NSERC Alliance Grants (Institutional e-Approval via Online System)

NSERC is now accepting applications to Option 1 ($20,000 to $1 million per year, 1 to 5 years) and Option 2 (over $30,000 to $1,000,000 per year, 1 to 5 years) of the Alliance Grant program. 

To ensure your application meets the program requirements, please carefully review the Alliance Grants overview.

April 1, 2021 Update:  NSERC and Mitacs have developed an opportunity for applicants seeking support from both an Alliance grant and Mitacs Accelerate. Applicants are invited to include in their Alliance application a request for additional support through Mitacs Accelerate internships as a component of the training of highly qualified personnel (HQP). Please review the NSERC Alliance-Mitacs Accelerate Grants Program.

SPARC support and information is available at https://sparc.ubc.ca/announcement/nserc-alliance-grants and/or contact Erin Evoy (erin.evoy@ubc.ca). 

National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships Risk Assessment Form

NSERC Alliance Grant applications with a private sector partner (including applications currently under review) must now include a Risk Assessment Questionnaire completed by the researcher and, if necessary, a risk mitigation plan. 

To meet this new requirement, a Risk Assessment Questionnaire must be completed by the researcher and submitted to jp.heale@uilo.ubc.ca for validation. Please visit this page for more information. 

Applications to the Alliance program are submitted via NSERC’s Online System.


Due to the complexity of this program, please allow a minimum of five (5) working days for ORS review and approval.

Useful Resources: NSERC provides templates, instructions and FAQs related to the Alliance program on its website

E-Submission Procedures

1. Application preparation

The application must be prepared using NSERC's online system. Under the Alliance program, NSERC will match partners’ cash contributions to the direct costs of research. Review the Alliance cost-sharing guidelines as the leveraging formula differs based on the size of the partner organization and the type of partnership involved. UBC’s indirect costs rates will apply to contributions from the partner organizations only. Consult with your faculty to confirm the appropriate indirect costs rate is being applied. If you have questions as to how to calculate the indirect costs, please contact dmitriy.ryabika@ubc.ca.

2. NSERC Online system

On the Form 101, select “University of British Columbia” as the Institution administering the grant (do not select “Technical University of British Columbia”). Co-applicants’ electronic acceptance of PI’s invitation to participate in the application meets NSERC signature requirements – their physical signatures do not need to be uploaded. If co-applicants are outside of UBC, an external authorized institution official signature is required.

3. Understand and comply with faculty-specific requirements and/or deadlines

Complete a Research Project Information Form (RPIF) and follow UBC Signature requirements.

If you are a co-applicant on a grant application initiated by a PI at another institution, you must submit a copy of the application with required UBC signatures for review, even though the application is being submitted to the agency by another institution. ORS does not need to approve the application online but must still review a copy of the application.

Please check with your grant facilitator regarding faculty-specific requirements and/or deadlines.

4. Submit required pages to the appropriate ORS contact 

You can email or drop off the pages to the appropriate ORS location. Ensure you have collected ALL required internal signatures prior to submitting to ORS, and that the documents submitted to ORS are identical to your NSERC online submission.

  • A signed UBC Research Project Information Form (RPIF)
  • From the NSERC application:
    • Page 1 of the application
    • Page 2 listing all co-applicants (If co-applicants are outside of UBC, an external authorized institutional official signature is required)
    • Summary of Proposal
    • Proposed Expenditures budget page
    • Budget justification
    • Contributions from Supporting Organizations budget page(s)
    • Completed and signed Partner Organization Form
    • MITACS supplemental application and budget spreadsheet, if applicable
    • Signed Risk Assessment Questionnaire 

5. Submit your ONLINE application 

Applicant must ensure all required forms are uploaded and CVs are linked to the completed application as described in the Alliance program instructions. First “Verify” to ensure the application is complete. Then click “Submit” to send the online application to ORS for review and approval.

If the Alliance opportunity you are applying to has a deadline, please submit your application by noon a day before the deadline. 

6. ORS reviews your application

If all requirements are met, ORS will approve your application on the NSERC online system. ORS has read-only access to your application and cannot make changes. If the application is not approved, ORS will return it to you for changes. ORS is not required to physically sign the application submitted through the online system per NSERC instructions (see “Are original signatures required?”)

7. ORS approves and submits your application

Once ORS has approved and submitted your application, the status of the application on the NSERC online system will change to “Approved" (see Definition of Application Status). Material or updates received under separate cover (before or after the deadline date) will not be accepted by NSERC.