NSERC Collaborative Research & Training Experience Program (CREATE)

Notice: Faculty members who are planning to apply for funding are encouraged to login to the My Research Application (MRA) on-line system well in advance of the submission deadline to ensure that there are no problems with your login credentials. The system utilizes your UTORid credentials. The information in the on-line form will be automatically routed to the appropriate internal approvers for review and endorsement. If you encounter problems, please consult the My Research - Application User Guide for additional information or contact the RAISE help desk (416-946-5000, RAISE@utoronto.ca).



The 2019 NSERC Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) Program has been announced.

The Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) Program supports the training of teams of outstanding students and postdoctoral fellows from Canada and abroad through the development of innovative training programs that encourage collaborative and integrative approaches, address significant scientific challenges associated to Canada’s research priorities, and facilitate the transition of new researchers from trainees to productive employees in the Canadian workforce.

This year there are two Special Opportunities available for CREATE Program: 

Industrial Stream:

Through the introduction of an industrial stream within the CREATE Program, linkages between industry and academia will be enhanced.  With the focus on developing skills that will be useful for the transition to the workplace, the CREATE Program is a great asset to industry, which requires not only technical skills, but professional skills. Up to 50 percent of the CREATE grants will be dedicated to the industrial stream

International Collaboration

Germany: German Research Foundation Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft: 

An agreement between NSERC and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, the German Research Foundation) has been established. A CREATE proposal can be submitted in parallel with a proposal submitted by German collaborators to the DFG for an International Research Training Group (IRTG) grant. The intent of the agreement is to establish a formal mechanism for supporting a bilateral training program that involves an exchange of students between Germany and Canada. For further information, please contact NSERC.


Key Requirements

This program involves a two step process.  The first step involves the submission of Letter of Intent (LOI) and the second step involves the submission of an application, for projects invited.  Please note that there is maximum number of LOI’s that can be submitted.  In the past, the University has been able to submit 6 LOI’s, but we are awaiting confirmation from the sponsor.  If more than 6 LOI’s are submitted, we will conduct an internal peer review to select the top rated projects.  This process will mirror the NSERC criteria.  If you are interested in submitting an LOI, please advise Alexander Quinn (alexander.quinn@utoronto.ca) so that we can put together a internal review panel.

At least 80 percent of the CREATE grant must be used for trainees’ stipends

  • Up to 30 percent of this portion can be distributed to trainees who are not enrolled in the Natural Sciences or Engineering
  • Up to 20 percent of the CREATE funds may be used for the following expenses
    • Training program structure
    • Program Coordinator (up to 2 years)
    • Travel
    • Dissemination of training materials and research results
    • Services and miscellaneous expenses

Weighting of selection criteria 

      LOI Phase

  • Merit of the proposed training program: 60 percent
  • Excellence of the team of researchers: 40 percent

     Application Phase

  • Merit of the proposed training program: 50 percent
  • Excellence of the team of researchers: 25 percent
  • Program management and long-term sustainability: 25 percent


Information Session:

An information session will be held by Research Services Office sometime in March 2018. Additional information will be provided soon.

Webinar: The recent NSERC Webinar regarding the upcoming CREATE Program competition has been made available at the following link:



Critical Dates:

LOI Phase

April  3, 2018: Internal Deadline for completed Letters of Intent.  Please submit the following:

  • A My Research – Applications (MRA) , authorized by your Chair and/or Dean (as your unit’s policies determine) is required before your application can be approved by Research Services.
  • Completed application package, which includes Form 100 of the Canadian Common CV of the lead applicant and Form 187 (Include a PDF copy with your MRA application)

** Firm:  Your Application MUST be received no later than: 10 am April 3 , 2018 (sooner if possible)

During this time frame, we will have all proposals reviewed by an internal review panel.  The panel will rate each proposal based on NSERC’s criteria for this program.

May 1, 2018: Sponsor Deadline

Application Phase – Only those teams invited forward can submit a full application

August 31, 2018 Internal Deadline for Editorial Reviews.  Please submit the following to Alexander Quinn (alexander.quinn@utoronto.ca)

  • Completed application (Forms 102)

September 13, 2018: Internal Deadline for completed Applications.  Please submit the following to Alexander Quinn (alexander.quinn@utoronto.ca)

  • Completed application package, which includes Forms 100 and 102 (Please forward a PDF copy)

September 22, 2018: Sponsor Deadline (note that since September 22 is Saturday the deadline will be moved to the next business day which is Monday, September 24)

  • Please submit no later than 10 am.


Questions during the Competition Period:

  • Your primary contacts at Research Services for the Collaborative Research and Training Program is: Alexander Quinn (alexander.quinn@utoronto.ca)

Additional Information:  Applicants to the LOI stage will complete Form 187 and Form 100.  We must have Form 187, and the lead applicant’s Form 100 for the UofT Internal Peer Review meeting.

**Applicants to this program may also be eligible to apply for project management support through the University’s Major Research Project Management program. For further information on the MRPM program please see the Funding Opportunity here.**

Contact Information

Alexander Quinn
Research Funding Manager
alexander.quinn@utoronto.ca | (416) 978-1614

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