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Engage Grants for universities

Instructions for Completing an Application – Form 101

General Information

About the Grant

Read the grant 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 applicants and co-applicants and linked to the application form.

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 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.

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. 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 Publications.

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: webapp@nserc-crsng.gc.ca or call 613-995-4273. Include your email address and telephone number.

Information Required from Organizations Participating in Research Partnerships (Form 183A)

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 and the Engage Grants description.

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.

Time devoted to proposed research/activity

Enter the time devoted by the applicant (in hours per month) to the proposed research/activity.

For Engage Grants, indicate if this project involves industrial partners with whom ongoing or prior research and development collaboration has taken place. There can be no existing or past relationship with the company. Please see the Engage Grants description for details and consult your NSERC regional office for further information.

Area(s) of Research

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.

Key words

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

Certification/Requirements

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 This link will take you to another Web site 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.

Summary of Proposal

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, the relevance to the company and how Canada will benefit.

This plain language summary will be available to the public if your proposal is funded.

If you wish, you may also provide a summary in the other official language in the text box identified for that purpose.

Proposal

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.

For Engage Grants for universities proposals (See other section for Engage Plus Grants proposals):

Using the headings below and in a maximum of two single-sided pages (this page limit does not include references), describe your proposal.

Refer to the Engage Grants description for the selection criteria that will be considered when evaluating the applications.

Overview of the company-specific problem: Describe the company-specific problem to be addressed and the extent to which the company’s operations will benefit from scientific, engineering or technical advances, and the innovative techniques, processes or products that will be developed in the proposed project. Only projects that fall within the natural sciences and engineering fields will be considered.

Research project: Describe the research challenge to be addressed through the project. Briefly outline the underlying challenges, the scientific or engineering issues, research problems or technical complexities associated with solving the company problem. Outline the methodology proposed to resolve the problem and demonstrate its innovative nature. Identify the milestones and deliverables, and provide a work plan. Describe how the company will be involved in the project; an in-kind contribution from the company is required to demonstrate its engagement. Also clearly indicate the nature of the direct, in-kind contribution and how its total value was determined. For more information on the eligibility and recognized value of these contributions, read the Guidelines for Organizations Participating in Research Partnerships.

Research competence: Explain how the knowledge and experience of the applicant relates to the expertise needed to accomplish the project objectives. Explain also how the contributions of the team members (including, if applicable, company personnel) will be integrated into the project objectives. For information concerning the eligibility of applicants, read the Engage Grants description.

Contribution to the technology transfer: Describe how communication between the university research group and the company staff will occur and be managed. In particular, describe what regular interactions between the university research team (specifically the principal investigator) and the company representative(s) are planned. Explain how the technology will be transferred to the company and how the project results will be incorporated into the company’s operations.

Benefit to Canada: As well as the economic benefit to the company, outline any additional economic, social and environmental benefits that could be realized in Canada within a reasonable time.

For Engage Plus Grants for universities proposals (See above for Engage Grants proposal section):

Using the headings below and in a maximum of two single-sided pages (this page limit does not include references), describe your proposal.

Overview of the company-specific problem: State the progress achieved through the original Engage Grant and provide a clear explanation of the goals of the Engage Plus project. Describe the company-specific problem being addressed and the extent to which the company’s operations will benefit from scientific or technical advances, or the innovative techniques, processes or products that will be developed in the proposed project.

Research project: Briefly outline the underlying challenges, the scientific issues, research problems or technical complexities associated with solving the company problem. Outline the methodology proposed to resolve the problem and demonstrate its innovative nature. Identify the milestones and deliverables, and provide a work plan. Describe how the company will be involved in the project.

Contribution to the technology transfer: Describe how communication between the university research group and the company staff will occur and be managed. In particular, describe what regular interactions between the university research team (specifically the principal investigator) and the company representative(s) are planned. Explain how the technology will be transferred to the company and how the project results will be incorporated into the company’s operations. Outline expected future activities between the applicant and company beyond the Engage Plus project.

Benefit to Canada: As well as the economic benefit to the company, outline the additional economic, social and environmental benefits that could be realized in Canada and the corresponding timeframe.

References

  • If applicable, use this section to provide a list of literature references. Your list of references must not exceed one page on the printed copy.
  • Do not refer readers to Web sites for additional information on your proposal.
  • Do not introduce hyperlinks in your list of references.

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.

Enter the amounts of planned spending in each budget category. A breakdown of each category and its detailed justification will be requested in the next section.

Budget Justification

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. Provide only information pertinent to the budget.

Salaries and benefits

Give the names (if known), categories of employment and proposed salaries (with explicit indication of the non-discretionary benefits) of students, postdoctoral fellows, and research staff. Briefly describe the responsibilities for each position and indicate the percentage of time they will be spending on this project over its life span. Do not include salaries of faculty in project costs.

Please note that graduate student involvement is not a requirement of an Engage Grant. If graduate students are included, indicate their prorated stipend for the six months of the grant.

Refer to Form 100 instructions for information regarding obtaining consent to name individuals in your proposal.

Equipment or facility

Give a breakdown of the items requested. Indicate the value of individual items and the total value for this category. Provide details on models, manufacturers, prices, and applicable taxes. Justify the need for each item requested. Only small equipment needed to perform the research and not readily accessible by the researcher will be considered.

Fees to be paid for the use of equipment or a facility should be described (e.g., hours and rate). Equipment obtained from the industrial partner must be considered an in-kind contribution. NSERC and the industrial partner’s funds (if any) cannot be used to buy equipment, products or services from the industrial partner.

Materials and supplies

Give a breakdown of the items requested. Indicate the value of individual items and the total value for this category. Provide details and explain major items. Materials and supplies obtained from the industrial partner must be considered an in-kind contribution. NSERC and the industrial partner’s funds (if any) cannot be used to buy equipment, products or services from the industrial partner.

Please note that office supplies are limited to $250.

Travel

Explain briefly how each activity relates to the proposed research and indicate the names of the expected travellers. Only travel needed to conduct the research and to transfer the technology to company representatives is allowed. Give a breakdown of how travel expenditures were estimated, including the number of trips, transportation and lodging costs, per diem rates, etc. Travel for company staff to meet with the university researchers is not an eligible expense. This cost must be incurred by the company as an in-kind contribution.

Dissemination

Note that the following costs are not normally supported by an Engage Grant:

  • Conference registration fees;
  • All costs (travel, accommodations, etc.) associated with regular/annual conferences; or
  • Publication costs, unless a case can be made that they are industry-oriented and the most appropriate media to ensure the technology is transferred to industry.

Technology transfer activities

List the expenditure for field trials, building prototypes, scale-up costs, demonstration projects, workshops, and other miscellaneous expenses.

Relationship to Other Research Support

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.

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 grant, 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.

Contributions from Supporting Organizations

Use this page to report the contributions committed by the industrial partner, to the research project. Before completing this page, read the instructions and consult the Use of Grant Funds page of the NSERC Program Guide for Professors concerning the eligibility of expenditures for the direct costs of research and the regulations governing the use of grant funds, and Guidelines on Eligibility and Value of In-Kind Contributions. At minimum, an in-kind contribution from the company, reflecting its involvement in the project, is required.

Provide the information for each supporting organization.

List the resources the supporting organization will provide to support the proposed activities including:

  • the net cash contribution to direct costs of research (without university overhead). This amount will be transferred to the appropriate line on the Proposed Expenditures page;
  • the in-kind contribution to direct costs of research (donations of services, materials, and equipment). This amount will be transferred to the Proposed Expenditures page (if applicable);
  • the in-kind contributions to indirect costs. This amount is not transferred to the Proposed Expenditures page; and
  • an indication of the amount of the company cash contribution paid to the institution for overhead.

Use the Contributions from Supporting Organizations - Attachment page to provide an explanation of the cash and eligible in-kind contributions.

Form 183A and letter of support (and attachments, as required)

Information Required from Organizations Participating in Research Partnerships - Instructions for Completing an Application – Form 183A

In order to be eligible, the partnering company must be at arm’s length from the applicant. For a definition of “arm’s length,” refer to the Conflict of Interest Guidelines for Partner Organizations.

A completed Form 183A, a letter of support and a company profile must be attached for each organization participating in the project. Either the applicant or the supporting organization must complete all applicable pages of the form and provide the required documents.

The letter of support must identify the company specific problem, which is the driving force of the project, and clearly outline the importance for the company to overcome it, as well as the expected impact on its operations and/or competitiveness. The letter must also detail the nature of the support provided by the company and explain how the collaboration with the applicant and university research team will take place. For more information, consult the Application Procedures section of the Engage Grants description.

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. Create the Form 183A after Form 101 has been started.

Contributions from Supporting Organizations - Attachment

Provide a detailed explanation of the in-kind contributions to the direct costs of research. This information is essential and will be used to assess the level and nature of the industrial partner involvement and the importance of their contribution to the success of the project.

  • Salaries for scientific and technical staff: list the name of each staff member, their role at the company and their specific expertise, details as to what they will be providing to the project (link to milestones if possible), the number of hours they will devote to the project, and their hourly rate.
  • Donation of equipment, software: list each item of equipment and/or software being donated to the project, explaining how it will be used and its importance to the success of the project; provide details on how the cost of the equipment/software was calculated.
  • Donation of material: describe the materials to be provided, their importance to the project and how the cost of the materials was calculated.
  • Field work logistics: describe the importance of the proposed field work to the project and provide details on how the cost of the field work was calculated.
  • Provision of services: provide details on the services to be provided, the importance of these services to the success of the project and how the cost of providing these services was calculated.
  • Other: provide sufficient details on items listed in this category, their importance to the project and the calculation of associated costs.

Other Documents

If you need to provide other documents, give a brief description of any such documents.

Environmental Information Form (Appendix A)

An Environmental Information Form (Appendix A) must be completed and uploaded to the Environmental Impact page if required.

Signatures

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 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 following 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 and co-applicant(s) have met, or will meet, the eligibility requirements;
  • 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.

The signatures of authorized officers of other supporting organizations certify that the organization:

  • agrees with the content of the application and will provide the committed resources; and
  • agrees to the release of the public summary of the award and to the publication of the organization's name as a supporter of the initiative.

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.

List for a Complete Application

Use the following list to make sure your application is complete.

  • Application for a Grant (Form 101)
    • Application Profile (including areas of research, certification requirements)
    • Summary of Proposal
    • Proposal
    • References
    • Proposed Expenditures
    • Budget Justification (attachment)
    • Relationship to Other Research Support (attachment)
    • Contributions from Supporting Organizations
    • Contributions from Supporting Organizations (justification of in-kind) (attachment)
    • Other Documents
    • Appendix A (Environmental Information Form) if required
  • Personal Data Form (Form 100) – for the applicant
    • Personal information (appointment, academic background, HQP)
    • Experience
    • Research Support
    • List of HQP
    • Contributions
    • Appendix A (Personal Data) – one original only – do not photocopy
    • Appendix B (Eligibility Questionnaire) – one original only – do not photocopy (if required)
    • Appendix C (Description of Applicant's Activities) – if required
  • Information Required from Supporting Organizations Participating in Research Partnerships (Form 183A) for each industrial partner
    • Letters of Support from all supporting organizations
    • Company profiles from all supporting organizations
    • Statement of Partner Eligibility (if applicable)

Mailing Address

Send your correspondence to:

NSERC
350 Albert Street
Ottawa, ON  K1A 1H5
Canada