Alliance International

Funding your research project

NSERC will provide funding for the research undertaken by eligible  Canadian applicants. All expenditures are subject to the principles and directives governing the appropriate use of grant funds outlined in the Tri-agency guide on financial administration. You must only include NSERC-eligible direct costs of research in the budget submitted to NSERC. Your international academic collaborator(s) is (are) expected to bring their own resources to the collaboration. Costs incurred by your international academic collaborator(s) are not eligible, and you do not need to include these in your budget submission to NSERC.

The funds from NSERC must be paid to eligible Canadian universities and cannot be used to buy equipment, products or services from any collaborating organization.

Cost sharing

NSERC will provide 100% of the funding for Alliance International Catalyst grants, up to $25,000 for one year.

The amount you can request for an Alliance International Collaboration grant will depend on the amount of funding obtained by your international academic collaborator(s) from their own national funding agency. The funding secured by your international collaborator(s) will be recognized for cost sharing purposes. This contribution must be at least equal to the amount requested from NSERC. NSERC will provide up to $100,000 per year, for up to three years, to support the costs of your participation in the international project. To secure the maximum amount ($100,000 per year) your international academic collaborator(s) must obtain at least $100,000 per year from their national funding agency. In the Budget justification section of your proposal (form 101), you must include information on the annual support obtained by your international collaborator(s). Please note that all amounts are in Canadian dollars.

Grants awarded to international collaborators after September 21, 2021, (three months before the launch of the NSERC program) will be accepted for cost-sharing purposes until March 31, 2022. Consistent with other Alliance streams, we will accept, on an ongoing basis, applications where international collaborators are already in place (have secured their funding) for up to three months before an application to NSERC is submitted. For example, if your international academic collaborator secures their funding on July 1, 2022, then you will have until October 1, 2022, to submit your Collaboration grant application to NSERC. The three-month window aligns with our current policy for recognizing contributions from partner organizations for cost-sharing in Alliance Option 1 and Option 2 streams. In all cases, the Canadian research team, and a description of their part of the research project, must have been included in the proposal submitted by the international academic collaborator to their funding agency.

Eligible expenses

You can only include NSERC-eligible direct costs of research in your project budget, such as

  • salary support for research trainees (undergraduates, graduates and postdoctoral fellows) to perform research and related training
  • salary support for technicians and research professional personnel
  • materials and supplies
  • activities that support collaborations and knowledge mobilization related to the project
  • activities to develop and grow the research collaborations with the international collaborator(s)

Refer to the guidelines on the use of grant funds in the Tri-agency guide on financial administration.

You can also include the costs of equipment, provided that the equipment is

  • essential to achieving the objectives of the research project
  • incremental to the equipment already available at the university or to your international collaborator(s)

For projects involving multiple international collaborators and/or universities, you may also include project management costs, up to 10% of the total direct research costs (see Guidelines for research partnerships programs project management expenses).

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