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College and Community Innovation Program - College-University Idea to Innovation Grants

Instructions for Completing an Application – Form 103

General Information

About the Program

Read the relevant grant description within the College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program before you complete the application.

Who Completes the Application?

The applicant of a College-University Idea to Innovation (CU-I2I) Grant can be from either a college or university. If the application is submitted from a college, the applicant will normally be a senior manager in the administration of the college delegated by the college president and the co-applicants will be the university principal investigator, university faculty who will receive funds from the grant, and the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) manager (if applicable). If the application is submitted from a university, the applicant will be the principal investigator from the university research team or the TTO manager, and the co-applicants will be the university faculty who will receive funds from the grant and the college administrator of the grant. (In the on-line application, the college co-applicant and college researchers are referred to as "participants.") Whether from a college or university, the applicant must complete the application and include all required documentation using NSERC's On-line System.

The Personal Data Form (Form 100 for university researchers, and Form 103CV for college participants) must be completed by the applicant, co-applicants, and college participants.

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.

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 Grant Information

  • Contact the staff responsible for the grant 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: webapp@nserc-crsng.gc.ca 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.

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

Area(s) of Research

Research subject codes

Consult the NSERC Code Tables. If the applied research focus of the proposal is in the natural sciences or engineering, you are required to select a research subject code for the primary area of research from the list of Area of Research subject codes. You can also select a secondary research subject code.

Area of application codes

Consult the NSERC Code Tables. If the applied research focus of the proposal is in the natural sciences or engineering, you are required to select a code for the primary area of application from the list of Area of Application Codes. You can also select a code for a secondary Area of Application.

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.

Participants (College)

Since all College and Community Innovation Program funds are institutional grants, faculty and staff involved with the proposal can be listed as participants. List each participant’s name, personal identification number (if known), organization name, as well as the time (in hours per month) each participant will devote to the proposed applied research/activity or the use of equipment.

Only the main participants should be listed on the proposal. Participants need to obtain their organization's approval and must provide a complete College Personal Data Form (Form 103CV), including a signed copy of the Consent to Disclosure of Personal Information form, to the applicant.

Participants, except those from the applicant's institution, must advise the authorized officer of their organization that NSERC will be seeking their signature through its secure site, agreeing to their participation.

By submitting this form, the applicant certifies that the individuals listed as participants 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.

Supporting Organizations

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

CV - Applicant and Participants (College)

The college applicant and up to five participants must provide their curricula vitae (CV). The CV for the college applicant and participants is made up of two sections and a consent form. Part I collects specific information on the person using the NSERC form entitled College Personal Data Form (Form 103CV). Part II is free-form text limited to five pages and used to list contributions such as the person’s relevant experience and contributions to applied research and innovation.

When completed, the applicant’s and participants’ CV, together with signed copies of the Consent to Disclosure of Personal Information forms must be saved into one PDF document and attached to the application.

See the instructions for completing the College Personal Data form.

Applicant and Co-Applicant(s) (University)

The university applicant and any co-applicant(s) must provide their NSERC Personal Data Form (Form 100). Co-applicant(s) from outside the applicant's institution must advise the authorized officer of their organization that the applicant, or the applicant's institution, will be seeking their authorized officer's signature and agreement of the co-applicant(s) and participant(s)’ involvement before the application is submitted to NSERC.

To invite co-applicant(s) to link their Personal Data Form (Form 100) to the application, enter the e-mail address of the co-applicant(s) as it appears in the participant’s Form 100, as well as the family name. When you select Save, an automated e-mail message will be sent to the person(s) to whom you have granted access to your application, informing them that they have been invited to participate in your application. The status will appear as Not Linked.

Important Note: For the CU-I2I Grant application process, the applicant (if from a university) must also invite themselves in order to link their Personal Data Form (Form 100) to the application.

When a co-applicant links a Form 100 to the application, his/her personal information will appear in the Co-applicant page, and the status will change to Linked. At this point, enter the time (in hours per month) that each co-applicant will devote to the proposed research/activity or the use of equipment or a facility.

When a co-applicant links a Form 100 to the application, his/her personal information will appear in the "Participants and Co-applicants" page, and the status will change to Linked. At this point, enter the time (in hours per month) that each co-applicant will devote to the proposed research/activity or the use of equipment or a facility.

By submitting this form, the applicant certifies that the individuals listed as co-applicant(s) 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.

Collaborators

A collaborator is a member of the research team. Examples of collaborators are: government scientists, academic researchers, company staff members or research scientists. The collaborator will not have access to the grant funds and must be qualified to undertake research independently. Collaborators are expected to contribute to the overall intellectual direction of the applied research project and to bring their own resources to the collaboration.

List each collaborator’s name, personal identification number (if known), organization name, as well as the time (in hours per month) they will each devote to the proposed applied research/activity.

CV - Collaborators

If necessary, curriculum vitae (maximum five pages) from each collaborator can be submitted with the application. The applicant must save all the CVs from the collaborators in one PDF document and attach the PDF document to the application.

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 work results are important, the anticipated commercialization outcomes and how Canada will benefit.

This plain language summary will be made 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.

Activity Schedule

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.

The milestone definition and the work plan (provided in the Proposal page) will be used to assess whether a project is feasible and whether the available resources are adequate to complete it on schedule.

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. Using the headings below and in a maximum of 10 single-sided pages (this page limit does not include literature references), describe your proposal. Contact NSERC staff if you feel that additional pages are needed to describe what is being proposed.

Refer to the description of the College-University Idea to Innovation (CU-I2I) Grants - Selection Criteria for a list of criteria that will be considered by reviewers when evaluating the applications.

Synopsis: Provide a concise overview of the scientific or technical objectives; approach; the potential for commercialization; and the new knowledge, expertise or technology that can help the partner companies’ commercialization efforts. Indicate the benefits expected to accrue to Canadian companies, to the academic institution and to the applied research, scientific or engineering discipline(s).

Background: Relate the proposal to current scientific, technical and commercial developments in the field, referring to the current literature and market conditions. Provide information on the competitive environment and any “prior art.” Explain why the project results (i.e., products/processes/services to be commercialized) are improvements to what is currently being offered in the market. Describe the background research on which the project is built. Provide information on the potential market, the end users of the research results and how the commercialization efforts will provide Canadian companies with a competitive edge.

Detailed proposal: Discuss the technical issues, research issues, applied research problems or technical adaption and transfer challenges, and describe the methodology and experimental design proposed to explain or resolve them. Provide a work plan and relate it to the milestone schedule from the Activity Schedule section. Describe the roles of any students or postdoctoral fellows who will be involved in the project. If applicable, justify the need for any additional support staff such as research assistants, technicians or other professional staff who may be required to carry out the project.

Synergies – College University Collaboration: Describe how the collaboration between all partners enhances the research proposal. This may include items such as the enhancement of critical technical expertise, availability of highly qualified personnel, access to specialized research tools and facilities, background Intellectual Property (IP), and relationships with private-sector partners.

Team expertise: Describe the roles and explain how the knowledge and experience of each expert relates to the expertise needed to accomplish the project objectives and how the contributions of the team members (including company personnel) will be integrated.

Research management: Provide a plan for how the project will be managed to provide both day-to-day direction and scientific leadership, as well as to maintain good communication between the college and university research group(s) and the private-sector sponsor(s). If applicable, please detail the project manager's qualifications, involvement, role and responsibilities.

Training of highly qualified personnel: Describe how the knowledge and experience gained by students, postdoctoral fellows, research assistants or others (including company personnel), are relevant to further commercialization efforts, the advancement of the field, innovation and applied research in the private sector.

Potential for technology transfer and commercial benefits to the private-sector partner(s): Describe the anticipated value of the project results, highlighting the relevance of the scientific or technical advances to the private sector, or the innovative techniques, processes or products that will be developed or innovatively applied. Clearly identify how the work will benefit the private-sector partner(s) by showing how the outcome will address a current or future company or market need. To the extent possible, indicate the additional work the company partners will have to do to exploit the results of the applied research for commercialization. Describe how the exploitation of the project results will benefit the Canadian economy within a reasonable time frame as well as any social, and/or environmental benefits that will, or could be, realized in Canada.

References

  • 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 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 grant description, the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide and the College and Community Innovation Program Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide for information about the eligibility of expenditures for the costs of research and the regulations governing the use of grant funds. The budget items for both the cash and in-kind contributions must be filled out separately for the college and university.

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. These pages should only contain information pertinent to the budget.

Also, explain and justify the proposed cost-sharing ratios between NSERC and the private-sector partner. Provide sufficient detail to allow reviewers to evaluate whether the level of private-sector commitment, cash and/or in-kind, is appropriate. Refer to the Guidelines for Organizations Participating in Research Partnership Programs for a discussion on private sector contribution levels.

Salaries and benefits

Salary for full-time faculty is not an eligible expense and should not be included in project costs. Faculty release costs are eligible as described in the College and Community Innovation Program Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide. Salary for part-time faculty is eligible. It should be included under “d) other” and explained in the budget justification.

Note: A consultant can be hired for a CU-I2I Grant project in order to complete an essential component of an applied research project only if the expertise is not readily available within the faculty or full-time technical staff of the college or the university research team. The total salary allocation of the consultant will not represent more than 20 percent of the CU-I2I project expenditures and must be well justified.

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. Quotations may be required. The Quotations page allows you to describe the quotations to be sent with the proposal.

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

Materials and supplies

Provide details and explain major items.

Travel

Explain briefly how each activity relates to the proposed research. Explain how the proposed travel is important to realizing the project’s commercialization objectives.

Note: International travel expenses are only allowed for university students presenting their research results at conferences.

Dissemination

Provide details of training workshops and other knowledge and dissemination activities.

Technology transfer activities

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

Overhead and administration

Provide details and explain major items with regards to overhead and administration costs attributable to the specific project to be undertaken.

In general, the college and university are expected to provide for, or contribute to, the indirect or overhead costs such as basic utilities, the costs associated with managing and operating facilities, the purchase and repair of office equipment, administration fees, insurance for equipment and research vehicles, and basic communication devices such as telephones and fax machines. Since the funding received through the CCI Program is not eligible for the Indirect Costs Program, colleges and universities may request funds for overhead and administration costs attributable to this project (but not for general overhead and administration costs of the college or university as a whole). The maximum allowable percentage for overhead and administrative costs will not exceed 20 percent of the total grant amount for both colleges and universities.

Quotations

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.

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 additional pages 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) at the college and/or by the university applicant and co-applicants. Also explain perceived duplication in funding or, if applicable, indicate how this proposed application would complement applied 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, to evaluate the incremental value of additional support from the program, and to recommend the appropriate 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 supporting organization(s) to the research project. Before completing this section, read the program description and the College and Community Innovation Program Financial Administration Guide for information about the eligibility of expenditures and the regulations governing the use of grant funds. Also review the Guidelines on Eligibility and Value of In-Kind Contributions.

Provide the information for each supporting organization.

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

  • the cash contribution to direct costs of research. 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; and
  • an indication of the amount 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; and indicate to which academic institution these contributions will be directed, particularly any cash contribution, if applicable.

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

A completed Form 183A, letter of support and any other required documents must be attached for each organization participating in an applied 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 103. 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.

Contributions from Supporting Organizations – Attachment

Provide a detailed explanation of the in-kind contributions to the direct costs of research. This information will be used to assess the level and nature of the partner involvement, the importance of their contribution to the success of the project and an appropriate cost-sharing ratio. This section must state how the company partner’s contributions will be allocated and to which academic institution they will be directed, particularly any cash contribution, if applicable.

  • 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 (up to a maximum of $100.00 per hour).
  • 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.

Cash contributions are those made to accounts for which the applicant has signing authority. Other contributions are considered in-kind.

Intellectual Property

Describe the anticipated plans to protect and dispose of intellectual property (IP) arising in the project.

Any agreements made regarding the ownership of the IP resulting from the NSERC-funded research must take into account the objective of creating partnerships. This implies a sharing of eventual benefits between the partners commensurate with their respective contributions.

Given the purpose of the projects and the fact that they are company-driven, the college and university must have the right to use the new knowledge or technology in future teaching and research; and faculty and students must have the right to describe the project on their curricula vitae.

Environmental Information Form (Appendix A)

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

External Reviewer (Referee) Suggestions – Appendix C

Suggest the names of five people competent to assess the technical aspects of the proposal. This list should include experts from the college and/or the broader research community and at least one expert from the private-sector. As appropriate include people from the natural and social sciences, engineering, humanities and/or health who are competent to assess the research.

Give the name, complete mailing address, telephone and facsimile numbers, e-mail address, and the area(s) of expertise of potential referees.

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.

Conflict of interest

Suggested referees should not be in a 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 for more information. In addition, referees (external reviewers) must sign the This link will take you to another Web site Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Agreement for Review Committee Members, External Reviewers, and Observers before they access the application material.

Cover Letter

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 type of CCI grant which you are applying for and the title of your application.

Note: This letter may be accessible to these individuals under the Privacy Act.

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, 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.

Each participant submitting a Form 103CV as part of the application must sign and fill out the Terms and Conditions of Applying Form included in the Form 103CV.

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;
  • 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 participant 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 103)
    • Application Profile (including areas of research, certification requirements, amounts requested)
    • Co-applicants
    • Participants
    • Collaborators
    • Supporting Organizations
    • Summary of Proposal
    • Activity Schedule
    • Proposal
    • Literature References
    • Proposed Expenditures
    • Budget Justification (attachment)
    • Quotations (minimum of two) for equipment requests over $25,000
    • Relationship to Other Research Support (attachment)
    • Contributions from Supporting Organizations
    • Contributions from Supporting Organizations (justification of in-kind) (attachment)
    • Intellectual Property description
    • Appendix A (Environmental Information Form) - if required
    • Appendix C (Referee Suggestions)
    • Cover Letter, if required
  • Personal Data Form (Form 100) for the university applicant and co-applicants
  • Personal Data Form (Form 103CV) from the college applicant and from one to five college participants
  • CV - Collaborators if applicable
  • Information Required from Supporting Organizations (Form 183A) – for each private-sector partner
    • Letters of Support from all supporting organizations
    • Company profiles of all supporting organizations
    • Statement of Ownership of supporting organization (if company owned in whole or in part by researchers)
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