The Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) program supports the training and mentoring of teams of highly qualified students and postdoctoral fellows from Canada and abroad through the development of innovative training programs.

The programs must:

  • encourage collaborative and integrative approaches, and address significant scientific challenges associated with Canada’s research priorities
  • facilitate the transition of new researchers from trainees to productive employees in the Canadian workforce

These innovative programs must foster the acquisition and development of important professional skills among students and postdoctoral fellows that complement their qualifications and technical skills, and improve their job readiness for careers in industry, government, non-governmental organizations and/or academia.

Application Process

The CREATE program follows a single application cycle each year comprising three stages from January/February to September each year. Awards are valued at up to $1.65M over six years, 80% of which must go to trainee stipends.

Teams can apply under three streams for the 2023 competition year:

  • Regular stream (institutional cap applies)
  • Industrial stream (institutional cap applies)
  • International stream (no institutional cap)

Applying to CREATE involves a three-stage process for UBC applicants to the regular or industrial streams, including mandatory participation in an internal UBC competition. Teams that are successful in the internal competition will be invited to submit their CREATE letter of intent. Applicants are invited forward to the full application stage. 

UBC is only permitted to submit six applications combined to the regular and industrial streams of the CREATE program (institutional cap). Researchers applying to the international stream do not need to participate in the UBC internal competition as their applications do not count towards UBC's institutional cap, however, they are advised to inform SPARC in advance of their intent to apply for assistance with the submission process.

There is a limit on researchers' participation in multiple active CREATE initiatives. An individual researcher may participate in a maximum of two CREATE initiatives as either an applicant or co-applicant. Additionally, researchers may be the applicant for one CREATE initiative per year.

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Attend an information session & prepare your proposal
February – Regular & industrial stream only
Submit your draft Letter of Intent to UBC's internal competition
  • Check SPARC's announcements for updated details of the internal competition and its relevant deadlines each year
    • Successful applicants to the internal competition will be notified by the end of March
Late April – Invited applicants from regular & industrial stream; all international stream applicants
Finalize and submit your Letter of Intent
  • View NSERC's detailed instructions for submitting the Letter of Intent (these instructions are updated yearly in approximately March)
May to September
Develop your full application
  • NSERC notifies groups if they are invited forward to the full application, in late June/early July
  • Consult with SPARC to further refine your application in advance of the deadline
  • Check out the SPARC Sample Grants Library as you develop your application
  • Review SPARC's NSERC CREATE guidelines, tips and templates to support your application (CWL Required)
Late September
Finalize and submit the full application (see ORS procedures)
  • View NSERC's detailed instructions for submitting the full application (these instructions are updated yearly in approximately August)
  • Submit your application to ORS. Follow any relevant ORS application procedures for the NSERC CREATE program


Support & Resources

One-on-One Consultations

Our team can provide comprehensive reviews of UBC-led letters of intent and applications in advance of the corresponding deadlines. Limited availability.

Contact Us

Guidelines, Tips & Templates

Check out our resources curated specifically for UBC researchers applying to the CREATE program. CWL is required to access.

See More

Sample Grants Library

Check out our comprehensive sample grant library and additional resources curated specifically for UBC researchers. CWL is required to access.

See More



Mark Phillipo
Research Development Officer

SPARC support services

Alexander Unterberger (on leave)
Manager of Research Development

SPARC support services

Dr. Purang Abolmaesumi
Sciences & Engineering Research Advisor (NSERC), UBC

Advocacy and advice

UBC's Grant Facilitation Network
Research support personnel based in the faculties
See list

Various grant support