Plastics science for a cleaner future – Full Application

Community, Regional & Enterprise Development
Creative Arts, Culture and Heritage
Environment, Energy and Natural Resources


Academic Unit: Inquire with your unit

Memorial Deadline: Monday 28th, September 2020

External Deadline: Thursday 1st, October 2020


SIRI will be offering support with application development for this opportunity. Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact Jennifer Stevens ( early during the development process to discuss the services available to them.

The Government of Canada has made reducing plastic pollution and its impacts a priority. In 2018, to help reduce plastic waste and pollution and to shift to a circular economy for plastics in Canada, the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) released a Canada-wide strategy on zero plastic waste.

To support a role for science in achieving the goals of the strategy, the federal government also developed Canada’s Plastics Science Agenda (CaPSA). CaPSA identifies priority research areas to inform research investments for detecting plastics in the environment; understanding and mitigating potential impacts to wildlife, human health, and the environment; and advancing sustainable plastic production, recycling and recovery.

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and Health Canada recently released a Draft science assessment of plastic pollution, which reviews the available scientific information on the occurrence and impact of plastic pollution on the environment and human health. The report also identified key knowledge gaps and recommended further research to improve understanding of the hazards posed by plastic pollution. This call for proposals will increase the available science in these areas.

Informed by CaPSA and the Draft science assessment of plastic pollution, ECCC and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) are collaborating to support research that will increase scientific knowledge to achieve Canada’s zero plastic waste targets (outlined in the strategy and the  Ocean Plastics Charter) and to inform the advancement of policy and regulatory measures. This call focuses on research to detect and characterize plastics in the environment, and exposure and effects of plastics on wildlife and human health. This call is to fund multidisciplinary, collaborative networks of researchers to address the research objectives. This approach will help advance knowledge of standardized and harmonized methods and will support innovative, robust, and authoritative studies on plastic pollution.

Individual proposals should not exceed four years or $1,000,000. This competition aims to fund an average of two projects per research objective. To apply, you must submit a letter of intent. If your project is selected, you will be invited to submit a full application.

You are encouraged to collaborate with knowledge users (such as government policymakers, stewardship councils, communities, etc.) to support knowledge mobilization. You are also strongly encouraged to bring together multidisciplinary expertise within networked project teams (e.g., resin experts to support innovative characterization methods, various laboratories to assess methods, and artificial intelligence or remote sensing experts to support identification, characterization, and modelling).

All project expenditures are subject to the principles and directives governing the appropriate use of grant funds as outlined in the Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration. The maximum level of total government assistance (from federal, provincial, and municipal governments for the same eligible expenditures) must not exceed 100 per cent of eligible expenditures. You must follow the Tri-Council Open Access Policy, and you are also encouraged to make any publication data resulting from funded projects open access.

Additional information can be found here.

Funding Sources

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)

This opportunity was posted by: RGCS

Last modified: June 19, 2020