Writing NSERC Proposals

​​Why, What, and How?

Why an NSERC Writing Intensive Course?

For many years, GCAC has offered courses on​​ Writing NSERC Proposals to graduate students who are preparing to apply for Master’s or doctoral awards from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Writing a good NSERC proposal is both challenging and time consuming; during the busy beginning of term, it can be difficult to find the time and space to start the writing process. The goal of this writing-intensive version of our NSERC course is to encourage students to devote concentrated time to writing their NSERC proposals before the business of term begins.

​What is the difference between GCAC’s regular NSERC course and the Writing Intensive version of the course?

The writing-intensive version of the NSERC course takes place over two days​. Students are required to attend both days to be eligible for GPS credit. This two-day course will include the same material covered in the regular course, but it will also include blocks of silent, distraction-free writing each day. During that writing time, students will apply the concepts discussed in class to their own NSERC proposals, with the objective of completing at least a first draft (and perhaps a more polished version). One-on-one appointments will be available to students enrolled in the writing intensive
(dates to be scheduled). There will also be opportunities for peer-review and group discussions.


When: TBA​
The 3-hour morning and afternoon sessions will begin with lectures and analysis of sample proposals by the course teacher followed by a break, 1 – 1.5 hours of distraction-free writing, and a discussion. You should bring everything with you that you need for productive proposal writing including your laptops and notes.
There will be breaks throughout the day for students to purchase coffee, tea, and snacks, and students will be responsible for bringing their own lunch. We encourage you to eat together so you can meet your fellow grant-writers.

Eligibility & Registration Procedures


Enrolment is open to registered graduate students at the University of Toronto who are applying for Master’s or doctoral NSERC grants or for OGS (Ontario Graduate Scholarships). Those applying for postdoctoral fellowships are not eligible to participate. Applicants must participate for the full 9 hours of this course to be eligible for GPS credit.

​Registration Procedures

TBA. Please subscribe to our listserv​ to receive weekly notifications on GCAC offerings, including future Writing Intensives.​ ​

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