The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) foster R&D collaboration between the space industry and universities by providing financial support under the regular NSERC Industrial Research Chairs (IRC) Program.
The CSA Support to NSERC IRC is a component of the CSA Grants and Contributions Program to Support Awareness, Research, and Training in Space Science and Technology and is defined in the programs Terms and Conditions.
The program is administered by NSERC according to its regular practices.
This guide includes procedures to follow by applicants seeking the CSA Support to NSERC IRC Program.
To assist universities in building on existing strengths, so they have what is required for a major science research endeavour of interest to industry and the Canadian Space Program
To assist in the development of research efforts in fields that have not been yet developed in Canadian universities, but for which there is a need in the aerospace industry
To foster advanced research in space science areas of high potential for future space missions by encouraging R&D collaboration between firms and universities
To support the training of skilled personnel in space science
To strengthen cooperation between CSA and universities
The key result expected from this program is that Canadian universities be endowed with what is required for carrying out major research in space science and engineering of interest to the Canadian Space Program and industry.
Eligible candidates for Chair positions are researchers of international stature who satisfy eligibility criteria for the NSERC's Industrial Research Chair program and who can bring an innovative perspective to the university in carrying out and managing research, and in training researchers.
Research Chair proposals submitted to the program must focus on CSA research priorities, and contribute to the advancement of one or more of the following space science areas of interest to Canada:
The Chair proposal must be submitted by someone who holds a senior administrative position at the university, such as department head, dean, vice-president or president, with direct or ultimate management responsibility for the proposed Chair. The applicant cannot be the Chair candidate.
The applicant submits the Chair proposal at any time first to the CSA Program Manager to obtain necessary support. Once the Chair proposal has been assessed for compatibility with the space science areas of priority defined under "Eligibility" (above), the CSA confirms its support in a letter to the applicant. The letter of support is then attached to the application package sent to NSERC for evaluation.
Industrial Research Chair proposals are to be submitted to NSERC. Applicants are required to meet all NSERC eligibility and project evaluation criteria. They must also declare other government assistance requested or received, and disclose the involvement of former public servants who are under the Conflict of Interest and Post-employment Guidelines.
Chair proposals meeting both NSERC and CSA eligibility criteria are evaluated by a visiting committee in accordance with NSERC standard criteria and practices.
Upon the recommendations included in the report of the NSERC visiting committee, the NSERC's Advisory Committee on University-Industry Grant recommends whether to fund the Research Chair proposal.
This recommendation, along with a copy of the report of the NSERC visiting committee, is forwarded to the CSA Program Manager. Based upon the recommendations and funding availability, the CSA President, or the Director General of Space Science with the appropriate delegation authority, decides whether to approve a grant. The CSA Program Manager notifies NSERC of the CSA decision.
Approved research chairs will be jointly funded by NSERC, industry and CSA; other government organizations may also contribute funding. The value of the NSERC's grant will be equal to the amount of the industry partner's (or partners') cash contribution to eligible costs. The CSA may contribute to eligible costs in an amount equal to, greater or smaller than the amount allocated by NSERC. The maximum combined NSERC-CSA grants payable to a Chair is $150,000 per annum.
The maximum level (stacking limit) of Total Government Assistance (federal, provincial and municipal assistance for the same eligible expenditures) for a Chair will not exceed 85% of eligible costs. In the event that actual Total Government Assistance for a recipient exceeds the stacking limit, CSA and NSERC will adjust their levels of assistance (and seek reimbursement, if necessary) so that the stacking limit is not exceeded.
Grant recipients will be required to disclose all sources of funding for a Chair before its start and at its end.
A Chair may be approved for a term of up to five years. Upon renewal of this program and contingent to the availability of funds from CSA, NSERC, and industry, a grant can be renewed for an additional five years.
Eligible costs are:
A Grant Agreement with the recipient will set the objectives, content, financial provisions, and terms for the payments of the grants. The Minister has delegated the authority to sign, amend and terminate the Grant Agreement to the CSA President, who may delegate his authority to the CSA Director General - Space Science.
Annual installments of the CSA and NSERC grants are paid out to the recipient (that is, the University and/or the professor holding a Chair) according to the provision of the current Policy on Transfer Payments. CSA and NSERC release their payments separately and directly to the recipient.
For the second and subsequent years, the annual installments of the CSA and NSERC grants are paid out to the recipient, upon evidence of satisfactory progress and continuing support from the industry partner(s). Hence, the chair, the university and the industry partner(s) will be asked to submit annual progress reports; continued government financial support will depend on favourable reviews of the progress of the Chair research and the contribution of the industrial partner(s).
The program managers will verify recipient eligibility before recommending the payment of a grant. The authority for approving payments for Space Science Research Chairs is delegated to the CSA Director General - Space Science.
Director General, Space Science
Canadian Space Agency
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