2023 NSERC Collaborative Research & Training Experience (CREATE) Competition

Important Dates

If you plan to apply for this program, please let Dora ( d.baczyk@queensu.ca) know by Feb 7, 2022. 

Important Dates

Related Information

February 7, 2022 Mandatory expression of intent (EOI) to apply. Send an email to  d.baczyk@queensu.ca by 11:59 pm on February 7, 2022, with a brief description of the CREATE proposal, including a title.
Week of
February 14, 2022
Mandatory information session. At least one member of the CREATE applicant team is required to attend. Further details will follow after EOI is received.
April 4, 2022 URS will provide content and administrative review of the LOI. Submit a pdf copy of the LOI (generated from the NSERC site) to  d.baczyk@queensu.ca by 11:59 pm on April 4, 2022.
May 2, 2022 NSERC deadline for LOI submission
September 15, 2022 Submit TRAQ DSS
September 22, 2022, at noon (12 pm) Proposal submitted on the portal for the final administrative review
September 22, 2022, at 8:00 pm NSERC deadline for the full application (by invitation only)


Objectives: The CREATE program is designed to improve the mentoring and training environment for the Canadian researchers of tomorrow by improving training in areas such as professional skills, communication and collaboration, as well as providing experience relevant to both academic and non-academic research environments.

The training initiative should be focused on providing a value-added experience to the university training environment to better prepare research trainees for their future careers in industry, government or academia.

The innovative training program should:

  • encourage collaborative and integrative approaches, and address significant scientific challenges associated with Canada’s research priorities;
  • facilitate the transition of new researchers from trainees to productive employees in the Canadian workforce.

In addition, these programs should encourage the following as appropriate:

  • student mobility, nationally or internationally, between individual universities and between universities and other sectors;
  • interdisciplinary research within the natural sciences and engineering (NSE), or at the interface between the NSE and health, or the social sciences and humanities. However, the main focus of the training must still lie within the NSE;
  • increased collaboration between industry and academia;
  • for the industrial stream, an additional objective is to support improved job-readiness within the industrial sector by exposing participants to the specific challenges of this sector and training people with the skills identified by industry.

Successful applicants will consist of a group of accomplished researchers who will work collaboratively to offer a defined research training program to a group of trainees. This environment will provide trainees with experience relevant to both academic and non-academic careers. The research training experience should focus on providing an enriched training experience for graduate (master’s and doctoral) students.

Note: NSERC and Mitacs have formalized their existing relationship. Applicants are encouraged to take advantage of Mitacs programs that support internships in industry as well as other opportunities to increase the number of trainees.

Funds Available: Up to \$1.65 million per project: Funding of up to \$150,000 in the first year, and up to \$300,000 annually in subsequent years (± \$50,000 per year variation allowed), will be provided by NSERC for a maximum period of six years. At least 80 percent of the CREATE grant must be used for trainees’ stipends. Up to 30 percent of this portion can be distributed to trainees who are not enrolled in the NSE.

Grant duration: Up to 6 years.

Relevant Research Areas: All areas of natural science and engineering.


In the case of multi-organization collaborations (academic, industrial, government or not-for-profit sectors), the applicant must be from an NSERC-supported field at an NSERC-eligible university. One person must be designated to administer the grant. This person is the “applicant” and is responsible for completing and submitting the Letter of Intent (LOI) and the application (if invited) on behalf of the group. The applicant’s university will be the lead university.

  • Each researcher can only be involved in 2 active CREATE grants. Each researcher can only be the applicant on one CREATE per year.
  • At least 70% of the group must be from NSE fields, but co-applicants at the interdisciplinary frontier between NSE and the areas covered under the umbrella of SSHRC and CIHR may be incorporated into proposals. 
  • Each training program will have a program committee responsible for overseeing the progress of the program and its future directions. The applicant may not be the Chair of the Program Committee.
  • The focus should be on new training initiatives. Existing initiatives must justify the incremental value that will accrue from the CREATE Program.
  • A yearly quota has been established for each university, and only those researchers selected at their university can submit LOIs.
  • For applicants who have previously held a CREATE Grant, the proposed initiative must differ from the previous one. This must be clearly explained in the Letter of Intent.

Recent program changes:

  • Research Coordinators can now receive their salary from the grant for all 6 years, not just the first 2 years (as was the rule in the past). This also applies to any existing active CREATEs. 
  • The amounts requested per year can now vary by +/- \$50K from the default amounts of \$150K/y in year 1 and \$300K/y in years 2-6 so long as the total still sums to \$1.65M. 
  • Applicants should consider gender diversity in the applicant team and in their plans for recruiting students. This is especially true for disciplines where there is a recognized gender imbalance.
  • A start date of September 1 is now able to be requested (or the default start date of April 1). 


  • Queen’s internal deadline for expression of intent: Feb 7, 2022.
  • NSERC deadline for the letters of intent: May 2, 2022.
  • NSERC deadline for the full application: September 22, 2022. 

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