I have been offered a faculty position at a computer science department of a small Canadian University.

  1. Is there a funding agency in Canada that is commonly targeted by Computer Scientists similar to the NSF in the US?

  2. Are there any funding opportunities tailored to early career researchers?

3 Answers 3


The organization you're looking for is called NSERC, and has many opportunities available. I don't know all of them (I'm a PhD student, not a professor), but here are some highlights:


NSERC Discovery Grants are the analogue of NSF standard grants in the US. You can see the topics they cover in computer science here. NSERC follows a different philosophy from the NSF of having smaller grants (about $30,000/year for 5 years on average) but a much higher success rate. Also, NSERC grants don't cover summer salary for professors (which is part of why they are so much smaller). In 2016 (statistics here), the success rate for early career researchers in CS was 64%, and the renewal rate for established researchers was 78%.

For more details, you should speak to a contact at the school you're considering, as there might be unique factors there, and you can get a better sense of how far money will go there.

EDIT: NSERC doesn't seem to have a special young faculty program (like the NSF has with CAREER), but they do make special provision for "early-career researchers" (which basically means the first couple of years of a permanent position) to not penalize them for not having a track-record of training students and postdocs, so they get funded when their rating is a bit below the cut-off for more senior people. There is the Steacie Fellowship, which is more comparable to PECASE (there are 6 in Canada per year).


It depends on the kinds of projects that you plan to develop. If you are pursuing theoretical Computer Science, there are NSERC, Innovation.ca, and Innocentive (although the latter can be privatized). If you plan to collaborate across several fields, you can add to the aforementioned CIHR, SADI, NCE competitions, IDRC, GenomeCanada, CEF, Canadian Space Agency, TDP, NRC, NIH, MITACS. The list continues, but the major grant competitions in academia for non-humanities/social sciences are NSERC and CIHR.

For a full list of agencies, the canada.ca website is a great resource to start you off.

  • Thank you for the acronyms, but I'm still hoping for a more "inside" perspective, the kind of information/impression that you don't really find in the web. Unless we don't have anyone that is a CS professor in Canada here... Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 14:31
  • 1
    Unfortunately, that kind of information is not something you will easily find on public fora such as this one. The best way to go about it is to get 1+ senior scientist(s) to serve as PI mentors. These connections at and beyond your home university are better sources of understanding of nuances in grant fund acquisition.
    – artemis
    Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 14:58
  • I agree. But I misspoke when I said that I was in the same situation as the OP, I wasn't offered the position, I'm going for the interview and I'm trying to increase my odds... Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 1:28

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