The NSERC Invests Almost $140 Million in Canadian Quantum Sciences

To accelerate progress in Canada’s National Quantum Strategy, the government has initiated new funding  to advance research in quantum science and to accumulate more talent in the pipeline. Overall, this will support the growth of a strong quantum community.

An investment of $137.9 million will be made by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) towards two grant programs:

“The National Quantum Strategy is supporting a vibrant economy, including the research, businesses and talent needed to strengthen Canada’s leadership in quantum science. These grants will help Canadians make their mark as frontrunners in the quantum revolution. I look forward to Canada’s quantum sector continuing to punch above its weight as a world-class and global leader, delivering innovative research and life-changing benefits.”

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

These investments will put the NSERC over $400 million in funding provided over the last decade towards quantum research. The goal of these investments is to make Canada a global leader in the quantum field, as well as to make Canada’s tech hubs an attractive place for new investors and talent to move to.

“NSERC is pleased to continue our efforts in strengthening quantum research in Canada. As a key player in the National Quantum Strategy, we are in a unique position to be able to deliver on two fronts – strengthening quantum talent in Canada and fostering national and international collaborations – which will allow us to contribute to and access world-class knowledge, talent and expertise in quantum technology while supporting quantum innovation in Canada.”

Alejandro Adem, President, NSERC

The NSERC’s CREATE Program

The NSERC’s CREATE grant is geared towards improving the training and skills development of Canadian researchers and the future generation of talent by investing in professional skills, collaborative opportunities, and mentorship experience in both academic and non-academic environments.

Successful applicants for the CREATE program may receive up to $150,000 in their first year and up to $300,000 for up to five sequential years amounting to a maximum of $1.65 million over six years.

Eligible Applicants

There are currently three streams available via the CREATE program, each with different eligibility criteria. However, each stream has the following core criteria:

  • Applicants must be enrolled in only NSERC-eligible Canadian universities;
  • Applicants must be currently occupying a tenable position at one of these universities;
  • Researchers at non-eligible organizations are allowed to participate in projects as collaborators;
  • Focus should be on new training initiatives;
  • Each training program must have an overseeing committee to report on the progress of the program; and
  • A minimum of 70% of group co-applicants must be from NSE fields.

To learn more about application eligibility requirements, please review the NSERC’s CREATE program page.

Eligible Expenses

As there are three streams available via the CREATE program eligible expenses vary. However, the following eligible expenses may apply:

  • A minimum of 80% of the CREATE grant should be implemented towards stipends for trainees;
  • A maximum of 30% of the grant may be allotted towards trainees who are not in NSE fields; and
  • Stipends to doctorate fellows are typically capped at two years maximum.

To see a comprehensive list of all eligible expenses, please review the CREATE program page.

Program Timeline

This program began accepting letters of intent on March 15, 2022 and will remain open until May 1, 2022 or when funding is fully committed.

NSERC Alliance Grants

Researchers in Canada will receive grants from Alliance International Quantum to facilitate research collaborations with foreign colleagues, bolstering research excellence in Canada and overseas and developing Canadian research leadership and capabilities.

Funding Amount

Successful proposals for the NSERC Alliance International Quantum grant may receive up to a maximum of $25,000 for a total of one year.

Eligible Applicants

There are a variety of application criteria involved in this grant, however, the following requirements are standard:

  • Applicants must be a principal investigator such as a university faculty;
  • Co-applicants are a member of a research group; and
  • Applicants must be working in a Canadian institution.

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. To see a comprehensive review of eligibility criteria, please visit the Alliance grant’s program page.

Eligible Activities

In order for a proposal to be eligible, it must focus on at least one of the following quantum technologies:

  • Quantum algorithms/encryption;
  • Quantum communications;
  • Quantum computing;
  • Quantum materials; or
  • Quantum sensing.

Program Timelines

The Alliance International Quantum grant is accepting applications as of April 1, 2022, as well as accepting new applications for Alliance Quantum grants and Alliance Consortia Quantum grants in Spring of 2022.

Learn More About Government Funding

These grants offer significant opportunities for organizations looking to improve Canada’s quantum sciences industry. However, there are more government funding opportunities available. To see a comprehensive list of the top programs available, such as Mitacs Accelerate, visit our government funding directory.

Moreover, those interested in learning more about government funding in Canada should register for one of Mentor Works’ engaging webinars which cover top programs, strategy for funding applications, and more. Register for an event today.

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