NSERC Discovery Grants Program

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) is launching their new competition for the Discovery Grants Program.

Program Objective:

The Discovery Grants Program assists in:
• promoting and maintaining a diversified base of high-quality research capability in the natural sciences and engineering in Canadian universities;
• fostering research excellence; and
• providing a stimulating environment for research training.

The Discovery Grants Program supports ongoing programs of research (with long-term goals) rather than a single short-term project or collection of projects. These grants recognize the creativity and innovation that are at the heart of all research advances. Discovery Grants are considered ‘grants in aid’ of research as they provide long term operating funds to support the costs of a research program. As a grant in aid of research, Discovery Grants are not meant to support the full costs of a research program and they can facilitate access to funding from other programs. NSERC recognizes that, while being of a grant in aid nature, Discovery Grants must be sufficient to support a program of quality research that can have a meaningful impact on the field of study.
Recipients of Discovery Grants are not restricted to the specific activities described in their applications, but may pursue new research interests, provided they are within NSERC’s mandate. This provides researchers with the flexibility to pursue promising research avenues as they emerge and the opportunity to address higher-risk (higher reward) topics. Researchers can use their grants to participate in collaborative efforts.

Value and Duration:

• Funding is typically 5 years in duration.
• Award values vary, based on scoring of application


Eligibility guidelines; if you are unsure, please contact Agnes Wong
• Newly hired PIs who start before 1 September 2020 may apply, even if they have not yet taken up their position.
• If your offer of a position is still pending approval at the time of application, it must be finalized and confirmed in writing to NSERC within six weeks following the application deadline.

Submission Information:

Application to DG requires Canadian Common CV (CCV), NOI and Application. To create or access a Notification of Intent to Apply or an Application, select Research Portal.

Application guideline:

  • NSERC Guidelines
  • OSR has additional resources, including an internal application guide and a lending library. Please contact Avril Rios for more details.

OSR Contact(s):

Agnes Wong, Grants Officer, 514-398-3102


  • Notice of Intent (NOI) Deadline: Tuesday, August 6 @ 8pm ET through Research Portal
  • OSR internal review deadline: Friday, October 18 @ 10am
  • Final OSR deadline with duly-signed checklist: Thursday, October 31 @ 10am

Agency deadline: Friday, November 1 @ 3pm


For more information, see the NSERC Discovery Grants Program webpage.


Source: McGill Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) / NSERC Website

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