The Collaborative Research and Development (CRD) Grants are intended to:

  • create mutually beneficial collaborations between Canadian universities and private and/or public sector partners that lead to advancements that will result in economic, social or environmental benefits for Canada and Canadians;
  • expand the scope of research undertaken at Canadian universities, fostering dynamic interaction between discovery-based and innovative research, and allowing the research results to be translated into new knowledge, products or processes;
  • provide an enhanced experiential learning environment for graduate students and, where appropriate, postdoctoral fellows, by exposing them to research challenges unique to partnerships, and by providing them with the opportunity for significant ongoing interactions with the partnering organization(s);
  • allow partners to access the unique knowledge, expertise, infrastructure and potential highly educated and skilled future employees graduating from Canadian universities.


CRD Grants support well-defined projects undertaken by university researchers and their partners. Direct project costs are shared by the partner(s) and NSERC. The Guidelines for Organizations Participating in Research Partnerships include a list of partner types eligible for fund matching by NSERC and describe the potential involvement of additional partners.

If the university researcher’s partners include a private-sector partner and the Department of National Defence (DND), apply for a DND/NSERC Research Partnership Grant (a targeted CRD Grant).

CRD projects may range from one year to five years in duration and can be at any point in the research and development (R&D) spectrum in the domains of the natural sciences and engineering that is consistent with the university’s research, training, and technology transfer mandate. Information on the eligibility of research topics under NSERC’s mandate is available in the guidelines about This link will take you to another Web site Selecting the Appropriate Federal Granting Agency . Eligible collaborations include focused projects with specific short- to medium-term objectives, as well as discrete phases in a program of longer-range research. All proposals require evidence of detailed planning and sound budget justification, and must clearly spell out the underlying assumptions, intended approaches, milestones, and deliverables. Certain expenditures related to project management for complex projects are eligible as a direct cost of research up to a maximum of 10% of the total direct costs (see the Guidelines for Research Partnerships Programs Project Management Expenses).

Projects that focus on the application of existing technology, provide routine analysis, collect data without interpreting underlying mechanisms, or provide professional practice or consulting services (contract research) are not eligible. Similarly, proposals that involve the set-up and operational management of an institute, a formal or informal group of researchers, or that are principally associated with the acquisition and maintenance of scientific equipment will not be considered.


Proposals will be evaluated using the selection criteria for CRD grant applications as well as relevance to the DND and NSERC research priorities listed above.

Funding Available

DND and NSERC will provide funding for university-based research, research training and research-related activities carried out in collaboration with DND and Canadian-based partners only. The maximum value of the research grants that will be made available is normally limited to $500,000 per project. Requests exceeding this amount will only be considered under special circumstances and on a case-by-case basis.

Eligible activities are the same as those for any CRD project.

To be eligible for support, a proposal must involve a collaborative effort with at least one eligible partner and at least one DND Scientific Authority; it must also include information about intellectual property agreement(s) being negotiated or in place that specifically address the disposition of intellectual property rights coming into and/or emanating from the proposed research project.

Useful Links

  • For further details about funding categories, eligibility criteria and deadlines, click here.


Internal Review Please contact your Research Facilitator
cuResearch Approval Form Prior to application
Submission to Sponsor No deadline

Submitting Your Application

  • Applications must be submitted via cuResearch, through which Departmental and Associate Dean’s approval must be provided to complete the online application process.
  • More information on cuResearch can be found here.

Internal Contacts

If you would like assistance with proposal development and/or a substantive review of your proposal, please contact the appropriate Research Facilitator.