1. What is the value of the Discovery Accelerator Supplements (DAS) Program?
The awards are valued at $120,000 each ($40,000 annually), normally paid over three years.
2. Who is eligible for a DAS?
All Discovery Grant recipients who meet the objective of the DAS Program are eligible.
3. Can a first-time applicant be eligible for a DAS?
Yes. First-time applicants are eligible for a DAS if they meet the objective of the program.
4. Can a researcher be awarded more than one DAS during a career?
Yes, provided the researcher meets the objective of the DAS Program at the time of application for a Discovery Grant.
5. How many DAS will there be each year?
Each year, NSERC will award up to 125 DAS, of which at least 60 percent will normally come from one of the NSERC priority areas:
In any given fiscal year, there are up to 375 active DAS.
6. How do I apply for a DAS?
Researchers do not apply for a DAS. Rather, Discovery Grant recipients will be considered for a DAS during the annual Discovery Grants competition by their respective Evaluation Group.
7. Can applicants describe their need for a DAS in their Discovery Grant application?
It is not necessary. Applicants with established research programs that are considered by the Evaluation Group to have a very high potential for impact, relative to other applicants, will be more likely to be recommended for an award; in particular, a proposal that is highly rated in terms of originality and innovation under the Merit of Proposal criterion. The focus will also be on applicants who show strong potential to become international leaders within their field.
8. May I ask to have the duration of my Discovery Grant shortened in order to be recommended for a DAS sooner than the original duration of my grant would have permitted?
No. Researchers will only have the opportunity to be considered for a DAS at the time of application for Discovery Grant funding.
9. How will DAS applicants be considered with respect to the Subatomic Physics envelope?
Recipients of Discovery Grants awarded through the Subatomic Physics envelope will be eligible for DAS on the same basis as applicants to other Evaluation Groups. A process for considering researchers involved in Project Grants has been implemented and communicated to the community. For any inquiries regarding this process, please contact the Subatomic Physics group.
10. What are the selection criteria for the DAS Program?
Evaluation Groups will review Discovery Grant applications in accordance with the current established criteria for that program:
During the review process, members of the Evaluation Groups will nominate a number of researchers for a DAS from within the applicant pool of their respective Evaluation Group. Potential recipients will:
11. What process is followed when recommending a researcher for a DAS?
The peer review will be done in two steps: 1) Evaluation Groups will review the Discovery Grant applications in accordance with the usual selection criteria and nominate researchers according to the objective of the DAS Program; and 2) the applications identified by the Evaluation Groups will then be assessed and prioritized by the Executive Committee of the Evaluation Group, which will make the final recommendations to NSERC.
12. Who will comprise the executive committees?
Executive committees comprise the Group Chair and section chairs of the Evaluation Group, and may also include other experienced members of the Evaluation Group, as required.
13. Will NSERC establish a quota of awards by Evaluation Group?
Yes. The quotas will be based on the number of applications assigned to each Evaluation Group every year, taking into account the proportion of applications falling in the NSERC priority areas.
14. What types of expenditures are eligible under the DAS Program?
The policies on the use of grant funds will remain the same as those for Discovery Grants (see the section Use of Grant Funds of the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide for more details).
15. Will my Discovery Grant duration be reduced to match that of the DAS?
No. The Discovery Grant duration will remain as recommended by the Evaluation Group (normally five years), whereas the DAS will normally be profiled over three years.
16. What happens to my Discovery Grant level at the end of the term of the DAS?
The DAS will be awarded separately from the Discovery Grant and will not affect the current Discovery Grant.
17. Are there additional reporting requirements for DAS recipients, beyond those relating to the Discovery Grant itself?
Yes, DAS recipients will be required to complete a Grants in Aid of Research, Statement of Account (Form 300) at the end of each fiscal year. Furthermore, they will be required to submit a report at the end of the award period.
18. Is there an extension period at the end of the DAS period?
NSERC expects that the DAS funds will be spent by the end of the award period. If not, a one-year extension will automatically be authorized to allow the grantees to use the funds that remain in their account beyond the funding expiry date of the award.
19. Is it possible to get the DAS profiled over a different number of years?
In certain exceptional, compelling circumstances, NSERC may agree to profile the supplement over a different period than three years. A written justification must be provided. Note that the total amount of the supplement will remain at $120,000.
20. Will researchers be informed that they have been nominated for a DAS?
No. Researchers who have been nominated will not be advised. Research Grants Offices will not be informed at the nomination stage either.
21. May I appeal the decision if I am not selected for a DAS?
No. Appeals will not be accepted from applicants to the Discovery Grant Program who were not recommended for a DAS.
22. If I appeal my Discovery Grant, could my DAS be affected?
Yes. If the duration of your Discovery Grant changes (e.g., shortened to a one-year grant) as a result of an appeal, the same change will apply to the duration of your DAS.