University Research Services

University Research Services
University Research Services

NSERC Engage Grants

Grant Amount: up to $25,000

Grant duration: up to 6 months

URS contact: Vera Kettnaker,, x77314

Short Description: These grants are intended to foster the development of new research partnerships between an academic researcher and a company that have never collaborated before, by supporting short-term research and development projects aimed at addressing a company-specific problem in the natural sciences or engineering fields. The company only has to contribute in-kind (e.g., meetings with the researcher), but cash is not required.

Important to know: all IP arising from the project will belong to the company. Everybody involved in an Engage project will have to sign Queen's Engage IP forms (see below in the Queen's resource section) before a PeopleSoft Project can be opened.. Please review these forms if you've never applied for an Engage grant before.

New requirement April 2016: Industry support letters now have to follow new content rules or the proposal will be rejected, see the end of this webpage for an updated template of the letter of support that complies with the new rules.

Key Eligibility constraints:

  • The applicant must be an NSERC-eligible academic researcher and must have been granted an individual or small team (principal investigator and up to two co-applicants) peer-reviewed grant from NSERC within the past six years.
  • Applicants who have received a rating of “Strong” or higher for the criterion “Excellence of the Researcher” in their most recent Discovery Grant competition within the past six years are considered to have met the requirement for peer-reviewed research support.
  • Researchers with a principal appointment in a health-oriented university faculty (e.g., medicine, pharmacology, dentistry) are only eligible for an Engage Grant if they have been awarded an NSERC Discovery Grant within the past six years.
  • Adjunct faculty need to fulfill additional conditions to apply for an Engage grant, beyond the regular NSERC faculty requirements. Please email for details.
  • Only 1 researcher and 1 company per grant, no collaborators or co-applicants
  • The company partner must have a minimum of two full time employees AND be in operation for a minimum of two years.
  • The company partner must operate from a Canadian base and demonstrate clear intentions and capacity to further develop and apply any technology within Canada.
  • No existing or past relationship between the person applying for funding and the company: no previous collaboration, no joint participation in a research network, no principals from the company can be adjuncts in the applicant's department
  • The project must include a real research challenge
  • As of April 1, 2016, researchers will be limited to 1 Engage grant per fiscal year (April 1 - March 31). Please note that only applications submitted by late January will actually count towards the previous fiscal year, e.g., January 15 2017 counts towards fiscal year 2016-17. Engage Plus grants don't count towards the limit.
  • Effective April 1, 2016: companies will be limited to 2 new Engage grants per fiscal year, or up to 4 for companies who contribute cash to ongoing NSERC grants such as CRDs (see NSERC Engage program description for details).

Alternative funding sources to consider if you, the company or the project don't qualify for an Engage grant: OCE VIP I proposals (without the Engage portion), Mitacs Accelerate or Elevate internships, OCE TalentEdge internships. If the project does not have enough research-focus for an Engage grant, the company could consider applying to IRAP-BIAP for funding to pay you for product optimization or testing, for example.


New joint Engage/Mitacs Accelerate program: NSERC and Mitacs have just launched the possibility to couple a Mitacs Accelerate internship application with an NSERC Engage application. Eligibility criteria and matching formulas are the same as for stand-alone Engage and Mitacs applications. Application process: a slightly modified Mitacs application form is attached to and Engage application before it is submitted to NSERC. Interested applicants should email Kristin Spong to obtain the most current version of that form and support for the application process.


Links to NSERC Engage documents:

Program description

All the forms can be found on the NSERC online site after you log in and select the grant program (Engage). If you've never used this site before then you can register here.

Instructions for form F101 Engage (Application form)

Instructions for form F100 (CV form. A CCV cannot be used, it has to be F100)

Instructions for form F183A (Company information form. This documents also contains instructions for the support letter from the company.)

Instructions for the F183A Link Manager (consult whenever you have problems uploading, editing or removing 183A forms on the NSERC site)

Checklist for applicants (updated December 2015) including a sample structure for a proposal

Additional Queen's resources for Engage applicants

You will need to login with your netID and password to access Queen's documents.