:

  • Idea to Innovation (I2I) Program
  • Interaction Grants


Partnership programs[edit]

NSERC has Research Partnerships Programs to help foster collaborations between university researchers, colleges and other sectors (including government and industry) to develop new knowledge and expertise, transfer it to Canadian-based organizations and meet the objectives of the Government of Canada’s Science & Technology Strategy, including:[9]

  • Collaborative Research and Development Grants
  • Interaction Grants
  • Engage Grants
  • Industrial Research Chairs Program
  • Strategic Network Grants
  • Strategic Project Grants


NSERC celebrates exceptional examples of research excellence with a wide range of prizes. Individual awards focus on accomplishments that range from innovative discoveries by young researchers to lifetime achievement and influence. These include:[10]

  • Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering
  • Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Engineering
  • Synergy Awards for Innovation
  • E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowships
  • Howard Alper Postdoctoral Prize
  • NSERC André Hamer Postgraduate Prizes
  • NSERC Doctoral Prizes
  • NSERC Gilles Brassard Doctoral Prize for Interdisciplinary Research
  • NSERC Awards for Science Promotion

See also[edit]


External links[edit]