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Announcement: SFU CREATE internal competition 2022

Please notify and your faculty Research Grant Facilitator as soon as possible if you are interested in this opportunity, to be kept informed about the internal competition, information sessions, and faculty-specific processes and deadlines.

On March 15, 2022 this news release confirmed NSERC will fund at least three CREATE grants in quantum science and technology, supporting efforts to develop, attract and retain top quantum talent in Canada. These CREATE awards are additional to the typical awards granted each year. Each institution gets two additional spots in the institutional cap to submit proposals focusing on Quantum science and technology.

Program Overview

This program supports the training of teams of highly qualified students (mainly graduate) and postdoctoral fellows from Canada and abroad through the development of innovative training programs. These programs encourage collaborative and integrative approaches and address significant scientific challenges associated with Canada’s research priorities. They also facilitate the transition of new researchers from trainees to productive employees in the Canadian workforce.

Value: Maximum of CAD 1.65 million over six years. At least 80% of the funding must be used for trainees’ stipends.

Note: This is a three-stage application: SFU internal LOI competition (see Internal Process section below), NSERC LOI, and NSERC full application (on invitation only)

You can find more information about the program by visiting the NSERC CREATE website.


Information sessions



  • Applicant must be from an NSERC-supported field at an NSERC-eligible university. The applicant's university will be the lead university.
  • Only those LOIs selected by SFU (see Internal Process below) can be submitted to NSERC.
  • At least 70% of the group must be from an NSE field, but co-applicants at the interdisciplinary frontier may be incorporated into proposals.
  • The focus should be on new training initiatives for graduate students.
  • A researcher may only be the applicant on one CREATE initiative (and a co-applicant on another) or a co-applicant on two CREATE initiatives.

Internal Process

SFU may submit up to six CREATE Letters of Intent (LOI) to NSERC annually. For the 2022 competition, prospective applicants are asked to follow the Limited Submission Process and submit a registration form by Thursday, February 17 2022 at noon PT. 

*Teams submitting an International stream application are not required to participate in the internal selection process as these applications do not count toward the institutional quota but must inform ISA at by the internal deadline of their intent to apply

The VPRI has set a standardized level of institutional support for CREATE applicants (both SFU-led and non-SFU-led with SFU co-applicants), based on a 1:1 match from other internal SFU sources.

For more details, please contact or your faculty research grants facilitator.

NSERC Application Process & Selection Criteria

The CREATE Program is highly selective, with pre-screening based on the LOI. Only applicants successful at the LOI stage will be invited to submit an application.

Phase 1 selection criteria - Letter of Intent (LOI):

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

Phase 2 selection criteria - Application (if invited):

  • Merit of the proposed training program: 50%
  • Excellence of the team of researchers:   25%
  • Program management & sustainability:   25%

An NSERC CREATE multidisciplinary selection committee of Canadian and foreign members from academia and the private sector will review the LOIs and invited applications.

NSERC Submission Requirements

Phase 1 - NSERC Letter of Intent (LOI):

  • Form 100 for applicant
  • Form 187 (LOI)
  • Industry letter (Industrial Stream)
  • Institutional support letter (arranged by ISA)

Phase 2 - NSERC Application* (if invited):

  • Form 100 for applicant
  • Form 100 or CCV for up to 10 co-applicants
  • Form 102 (Application)
  • Max 3 collaborator letters
  • Institutional support letter (arranged by ISA)

*ORS Signature Sheet is required


ISA Resources

ISA slides from CREATE workshop (Feb 21, 2020)
MITACS slides from ISA CREATE workshop (Feb 21, 2020)
Workshop worksheet
NSERC data on previously funded CREATEs (last sheet includes details of projects obtained from CREATE program websites)
Detailed worksheet for planning the CREATE budget, with instructions and examples
Full application example: Bioscience theme
Full application example: Environmental Science theme
Excel spreadsheet template to track co-applicant contributions
Collaborator letter of support template
Gantt chart timeline for development of full application (2020)
Common strengths & weaknesses from previous reviews (anonymized)

EDI Resources

NSERC EDI guide for applicants
SFU EDI resources
SFU Library EDI resource guide
CRC requirements for recruiting and nominating CRCs (referred to in NSERC EDI guide)
GBA+ Resources (Status of Women Canada, referred to in NSERC EDI guide)

NSERC Resources

**UPDATED March 26, 2020: CREATE Instructions for LOI (online services)
Current CREATE Selection committee membership
CREATE Program Committee Guidelines
2020 Strategic Plan
Code Tables
Eligibility Criteria for Faculty
On-line Presentation and Attachment Standards
Policy and Guidelines on Contributions to Research and Training
Professors - FAQs
Selection Committees and Evaluation Groups
Use of Grant Funds (Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration, Part 2)
Strategy for Partnerships and Innovation report
Other: Talent Mobility Good Practices report from the World Economic Forum

Last updated: March 15, 2022


March 15, 2022 - Updates to the announcement made by NSERC and timeline.

January 11, 2022 - Updated information for the 2022 competition.

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