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The NSERC Indigenous Student Ambassadors (NISA) grant aims to engage Indigenous students and fellows in promoting interest and participation in the natural sciences and engineering (NSE) by visiting Indigenous communities and schools in Canada and sharing their research and education experiences or participating in science promotion events and activities.
NSERC is acting on the evidence that achieving a more equitable, diverse and inclusive Canadian research enterprise is essential to creating the excellent, innovative and impactful research necessary to advance knowledge and understanding, and to respond to local, national and global challenges. This principle informs the commitments described in the Tri-agency statement on equity, diversity and inclusion .
To be eligible, you must be
- a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada
- an Indigenous person*
- registered full time in a degree program in the NSE at an eligible institution or be employed at an eligible institution as a postdoctoral fellow in the NSE at the time your application is submitted
*“Indigenous peoples” is a collective name for the original peoples of North America and their descendants. “Aboriginal peoples” is also often used as a synonym. For the purposes of this program, NSERC uses the Canadian Constitution Act, 1982 definition of Aboriginal peoples as including the Indian, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada.
To be considered for this grant, you must submit the following documents:
**At the time of submission, you must complete a questionnaire that covers age, gender, Indigenous identity and/or identity as a member of a visible minority group and/or as a person with a disability. For the ID field, provide your NSERC PIN or leave it blank if unknown. The program collects self-identification data from all applicants to monitor levels of diversity, policies and processes for potential systemic barriers. Although completion of the questionnaire is mandatory and required before review of your application, each question includes the option “prefer not to answer.”
Applications must be submitted electronically using NSERC’s ICSP Secure Submission Site . The application must be submitted in Portable Document Format (PDF) as a single document.
The grant will cover costs associated with the proposed NSE promotion activity and visit to an Indigenous community or school. These include costs incurred for
- travel (air, rail, car rental, taxi, etc.)
- accommodation (hotel, etc.)
- material and supplies needed for demonstrations or experiments
- incidental expenses (photocopying, faxes, etc.)
Value of grant
The value of the grant will be based on the budget proposed in your application, up to a maximum of $5,000. You may hold only one NISA grant per fiscal year (April 1 to March 31).
NSERC will review applications using the following criteria:
- impact and reach of the proposal
- anticipated value to Indigenous youth and the Indigenous community
- feasibility of the proposal
There are no fixed deadlines for this grant. Applications must be submitted between two and six months before the start of a proposed outreach activity. The grants available in a given year will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
Note: If your activity is planned for March or April, please submit your application earlier than two months in advance due to a potential delay of your payment as a result of NSERC’s fiscal year-end processes.
Before you, as an applicant, can submit your application to NSERC, you must read and agree to the terms and conditions listed in the application form. It is your responsibility to retain a copy of the agreed terms and conditions for your records.
Notification of results
NSERC will notify you of the results of your application within one month of receiving it.
You must provide NSERC with a final report within one month of the completion of the activities supported by the grant. Details will be provided to grantees along with the notification of decision letter. Original receipts for expenses do not need to be sent to NSERC but should be kept, as NSERC reserves the right to ask for receipts at a later date.
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