The Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) Program supports the training of highly qualified students and postdoctoral fellows from Canada and abroad through the development of innovative training programs that:

  • Encourage collaborative and integrative approaches and address significant scientific challenges associated with Canada’s research priorities; and
  • Facilitate the transition of new researchers from trainees to productive employees in the Canadian workforce.

A yearly quota has been established for each univerity, and only researchers selected at their university can submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) to NSERC. For this cycle, Western's quota is limited to six LOI submissions. Westerm has implemented an internal review process to select applications that will be submitted to NSERC.

Western Application Process

  • March 13, 2023: Deadline for submission of Western Internal LOIs
  • Late March: Review Panel meets to adjudicate submitted LOIs
  • March 30, 2023: Review panel decisions and feedback communicated to applicants
  • April 17, 2023: Draft of institutional letter of support submitted to Western Research for institutional approval and signature
  • April 24, 2023: ROLA and final LOI submitted to Western Research
  • May 1, 2023: Final submission of LOIs in the NSERC online system by 2 p.m. for forwarding to NSERC (by Western Research)
  • June 30, 2023: Invitations from NSERC to selected applicants to submit full application
  • August 2023: Draft application submitted to Western Research for review, including draft of institutional letter of support and letters of support from collaborating non-academic organizations, if applicable
  • September 15, 2023: ROLA and final application submitted to Western Research
  • September 22, 2023: Submission of application to NSERC by 2 p.m.

*Please check with your faculty research offices for additional timelines and options for content review*

An Internal LOI package must be submitted by 5 p.m. on March 13, 2023 to be considered for Western's quota. An internal LOI package will include:

The LOI should adhere to NSERC's attachment standards. 

Program Objectives

Successful applicants will consist of a group of accomplished researchers who will work collaboratively to offer a defined research training program to a group of trainees. The research training experience should focus on providing an enriched training experience for graduate (master’s and doctoral) students. Undergraduate students and postdoctoral fellows can be supported and integrated into the training program, but must be justified.

The CREATE program promotes and furthers the development of new researchers within the natural sciences and engineering (NSE) disciplines, or at the interdisciplinary frontier between NSE and areas covered under the umbrella of SSHRC or CIHR if, by combining the strengths of the various disciplines, a greater impact is achieved for the trainees. Where appropriate, proposed initiatives could also encourage interaction with the users of research and future employers of the trainees, or contribute to providing additional opportunities for students to participate in exchanges at the national or international level.

CREATE Requirements (Instituted 2023-24 cycle)

  • Increased focus on mentoring within the CREATE proposal
    1. Outline of the training program must describe how the proposed approach, including the role of mentoring, will better prepare trainees for future careers (Maximum of two pages)
    2. Excellence of the proposed team of researchers must provide information on the team’s past contributions to the training and mentoring of HQP
  • Excellence of proposed team of researchers section – (maximum of three pages at LOI)
  • Applicants must provide eight external reviewer suggestions at LOI (minimum two from Canada and one from abroad)

Documents and Resources


For more information, or questions relating to the CREATE program, please contact Suramya Mihindukulasuriya , Research Development Officer