NSERC - Discovery Development Grants

Generating world-firsts in knowledge. Expanding the frontiers of science and engineering

  • Program Type
  • Funding Award
    Up to $30,000 over two years
  • Industry Focus

The DDG program provides resources to researchers from small universities whose DG applications were deemed to be of appropriate quality to merit research support, but were not funded in the DG Competition.

Each award is valued at up to $30,000 over two years (up to $15,000 annually) and provides recipients with resources to build their research program. These resources may be used to expand the recipient’s research group (e.g., students, postdoctoral fellows, technicians), to purchase or access specialized equipment, or for other initiatives or resources that would accelerate the recipient’s research program. It is expected that the DDG will facilitate recipients’ access to additional funding from other sources.


The Discovery Development Grants (DDG) is a complementary program element to the Discovery Grants (DG) program. Its goal is to:

  • promote and maintain a diversified base of high-quality research in small universities across Canada; and
  • provide a stimulating environment for research training in small universities across Canada.
  • Eligibility

    In addition to the usual NSERC eligibility criteria for applicants, the program is only accessible to researchers at small universities who have been evaluated in the most recent DG competition. For this purpose, small universities are those that received $5 million or less in NSERC funding on an annual basis (based on a three year average).

    Recipients of a DDG must provide NSERC with a letter of support from their university, indicating what additional measures will be taken to support the individual’s research program. Support can include, but is not limited to, matching funds, the purchase of research equipment, scholarship support, travel support, teaching release, etc.

    Application procedures

    No separate application is required. NSERC selects recipients based on the results of the evaluation of DG applications.

    Review procedures

    Evaluation Groups will evaluate and rate DG applications in accordance with established DG evaluation criteria. DDGs will be awarded based on the ratings received by the DG application. Recipients will be those from small universities whose applications were deemed to be of appropriate quality to merit research support, but were not funded in the DG Competition.


    Each award will have a total value of up to $30,000 (up to $15,000 annually) and will normally be paid over two years. NSERC reserves the right to limit the total number of new awards per year, depending on availability of funding.

    Researchers may not concurrently hold a DDG and a DG. Holders of a DDG may apply for a DG in the last year of the award. Researchers may hold up to two (2) DDG awards throughout their career.

    Reporting requirements

    DDG recipients are required to complete a Grants in Aid of Research Statement of Account (Form 300) at the end of each fiscal year. Furthermore, recipients are required to submit a final report at the end of the DDG period. Details regarding the final report will be communicated to the recipients.

    Future Phases

    Check out an overview of each competition phase below - complete rules for each phase will be released as the competition progresses.


    Let’s Get Started.

    To apply or join the program, please submit an application.