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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 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. 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.

Application deadlines

Your notification of intent to apply (NOI) must be received at NSERC by 8:00 p.m. (ET) on the deadline date. A late NOI will not be accepted. Updates to an NOI that has been submitted will not be accepted either before or after the deadline date.

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.

Whom should I contact for help?

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 (age, gender, Indigenous identity, person with a disability, visible minorities)

You are required to complete the self-identification information form, which will support the agencies in monitoring the equity of their programs and design new measures that achieve greater equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in the research enterprise. This form is found in the user profile of the research portal. Self-identification information is collected on a voluntary basis. Your user profile self-identification information is not part of your application and is neither accessible to, nor shared with, external reviewers and/or selection committee members. Choosing not to self-identify for these purposes will have no consequences on your application. In funding opportunities where an agency may offer special consideration for members of a designated equity group, applicants will be asked to provide their consent separately to use their self-identification information for that purpose.

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.

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 topics

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 10 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 five external reviewers who

  • are not in a conflict of interest
  • are not from your own institution
  • are from different institutions
  • 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
    • been employed by the institution, when an institution is the applicant
  • 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 on conflict of interest, refer to the This link will take you to another Web site Conflict of interest and confidentiality policy of the federal research funding organizations.

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.

Uploading your NSERC CCV (applicants and co-applicants)

  • 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.

The applicant and each of the co-applicants must link their NSERC CCV to the NOI. Note that applicants and co-applicants can update their CCV prior to submission of the full application.

Important note: Preview your CCV in the research portal, and that of your co-applicant(s) if applicable, before submitting your NOI, and ensure that the file(s) uploaded correctly.

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 the Invitations 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.

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.