Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)

Available funding programs

Program name: Discovery Grant
Type: Operating
Office of Research deadline(s): Draft new application 1 months in advance of agency deadline
Draft renewals 2 weeks in advance of agency deadline
Final full application 2 days in advance of agency deadline
On-line status "submitted" 2 days in advance of agency deadline
Program deadlines: Notification of Intent to Apply August 1st annually
Full application November 1st annually
Funding start date: April 1st
Length of project: Up to 5 years
Program submission instructions:

NSERC applications procedure

  • Common CV
  • Notifications of Intent to Apply
  • Application
Office of Research application procedure: Signed Cover Sheet must be submitted to OR
Office of Research contacts: Kelley Moran
Program contact: NSERC Contacts List

Program Name: Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA)
Type: Award
USRA Terms: Spring May 1 – August 31
Fall September 1 – December 31
Winter January 2 – April 30
Office of Research deadline(s):

1st deadline for co-op applicants who wish to overlook the application process through WaterlooWorks

2 weeks before Co-op term interview starts
Final term deadline for all other applicants 2 weeks in advance of USRA term start date
Department deadline(s): Contact your Department USRA coordinator.
Amount: $4,500 plus supervisor’s contribution
Length of project: 16 consecutive weeks on a full-time basis
Program submission instructions:

All applications must be submitted using NSERC’s on-line system:

  • Form 202 – Part I: completed and submitted by the applicant
  • Transcript: submitted by the applicant (Waterloo unofficial transcript, or official transcript with legend from another eligible university)
  • Form 202 – Part II: completed and submitted by the supervisor

Full description available on NSERC’s site including instructions for completing form 202.

Office of Research Contacts:

Sarindra Andrianasolo

Program contact: NSERC Students and Fellows Contacts List

Program Name:

Alliance Grants


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

Grant Duration: 1 to 5 years
Grant Amount:

$20,000 to $1 million per year

Program Details:

NSERC is launching the new Alliance Grant. Alliance grants encourage university researchers to collaborate with partner organizations, which can be from the private, public or not-for-profit sectors. These grants support research projects led by strong, complementary, collaborative teams that will generate new knowledge and accelerate the application of research results to create benefits for Canada.

Research supported by Alliance grants will:

  • generate new knowledge and/or technology to address complex challenges;
  • create economic, social and/or environmental benefits;
  • contribute to Canada’s long-term competitiveness;
  • support public policy;
  • train new researchers in areas that are important to Canada and to the partner organizations;
  • draw on diverse perspectives and skill sets to accelerate the translation and application of research results.

Applicants are encouraged to apply for the new Alliance Grant beginning on May 21, 2019.

Alliance will be launched in a phased approach. As of May 21st, Option 1 will be open for applications requesting $150,000 or more annually from NSERC. Please continue to check the Latest News webpage and click on “Sign up” to receive email updates on Alliance grants.

For help preparing your application please see the below links, also available on the Alliance Resources webpage:

For the latest information, consult Alliance Grants.

Office of Research contact:

Lynda McCutcheon
Manager, Research Partnerships
519- 888-4567, ext. 33244

NSERC contact:

Program Name:

College and Community Innovation Program  Innovation Links Grants


Supports college-university collaborations working with the business sector to realize successful commercialization

Program deadline:

No deadline

Grant Duration:

Up to 3 years

Grant Amount:

Up to $250,000 per year for both the college and university participants combined (maximum grant for either participant is $125,000).

Application submission:

Submit Signed Cover Sheet and completed application to the Office of Research along with the application two weeks prior to desired application submission date.

Refer to the website on how to apply;

Intellectual Property:

Universities need to develop and sign an agreement with each company partner on the ownership and disposition of IP arising from Innovation Links Grant-funded applied research before initiating any Innovation Links activities.

Office of Research contact:

Lynda McCutcheon
Manager, Research Partnerships
519- 888-4567, ext. 33244

NSERC contact: 

NSERC Contacts List