NSERC Alliance

Alliance grants encourage university researchers to collaborate with partner organizations, which can be from the private, public or not-for-profit sectors. 

Effective immediately, all new Option 1 applications may request up to 66.7% of the project costs (2:1 leverage) from NSERC, regardless of partner organization size or sector. This change does not affect or apply to applications submitted prior to June 23, 2023.
The remainder of our website and other program materials have not yet been updated to reflect this change. The above statement supersedes information on Option 1 cost sharing (i.e., 50% cost sharing / 1:1 leverage) that currently appears below and elsewhere.

The Alliance program includes


Alliance Grants

Overview: Alliance grants provide support for university researchers who want to collaborate with partner organizations from the private, public, or not-for-profit sectors.

Value: $20,000 to $1 million per year (see cost sharing below)

Duration: 1 to 5 years

Deadlines: None (application can be submitted any time)

Eligibility: University researchers collaborating with private-sector, public-sector or not-for-profit organizations. 

  • Partners must have demonstrated ability to exploit research results and mobilize knowledge.  Must contribute to the funding of the project. 
  • Private sector multinational with business operations in Canada are eligible
  • Private sector foreign companies are eligible only if they are also partnering with a Canadian partner that is recognized in cost-share calculations.
  • To determine is a partner organization can participate in the project, we recommend using the partner organization self-assessment tool.



Cost Sharing

Alliance grants offer two cost sharing-options:

Option 1

Supports projects that respond to a research challenge within the natural science and engineering (NSE) fields.  May collaborate with researchers outside of the NSE, however research costs will be capped at 30%. 

Value: $20,000-$1million per year.

Cost sharing table

Size of partner

Type of partnership

NSERC contribution to project costs

Small and medium-sized organizations
(fewer than 500 employees globally)

As a sole partner organization from any sector
In partnership with other organizations of any size and from any sector

(2:1 leverage)

Large Organizations

(more than 500 employees globally)

All from the same sector


(1:1 leverage)


  • In-kind contributions are important for the success of the project even though they are not considered in the cost-sharing calculations with NSERC. All partner organizations participating in the project must play an active role in it and make in-kind contributions through such involvement. In-kind contributions are considered in the merit assessment of your proposal
  • Institutional overhead or other cash contributions made by the partner organization towards expenses other than the projects direct costs, may be included in the application, but will not be included in the cost-sharing calculations. 


Option 2

Projects that tackle national priorities and aim for impacts beyond near term economic success that will have benefits that reach beyond the partner organization, maybe eligible for higher support from NSERC, cost-sharing Option 2.  NSERC may cover up to 100% of the project costs. 

Value: $30,000-$1,000,000 per year.

Cost sharing table

Size of partner

Type of partnership

NSERC contribution to project costs

All partner sizes

Any sector.  At least one partner organization that could be recognized for cost sharing.


Note: As of February 18, 2022, Alliance Option 2 has been simplified to one single cost sharing ratio of 100% from NSERC for proposals involving partners from any sector (private, public or not-for-profit). As a result, the requirement for partner organizations to commit 10% of the project’s cash budget, when partners from the private sector are involved, has been removed.



Alliance International

Overview: Alliance International grants provide supports for Canadian university researchers who want to work in partnership with international collaborators from the academic sector.

Value: $25,000 (Catalyst grants) up to $100,000 per year (Collaboration grants)

Duration: 1 year (Catalyst grants) up to 3 years (Collaboration grants)

Deadlines: No deadlines (applications can be submitted at any time)

Links: Read more about the Alliance International grant program on the NSERC website