Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada
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Program Guide

Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) - 2015

 Program Guide

Glossary of terms in the NCE Program

Administrative Centre

The central administrative office of the NCE-funded organization.

Agencies (Granting Agencies)

Canada’s three federal granting agencies: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR); the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC); and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Annual Report

An annual report approved by the NCE-funded organization’s board of directors, detailing the operations during the preceding fiscal year and its planned operation for the subsequent fiscal year conforming to requirements of the funding agreement.

Board of Directors

The board of directors that is responsible for the overall management of the NCE-funded organization. May also be referred to as the Governing Board or shortened to Board.


The series of activities to transform knowledge and /or technology into new goods, processes or services to satisfy market demands.

Conflict of Interest

A situation, perceived or actual, where, an individual or organization is, or may be, in a position to use intellectual property, research knowledge, authority or influence (real or perceived) for personal or family gain (financial or other) or for the benefit others;


 Organization providing cash or in-kind contributions in support of the activities of an NCE grantee

Corporate members:

Defined by each NCE-funded organization’s bylaws, in accordance with the This link will take you to another Web site Canada Not-for-profit Corporations act.


The act of notifying in writing the board of directors, through the administrative centre, of any direct or indirect financial interests and positions of influence held by an individual participating in the network or centre that could lead to a real or perceived conflict of interest.

Fiscal Year

A twelve (12) month period, commencing April 1 and ending March 31 of the following year, unless otherwise specified.

Funding Agreement

The agreement signed by the NCE-funded organization, the host (if applicable) and the granting agencies outlining the roles and responsibilities of all parties for the use and administration of NCE grant funding.

Highly qualified personnel (NCE)

Trainees and research staff such as undergraduate and graduate students; postdoctoral fellows; research associates; research assistants; technicians; and summer students.

Host organization

The organization that hosts the administrative centre of the NCE-funded organization and has entered into an agreement with the grantee to provide access to additional services and support such as financial management and information technology

In-Kind Contributions

Cash equivalent goods or services provided by an organization to networks/centres that represent an incremental expense that would have to be paid for by the NCE-funded organization if not provided.

Independent member

A member of the board of directors who has no material relationship with the NCE-funded organization (or its members) that would impair or appear to impair, the ability to think and act in an independent manner that is in the best interests of the organization or who will not benefit directly from the activities of the NCE-funded organization.

Industrial contribution

Contribution made by industrial partners in support of the activities of the grantee. For reporting purposes, provincial utilities (such as Hydro Quebec) and crown corporations are considered industrial partners.

Intellectual Property

All materials, concepts, know-how, formulae, inventions, improvements, industrial designs, processes, patterns, machines, manufactures, compositions of matter, compilations of information, patents and patent applications, copyrights, trade secrets, technology, technical information, software, prototypes and specifications, including any rights to apply for protections under statutory proceedings available for those purposes, provided they are capable of protection at law.

Knowledge Mobilization

The flow of knowledge leading to social, economic, or intellectual impact


Funding and investments in partner firms which have been secured by the NCE-funded organization or initiated by an investment of NCE funds,  that lead to greater impacts and amplify potential gains. NCE-funded organizations may count the leveraged funds to fulfill their program matching requirements



Board members:
See “Board Members”

Corporate members:
See “Corporate Members”

Network member:
See ‘Network Members”

NCE Monitoring Committee

The committee that assesses the annual progress of all five-year NCE networks, NCE-KM networks and the Canada-India Research Centre of Excellence


Program: The Federal Networks of Centres of Excellence Program (includes the NCE Knowledge Mobilization and the Canada-India Research Centre of Excellence initiatives)

Suite of programs (commonly shortened to ‘the NCE’): Includes the federal Networks of Centres of Excellence Program, the Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) Program, the Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence  (BL-NCE) Program and the Industrial Research and Development Internship (IRDI) Program.

Network: One of the funded Networks of Centres of Excellence

NCE Secretariat

The administrative centre and staff that conduct the day-to-day administration of the NCE programs.

NCE Standing Selection Committee

The committee assembled by the Granting Agencies to evaluate applications to the NCE Program and make funding recommendations based on a peer review process.

NCE Steering Committee

The governing body which has overall responsibility for the NCE programs, comprised of the three granting agencies' presidents, the Deputy Minister of Industry Canada, and the Deputy Minister of Health Canada, with the President of the Canada Foundation for Innovation serving as observer.

Network Affiliate

An organization that helps the NCE-funded organization carry out its mandate. Network Affiliates includes Contributors, who provide funding and in-kind contributions, and all other organizations that assist in other ways (i.e. research collaborations).

Network Agreement

The agreement between a network and its network members which sets out the rights and obligations of each party with respect to the funds provided to the network members and whose terms and conditions are consistent with the terms and conditions of the funding agreement.

Network member

Academic institutions eligible to receive funds from at least one of Canada’s Granting Agencies that are signatories of the network agreement.

Organization size

Small or Medium: Less than 500 employees or $50M of sales per year.
Large: More than $50M of sale per year or more than 500 employees.

Provincial department / agency

A permanent organization in the machinery of any of the provincial or territorial government in Canada responsible for the oversight and administration of specific functions.

Research institute

Not for profit organization that conducts research independently of universities but can be associated with an existing university, college or hospital.

Network Investigators

Researchers employed by universities or other organizations with significant experience in conducting research. They could lead a team of research associates.

Research Associate

Researcher employed by universities or other organizations, typically with a PhD, who are responsible for specific research tasks but do not direct an independent program of research. Research associates are researchers employed by universities or other organizations, with limited research experience. They could be part of team led by a Network Researcher.

Salaried professional (non-research)

Professionals engaged in non-research projects (including engineers, software developers, graphic designers)

Spin-off company

Spin-offs are new companies created when a division of a company or organization becomes an independent business or when a group of employees leaves an existing entity to form an independent business. Spin-offs generally take assets, intellectual property, technology and/or existing products from the “parent organization”.


A start-up is a newly created company with a limited operating history in the first stages of its operations. Start-ups often involve a small number of founders with a business idea that is formed “in a vacuum”. Many start-ups identify a disruptive market opportunity and pursue it. Start-up may refer to companies in a range of developmental stages. Start-up companies may or may not be incorporated. Most companies are in a “start-up” phase for an average of 20-27 months.

Stacking limit

The maximum limit on the level of total Canadian government funding that is permitted under a transfer payment program for any one activity, initiative or project of a recipient. Total Canadian government funding is funding available to a recipient from federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments for that activity, initiative or project. Setting a stacking limit of less than 100% means that a recipient's activity, initiative or project will not be funded completely by Canadian governments; some portion will have to be funded by the recipient or non-government sources.
Maximum stacking limits for NCE programs:
NCE: 100%


The Networks of Centres of Excellence Program

Rationale and Niche of the NCE Program

“The NCE collaboration is unique in terms of its amount of networking and the sheer range of topics, disciplines, and involvement cross-Canada of both scientists and users.”
NCE Researcher

The NCE program has been evaluated many times over its lifetime to determine the relevance and need for the program. These evaluations reflected on through interviews with the communities of Networks and participating user groups. Despite the evolving landscape of the R&D ecosystem the NCE program maintains excellence as a central piece of the federal government’s innovation strategy. The NCE Program continues to deliver in the areas of:

  • Research Networking and Collaboration
  • Partnership with Users while maintaining a user focus
  • Creating Pan-Canadian, multidisciplinary Networks
  • Training of Highly Qualified Personnel
  • Integrated, Long-Scale, Long-Term Support for all phases of R&D
  • Ability to fund early stage research
  • Building a Critical Mass in Canada and
  • International Recognition of Networks
  • Addressing large-scale challenges through integration and synergy of ideas, challenges, solutions and research

The NCE program and supported activities spans the R&D spectrum from blue-sky research to knowledge mobilization and commercialization, leaving a lasting legacy in each Network’s unique area. The program provides long-term funding commitment (up to 15 years through three cycles of funding) and a national scope which is woven into the program requirements.

The excellence and recognition of the NCE model is attributable to the credit of the past and existing Networks funded. The Networks of the NCE have demonstrated the effectiveness of the model and how collaboratively researchers can overcome any research challenge.

Program Goal

The goal of the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) Program is to mobilize Canada's research talent in the academic, private, public, and not-for-profit sectors and apply it to the task of developing the economy and improving the quality of life of Canadians. This goal aligns with the guiding framework for Canada's science and technology policy,Seizing Canada’s Moment: Moving Forward in Science, Technology and Innovation..

What is a Network?

An NCE network is a virtual collaboration model connecting researchers, highly qualified personnel, administrators, manager, and directors, across public, academic, private, and not-for-profit sectors and who geographically span the country. Through the involvement and investment of all these groups, the NCE network is capable of overcoming larger scale challenges through the conduct, application and mobilization of knowledge generated through supported R&D activities. The Network creates its own administration and governance to select and support research topics that align with its strategic objectives. As the R&D landscape evolves over the life of the Network, it continuously grows to involve new individuals and groups who enable meeting new opportunities and challenges of this evolution.  

figure 1: Research and Funding Pathway of an NCE network  

As demonstrated above the NCE network is the central driver of the research agenda to address the needs of Stakeholders and ultimately result in a benefit to Canada. The value of a Network is greater than the sum of its parts. Through the synergies created between contributors, stakeholders, Network Members, research themes, researchers, & HQP, participation in the Network opens access to the broader community engaged in delivering on the Network’s goal. In a Network the funding is derived from a number of different contributors who each invest for a stake in the outcomes of the Network. This contribution provides broader opportunities, greater management expertise and lower risk than any contributor would obtain on their own. Some contributors and Network Members may participate in the governance and research management, while others may be engaged in the research program. Regardless of their role all participants in the Network enable the Network to succeed.

Since these Networks are dynamic, the resulting scope and scale grows beyond the initial application to include new participants, challenges, and funding.  

Scope and Scale

Through the NCE competitions, applicants are awarded millions of dollars annually to deliver on the objectives of their proposals. Alone these granted values are not sufficient to address the scale of challenges undertaken through the program and equally require complimentary cash and in-kind contributions from partners to achieve the full potential of the Network. While the financial support enables the Networks to succeed, it is the participants and collaborators within the Network that realize success for the Networks. The composition of these groups is diverse and spans varying academic levels and business experience. Each Network is unique but on average the following values characterizes the scale of a Network over its entire life.

Average Award over Network Life: ~ $54M
Average Contributions over Network Life: ~ $35M
Average number of Researchers (Persons) per Network per Year: ~ 60
Average number of Researchers (Persons) per Network per Network Lifecycle: ~ 220
Average number of HQP (FTE) per Network per Year: ~ 270
Average number of Institutions per Network per Year: ~ 30

Networks receive funding over five-year funding cycles. Three of these funding cycles capture the full life of an NCE network. Networks are renewed between funding cycles based on their progress to date and strategy going forward. The scope of a Network must balance the realities of overcoming research challenges to deliver impact and value for Canadians. As a Network moves through the different funding cycles it must progress towards greater application and mobilization of knowledge generated in the earlier cycles. At the end of the three cycles, the legacy of the Network should not cease with the funding of the NCE program but continue to have a lasting impact in developing the economy and improving the quality of life of Canadians.

Program Objectives

The NCE Program goal is accomplished by investing in Networks that meet the following objectives:

  • stimulate internationally competitive, leading-edge, multidisciplinary research in areas critical to Canadian economic and social development;
  • develop and retain world-class research and research mobilization capabilities in areas essential to Canada's productivity and economic growth;
  • create nation-wide and international partnerships that bring together the key individuals and organizations needed to generate and implement multifaceted solutions to complex Canadian challenges;
  • accelerate the exchange of research results within the Network and the use of this knowledge by organizations within Canada to produce economic and social benefits; and
  • Increase Canada’s international visibility and reputation as a leader by attracting world-class collaborations, and developing partnerships with international organization counterparts, when applicable.

The NCE program is a cornerstone of the collaborative programs between CIHR, SSHRC, and NSERC. Essential to all NCE networks is the multi-disciplinarity of the approach to challenges. The NCE program supports Networks operating with a mandate that spans multiple granting agencies, involves multiple institutions, and are pan-Canadian.

Expected results and outcomes

The NCE Program has the responsibility of delivering on short, medium and long-term commitments. These are categorized as immediate, intermediate and long-term outcomes of the NCE Program. These outcomes are achieved through the selection and funding of NCE networks who collectively, and through collaboration with the NCE Secretariat, deliver on these outcomes. The program outcomes include:

Immediate outcomes:

  • increase networking and collaboration among researchers from Canada and abroad;
  • develop leading-edge research findings that are relevant to the needs of the user sector (e.g. private and public sectors, non-governmental organizations, and others) and Canada’s socio-economic development;
  • create nation-wide, multidisciplinary and multisectoral research partnerships between universities and the user sector (e.g. private and public sectors, non-governmental organizations, and others); and
  • establish training that promotes multidisciplinary and multisectoral research approaches and encourages trainees to consider the economic, social, environmental, and ethical implications of their work.

Intermediate/long-term outcomes:

  • accelerate the exchange of research results within the Network and the use of this knowledge within Canada by organizations that can harness it for Canadian economic and social development;
  • attract and retain world-class researchers and highly qualified personnel (HQP) in areas essential to Canadian economic and social development;
  • create functional, multi-regional, and interdisciplinary research teams;
  • develop a pool of HQP in areas essential to Canadian economic and social development; and
  • increase Canada’s international visibility and reputation.

NCE Program Competitions

Competitions for NCE funding are launched from time to time and where funding is available. Details about the ongoing and past competitions are available on theNCE website.

There are two types of NCE Program competitions. These are:

  • NCE-Network;
  • NCE-Network Renewal

The NCE Program uses a comprehensive review process, in which proposals are assessed by impartial international expert panels in specific fields, as well as representatives from the relevant sectors. These panels are established by the NCE Secretariat and will evaluate an application according to program criteria, meet with applicants, and produce in-depth written assessments of strengths and weaknesses.

Depending on the competition, applications are reviewed by the NCE Standing Selection Committee, an expert panel, or both. Final decisions are made by the NCE Steering Committee based on the recommendations of the review committees.


Requirements of the NCE Program


Application Profile

To be eligible for the NCE Program, an application must be submitted by an academic researcher or researchers eligible to apply for grants from one of the three federal granting agencies (Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), or Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)). Although the application is typically submitted by a single researcher, it must be completed in partnership with a Canadian university (proposed as the Network Host) and on behalf of other academic, private and public partners (network members and collaborators). An NCE network must federally incorporate as a not-for-profit organization and thus must be eligible to apply to do so under the This link will take you to another Web site Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act.

Network Host Eligibility

The responsibilities and requirements of administering the NCE grant funds on behalf of the Network is a responsibility that falls to the Network Host. The institution must meet the general eligibility requirements of one or more of the three federal granting agencies partnering in the program; show evidence of effective financial and accounting framework and be a signatory or adopt the This link will take you to another Web site Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions with the granting agencies. Examples of Network Hosts may include Canadian universities and post-secondary institutions with a mandate for research and their affiliated institutions (including hospitals, research institutes and other not-for-profit organizations), or a private sector consortium.

Network Member & Investigator Eligibility

Network Members include Canadian universities or postsecondary institutions with a mandate for research, as well as their affiliated institutions, including hospitals, research institutes and/or other not-for-profit organizations, or other organizations eligible to receive research funds from any of the three federal granting agencies, and that employ or otherwise give academic status to one or more network investigators. Network Investigators must be eligible to receive funding from one of the three federal granting agencies to be eligible to receive funding from an NCE network. Network Members sign a Network Agreement and receive transfers from the Network Host on behalf of researchers at their institutions. The Network Members setup accounts and oversee that grant funds are used for eligible expenses by Network Investigators under the NCE program. The responsibilities of a Network Member are outlined in the Network Agreement signed with the Network.


Funding Agreement

Prior to receiving payments of grant funds under the NCE Program all Networks must sign a standardized Funding Agreement that sets out the terms and conditions of the grant. This agreement cannot be modified. The funding agreement is signed between the Network (a federally incorporated not-for-profit entity), the Network Host (by a representative at the VP or President level) and the Presidents of CIHR, SSHRC, and NSERC (The granting agencies make payments on behalf of the NCE Program). The funding agreement details the financial terms of the grant, representations of the parities, reporting requirements, grant renewal, and other essential elements of the NCE Program. A template of the funding agreement may be found on the NCE Secretariat website

Network Agreement

Networks must sign a Network Agreement with any eligible organization (Network Member) receiving grant funds. Research activities and the transfer of funds between the Network Host and Network Member may only occur once a standard Network Agreement has been signed. The Network Agreement sets out the expectations of all parties in the Network and provides for such matters as reporting requirements, use of research funds, and ownership and exploitation of intellectual property. It must be signed by each network investigator and network member following the approval of new signatories by the Board of Directors and in accordance with the program guidelines maintained by the NCE Secretariat. A copy of the executed Network Agreement must be provided to the NCE Secretariat and updated when new signatories are added. To facilitate negotiation of the Network Agreement, the NCE Secretariat provides a template that has been developed and negotiated with many of the eligible institutions across Canada.

Upon signing the Network agreement, and through direction by the Network, the Network Host may transfer funds to a Network Member. Transfers may only occur between the Network Host and Network Members. Transfers of funds between Network Members (e.g. from Network Member “A” to Network Member “B”) are considered second order transfers and not permitted under the NCE Program. In all situations where the Network deems it necessary that funds be re-distributed between Network Members, the funds must first be returned to the Network Host who will then transfer the funds.

Host Agreement

A strong and positive relationship between the Network and its host is essential to success. In addition to the funding and network agreements, a separate host agreement is key to outlining obligations between the parties. The host agreement should consider terms beyond the initial period of the Network and accommodate the growth of the Network over the entire grant period (up to 15 years). When negotiating with the host institution, the needs and expectations of the Network must be detailed and may include:

  • Outline of financial (cash and in-kind) commitments included and beyond the letter of support;
  • Financial administration – receiving of NCE funds and Network accounts; payroll and benefits; eligible expenditure oversight; distribution of funds to eligible Network Members; distribution of funds to the Administrative Centre; separate accounts for the Network; Provision of Form 300s in accordance with NCE requirements; Record Keeping; interest on NCE grant funds; how non-grant funds will be handled; indemnification of each party;
  • Technical administration – provision and maintenance of internet, telephones, computers, printers, and other technical equipment required; Access to IT, website, and/or database support;
  • Space and Location – provision of office space for the Administrative Centre (size and location); provision of meeting space for Network related meetings; capacity to expand space over the term of the agreement; furnishings related to space provided; utility costs; maintenance & janitorial services; security; construction costs (if needed by the Network); storage;
  • Other services – teaching release for the Scientific Director; stipends provided; liability insurance; representation on Board of directors; access to expertise in IP, commercialization, and/or knowledge translation; access to other university personnel (i.e. financial officers, administrative assistants, etc.); access to other host services (library, parking, etc.); mail services; administrative supplies (paper, envelopes, etc.); translation; announcements; legal services; and
  • Dispute Resolution

The granting agencies do not sign the Host Agreement, but a copy must be provided to the NCE Secretariat.

Consent to Disclosure

As required by the granting agencies of academic researchers receiving any part of a grant, all recipients must sign a Consent to Disclosure form. This form permits the identification of individuals who are in serious breach of granting agency policies. All recipients of NCE funds must sign a Consent to Disclosure form prior to receiving funds. The forms must be stored and maintained by the Network and presented to the NCE Secretariat or the granting agencies upon request.

Governance and Management

Each NCE-Network must have an organizational structure appropriate for the management of the Network activities and business functions of a complex multidisciplinary, multi-institutional program. A Governing Board must be established and represent the interests and concerns of the public, private and academic stakeholders involved in the Network. Working closely with the Governing Board, the administrative centre is the enabler of Network activities. The NCE Secretariat has developed a  Best Practices for Governance and Operations Resource Manual for established best practices in the NCE Program.

Governing Board

In accordance with the creation of a federal not-for-profit entity, each NCE-Network must appoint a Governing Board that has the overall responsibility for the governance and management of the Network. The Governing Board must respect the NCE program guidelines and the Funding Agreement to maintain a grant of good standing. Given the responsibilities of the Governing Board, the group may delegate responsibilities and oversight to its sub-committees. The Governing Board determines the required number and types of committees required. The Governing Board also evaluates the performance of the Network administration through evaluation of the administrative leadership.

In accordance with the requirements of the NCE Program, the Governing Board must consist of no fewer than 12 members and a minimum of one-third of the Governing Board shall be composed of independent members. Independence of Board Members is at the discretion of the Board and are typically any individuals who will not benefit directly from the activities of the Network and have no material relationship with the network or centre that could, either directly or indirectly, in practice or appearance, impair their ability to think and act in an independent manner that is in the best interest of the Network. The membership of the Board must reflect the interests and concerns of the various stakeholders involved in the Network. The Network must advise the NCE Secretariat of any changes in membership of the Board during the course of funding.

Upon endorsement by the Governing Board of a Network, any major change that would affect the general mission, research program or other operations of the Network must be submitted to the NCE Steering Committee for approval prior to implementation.

Network Management and Operations

Below is a description of a few key positions within the management and operations of a Network. For a description of other key positions please consult the  Best Practices for Governance and Operations Resource Manual.

Scientific Director

The Scientific Director is the lead applicant to the NCE Program and the scientific leader of the Network. They are the public face of the Network, the connection point for partnership activities and the liaison with the NCE Secretariat. Since the Scientific Director remains an active participant in the research community during their tenure with the Network, the program allows for limited costs for course load reduction for the replacement of faculty to support their involvement in in the Network. The value of this stipend is described in the Eligible Expenses table (see Appendix E for details).

As an active researcher in the areas that overlap with the mandate of the Network, a Scientific Directors participation in the Network’s calls for proposals may be perceived as a conflict of interest. Where this occurs, Networks must ensure that a rigorous conflict of interest policy is adopted and applied at all meetings of the Board and its committees where there exists the possibility of conflicted interests. The NCE Liaison should be consulted to ensure that the potential conflicts of interest are effectively mitigated. A different approach to mitigating this potential conflict of interest can be through an annual decision of the Board of Directors to allocate a portion of the grant funds, as a directed award, to the Scientific Director to effect a “non-compete” situation in the Network. This may remove the Scientific Director from any perception of conflicted interests and maintain an open and strong relationship with the researcher community. To be eligible, this directed allocation must be for research, fall within the focus areas of the Network and be evaluated through the same rigor as all other Network projects. The maximum value of these directed allocations must be discussed with the NCE Secretariat prior to approval by the Board of Directors.

Network Manager/Director

Each NCE-Network must have a senior manager with the appropriate background and expertise to direct the business and management of the Network. This Manager/Director provides the leadership and direction for all of the Network operations and ensures control and accountability on a day-to-day basis. The Network Manager/Director works collaboratively with the Scientific Director to deliver on all Network activities under the direction of the Board of Directors. The Network Manager/Director is a full time employee of the Network and may report to the Scientific Director or directly to the Board of Directors. The NCE Secretariat sets a maximum remuneration, payable by NCE grant funds for this and all other employed positions of the Network (see eligible expenses table). If the salary of this or any other position must exceed the maximum remuneration levels, all payments above the maximum remuneration must come from non-NCE sources.


The competent management of communications is critical to the success of individual Networks and to the program as a whole. Effective internal Network communications are vital to the way in which Network Members conduct and share research. Network activities, results, and accomplishments should also be conveyed to external audiences, including potential participants from all sectors, public policy makers, the media, and the general public. Consistency in messaging is essential, and therefore, one appropriately qualified individual in each Network should be responsible for directing all Network communications efforts. Furthermore each Network must develop a communications plan (approved by the Board of Directors) with a set of comprehensive objectives and activities designed to enhance interest in the Network and its research activities, and to promote the Network and the NCE program to the broad spectrum of possible beneficiaries. Given the national reach of the NCE networks public communiqués and publications are encouraged in both official languages where possible.

The Network's communications activities must acknowledge the contribution of the federal government, and the partnership of the three federal granting agencies to the NCE program, which provides the base of funding that complements NCE research activities. Networks are expected to collaborate closely with NCE Secretariat communications staff for their communications activities directed to an external audience. Network university partners are also expected to co-operate with the Networks and the NCE Secretariat communications staff to convey the successes arising from Network-funded research. For more details, please consult the Best Practices for NCE Communicators.

Administration of NCE Grants


The Governing Board is responsible for ensuring that the network is managed according the rules and regulations of governing a not-for-profit organization. Additional activities specific to an incorporated entity, such as the performance of audits and annual reports to the Canada Revenue Agency, are not under the purview of the NCE program and will be the responsibility of the Network.

As a grant holder, the Governing Board is responsible for adherence to the This link will take you to another Web site Tri-Agency Framework on the Responsible Conduct of Research. The board must ensure that the Network  obtains appropriate certification for activities that involve agency requirements and legislation for the conduct of certain types of research and development.

As an NCE network, the following policies must also be adhered to: (further details are provided below)

  • Conflict of Interest;
  • Current or former public office holders or public servants;
  • Environmental Assessment;
  • Intellectual Property and Benefits to Canada; and
  • Open access to research outputs

Conflict of interest

The network shall adopt a code of conduct in its by-laws for directors, officers, employees and committee members designed to prevent real or perceived conflicts of interest. The code shall be no less stringent than the NCE Conflict of Interest Policy Framework attached as Appendix B.

Current or former public office holders or public servants

Networks that employ or retain the services of individuals who are current or former (in the last 12 months) public office holders or public servants are asked to certify compliance with the Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for Public Office Holders and disclosure of the involvement of former public servants who are subject to the Value and Ethics Code for the Public Service.

Environmental assessment

The Governing Board of each network receiving NCE funds must establish a process for environmental assessment which is comparable to the process established by NSERC in fulfillment of its obligations pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. Networks should refer to Appendix C of this Guide for an example of the environmental review process. All research and activities approved for funding by the board of directors and that will receive NCE funds shall be reviewed for potential adverse environmental effects.

Intellectual Property and Benefits to Canada

The NCE Secretariat and the granting agencies make no claim to ownership of intellectual property from the research they fund. Ownership of Network-Supported Intellectual Property (NSIP) shall be determined by applicable Canadian law and the policies of the relevant participating institution(s). The ownership and disposition of intellectual property arising from Network-funded research must be governed by the arrangements described in the Network Agreement. Intellectual property resulting from Network-funded research must be promptly and concurrently disclosed by researchers to the Network and the industry liaison office of the employing or contracting institution. Networks are encouraged to maximize the use of resources, such as the university industry liaison offices, the Canadian Technology Network (CTN), and the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), to expedite the exploitation of intellectual property.

Normally, the results of research funded through public sources must be published or otherwise disseminated to the community in a timely manner. Since the NCE program encourages the exchange of knowledge and technology between sectors, it may be necessary to obtain protection for intellectual property resulting from Network-funded research prior to disclosure in a public forum. Provision for reasonable publication delays (usually not exceeding six months), or other arrangements, may be made to avoid jeopardizing the commercial potential by premature disclosure while ensuring that HQP are not reasonably delayed from completing degree programs. The network must establish a policy that encourages and facilitates commercialization for the greatest benefit to Canada (See Appendix D for further guidance).

Agreements made regarding the ownership of the intellectual property resulting from Network-funded research must take into account the NCE objective of creating partnerships. This implies a sharing of eventual benefits between the partners commensurate with their respective contributions, as well as the sharing of costs to protect the intellectual property.

Open Access to Research Outputs

As publicly funded organizations, the granting agencies have a fundamental interest in promoting the availability of findings that result from the research they fund, including research publications, to the widest possible audience, and at the earliest possible opportunity. Societal advancement is made possible through widespread and barrier-free access to cutting-edge research and knowledge, enabling researchers, scholars, clinicians, policy-makers, private sector and not-for-profit organizations and the public to use and build on this knowledge.

The NCE Program also strongly supports open access which promotes the following principles:

  • Maintaining the high standards and quality of research by committing to academic openness, integrity and ethics;
  • Promoting recognized research best practices and standards across disciplines, and embracing and sharing emerging practices and standards;
  • Advancing academic research, science and innovation;
  • Effective diffusion of research results; and
  • Aligning activities, programs and policies between Canadian and international research funding agencies.

For information on the policies for the open access to research outputs, consult the This link will take you to another Web site granting agencies website.

International Engagement

As NCE networks develop nation-wide, multidisciplinary and multisectoral partnerships in their areas, they must also consider the evolving global context and the potential of mutually beneficial international collaborations. Aligned with the mandate of the NCE program to create world-class Networks and Centres, NCE networks are required where possible to engage foreign organizations to address critical issues of scientific, intellectual, social, economic and/or cultural significance in areas of mutual strategic importance. This engagement will:

  • raise Canada's profile on the world stage and ensure that Canada is part of international cutting-edge initiatives;
  • provide a richer training environment to develop highly qualified people with skills and awareness critical to Canadian productivity, economic growth, public policy and quality of life;
  • stimulate or reinforce partnerships with foreign organizations to develop large coordinated and concerted efforts leading to economic and social impact; and
  • enhance the sharing and dissemination of knowledge, resources and technology to Canada.


Grant Payments

NCE grants are made to the lead applicant through the network host. As agreed to in the Funding Agreement, grant holders to use their grants for the purpose for which the funds were awarded, and in accordance with the policies and guidelines of the program and their institution. The NCE Secretariat reserves the right to terminate, suspend or reclaim a grant if the recipient contravenes the funding agreement.

Basis and Timing of Payments

Payment of grants is authorized by the NCE Steering Committee through one or more of the granting agencies and paid using the payment schedules of the relevant granting agencies providing NCE Funds to the Network. Subsequent instalments are approved annually, subject to the availability of funds, satisfactory progress, and the Network's continuing compliance with the program's policies, terms, and conditions. Networks hosted at universities have their funds released to the designated financial administrative unit of the host university. Through the direction of the Governing Board, the Network advises the Network Host of the amounts to be disbursed to participating institutions and to the Network Administrative Centre.

Carry Forward Amounts

The Governing Board of a Network must be vigilant of the amount of NCE grant funds that are carried forward year over year. The NCE Secretariat issues payments to Networks based on their identified need in the NCE application or through written requests by the Board of Directors. If a Network consistently is unable to expend the grant provided by the Granting Agencies, the amounts carried forward may have a negative effect on future payments of the current grant and the demonstration of need for future grants within the NCE program.   

Network Contributions

The NCE Program is not a matching fund program and does not require the cost of eligible expenses be matched at a specific ratio. Although the program does not require matching funds, NCE networks must demonstrate relevance and collaboration with their stakeholders by leveraging resources from non-NCE sources. Both cash and in-kind contributions to the Network are essential to the Network’s success both in completion and translation of research. This is an essential criterion in the selection and ongoing evaluation of NCE networks.

Cash vs. In-Kind support

The NCE program recognizes both cash and in-kind support to the Network. Cash contributions provide the Network with the flexibility to increase their research allocations, cover expenses outside of the eligible expenses of the NCE Program, and generally expand the scope of the Network. These contributions should be directed to the Network and managed by the Administrative Centre under the direction of the Governing Board in accordance with any agreements signed by the Network. To minimize the overhead and maximize the availability of cash contributions Networks may create separate accounts.

Equal to cash contributions, in-kind contributions can provide invaluable support to Networks. Specialized access to data or resources, hospitality costs, access to IP, salaries, software and travel costs are all examples of in-kind support recognized by the NCE program. Eligibility of NCE in-kind support can be verified in Appendix F.  

Both cash and in-kind contributions to the Network are expected to evolve over the lifetime of the grant and increase with the progress of the research, networking and knowledge translation activities.


Networks selected for funding have an opportunity to renew their mandate and apply for additional funding prior to the end of a funding cycle. These renewals are timed to allow for the distribution of renewal guidelines, completion and submission of the renewal application form, meeting an expert review committee, review and decision by committees and the NCE Steering Committee, and signing follow-on agreements. The maximum number of renewals permitted under the NCE Program is two providing a total funding period of 15 years.  Renewals of grants are awarded through a competitive process and are not automatically guaranteed to existing Networks. Networks applying for renewal should also prepare for the possibility of not being renewed under the NCE Program.

Approaching the end of an NCE Grant

Networks approaching the end of a funding through the NCE Program must implement a plan to ensure the smooth transition or winding down of activities. The NCE Secretariat provides Final Reporting Guidelines and documentation to help Networks complete the final obligations under the grant. Networks must not make any new commitments beyond the final fiscal year. This includes launching requests for proposals, or funding activities into future years not covered by the NCE funding agreement. Any such activities must be approved by the NCE Secretariat prior to approval by the Governing Board.

Following the conclusion of the funding agreement and related to funds that have already been transferred, ongoing research may be automatically extended for one year similar to other programs of the granting agencies. The Network may also extend the activities of the Administrative Centre to complete the requirements of winding down the Network. This is not an automatic extension; Networks must submit a request and plan to the NCE Secretariat to extend the operation of the Administrative Centre using grant funds beyond the funding agreement. This request must be approved to continue using grant funds on the administration of the Network. Administrative Centre extensions are granted on a case by case basis.

Long-Term Impact

The vast amount of resources and knowledge mobilized by a Network during the NCE grant period should not cease to have an impact on stakeholders at the end of the grant.  Networks must define and achieve the legacy that will continue beyond the existence of the Network. The Governing Board is responsible for the development and execution of all legacy planning. Legacy is important to all stages during the lifetime of the Network and should not be left to the final months of a Network but monitored and adapted throughout the life of the Network. The legacy of a Network may include a sustainability plan but the NCE Program does not require that recipients achieve sustainability of their mandate at the conclusion of the NCE Grant. A Network will only be evaluated on the ability to reach sustainability if a Network identifies and defines the sustainability of activities as a goal of NCE funding. 


Use of NCE Funds

Eligible expenses

The NCE program uses the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide as the general guidelines for eligibility of expense. In situations where the granting agencies have different rules and policies that are not explicit in the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide the rules and policies of a single granting agency are applicable to the Network. This granting agency is determined and identified in the funding agreement signed by the Network. Note that the granting agencies may release other financial administration guides specific for a program but they are not applicable to the NCE Program and should not be applied without approval of the NCE Secretariat.

Given the unique nature of the grants provided through the NCE Program, a specific NCE eligible expenses table is applicable to all Networks funded through the NCE Program. This eligible expenses table outlines the additions and exceptions to the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide and specific granting agency rules.

A list of eligible and ineligible expenses for the NCE Program is available in Appendix E. (For specific cases please contact the NCE) 

Administrative expenses

The NCE Program permits the use of grant dollars to cover the cost of administering the Network. Up to 15% of the total grant amount may be used for eligible administration expenses not covered by the Research Support Fund Program (see Appendix I, for a detailed table of NCE expenditures covered by the Research Support Fund Programs). Administrative expenditures above this 15% must come from non-NCE funds.

Maximum remuneration

Contributions from the NCE funds towards the total annual remuneration (fixed or variable) of each network staff member must not exceed $120,000 full-time equivalent (excluding benefits). This maximum applies to all positions (including employment contracts) and shall be pro-rated on the basis of the proportion of time worked relative to the full-time equivalent.

Stacking provisions

The maximum level (stacking limit) of total government assistance (federal, provincial and municipal assistance for the same eligible expenditures) for this program will not exceed 100 per cent of eligible expenditures. For clarity, once expenditure has been covered by NCE funds up to 100% of the value, other government sources cannot be used to cover the same expense. In the event total government assistance to a recipient exceeds the stacking limit, the Granting Agencies will adjust the level of assistance provided through the NCE grant so that the stacking limit is not exceeded.

When the Network or the Network Investigators are successful in attracting other funding, from either governmental or non-governmental sources, the additional funds do not displace the grant provided by the NCE Program but rather should be used to extend or accelerate the achievement of their overall objectives through an expansion of their research programs, increasing their HQP development activities, enhancing knowledge mobilization activities and/or technology exchange and exploitation or other activities to support the mobilization of research excellence for the benefit of Canadians.

When reporting annually to the NCE Secretariat it is important to disclose and provide adequate information related to the other sources of support (held or applied for) from all other government sources.


Networks may use contracts in order to access specialized facilities and services provided by government laboratories. MOUs that set up the terms for Specified Purpose Accounts may be used to support joint projects. Money deposited into these Specified Purpose Accounts by Networks can come only from non-federal funds raised by the Networks and not from the federal funds provided by the NCE program.

In areas where the expertise does not exist across the Network Members, Networks may utilize research contracts to enable the research program to deliver in areas that are essential but not addressed under the Network’s mandate or to access highly specialized or unique facilities. These research contracts should only be used when necessary and must follow specific guidelines including but not limited to: the research contract must be between the Network and the organization conducting the research; the contract is for the provision of research services to the Network; the Network owns all results from the research conducted and may use those results without any limitations by the contract provider; the provider will not publish or disclose any information related to the contract.  Prior to engaging in research contracts, the Network must seek approval by the NCE Secretariat.

Employment contracts as opposed to professional services contracts are salaried contributions and are for technical or professional services only where this expertise is not available within the Network. These contracts are subject to the maximum remuneration and are categorized as administrative expenditures.


Achieving Success

Best Practices Sessions

Following the NCE competition, the NCE Secretariat hosts a best practices session to bring together newly funded networks. Group discussion focuses on topics essential to the NCE program as well as first year and ongoing operations of a network. Participants in the session may also pose questions to guest speakers representing active, successful networks regarding things such as lessons learned, good governance practices developed, and how to manage conflict of interest.

NCE Secretariat Liaison

The NCE Secretariat will identify a NCE liaison to work closely with each network over the grant period. This partnership will enable the Network to better achieve alignment with the NCE Program. The NCE liaison may be asked to participate in the resolution of technical, financial or administrative difficulties; assist the Network in the preparation of submissions to the NCE Program; advise on the interpretation of the NCE Program objectives, rules and guidelines; and support co-ordination of the network's activities with those of other networks or of other government-sponsored initiatives.

The NCE liaison is the primary NCE Secretariat contact for the Network and will have observer status in the Governing Board and its committee meetings. If the NCE liaison is not able to attend a meeting the NCE Secretariat may temporarily appoint an alternate representative.

The NCE liaison must be granted observer status on the Governing Board of the Network and also attends meetings of the Network's committees. Invitations to the governance and administrative meetings of the Network should include the NCE liaison, and meeting materials should be shared well in advance of the meeting. 

NCE Monitoring Committee

The NCE Monitoring Committee is a sub-committee of the NCE Standing Selection Committee with the mandate of evaluating the annual progress of the five-year NCE networks, the CIRCE, and the NCE-KM networks, and of making recommendations to the NCE Steering Committee regarding the continuation of funding the networks/CIRCE (networks) under review. The NCE Monitoring Committee can make one of the following recommendations: that the network continues its activities; be phased-out of its activities; or undergoes an in-depth review by an Expert Panel.

Progress is assessed against the respective NCE program criteria, the competition framework and the network’s strategic plan, as reported by the network in the annual report. Expert Panel and NCE Standing Selection Committee reports as well as previous Network Annual Progress Reports and NCE Monitoring Committee report cards are also taken into consideration. After the review, feedback and guidance are provided by the NCE Monitoring Committee to each network through a report card.

NCE Selection Committee

The NCE Selection Committee is the highest level committee in the adjudication of applications to the NCE Program. They provide recommendations for funding to the NCE Steering Committee and policy guidance on the direction of the NCE Program. The Selection Committee membership is reflective of the broad focus areas of the NCE Program and meets regularly to adjudicate competitions and discuss policies. The NCE Selection Committee is familiar with the all of the applications submitted to the NCE Program and thus selects representatives from its membership to also participate on the NCE Monitoring Committee.

Annual Reporting

The NCE Secretariat collects annual reporting to monitor the progress of recipients in the program while collecting statistics for the purposes of reporting within the federal government. The categories of reporting cannot be changed and are reflective of the NCE Program accountabilities. The method of collection has been refined through consultation with Networks, external committees including the NCE Monitoring Committee, and internal evaluators.

Every year the NCE Secretariat sends a communication to all Networks with the updated reporting information for the concluding year. Any major changes from previous years are documented separately and shared with Networks. Completed annual reports must be approved by the Governing Board and submitted to the NCE Secretariat by the last business day in May. Leading up to this submission deadline, Networks must complete the following steps:

  1. Acknowledge receipt of the annual reporting materials from the NCE Secretariat
  2. Undertake and complete a financial audit of the Network
  3. Collect and input all information from the research program, networking, and knowledge mobilization activities.
  4. Ensure all form 300s from Network Members are input or attached to the annual reporting.
  5. Complete the qualitative report.
  6. Submit completed draft of Annual Report for NCE review and comment
  7. Chair of the Board signs additional documentation (Conflict of Interest Declaration, Environmental Assessment, etc.)
  8. Distribute revised draft of Annual Report to the Governing Board for review, comment, and approval.
  9. Submission to the NCE Secretariat by the last business day in May

The date above is fixed and all materials must be submitted to the NCE before the deadline date. The timeline enables the NCE Secretariat to be more responsive to the progress of the Network and provide timely feedback from the Monitoring Committee for Networks to implement recommendations sooner.

Upon receipt of the annual reports, data from the reports are transferred into the NCE Database and shared with the NCE Monitoring Committee. The NCE Monitoring Committee then meets to discuss each report separately and may interact directly with Networks should additional clarification been needed. Over the course of the funding cycle, a network may be invited by the NCE Secretariat to present at the NCE Monitoring Committee meeting. The NCE Monitoring Committee develops a Report Card for the Network which provides high-level feedback on the annual report and the progress of the Network to date (see appendix H for a sample report card). The NCE Monitoring Committee may determine that the progress of a given Network should be reviewed in greater detail and recommend an expert review committee meet with the Network to discuss progress against the five NCE Selection Criteria. The findings of the expert review committee will be reviewed by the NCE Monitoring Committee who will put forward one of two recommendations to the NCE Steering Committee: that the network continues its activities or be phased-out of NCE grant funds.

The Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act

The NCE program is subject to the federal Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. (See Appendix G for more details.)

Contact Us

If you have any question or require additional information, you can reach us at:

Networks of Centres of Excellence
350 Albert Street, 16th floor mailroom
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 1H5

Phone: 613-995-6010
Fax: 613-992-7356

Appendix A: NCE Program Review Criteria

To ensure that the NCE Program goals and objectives are met, proposals are assessed against the five NCE Program Criteria, relevance to the NCE Program goals and objectives and relevance to the target research areas. Networks are evaluated on an ongoing basis during tenure of a grant against these same criteria. Research excellence is a necessary condition for the initial and the continued funding of a network; however, it is not the sole condition, because the goal of the Program is also reflected in the four additional criteria.

1. Management of the Network

Each network must have an organizational structure appropriate for the management of the research and business functions of a complex multidisciplinary, multi-institutional program.
Elements being considered are:

  • a board and committee structure to ensure that appropriate policy and financial decisions are made and implemented;
  • the presence of effective leadership and expertise in the research and the business management functions;
  • a defined strategic and operational plan highlighting the proposed networks objectives and milestones;
  • a defined governance process;
  • effective research planning and budgeting mechanisms; and
  • effective internal and external communications strategies.

2. Excellence of the Research Program

The Network’s research program must be driven to address Canadian needs and problems, and is therefore expected to be multidisciplinary and multisectoral.
Elements being considered are:

  • the excellence, focus and coherence of the research program;
  • the balance between research into new discoveries and the application of research breakthroughs to address practical problems facing Canadians;
  • the achievements of the researchers in the continuum of research and their ability to contribute to the realization of the Network’s objectives;
  • the value added by the Network’s multifaceted approach, in terms of having all the critical linkages in place to generate world-class research breakthroughs, to apply that knowledge to practical solutions, and to commercialize innovations that produce social and economic benefits;
  • the extent to which the program will contribute to Canada's abilities and reputation for international leadership in areas of high economic and social importance to Canada;
  • the extent to which new and emerging social and ethical challenges are an integral part of the research program; and
  • the relationship of the proposed research program to similar work conducted in Canada and abroad.

3. Development of Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP)

The training and retention of HQP is imperative to maximize the effectiveness of the Networks’ contribution to the wealth, wellness and well-being of Canadians.  The Training Program proposed by the Network is expected to add value to the formal training initiatives already available through the academic community and should aim at helping HQP find employment in the Canadian economy (i.e., private sector partners, government, etc.). The multidisciplinary and multisectoral nature of a network should be utilized to provide unique mentorship and training opportunities to maximize HQP retention and integration in all facets of the workforce.

Elements being considered are:

  • the ability to attract, develop and retain outstanding researchers in research areas and technologies critical to Canadian productivity, economic growth, public policy and quality of life; and
  • training strategies that expose HQP to the full range of economic, social, and ethical implications of the Network’s research by involving them in activities from the initial research discovery to its application through to practical social and economic benefits.

4. Networking and Partnerships

The Network must demonstrate that it has brought together the key individuals and organizations needed to generate and implement multifaceted solutions to the complex Canadian challenges it is designed to address.

Elements being considered are:

  • effective research and technology development links between national and international academic institutions, federal and provincial agencies, non-governmental organizations and private sector participants;
  • multidisciplinary, multisectoral approaches in the research program;
  • demonstration that the right partners/individuals are at the table to address the proposed issue, including international partners when applicable;
  • optimization of resources through the sharing of equipment and research facilities, databases and personnel; and
  • presence, nature and extent of contributions from the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, and from international partners, as well as the prospect for increasing commitments as the work progresses.

5. Knowledge and Technology Exchange and Exploitation

NCE networks are expected to generate social and economic benefits by ensuring the rapid flow of ideas and innovations from researchers to Canadian receptors. Applicants are expected to demonstrate that the appropriate activities will be undertaken and the appropriate resources allocated to maximize those benefits.   

Elements being considered are:

  • the new products, processes or services to be commercialized by firms operating in Canada as a result of the Network’s activities and the extent to which these will strengthen the Canadian economic base, enhance productivity, and contribute to long-term economic growth and social benefits;
  • the social innovations to be implemented as a result of the Network and the extent to which these will contribute to more effective public policy in Canada;
  • effective collaboration with the private, public and not-for-profit sectors in technology, market development, and public policy development;
  • the extent to which the Network will help the partners develop strong receptor capacity to exploit current and future research breakthroughs;
  • effective management and protection of Canadian intellectual property resulting from Network-funded research; and
  • the extent to which additional/ complementary knowledge, and/or technology a foreign counterpart is contributing to Canada by an international partner, when international partnerships are relevant.

NCE Program Review Criteria

Applications from new networks, and the ongoing operations of existing networks are assessed against the selection criteria outlined above.

NCE-Networks Renewal (applicable to five-year NCE-Networks only):

Additional Eligibility criteria: Networks applying for renewal must be an existing recipient of the NCE-Networks grant at the time of application. Networks may apply for up to two additional funding cycles through the NCE-Networks (Renewal) competition. If a third (and final funding cycle) is requested, it will only be granted when a Network has developed and built on its partnerships to progressively transform itself into a network driven by the needs of its partners. In this third cycle, the network and partners define the knowledge mobilization and/or knowledge and technology exchange and exploitation plan and research agenda. The proposed plan will be assessed on its viability and whether it has the potential to successfully mobilize the Network’s knowledge and technologies to the user community. 

A Network applying to the NCE-Network Renewal competition may apply for reduced, equal, or additional funds based on the activities proposed.

Review Criteria: Renewal applications for a subsequent funding cycle will be assessed according to the Review Criteria for a new application. In addition, the renewal application will include a progress report to assess the progress of the Network in achieving its goals and objectives. Progress for the Network as a whole must be detailed in terms of accomplishments that are measured against the five NCE selection criteria and against the performance targets and metrics submitted in the original application.

NCE-Networks Management Funds (applicable to seven-year NCE-Networks only):

Additional Eligibility criteria: To be eligible to apply for NCE-MF funds applicants must be currently funded NCE-Networks that have reached the end of all available funding cycles or do not intend to apply for a further funding cycle.

Up to $500,000 are available to NCE-Networks for a period of up to two years.

Review Criteria: NCE-MF proposals are assessed against the following four review criteria:

  • Track record of the Network during the last funding cycle
  • Value-added of the proposed activities
  • Partnerships and contributions
  • Need for funds


Appendix B: Conflict of Interest Policy Framework

Interactions between university researchers and the private sector are an essential feature of the NCE program. For the objectives of the NCE program to be achieved, many kinds of interactions among individuals participating in the Network must occur. These interactions may lead to gains and benefits to the individuals participating in the Network and are desirable and natural outcomes of being involved in the Network. Such interactions, however, may place individuals participating in the Network in a position of potential, apparent or actual conflict of interest.

The responsibility for implementing and managing the Conflict of Interest Policy Framework, to ensure that Network operations and decisions are not biased by conflict of interest, is delegated to each Network Governing Board, which represents the highest authority in the management structure of the Network. The Network Governing Board is accountable to the NCE Steering Committee for the effective implementation and management of the Conflict of Interest Policy Framework.

Individuals participating in the Network, such as members of the Governing Board and advisory committees who do not receive NCE funds, are recognized as playing a unique role in the Networks. They bring an important perspective as a result of their particular knowledge, often as representatives of organizations in the field of interest of the Network. Nevertheless, they are still required to disclose any financial interest or position of influence, as described in Section 2.0, in any business in the same area of interest as the Network, other than that of their main employer.

The Conflict of Interest Policy is intended to enable Network Governing Board and individuals to recognize and disclose situations that may be open to question and to ensure that such situations are appropriately resolved. The policy builds upon and is complementary to those of the organizations that make up the Network Governing Board, Network Investigators and the administrators.

1.0 Definitions

“Administrative Centre” means the central administrative offices of the organization managing the Network.

"Avoidance" means refraining from, or withdrawing from, participation in activities or situations that place an individual participating in the Network in a potential, apparent, or actual conflict of interest relative to his or her Network duties and responsibilities.

“Board” means the Governing Board of a NCE-Network that is responsible for the overall management of the administrative centre and is accountable to the NCE Steering Committee.

"Conflict of interest" means a situation where, to the detriment or potential detriment of the Network, an individual is, or may be, in a position to use research knowledge, authority, or influence for personal or family gain (financial or other) or to benefit others.

"Disclosure" means the act of notifying in writing to the Governing Board, through the network manager, of any direct or indirect financial interests and positions of influence held by an individual participating in the Network, which could lead to a potential, apparent, or actual conflict of interest.

"Divestment" means the sale at arm's length, or the placement in trust, of assets, where continued ownership by an individual participating in the Network would constitute a potential, apparent or actual conflict of interest with the participant's Network duties and responsibilities.

"Financial interest" means an interest in a business in the same area as the Network as described in Section 2.1 of this Appendix.

"NCE Secretariat" means the secretariat through which the federal Networks of Centres of Excellence program and three other programs are delivered.

"NCE Steering Committee" means the committee comprised of the three granting agencies’ Presidents and the Deputy Ministers, Industry Canada and Health Canada, and the President and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation (as an observer), which has overall responsibility for the NCE program.

"Network Governing Board" means the Board that is responsible for the overall management of the Network and is accountable to the NCE Steering Committee.

"Network Manager" means the senior managerial employee of the Network who reports to the Governing Board.

"Position of influence" includes any position that entails responsibility for a material segment of the operation and/or management of a business.

2.0 Disclosure

Upon joining the Network, each individual is obliged to disclose in writing to the Governing Board, through the Network Manager, any direct or indirect financial interests and/or positions of influence that could lead to a potential, apparent or actual conflict of interest (examples provided in Section 5.0 of this Appendix). In addition, these submissions must be updated whenever the individual's circumstances change in a way that would necessitate a further disclosure. The individual also has the obligation to disclose any potential, apparent or actual conflict of interest when it arises during Network committee or Board meetings so that the committee or Board is aware of the situation and can take appropriate action.

2.1 Financial Interest

Financial Interest consists of:

  • any material stock option (e.g. 1%) or similar ownership interest in such a business, but excluding any interest arising solely by reason of investment in such business by a mutual, pension, or other institutional investment fund over which the person does not exercise control; or
  • receipt of, or the right and potential to receive, any income from such a business, whether in the form of a fee (e.g. consulting), salary, allowance, interest in real or personal property, dividend, royalty derived from licensing of technology, rent, capital gain, real or personal property, or any other form of compensation or contractual relationship, or any combination thereof.

3.0 Management of Conflict of Interest

The Network Governing Board or an appointed conflict of interest sub-committee is charged with the responsibility of managing conflict of interest, and determining and implementing the appropriate course of action. This management system is based on disclosure, as described in Section 2.0 of this Appendix. All disclosures constitute confidential information that will be available to the Network Board, or a sub-committee thereof, for the evaluation and resolution of any conflict of interest or allegations of conflict of interest brought before the Board or its conflict of interest sub-committee.

While it is recognized that it may be difficult to completely avoid situations of potential, apparent, or actual conflict of interest, complete avoidance or divestment may be required in certain cases. Such divestment should not consist of a sale or transfer of assets to family members or other persons for the purpose of circumventing the conflict of interest compliance measures as directed by the Board.

3.1 Principles

An individual participating in the Network who is involved with, or has an interest in, or deals in any manner with a third party which might cause a conflict of interest, will not be present or participate in any decisions pertaining to the Network, including committee decisions, if the declared potential conflict of interest could influence the decision or actions of the Network. It is the obligation of the individual to declare such potential, apparent, or actual conflict of interest before discussions take place so that the committee or Network Governing Board is aware of the situation in order to ensure that the individual is out of the room when the discussion and decision process on the item in question are taking place. This course of action should be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

Any question raised by an individual or company regarding the potential conflict of interest of an individual will be raised at the Network Governing Board level and must be documented in writing. The Governing Board will determine the extent to which the question should be pursued and in such cases will consult the individual in question. If necessary, the individual will be asked to respond in writing.

3.2 Non-compliance

If an individual is discovered to be in conflict of interest where disclosure and prior approval have not been sought or granted, the Governing Board will require the individual to:

  • account to the Network for any gain or benefit made directly or indirectly, arising from an involvement with, or an interest in, or from dealing in any manner with a third party that gives rise to a conflict of interest; and
  • withdraw from the involvement; or
  • withdraw from the Network; or
  • take appropriate action as determined by the Governing Board.

4.0 Review Process

An individual may request in writing, within 30 days, a review of a decision on conflict of interest. In certain circumstances, the Network Governing Board may arrange for an independent third party appointed by mutual agreement of the Network and the Governing Board, and failing such mutual agreement appointed by the NCE Steering Committee, to act as an intermediary to scrutinize scientific reports and budgetary information of research project(s) in which the individual participating in the Network is involved. The intermediary would provide an opinion on the overall merit of the review, without divulging specifics of a proprietary nature to other members of the Network. The ultimate decision on the resolution of the review rests with the Network Governing Board.

In cases where there is a concern with respect to decisions or actions of the Governing Board itself, this concern should be submitted in writing to the NCE Steering Committee. The NCE Steering Committee may request the Chair of the Governing Board to respond in writing to the Steering Committee. Following submission of the Chair's response, the NCE Steering Committee will decide on follow-up action.

5.0 Examples of Conflict of Interest

The following examples, although not comprehensive, illustrate situations that may lead to an indirect or direct conflict of interest:

  • being employed in any capacity by another employer outside the participant's, administrator's, or director's university, institution or company signing the Network Agreement, including self-employment
  • holding an office that puts the individual in a position to affect decisions, such as manager with executive powers, within a company, or member of a Governing Board
  • participating in a research contract or consultancy relationship with a company or serving on the board of a company
  • entering into a research contract with a company in which the participant, or a member of his or her immediate family, has a financial or other interest
  • carrying out supplementary professional scientific activities in accordance with the disclosure requirements of the participant's or director's employing organization
  • owning equity or other financial participation in a corporation (including stock options and shares) – participants,  administrators and directors should abstain from activity in which they would have inside advantage (e.g. purchase of shares) based on the information they are privy to through membership in the Network
  • accepting gifts (other than some minor hospitality) or special favours for him or herself or a member of his or her family from private organizations with which the Network does business
  • influencing the purchase of equipment or materials for the Network from a company in which the participant, the administrator or the director has a financial or other interest.

Appendix C: Environmental Review Requirements for NCE networks


Where applicable,  NCE recipient organizations (e.g. organizations receiving IRDI, NCE, BL-NCE and CECR grants), must comply with the This link will take you to another Web site Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (This link will take you to another Web site CEAA 2012) by ensuring that activities supported with NCE funds are not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects This link will take you to another Web site in areas within federal jurisdiction, and must develop a review process as follow:

  • Boards of Directors responsible for approving the proposals to be funded must ensure that an environmental review is in place and is being implemented. NCE recipient organizations can establish their own process according to their own situation, e.g., a Board may choose to carry out the environmental review itself or to delegate this task, by appointing a sub-committee or hiring consultants who will submit their recommendations to the Board.
  • New activities funded by NCE recipient organizations, or ongoing ones where the methodology has changed significantly during the course of the funding period, are subject to assessment or review under the This link will take you to another Web site CEAA 2012 when they fall within the definition of either “designated projects” or “projects” (This link will take you to another Web site sections 67-68, CEAA 2012).
  • NCE funds shall only be released to applicants after proposals have undergone an environmental review and if it has been determined that no significant adverse environmental effects are likely. If the environmental review has not taken place at the time of the grant approval by the Board, the grant can be made conditional on a favorable environmental review.
  • An environmental report must be submitted annually by the NCE recipient organizations to the NCE Secretariat summarizing the environmental review process adopted by the Board and the results of the reviews done during the year (e.g. including information on new proposals, or on-going research or activities that required a more detailed environmental review, modification or cancellation).


Appendix D: Benefit to Canada

Working Guidelines

A key NCE program objective is to advance Canadian economic and social development. Accordingly, every effort must be made to have the results of Network-funded research exploited in Canada, for the benefit of Canadians. Benefit to Canada is defined as incremental Canadian economic activity and improved quality of life in Canada. Maximum benefits would be derived from the creation of high-quality jobs in Canada and this should be an important goal of any commercialization activity.

The owners of intellectual property resulting from research funded by NCE-Networks, or the agent acting on the owners’ behalf, will consult with relevant stakeholders (Network administrators, universities, and researchers) on issues of commercialization. When selecting a receptor company for the exclusive licence of the commercial rights of intellectual property resulting from Network-funded research, the agent/owners of intellectual property resulting from Network-funded research will use reasonable and thorough efforts to maximize benefits to Canada in a national and international context. Due diligence in efforts to maximize benefits to Canada depends in part on the nature of the research results that are being exploited, and on the window of opportunity. The agent/owners of intellectual property resulting from NCE-funded research should take into consideration the following non-comprehensive list of possible benefits to Canada factors in exercising that due diligence:

  • existing company in Canada with receptor capacity
  • expansion of an existing company in Canada
  • formation of a new company in Canada
  • joint ventures or strategic alliances with a company in Canada
  • co-manufacturing involving a company in Canada
  • cross-licensing or co-development with a company in Canada
  • establishment of a new subsidiary in Canada (R&D, manufacturing, sales, marketing, distribution)
  • development and/or production in Canada by a foreign company (world product mandate)

Mechanism for Reporting Due Diligence

Within 30 days of a decision to pursue exploitation by a foreign company, and in advance of finalizing this decision, the agent/owner is required to report the decision to the NCE-Network Governing Board and through the Network Governing Board, to provide the NCE Steering Committee the rationale and circumstances that led to the decision. The NCE Steering Committee reserves the right to impose sanctions as it deems appropriate, if there is failure to comply with these reporting requirements or negligence in performing the due diligence by the Network.


Appendix E: NCE Eligible Expenditures

The table below contains a non-comprehensive list of eligible and ineligible expenses for the NCE Program.

Specific expenditures related to NCE-Networks and NCE-Networks MF can be found at the end of the table.

General Eligible Expenditures (Applicable to all Networks)
Administrative costs
Eligible Expenses Ineligible Expenses
1. Operating Costs for the Network’s Administrative Centre

The administrative expenses of the NCE-Network are the sum of the expenses that are not eligible to the Indirect Cost and Canada Research Chairs programs.

Salaries and Benefits for Network staff members (e.g. network directors, network manager, business development/industrial liaison officer, communications officer, secretarial support staff)

Non-discretionary benefits include workplace safety insurance coverage costs for Network staff, pension benefits, medical, vision and dental care benefits and parental leave; the costs of the benefits package should be in the average market range.

Other administrative expenses:

Office supplies and equipment (e.g. stationery for the administrative center, fax, computers, printers).

Two communication devices for NCE purposes only.

Long distance charges (telephone and fax).

Internet access (web connection) fees while traveling on business for up to 125 days per year, but not if on sabbatical or other types of leave; (These claims could also be included in the per diem, if the host institution allows it).

Costs to obtain liability insurance for members of the Governing Board, and Network administrators.

Travel and accommodation for Network personnel, and members of Network boards and committees.

Legal fees, audit costs, and other related incorporation costs for the Network.

Honoraria for external reviewers.

Remuneration for Governing Board members

Discretionary severance and separation packages.

Routine courses (Excel, time management, language training, etc.).

Support services provided by the host institution, such as:
a) construction and maintenance of buildings;
b) administrative support;
c) personnel support;
d) financial services;
e) telephone lines and equipment;
f) library and building services;
g) insurance other than liability insurance;
h) furniture;
i)  office space; and
j) web connection at administrative centre.

2. Costs Related to Networking

Hospitality costs (non-alcoholic refreshments and/or meals) for networking purposes (e.g. Board meetings and strategic planning meetings with stakeholders).

Hospitality costs (non-alcoholic refreshments and/or meals) for research related activities

Hospitality costs for meetings attended only by Network staff are not eligible.

3. Costs Related to Communication Activities

Newsletters/brochures, annual reports, printing and mailing costs, public relations associated expenses (e.g. display booths, press conferences).

Promotional material for conferences, the total cost for one year not exceeding $5,000.

Financial contributions to special events in Canada, subject to consultation with the NCE Secretariat.

Financial contributions to international events limited to communications activities and/or costs related to networking (e.g. travel, registration fees, exhibit space rental).

Other communications activities as long as the activity is approved by the Network’s Governing Board and is part of the Network communication strategy.


4. Costs Related to Knowledge Mobilization and/or Technology Exchange and Exploitation

Prototype development, subject to approval by the Governing Board provided that due diligence has been used to find a partner to share the costs for development, normally on a matching basis.

Market studies to determine the market potential for an NCE-generated development or to determine the appropriate market(s) for a development, subject to the approval by the Governing Board.

Intellectual property: on an annual basis, up to 50 per cent of the total costs of protection for intellectual property resulting from Network research.




Specific Eligible Expenditures (Excludes NCE networks in Management Funds)
Eligible Expenses Ineligible Expenses
1. Direct Costs of Research and Facility Access

Direct costs of research and facility access, equipment, materials and supplies related to the direct costs of research, as normally allowed by the granting agencies and detailed in the This link will take you to another Web site Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide and subject to the approval by the Governing Board of the NCE-Network.

Salaries, stipends and institutional non-discretionary benefits for Network-related research performed by students and postdoctoral fellows; please refer to the This link will take you to another Web site Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide for specific funding agencies guidelines.

Cost of research done by a university researcher under a spin-off or “virtual” company.

2. Administrative Operating Costs

Travel and accommodation for researchers.

Scientific director salary ("A") and partial teaching/clinical release ("B"); subject to approval by the Governing Board and the employer of the NCE scientific director:
a) Contributions from all federal sources towards "A" must not exceed $150K (including benefits);
b) Contribution to "B" may be up to $25K per year from NCE funds; and
c) Total support ("A" + "B") must not exceed $150K per year.

The salary support provided to the NCE scientific directors must enable them to dedicate corresponding time to Network-related activities. NCE scientific directors who receive NCE salary support may hold grants from the federal granting agencies provided they meet the eligibility requirements of the respective agencies.

Part-time salary support for university-based researchers.

Release time for teaching (except for partial release for the scientific director (NCE-Networks)

Honoraria for International Scientific Review Board members.

3. Other Costs Related to Student and Postdoctoral Fellows

Parental Leave Supplements (up to 6 months at the current level of support) for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Students or postdoctoral fellows who are eligible for parental benefits from other sources (e.g. employment insurance or other plans) must first apply to those alternate sources for parental leave support.
  2. Where parental leave support can be obtained from another source, additional NCE parental leave supplement funds may be provided to bring the total parental leave support to the maximum allowable under NCE policy.
  3. The parental leave must be taken in Canada.

The NCE parental leave supplement policy applies to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who are expectant mothers and/or the primary caregiver for a child within six months of the child's birth or adoption, and have taken leave from their home institution.


NCE-Networks Management Funds
Eligible Expenses Ineligible Expenses
1. Direct Costs of Research and Facility Access

Direct costs of equipment and supplies related to knowledge mobilization and/or technological exchange and exploitation as normally allowed by the granting agencies and detailed in the This link will take you to another Web site Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide and subject to the approval by the Governing Board.

Research-related activities.

Salaries, stipends and institutional benefits for students and postdoctoral fellows performing Network-related research.


Appendix F: Calculation of In-Kind Contributions

For all Networks of Centres of Excellence Programs, in-kind (cash equivalent) contributions are defined as cash-equivalent goods or services that represent an incremental expense that the partner would not otherwise incur and which would have to be paid for with network/centre funds if not provided by a partner. In-kind contributions should be relevant and central to the activities or mandate of the network/centre, must be eligible expenses as per the program guidelines and cannot have been used to fulfill the leveraging requirements of other federal programs.

Reporting Guidelines

  • The nature of an in-kind contribution and its valuation must be detailed. It is the responsibility of the board of directors to ensure that a proper accounting framework is created to ensure that the reported value for all items is reasonable. The NCE Secretariat may request justification in the case of questionable valuations.
  • If there is doubt about the eligibility of an in-kind contribution, the network or centre must seek clarification from the NCE Secretariat. Each case is considered on its merits, and the Secretariat exercises discretion in making the final decision.

Calculation Table

The table below is a non-exhaustive list of in-kind contributions, with an indication of how to calculate their value. If in doubt about a particular item, contact the NCE Secretariat.

Category Calculation of recognized contribution Ineligible contributions

Access to unique databases

  • Incremental cost of access
  • Cost of developing or maintaining database

Analytical and other services

  • Internal cost of services
  • Commercial cost of access


Donated (used)

  • Fair market value
  • Company book value

Donated (new)

  • Selling price to most favored customer (if stock item)
  • Cost of manufacture (if one of a kind)


  • Rental equivalent based on depreciation
  • Rental equivalent to highest-volume rate
  • List price or discounted list price
  • Rental equivalents exceeding accepted values had the equipment been donated or sold
  • Development costs


  • Cost
  • Alcoholic refreshments


  • Unit cost of production for commercial products
  • Selling price to most favoured customer
  • Price for internal transfers
  • Cost of production of prototypes and samples
  • Development costs

Intellectual property

  • Fair market value of licencing and royalties
  • Cost of maintenance and litigation
  • Licensing fees paid to partners

Professional and technical service contracts

  • Cost



  • Actual salary cost (including benefits), including non-discretionary benefits, up to a maximum of $80 / hour.
  • Remuneration for work on governing committees
  • Salary overheads, external charge-out or consultant rates


  • Most-favoured-customer cost for one licence per software package
  • Cost of equivalent commercial product (where donated software is not commercially available)
  • Cost of training and support (at the university/college site) for software by industrial partner personnel
  • Development costs

Travel costs

  • Travel costs to meet with networks and centres
  • Reasonable accommodation costs


Use of facilities

  •  Cost of access to the facility
  • Internal rates for use of specialized equipment
  • Internal rates for value of lost production, resulting from downtime
  • Rental costs for office space



Appendix G: The Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act (ATIP)

The Access to Information Act (ATI) gives Canadian citizens and people present in Canada a limited right of access to information in federal government records. The Privacy Act gives these same individuals a limited right of access to personal information about themselves held in government records and sets out rules and fair practices for the management of personal information by federal institutions. All information collected and generated in the context of the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) programs that comes under the control of the NCE Secretariat and the granting agencies is subject to these laws.

It is important to remember that the ATIP is intended to complement, not replace, established channels of communication. The NCE Secretariat promotes open, informal communication with the research community and with the public. Contact the NCE Secretariat before using the Acts.

The Access to Information Act

A requester seeking access to NCE Secretariat records under the Access to Information Act (ATIA) must write to the ATIP Co-ordinator at Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) providing a precise description of the records sought and enclosing an application fee ($5.00 at the time of this writing). Submitting a request does not guarantee that a requester will gain complete access to the requested records. The Act sets out specific exceptions and exemptions that apply in responding to such requests. For example, personal information about identifiable individuals or proprietary technical information submitted in confidence by researchers or companies would not be disclosed. Moreover, if a request requires a lengthy search or involves a large number of records, a requester could be asked to pay additional fees to help cover the processing costs.

More information about the Act can be obtained from the NSERC Access to Information and Privacy Co-ordinator (see below), the This link will take you to another Web site ATIP web page or from Info Source, a published register of federal information holdings available in most large libraries or at This link will take you to another Web site

The Privacy Act

The Privacy Act gives people in Canada certain rights with respect to personal information about them held by federal institutions. For example, institutions must inform people from (or about) whom they collect personal information, how it will be used, and to whom it will be disclosed. Personal information may be used only for the purposes for which it was originally collected or for uses consistent with that purpose. The Act also contains a procedure for requesting correction of inaccuracies in personal information.

Making a request under the Privacy Act is similar to making one under ATI except that there are no fees associated with requests to access personal information. The Privacy Act sets out limits to the right of access similar to those contained in the ATIA. For example, unless otherwise set out in advance, a person requesting access to personal information about themselves would not be given access to personal information about another.

Use and Disclosure of Personal Information Provided to the NCE Secretariat

The decision-making processes related to applications received by the NCE Secretariat are subject to more publicity than traditional grant or scholarship applications made to individuals. Applicants, co-applicants and other participants, including members of Boards of Directors, managers and other key players, should be aware that their names and affiliations will be accessible to the public. The NCE Secretariat routinely publishes and disseminates certain details about successful applications. These include: names and affiliations of applicants and co-applicants, the amount of the total award and any conditions attached to that amount, and summaries prepared by the applicant or by the Secretariat for public reference. The final reports of the NCE Secretariat selection committees or the Private Sector Advisory Board, providing an overview of a competition along with a summary of each application recommended for funding, are also publicly disseminated.

More detailed personal information about applicants and prospective administrators collected by the NCE Secretariat programs is used to review applications, to administer and monitor awards, and to promote and support research. Consistent with these purposes, applicants should also expect that personal information collected by the program might be used and disclosed in the following ways:

  1. As part of the review process, applications are disclosed to selection committees composed of experts recruited from the academic, private and public sectors. Applications may also be transmitted to external referees, to members of ad hoc review committees or to site visit committees for review. Individuals recruited by the NCE Secretariat programs to participate in these review activities are instructed to protect and to treat as confidential all information entrusted to them.
  2. The substance of expert reviews and the comments of selection committees about a proposal are accessible to all co-applicants even though reviews may occasionally include comments about a particular co-applicant. Normally, NCE Secretariat staff provides these assessments as feedback to the principal applicant only; it is expected, however, that he/she will share it with co-applicants.
  3. The NCE maintains a separate database, for the information collected through the annual reporting mechanisms of the different NCE Secretariat programs. Information collected is available to members of the NCE Management and Steering Committees or their delegates who are affiliated with a granting agency or other partners of the NCE Secretariat including Industry Canada, Health Canada, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, the Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and NSERC. 
  4. Because of the relationship between the NCE Secretariat and its partners, staff of the NCE Secretariat is usually aware of other applications submitted by the same applicants or groups to other programs within the partners. For the purposes of adjudication and award administration, selection committees may be provided with information of co-applicants' proposals and awards in all programs. In cases when, for example, there is a question of possible overlap in the support of the same research activity by two or more programs, an application submitted to one program may be used during the review of an application submitted to another program. NCE Secretariat staff may also disclose the contents of applications to program staff in the agencies for the purposes of determining the most appropriate source of funding, jurisdiction, or to monitor overlap in federal support.
  5. The NCE Secretariat and its partners may use personal information about applicants in their files and databases to identify prospective committee members and reviewers for specific grant applications, planning and evaluation purposes, audits, and to generate statistics for these activities. The agencies may also use the information in their files and databases to generate distribution lists in order to disseminate publications and other information to the research community.
  6. Data on the gender of applicants is collected by the NCE Secretariat on a voluntary basis only. While gender data on specific individuals is not used in the adjudication process, it may be used by the NCE Secretariat or its partners to promote the increased participation of a specific group in programs and on committees.

Applicants and participants in the NCE Secretariat programs are subject to the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Integrity in Research and Scholarship This link will take you to another Web site and their personal information may be used and disclosed consistent with this policy.

Information Provided to the NCE Secretariat

Information provided to the NCE Secretariat is subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. Grant applicants and recipients are encouraged to separate information not related to the grant from meetings and documentation available to the NCE Secretariat and its representatives. Furthermore, applicants and recipients should adopt the practice of labelling information as confidential when the information contains:

  1. trade secrets;
  2. financial, commercial, scientific or technical information considered confidential;
  3. information that could result in a material financial loss or gain or impact a competitive position; and
  4. information that could affect contractual or other negotiations.

Annual Reporting Information

Throughout the grant period, recipients of grants are required to provide information to the NCE Secretariat. The information collected is consolidated across the relevant NCE program(s) to generate statistical information, update operational requirements and identify best practices that may be used by staff and committees. Information used in public reports and publications is discussed with grant recipients in advance.

Non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements

Representatives of the NCE Secretariat will not enter into separate non-disclosure and/or confidentiality agreements.

For further information on the above Acts, please contact:

ATIP Coordinator
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
350 Albert Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1H5

Phone: 613-995-6214
Fax: 613-992-5337


APPENDIX H: NCE Monitoring Committee NCE NETWORK Confidential Report Card Template

The NCE Monitoring Committee recommends that the network:

  • Continue its activities
  • Be phased-out of NCE funding
  • Undergo an in-depth review by an Expert Panel

The recommendation is based on the assessment of the network’s annual progress for fiscal year 20XX-ZZ as reported in the following documents:

  • the NCE Annual Progress Report for fiscal year 20XX-20YY;
  • the list of the network’s publications and other contributions; and
  • a dashboard prepared by the NCE Secretariat that summarizes the network’s statistical and financial information.

The network was assessed as follows:

1. Progress of the NCE-Network objectives against the Excellence of the Research Program criterion:

  • Progress is better than expected
  • Progress is as expected
  • Progress is behind schedule
  • There are significant concerns with progress in this area


2. Progress of the NCE-Network objectives against to the Development of Highly Qualified Personnel criterion:

  • Progress is better than expected
  • Progress is as expected
  • Progress is behind schedule
  • There are significant concerns with progress in this area


3. Progress of the NCE-Network objectives against to the Networking and Partnerships criterion:

  • Progress is better than expected
  • Progress is as expected
  • Progress is behind schedule
  • There are significant concerns with progress in this area


4. Progress of the NCE-Network objectives against the Knowledge and Technology Exchange and Exploitation criterion:

  • Progress is better than expected
  • Progress is as expected
  • Progress is behind schedule
  • There are significant concerns with progress in this area


5. Progress of the NCE-Network against the Management of the Network criterion:

  • Appropriate
  • Issues identified
  • Not appropriate


6. Overall, the NCE-Network remains solution-driven and is involving the receptor community and the partners in such a way that benefits Canada, as outlined in the NCE-Network’s Strategic Plan:

  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • No


7. Overall, the NCE-Network is achieving its goals and milestones as set out in the NCE-Network’s Full Application:

  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • No


8. Overall, the objectives set by the NCE-Network for the upcoming fiscal year are:

  • Ambitious
  • Realistic
  • Not acceptable


9. The NCE network has incorporated feedback provided in the Expert Panel Report, NCE Standing Selection Committee Report, and past NCE Monitoring Committee Reports:

  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • No


10. General comments, e.g. strengths, areas for improvement, advice, etc.



  Eligible Expenses for
  Research Support Fund
  Chairs and Research Support Fund calculations
  Not Applicable

1) Operational Budget / Budget opérationnel


Administration Centre - Admin

Administration Centre - Special Programs

Administration Centre - Core Facilities

Administrative salaries, benefits, and management fees      
Salary and benefit of incumbent(SD only)      
Research time stipend (Scientific Director only)      
Consulting and/or technical services      
Legal fees      
Equipment (computers, etc.)      
Office Supplies/Services      
Staff travel      
BOD, RMC and other committees’ travels and accomodation      
Other (explain)      
2) Research Networking
Seminars and workshops      
Networking Meetings      
Annual Conference (NCE Funds only)      
Student support      
Other (explain)      
3) Communications
Communication activities (including annual report and newsletter)      
Web site      
Other (explain)      
4) Technology Transfer
Prototype device      
Market study      
Patenting Costs      
Policy Development/Knowledge Mobilization      
Tools, Written Materials Development      
Other (explain)      
5) Student and Postdoc Salaries
Bachelors - Canadian and Permanent Residents      
Bachelors - Foreign      
Masters - Canadian and Permanent Residents      
Masters - Foreign      
Doctorate - Canadian and Permanent Residents      
Doctorate - Foreign      
Post-doctoral Canadian and Permanent residents      
Postdoctoral Foreign      
Other (explain)