Who can apply?

University researchers collaborating with private-sector, public-sector or not-for-profit organizations

How much?

$20,000 to $1 million per year

How long?

1 to 5 years

NSERC is now accepting applications to the Alliance grants program, beginning with applications that are requesting $150,000 or more annually from NSERC in Option 1. The Alliance grants program will be phased in gradually.

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Alliance grants encourage university researchers to collaborate with partner organizations, which can be from the private, public or not-for-profit sectors. These grants 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.

Research supported by Alliance grants will:

  • generate new knowledge and/or technology to address complex challenges;
  • create economic, social and/or environmental benefits;
  • contribute to Canada’s long-term competitiveness;
  • support public policy;
  • train new researchers in areas that are important to Canada and to the partner organizations;
  • draw on diverse perspectives and skill sets to accelerate the translation and application of research results.

Who can apply?

If you are a Canadian university researcher who is eligible to receive NSERC funds, you can apply on your own or as a team with co-applicants who are also eligible academic researchers. You must have at least one partner organization (in the private, public or not-for-profit sector) whose cash contributions will be recognized for cost-sharing (see Alliance grants: Role of partner organizations) but you may include other partner organizations who play an important role in your research project whether or not their cash contributions are recognized for cost sharing.

Alliance grants support projects of varying scale and complexity, from short-term smaller projects involving one researcher to long-term projects involving researchers across several universities, and from one-on-one collaborations with one partner organization directly involved in the research to projects involving many partner organizations across multiple sectors.

Role of partner organizations

Your partner organizations can be private, public or not-for-profit. You may involve whichever partner organizations you need to achieve your research goals and successfully mobilize your research results to achieve the desired impact. At least one of these partners must have a demonstrated ability to exploit such research results, while other partners may be chosen for their ability to generate and mobilize knowledge. Your partner organizations must collectively support the project through cash and/or in-kind contributions (See Funding your research project). In addition, every partner organization must do at least one of the following:

  • play an active role in the project’s research activities
  • utilize the project’s research results and achieve its desired outcomes
  • play an active role in mobilizing knowledge to ensure that the research results have an impact