Writing NSERC Proposals: August 15-17, 2023, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm ET (Synchronous Online)

​​Why, What, and How?

Why a NSERC Writing Intensive Course?

Many departments in the Physical and Life Sciences require eligible incoming graduate students to apply for ″NSERC awards.″  The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), which is funded by the Canadian government, offers Master’s and doctoral awards for graduate students in the Physical and Life Sciences. Only Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada are eligible to apply. Deadlines for the doctoral applications are set by graduate departments, and they are usually in late September or early October.
For many years, the Graduate Centre for Academic Communication (GCAC) has offered courses on Writing NSERC Proposals to graduate students who are preparing to apply for NSERC Master’s or doctoral awards. Good NSERC proposals are hard to write, and they are also hard to prepare during the busy beginning of term. 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 three days from Tuesday August 15 − Thursday August 17 inclusive from 10:00 a.m. − 12:00 p.m. daily. The course also provides both online and in-person tutorials and one-on-one appointments to students who have drafts to submit for feedback (dates to be scheduled).


The August NSERC Intensive course will be offered in a live online format. Given the proprietary nature of research grants, and the fact that this course shows samples of winning grants (with authors’ permission), this course will only be offered live and will not be recorded. Students who wish to take the course must attend at the times of the live online classes listed above.

Eligibility & Registration Procedures

Enrollment 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) in the fall of 2023. Those applying for postdoctoral fellowships are not eligible to participate. 

PLEASE NOTE: This is a fully synchronous course that will not be recorded. Attendance at all 6 hours of the online course is mandatory for registration. Students who register and do not attend the full course will be ineligible to register in other courses with the Graduate Centre for Academic Communication (GCAC) during the fall term. To register, click the button below: