NSERC CREATE Program

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.

These training programs:

  • should encourage collaborative and integrative approaches, and address significant scientific challenges associated with Canada’s research priorities;
  • should facilitate the transition of new researchers from trainees to productive employees in the Canadian workforce; and  
  • 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.
    Please note: There is a limit on 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 on one CREATE initiative annually.

In preparation for the 2021-22 CREATE competition, NSERC and SPARC each hosted events:

- SPARC held an Information Session and Panel of Grant Holders on Wednesday January 20th 2021 to provide an overview of the CREATE program, UBC's internal competition, and application strategy. See the SPARC Resources tab below for a link to the slides and recording from this event.
- NSERC held an Information Session on February 4th 2021 to provide an overview of the CREATE program and application process. See the External Resources tab below for the slides from this event.

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NSERC CREATE Program Quick Facts
  • ​Focus must be on training graduate students
  • Three stage application: UBC Internal Competition, NSERC Letter of Intent (LOI), and NSERC Application. 
  • Teams submitting an International stream application are not required to take part in the UBC Internal Competition in their first two attempts at funding as these applications do not count towards the institutional quota. However, please inform SPARC and ORS of your intent to apply.
  • Value: $1.65M over 6 years.
    • 80% of funds must go to trainee stipends

Internal Competition

UBC is permitted to submit six (6) proposals to the NSERC CREATE LOI competition. Proposal selection will occur through an internal selection peer-review process. If you intend to apply as a lead applicant, please inform Mika Johnson. Consultations and resources are available ahead of the internal competition to help you strengthen your application. 

2021/22 Internal Competition Timeline and Process

  • UBC’s Internal LOI Competition Deadline: Wednesday, February 24, 2021 -- noon.
  • Submissions can be emailed to Mika Johnson, copying Alexander Unterberger.
  • Applicants will receive initial feedback from the Internal Selection Committee in the first week of March and will be asked to revise and resubmit by mid-March.
  • Notice of selection and feedback from the Internal Selection Committee is due back to applicants by the end of March 2021.
  • Internal Competition Application Instructions and Cover Page for the 2021/22 UBC Internal Competition are available here (updated January 2021).

 SPARC Resources for NSERC CREATE
  • Sample Grant Library
  • SPARC NSERC Resources page, including: 
    • Playbook - SPARC Tips for Strategic Application to NSERC CREATE 
    • 2021/2022 NSERC CREATE Selection Committee Membership and Profiles​
    • Presentation Materials - SPARC Info Session and Panel slides and recording

External Resources for NSERC CREATE

SPARC Contacts

Mika Johnson, NSE Research Development Officer, SPARC (on leave as of March 15, 2021)

Alexander Unterberger, NSE Manager of Research Development, SPARC

Dr. Purang Abolmaesumi
Sciences & Engineering Research Advisor (NSERC), UBC
604.827.4741 purang@ece.ubc.ca

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