Putting together a funding proposal can be an involved undertaking, but the National Cybersecurity Consortium (NCC) team is here to support applicants during the process. Below you’ll find a list of questions that our team is frequently asked. If you’d like to learn more, you can refer to our 2024 Call for Proposals Guide or reach out directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
An organization can submit multiple projects in different streams as appropriate. However, the same project cannot be submitted under multiple streams.
There is no set limit in terms of the number of proposals to be funded. There is an approximate amount of dollars that will be allocated to the present call which will define the number of projects approved.
In the 2024 Call for Proposals, the NCC anticipates granting approximately $18M in funds to support $60M+ worth of cybersecurity activities in Canada.
Should the project be successful, Eligible Expenses and Matching Contributions incurred as of April 26th, 2024, are eligible to be claimed.
Matching contributions do not need to be committed when submitting your LOI. However, Letters of Commitment are strongly encouraged to be submitted as part of your Project Proposal in Stage two and are required at Stage three of the Grant Competition.
The Lead Organization (the organization with which the Project Lead is affiliated) does not need to be an NCC Member at the time of LOI submission. However, should the LOI be selected to proceed to Stage 2 of the Grant Competition, the Lead Organization will need to be a member in good standing (i.e., base membership paid) in order to progress through Stage 2. More information on NCC’s Membership can be found here.
Project Leads are required to have an Authorized Signatory to consent and submit the LOI and Project Proposal submissions. The Authorized Signatory is an individual who holds responsibility to submit the application on behalf of the Organization that the Project Lead is affiliated with and has the authority to legally bind the Organization to financial and contractual decisions.
All applicants will be notified by March 15th, 2024, whether their LOI has been selected to proceed to Stage 2.
Further timelines for the Grant Competition Timeline can be found in the table below.
|Pre-Launch Information sessions
|Each webinar session is scheduled for 1 hour, beginning at 1pm ET.
|Call Launch with LOI Application available
|Each webinar session is scheduled for 1.5 hours, beginning at 1:30pm ET:
February 21 (EN)
February 22 (FR)
|Project Proposal Launch (by invitation)
|Project Proposal Period Closes
|Evaluation Review Period
|May 13 – June 28
|Administrative Application Period (by invitation)
|July 1 – July 28
|Administrative Application Review
|August 1 – 31
|Public Announcement of Awarded projects
Once you register in the Adsigno Portal, click on the LOIs box to select the appropriate funding stream. Once you complete the eligibility screening questions, the LOI application tab will have an “LOI Summary button” near the top that generates a PDF. This can be used as a template.
Please reach out to email@example.com if the generated PDF does not meet your accessibility needs.
Collaborators can be from any of the following types of partner organizations:
- Centres of expertise on cybersecurity affiliated with post-secondary institutions;
- academia; and,
- not-for-profit organizations.
Collaboration within an organization is acceptable, however it is encouraged that collaborators be external to the organization and from across Canada. The geographic location and diversity of the team will be considered as part of the Project Proposal evaluation in Stage 2.
Collaborations outside of Canada are possible, but costs incurred outside Canada cannot exceed 10% of the awarded NCC funds. Intellectual Property arrangements will also need to comply with the NCC’s Ultimate Recipient Agreement that is signed with the awarded organization.
Note: The NCC follows the Government of Canada’s Guidelines and Tools to Implement Research Security, which includes Sensitive Technology Research and Affiliations of Concern. Should your project be awarded, the Lead Organization (Ultimate Recipient) will be required to complete an attestation that these Government of Canada policies be adhered to.
As the NCC strives to develop a pan-Canadian network of cybersecurity professionals and experts, we will review projects at the LOI phase and identify any potential collaborations. Applicants will be notified of these potential collaboration opportunities and although not required, we would strongly encourage these potential collaborations be included in the Project Proposal if appropriate.
To participate in our funding competitions, an organization must be eligible to receive and administer NCC funding.
Eligible organizations include:
- Post-secondary Institutions;
- industry; and
- non-profit organizations.
To be eligible, an organization must be:
- Situated in Canada or carry out their activities primarily in Canada; and
- a member in good standing with the NCC to proceed to Stage 2 of the Grant Competition Process should your LOI be selected.
Additional clarification and documentation may be requested by the NCC to confirm eligibility.
The Project Lead identified on a project must have a full-time position (full time employment)/tenure-track, or tenured appointment with the Lead Organization with which they are affiliated.
Cost-matching contributions can be from any non-federal government (Canadian) source, including:
- Centres of expertise on cybersecurity affiliated with post-secondary organizations;
- private sector;
- Canadian post-secondary organizations;
- not-for-profit and/or philanthropic sources; and
- provincial/territorial/municipal governments.
Projects have different maximum funding requests and matching contributions depending on the stream selected. See the table:
|Maximum Request of NCC Funding (CDN $)
|Recommended* Matching Contribution
|Matching not required
*Applicants are strongly encouraged to meet the recommended level of matching contribution for their proposals. This is a part of the Evaluation Review Criteria as described in the 2024 Call for Proposals Guide. Projects with high merit in other Evaluation Review Criteria may be funded with lower matching contribution ratios at the discretion of the NCC.
Matching contributions may be either monetary (cash or actual costs including employee salaries) or non-monetary (“in-kind”).
Cash – any monies that would have to be spent for the project if this was not being provided from another source.
In-Kind – means cash-equivalent goods or services that replace an incremental expense that would be paid with the awarded funds.
It is recommended that matching contributions are comprised of 50% cash as defined above. The relative composition of matching funds (cash versus in-kind) is part of the Evaluation Review Criteria. Projects with high merit in other Evaluation Review Criteria may be funded with lower cash contribution ratios at the discretion of the NCC.
Federal funds are not eligible as a source of matching contributions; however, we encourage you to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss further. Provincial, territorial and municipal government funds are eligible as a source of matching contributions.
Existing funds (from non-federal sources) can be used for projects if they are not committed to another research project. All funds need to be used for eligible project costs, toward activities related to the project. Conceptual and/or financial overlap occurs when the ideas in the proposal are, or appear to be, the same ideas that are supported by other sources (applicant’s other projects/programs). Complementary parts of an applicant’s research program can be supported by different sources. The onus is on the applicant to differentiate between the proposal to be covered by NCC and other research programs/projects supported by other sources. Funds requested from the NCC must support the proposal. It is not sufficient to simply state that there is no overlap.
Federal sources of funds are not eligible as matching funds. This option is not available for the current call for proposals.
Spearhead projects are research and development projects that originate from post-secondary educational institutions (PSE) and/or not-for-profit (NFP) organizations but do not have matching contributions identified.
Spearhead projects should be novel in nature and explore riskier early-stage ideas. However, they are NOT curiosity-driven projects. A spearhead project should have defined goals and milestones but should be sufficiently flexible to adapt as new insights emerge. Thus, the approaches to the goals may change but the goals should remain the same. Changes to goals and milestones will need to be reported in advance of such alternations as specified in the reporting requirements of the Program Guide.
Note: Although no matching contributions are required for a spearhead project, a plan must be provided to describe how a broader set of collaborators will be engaged over the lifespan of the project. These must be measurable (e.g., a private sector partner will be onboarded by Y2/Q3 to provide expertise and/or funding; or three not-for-profit organizations will be approached to work on an initiative to expand to areas beyond the applicant’s local jurisdiction). The purpose is to expand the project’s participants and broaden its potential impact beyond the lab. In addition, it is anticipated that this could allow for a subsequent application to the NCC in the Standard category to continue to move the idea forward.
Standard projects are research, training, or commercialization projects that are larger in scope and have clearly defined goals and milestones.
For Standard projects matching contributions do not have to have been fully secured at Stage 1 or 2 of the grant competition process but must be in place and documented with commitment letters, by the time the Stage 3 submission is made. Matching contributions can be drawn from the public sector including post-secondaries (see Pre-award Program Guide for detailed allowable matching), the private sector, philanthropic sources, provincial/territorial and municipal government sources, and/or not-for-profit organizations.
Yes, companies can submit commercialization projects without partnering with academic institutions.
Yes, training projects for K-12 students will be considered for funding.