PromoScience encourages a wide variety of organizations to help young Canadians in elementary school and high school (including the equivalent first year of college in Quebec), and their teachers, to develop science and engineering skills and interests. Organizations that encourage Indigenous undergraduate students to pursue graduate studies in natural sciences and engineering (NSE) are additionally eligible.

PromoScience grants support organizations that:

  • work with young Canadians to inspire an interest in science and engineering
  • motivate young people to study science and engineering and to pursue careers in these fields
  • bring interactive, hands-on science experiences to young people

These include organizations that:

  • focus on underrepresented groups in NSE careers
  • provide instruction and resources to science, math and technology teachers

Is your organization eligible?

To be eligible, you must:

  • be a Canadian registered non-profit organization, post-secondary institution or non-federal museum or science centre
  • deliver ongoing programming in the promotion of NSE to young Canadians

Examples of ineligible organizations include:

  • federal departments and agencies
  • federal museums and “friends of a federal museum” societies
  • provincial, territorial, regional and municipal government departments
  • organizations running one-time, project-specific activities
  • elementary schools, high schools and school boards

What activities are eligible?

A very broad range of activities promoting NSE are eligible for funding. The following points answer common questions about eligibility.

  • Ongoing programming: Activities must be delivered on a continual basis from year to year. One-time, project-specific activities are not eligible.
  • Youth-focused programming: Activities and content must be designed for youth in elementary school, high school or the first year of college in Quebec and/or their teachers. Activities and content that specifically encourage Indigenous undergraduate students to pursue graduate studies in the NSE are also eligible. Programming for youth that involves their families is encouraged. We do not support activities for preschool-age children, the general post-secondary student population or the general public.
  • Teacher-focused programming: PromoScience supports the development of resources and tools for teachers that make it easier for them to teach science well, as well as professional development for teachers to improve their knowledge, skills and enthusiasm for teaching science to youth. Proposed programming must be independent of accredited courses or degree requirements.
  • Programming in the NSE: Proposed activities must include significant NSE-focused content and be primarily focused on promoting interest and careers in the NSE. Programming focused primarily on health, medicine, social sciences or arts is not eligible for support, nor is programming primarily focused on advocacy.
  • New/pilot programs: Such applications must include strong evidence of the feasibility and anticipated impact of the activities (i.e., support letters, data from similar successful programs).
  • Proposals with broad impact and reach: We encourage proposals at the national, provincial, territorial and regional levels. We will not support local activities unless they are part of targeted programming for underrepresented groups in NSE.
  • Interactive, hands-on programming: Activities must involve social or technology-mediated interaction with a two-way flow of information and influence between youth and their facilitators. We will not support the production of books, videos, lectures, etc. that are not part of an interactive program.
  • Research experience: Applicants must demonstrate how their program meets the objectives of the PromoScience program by going beyond simply providing work experience. Grants may not be used to support research, but should motivate young people to study science and engineering and to pursue careers in these fields.
  • Program delivery using a website: Such applications must demonstrate that the website is of an ongoing nature and interactive, and should include a detailed plan that outlines the need for the site, its content and plans for ongoing maintenance.
  • University-based activities: The proposed science and engineering activities must address the PromoScience objectives and must not be for recruitment purposes. If an activity is linked to university course work (i.e., university students as instructors or mentors), the course work must be clearly delineated from the youth-based outreach component for the application to be eligible.
  • Organizations receiving core government funding (i.e., museums and science centres): Only activities that are not already funded through their existing core funding are eligible.

Current award holders

If your organization received the last payment of an active award in January of this year, it is eligible to apply in September for continued support of these activities. If the last payment of an ongoing award is scheduled for next January, wait until the following September to apply for continued support for the same activity.

In both cases, a new full application will be required at the time of application.

Organizations that received an extension in time due to COVID-19 are eligible to apply in the 2023 PromoScience competition for the same activities supported by their current grant. Applications will have to clearly outline how their balance of funds will be integrated into the first year of the new grant, if awarded. In your budget, funds should be listed in an additional row in the Revenue section called “PromoScience – current grant” and outlined in a separate column called “Expenditures covered by current grant” in the Expenses section for Year 1.

Multiple awards

PromoScience will allow a non-profit organization, a non-federal museum or science centre, or a department in a post-secondary institution to hold multiple, concurrent awards as long as they clearly demonstrate in the application that there is no overlap in any way with the activities already supported through their active PromoScience grant(s) (see Call for applications, under Organization’s financial picture, point 4). The onus is on the applicant to find out what other activities in their non-profit organization, science centre, museum or department are currently supported by PromoScience.

The expansion of currently funded activities into new geographical areas or to a new audience is considered overlap. Applications proposing such expansions are ineligible. You may reapply when your active grant has ended, with your new outreach area/audience clearly defined.

Only one application may be submitted per non-profit organization, non-federal museum or science centre, or department in a post-secondary institution per competition year. NSERC encourages organizers of science and engineering promotion activities for youth to coordinate and prioritize their activities within their own organization and to collaborate with other organizations.

Umbrella group members

Members of umbrella organizations may submit individual applications (see Multiple awards); however, PromoScience prefers to receive applications for support from head offices of umbrella organizations, rather than individual member groups. NSERC defines an umbrella organization as an association of groups that work together formally to coordinate activities or pool resources. The umbrella organization provides services, support, resources and/or an identity to the smaller organizations.

Also, the applicant must submit a letter from the head office of the umbrella organization that:

  • approves the submission of a separate application by the member group
  • describes the relationship between the head office and the member group (i.e., services provided, funding transferred)
  • clearly delineates the activities delivered by the head office and those delivered by the member group
  • explains how the activities proposed by the member group are separate and distinct from the umbrella organization’s (or another member group’s) activities currently supported by, or proposed to, PromoScience in a separate application to the current competition

Eligibility enquiries

If you are not sure about the eligibility of your organization or activity for PromoScience support, contact us at well in advance of the application deadline.

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