NSERC: The top 5 factors of the Canadian funding agency!
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) is a government grants agency that funds research in the natural sciences and engineering. The chief motto of NSERC is to make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators. It supports as many as 30,000 post-secondary students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. It funds approximately 12,000 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging over 2,400 Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects.
NSERC is one of the reasons why studying in Canada can be a great idea since many foreign students get a chance to be a part of ground-breaking research.
1. Many grants/partnership programs: NSERC has many chairs and departments taking care of the funding of several kinds of research in many streams. While Discovery Grants Program is its flagship grant, there are many other grants like Undergraduate Student Scholarships, Graduate Scholarships; Industrial Postgraduate Scholarships; Postgraduate Scholarships – Master’s and Doctoral; Postdoctoral Fellowships; Industrial R&D Fellowships Program. The Canada Graduate Scholarships for Master’s programs amount to $17,500 per year.
2. Funds Canadian Universities: NSERC funds many Canadian Universities based on merit and scope of the research. The grants may go to the entire university to be distributed to specific research programs and people or it may be given to professors and students. For instance recently the Canadian Government announced grants for 10 university-industry partnerships with a total project value of $52 million. This includes more than $30 million in federal funding through the Automative Partnership Canada (APC), and more than $22 million from industry and other partners. McMaster University is receiving over $24.2 million for three projects that will result in more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly cars. NSERC is the lead agency within APC.
3. Research grants in several streams: Almost all streams of engineering and natural sciences like chemistry, physics, biology, earth sciences, astronomy; chemical, civil, electrical and mechanical engineering; technology; aerospace; software etc are covered by NSERC in granting research funds.
4. Indians win grants: NSERC allows Indian professors and students to carry out research programs and is always willing to fund them.For instance, an Indian professor Mick Bhatia (Director and Senior Scientist) at McMaster University’s Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute was chosen one of the Canada Research Chairs for a research grant amounting to $6.2 million. In 2009, an Indian researcher SrikarVengallatore (Mechanical Engineering) was chosen for the $40,000 Discovery Accelerator Grant from McGill University.
5. Fair selection: NSERC has fair practices of selection during the grant distribution. It also maintains a high level of transparency and is determined towards new discoveries and innovations. As a result, often non-Canadians like Americans, Chinese, Indians, Japanese professors and students get a fair chance of winning grants.