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Discovery Grants Program and Research Tools and Instruments Grants Program “Delivering on NSERC’s commitment to excellence”

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Presentation on theme: "Discovery Grants Program and Research Tools and Instruments Grants Program “Delivering on NSERC’s commitment to excellence”"— Presentation transcript:


2 Discovery Grants Program and Research Tools and Instruments Grants Program “Delivering on NSERC’s commitment to excellence”


4 The Discovery Grants Program  Excellence of the Discovery Grants Program validated in two major independent reviews (2008)  Strong support for existing program criteria to measure excellence  Recommendations for enhancement: –New rating principles and measures to allow the peer review system to respond more dynamically to applicants’ performance (as of 2009) –New committee structure to give all applicants a higher quality, more comprehensive review (as of 2010) 4

5 Eligibility to Apply To be eligible, you must:  hold, or have a firm offer of, an academic appointment at a Canadian institution (minimum three-year term position) and take up the position no later than September 1 of the year of the award  be in a position that requires independent research and allows supervision of highly qualified personnel (HQP)  work full-time in an eligible Canadian institution (if your primary position is outside of Canada) Requirements can be found on NSERC’s Web siteNSERC’s Web site 5

6 Eligibility of Subject Matter  Discovery Grants Programs support: –Research programs in the natural sciences and engineering (NSE); and –Interdisciplinary research that is predominantly in the NSE o Significance, impact, advancement of knowledge or practical applications in NSE  The same proposal cannot be submitted to two federal granting agencies  Eligibility guidelines on NSERC’s Web site and  Applications deemed more appropriate for another agency will be rejected 6

7 Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality  Policy developed by the four federal research funding organizations (CFI, CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC)  Goal is to continue to meet the highest ethical and integrity standards and preserve the trust and confidence of the research community, the government and the public  Being integrated into peer review processes and will ensure that committee members, external reviewers and observers take necessary measure to protect public interest  Launched on March 1, 2013 – posted on 7

8 DG Evaluation Process Overview  Merit assessment uses six-point scale to evaluate: –Scientific or Engineering Excellence of the Researcher(s) –Merit of the Proposal –Contributions to the Training of HQP  Each application assessed by 5 reviewers in conference model setting, ensuring best possible review  Applications of comparable merit grouped in “bins”  Within an EG, each bin is assigned a funding recommendation, with possible modulation related to the cost of research 8

9 DG Two-Step Review Process 9 Merit assessment Funding recommendation

10 Evaluation Groups  Genes, Cells and Molecules (1501)  Biological Systems and Functions (1502)  Evolution and Ecology (1503)  Chemistry (1504)  Physics (1505)  Geosciences (1506)  Computer Science (1507)  Mathematics and Statistics (1508)  Civil, Industrial and Systems Engineering (1509)  Electrical and Computer Engineering (1510)  Materials and Chemical Engineering (1511)  Mechanical Engineering (1512) 10

11 11 How Does the Conference Model Work? EVALUATION GROUP A Group Chair ~ 40 members 4 Section Chairs EVALUATION GROUP B Group Chair ~35 members 4 Section Chairs EVALUATION GROUP C Group Chair ~25 members 3 Section Chairs Section A1-2 Research Topics A2 and A4 Section A2 Research Topic A3 Section A1-1 Research Topic A1 Section A3-1 Research Topic A5 Section A3-2 Research Topic A6 Section A4-1 Research Topics A7 and A8 Section A4-2 Research Topics A9 and B5 Section B1-2 Research Topics B2 and A10 Section B1-1 Research Topic B1 Section B2 Research Topic B3 Section B3-1 Research Topic B4 Section B3-2 Research Topics B1 and B5 Section B4-2 Research Topics B7 and C6 Section B4-1 Research Topics B2 and B6 Section C1-2 Research Topic C2 Section C1-1 Research Topics C1 and B5 Section C2 Research Topic C3 Section C3-1 Research Topic C4 Section C3-2 Research Topics C5 and A5


13 Life Cycle of a Discovery Grant Application 13 August 1 Submission of Notification of Intent to Apply with CCV September to October Initial assignment to EG and contacting of external reviewers November 1 Submission of grant application with CCV Mid-November Applications sent out to external reviewers Early December Evaluation Group members receive applications February Grants competition March to April Announcement of results

14 Notification of Intent to Apply for a Discovery Grant – Why?  Used to identify: –Most appropriate EG to review the application –Need and potential benefits of a joint review between EGs –External reviewers for the application –Mandate eligibility issues 14

15 Notification of Intent to Apply for a Discovery Grant – When and What?  Deadline: August 1 –Electronic submission only through the Research Portal –Mandatory: if not submitted by deadline, full application will not be accepted  Includes: –Notification of Intent to Apply, listing up to five research topics in priority order –CCV –CCV of co-applicants (for team grants) 15

16 Submitting a Discovery Grant Application  Deadline November 1 st –Check institutional internal deadline  A full Discovery Grant submission includes: –Application for a Grant –NSERC Researcher CCV for the applicant and all co- applicants –Samples of research contributions (reprints, pre- prints, thesis chapters, manuscripts, patents, technical reports, etc.)  Note that applications must be submitted electronically using the Research Portal 16

17 Submitting a Discovery Grant NOI and Application  Changes to the submission process –Research Portal o Replaces previous online system submission of forms F180 - Notification of Intent to Apply and F101 - Application for a Grant for Discovery Grants Program ONLY –CCV o Replaces F100 - Personal Data Form o Needed for both the NOI and the Full Application o Applicants are encouraged to allow ample time to familiarize themselves and enter their data in the NSERC CCV as it can be time consuming the first time to populate the fields 17

18 How to Complete your CCV 18

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22 Evaluation Criteria  Scientific or Engineering Excellence of the Researcher(s)  Merit of the Proposal  Contribution to the Training of HQP 22

23 Scientific or Engineering Excellence of the Researcher(s)  Knowledge, expertise and experience  Contributions to research in the NSE  Importance of contributions  Complementarity of expertise and synergy (for team applications) 23

24 Scientific or Engineering Excellence of the Researcher(s): Tips  Describe up to five most significant research contributions (now in application) and highlight quality & impact  List all types of research contributions  Explain your role in collaborative research activities  List all sources of support  Give other evidence of impact  Explain delays in research activity or particular circumstances that might have affected productivity (See Peer Review Manual, Section 6, for details) 24

25 Merit of the Proposal  Originality and innovation  Significance and expected contributions to research, and potential for technological impact  Clarity and scope of objectives  Clarity and suitability of methodology  Feasibility  Extent to which the proposal addresses all relevant issues  Appropriateness and justification of the budget  Relationship to other sources of funding 25

26 Merit of the Proposal: Tips  Write summary in plain language  Keep in mind that two audiences read your application: expert and non-expert  Provide a progress report on related research  Position the research within the field and state-of-the-art  Clearly articulate short- and long-term objectives  Provide a detailed methodology and realistic budget  Consider comments/recommendations you may have received for previous applications 26

27 Merit of the Proposal – Tips: Overlap  Discuss relationships to other research support –For each grant currently held or applied for, clearly provide: the main objective, a brief outline of the methodology, budget details, and details on the support of HQP –Must include summary and budget pages for CIHR and SSHRC grants currently held or applied for  Explain any potential conceptual overlap with other programs/projects –Complementary research is encouraged, but must be clearly explained  Saying “there is 0 overlap” is not sufficient 27

28 Tips from Evaluation Group Members  Do… –Be original and creative, but also show you have the expertise to carry out the program –Highlight transformative research –Have long term vision and short term plan –Integrate HQP into the proposal  Don’t… –Propose an unfeasible number of objectives –Propose a project or a series of disconnected projects –Use a lot of jargon and acronyms –Be vague when describing methodology –Only reference your own publications 28

29 Contributions to the Training of HQP  Quality and impact of contributions to training during the last six years  Proposed plan for future training of HQP in the NSE  Enhancement of training arising from a collaborative or interdisciplinary environment (where applicable) Read the Policy and Guidelines on the Assessment of Contributions to Research and Training 29

30 Contributions to the Training of HQP - Tips Past contributions to Training:  NEW: Use an asterisk to identify students who are co-authors on the listed contributions  Explain your role in co-supervision activities  Explain any delays that might have affected your ability to train HQP  Describe nature of HQP studies –HQP ranges from undergraduate theses and summer projects to postdoctoral levels, and includes technical and other research personnel 30

31 Contributions to the Training of HQP - Tips Training Plan  Describe the nature of the training (e.g., length, specific projects) in which HQP will be involved, the HQP’s contributions and pertinence to the research program proposed  Discuss the training philosophy and the expected outcomes  Clearly define your role in any collaborative research and planned joint HQP training 31

32 Tips from Evaluation Group Members  Do… –Describe your involvement and interaction with HQP –Describe the nature (PhD, master’s, undergraduate), length of time (summer project vs. thesis) and type of training (course-related or thesis) –Fully describe the nature of co-supervision –Include present position for past HQP –Include all levels of HQP, including undergraduates –Make sure projects are appropriate for level of HQP proposed  Don’t… –Just list numbers –Have name withheld on all entries –Have a blanket statement, be specific 32

33 Cost of Research  Determined by the reviewers as Low, Normal or High as compared to the norm for the research areas represented in the applications considered by the EG(s) 33

34 Discovery Grants Indicators 34


36 Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) Grants Program  RTI grants: $7,001 to $150,000 (all disciplines) –NSERC accepts applications for equipment whose total net cost between $7,001 and $250,000, provided that funding from other sources is secured by the applicant to bring the amount requested from NSERC to $150,000 or less  RTI grants for Subatomic Physics (See NSERC website for more details) –$150,001 to more than $325,000 36

37 RTI Grants Program – Starting Fall 2013  Implementing an application quota so that NSERC receives about 500 applications in total  Universities will be provided with a quota of applications that they can submit to NSERC –Consult your university for your particular selection process –Applications will have to be approved by the institution in order to be submitted to NSERC  The quotas to universities will be based on the number of NSERC funded researchers supported at each institution, with a minimum quota of two applications 37

38 RTI Grants Program – Eligibility and Requirements  Eligibility requirements to apply to NSERC must be satisfied  Only applications from applicants and co-applicants who currently hold or are applying for an NSERC research grant (e.g., Discovery, Strategic, Research Partnership, Canada Research Chairs) at the time of application will be accepted  NSERC will accept applications only for equipment that has not yet been purchased as of October 25 of the application submission year 38

39 RTI Grants Program – Submitting an Application  Application to be submitted to NSERC by October 25 - Electronic submission –Requires RGO approval- follow institution deadlines  RTI Grant application includes: –Form 101 Application for a Grant –Form 100 Personal Data Form for the applicant and all co-applicants 39

40 RTI Grants Program – Selection Criteria  Excellence of the applicant(s)  Merit of the proposed research program(s)  Need and urgency for the equipment - including availability of, and access to, similar equipment  Suitability of the proposed equipment for the proposed research program(s)  Importance of the equipment for the training of HQP 40

41 RTI Grants Program – Evaluation Process  National peer reviewed competition maintained  RTI Grants are usually awarded for the full cost of the requested items (including tax, transportation and eligible installation costs)  May receive partial funding, if appropriate 41

42 Research Tools and Instruments Grants Program – Eligible Costs 42 Type of ExpenditureRTI Equipment or FacilityPurchase or rental TravelNot eligible Salaries and BenefitsNot eligible Others (transportation costs for purchased equipment, extended warranty, brokerage and customs charges for the importation of equipment and supplies) Eligible

43 Research Tools and Instruments Grants Applications – Tips  Describe the research program(s) that will be carried out using the equipment  Explain the need and urgency of the equipment  Justify the need and appropriateness for each item.  Illustrate the suitability of the proposed equipment for the research program(s)  Discuss the importance of the equipment for the training of HQP - quality and opportunities for hands- on training 43


45 Discovery Grant or RTI Grant Applications – Reminders  Consult the Peer Review Manual, Section 6 (DG) or Section 7 (RTI)  Read all instructions carefully and follow presentation standards  Ensure completeness of application  Ask colleagues and/or your RGO for comments on your application  Read other successful proposals  Plan ahead and check institution deadlines –Give yourself time: CCV for DG; F100 for RTI 45

46 NSERC Contacts EGs Program Deadlines, acknowledgement of applications and results Your university RGO Your account, Grants in Aid of Research Statement of Account (Form 300) Your university Business Officer (BO) NSERC Web Discovery Grants Program (including eligibility) Tel.: Use of Grant Funds On-line Services Helpdesk 46

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