Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Common menu bar links

Instructions for completing the notification of intent to apply for a Subatomic Physics Discovery Grant (individual or project)

General information

About the program

Read the program description before you complete the application.

Am I eligible to apply?

Consult the Eligibility requirements for faculty to apply for or hold grant funds to ensure that you can participate in this grant program as an applicant or a co-applicant. NSERC verifies the eligibility of researchers only at the full application stage; however, it is important that you consult the eligibility criteria now and discuss any concerns with your institution’s research office.

Who completes the NOI?

The applicant must complete the NOI using the Research Portal. In addition, the This link will take you to another Web site Canadian Common CV (CCV) must be completed by applicants and co-applicants (when applicable) and linked to the NOI.

Application deadline

NSERC reserves the right to resolve areas of uncertainty and to determine if a conflict of interest exists. For more information refer to the This link will take you to another Web site Conflict of interest and confidentiality.

Your notification of intent to apply (NOI) must be received at NSERC by 8:00 p.m. (ET) on August 1, 2023.

In instances of systems interruptions, refer to the Service standards for NSERC and SSHRC's online application systems policy on sustained interruptions.

Once a NOI has been submitted to NSERC, it cannot be updated or modified (either before or after the deadline).

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 Information about programs and information holdings. 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 information is used in accordance with the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.

Self-identification information (research team)

You must complete the self-identification form found in the found in the person profile of the Research Portal when applying for funding. This data provides information on the diversity of the population applying for and receiving agency funds. This information increases NSERC’s capacity to monitor its progress on increasing equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in its programs, to recognize and remove barriers, and to design new measures to achieve greater EDI in the research enterprise. If you do not want to self-identify, you have the option to choose “I prefer not to answer” for each question, but you are required to select a response for the questionnaire to be marked as complete. Self-identification information is not part of the application and will be neither accessible to, nor shared with, external reviewers and/or selection committee members.

For more information, refer to the This link will take you to another Web site Frequently asked questions about the self-identification questionnaire.

Whom should I contact for help?

Completing the NOI

Create an application

  1. Sign in to the Research Portal.
  2. Select Create application.
  3. Select the subatomic physics funding opportunity you are applying for under Stage: NOI and select Create.
  4. Under Applications, open the NOI.
  5. Select Edit to complete the different sections.



Application title – The title must be short and descriptive. It may be used for publication purposes. Restrict use of abbreviated forms (for example, 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, rather than in a mix of both official languages. The NSERC CCV (for the applicant and all co-applicants) must be submitted in the same language as the application.

Suggested evaluation group – The Subatomic physics evaluation section will be selected by default and you cannot change this selection. If you do not intend to apply to the Subatomic Physics Discovery program but, rather, to the Discovery program in other disciplines, you will need to first select the appropriate funding opportunity in the Research Portal and then refer to the relevant instructions on how to complete the NOI for it. Even though you may select the Subatomic physics evaluation section to review your application, NSERC reserves the right to make the final review committee assignment.

Administering organization

Organization– Select the organization that will administer the grant.

Department – If your department is not in the list, select Head office.

Activity details

Proposed research topic(s)

The first research topic is Subatomic physics by default and you cannot change this selection. You may select, in order of relevance, up to four additional research topics in any evaluation group, as required.  

Key words

Provide up to ten keywords that best describe the proposal. It is important to separate the keywords by commas.


Provide an estimate of the amounts that will be requested from NSERC for each year. Enter the full amount for each year. If you do not request support for some years, you must enter 0 for each of those years.

SAP Individual Discovery Grants are awarded for up to five years, the normal duration being five years. SAP Project Grants are awarded for up to three years, the normal duration being three years.

The estimated amounts should be as close as possible to those that will be requested in the application. Should the amounts requested in the full application differ by more than 20% from those that were included in the NOI, the applicant needs to justify the latter and obtain NSERC’s approval before submitting the grant application.

Summary of proposal

The summary of proposal must not exceed 6,000 characters. It should

  • state the objectives of the proposed research program
  • summarize the scientific approach
  • highlight the novelty and expected significance of the work to a field in the natural sciences and engineering

Note: Should your proposed research program change substantially from the time you submit your NOI to the time you submit your application, contact the program officer responsible for the subatomic physics suite of programs.

External reviewer suggestions

Provide the information for five possible external reviewers who

  • are not in a conflict of interest
  • are not from your own institution
  • are from different institutions from one another
  • can provide an independent assessment of your application
  • are capable of reviewing your application in the language in which it is written

Applicants are encouraged to suggest a diverse cross-section of potential reviewers with appropriate expertise (Canadian, international, established and early–career, women and other underrepresented groups, from academic and non-academic institutions).

Applicants must not contact suggested external reviewers in advance.

Applicants should note that NSERC will not select members currently serving on an NSERC evaluation group or section.

Conflict of interest guidelines

A conflict of interest may be deemed to exist or perceived as such when external reviewers

  • are a relative or close friend, or have a personal relationship with the applicants
  • are in a position to gain or lose financially/materially from the funding of the application
  • have had long-standing scientific or personal differences with the applicants
  • are currently affiliated with the applicants’ institutions, organizations or companies—including research hospitals and research institutes
  • are closely professionally affiliated with the applicants, as a result of having in the last six years
    • frequent and regular interactions with the applicants in the course of their duties at their department, institution, organization or company
    • been a supervisor or a trainee of the applicants
    • collaborated, published or shared funding with the applicants, or have plans to do so in the immediate future
  • feel for any reason unable to provide an impartial review of the application

NSERC reserves the right to resolve areas of uncertainty and to determine if a conflict of interest exists. For more information, refer to the This link will take you to another Web site Conflict of interest and confidentiality.

Reviewer exclusion

You may request that some researchers, organizations or large collaborations not be involved in the review of your application. Note that this request may be accessible to these researchers, organizations or collaborations under the Privacy Act.

Note that the exclusion type Collaboration refers to large research groups that work on specific projects.

Co-applicants (for project grant applications)

It is mandatory to have at least one co-applicant to submit a project grant application.

Inviting co-applicants

From the Application Overview page, in theInvitations section, select Manage Invitations.

Provide the name and email address of each co-applicant. An email will be sent to each participant with instructions on how to accept the invitation and upload their NSERC CCV.

Uploading your NSERC CCV (applicants and co-applicants)

To successfully upload your CCV, the first name and family name used to create your CCV site account must be identical to those used to create your Research Portal account. As well, the email address used to create your Research Portal account must be identical to at least one of the emails you listed on the CCV site.

  • In the Application overview page, click Attach.
  • Enter your CCV confirmation number (refer to the NSERC CCV instructions for professors for details on how to obtain your 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 records that you wish to submit for peer review. Your CCV should be in the same language as your application. You may update your CCV at the full application stage.

Note: While the This link will take you to another Web site Canadian Common CV website is bilingual, you can only save your NSERC CCV in one official language at a time. For example, to save a French version of your NSERC CCV you must sign into your account using the French platform.

Submitting the NOI

Click on the Submit button at the bottom of the Application Overview page. A pop-up message will appear. You will be required to extract and view your NOI to ensure that it is complete. Note that the CCV will not appear in the extracted application. Once the confirmation box has been checked, click on the Submit button displayed in the pop-up message.

To complete the submission process, you will need to read and accept the terms and conditions by clicking on the I Accept button. You will receive a confirmation message on the web page, as well as a confirmation email that your NOI was received and that the status of your submission is Received by Agency.

To verify the status of your submission, return to the home page. The status will be Received by Agency.