Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council (NSERC) is a federal agency that promotes and supports university-based research and training in the natural sciences and engineering.

NSERC administers funding through the following programs:

For more more information and link to webinars, see resources below.



The Discovery Grants program supports ongoing programs of research with long-term goals rather than a single short-term project or collection of projects. They are considered “grants in aid” of research, as they provide long-term operating funds and can facilitate access to funding from other programs but are not meant to support the full costs of a research program.

The Discovery program offers a core funding mechanism with possibilities for obtaining and applying for supplements and/or to field-specific programs. Opportunities include


Discovery Grants

Grant writing cohort program: Researchers writing a Discovery Grant are encouraged to look into the summer 2022 grant writing cohort program.

Overview: The Discovery Grant (DG) program provides research operating funds for researchers in the natural and engineering sciences. 

Value: Variable, ~$35,000 average, ranges from ~$10,000 to $100,000 (For more information see the NSERC DG competition statistics dashboard)

Duration: Up to 5 years


  • NOI (notification of intent to apply): August 2, 2022*
  • UTM MTA deadline: October 24, 2022**
  • RSO MRA deadline: October 26, 2022, 5 pm
  • External proposal deadline: November 1, 2022, 9 am

*August 1 NOI deadline shifts if it falls on a holiday. See here for more information.

**Please submit your MRA by this deadline to ensure that it reaches RSO by October 26 and to avoid any unecessary stress.


  • Applicants must create an account on the NSERC research portal
  • Applicants must complete the NSERC version of the CCV by the NOI stage (note that this takes time - do not do last-minute)
  • The NOI is submitted directly through the NSERC research portal. Remember to link CCV.
  • Complete the MRA with a draft application by the MRA deadline set by U of T research services*
  • Submit final application through NSERC research portal by the external deadline** (Remember to link CCV and click "submit"). It will be reviewed and approved by central U of T research services.

*Faculty with a start date after Nov 1 will not be able to use the MR portal and will need a letter from their chair. Please contact OVPR (a.pogoutse@utoronto.ca) or research services downtown as early as possible to inquire about internal application procedures. 

**Please note: Submitting after 9 AM may reduce Research Services' ability to submit your application to NSERC by the 8 PM deadline


RSO workshop: NSERC Discovery Grant: Strategies for Success September 15 from 10:30AM to 12:00PM  View session details & register.

RSO workshop: Addressing EDI Considerations in Your NSERC Discovery/RTI Application September 20 from 10:30AM to 12:00PM View session details & register. Agency-hosted Q&A September 22 from 1:00 to 2:00PM  Learn more. 



Subatomic Physics Discovery Grants Program

Please see the NSERC website and the corresponding RSO page for more information.


Discovery Accelerator Supplements Program

Suspended until further notice

Please see the NSERC website for more information.


DND/NSERC Discovery Grant Supplements

Overview: The DND/NSERC Discovery Grant Supplements, a joint initiative between the Department of National Defence (DND) and NSERC, aim 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.

Value: Up to $120,000 over 3 years

Please see the NSERC website for more information.


Discovery Launch Supplements

Overview: Discovery Launch Supplements provide timely resources to support early career researchers (ECRs) as they establish a Discovery Grant-funded research program.

Value: $12,500

Please see the NSERC website for more information.


Northern Research Supplements

Overview: The Northern Research Supplements (NRS) program is aimed at NSERC-funded researchers who intend to conduct Discovery research in Canada's North.

Value: Up to $25,000 per year, for up to five years

Please see the NSERC website for more information.


Ship Time Program

Overview: The Ship Time program allows those holding an NSERC Discovery Grant (DG) to apply for additional funds to access vessels in support of their research programs.

Please see the NSERC website for more information.


CREATE Program

Overview: The Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) program

Value: Up to $150,000 in the first year and up to $300,000 for up to five subsequent years, for a maximum of $1.65M over six years

Duration: Up to 6 years

Nearest external deadline: May 1 (letter of intent); September 22 (application, if invited to apply)



The Innovation program funds applied research, including many types of collaborations and partnerships. There are several types of grants under this program:


Chairs and Faculty Support

Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering Program

The goal of this program is to increase the participation of women in science and engineering and to provide role models for women considering careers in these fields.


Research Tools and Instruments and Infrastructure Programs

Collaborative and Thematic Resources Support in Mathematics and Statistics Program

The Collaborative and Thematic Resources Support in Mathematics and Statistics (CTRMS) Program supports the development of research activities and fosters training and collaboration, within and among national or international (based in Canada) thematic resources in mathematical and statistical sciences.


Research Tools and Instruments

Overview: Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) grants foster and enhance the discovery, innovation and training capability of university researchers in the natural sciences and engineering by supporting the purchase of research equipment.

Value: Up to $150,000

Duration:1 year


  • MRAs are due to RSO by October 18 at 5:00PM. To meet this deadline, please submit by October 17 at 9:00AM. Learn more. 
  • Sponsor Deadline: October 25, 2022 

Resources: RSO workshop: NSERC Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) Grant: Strategies for Success September 16 from 10:30AM to 12:00PM View session details & register. RSO workshop: Addressing EDI Considerations in Your NSERC Discovery/RTI Application September 20 from 10:30AM to 12:00PM View session details & register. Agency-hosted Q&A September 29 from 1:00 to 2:00PM Learn more.