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Instructions for Completing the Notification of Intent to Apply for a Discovery Grant

Grants Programs

General Information

About the Program

Read the program description in the Program Guide for Professors before you complete the application.

Am I Eligible to Apply?

Consult the Eligibility Criteria – For Faculty to ensure that you can participate in this grant program as an applicant. NSERC verifies the eligibility of researchers only at the full application stage; however, it is important that you consult the eligibility criteria now and discuss any concerns with your institution’s research office.

Application Deadlines

Your Notification of Intent to Apply (NOI) must be received at NSERC by 8:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on the deadline date. A late NOI will not be accepted. Updates to a submitted NOI before or after the deadline date will not be accepted.

Whom should I contact for help?

Collection and Use of Personal Information

The information you provide in your application is collected under the authority of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Act and stored in a series of NSERC data banks described in This link will take you to another Web site Info Source. Details on the use and disclosure of this information are described in Use and Disclosure of Personal Information Provided to NSERC, in the NSERC program literature and below. The information is used in accordance with the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.

Completing the NOI

You must complete the NOI using the Research Portal. You must also complete a This link will take you to another Web site Canadian Common CV (CCV) to link to the NOI. Refer to the Resource Video for a demo.

Create an Application

  1. Sign in to the Research Portal.
  2. Select Create Application.
  3. Select the Funding Opportunity under “Stage: NOI” and select Create
  4. Under Applications, Open the NOI.
  5. Select Edit to complete the different sections.

Identification

Application

Application Title - The title must be short and descriptive. It may be used for publication purposes. Restrict use of abbreviated forms (e.g., DNA, NATO, etc.), and avoid company or trade names.

Language of the Application - Indicate the language in which the application will be submitted.

Suggested Evaluation Group - You must select the Evaluation Group you consider most appropriate to review your application. Refer to the list of research topics covered by each Evaluation Group. NSERC reserves the right to make the final evaluation group assignment.

Administering Organization

Organization - Select the organization that will administer the grant.

Department – If your department is not in the list, select Head Office.

Activity Details

Proposed Research Topic(s)

The first research topic must be within the Evaluation Group you have suggested. You may select, in order of relevance, up to four additional research topics as required. Refer to the examples of the research evaluated within each group.

Key Words

Provide up to 10 key words that best describe this proposal.

Summary of Proposal

The summary of proposal must not exceed 5,000 characters. It should:

  • state the objectives of the proposed research program;
  • summarize the scientific approach; and
  • highlight the novelty and expected significance of the work to a field(s) in the natural sciences and engineering.

Note: Should your proposed research program change substantially from the time you submit your NOI to the time you submit your application, please contact the program officer responsible for the Evaluation Group you have selected.

External Reviewer Suggestions

Provide five external reviewers who can provide an independent assessment of your application and who are not in a conflict of interest. External reviewers should be capable of reviewing your application in the language in which it is written. Reviewers may be from universities, government or industry, as appropriate. Applicants must not contact suggested external reviewers in advance. When providing suggested external reviewers, applicants should note that NSERC will not select more than one external reviewer from the same institution or department, nor will it select members currently serving on an NSERC Evaluation Group.

Conflict of interest guidelines

A conflict of interest may be deemed to exist, or perceived as such, when external reviewers:

  • are a relative or close friend, or have a personal relationship with the applicant;
  • are in a position to gain or lose financially/materially from the funding of the application;
  • have had long-standing scientific or personal differences with the applicant;
  • are currently affiliated with the applicant’s institutions, organizations or companies—including research hospitals and research institutes;
  • are closely professionally affiliated with the applicant, as a result of having in the last six years:
    • frequent and regular interactions with the applicant in the course of their duties at their department, institution, organization or company;
    • been a supervisor or a trainee of the applicant;
    • collaborated, published or shared funding with the applicant, or have plans to do so in the immediate future; or
    • been employed by the institution, when an institution is the applicant; and/or
    • feel for any reason unable to provide an impartial review of the application

NSERC reserves the right to resolve areas of uncertainty and to determine if a conflict exists. For more information on conflict of interest, refer to the This link will take you to another Web site Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policy of the Federal Research Funding Organizations.

Reviewer Exclusion

You may request that some researchers, organizations or large collaborations not be involved in the review of your application. Note that this request may be accessible under the Privacy Act.

Note that the exclusion type “Collaboration” refers to large research groups that work on specific projects.

Uploading your NSERC CCV

In the Application Overview page, select Attach. Enter your CCV confirmation number and select Upload. (Refer to the NSERC CCV instructions for information on how to obtain your CCV confirmation number.)

You may update your CCV at the full application stage.

Important Note: Preview your CCV in the Research Portal before submitting your NOI and ensure that the file has been uploaded correctly.

Submitting the NOI

Review your NOI and CCV before submitting. 

Submit the NOI from the Application Overview. The Submit button will be displayed once you have validated all the pages of your application.

Return to the home page to view the status of your submission; the status will be Received by Agency.

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