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Canadian Research Funding. Canadian High Commission Canberra, Australia. Sciences, Engineering & Health. Research Councils in Sciences, Engineering and Health. Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)

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canadian research funding

Canadian Research Funding

Canadian High Commission

Canberra, Australia

Sciences, Engineering & Health

research councils in sciences engineering and health
Research Councils in Sciences, Engineering and Health
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
    • Invests in people, discovery and innovation to advance knowledge in the natural sciences and engineering
    • Funds more than 10,000 university professorsevery year
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
    • Funds research that improves Canadians' health, health care system and quality of life
    • Supports up to 10,000 researchers and trainees in universities, teaching hospitals, and research institutes across Canada
  • National Research Council (NRC)
    • Government of Canada's premier organization for research and development, since 1916
    • Research areas: aerospace, biotechnology, engineering and construction, fundamental sciences, industry, information and communications and manufacturing
overview of eligibility by research council
Overview of Eligibility by Research Council
  • NSERC programs
    • Foreign researchers may be collaborators on a Canada-based research team/project
    • Foreign applicants may apply for specific postdoctoral fellowships
  • CIHR programs
    • Foreign researchers may be co-applicants on a Canada-based research team/project
    • Foreign applicants may apply for specific postdoctoral fellowships
  • NRC programs
    • Foreign applicants are eligible for postdoctoral fellowships only
definitions and eligibility
Definitions and Eligibility
  • Principal applicantand co-applicant(s):
    • Must hold an academic appointment at an eligible Canadian university or college
  • Collaborators:
    • May be a foreign researcher
    • Must be qualified to undertake research independently
    • Will be expected to contribute to the overall intellectual direction of the research project or program of research
    • Will be expected to bring your own resources to the collaboration (i.e. self-funded)
  • Foreign applicants may apply for the postdoctoral fellowship:
    • Visiting Fellowships in Canadian Government Laboratories
tools to find a canadian researcher
Tools to find a Canadian Researcher
  • NSERC Awards Search Engine
    • Information on NSERC funded projects since 1991
    • Allows foreign researchers to identify Canadian researchers that received NSERC funds in specific fields of research
  • NSERC Chairholder Database:
    • Connect with Canada’s leading scientists and engineers
    • Profiles of chairholders’ activities, keyword search, contact information
  • Canada Research Chairs:
    • Profiles of each of the Canada Research Chairs
what do nserc grants fund
What do NSERC Grants Fund?
  • Direct cost of research (general principle)
  • NSERC does not fund indirect or overhead costs
  • NSERC also allows:
    • Salaries and stipends for research personnel (e.g. students, research associates, technicians, postdoctoral fellows, etc.)
    • Visiting researchers’ stipends – limited to a maximum of $2,000 per month for up to 125 days per year
    • Travel and subsistence costs for field work, research conferences, collaborative trips, archival work and historical research (for any research personnel associated with the grant)
  • Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) Grants:
    • Buying and developing research equipment and installations
evaluating nserc grants
Evaluating NSERC Grants
  • Scientific or engineering excellence of the researcher(s)
    • Knowledge, expertise and experience
    • Past or potential impact on the proposed area of research
    • Group synergy (where applicable)
  • Merit of the proposal
    • Originality and innovation
    • Significance and expected contributions to research
    • Clarity of objectives and methodology
    • Feasibility
  • Contribution to the training of highly qualified personnel
    • E.g. postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students, technicians
  • Need for funds
    • Appropriateness of, and justification for, the budget
    • Availability of other sources of funding
discovery grants dg group projects
Discovery Grants (DG) - Group Projects
  • Ongoing programs of research with long-term goals
  • Recognise the creativity and innovation at the heart of research advances
  • Recipients may use the grant for new research activities, not covered in original application (within NSERC’s mandate)
  • Around 3000 applicants each year (1/3 are first time applicants)
  • Success rate as high as 73%
  • Grants are awarded for 1 to 5 years
  • Average size of grant is $32,000 per year (some as high as $200,000 per year)
  • Total funding in 2005-06 was $320 million
special research opportunities sro
Special Research Opportunities (SRO)
  • Unique, emerging, timely or urgent opportunities
  • Must be novel, high-risk or have a strong potential for breakthrough
  • SRO grants do not support:
    • Ongoing research and collaboration
    • Research projects eligible for other NSERC programs (e.g. DG)
  • Also pre-research activities involving researchers in Canada and abroad
    • To investigate and develop potential new collaborative projects
    • Typically for a workshop or short series of meetings
  • Must have defined milestones and objectives
  • Grants are for up to 3 years
collaborative health research projects
Collaborative Health Research Projects
  • Jointly funded by NSERC and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
  • Collaborative research projects in any field of the natural sciences and engineering and the health sciences
  • Program objectives:
    • Advance knowledge and technologies to improve the health of Canadians
    • Encourage collaboration and integration of expertise between natural sciences or engineering and health researchers
  • Awards are for up to 3 years
visiting fellowships in canadian government laboratories
Visiting Fellowships in Canadian Government Laboratories
  • Recent doctoral graduates of any nationality
  • Opportunity for emerging scientists and engineers
  • Work with research groups in Canadian government departments and agencies, including:
    • Agriculture, Conservation, Environment, Fisheries and Oceans, Food Inspection, Health, Industry, Defence, Natural Resources, Parks, etc.
  • Value is C$42,761 per year
  • Term is 1 year, renewable for up to 2 more years
  • 450-500 applications made each year
  • 150 fellowships offered each year (varies)
  • 1/3 of fellowships awarded to foreign applicants
nserc grants deadlines
NSERC Grants Deadlines

Guidelines and Application Forms Online At:

definitions and eligibility1
Definitions and Eligibility
  • Principal applicant:
    • Must be employed by an eligible Canadian institution for the entire duration of the grant
    • Must be an independent researcher (i.e. not under the supervision of another person who is directing the research)
  • Co-applicants:
    • May be an independent researcher, a research associate, a trainee, or a foreign researcher
  • Collaborators:
    • Provide a special service (e.g. technicians) and do not contribute to the intellectual direction of research
  • Foreign applicants may apply for the postdoctoral fellowship:
        • CIHR Fellowships
what do cihr grants fund
What do CIHR grants fund?
  • Direct cost of research (general principle)
  • CIHR does not fund indirect or overhead costs
  • CIHR also allows:
    • Salaries for research associates, research assistants and technicians
    • Honoraria for guest lecturers
    • Travel and subsistence costs for field work, research conferences, collaborative trips, archival work and historical research (for any research personnel associated with the grant)
    • Research equipment and supplies, including staff training for specialized equipment
    • Computers and electronic equipment essential to the research
overview of cihr grants
Overview of CIHR Grants
  • Open Grants Competition
    • E.g. Operating Grants, Team Grants
    • Applications in March and September
    • 3800 new applications each year
  • Strategic Initiatives Competitions
    • Calls for applications in specific areas of research
    • Check CIHR website for current opportunities
    • Includes International Collaborative Partnerships
  • Overall 900 new awards each year
  • Most grants are funded for up to 5 years
  • Currently more than 10,000 researchers hold CIHR grants
  • In 2005-2006 the total grant expenditure was $650 million
cihr operating grants
CIHR Operating Grants
  • All areas of health research
  • Research projects conducted by individuals or groups of researchers
  • Foreign researchers may only apply as co-applicants in a group project
  • Grants awarded for 2 to 5 years
  • Shorter grants may be awarded for pilot projects and feasibility studies
  • Average grant is $122,000 per year for 4-5 years
cihr team grants
CIHR Team Grants
  • Health research best approached through a collaborative team, in all areas of health research
  • Teams of at least three independent investigators, each with proven track record in collaborative projects
  • Foreign researchers may be included as additional team members (i.e. co-applicants)
  • Up to C$ 1 million per grant for a maximum of 5 years
international collaborative indigenous health research partnership on resilience
International Collaborative Indigenous Health Research Partnership on Resilience

EXAMPLE ONLY: Applications are not currently open

  • Collaborative funding program offered by CIHR, HRC New Zealand and NHMRC Australia
  • Supports research in the area of indigenous health
  • 5 year program (2002-2007)
  • 7 full applications were received
  • 3 teams were funded
  • CIHR’s contribution was $5.5 Million
cihr fellowships
CIHR Fellowships
  • Open to Canadians and citizens of other countries
  • Must hold a PhD or professional health degree (or equivalent)
  • Candidates with more than 3 years post-PhD research training will not be considered
  • Fellowships are awarded for
        • Up to 3 years (for PhD holders)
        • Up to 4 years (for professional degree holders)
        • Up to 5 years (for professional degree holders who intend to complete their PhD as part of the fellowship)
  • Annual stipend is C$21,000 to $50,000 depending on applicant’s experience and qualifications
cihr grants deadlines
CIHR Grants Deadlines

Guidelines and Application Forms

Online At:

national research council nrc
National Research Council (NRC)
  • NRC awards and fellowships generally recognise excellence by Canadian scientists and innovators
  • Foreign applicants may only apply for NRC Research Associateships (postdoctoral fellowship)

nrc research associateships
NRC Research Associateships
  • Open to Canadian citizens and foreign nationals
  • Recent PhD graduates in science or engineering or Masters in engineering and 5 years experience
  • Salaried position from C$49,489 (PhD recruiting rate)
  • Appointments are for 2 years, extendable to a maximum of 5 years
nrc grant deadlines
NRC Grant Deadlines

Guidelines and Application Forms Online At:

contact us
Contact Us

Academic Relations/

Canadian Education Centre

Canadian High Commission, Canberra

Phone: (02) 6270 4050 Fax: (02) 6270 4083