Read the relevant grant description within the College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program before you complete the application.
The opportunity previously available to colleges through Level 1 Applied Research and Development Grants is now available through Engage Grants.
CCI grants are institutional grants. The applicant, normally a senior manager in the administration of the college and delegated by the college president to prepare the application and manage the grant, must complete the application and include all required documentation using the On-line System.
The applicant and participants must also complete the College Personal Data Form (Form-fillable PDF) and attach it to the application using the On-line System.
You are responsible for submitting a complete application that conforms to the presentation standards established by NSERC. Incomplete applications and applications that do not meet the presentation standards may be rejected, or be at a disadvantage, in comparison with those that are complete and respect the presentation standards. Where page limits are stated, pages in excess of the number permitted will be removed.
For more information, read the NSERC On-line Presentation and Attachment Standards.
Your application must be received at your institution’s research grants office by their internal deadline date. Contact your research grants office for those deadlines.
For programs with deadlines, the application must be received at NSERC by 8:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on the deadline date. If it is not received by the deadline, it will be considered late and will be rejected. Application deadlines are indicated in each of the program descriptions, as well as on the Application Deadlines and Notification of Decision page.
Material or updates received under separate cover (before or after the deadline date) will not be accepted.
The collection, use and disclosure of personal information provided to NSERC are outlined in the following policy statements:
The information you provide in your application is collected under the authority of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Act. NSERC is subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act (ATIP). The information you provide is stored in a series of NSERC data banks described in Info Source.
Contact the staff responsible for the program to which you are applying.
Title of proposal
The title will be used for publication purposes. It should describe the subject of the research to be supported. It should not contain a company or trade name. Spell out scientific symbols and acronyms.
Enter the time to be devoted (in hours per month) to the proposed research/activity by the team members.
Research Subject Codes
Consult the NSERC Code Tables. If the applied research focus of the proposal is in the natural sciences or engineering, you are required to select a research subject code for the primary area of research from the list of Area of Research subject codes. You can also select a secondary research subject code. Otherwise, leave the fields blank.
Area of Application Codes
Consult the NSERC Code Tables. If the applied research focus of the proposal is in the natural sciences or engineering, you are required to select a code for the primary area of application from the list of Area of Application Codes. You can also select a code for a secondary Area of Application code. Otherwise, leave the fields blank.
Provide a maximum of 10 key words that describe the proposal.
Before completing this page, consult the Policies and Guidelines of the Program Guide for Professors concerning the requirements for certain types of research.
Research involving humans: If you select Yes, you must provide your institution's administration with the appropriate certification indicating that research involving humans has been reviewed and has received the required approval.
Research involving human pluripotent stem cells: If you select Yes, or if through peer review the application is found to fall into this category and is recommended for funding, it will be forwarded, with your consent, to the Stem Cell Oversight Committee (SCOC) to ensure compliance with Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Research: Guidelines for CIHR-Funded Research. The SCOC review is in addition to the normal review by local Research Ethics Boards (REBs). Funding will not be released until approval has been obtained from the SCOC.
Research involving the use of animals: If you select Yes, you must provide your institution's administration with the certification from the animal care committee at the institution that the experimental procedures proposed have been approved and that the care and treatment of animals is in accordance with the principles outlined in the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) guide.
Research involving hazardous substances: If you select Yes, you must provide your institution's administration with the certification from the biosafety committee at the institution that the laboratory procedures being used comply with the safety precautions necessary for the level of containment required by the research.
Environmental impact: The Environmental Information Form (Appendix A) may be required. For more information, consult NSERC’s Guidelines on Environmental Review and Assessment.
Since all College and Community Innovation Program funds are institutional grants, faculty and staff involved with the proposal can be listed as participants. List each participant’s name, personal identification number (if known), organization name, as well as the time (in hours per month) each participant will devote to the proposed applied research/activity or the use of equipment.
Only the main participants should be listed on the proposal. Participants need to obtain their organization's approval and must provide a complete College and Community Innovation Program Personal Data Form (Form 103CV), including a signed copy of the Consent to Disclosure of Personal Information Form, to the applicant.
Participants, except those from the applicant's institution, must advise the authorized officer of their organization that NSERC will be seeking their signature through its secure site, agreeing to their participation.
By submitting this form, the applicant certifies that the individuals listed as participants have been informed of the precise uses and disclosures of their personal information by NSERC (see Use and Disclosure of Personal Information Provided to NSERC) and have authorized the release of the information by the applicant.
Enter information about each participant's organization's signing officer (other than the applicant’s organization). For supporting organizations such as a private-sector partner or a government department, enter information about the authorized representative (s).
The CV for the applicant and participants is made up of two sections and a consent form. Part I collects specific information on the person using the NSERC form entitled College Personal Data form. Part II is free form text limited to five pages and is used to list contributions such as the person’s relevant experience and contributions to applied research and innovation. See the instructions for completing the College and Community Innovation Program Personal Data Form (Form 103CV).
When completed, the applicant’s and participants’ signed CV, together with a signed copy of the Consent to Disclosure of Personal Information Form, must be saved into one PDF document and attached to the application.
A collaborator is a member of the research team. Examples of collaborators are: government scientists, academic researchers, company staff members or research scientists. The collaborator will not have access to the grant funds and must be qualified to undertake research independently. Collaborators are expected to contribute to the overall intellectual direction of the applied research project and to bring their own resources to the collaboration.
List each collaborator’s name, personal identification number (if known), organization name, as well as the time (in hours per month) they will each devote to the proposed applied research/activity.
If necessary, curriculum vitae (maximum five pages) from each collaborator can be submitted with the application. The applicant must save all the CVs from the collaborators in one PDF document and attach the PDF document to the application.
The summary is intended to explain the proposal in language that the public can understand.
Using simple terms, briefly describe the nature of the work to be done. Indicate why and to whom the applied research is important, the anticipated outcomes and how Canada will benefit.
This plain language summary will be available to the public if your proposal is funded.
If you wish, you may also provide a summary in the other official language in the text box identified for that purpose.
List the activities/steps required to achieve the objectives for each year of the grant.
Indicate the start and end dates for the activities leading to the milestones, as well as the major results expected.
Use the guidelines outlined in the NSERC On-line Presentation and Attachment Standards to provide the requested information in a document to be attached to the application. Describe your proposal using the headings below within a maximum of 10 single-sided pages (this page limit does not include references). For large and complex projects, contact NSERC staff if you feel that additional pages are needed to describe what is being proposed in sufficient detail.
Refer to the description of the Applied Research and Development (ARD) Grants - Selection Criteria for a list of criteria that will be considered by reviewers when evaluating the applications.
Synopsis: Provide a concise overview of the scientific or technical objectives, approach, and the new knowledge, expertise, or technology that could be transferred to Canadian companies. Indicate the benefits expected to accrue to the partner, to the academic institution and to the applied research discipline(s).
Background: Relate the proposal to current scientific, technical and commercial developments in the field, referring to the current literature and market conditions. Describe the background research on which the project is built.
Detailed proposal: Discuss in detail the technical issues, applied research problems or technical adaption and transfer challenges, and describe the methodology and experimental design proposed to explain or resolve them. Provide a work plan and relate it to the milestone schedule from the Activity Schedule section. Describe the roles of any students who will be involved in the project. If applicable, justify the need for any additional support staff such as research assistants, technicians or other professional staff who may be required to carry out the project.
Note: A sufficient level of detail is required for the external reviewers to be able to assess the team’s understanding of the applied research challenge(s), the appropriateness of the proposed approach, and the likelihood of success based on the proposed work plan.
Team expertise: Explain how the knowledge and experience of each expert relates to the expertise needed to accomplish the project objectives and how the contributions of the team members (including, if applicable, company personnel) will be integrated.
Research management: If the proposal involves large or dispersed research teams, provide a plan for how the project will be managed to provide both day-to-day direction and scientific leadership, as well as maintain good communication between the college research group(s) and the private-sector sponsor(s). If applicable, please detail the project manager's qualifications, involvement, role and responsibilities.
Training of highly qualified personnel: Describe how the knowledge and experience gained by students, research assistants or others, including company personnel, is relevant to innovation and applied research in the private sector. The number of students involved is expected to be commensurate with the size of the project.
Value of the results and relevance to the private sector: Describe the anticipated value of the project results, highlighting the relevance to the private sector of the scientific or technical advances, or the innovative techniques, processes or products that will be developed or innovatively applied. Clearly identify how the work will benefit the private sector partner(s) by showing how the outcome will address a current or future company or market need. To the extent possible, indicate the additional work the partners will have to do to exploit the results of the applied research for commercialization. Describe how the exploitation of the project results will benefit the Canadian economy within a reasonable time.
Benefit to Canada: As well as the economic benefit to Canada described in the previous section, outline any additional economic, social, and/or environmental benefits that will or could be realized in Canada.
Metrics: In addition to the objectives of the project, applicants are encouraged to identify one or two metrics (with targets) that signal broader impacts of the project. Some of the possible metrics might include:
In the final report provided by the applicant, the college will be expected to report the levels realized for these metrics.
Before completing this page, read the instructions and consult the grant description and the College and Community Innovation Tri-Agency Program Financial Administration Guide for information about the eligibility of expenditures for the costs of research and the regulations governing the use of grant funds.
Provide a detailed explanation and justification for each budget item identified in the Proposed Expenditures page. Provide sufficient information to allow reviewers to assess whether the resources requested are appropriate. These pages should only contain information pertinent to the budget.
Also, explain and justify the proposed cost-sharing ratios between NSERC and the private-sector partner. Provide sufficient detail to allow reviewers to evaluate whether the level of private-sector cash commitment is appropriate. Refer to the Guidelines for Organizations Participating in Research Partnership Programs for a discussion on private-sector contribution levels.
Salaries and benefits
Give the names (if known), categories of employment and proposed salaries (with explicit indication of the non-discretionary benefits) of research staff (research assistants and technical professionals), students and the project manager, if applicable. Briefly describe the responsibilities for each position and indicate the percentage of time they will be spending on this project over its lifespan. Salary for full-time faculty is not an eligible expense and should not be included in project costs. Faculty release costs are eligible as described in the College and Community Innovation Program Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide. Salary for part-time faculty is eligible. It should be included under “d) other” and explained in the budget justification.
Note: A consultant can be hired for an ARD project to complete an essential component of an applied research project only if the expertise is not readily available within the faculty or full-time technical staff of the college. The total salary allocation of the consultant will not represent more than 20% of the total ARD project funding and must be strongly justified.
Provide details of training workshops and explain major items with regards to knowledge and dissemination/sharing eligible expenses limited to costs attributable to specific projects/activities to be undertaken.
Travel: Explain briefly how each activity relates to the proposed research. Explain how the proposed travel is important to realizing the economic innovation and applied research objectives. This does not include international conferences to present research results.
Research and Technology Transfer Support Services
Provide details and explain major items with regards to research and technology transfer support services to costs attributable to specific projects/activities to be undertaken. List the expenditure for research planning and promotion, intellectual property protection, market studies, patent applications etc.
Operating and Equipment
The maximum allowable percentage for operating and equipment costs expenditures will not exceed 20% of the total grant awarded to a recipient college.
Give a breakdown of the items requested. Provide details on models, manufacturers, prices and applicable taxes. Justify the need for each item requested. Provide two recent quotations for components or systems costing more than $25,000. The Quotations section will allow you to describe the quotations to be sent with the proposal. Fees to be paid for the use of equipment or a facility should be described (e.g., hours and rate).
Provide details for materials and supplies.
Overhead and administration
Provide details and explain major items with regards to overhead and administration costs attributable to the specific project to be undertaken.
In general, the college is expected to provide for, or contribute, to the indirect or overhead costs such as basic utilities, the costs associated with managing and operating facilities, the purchase and repair of office equipment, administration fees, insurance for equipment and research vehicles, and basic communication devices such as telephones. Since the funding received through the CCI Program is not eligible for the Indirect Costs Program, colleges may request funds for overhead and administration costs attributable to this project (but not for general overhead and administration costs of the college as a whole). The maximum allowable percentage for overhead and administrative costs will not exceed 20% of the grant amount.
Provide two recent quotations for items or systems costing more than $25,000 before taxes. Provide justification if two quotations are not available.
Note: For upload purposes, all the quotations must be saved into a single PDF document.
Any relationship and/or overlap, conceptual or financial, with work supported by NSERC or other funding sources must be explained.
Use additional pages to provide the following information:
The onus is on the applicant to provide sufficient information to enable the reviewers to evaluate the relationship between this application and other sources of support, to evaluate the incremental value of additional support from the program, and to recommend the appropriate funding level.
The consequence of not providing adequate information to assess the relationship to other research support is that the reviewers may recommend reduced or no funding.
Use this page to report the contributions committed by the supporting organization(s) to the research project. Before completing this section, read the program description and the College and Community Innovation Program Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide for information about the eligibility of expenditures and the regulations governing the use of grant funds. Also review the Guidelines on Eligibility and Value of In-Kind Contributions.
Provide the information for each supporting organization.
List the resources the supporting organization will provide to support the proposed activities including:
Use the Contributions from Supporting Organizations (Attachment) page to provide an explanation of the cash and eligible in-kind contributions.
Form 183A and letter of support (and attachments, as required)
A completed Form 183A, letter of support and any other required documents must be attached for each organization participating in an applied research project. Either the applicant or the supporting organization must complete all applicable pages of the form and provide the required documents.
To allow a supporting organization the ability to link a Form 183A to your application, use the Access Manager page of Form 103. For details on how to use this function, refer to the Access Manager instructions.
For applicants who are filling out Form 183A on behalf of the participating organization use the Link Manager page of Form 183A to link to your application. For details on how to use this function, refer to the Link Manager instructions.
Provide a detailed explanation of the in-kind contributions to the direct costs of research. This information will be used to assess the level and nature of the partner involvement, the importance of their contribution to the success of the project and an appropriate cost-sharing ratio.
Cash contributions are those made to accounts for which the applicant has signing authority. Other contributions are considered in-kind.
Provide a letter from the appropriate representative of each participating or supporting organization other than Canadian universities or eligible Canadian colleges (e.g. the person responsible for the organization's participation in, or support of, the project), on letterhead, that indicates:
Note: For upload purposes, all letters of support must be saved into a single PDF document.
Describe the anticipated plans to protect and dispose of intellectual property arising in the project.
For proposals over $25,000 per year, colleges need to develop and sign an agreement with each company partner on the ownership and disposition of IP arising from the CCI-funded applied research before initiating any CCI activities (intellectual property agreements do not need to be completed before submitting the proposal to NSERC).
Any agreements made regarding the ownership of the IP resulting from ARD-funded research must take into account the objective of creating partnerships. This implies a sharing of eventual benefits between the partners commensurate with their respective contributions.
Given the purpose of the projects and the fact that they are company-driven, the college must have the right to use the new knowledge or technology in future teaching and research; and faculty and students must have the right to describe the project on their curricula vitae.
An Environmental Information Form (Appendix A) must be completed and uploaded to the Environmental Impact page if required.
Suggest the names of five people competent to assess the technical aspects of the proposal. This list should include experts from the college and/or the broader research community and at least one expert from the private-sector. As appropriate include people from the natural and social sciences, engineering, humanities and/or health who are competent to assess the research.
Give the name, complete mailing address, telephone and facsimile numbers, email address, and the area(s) of expertise of potential external reviewers (referees).
External reviewers (referees) should be able to review the proposal in the language in which it is written.
You may also request in a cover letter that some individuals or companies not be involved in the review of your application. Your request will be taken into account by NSERC.
Conflict of interest
Suggested external reviewers (referees) should not be in a conflict of interest. Refer to the Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policy of the Federal Research Funding Organizations for more information. In addition, referees external reviewers (referees) must sign the Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Agreement for Review Committee Members, External Reviewers, and Observers before they access the application material.
The cover letter is optional and should only be used if you wish to provide NSERC with additional information that will not be shared with external reviewers, such as a request that an individual or group of individuals not be involved in the review of your proposal. NSERC will take such a request into consideration. The cover letter must contain your name, the type of CCI grant which you are applying for and the title of your application.
Note: This letter may be accessible to these individuals under the Privacy Act.
NSERC does not require original signatures on applications or other documents submitted electronically through its On-line System. The electronic submission of applications through this system represents approval and replaces the traditional “physical” or “wet” signatures. Refer to the Frequently Asked Questions in the Program Guide for Professors for more details.
Before you, as an applicant, can submit your application to NSERC or link your Personal Data Form to an application, you must read and agree to the Terms and Conditions of Applying that appear in a pop-op window during the submission process. It is your responsibility to retain a copy of the agreed Terms and Conditions for your record.
Each participant submitting a Form 103CV as part of the application must fill out and sign the Terms and Conditions of Applying Form included in the Form 103CV.
The signatures of the institutional authorities certify that:
The signatures of authorized officers of other supporting organizations certify that the organization:
If you are both the applicant or participant and a principal of a collaborating organization, another senior official must sign on behalf of the organization.
Use the following list to make sure your application is complete.