Discovery Grant

Key Aspects

Intended Recipients

Researchers conducting an ongoing, long-term research program within the natural sciences and engineering




Up to five years

Who Can Help Me?

Research Partner Network


Notification of Intent (NOI)

RAS Internal Review Deadline

N/A (Submit NOI directly to the NSERC via the Research Portal)

NSERC Deadline

August 1, 2023, at 6:00 pm MST.
Missing this deadline means you cannot apply in the fall.

Full Application

RAS Internal Review Deadline

October 20, 2023, at 4:30 pm MST (Submit application to RAS via the Researcher Home Page)

Final Version Submission Deadline

October 31, 2023 at 10:00 am MST (Submit final application to the NSERC via the Research Portal)

NSERC Deadline (RAS must forward the application to NSERC)

November 1, 2023 at 6:00 pm MST


The Discovery Grants program supports ongoing, long-term programs of research instead of single, short-term research projects or collection of projects. Unlike other funding opportunities, Discovery Grant recipients are not restricted to the specific activities outlined in their applications and may expand and pursue new research interests, provided they are within the NSERC’s mandate and adhere to their funding principles and guidelines. For more information on the Discovery Grants program, please visit the competition homepage or contact the affiliated Research Partner.

Please also advise the affiliated Research Partner if you decide to withdraw from the competition after you have submitted your NOI. Research Administrative Services has a list of submitted NOIs, and if we haven’t received your proposal request a few days prior to the NSERC deadline, we will email you for an update unless we know you have withdrawn. You should also send a courtesy email to NSERC to advise them of your withdrawal at

Research Development Supports Available for this Competition

Roundtable Sessions with NSERC Evaluators

Hosted by the Research Partner Network, these roundtable discussions with NSERC evaluators allow UofA researchers to gain valuable insight into the Discovery Grant evaluation process. All participating evaluators are U of A researchers who are active members of an NSERC Discovery Grant Evaluation Group and have experienced the Discovery Grant review process firsthand. During the sessions, these researchers will share their knowledge and experience with you on:

  • How the NSERC Discovery Grant evaluation process works
  • What constitutes a successful application
  • What are the best practices that can potentially increase your ranking
  • What are the pitfalls to avoid in order to write a successful Discovery Grant

2023 roundtable sessions are scheduled in May and June. Please check the U of A Workshops and Events (Tri-Agency Workshops) page for more information on specific discussion dates and to register for a session.

Samples of Successful Discovery Grant LOIs and Full Applications

Samples of successful LOIs and full applications from previous Discovery Grant competitions are available through the GRANT library for reference. To receive access to these samples, please fill out the request form.

It is important to note that the sample grants in our library reflect applications submitted to competitions over the past few years. As the requirements and formats for applications are continuously evolving, please check the most up-to-date information posted by the NSERC to ensure your Discovery Grant application meets the current competition guidelines.

We also request that you refrain from duplicating or distributing any sample applications you may use to guide your own grant development.

NSERC Resources

Quick links