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Electronic Approval

All applications and application-related documents and forms submitted to NSERC, either through NSERC’s On-line System or on paper, require formal approval by applicants, academic institutions and other participants before they can be reviewed by NSERC. The meaning of signatures on applications and other documents is described in the instructions relevant to the program to which you are applying.

An electronic approval consists of identification codes, prompts and date stamps of specific events activated and used in combination that are recorded by NSERC’s On-line System. It has the same significance, weight and applicability as an original signature. Electronic approval is required for:

  • applicant and co-applicant authentication;
  • collaborators’ contribution(s) to applications (such as personal data forms, letter of support, etc.);
  • institutional or host organization approval; and
  • supporting organizationís contribution to applications (Form 183A, letter of support, etc.).

Approval of On-line Applications

NSERC forms and documents that normally require authentication by means of an original signature are, when submitted through NSERCís On-line System, electronically approved by the author and, when applicable, the authorized officials of post-secondary institutions or host organizations to whom they are submitted. The act of submitting these forms and documents using the On-line System replaces the original signature.

Paper applications sent to NSERC still require an original signature.

Guidelines for Electronic Approval

In addition to the definition of signatures on applications, NSERC has developed the following electronic approval guidelines to accommodate the on-line submission process. These guidelines are meant to help reduce the administrative workload on the applicant, improve the integrity of the process, and provide more flexibility to institutionsí internal process whereby electronic submissions require an electronic approval or electronic signature.

Applicants and Co-Applicants’ Responsibilities (Faculty, Students and Fellows)

  • Register to create their account;
  • For co-applicants, linking their Form 100 (Personal Data Form);
  • Provide various participants with access to the application; and
  • Comply with NSERCís definition of what signatures mean, as described in the instructions relevant to the program.

Institutions’ Responsibilities

  • Designate a representative authorized to electronically approve and submit documents;
  • Comply with NSERCís definition of what signatures mean as described in the instructions relevant to the program;
  • Notify NSERC of any changes and new appointments of authorized representatives (contact the On-line Services Helpdesk via e-mail at or by telephone at 613-995-4273); and
  • Obtain written approval from other institutions involved in the application process prior to submission.

Supporting or Host Organizations’ Responsibilities

  • Register to create appropriate form;
  • Provide required documentation to the applicant;
  • Electronically approve and submit documents; and
  • Comply with NSERCís definition of what signatures mean as described in the instructions relevant to the program.

NSERC’s Responsibilities

  • Disseminate information about the electronic approval procedure;
  • Set up privileged access for institution representatives upon request; and
  • Ensure the electronic approval guidelines are followed.