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Memo to Potential Applicants
Notification of Intent to Apply for a Discovery Grant
2018 Competition

It is time to start preparing your Discovery Grant application. A Notification of Intent to Apply (NOI) must be submitted by the deadline date of August 1st, 2017, 8:00 p.m. (ET). NSERC will not accept an NOI after the deadline date.

The NOI is mandatory when applying for a Discovery Grant. Applicants who do not submit a NOI cannot submit a full application. The information contained in the NOI allows NSERC to start some aspects of the review process, including the preliminary assignment to an Evaluation Group, the selection of external reviewers and the verification of the eligibility of the subject matter.

If you do not intend to apply this year, please inform NSERC at before August 1.

Before Submitting an NOI

If you currently hold a Discovery Grant, you are encouraged to verify the balance of your account. If the available funds are sufficient to cover anticipated expenditures through the next fiscal year, you can request a deferral of instalment or take advantage of the automatic one-year extension to use the accumulated funds prior to submitting a new request for funding. Refer to the Administrative Matters and the Annual Funding of Grants sections of the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide for more information. Note that postponing an application does not adversely affect the review of your next application, but rather demonstrates good fiscal management of the funds and allows you to re-organize your activities and postpone the submission of a new application by one year. It also provides the opportunity for the Agency to fund other researchers with more urgent needs.

Application Process for Discovery Grants

You must submit your NOI and the NSERC version of the This link will take you to another Web site Canadian Common CV (CCV) using the Research Portal.  Refer to the instructions on how to complete the NOI and CCV. We encourage you to start completing your CCV early, as it can be time-consuming to populate the fields the first time.

NSERC is actively engaged in increasing gender equity in its review processes to contribute to improved gender equality in science and engineering fields. Researchers are encouraged to indicate their sex in the Identification section of the CCV.  This information is used for statistical purposes only and is not shared with reviewers.

NSERC will be hosting webinars on how to complete a NOI to assist the research community. Consult the webinars page for dates.   

For more information on the Discovery Grants program, contact the staff responsible for the program or send an email to

Application Process for a Northern Research Supplement (NRS)

Again this year, if you intend to apply for a Northern Research Supplement (NRS) to a Discovery Grant, you must submit a separate Application for a Grant (F101) and a Personal Data Form (Form 100) by November 1, 2017 using the NSERC On-line System and not the Research Portal. Refer to the instructions for details.

For more information on the NRS program, contact the staff responsible by sending an email to

DND/NSERC Discovery Grant Supplement

The DND/NSERC Discovery Grant Supplement was launched in the 2017 competition. The joint initiative between the Department of National Defence (DND) and NSERC aims to support unclassified university-based research dedicated to the development of non-weapon specific technologies with dual-use applications in defence and security target areas. To apply for this supplement, you must indicate your interest in the Discovery Grant application. Refer to the instructions for details.

Phase-out of Discovery Team Grants

NSERC no longer accepts Team Grant applications. It was determined that Team Grants are not effectively meeting the needs of the research community they are intended to support. While all new applications must now be made individually, applicants are encouraged to continue incorporating collaboration into their individual applications. Existing team grants will continue to receive support until their last instalment. Researchers who are supported by an NSERC Team Grant should submit an individual Discovery Grant application when submitting a new request for funding.

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