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Discovery Grant - Northern Research Supplement

Instructions for Completing an Application – Form 101

General Information

About the Program

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

Who Completes the Application?

The applicant must complete an Application for a Grant (Form 101) and include all required documentation using the On-line System. In addition, the Personal Data Form (Form 100) must be completed by the applicant.

Presentation Standards

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.

Application Deadlines

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 8:00 p.m. (Eastern time) on the deadline. If it is not received by the deadline, it will be considered late and will be rejected.

Personal Information

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 This link will take you to another Web site Access to Information Act and the This link will take you to another Web site Privacy Act (ATIP). The information you provide is stored in a series of NSERC data banks described in This link will take you to another Web site Info Source.

Help with Program Information

  • Contact the staff responsible for the program to which you are applying.

Help with the NSERC On-line System

  • Check the Frequently Asked Questions on how to use the On-line System;
  • Review the instructions available in the application;
  • Contact the On-line Services Helpdesk. Send an email to or call 613-995-4273. Include your email address and telephone number.

Completing the Application

Application Profile

Title of proposal

The title will be used for publication purposes. It should describe the subject of the research to be supported. It should not contain a company or trade name. Spell out scientific symbols and acronyms.

Enter the time (in hours per month) to be devoted to research and research-related activities (e.g., outreach) directly associated with the North.

Area(s) of Research

Research subject codes

Consult the NSERC Code Tables. All applicants are required to select a primary research code.

Key words

Provide a maximum of 10 key words that describe the proposal.

Summary of Proposal for Public Release

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.

Proposed Expenditures

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.

Use the Budget Justification section to explain and justify each budget item.

Northern Research Supplements are normally for the same duration as your Discovery Grant. A detailed budget justification should be provided for each year.

Budget Justification

Using a maximum of two pages, provide a detailed explanation and justification for each budget item identified in the Proposed Expenditures page. Provide sufficient information to allow reviewers to assess whether the resources requested are appropriate. These pages should only contain information pertinent to the budget.

Costs associated with work in the North

Provide an outline of the logistical expenses that you expect to incur, due to the high costs of undertaking your research in the North in the context of the duration spent in the North. The onus is on the applicant to justify how these costs are unique to conducting research in the Canadian North. Note that student stipends and research personnel salaries are not an eligible expense.

Equipment or facility

Give a breakdown of the items requested, models, manufacturers, prices, and applicable taxes. Justify each item requested.

Note: While the Research Tools and Instruments Grants Program provides the primary avenue through which to obtain support for tools and instruments costing more than $7,000, equipment of any value can be purchased using Discovery funding.

Fees to be paid for the use of equipment or a facility in the North should be described (e.g., hours and rate).

Materials and supplies for use in the North

Provide details and explain major items.

Travel to and from the North only

Explain briefly how each activity relates to the proposed research.

Dissemination, outreach and interaction with northerners

Provide details of publication costs, user workshops or other activities undertaken in the North.

Other expenses

List all items not relevant to previous categories and provide a brief explanation for major items. All additional costs should be related to undertaking research or research-related activities in the North.

Relationship to Other Research Support

See This link will take you to another Web site Selecting the Appropriate Federal Granting Agency and Addressing Other Sources of Funding for additional information.

Any relationship and/or overlap, conceptual or financial, with work supported by NSERC or other funding sources must be explained.

Use an additional page to provide the following information:

  • 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 applicant. Also explain perceived duplication in funding or, if applicable, indicate how the current application complements research funded by other sources.
  • For each grant currently held or applied for, clearly describe the main objective, and provide a brief outline of the methodology, budget details and details on the support of highly qualified personnel. In addition, the relationships to the NSERC application must be explained. Such information may be provided, for example, in the form of a brief summary of the necessary details for each grant.
  • Other sources of support include grants and contributions from funding agencies, organizations, the private sector, institution start-up funds, research Chairs, the primary place of employment (for adjunct professors), and other institutional research support.

The onus is on the applicant to provide sufficient information to enable the reviewers to evaluate the relationship between this application and other sources of support, the incremental value of additional support from the program, 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.


Use the guidelines outlined in the NSERC On-line Presentation and Attachment Standards to provide the requested information in a document to be attached to the application.

Follow the instructions and address the selection criteria for the Discovery Grant - Northern Research Supplement program. Using a maximum of three single-sided pages:

  • Define the northern Canadian location where you will be conducting your research. Give the names of surrounding towns or specific communities, or the latitudes and longitudes;
  • Provide the objectives and plans for your research in the North;
  • Detail your plans to interact and collaborate with other researchers, non-university organizations, and northern and Aboriginal community organizations;
  • Illustrate the potential to produce new knowledge and research results of benefit to Canadians and the North;
  • Demonstrate the feasibility and practicability of the proposed research, given the available facilities, services, and infrastructure support;
  • Report on your experience and the recent progress of research activities related to the North;
  • Describe training and education activities for northern communities and other non-university researchers and participants;
  • Highlight outreach activities to engage northerners in the planning, conducting, and dissemination of research results;
  • Explain your strategy to communicate northern research results and to promote northern research and training; and
  • Detail your plans for inclusion of traditional knowledge in the research.


  • Use this section to provide a list of literature references. Your list of references must not exceed two pages on the printed copy.
  • Do not refer readers to websites for additional information on your proposal.
  • Do not introduce hyperlinks in your list of references.


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.

What do the electronic or original signatures on the application mean?

For applicants

Before you, as an 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.

The signatures of the institutional authorities certify that:

  • the institution will abide by the roles and responsibilities as set out in the This link will take you to another Web site Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions with the three federal granting agencies, including the This link will take you to another Web site Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research;
  • the applicant has met, or will meet, the eligibility requirements; and
  • prior to submission of this application, the institution has obtained written approval from any other institutions involved in the application process; and
  • if the applicant discloses any potential intellectual property (IP) arising from the research, he or she and the institution will endeavour to obtain the greatest possible economic benefit to Canada from the resulting commercial activity. Note: This requirement for disclosure is not intended to supersede any IP ownership policy that the institution already has in place.

If you are both the applicant and a principal of a collaborating organization, another senior official must sign on behalf of the organization.

List for a Complete Application

  • Application for a Grant (Form 101)
    • Application profile (including amounts requested)
    • Supporting organizations
    • Summary of proposal
    • Proposed expenditures
    • Budget justification (attachment: maximum of two pages)
    • Relationship to other research support (attachment: no page limit)
    • Proposal (attachment: maximum of three pages)
    • References (attachment: maximum of two pages)
  • Personal Data Form (Form 100)
    • Personal information (appointment, academic background, HQP)
    • Experience
    • Research support
    • List of HQP (attachment: maximum of two pages)
    • Contributions (attachment: maximum of five pages)
    • Appendix A (Personal Data)
    • Appendix B (Eligibility Questionnaire) if required
    • Appendix C (Description of Applicant's Activities), if required
    • Appendix D (Consent to Provide Limited Personal Information About Highly Qualified Personnel [HQP] to NSERC): forms must be retained by the applicant and made available to NSERC upon request.

NOTE: Pages in excess of the number permitted will be removed.