NSERC Alliance Grants Information for Queen's Applicants

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 from the private, public and/or not-for-profit sectors. These grants can have a duration of 1 to 5 years and provide from $20,000 up to $1,000,000 per year to support 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.

The National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships   require a Risk Assessment Form be included with all NSERC Alliance applications involving one or more partners from the private sector, and that appropriate mitigation plans are in place when potential risks are identified. Please see Intake Procedure and PI Responsibilities below for more information.

Program Highlights

NSERC's Alliance Advantage and Alliance Society grants  both support collaborations between Canadian researchers and partner organizations.
The following tables highlight differences between the programs.

Alliance Advantage

Applications per year: no limits on Option 1 applications
Grant size: $20,000 to $1,000,000 per year
NSERC will contribute 66%
Duration: 1 to 5 years

To learn more, visit the website.

Size of Partner Organization Type of Partnership NSERC Contribution
All partner sizes Partner(s) from any sector (private, public or not-for-profit). 66%

Alliance Society

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.

Grant size: Value: Over $20,000 to $1,000,000 per year
NSERC contribution to the project: 100%
Duration: 1 to 5 years

To learn more, visit the website.

Size of Partner Organization Type of Partnership NSERC Contribution
All partner sizes Partners from any sector. Your partnership must include at least one partner organization that could be recognized for NSERC cost-sharing , although a cash contribution is not required. 100%

The proposal will include an additional 3-page Public Impact Value Proposition (PIVP), in which applicants will justify the need for a higher NSERC contribution. In the PIVP 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.

Cash contributions from partners can be leveraged as funding towards both an NSERC Alliance grant and either a Mitacs Accelerate Internship  through a streamlined joint submission and review process.

NSERC Alliance - Mitacs Accelerate Grants  Value: Varies
Duration: Up to 5 years
NSERC Alliance - OCI-C2C  Value: $20,000 to $30,000
Duration: Up to 12 months

* Please note the program OCI-VIP has been renamed OCI-C2C. Some references on external pages may still use the name OCI-VIP.

Alliance International  will provide support for researchers in Canada to work with leading international researchers from the academic sector, and to establish and grow international research collaborations and projects that have a high potential for impact in NSE disciplines.

Catalyst grants will provide funding for one year to support Canadian researchers in initiating international research collaborations in the NSE disciplines. These grants will allow Canadian researchers to identify and initiate the first stage of collaboration with the intent of supporting exploratory research activities and initiating exchanges for Canadian personnel where appropriate. Support for Canadian researchers to initiate international research collaborations in the NSE disciplines.

Collaboration grants will allow Canadian researchers to participate in international projects and leverage the best international expertise in the NSE disciplines to help address research challenges of impact and benefit for Canada. International academic collaborators are expected to have already secured funding from their own national funding agency for the collaborative project and identified the Canadian academic researcher(s) in their proposal. Support for Canadian researchers participating in an international project by matching funds secured by the international academic collaborators from their national funding agency.

Alliance International Catalyst Value: $25,000
Duration: 1 year
Alliance International Collaboration Value: $100,000/year
Duration: Up to 3 years
Alliance International Catalyst Quantum  Value: $25,000
Duration: 1 year


NSERC and the US National Science Foundation (NSF) have signed a memorandum of understanding on research cooperation focused on quantum science and artificial intelligence . US and Canadian research teams can submit a single collaborative proposal for a single review process at the NSF. When a proposal is recommended for funding, U.S. applicants will be supported by the NSF, while Canadian applicants will be supported by NSERC as an Alliance grant.

Collaborative research proposals will be accepted to  specific NSF programs (PDF 836 KB). An LOI must be submitted to NSERC at least eight weeks prior to the planned submission of the full proposal to the NSF. Funding request for the Canadian researchers defined by Alliance Grants 
Value: $20,000 to $1 million /year
Duration: Up to 5 years


Intake Procedure and PI Responsibilities

 Process for Grant Applications requiring Risk Assessment Form (RAF)

Process for Grant Applications requiring Risk Assessment Form

 Open flow chart in new window for larger view

1 RPAs and/or NSE Group should use their discretion to decide when it is appropriate to reach out to NSERC for input on complicated issues not clearly addressed in publicly available FAQ/guidelines already provided.
2 Application package = NSERC Alliance application, RAF and, if relevant, Mitigation Plan
3 Any TRAQ DSS submitted prior to completion of all previous steps will be re-assigned to Signing Authorities for review and approval after the RAF and Mitigation Plan steps are completed. RPAs will claim the file once submitted, but will notify Signing Authorities of the situation, and will work with the TRAQ team to re-assign the TRAQ DSS for review when ready.
4 Standard TRAQ DSS submission milestones still apply: 15 days prior to application submission for hospital-based research, and 5 days prior to application submission for non-hospital-based research. 

Overview of PI responsibilities

 starting 2 months before submission

  • Notify Research Project Advisor (RPA) of intent to apply
  • Share draft proposal and draft Risk Assessment Form  (RAF) with RPA
  • Provide feedback on Project Overview Intake sheet, if requested (see Queen’s Resources below)

 during application package development & review

  • Work closely with Research Services on development and completion of required documents
  • Facilitate completion of Getting to Know Your Partner Organization form, if requested (see Queen’s Resources below)
  • Develop Mitigation Plan, if required

 at least 5 business day before submission

  • Create TRAQ DSS and upload application documents including a completed RAF and Risk Mitigation Plan, if required) for Department Head and Associate Dean endorsement

  • Alliance Grant applications do not require support letters. Instead, supporting organizations have to fill out an online form that is emailed to them once the applicant completes the section that lists the contributions of the supporting organizations.
  • Alliance Grant applications use the CCV: the CCV is attached to form 100A, which also contains sections about the applicant's Most Significant Contributions, Past Contributions to HQP Training, and Additional Information, similar to the Discovery Grant sections with the same titles.

Contact Information

Adam Jeziorski
Research Projects Advisor
for researchers in the Faculty of Arts and Science
Email:  adam.jeziorski@queensu.ca


Bei Cai
Research Projects Advisor
for researchers in Smith Engineering
Email:  beicai@queensu.ca