Funding: NSERC

Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council (NSERC) is an arm's-length federal agency that promotes and supports university-based research and training in the natural sciences and engineering. NSERC grants are awarded through an independent, national, peer-review process designed to ensure excellence. NEW this year: NSERC applicants use the Research Portal to create and, if they choose, submit their NSERC grant applications. New applicants must register to gain access to the system.

Discovery Grants

The Discovery Grant (DG) program provides research operating funds for researchers in the natural and engineering sciences. Researchers who intend to apply in the 2010 competition must submit a Notification of Intent to Apply (Form 180) by August 1. The DG competition is held annually with a full application deadline of November 1. The DG application consists of two forms, Form 100 (instructions) and Form 101 (instructions).

The NOI deadline for 2020 is August 1. By this date, applicants must complete their online Notice of Intent application, and the Canadian Common CV

Applicants are encouraged to actively pursue the most suitable Grant Selection Committee (GSC) to review the grant proposals. Those whose research could be considered by multiple GSCs are encouraged to consult with experienced applicants in their discipline who share research interests. Applicants can also review NSERCs list of GSC Scientific Members to see which GSC has members in the appropriate fields. NSERC's list of contacts can also be very helpful for applicants trying to find the proper GSC.

NEW: Deadlines and Application Process

Internal Deadline (October 27, 2020) - Submit the following to Research Services on or before the specified internal deadline of 5 PM October 27, 2020:

  • Completed My Research Application (MRA) with all required attachments (application and CCV) and approvals from your unit head or one-up, where applicable.
  • Any additional documentation required to support your eligibility, i.e., letter of appointment.

Sponsor Deadline (November 2, 2020)  - Submit your application through NSERC's Research Portal no later than 11 AM November 2, 2020
(Please note: Submitting after 11 AM may reduce Research Services' ability to submit your application to NSERC by the 8PM deadline):

  • Once application is finalized and completed, link your CCV to your application and verify.
  • Submit to Research Services by clicking on the "Submit" button.
  • Once received by Research Services, your application will be aproved and submitted to NSERC.

For full details, please see U of T Research Services' website.

NSERC community-engagement details can be accessed through the Connect with NSERC page and information on Research Portal/CCV Webinars can be accessed on the NSERC webpage.

NSERC Discovery Grant Information Sessions will be held in September
UofT's Office of Research Services held an online information session on the 2020 NSERC Grants Competitions and the internal application process. Topics covered include the following:

  • Imporant NSERC Program Updates
  • Internal UofT Procedures and Deadlines
  • The Conference Model
  • Preparation and submission of successful Discovery Grant applications
  • The peer review process

    If you would like to have the slides from the session please contact Carla DeMarco, Research Communications & Grants Manager, UTM;


For further information on preparing and submitting NSERC grants, please see NSERC's website.