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GEM Grants & Contribution

Funding is mostly allocated through competitive process through Calls for proposals (solicited proposals). Outside of a call for proposals, unsolicited proposals may be considered if they are directly aligned with Program outputs and/or outcomes, subject to budget availability and time.  Both solicited and unsolicited proposals are evaluated against program’s assessment criteria.

Eligible Projects

Projects will be considered eligible for funding if they are in line with, and support the outputs and/or outcomes of the GEM program.

Project activities include:

  • Enhanced use of GEM data and knowledge to support decision making in the North;
  • Integration of Traditional Knowledge in development of Geoscience knowledge and tools;
  • Enhanced exchange and integration of GEM data and knowledge by Northerners and their institutions;
  • Enhanced northern geoscience capacity;
  • Northern outreach and partnership development.

Eligible Recipients

Eligible Recipients are:

  • Canadian and international not-for profit organizations (including industry and research and professional associations);
  • Canadian and international academic institutions;
  • First Nations and Indigenous organizations and groups;
  • Provincial, Territorial, Regional, and Municipal governments and their departments and agencies where applicable.

Eligible Expenditures

Eligible Expenditures must be directly related to the approved projects and may include:

  • salaries and benefits;
  • professional, scientific and contracting services;
  • travel expenditures, including meals and accommodation, based on National Joint Council Rates. For academic institutions, travel expenditures may be in accordance with their established policies and directives;
  • transportation rentals and leases;
  • field equipment;
  • facility rentals and meeting expenses;
  • communications materials, including: translation, printing and binding, promotion of workshops and publication of project reports;
  • office  operating  and  maintenance  expenditures  that  directly  support  the  project, (E.g. materials, supplies and equipment including computer software and computer support services);
  • accounting/administrative services (not to exceed 15% of total project costs); and,
  • Goods and Services Tax, Provincial Sales Tax, and Harmonized Sales Tax, net of any tax rebate to which the Recipient is entitled

Application Requirements

Proposals submitted to the Program may be done electronically or in hard copy using the template available upon request by emailing

Applicant proposals will include the following details:

  • Contact information for the project applicant (name, mailing and e-mail address, phone number, organizational affiliation);
  • Project title and amount of funding, in Canadian currency, requested under the Program;
  • Detailed description of the project that includes: Background/Context; Objective/Purpose; and, Detailed work plan for the duration of the project;
  • Detailed budget by category of expenditure and year, including projected cash flow forecast;
  • Description of the capacity and capability of the institution to deliver the project;
  • The extent to which project activities will contribute to the relevant geoscience program outcomes, and a catalogue of anticipated project results/deliverables; and,
  • Information on project funding and in-kind contributions expected from all sources including the Recipient, federal sources, and other supporters in total and by year.

The application will also include statements where the applicant will agree:

  • To comply with the Official Languages Act;
  • If applicable, comply with the Conflict of Interest and Post-employment Code for Public Office Holders; and,
  • To confirm that no member of the House of Commons or Senate will be admitted to any share or part of the proposed activity, or to any benefit arising therefrom.

Assessment Criteria

After verifying the eligibility of the Recipient, proposals/applications will initially be reviewed and assessed for alignment with program objectives. The objective of the GEM program is to help the North realize its full economic and social potential by improving regional geological mapping for responsible resource exploration and development of new mineral deposits or energy reservoirs.

Proposals deemed to be aligned with the program objectives are assessed against the following criteria:

  • Duration of the project, and requested budget (i.e. size and scope);
  • Risks associated with the project (e.g. proposed work plan/methodologies to achieve project objectives are appropriate/adequate; Recipient possesses suitable capacity to deliver the project);
  • The estimated cash and in-kind contributions being made to the project by the Recipient and other stakeholders/participants;
  • Whether alternatives to the project being proposed exist; and,
  • The amount of funding available, and any limits set by the program Grants and Contributions Terms and Conditions or proposal solicitation documents.

Maximum Amount Payable

The maximum amount payable per Recipient per fiscal year will not exceed $100,000 (Canadian) and over the life of the GEM-2 program, the cumulative amount payable per Recipient, will not exceed $250,000 (Canadian) in the case of contribution and 350,000 (Canadian) in the case of grant.

Stacking of Assistance

The maximum level of total Canadian government funding (federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal) authorized under the terms and conditions are one hundred percent (100%) of Total Project Costs.  The federal government’s contribution will be limited to 75% of total project costs; however, for agreements involving academic institutions, federal contributions will be limited to 95% of total project costs.

In the event that actual Total Government Assistance to a Recipient exceeds the eligible expenditures, NRCan will adjust its level of funding (and seek reimbursement, if necessary) so that the stacking limit is not exceeded.

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