Read the grant description in the Program Guide for Professors before you complete the application.
The applicant must complete the application and include all required documentation using the On-line System. In addition, the Personal Data Form (Form 100) must be completed by applicants and co-applicants and linked to the application form.
You are responsible for submitting a complete application that conforms to the presentation standards established by NSERC. Incomplete applications and applications that do not meet the presentation standards may be rejected, or be at a disadvantage, in comparison with those that are complete and respect the presentation standards. Where page limits are stated, pages in excess of the number permitted will be removed.
For more information, read the NSERC On-line Presentation and Attachment Standards.
Your application must be received at your institution’s research grants office by their internal deadline date; contact your research grants office for those deadlines.
For programs with deadlines, the application must be received at NSERC by by 8:00 p.m. (Eastern time) on the deadline date. If it is not received by the deadline, it will be considered late and will be rejected. Application deadlines are indicated in each of the program descriptions, as well as on the Application Deadlines and Notification of Decision page.
Material or updates received under separate cover (before or after the deadline date) will not be accepted.
The collection, use and disclosure of personal information provided to NSERC are outlined in the following policy statements:
The information you provide in your application is collected under the authority of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Act. NSERC is subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. The information you provide is stored in a series of NSERC data banks described in Info Source Publications.
The person submitting an Industrial Research Chair (IRC) proposal [the "applicant" on an Application for a Grant (Form 101)] must hold a senior administrative position in the university (such as department head, dean, vice-president or president), with direct or ultimate management responsibility for the proposed Chairholder. The applicant cannot be the Chair candidate or, for a renewal application, the current Chairholder. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact NSERC staff before submitting a proposal.
Note: Due to the structure of the On-line System, the applicant's Personal Data Form (Form 100) has to be completed and linked to the application. This step is required to electronically submit the finalized application; however, it will not be used in the evaluation process.
See the instructions for completing Form 183A.
It is very important that the letters from the supporting organizations address the points outlined in the instructions for Form 183A.
Title of industrial research chair
The title of the Industrial Research Chair will be used for publication purposes and must adhere to a specific format. The convention to be followed for the title of the Industrial Research Chair is as follows:
NSERC/Supporting Org 1/Supporting Org 2/etc. Industrial Research Chair in “Research Subject”
The title must begin with the word “NSERC,” and may contain the names of other supporting organizations, if appropriate (see Notes below). “NSERC” and each of the names of the supporting organizations must be separated by a forward slash (/). For instance, NSERC/Nortel. In the event that there are multiple supporting organizations, the organization names must each be separated by a forward slash. For instance, NSERC/Bell/Nortel.
“NSERC” and the names of the supporting organizations must be followed by “Industrial Research Chair in” and the subject of the research program to be established. Scientific symbols or acronyms in the title must be spelled out.
The following are examples of valid titles:
NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Solidification and Metallurgy of Aluminum Alloys
NSERC/Pitney Bowes Industrial Research Chair in Cryptography
NSERC/iCORE/TELUS Industrial Research Chair in Wireless Internet Traffic Modeling
Enter the name and type of Chair applied for (Senior, Associate, or Executive) of each Chair candidate.
Universities may nominate more than one Chair candidate jointly in one application if their field of research is related, complementary and part of the same proposed program of research. However, each Chair candidate in a joint application will be assessed to the same standards of excellence and self-reliance as if nominated individually.
Enter the time devoted by each Chair Candidate (in hours per month) to the proposed research/activity.
Note that the applicant must give each Chair candidate access to the application via the Access Manager page, in order to allow the candidates to attach their Form(s) 100 to the application.
Collaborators are expected to contribute to the overall intellectual direction of the research project or program of research and to bring their own resources to the collaboration. Collaborators will not have access to the grant funds and must be qualified to undertake research independently. Examples of collaborators are: government scientists, academic researchers, company staff members or research scientists.
Research subject codes
Consult the NSERC Code Tables. All applicants are required to select a primary research code.
Area of application codes
Consult the NSERC Code Tables. All applicants are required to select a primary area of application code from the list of Area of Application Codes.
Provide a maximum of 10 key words that describe the proposal.
Before completing this page, consult the Policies and Guidelines of the Program Guide for Professors concerning the requirements for certain types of research.
Research involving humans: If you select Yes, you must provide your institution's administration with the appropriate certification indicating that research involving humans has been reviewed and has received the required approval.
Research involving human pluripotent stem cells: If you select Yes, or if through peer review the application is found to fall into this category and is recommended for funding, it will be forwarded, with your consent, to the Stem Cell Oversight Committee (SCOC) to ensure compliance with Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Research: Guidelines for CIHR-Funded Research. The SCOC review is in addition to the normal review by local Research Ethics Boards (REBs). Funding will not be released until approval has been obtained from the SCOC.
Research involving the use of animals: If you select Yes, you must provide your institution's administration with the certification from the animal care committee at the institution that the experimental procedures proposed have been approved and that the care and treatment of animals is in accordance with the principles outlined in the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) guide.
Research involving hazardous substances: If you select Yes, you must provide your institution's administration with the certification from the biosafety committee at the institution that the laboratory procedures being used comply with the safety precautions necessary for the level of containment required by the research.
Environmental impact: The Environmental Information Form (Appendix A) may be required. For more information, consult NSERC’s Guidelines on Environmental Review and Assessment.
For supporting organizations (such as an industrial partner or a government department), enter information about the authorized representative(s).
If the application is being submitted in paper format, a signature must be provided by each authorized representative of the supporting organization (such as an industrial partner or a government department).
The applicant must ensure that the co-applicants from other institutions obtain the appropriate signature from the authorized officer of their organization prior to submitting the application to NSERC (see Signatures requirements within this document).
The summary is intended to explain the proposal in language that the public can understand.
Using simple terms, briefly describe the nature of the work to be done. Indicate why and to whom the research is important, the anticipated outcomes and how your field and Canada will benefit.
If you wish, you may also provide a summary in the other official language in the text box identified for that purpose.
For each proposed candidate, separately list the activities/steps required to achieve the objectives for each year of the grant.
Indicate the start and end dates for the activities leading to the milestones, as well as the major results expected.
Before completing this page, read the instructions and consult the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide for information about the eligibility of expenditures for the direct costs of research and the regulations governing the use of grant funds.
The overall support (combined salary and research portions) to the Chair budget by the eligible industry partner(s) must equal or exceed the amount requested from NSERC. The NSERC versus industry funding distribution between the salary and research components may vary. The NSERC manager responsible for your grant will assist in establishing the ratios upon releasing the funds, if successfully awarded.
For each proposed Chairholder, list the following for each year of the grant:
When using the On-line System to complete the form, the Consolidated Budget page and the Sum Total page will be automatically generated with the information you have already entered.
For paper submissions, complete these pages only after having completed the Contributions from Supporting Organizations section.
Use additional pages to explain and justify for each proposed Chair the need for each item listed in the research program costs.
Provide sufficient information to allow reviewers to assess whether the resources requested are appropriate.
Salaries and benefits
Give the categories of employment and proposed salaries (including non-discretionary benefits) of students, postdoctoral fellows, research staff, and the project manager. Describe the roles of any undergraduate or graduate students, or postdoctoral fellows who will be participating in the program. The majority of the salary support for the direct costs of the IRC research should be directed to students and postdoctoral fellows who will be trained within the program and then graduate or move on.
If applicable, any additional salary requests for support staff specifically required to help achieve the research outcomes (research associates/assistants, technicians, project manager, or other professional staff) must be clearly justified and their roles explained. It is expected that the number of support staff should be in a clear minority in comparison to the students and postdoctoral fellows mentioned above.
Note: Industrial partner staff salaries are not an eligible program cost.
Equipment or facility
Give a breakdown of the items requested. Provide details on models, manufacturers, prices and applicable taxes. Justify the need for each item requested.
Fees to be paid for the use of equipment or a facility should be described (e.g., hours and rate).
Note: Equipment purchases from the industrial partner are not an eligible program cost.
Materials and supplies
Provide details and explain major items.
Explain briefly how each activity relates to the proposed research.
Provide details of publication costs, user workshops or other activities.
List all items not relevant to previous categories, and provide a brief explanation for major items.
For the Industrial Research Chair grants, the total eligible industrial commitment in any five-year term must be at least equal to NSERC's commitment during the same period. Only in exceptional cases will NSERC consider leveraging "cash equivalent" in-kind contributions, if such support is deemed essential to the project. To be considered “cash equivalent”, this contribution, in the form of goods or services, must represent an incremental expense that the supporting organization would not incur outside of the Chair program, and would have to be purchased with grant funds if not donated. (Please consult NSERC staff to determine whether “cash equivalent” in-kind contributions by an industrial partner may be considered for NSERC leveraging). Note that eligible cash contributions from supporting organizations must be deposited in a university grant account.
List all contributions from organizations that are eligible for matching funding, and from other supporting organizations that are not eligible for matching funding by NSERC.
For each supporting organization:
Form 183A, Letter of Support and Impact Questionnaire (and attachments, as required)
See the instructions for completing Form 183A.
A completed Form 183A, letter of support and any other required documents must be attached for each organization participating in a research project. Either the applicant or the supporting organization must complete all applicable pages of the form and provide the required documents.
To allow a supporting organization the ability to link a Form 183A to your application, use the Access Manager page of Form 101. For details on how to use this function, refer to the Access Manager instructions.
For applicants who are filling out Form 183A on behalf of the participating organization use the Link Manager page of Form 183A to link to your application. For details on how to use this function, refer to the Link Manager instructions.
If you are submitting your application in paper format and the supporting organization(s) is filling out Form 183A, you must request paper copies of the form, letter of support and any other attachments required. The PDF version of Form 183A is available on the NSERC website. To access the PDF form, go to the On-line Services page and select PDF Forms and Instructions. In the For Industry heading, select Form 183A – Orgs Info. for RPP from the Forms drop-down list.
"Cash equivalent" in-kind contributions to direct costs of research
Explain the rationale for including this contribution as a "cash equivalent" in-kind contribution. Justify the value of each item. Clearly show that this contribution represents an incremental expense that the supporting organization would not incur outside of the Chair's research program.
Other in-kind contributions
Justify the value of each item. Clearly indicate how this contribution will enhance the overall quality of the program.
Provide two recent quotations for items or systems costing more than $25,000 before taxes. Provide justification if two quotations are not available.
Note: For upload purposes, all the quotations must be saved into a single PDF document.
Any relationship and/or overlap, conceptual or financial, with work supported by NSERC or other funding sources must be explained.
Applicants must provide clear and concise information on the conceptual and budgetary relationship or difference between this application and all other support (currently held or applied for) by the Chair candidate.
They must also explain perceived duplication in funding or, if applicable, indicate how the NSERC application complements research funded by other sources.
The onus is on the Chair candidate/Chairholder to provide sufficient information to enable the reviewers to evaluate the relationship with other sources of support and to recommend the appropriate NSERC funding level. The consequence of not providing adequate information to assess the relationship to other research support is that the reviewers may recommend reduced or no funding.
Discuss plans for the protection and disposition of intellectual property arising from the grant. Outline the broad terms of the agreement between supporting organizations and academic institutions on the rights to exploit the research results, and on the freedom to publish. (See the Policy on Intellectual Property in the Program Guide for Professors).
If available, include a copy of the research or intellectual property agreement that exists between the academic institution and any supporting organizations (see Policy on Intellectual Property in the Program Guide for Professors).
An application will be accepted even if a signed copy of the Intellectual Property Agreement between the industrial supporting organization and the university is not available at the time of submission (the Agreement can be sent as a follow-up). However, if the grant is awarded, a signed Agreement must be provided to NSERC for review before funds can be released. Such agreements are considered confidential and are not made available to peer reviewers.
Refer to the description of the Industrial Research Chair (IRC) Selection Criteria in the Program Guide for Professors for a list of criteria that will be used to evaluate the application.
Note that there are two sections to this document: the first section must be completed by the university; and the second must be completed by each Chair candidate.
Section I: Proposal for establishing a Chair (to be prepared by the university)
Using the headings below and, in a maximum of six single-sided pages, discuss the following topics and any other aspects pertinent to the evaluation of the proposal:
Chair rationale: Discuss the rationale for establishing the proposed Chair(s); the motivation of the university and the industry to join forces; their long-term commitment to the area of research; and their respective expectations.
Description of position: Describe the nature of the position(s) to be created; the candidate(s)' qualifications; background and personal qualities; and how these match the requirements of the position. Indicate each Chairholder's anticipated tenure status, appointment level, and teaching and administrative responsibilities.
Research capacity: Describe the present research capacity (personnel and facilities) and how this capacity is expected to change over the term of the Chair. List the research facilities, infrastructure and cash support the university will provide to the research program.
Incrementality: Describe the plans to create a new tenure or tenure track position and its relationship to the Chair program of research.
Use of released funds: If a proposed Chairholder is an internal candidate, explain how the university will use released salary funds to strengthen the area of research of the Chair by hiring the incremental position described above and reinvesting in the research program.
Anticipated impact: Indicate how the scientific quality and industrial relevance of the university research activity will be enhanced by the creation of the new position(s). Describe the expectations for interaction with other individuals/departments/disciplines, and the impact on the university's training capacity.
Section II: Detailed research proposal (to be prepared by the Chair candidate[s])
Using the headings below, and in a recommended length of 15 single-sided pages (not including literature references), describe the research proposed. For multi-candidate proposals, parts of this section will be written jointly, and others will be written separately by each candidate, as appropriate.
Synopsis: Provide a concise overview of the scientific or technical objectives, approach, and the new knowledge, expertise, or technology that could be transferred to Canadian industry. Indicate the benefits expected to accrue to Canadian industry, the academic institution, and to the scientific or engineering discipline.
Background: Relate the proposed research to the current state of scientific, technical, and commercial developments in the field, with references to the current literature and prevailing conditions. Describe the past accomplishments upon which the new program will be built.
Proposed research: Describe in detail the research program to be undertaken. Outline the scientific, technical, or strategic areas encompassed, and the research problems or technical complexities involved. Discuss the hypotheses and methodologies proposed for their elucidation or resolution. Emphasize the innovative approaches to be taken, and/or novel results to be obtained.
Also describe the major results and accomplishments expected at key points in the five years of the Chair and relate this to the milestone schedule from the Activity Schedule.
Proposed collaborations: Describe anticipated collaborations with academic colleagues and how these will enhance the capacity to meet the objectives of the Chair. Show how their various contributions will be integrated. Where relevant, outline very briefly the collaborators' complementary research programs.
Similarly, describe the expected interactions of the Chair with and the effect on the supporting organization(s) and the broader industrial community.
Research management: Describe the organizational and management structures planned for:
Training of highly qualified personnel: Describe the significance of the opportunities the Chair offers for advanced training, or other relevant experience, for students, postdoctoral fellows, or supporting organizations' R&D staff, in the area proposed for the Chair. Students and postdoctoral fellows are expected to enhance their skills through interactions with the industrial partner(s) such as attendance at planning meetings and active participation in activities like R&D, manufacturing, regulation, intellectual property (IP) and commercialization. Describe the nature of the proposed interactions where appropriate.
Value of the research results and benefits to Canada: Describe the anticipated value of the research results, highlighting the relevance of the scientific or technical advances; or the innovative techniques, processes or products that will be developed. Demonstrate how the outcome will address a current or future industrial need and the potential impact, within a reasonable time, on Canada's economy and industry.
Three letters of reference, for each proposed candidate, must be sent directly to NSERC. These letters must be provided by experts who are external to the host university and sponsoring organization(s) and who can attest to the stature and scientific reputation of the candidates. Authors of these letters should be sufficiently at arm’s length from the candidate to provide an objective assessment.
For Senior Chair candidates, at least one of these letters must come from experts outside of Canada. These letters should emphasize the international stature of the candidate, the impact of his/her research and the value of his/her publication and training records.
For Associate Chair candidates, the three letters must be from experts in the field who are not affiliated with the host institution. Letters in support of Associate Chair applications should discuss the capacity of the candidate to conduct significant independent research activity, the impact of their research and how they demonstrate exceptional promise relative to their peers in their field of research.
For Executive Chair candidates, it is recommended that at least one of these letters come from experts outside of Canada. These letters should emphasize the candidate’s substantial industrial and research experience, their leadership of research programs and the value of their contributions to the field where relevant.
For each Chair candidate, list the name and the organization and country of each of the three persons who will be providing letters of reference.
Format of letters of referenceExperts should be informed that the letters of reference they send directly to NSERC must be on letterhead, be dated and signed and include:
An Environmental Information Form (Appendix A) must be completed and uploaded to the Environmental impact page if required.
Suggest the names of seven people competent to assess the technical aspects of the proposal. This list should include experts from the academic community and the government sector, and must include at least one expert from the industrial sector. As appropriate, also include people competent to assess the research aspects outside the natural sciences and engineering.
Give the name, complete mailing address, telephone and facsimile numbers, email address and the area(s) of expertise of potential external reviewers (referees).
External reviewers (referees) should be able to review the proposal in the language in which it is written.
You may also request, in a cover letter, that some individuals or companies not be involved in the review of your application. Your request will be taken into account by NSERC.
Suggested external reviewers (referees) should not be in a conflict of interest. Refer to the Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policy of the Federal Research Funding Organizations for more information. In addition, reviewers must sign the Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Agreement for Review Committee Members, External Reviewers, and Observers before they access the application material.
If you need to provide other documents, such as a collaborator's curriculum vitae (C.V.), give a brief description of the document and indicate whether you will be submitting it as an attached file or as a paper copy.
The cover letter is optional and should only be used if you wish to provide NSERC with additional information that will not be shared with external reviewers, such as a request that an individual or group of individuals not be involved in the review of your proposal. NSERC will take such a request into consideration. The cover letter must contain your name, the NSERC grant to which you are applying and the title of your application.
Note: This letter may be accessible to these individuals under the Privacy Act.
NSERC does not require original signatures on applications or other documents submitted electronically through its On-line System. The electronic submission of applications through this system represents approval and replaces the traditional "physical" or "wet" signatures. Refer to the Frequently Asked Questions in the Program Guide for Professors for more details.
Before you, as an applicant or co-applicant, can submit your application to NSERC or link your Personal Data Form to an application, you must read and agree to the Terms and Conditions of Applying that appear in a pop-up window during the submission process. It is your responsibility to retain a copy of the agreed Terms and Conditions for your records.
If you are both the applicant or co-applicant and a principal of a collaborating organization, another senior official must sign on behalf of the organization.
Use the following list to make sure your application is complete.