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NSERC SPG Proposals: Keys to Success : 

NSERC SPG Proposals: Keys to Success Engineering Research Office CPH 3606

Our Top Suggestions for Success : 

Our Top Suggestions for Success Start early, have someone read the proposal and accept feedback Clearly explain the research Give equal consideration to all of the selection criteria Get partners involved in writing proposal Show a coherent and original plan

1. Start Early : 

1. Start Early Give yourself lots of time to get suggestions from readers Get your proposal read by your peers, Engineering Research Office, Office of Research, and anyone else Consider all feedback as constructive Getting letters of support and Form183s takes a lot of time

2. Clearly Explain Research : 

2. Clearly Explain Research Follow the recommended outline Don’t make the readers search for information, they can have over 100 proposals to review Write a summary that describes the research in lay terms Don’t assume that everyone on your panel is an expert in your field. Multidisciplinary proposals will be read by people with different academic backgrounds

3. Consider all Criteria Equally : 

3. Consider all Criteria Equally The 7 evaluation criteria are weighted equally Try to follow recommended page distribution Don’t neglect equally important areas by focusing on the background or research plan Training Potential, Supporting Organizations, and Benefit to Canada are most commonly neglected areas

Training Potential : 

Training Potential Talk about hard and soft skills Technical/scientific skills Communication (personal, technical, oral, written), leadership, team working, project management Potential to work in multidisciplinary teams Exposure to different research areas/industries Develop a broad network of contacts Describe how supporting Orgs train HQP? Types of jobs HQP will work in upon graduation How the skills are relevant to needs of Canadian Orgs Weave HQP training throughout the proposal State who will be doing what in the Work Plan (i.e. “PhD#1” instead of “we”)

Interactions w/ Supporting Orgs : 

Interactions w/ Supporting Orgs Explicitly show how the organization is actively involved in the project Have Org help with proposal development Show how the project is essential to execution of the Org’s long term strategy Show that the research will be commercialized Detail the Org’s ability to exploit the results with past experiences Describe what commercialization will look like: patents, licensing, spin-offs, partnerships Broaden user groups, estimate size of market and maximize impact. Don’t focus on small market segments

Benefits to Canada : 

Benefits to Canada Economic, social, environmental and health benefits Explain how the research will make Canada a world leader in this area Show an improved quality of life for a large number of Canadians Show that results can be used for public policy development HQP will be trained in a strategic area for future economic growth

4. Get Partners Involved : 

4. Get Partners Involved Make sure partner is involved beyond being just an end user Make partner expectations realistic Show regular and frequent communications On-going interaction and potential for a long term relationship, even after 3 year project

5. Show a Coherent/Original Plan : 

5. Show a Coherent/Original Plan Relationship to Other Research Support No page limit Show how the research is original and set apart from other projects which are supported Explicitly state what is different, and what the outcomes will be Budget Justification No page limit Use detailed calculations for everything, right down to smallest supplies: shows that the plan is well thought out, feasible, and funding is required Describe how the materials, supplies, students and travel will fit into the plan, what their roles are and why they are needed Use these sections to elaborate on areas that are limited by space (i.e. Section 1)

Other Tips : 

Other Tips Explicitly state the target area and research topic you are applying to, e.g. 1-a Link the Work Plan (Section 1) to the Activity Schedule (Form 101) with a common numbering system Tailor Form 100 to the project – focus on areas of expertise related to the work More often than not, background information and Work Plan are too detailed

Submission Process : 

Submission Process Draft proposal Send to ERO for review Make changes, send to OR for review Final draft Get required signatures Link Form 100s to proposal and submit online

Students and PDFs : 

Students and PDFs PhD: $19,000/year (no benefits) MASc: $16,500/year (no benefits) PDF: $25,000/year minimum (plus 19% benefits) Coop Students: approx $15,000/term (for upper year, including 14% benefits) Staff: varies, plus 24% benefits (ask HR for help)

Finally : 

Finally Success rate is typically 25-30% Sometimes good proposals don’t get funding Don’t take it personally Reapply next year, incorporating referees’ suggestions It is still worth it

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