NSERC Discovery Grants

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.  

Application Process

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.

Sponsor Site


Prepare and review your NOI
 August 1
Submit your NOI

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.

August to October
Prepare and review your application
November 1
Submit your application (See ORS procedures)

NSERC must receive the application before 5:00 p.m. Pacific on the deadline date.

See relevant ORS application procedures and internal deadlines for your campus to ensure administrative review and timely submission: Vancouver | Okanagan

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Support & Resources

One-on-One Consultation

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.

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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.

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Full Review

Our team can provide detailed feedback on draft Discovery Grants. Limited availability.

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Sample Grant Library

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

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Office Hours

We host regular drop-in hours for faculty who would like strategic advice while developing their proposal.

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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

Additional Links