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Ship Time Program

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 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.

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.

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 theThis 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.

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 e-mail to: or call 613-995-4273. Include your e-mail 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.

Time devoted to proposed research/activity

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

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.


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.


For team applications, list each co-applicant's name, personal identification number (if known), organization name, as well as the time (in hours per month) each co-applicant will devote to the proposed research/activity or the use of equipment or facility.

By submitting this form, the applicant certifies that the individuals listed as co-applicants have been informed of the precise uses and disclosures of their personal information by NSERC (see Use and Disclosure of Personal Information Provided to NSERC) and have authorized the release of the information by the applicant.

Co-applicants, except those from the applicant’s institution, must advise the authorized officer of their organization that the applicant, or the applicant’s institution, will be seeking their signature prior to submitting the application to NSERC, agreeing to their participation.

Supporting Organizations

Enter information about each co-applicant organization's signing officer (other than the applicant’s organization). For supporting organizations such as an industrial partner or a government department, enter information about the authorized representative(s).

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).

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 and how your field and 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.

Ship Time Requirements

If the proposed project requires more than one platform (e.g., ROV and supporting vessel), you must complete a Ship Time Requirements page for each platform. Do not complete multiple applications.

In exceptional circumstances, the Ship Time Allocation Committee will consider requests for more than one year of funding. If you are requesting funding for more than one year, you will need to complete the Year 2 portion of the Ship Time Requirements page for each platform being requested.

Duration and related costs of cruise

Identify the number of ship days, the daily rate, and total cost of the platform(s) being requested.

Mission type

University researchers should be clear about the type of mission they are requesting and should capitalize on shared or joint expeditions and days of opportunity whenever possible.

  • Dedicated
    • ship time fully dedicated to university objectives;
    • incremental daily cost of the specific platform;
  • Joint
    • ship time used by a federal department and university where project definition and objectives have been jointly agreed upon and supported in a formal agreement;
    • terms of charges specified in the joint agreement;
    • applicants must submit details of agreement;
  • Opportunity
      • use of unassigned space on existing expeditions (government or university led);
      • hotel cost only (room and board).
  • Shared
    • ship time shared by two or more organizations conducting separate missions;
    • pro-rated incremental daily cost based on the use of the platform;
    • amount agreed upon prior to the mission;

Geographical location

Identify the geographical region(s) where the proposed work is to take place. Include latitude and longitude, estimated distance from departure port to work site, and total distance steamed (refers to the total distance travelled to and from the work site, plus the additional distance travelled while on the work site) for the duration of the cruise (identify units of measure).

Platform requested

You must provide the name of the platform requested, including the names of two alternate platforms. This list should be ranked in order of preference.

Detailed information on the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) fleet can be obtained on theThis link will take you to another Web site  Canadian Coast Guard Web site.

Preferred dates

You must provide the dates of the proposed cruise. Alternate dates should be provided when possible.

Number of personnel

The number of personnel that will take part in the cruise must be listed and broken down by gender.


For the preferred choice of all platforms requested, you must provide a letter/quotation from the vessel provider (for non-DFO vessels) or from the DFO Science Ship Representative in the region where the vessel is operated (for DFO vessels).

When requesting non-DFO vessels, include details on the type and origin of the vessel, basic characteristics (i.e. specs), day rate, and crew capabilities.

The quotation should outline the entire cost of the cruise.

Letter(s) of Support

Provide a letter from the appropriate representative of each participating or supporting organization other than Canadian universities or eligible Canadian colleges (e.g., a co-applicant or the person responsible for the organization's participation in, or support of, the project), on letterhead, that indicates:

  • the organization's intended participation in, or support of, the collaborative activities and its agreement with the proposal;
  • the nature and extent of the interaction/collaboration;
  • the support/resources committed;
  • the organization's reasons for its involvement in the joint undertaking;
  • how the organization expects to benefit.

Note: For upload purposes, all letters of support must be saved into a single PDF document.

Relationship to Other Research Support

Refer to This link will take you to another Web site  Selecting the Appropriate Federal Granting Agency for additional information.

Any relationship and/or overlap, conceptual or financial, with work supported by NSERC or other funding sources must be explained. 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 assess it accordingly. 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 consequence of not providing adequate information to assess the relationship to other research support is that the reviewers may recommend reduced or no funding.

Provide the following information:

  • Information on the conceptual and budgetary relationship or difference between this application and all other support currently held or applied for by the applicant and any of the co-applicants.
  • For each grant currently held or applied for by the applicant and any of the co-applicants, clearly describe the main objective and provide a brief outline of the methodology, budget details, and details on the support of highly qualified personnel.


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 Ship Time Program. Using the headings below and in a maximum of five single-sided pages, provide details on:

Scientific objectives

  • the scientific objectives of the expedition and the importance of the ship time to your Discovery Grant-funded program. If the requested ship time is intended to support more than one NSERC project, the ship time needs for each project should be clearly explained;


  • demonstrate that the proposed methods are the most appropriate approach to answering research questions;

Cruise plan

  • the cruise track/map and cruise plan are mandatory (cruise track and a description of the work to be done, including an outline of the amount of steaming time vs. data collection time);

Operational plan

  • the operational plan (activities planned, operational procedures, geographic location, station pattern required, explosives or radioactive materials used, rough layout of survey timing);

Ship equipment

  • the ship equipment to be used (winches, navigation equipment, fishing gear, etc.);

Scientific equipment

  • the scientific equipment to be used and the logistics involved (if loading in away port). Note that NSERC would normally expect any associated costs to be met by the researcher;

Previous experience

  • the previous ship experience (a brief description of relevant experience, including that of collaborators, i.e., technical support staff, students and any other scientific staff);

Sharing of ship time

  • the attempts made to establish sharing of ship time, and how the expedition fits with others in the area;

Participants' roles

  • the roles of all participants (applicant, co-applicant(s) and collaborators) benefiting from ship time must be described;

Highly qualified personnel training opportunities and urgency

  • outline the role of highly qualified personnel (HQP) in the expedition and the impact on the need and urgency for ship time;

Two-year award requests (if required)

  • requests for two-year awards must be clearly justified.

In addition,

  • All applications from groups of researchers must:
      • describe the pertinent expertise and the expected role and contributions of team members;
      • discuss collaboration among team members;
      • provide details of the management structure and team management.


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

Cruise report

If applicable, attach a copy of your most recent cruise report to your application.

Successful applicants are required to submit a short report immediately following the completion of the expedition, highlighting specific accomplishments in relation to the original objectives. Note that this will factor in the evaluation of your next ship time proposal. Using the headings below and in a maximum of 10 pages, provide details on:

  • platform used;
  • type of cruise (i.e., dedicated, joint, shared, opportunity);
  • cruise start/end dates;
  • cruise location (cruise track or map would be helpful);
  • cruise objectives;
  • objectives and/or other work accomplished;
  • time lost due to weather;
  • problems encountered (e.g., degree of satisfaction with research platform, etc.);
  • amount and type of data collected;
  • plans for scientific analysis and publication.

Note that it is the responsibility of the grant holder to ensure that any platform being used for NSERC-supported research is crewed in conformance with theThis link will take you to another Web site  Canada Shipping Act.

Environmental Information Form (Appendix A)

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


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, 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.

By submitting your application or linking your Personal Data Form, you are certifying that:

  • You have provided true, complete, accurate information in your funding application and related documents, and you have represented yourself, your research and your accomplishments in a manner consistent with the norms of the relevant field.
  • If you are the applicant, you have ensured that others listed on the application have agreed to be included in the application.
  • If you are a co-applicant, you agree that the applicant will administer the grant/award on behalf of the group/team.
  • You are not currently ineligible to apply for and/or hold funds from NSERC, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), or the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), or any other research or research funding organization worldwide for reasons of breach of policies on responsible conduct of research, such as ethics, integrity or financial management policies. If at any time you become ineligible for any of these reasons, you will advise your institutional officials and NSERC immediately, in writing.
  • You have read, understood and agree to comply with the This link will take you to another Web site Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research both in the submission of your application and in carrying out the research funded by NSERC.
  • If you are or have been (at any time during the past 12 months) a federal public servant, you have complied with and will continue to respect the This link will take you to another Web site Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector.
  • Consent has been obtained from trainees to include limited personal information about them in the application.
  • You understand the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act and the Use and Disclosure of Personal Information Provided to NSERC as they pertain to your information.
  • You consent to the sharing among the three federal granting agencies (NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR) and with any academic institution to which you are, or may become, affiliated, of any and all information, including personal information, in any way related to the application and to the grant/award.
  • In the event of any change in your eligibility status, you will inform NSERC and your institutional officials immediately, in writing.

By submitting your application or linking your Personal Data Form, you are also confirming that, during tenure of the grant/award, you will comply with the terms and conditions of the grant/award.

Consent to disclosure of personal information: You understand that maintaining public trust in the integrity of researchers is fundamental to building a knowledge-based society. By submitting any application, by linking your Personal Data Form (Form 100 or 103CV) as a co-applicant to an application, or by accepting funding from CIHR, NSERC and/or SSHRC, you affirm that you have read and you agree to respect all the policies of these agencies that are relevant to your research, including the This link will take you to another Web site Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research. In case of a serious breach of agency policy, the agency may publicly disclose your name, the nature of the breach, the institution where you were employed at the time of the breach and the institution where you are currently employed. You accept this as a condition of applying for, or receiving, agency funding, and you consent to such disclosure. If you do not agree to the disclosure of your personal information, you cannot participate in this application.

Note: If you have any concerns about your ability to comply with the terms and conditions listed above, contact your institutional official or NSERC staff responsible for the program immediately. Do not agree to the terms and conditions and do not submit your application or Personal Data Form until you are certain that you can and will comply with all of the requirements.

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;
  • 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;
  • 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 certification requirements, amounts requested)
    • Co-applicants
    • Summary of proposal
    • Ship time requirements
    • Quotation(s) (from the platform provider)
    • Letter(s) of support, if required (no page limit)
    • Relationship to other research support (attachment; no page limit)
    • Proposal (attachment; maximum of five pages)
    • References (attachment; maximum of two pages)
    • Cruise report – if required (attachment - maximum of 10 pages)
    • Appendix A (Environmental Information Form), if required
  • Personal Data Form (Form 100) for the applicant and each co-applicant
    • Personal information (appointment, academic background, HQP)
    • Experience
    • Research Support
    • List of HQP
    • 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

Pages in excess of the number permitted will be removed.

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