Discovery Grant

The Discovery Grants program supports ongoing, long-term research programs within NSERC's mandate and funding principles. Recipients have the flexibility to expand and pursue new research interests. 

Support for Researchers

Research Partner Network provides personalized support and expert guidance on how to apply for this grant and how to manage the funds should you be successful.

For questions about applying for a Discovery Grant, please reach out to the designated Research Partner: Grant Kemp

Please notify the affiliated Research Partner if you decide to withdraw from the competition after submitting your NOI.


Intended Recipients

Researchers conducting an ongoing, long-term research program within the n atural sciences and engineering (NSE) 




Up to five years

Additional Information

Discovery Grants website


Notification of Intent (NOI)

Full Application

Supports and resources

Roundtable Sessions with NSERC Evaluators

Discover valuable insights into the NSERC Discovery Grant evaluation process through roundtable discussions hosted by the Research Partner Network. During these sessions, experienced U of A researchers, who are active members of NSERC Discovery Grant Evaluation Groups, will share their knowledge and experience on:

  • How the NSERC Discovery Grant evaluation process works
  • What constitutes a successful application
  • Best practices to potentially increase your ranking
  • Pitfalls to avoid in writing a successful Discovery Grant

2024 roundtable sessions will be scheduled between June and early October.

Monday June 3rd, 2024 - 10 - 11:30 a.m. in SAB 3-21 with Drs. Patrick Hanington and Harley Kurata on the Genes, Cells, and Molecules panel (1501). Calendar event »

Tuesday June 25th, 2024 - 10 - 11:30 a.m. on Google Meet with Drs. Afsaneh Lavasanifar and Duane Froese on the Materials and Chemical Engineering (1511) and Geosciences (1506) panels, respectively.  Calendar event »

Navigating the NSERC Discovery Grant proposal; key differences from CIHR Project Grants

The Research Partner Network presents a Tips and Q&A session with Drs. Greg Funk (Professor, Physiology) and Richard Fahlman (Professor, Biochemistry) on what makes a great NSERC Discovery Grant. In particular:

  • How it differs from CIHR proposals
  • How to communicate your basic biomedical/health sciences research as natural science
  • What are the common mistakes that researchers make

This session will be particularly helpful to health science researchers to improve their proposal, but it will also be useful to any applicants, especially first timers.

June 13th, 2024, 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. online. Calendar event »

Samples of Successful Discovery Grant LOIs and Full Applications

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

Note that these samples reflect past competitions, so it's important to check the latest NSERC guidelines for current requirements. Please refrain from duplicating or distributing the sample applications. 

NSERC Resources

Quick links