University Research Services

University Research Services
University Research Services

NSERC Alliance Grants Information for Queen's Applicants

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This website is meant to serve as a repository of websites and resources related to NSERC Alliance Grants. Alliance Grants encourage university researchers to collaborate with partner organizations, which can be from the private, public or not-for-profit sectors. These grants for 1 to 5 years from $20,000 up to $1,000,000 per year aim at supporting research projects led by strong, complementary, collaborative teams that will generate new knowledge and accelerate the application of research results to create benefits for Canada.

Program Highlights

NSERC’s grant for the Alliance projects is calculated on the basis of cost-sharing with the partner organizations. The portion of the cost of your project that can be cost-shared with NSERC includes only the cash contributions from partner organizations who are recognized for cost-sharing. The following tables show what percentage of your research project’s funding can be covered by an Alliance Grant, according to the size and type of partner organization(s) involved.

Option 1

Applications per year: no limits
Grant size: $20,000 to $1,000,000 per year
Duration: 1 to 5 years

Size of Partner Organization Type of Partnership NSERC Contribution


Large organizations, including private, public and not-for-profit organizations

(500 or more employees globally)


As a sole partner organization or in partnership exclusively with other large organizations 50%
As a partner with small and medium-sized enterprises such as in a value- or supply-chain relationship, or with other sectors (private, public or not-for-profit) 66%


Small and medium-sized private, public or not-for-profit organizations

(fewer than 500 employees globally)



As a sole partner organization or in partnership with other sectors (private, public or not-for-profit)



Option 2

During this initial phase of Option 2 grants, applications requesting over $30,000 and up to $100,000 per year will be accepted, and the number of applications each applicant (as principal investigator or as co-applicant) may submit will be limited to one within a 12-month period.

Projects supported under Option 2 grants will:

  • address a societal challenge that will result in new natural sciences and engineering knowledge and societal impact;
  • bring together academic, partner organization and societal perspectives and skill sets throughout the collaboration; and
  • demonstrate how all interested individuals will learn about and use the products, services or policies that stem from this research.

Applications within a 12-month period: 

  • Two for non-academic partners

  • One for each applicant (as the principal investigator or as co-applicant)

Grant size: $30,000 to $100,000 per year (during the initial phase, later grant sizes will go up to $200K/y)
Duration: 1 to 5 years

Size of Partner Organization Type of Partnership NSERC Contribution

All partner sizes

(Partnership must include one organization that is recognized for NSERC cost-sharing)

Exclusively not-for-profit and public partner organizations

Any private-sector partner organization; this option requires a 10% cash contribution from the combined partner organizations


The proposal will include an additional 3 page section, in which applicants will justify the need for a higher NSERC contribution. In this section applicants will describe the societal challenge to be addressed through the project and how the results will impact society beyond the anticipated benefits for the participating partner organizations.

Alliance Option 2 applications will be evaluated in two stages. Full applications will be submitted to a multidisciplinary and multisectoral selection committee that will assess whether a higher NSERC contribution is justified. If selected, applications will then proceed to the second step for review of overall merit. As in Option 1, external reviewers with expertise directly related to the proposal will provide reviews based on the Alliance evaluation criteria.

Program Updates

April 2020: NSERC has launched a new Alliance COVID-19 stream ($50K, 1 y grants, require a partner organization but no cash from the partner). Applicants should follow the simplified instructions for COVID-19 applications and apply by June 1.

March 19: NSERC has published three new resources for applicants (see below under NSERC resources)

As of December 11, 2019, NSERC is accepting applications to the Alliance Grants program Option 1 for all grant request amounts in the range of $20,000 - $1,000,000 per year. 

As of February 20, 2020 NSERC is accepting application to the Alliance Grants program Option 2, for grant requests ranging from $30K-$100K/y. Each researcher has a quota of 1 Option 2 application (as PI or co-applicant) per 12 months during the initial phase of Option 2. Each partner organization has a quota of 2 Option 2 applications per 12 months.





NSERC Resources for Alliance Grants

Queen's Resources for Alliance Grants

Queen's Contact Information

Research Projects Advisor
for researchers in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science
*Located in Beamish Monroe Hall, Room 217
Phone: 613-533-6000 ext. 77314


Kyle Hodder
Research Projects Advisor
for researchers in the Faculty of Arts and Science
Phone: 613-533-6000 ext 79707


Dora Baczyk
Research Projects Advisor
for applicants from all other faculties
Phone: 613-533-6000 ext. 77315