The NSERC Discovery Grant program is designed to capture ideas with the greatest potential to advance natural sciences and engineering.
Discovery Grants are offered as grants-in-aid to support long-term research objectives.
The Discovery Grant program typically follows a single application cycle each year from August to November. Applicants should consult the NSERC website and relevant ORS guidelines for their campus to confirm internal review and submission guidelines.
Applying to the Discovery Grants program is a two-stage process including a mandatory Notice of Intent (NOI) and a full application. The value of the award is based on the assigned Quality Bin and Evaluation Group. Proposals are sorted into incremental funding bins based on the program selection criteria. Decisions are typically communicated at around 26 weeks after the date the application is received.
- Review NSERC instructions for completing an NOI
- Prepare your Canadian Common CV (CCV), which is required at the NOI stage. See CCV instructions and help manual
- Schedule a one-on-one consultation with the SPARC team to review your draft NOI, or work with a grant facilitator in your faculty
- Attend an NSERC webinar on submitting an NOI, held on Thursday, June 23, 2022 from 10-11AM PST (password: NOIJune23) and Tuesday, July 5, 2022 from 10-11AM PST (password: NOIJuly5).
An NOI must be received for every application to the Discovery Grant program. Late NOIs are not accepted, nor are revisions to NOIs once they have been submitted.
- Review instructions to submit an NOI
August to October
- Review NSERC's application instructions
- Consult SPARC's application guide (CWL required)
- Attend a workshop or round table with UBC members of the evaluation panels
- Schedule a one-on-one consultation with the SPARC team (limited availability, first-come, first-served)
Support & Resources
Our team can provide comprehensive advice on developing your notice of intent as well as your application in advance of the corresponding deadlines. Limited availability.
Application Guide for UBC Researchers
Check out our comprehensive guide for applying to the Discovery Grant program, exclusive to UBC applicants. CWL is required to view.
Our team can provide detailed feedback on draft Discovery Grants. Limited availability.
Sample Grant Library
Check out our comprehensive sample grant library and additional resources curated specifically for UBC faculty. CWL is required to view.
We host regular drop-in hours for faculty who would like strategic advice while developing their proposal.
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
Various grant support
- Information Centre: FAQs, evaluation indicators and the peer review manual
- Resource videos: Tips on applying and demystifying the review process
- Program overview: program objectives, evaluation and application processes
- List of evaluation groups
- Discovery Grant peer review manual (2021-2022)
- Policy and guidelines on the assessment of contributions to research and training
- Guidelines for the preparation and review of applications in engineering and the applied sciences, specifically researcher excellence and proposal merit
- Guidelines for the preparation and review of applications in interdisciplinary research
- Guidelines for considering equity, diversity and inclusion in applications
- Discovery Grant competition statistics