Alliance International Grants 2023 - Rolling intake


Opportunity link:

Opportunity type:



Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)

Award amount and duration:

$25,000 (Catalyst grants) for a year OR up to $100,000 per year (Collaboration grants) for 3 years





If you are a Canadian university researcher who is eligible to receive NSERC funds, you can apply on your own or as a team with co-applicants who are also eligible academic researchers. You and any Canadian co-applicants must have an active NSERC peer-reviewed grant, as primary applicant, at the time of application. There is no requirement for partner organizations or contributions from partner organizations for this funding opportunity. However, at the time of application, you must identify at least one international academic researcher with whom you will collaborate. In the case of an Alliance International Collaboration grant, your international collaborator must have secured funding from their own funding agency at the time of your application to NSERC.

International collaborator(s)

Your international collaborator(s) must be from the academic sector, and they must have secured funding from their national funding agency to cover their participation in the project. Each collaborator must actively play a role in the project. Such involvement must be achieved by doing at least one of the following:

  • Actively participating in the project’s research activities
  • Providing an enriched training experience for Canadian research trainees
  • Utilizing the project’s research results to help achieve its desired outcomes

You must explain in your application the added value of the international collaboration for Canada and of your selected international collaborator(s).


This competition has a rolling intake.


Canadian researchers work with international colleagues to pursue new knowledge, technologies, and solutions to complex problems. These collaborations strengthen research excellence in Canada and abroad, and NSERC recognizes the need to support engagement with international collaborators to further develop areas of Canadian research strength and leadership. By combining the expertise of Canadian and leading international researchers, it is expected that Canadian researchers will leverage the best international knowledge to help address important research challenges in the natural sciences and engineering (NSE) disciplines and will provide trainees with an outstanding research environment.


Alliance International will provide support for researchers in Canada to work with leading international researchers from the academic sector, and to establish and grow international research collaborations and projects that have a high potential for impact in NSE disciplines. The overall objectives are to: 1) allow Canadian researchers to initiate the development of international collaborations; and 2) provide support for Canadian researchers participating in international collaborative projects of global importance and benefit to Canada. Two grant types are offered: Catalyst grants and Collaboration grants.

Alliance International Catalyst grants

Catalyst grants will provide funding for one year to support Canadian researchers in initiating international research collaborations in the NSE disciplines. These grants will allow Canadian researchers to identify and initiate the first stage of collaboration with the intent of

  • supporting exploratory research activities
  • initiating exchanges for Canadian personnel where appropriate

Alliance International Collaboration grants

Collaboration grants will allow Canadian researchers to participate in international projects and leverage the best international expertise in the NSE disciplines to help address research challenges of impact and benefit for Canada. International academic collaborators are expected to have already secured funding from their own national funding agency for the collaborative project and identified the Canadian academic researcher(s) in their proposal. This proposal must have been peer-reviewed. The eligible Canadian researchers participating in the international project can then apply for a Collaboration grant to cover the costs of their participation in the global-scale project. The funding obtained by the international academic collaborator(s) will be recognized for cost sharing. This funding must be at least equal to the amount requested from NSERC.

Canadian applicants must be mentioned on the international collaborator's grant (as a co-applicant or collaborator). Canadian applicants should submit their Collaboration grants within a few weeks of the international collaborator receives their funding. 

These grants cannot be used to support secret or contract research, nor can they be used to support the work or expenses incurred by the international collaborator(s).

At all times, Canadian researchers are encouraged to exercise appropriate levels of due diligence when managing their research and establishing and/or continuing partnerships with national, international and multinational organizations. Resources to do so are provided by the Government of Canada on the Safeguarding Your Research portal, including the National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships. NSERC reserves the right to request additional information, as needed, before making a final funding decision.

Submission Process

This competition will be run through Research Management System (RMS).

1. Complete your application in the NSERC On-line system. Once the application is complete (including required attachments and your CCV), verify each section, and then press "Submit". Your application will be sent to the Research Services Office. Please ensure your application is final and complete; Research Services will not review drafts, and, once received, your application may be submitted to NSERC without further notice. 

 2. Complete the Pre-Award record in RMS (login at and “Submit for academic approvals” (Under Save & Progress) in good time to allow for approvals from your Department Head and/or ADR prior to the Research Services deadline. Consult your department and faculty for more information on their approval processes and timelines.  

  • Please note, your application will not be considered submitted and will not be reviewed until both the application is submitted in the Research Portal (a paper copy is not required) and the RMS Approvals have been received. As Alliance is a rolling intake, once we have received both the completed RMS record and the NSERC application in the NSERC portal, please indicate if you would like a basic (allowable turnaround time is 3 days) review or a detailed (allowable turnaround time is 2 weeks) review.
  • The detailed review includes a detailed review of the application, checking for eligibility and UofC commitments and risk, compliance with program guidelines, completeness of application, and the opportunity for feedback to improve the application.
  • The basic administrative review involves a minimal check of the application for eligibility and any UofC commitment or risk.


Relevant Documents


Application deadlines

Program application deadline

December 31, 2023 - 12:00 PM


NOTE: Consult your Faculty Associate Dean (Research) (ADR) regarding Faculty-specific deadlines and submission processes.

Principal Investigators: Complete a Research Management System (RMS) record, including a copy of your complete application, and submit this for approvals in RMS.

Postdocs, students, and trainees: For fellowships and externally-sponsored research training awards or opportunities, you must complete the Research Funding Application Approval (RFAA) Trainee PDF form, and submit it, along with a complete copy of the application, to Research Services at Trainees should not use RMS at this time.

Approvals: The University of Calgary requires that all funding applications be approved prior to submission. Approval requires signatures via either RMS or the RFAA Trainee form, in the following order:

  • Principal Investigator
  • Department Head
  • Faculty ADR/Dean
  • Research Services (on behalf of the Vice-President Research)

Read the Meaning of Grant Signatures policy to understand what your approval means. Please see the agency guidelines for details about which signatures are required on your application, as it may differ from internal requirements.

Late submissions: Late submissions will only be accepted in cases of medical or family emergencies, or other exceptional circumstances. If you submit your RMS record to Research Services after the internal deadline has passed, you must secure additional approvals. Please read: Late Applications Process.

Additional Information

Merit evaluation criteria

The merit of your application is evaluated using the following five equally weighted criteria. The proposal must address all of the criteria and sub-criteria to be considered for funding.

Relevance and expected outcomes

  • Significance of the research and the intended outcomes, and the potential for generating new knowledge in natural sciences and engineering (NSE) and further developing areas of Canadian research strength and leadership


  • Added value of the proposed international collaboration for Canada and the rationale for the selected international collaborator(s)


  • Opportunities for enriched training experiences for research trainees (undergraduates, graduates, postdoctoral fellows) to develop relevant research skills as well as professional skills such as leadership, communication, collaboration and entrepreneurship (where possible and relevant, international experiences for Canadian trainees are encouraged)

Equity, diversity and inclusion

Need for funds

  • Budget commensurate with the requirements of your participation in the international research project
  • Appropriateness of, and justification for, the planned expenditures

NSERC uses established merit indicators to rate each evaluation sub-criterion/criterion.


Contact Details