Through the Government of Canada’s Budget 2021 introduction of a National Quantum Strategy, NSERC will finance at least three CREATE activities for the current competition (NQS). The Supported initiatives will develop diverse research trainees ready to transition to the Canadian workforce in quantum communications, quantum sensing, quantum materials, quantum computing, and quantum algorithms/encryption, based on the results of the NQS Secretariat’s results consultations.
The CREATE program aims to improve the training and mentoring environment for tomorrow’s Canadian researchers by enhancing professional skills, communication, and teamwork and offering mentoring and experience in both academic and non-academic research environments. Initiatives do not have to include creating new professional skills training courses; instead, they might use current training (offered at the university, provincially, or other organizations such as Mitacs). The CREATE program encourages and supports the development of new researchers within the NSE disciplines, as well as at the interdisciplinary border between the NSE and areas covered by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) if combining the strengths of the various disciplines results in a more significant impact for the trainees. Proposed initiatives could, when appropriate, enhance interaction with research users and trainees’ potential employers or contribute to offering extra chances for students to participate in national or worldwide exchanges.
Through the development of innovative training programs, the Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) program supports the training and mentorship of teams of highly skilled students and postdoctoral fellows from Canada and internationally.
- support collaborative and integrative approaches, and address significant scientific challenges linked to Canada’s research goals
- to assist new researchers in making the transition from trainees to influential members of the Canadian workforce
These innovative programs must encourage students and postdoctoral fellows to acquire and develop critical professional skills that complement their academic qualifications and technical skills and improve their job readiness for careers in industry, government, non-governmental organizations, and academia.
Furthermore, when appropriate, these programs should encourage the following:
- Student mobility inside and between universities and between universities and other industries is possible on a national and international scale.
- Interdisciplinary research in the natural sciences and engineering (NSE), or at the interface between the NSE and health, or between the NSE and the social sciences and humanities—however, the NSE must remain the program’s primary focus.
- Greater industry-academia collaboration for the industrial stream, with an additional goal of supporting improved job preparedness within the industrial sector by exposing participants to the sector’s specific difficulties and teaching people the skills recognized by the industry.
Applicants, co-applicants, and institutions are all required to meet eligibility requirements. Only NSERC-qualified Canadian universities are eligible for CREATE funding, and the candidate must work at one of those universities in a qualifying post. Collaborators from non-eligible institutions are welcome to join the project. Make sure you consider the eligibility requirements for applicants, co-applicants, and collaborators listed on NSERC’s website under Faculty eligibility criteria.
Multi-university candidates should note that at least one co-applicant must be named in the proposal for each university involved in the application. All students/fellows involved at that university will have access to CREATE money. The funds will be administered on behalf of all students/fellows, whether or not the co-applicant directly supervises them.
All applications must meet the following requirements:
- The applicant must be from an NSERC-supported field at an NSERC-eligible university in the case of multi-organization collaborations (academic, industrial, government, or not-for-profit sectors).
- The grant must be administered by one individual, known as the “applicant,” who is in charge of completing and submitting the LOI and the application (if invited) on behalf of the group.
- The leading university will be the applicant’s university.
- CREATE stipends and allowances are only available to trainees who partners supervise at one of the funded universities.
- Co-applicants from NSE domains must make up at least 70% of the group. However, co-applicants from the interdisciplinary border between NSE and the areas covered by SSHRC and CIHR may be included in proposals.
- Applicants presenting projects at the granting agencies’ interdisciplinary frontiers may be asked to show why NSERC is the best appropriate funding source. This link will take you to another website where you can submit your training proposal to an appropriate funding agency.
- The emphasis should be on new training programs; current projects must demonstrate how the CREATE program will add value to them.
- Each university has a yearly quota, and only those researchers their university has selected are eligible to submit LOIs.
- The head of each training program’s program committee cannot be the CREATE lead applicant, co-applicant, or direct collaborator (e.g., financial stakeholder, internship host, trainee supervisor, research collaborator, or joint author), the program coordinator, or a trainee.
- The chair must approve each progress report of the program committee.
The following are additional requirements:
- Researchers holding or participating in an active CREATE grant must explain their unique contribution to and justification for participating in the proposed training program.
- Researchers submitting in a research area that prior CREATE funds have already funded must explain how their application differs from others that have already been funded.
- Previous CREATE grantees and co-grantees must explain how this proposal differs from those already funded.
As appropriate, the above descriptions should be included in either the Excellence of the Proposed Research Team or the Merit of the Proposed Training Program sections. Details can be found in the form 187 instructions. The applicant’s responsibility is to provide enough material for the selection committee to assess the relationship with other CREATE programs. CREATE awardees currently receiving funding can be seen in the competition results.
NSERC will grant up to $1.65 million in funding over six years, including $150,000 in the first year ( $50,000) and $300,000 ( $50,000) yearly for up to five years. The money is expected to be used every year. The grantee will have the option of starting in April or September. In addition, by the end of six years, CREATE initiatives are expected to be self-sustaining. It’s worth noting that there’s no automatic extension for the usage of money, and financing can’t be renewed for more than six years.
Collaborators may contribute additional funding. All expenses must be justified in full in the application.
As defined in the Tri-agency handbook on financial administration, the rules and guidelines guiding the responsible use of grant funds apply to all project expenses.
Procedures for Submitting an Application
The CREATE program features a two-part application process: phase one is a letter of intent, and phase two is an application. The CREATE program is highly selective, including LOI-based pre-screening. Only those who have received a positive response to their letter of intent will be invited to apply.
Step 1: Letter of Intent
Researchers must first submit form 187 to their university for consideration before applying for a CREATE program award. For more information, consult the form 187 instructions or contact the research grants office at your university.
NSERC’s online portal is used for the whole LOI application procedure.
The following items are included in a comprehensive LOI:
- Form 187
- Form 100 for the applicant,
- A letter from the applicant’s university vice-president of research* for the industrial stream only, one letter or email from the collaborating industry(s) to the applicant, confirming its (their) willingness to participate in the program committee and to host trainee internships
The institution may set an earlier deadline for reviewing letters of intent and selecting those it will submit to NSERC. The vice-president of research, or an equivalent, must send a letter confirming that the applicant’s proposal is one of the quotas of submissions endorsed by the university and describing the university’s support and commitment to this new effort.
Phase 2: Implementation
If you are accepted, you must submit the following documentation to NSERC via the research funding office by the deadline:
- Form 102 is a type of questionnaire.
- For the applicant, use Form 100.
- Form 100 or CCV for up to ten co-applicants
- One letter of support from the lead university
*On the online system, co-applicants who submit a CCV will not be allowed to see the application.
A maximum of three letters from collaborators will be accepted for the regular and industrial streams. For the industrial stream, at least one of these letters must be from an industrial collaborator confirming its willingness to participate in the program committee and host trainees’ internships. Additionally, indicate in the first sentence of the training program description that you apply to the CREATE program’s industrial stream.
Consult the instructions for forms 100, CCV, and 102, or contact your university’s research funding office for more information. NSERC’s online portal is used for the entire application procedure.
- May 1 (letter of intent)
- September 22 (application, if invited to apply)