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NSERC Young Innovators

In 2018, NSERC launched a five-year pilot initiative to support the promotion of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to Canadian youth as part of helping foster a science and engineering culture in Canada.

The purpose of the NSERC Young Innovators grant is to encourage youth to be creative in the natural sciences and engineering, by supporting their participation in competitions, thus becoming role models for other youth.

NSERC is acting on the evidence that equity, diversity and inclusion strengthen the scientific and engineering communities and the quality, social relevance and impact of research. Organizations are encouraged to consider using the grant to support youth from groups who are under-represented or disadvantaged in STEM, or those who would otherwise not be able to participate.


To be eligible, you must be:

  • an organization that runs or hosts a recognized science or engineering competition in Canada for youth in elementary school or high school (including the equivalent first year of college in Quebec);
  • federally or provincially incorporated as a not-for-profit organization.

Value of grant

The value of the grant is $1,000. Each organization can receive a maximum of one grant per fiscal year (April 1–March 31).


  • Youth supported with the grant must participate in a recognized science or engineering competition
  • They must be in elementary school or high school (including the equivalent first year of college in Quebec)
  • The full value of the grant must be used to support the participation of youth in the organization’s own event or the participation of youth in the next level of the competition (such as regional, provincial, national or international)
  • The grant may be used to support one individual, a team, or several independent youth
  • The organization must share publicly the results of youth participation  in the competition (e.g., on social media), including an acknowledgement of NSERC support, and report these results back to NSERC.

Eligible expenses

The grant will cover the following costs associated with the participation of the youth in a competition in the natural sciences and engineering:

  • material and supplies needed for creating a poster, model, and/or demonstration to be used in the competition
  • travel (air, rail, car rental, taxi, etc.) to the venue
  • meals
  • accommodation (hotel, etc.)
  • registration for the competition

Application procedures

Organizations must submit a completed NSERC Young Innovators Application Form electronically via the This link will take you to another Web site Secure Submissions Site for NSERC’s Innovative Collaborations and Science Promotion Programs. The application must be submitted as a single document in Portable Document Format (PDF).

Application deadline

There are no fixed deadlines for this grant. Applications must be submitted between two and six months before the competition for which the requested funding will be used, to ensure sufficient time for processing and payment.

Notification of results

NSERC will notify you of the result within one month of receiving the application, at the email address given on the application. Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until all available funds for the fiscal year (April 1–March 31) have been spent.

For more information, or any questions about the initiative or the application process, contact us at and indicate “NSERC Young Innovators” in the subject line.