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Operations and Maintenance Support for Research Equipment

Instructions for Completing an Application

General Information

About the Funding Opportunity

Read the description in the Program Guide for Professors before you complete the application.

Am I Eligible to Apply?

Consult the Eligibility Criteria - For Faculty to ensure that you can participate in this grant program as an applicant or a co-applicant.

Who Completes the Application?

The applicant and co-applicant(s) must complete their respective sections of the application as per the instructions, using the Research Portal. In addition, an NSERC’s This link will take you to another Web site Canadian Common CV (CCV) must be completed by the applicant and each co-applicant and be linked to the application.

Presentation Standards

In the application, applicants and co-applicants must submit all requested information in agreement with NSERC On-line Presentation and Attachment Standards. 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.

Application Deadlines

Your application must be received at your institution's research grants office by their internal deadline date; contact your research grants office for this deadline.

The application must be received at NSERC by 8:00 p.m. (ET) on the deadline date. If it is not received by the deadline, it will be considered late and will be rejected. The application deadline is indicated in the program description, as well as on the Application Deadlines and Notification of Decision page.

Once an application has been submitted to NSERC, it may not be updated or modified.

Collection and Use of Personal Information

The information you provide in your application is collected under the authority of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Act and stored in a series of NSERC data banks described in This link will take you to another Web site Info Source Publication. Details on the use and disclosure of this information are described in Use and Disclosure of Personal Information Provided to NSERC, in the NSERC program literature and below. The personal information is used in accordance with the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.

Whom should I contact for help?

Completing the Application

Create an Application

  • Sign in to the Research Portal.
  • Select ‘Research Tools and Instruments’ Funding Opportunity and click Create.
  • Complete your Eligibility Profile and click on Validate
  • Click on Continue and Create Application
  • Under Applications, Open the application.
  • Click on Edit to complete the different sections.

Identification

Administering Organization

Organization – Select the organization that will administer the grant.

Department – Enter the department where you hold your eligible position. If your department is not in the list, select Head Office.

Application

Application TitleThe title of the application must begin with ‘Operations and Maintenance Support’. The title must be short and should indicate the research facility to be supported. It may be used for publication purposes. Restrict the use of acronyms (e.g., DNA, NATO, etc.), and avoid company or trade names.

Language of the Application – Indicate the language in which the application will be submitted.

The main body of the application should be written in either English or French and not in a mix of both official languages.

Note: The applicant and co-applicant(s) can each write their NSERC CCV in either official language.

Suggested Evaluation Group – Select the evaluation group that best fits your research discipline. Your application will be assessed by a multi-disciplinary committee. Your suggestion is used for assigning committee members to review your application.

Time to Be Devoted to Research/Activity

The applicant and each of the co-applicants must complete this section. Enter the time in hours per month that you and your HQP team will use the facility.

Summary of Proposal

A limit of 2,500 characters is allowed in the text box.

Provide a summary of the proposal in plain language that the public can understand. It will be available to the public if your proposal is funded.

Using simple terms, briefly describe the research facility, what it will be used for, and the research activities it supports. Indicate why and to whom the research facility is important, the anticipated outcomes of the research programs supported by the research facility and the benefits to the research fields supported by the research facility and to Canada.

If you wish, you may also provide a summary in the other official language in the text box for that purpose.

Proposed Expenditures

Consult the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide for information about the eligibility of expenditures for the direct costs of research and the regulations governing the use of grant funds.

There are limited options in the pull-down menus for entering expenditures. The following table indicates which heading you should use for entering various types of expenditures:

Proposed Expenditures Eligible Costs Non-eligible Costs
Purchase or rental Costs for minor equipment or upgrades not eligible for regular RTI support (net cost below $7,001)

Costs for materials and supplies related to the operations and maintenance of the facility
Purchase or rental of equipment eligible for regular RTI support (net cost between $7,001 and $150,000)

Indirect costs of research or expenses that are central or departmental institutional costs
Operation and maintenance costs Salaries and benefits of professional and technical research staff employed to provide support to users, or to operate and maintain the facility

Extended warranty or service contract
Salaries and benefits of researchers

Stipends and support for graduate students or postdoctoral fellows
Other Travel costs related to the operations and maintenance of the facility Dissemination costs

Outreach activities


Important Note: Since applications for operations and maintenance support are submitted using the RTI application in the Research Portal, the Proposed Expenditures page can only reflect one year of funding. Therefore, if your request is for 2 years of support refer to the information below.

  • Enter the proposed expenditures in the table under the appropriate budget items.
  • Indicate any cash contributions from university, industry or other sources (if applicable).
  • The total amount requested from NSERC must not exceed $150,000/year.
  • If your request is for two years of support, the Total amount requested from NSERC in Year 1 should represent half of the total amount requested from NSERC over the two years. A detailed explanation must be provided in the Budget Justification section indicating the actual breakdown of the budget for each of the two years.

Examples:

  • If you are requesting $150k in year 1 and $150k in year 2, the Total amount requested from NSERC in the Proposed Expenditures table must be $150k.
  • If you are requesting $150k in year 1 and $50k in year 2, the Total amount requested from NSERC in the Proposed Expenditures table must be $100k.

Relationship to Other Research Support

This section is only required for the principal applicant. Co-applicants should enter “NA” in their section of the application.

A limit of 10,000 characters is allowed in the text box. The research facility may receive funding from multiple sources; however duplication of financial support for identical budget items is not appropriate. Other sources of support can include grants and contributions from funding agencies, organizations, the private sector, and academic institutions. In particular, research facilities that are currently supported by the This link will take you to another Web site CFI Infrastructure Operating Fund must provide details of that funding. The onus is on the applicant to clearly explain how the funding received from various sources will be used.

Please note that facilities funded through the This link will take you to another Web site CFI Major Science Initiatives Fund are not eligible for support through this funding opportunity.   

Contributions to the Training of Highly Qualified Personnel

The applicant and each of the co-applicants must complete this section.

A limit of 2,500 characters is allowed in the text box.

Describe the past impact (if applicable) and expected future impact of the facility on the training of highly qualified personnel. Training supported by NSERC ranges from undergraduate theses and summer projects to postdoctoral levels, and includes technical and other research personnel.

Most Significant Contributions to Research

The applicant and each of the co-applicants must complete this section.

A limit of 7,500 characters is allowed in the text box.

List up to five of your most significant contributions to research and/or to practical applications over the last six years. In particular, list any major contributions that depended on the use of the research facility.

For each contribution, describe its significance in terms of influence on the direction of thought and activity in the target community; and significance to, and use by, other researchers and end users. For collaborative contributions, describe your role.

You may include the full reference to your contributions or provide the appropriate reference to your NSERC CCV.

If applicable, applicants should explain and give dates for any significant delays in their research activity or in the dissemination of research results (e.g., parental leave, bereavement, single parent situations, illness, extraordinary administrative duties) in the NSERC CCV under the section Employment (Leaves of Absence and Impact on Research).

Additional Information on Contributions

The applicant and each of the co-applicants must complete this section.

A limit of 2,500 characters is allowed in the text box.

This section is intended to provide additional information not covered in other sections that may assist reviewers in their assessment.

Provide details on:

  • The time to be devoted to research and training enabled by the requested support.
  • The contributions listed in your NSERC CCV, that are dependent upon the use of the facility. Such details may include:
    • the nature of collaborations with other researchers;
    • the rationale or practice used for:
      • the order of authors in the publications listed, and
      • the inclusion of students in the list of authors;
    • your role in joint publications;
    • the reason for selecting certain venues (journals, conferences) for publications and particular features of the venues (e.g., target audiences, review procedures);
    • the impact or potential impact of patents and technology transfer;
    • the nature of industrially relevant R&D activities;
    • the significance of technical reports;
    • attestation to the nature and the significance of confidential technical and internal reports; and
    • original research reported in books or technical reports.

Activity Details

Certification Requirements

Before completing this section, consult 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 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 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 to the Stem Cell Oversight Committee (SCOC) to ensure compliance with This link will take you to another Web site 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.

Environmental Impact

If you select Yes to any of the questions, you will be asked to answer additional questions as appropriate to address the requirements of the This link will take you to another Web site Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012).

NSERC is subject to CEAA 2012. The Guidelines on Environmental Review and Assessment describe the circumstances under which environmental reviews or assessments must be conducted, and the administrative processes that will be followed by NSERC to ensure that legal obligations are met with respect to CEAA 2012.

Research Subject Codes

Consult the Research Subject Codes. A primary research subject code is required.

Area of Application Codes

Consult the Area of Application Codes. A primary area of application code is required.

Keywords

Provide a maximum of 10 keywords that best describe your proposal.

Eligibility Profile

You must re-validate your eligibility profile. Review your information and ensure it accurately reflects the details of your eligible position. If your position is not in the list provided, enter free-form text. Click on Save and validate.

Attachments

The only attachments required and accepted for this funding opportunity are the Proposal and Budget Justification. All other attachments, if included, will be removed.

In the Application Overview page, click Attach to include each required document. Attachments are free-form and must respect NSERC's presentation standards and page limits, where applicable.

Important: You must preview your attachments in the Research Portal to ensure that the documents have been uploaded correctly and that the content is viewable. NSERC will not accept applications containing corrupted or protected files that cannot be opened or viewed.

Proposal

Limit of three pages.

  • Clearly describe the regional or national nature of the facility.
  • For the group of applicants, address the following criteria (Refer to the Selection Criteria section of the Operations and Maintenance Support for Research Equipment description):
    • Use of the facility by the research community;
    • Demonstrated need for support of the facility for the research programs;
    • Merit of the research programs that rely on access to the facility and excellence of the user community; and
    • Contribution of the facility to the training of highly qualified personnel.

Refer to This link will take you to another Web site Selecting the Appropriate Federal Granting Agency for additional information.

Budget Justification

Limit of two pages.

This section must only contain information pertinent to the budget.

Provide a budget breakdown of the support requested for Year 1 and Year 2 (if applicable).

Explain and justify each budget item as described in the table below and provide information on any cash or in-kind contributions (from industry, university or other sources) towards the operations or maintenance of the facility.

Proposed Expenditures Detailed Explanation and Justification
Purchase or rental Describe/justify costs for minor equipment or upgrades not eligible for regular RTI support (net cost below $7001).

Describe/justify costs for materials and supplies related to the operations and maintenance of the facility.
Operation and maintenance costs Provide the name (if known), category of employment, the total proposed salaries, with explicit indication of the non-discretionary benefits, of professional and technical staff employed to provide support to users, or to operate and maintain the equipment or facility. Eligible remuneration of any other nature that is required as part of the activities of the facility must be fully explained.

Describe/justify any extended warranty or service contracts.
Other Describe/justify travel costs related to the operations and maintenance of the facility.

Describe/justify any other facility-related eligible expense that does not fit under the above-listed expenditures.

Quotations

This is not applicable to the Operations and Maintenance support request. Do not include any attachment in this section.

Confirmation of Financial Contributions

This is not applicable to the Operations and Maintenance support request. Do not include any attachment in this section.

Co-Applicants

Inviting Co-Applicants

No more than 10 co-applicants may be included in your application. NSERC suggests that co-applicants be major (frequent) users of the research facility. 

From the Application Overview page in the Invitations section, click on Manage Invitations. Provide the email address and the last name of each co-applicant. An email will be sent to each participant with instructions on how to accept the invitation.

Information Required from Co-applicants

As a co-applicant you must accept the invitation as specified in the invitation email. In the Research Portal, complete the Eligibility Profile, upload your NSERC CCV and provide the following information using the instructions specified above:

  • time to be devoted to research/activity (hours per month that you and your HQP team will use the facility);
  • contributions to the training of HQP;
  • most significant contributions to research; and
  • additional information on contributions.

    Note: enter NA in the Relationship to Other Research Support section since it is not required from co-applicants but is mandatory in the Research Portal.

A Submit button will be displayed once you have completed and validated all sections and uploaded your NSERC CCV. Select Submit to send your part of the application to the applicant.

Note: Co-applicants (except those from the applicant's institution) must advise the authorized officer of their organization that the applicant, or the applicant's institution, will be seeking their authorized officer's signature and agreement to the co-applicant's participation before the application is submitted to NSERC.

Uploading your NSERC CCV

The applicant and each of the co-applicants must submit a CCV.

  • In the Application Overview page, click Attach.
  • Enter your CCV confirmation number. Refer to the NSERC CCV instructions for information on how to obtain your CCV confirmation number.   
  • Click Upload.
  • Click Back to Application Overview.
  • Preview your CCV in the Research Portal and verify that it was uploaded correctly and that it contains all of the entries that you wish to submit for peer review.

Submitting the Application to NSERC

Once you have validated all the sections of your application and uploaded your NSERC CCV, a Submit button will be displayed.

  • Click Submit.
  • On the Application Overview page, click Export Application and Attachments to PDF and save a copy of your submission for your records.

When you submit your application it is sent to your Research Administrator for approval and submission to NSERC. The status of your application will be changed to Received by Administrator. Once your Research Administrator has approved and forwarded your application to NSERC, the application status will be changed to Received by Agency.

Note: The retention period in the Research Portal is three months after the deadline date.

Signatures

NSERC does not require original signatures on applications or other documents submitted electronically using the Research Portal. User ID/password-based "signatures" allow applicants, supporting organizations and authorized institutional representatives—such as Research Grants Officers, Scholarships Liaison Officers and Business Officers—to "sign" and submit on-line applications and other documents to NSERC. Refer to the Frequently Asked Questions in the Program Guide for Professors for more details.

What do the “signatures” mean?

For applicants and co-applicants

Before you, as an applicant or co-applicant, can submit your application to NSERC or upload your NSERC CCV to an application, you must read and agree to the Terms and Conditions of Applying that appear in a pop-up window during the submission process. It is your responsibility to retain a copy of the agreed Terms and Conditions for your records.

The “signatures” of the institutional authorities certify that:

  • the institution will abide by the roles and responsibilities set out in the This link will take you to another Web site Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions ("the Agreement") with the three federal granting agencies, including the This link will take you to another Web site Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research, the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide, and the relevant program literature;
  • as required by the Agreement, the applicant and co-applicant(s) meet the eligibility requirements for the relevant funding opportunity;
  • prior to submission of the application, the institution has obtained written approval from any other institutions involved in the application process;
  • you will not use or disclose any information that you obtain or view on the Research Portal for any purposes other than your participation in the agency's process; and
  • you understand that the agency reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to terminate or restrict your access to the Research Portal at any time, without notice.

The “signatures” of authorized officers of other supporting organizations certify that the organization:

  • agrees with the content of the application and will provide the committed resources; and
  • agrees to the release of the public summary of the award and to the publication of the organization's name as a supporter of the initiative.

If you are both the applicant or co-applicant and a principal of a collaborating organization, another senior official must sign on behalf of the organization.

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