Scientists, engineers and students at universities across the country will receive significant support from the Government of Canada through the Discovery Grants, scholarships and fellowships. The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology) announced 3,808 research awards that will advance research in a full range of fields in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“Discovery Grants is the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada‘s flagship program and one of Canada’s largest sources of funding for basic research,” said Minister Goodyear. “It provides researchers with the means and freedom to pursue their most promising ideas. Our government is proud to support 10,000 researchers who are creating the advances that will drive tomorrow’s innovations.”
The awards totalling over $413 million comprise the 2013 competition results for Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery Grants, Discovery Accelerator Supplements, Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships, Postgraduate Scholarships, and the Postdoctoral Fellowships. Together they build a broad base of research capacity across the country.
An integral component of the government’s efforts to promote research and training excellence at Canadian universities, the Discovery Grants Program funds basic research in a multitude of scientific and engineering disciplines.
“Through these programs, NSERC provides direct support to an exceptionally strong base of scientific and creative talent in every field of the natural sciences and engineering,” said Janet Walden, Acting President of NSERC. “Our scholarships and fellowships programs help us recruit and retain the bright young minds that will lead the next generation of Canadian discoverers and innovators.”
Of the 3,808 awards announced today, 2,026 are Discovery Grant recipients. As well, 125 researchers will also receive a Discovery Accelerator Supplement. Valued at $120,000 over three years, Discovery Accelerator Supplements are awarded to researchers whose proposals explore high-risk, novel or potentially transformative concepts and lines of inquiry, and are likely to contribute to groundbreaking advances.
Since 2006, the Government of Canada has provided nearly $9 billion in new funding for science, technology and the growth of innovative firms. Of this amount, over $6 billion is in support of science and technology activities at post-secondary institutions, including increases in the budget of the Discovery Grants program. This funding has helped to make Canada a world leader in post-secondary education research and to create the knowledge and the highly skilled workforce required for a more prosperous economy.
For more information about NSERC Discovery Grants and Scholarships, please visit the NSERC web site, where you will find videos, impact stories and frequently asked questions about the program.
NSERC is a federal agency that helps make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for all Canadians. The agency supports almost 30,000 post-secondary students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding approximately 12,000 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging over 2,400 Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects.
NSERC Research Grants and Scholarships – 2013 Competition Results
The 2013 Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) research grants and scholarships competitions resulted in the following awards being offered:
|Program||Number of Awards||Total Value|
|Discovery Accelerator Supplements||125||$15,000,000|
|Canada Graduate Scholarships||Master’s level: 800||$14,000,000|
|Doctoral level: 261||$25,550,000|
|Postgraduate Scholarships||Master’s level: 36||$622,800|
|Doctoral level: 450||$26,145,000|
The terms of the awards vary from one to five years.
Discovery Grants Program
The Discovery Grants (DG) Program is NSERC’s largest program and a key element of Canada’s support for excellence in science and engineering research and training at Canadian universities. The DG Program gives researchers the freedom and flexibility to pursue the most promising research directions as they arise, encouraging creative and cutting-edge approaches and international collaborations.
The objectives of the DG Program are:
- to promote and maintain a diversified base of high-quality research capability in the natural sciences and engineering in Canadian universities;
- to foster research excellence; and
- to provide a stimulating environment for research training.
Discovery Grants support ongoing programs of research (with long-term goals), rather than a single short-term project or collection of projects. Researchers are free to structure their program in the most appropriate way for their research area. The grants are awarded for one to five years, although most terms are five years.
After having introduced enhancements to the Discovery Grants peer review system in 2009 and 2010 that created a more dynamic and competitive funding system and introduce a more flexible review structure, NSERC has launched the next five-year review of the Discovery Grants program. To date, we have surveyed Discovery Grants holders, applicants and highly qualified personnel and have sought input from scientific societies and university administrators across the country. Next steps will include a survey and interviews with Evaluation Group members and chairs, followed by a thorough analysis of data, statistics and bibliometric information. These activities will culminate with a meeting of an international panel of experts to review the findings and with a report on the evaluation in early 2014.
Discovery Accelerator Supplements
The Discovery Accelerator Supplements (DAS) Program provides substantial and timely resources to a small group of researchers whose research proposals suggest and explore high-risk, novel or potentially transformative concepts and lines of inquiry, and are likely to have impact by contributing to groundbreaking advances in the area. In particular, for the purposes of the DAS Program, a superior research program is one that is highly rated in terms of originality and innovation. The timeliness of DAS support represents the potential for the researcher at this time to capitalize on an opportunity, such as a recent research breakthrough, a paradigm shift or a new strategy to tackle a scientific problem or research question. Each award is valued at $120,000 over three years ($40,000 annually) and provides recipients with additional resources to compete with the best in the world.
The Three Scholarships Programs
Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS) and NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships (PGS) provide financial support to high-calibre scholars who are engaged in master’s or doctoral programs in the natural sciences or engineering. A CGS is offered to the top-ranked applicants at each level (master’s and doctoral) and the next tier of meritorious applicants is offered an NSERC PGS. This support allows scholars to fully concentrate on their studies and seek out the best research mentors in their chosen fields. Overall support is limited to four years-a maximum of one year at the master’s level and up to three years at the doctoral level.
The Postdoctoral Fellowships (PDF) Program provides support to a core of the most promising researchers at a pivotal time in their careers. The fellowships are also intended to secure a supply of highly qualified Canadians with leading-edge scientific and research skills for Canadian industry, government and universities.