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NSERC/NRCan/AECL Generation IV Energy Technologies Grants

Duration 1 to 4 years
Application Deadline August 7, 2011 (Preliminary Application)
October 31, 2011 (Full Application)
How to Apply See below
Application Forms Form 100* and instructions
Form 101* and instructions
Form 183A* and instructions

* This link is for reference only. To create or access this application, select On-line System Login.
Program Contact See below


This grant is co-funded by NSERC and the Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) Office of Energy Research and Development (OERD), in collaboration with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL). Canadian academic researchers, in collaboration with AECL scientists and engineers, may receive grant funds to investigate specific research that supports the development of Canada’s Generation IV Energy Technology—the Super-Critical Water-Cooled Reactor (SCWR).

Expected Results

It is expected that this grant will:

  • generate new knowledge/technology with the strong potential to strengthen Canada’s nuclear industry;
  • increase the number of highly qualified personnel in the target areas;
  • foster the involvement of the Canadian-based nuclear industry in academic research;
  • help fulfill Canada’s obligations under the Framework Agreement for International Collaboration on Research and Development of Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems; and
  • enable the transfer of knowledge/technology and expertise to the Canadian nuclear industry that is well positioned to apply the results for economic gain.


The NSERC/NRCan/AECL Generation IV Energy Technologies Grants funds research projects only in the priority areas identified below. To be funded, a project must meet the following requirements:

  • be co-led by an AECL scientist/engineer and an academic researcher;
  • build on research that is technology-development driven and application oriented;
  • contain well-defined objectives which ensure that the results will be achievable within a maximum of four years;
  • demonstrate an integrated approach to the research problem that fully exploits the research facilities and resources available at government and industrial laboratories and academic institutions;
  • have a clear plan to direct, manage and integrate the activities within the project and according to the objectives of Canada’s Gen IV National Program and its international commitments;
  • agree to develop a Quality Assurance Plan that meets the GIF requirements outlined in the GIF Quality Management System Guidelines; and
  • agree to comply with the intellectual property provisions in the applicable Project Arrangement previously signed by NRCan and in NSERC’s Policy on Intellectual Property.

Supporting Organizations

Each project must have at least one AECL scientist/engineer supporting it. This person must collaborate in all stages of the research project, i.e., help in the development of the proposal and, as the project unfolds, interact regularly with the academic researchers, students and other research personnel and provide input on the project.

The project may also include other participants from industrial or government research laboratories and/or foreign research institutions.

Given that interaction between personnel from academic institutions and other sectors contributes to knowledge sharing and the development of highly qualified personnel, the grant encourages secondments, cross-appointments, co-supervision of students, internships, reciprocal laboratory visits and joint workshops. (For details, see the Policy and Guidelines on the Assessment of Contributions to Research and Training.)

Research Priority Areas

For more information on these areas, read the Research and Development Priorities for 2012-16.

Budget: $8 million over four years

NRCan and NSERC will each invest up to $4 million over four years to fund Generation IV nuclear reactor technology research initiatives designed to take advantage of knowledge and resources available in AECL facilities and Canadian academic institutions. Two million dollars will be available each year to fund projects, with a maximum of $80,000 per year available per project. AECL will provide in-kind support in the form of access to expert personnel and their facilities where appropriate. The length of the project may vary up to a maximum of four years.

Application Procedures

Preliminary Application

Preliminary applications must be submitted to the NRCan Gen IV National Program Portfolio Committee on, or before, the preliminary application deadline. This committee will verify that the preliminary application fits the research priority areas and the criteria of the grant, and will recommend applicants to submit a full application to NSERC.

For the preliminary application form or more information on preparing a preliminary application, please contact Daniel Brady at NRCan by telephone at 613-947-6066 or by e–mail at

Full Application

Recommended applicants will be invited by the NRCan Gen IV National Program Portfolio Committee to submit a full application to NSERC. Applications that have been recommended by NRCan will be accepted by NSERC on or before October 31, 2001.

A complete application includes:

  • an Application for a Grant (Form 101); the Form 101 budget request to NSERC must be for the total project budget.
  • a Personal Data Form (Form 100) for each applicant and co-applicant;
  • a letter from AECL clearly indicating the in-kind support they will provide to the project;
  • other participating industry or government groups that are integral to the project should also provide letters of support clearly stating their level of involvement;
  • a letter of recommendation from the Gen IV National Program Portfolio Committee; and
  • an intellectual property agreement complying with both the provisions of the applicable GIF Project Arrangement and NSERC’s Policy on Intellectual Property.

Refer to the instructions for completing a Collaborative Research and Development Grant (CRD) application.

Applicants who require new equipment to conduct the research must incorporate their request for equipment into the research proposal and justify the need for the equipment to conduct the research. Equipment requests will be considered only under special circumstances.

Review Procedures

Full Application

  • After a preliminary application has been recommended by the NRCan Gen IV National Program Portfolio Committee, NSERC receives all full applications and sends them to at least three external reviewers for comments.
  • NSERC evaluates the full application, including the comments of the external reviewers, and determines whether or not a grant will be awarded.
  • NSERC notifies the applicant, NRCan and AECL of the award decision and, in the event of a successful application, the start date of the grant.

The complete review process takes three to four months. The grants are expected to be awarded in March 2012.

Selection Criteria

Applications are evaluated according to the following criteria. Each criterion is given equal weight in the evaluation.

  • Scientific merit: The project must be scientifically sound, technically feasible, and promise either to generate new knowledge or to apply existing knowledge in an innovative manner. It must fall within a specific research priority area.
  • Research competence: The applicant and the research team together must have all the expertise required to address the defined objectives competently and to complete the project successfully. Academic expertise may be complemented with the know-how residing in the partnering organizations.
  • Contribution to the training of highly qualified personnel: The proposal should indicate how the knowledge and experience gained by students, postdoctoral fellows, research assistants or others, including AECL personnel, are relevant to the advancement of the field, to developing practical applications of knowledge, or to strengthening the industrial research base. The number of undergraduate and graduate students trained is expected to be commensurate with the size of the project.
  • Industrial relevance: The proposal must identify how the work will benefit the nuclear industry.
  • Private-sector support: AECL must contribute an appropriate amount from its own resources to the project, consistent with the risks and rewards involved, and be in a position to exploit successful research results.
  • Benefit to Canada: The proposal should indicate how the research results will be integrated into Canada’s Gen IV National Program and its international commitments.


CRD projects are monitored closely. Annual progress reports are normally required from the grantee. The Gen IV National Program Portfolio Committee and AECL will be asked to provide comments on the project's progress. Final reports are required for all projects.

Based on the results obtained or problems encountered, grantees may propose amendments to the project objectives, milestones or budget. The amounts of the second and subsequent installments are contingent on a demonstrated need for grant funds. Grantees must provide annual statements of actual expenditures and of anticipated future costs. Subsequent installments will not be released until all reporting requirements are fulfilled.


Claire McAneney
Tel.: 613-992-1372