PLEASE NOTE: NSERC is revising the CREATE program for the 2024/25 competition year. Instructions and evaluation criteria for UBC's 2024/25 internal competition may be found here. Program details below have been updated to reflect these changes.

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 annual application cycle, comprising three stages from January/February to September each year. Awards are valued at up to $1.65M over six years, at least 70% of which must go to trainee stipends.

Teams can apply under two streams for the 2024 competition year:

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

Applying to CREATE involves a three-stage process for UBC applicants to the regular stream, 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 (LOI) to NSERC by the end of April. Teams who submit an LOI must then submit their full application to NSERC by September 23, 2024. 

UBC is only permitted to submit six applications to the regular stream 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.

Sponsor Site


February/March – Regular stream only
Late April – Invited applicants from regular stream; all international stream applicants
May to September
Late September

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
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



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