Skip to main content Skip to local navigation
Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

NSERC Discovery Grant

November 2 @ 10:00 am

The Discovery Grants program assists in

  • promoting and maintaining a diversified base of high-quality research capability in the natural sciences and engineering in Canadian universities
  • fostering research excellence
  • providing a stimulating environment for research training

The Discovery Grants program supports ongoing programs of research with long-term goals rather than a single short-term project or collection of projects. These grants recognize the creativity and innovation that are at the heart of all research advances. Discovery Grants are considered “grants in aid” of research, as they provide long-term operating funds and can facilitate access to funding from other programs but are not meant to support the full costs of a research program.

Recipients of Discovery Grants are not restricted to the specific activities described in their applications and may pursue new research interests, provided they are within NSERC’s mandate and adhere to the principles and directives governing the appropriate use of funds as outlined in the Tri-agency Guide on Financial Administration. This provides researchers with the flexibility to pursue promising research avenues as they emerge and the opportunity to address higher risk (higher reward) topics. Researchers can use their grants to participate in collaborative efforts. Applicants are expected to increase the inclusion and advancement of under-represented and disadvantaged groups in the natural sciences and engineering, as one means to enhance excellence in research and training.


Discovery Grants are awarded to individual researchers, normally for five years. Researchers can apply for and hold only one Discovery Grant at a time. Researchers who hold a Discovery Grant cannot reapply for another Discovery Grant until the last year of their current award.  Applicants to the Discovery Grants program must meet the NSERC eligibility criteria for faculty.

Subject matter eligibility and funding from other sources

Applicants to the Discovery Grants program must present a program of research that is eligible under NSERC’s mandate, which is to promote and assist research in the natural sciences and engineering, other than health. The objectives of the research program must be to advance knowledge in the natural sciences or in engineering. The application will be rejected if NSERC determines, at any time during the review cycle, that the subject matter is outside of its mandate.

Applicants to the Discovery Grants program must present a program of research that is conceptually distinct from research supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) or the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

NSERC encourages researchers to obtain funds from other sources to support the full costs of the research program presented in their Discovery Grant application, as long as the funding source is not CIHR or SSHRC and the funds cover different expenses from the ones proposed in the Discovery Grant application.


Not applicable

No maximum amount


Up to 5 years


Full proposal due at your Faculty Research Office Please contact your Faculty Research Officer for information on Faculty specific internal deadlines. 
Submission of the application in the on-line portal and final proposal and fully signed ORS Checklist due at ORS for required review By no later than 12noon on Monday, November 2, 2020
Full proposal due at agency Monday, November 2, 2020 

Please note that all NSERC Discovery Grants must be reviewed at the Faculty level.  Please contact your Faculty Research Officer for further information regarding Faculty specific internal deadlines.

For further information please consult the NSERC Discovery website:

  • Funder: NSERC
  • ORS Deadline: Nov 02, 2020
  • Agency Deadline: Nov 02, 2020
  • Notes:Please note that since the agency deadline falls on a weekend the deadline will be pushed to the next business day (Monday November 2, 2020).NSERC Discovery Grants must be reviewed at the Faculty level so please contact your Faculty-based Research Officer for information on your Faculty's internal process and deadlines.