Terms of Reference

Grants may be awarded by the Nova Scotia Museum (NSM) Board of Governors to individuals conducting research in Nova Scotia. The focus of the grants should be linked to one or both of the following two broad themes: Natural History and Cultural History. These grants are known as the Nova Scotia Museum Research Grants. Support is also available to researchers through this program for travel to Nova Scotia and Museum sites for the purposes of working with the Nova Scotia Collection and relevant curatorial staff.

Selection will be made by the NSM Board of Governors (BOG) on the recommendation of committees made up of one or more members of the BOG whenever possible, and NSM curatorial staff from relevant discipline areas. There will be a separate committee for each theme area (Natural History; Cultural History). The committees may also include other professionals (both NSM staff and or from the community) representing the specializations being considered for an award. NSM collections staff reserve the right to determine the makeup of the committee each year based on departmental priorities and internal capacity. Applications for travel funding will be reviewed by the relevant committee as part of the overall grant proposal review process.

Eligible costs to which the research grants may apply include travel, field expenses, data collection and analysis, report preparation, photography, rental of equipment, hiring a research assistant (not to exceed 50% of the applicant’s budget), and other costs directly associated with the project. Eligible costs for travel include transportation, accommodation, and meals for trips to NSM sites, collections facilities, and/or Nova Scotia field research areas for visiting researchers.

The grant will be valued at not more than $10,000.00 (CAD) per project.  The NSM will seek to maximize the number of funded projects each year within the total funding envelope.

Research grants may be combined with other funding sources supporting the project. Priority for funding will be for graduate students or community-based researchers with a project that directly links to Nova Scotia Museum priorities and research, and departmental focus areas.

Individuals receiving grants should be associated with a recognized research institution or society, such as a museum, university, incorporated society, or recognized community organization. Unaffiliated private researchers may be eligible for grants if they are able to demonstrate a credible track record with either peer-reviewed publications or juried creative works.

If projects are judged to be of equal value, the project which most closely aligns with the research and outreach focus areas of the Nova Scotia Museum and the priorities of the Department of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage will be favoured.

The Board of Governors and the Nova Scotia Museum reserve the right to modify grant categories and amounts based on priorities and budgets in any given year. Should suitable proposals not be received for a category, no grants will be funded. All decisions are final and not subject to appeal.

Application Guidelines:

Proposed projects must meet the following criteria:

  1. All, or most, of the research must be carried out in Nova Scotia or involve specimens, artifacts, or archival records of Nova Scotia origin.
  2. Studies and research projects must be directly linked to the Nova Scotia Museum provincial collection and/or identified NSM research priorities (see section d). below)
  3. The Board of Governors encourages proposals that support the use of multi-media and digital imagery, and innovative ways of explaining Nova Scotia’s Natural and Cultural History.
  4. Proposed projects must fit within either (or both) of the broad categories of Natural History or Cultural History. These can include projects in any NSM Curatorial discipline area (Archaeology, Botany, Cultural History, Ethnology, Industrial History, Marine History, Mi’kmaq Cultural History, Zoology), and must clearly demonstrate their link to the Nova Scotia Museum collection and research priorities. The Nova Scotia Museum reserves the right to identify additional or more specific research topics as required, and/or not offer certain research topics temporarily.

Individuals receiving Nova Scotia Research Grants agree to:

  1. Give the Nova Scotia Museum right of first refusal to any collections or research data generated during the course of the project, unless otherwise negotiated in advance.
  2. Acknowledge support by noting the name of the grant in full in all publications or press releases resulting from grant-supported research.
  3. Provide a final summary report outlining research activities carried out and any significant findings, and a budget outlining how funds were used within one year of receiving grant funds. If a project requires additional time, an interim report may be submitted at the one year mark, followed by a final report no later than 2 years after receiving funds.
  4. Provide the following deliverables (as appropriate based on the project): a single reprint of any publications, articles, digital media, technical or popular papers, books, or monographs reporting research supported by the grant and, in the case of students, a single copy of the final thesis or research project. Other deliverables such as conservation plans, exhibit plans, virtual exhibits, or interpretative products are also acceptable.
  5. Give the NSM permission to use materials generated in the report in interpretive products or museum exhibit materials.

The successful applicant will receive 70% of the award at the beginning of the project, with the balance withheld pending receipt of a satisfactory final report by the Executive Director of Archives, Museums and Libraries. Final reports should be sent to museumgrants@novascotia.ca

Any person who has received an NSM research grant in the past and has outstanding deliverables (e.g., interim, or final reports, etc.) will be ineligible for NSM Research Grant funding until they have fulfilled their previous research grant obligations.

Recipients of Nova Scotia Museum Research Grants may apply to other granting agencies for support for the same project, and this is encouraged.

The Nova Scotia Museum reserves the right to publicize the awarding of grants and the results of research.

Grant recipients may choose to have their funding paid to and administered by an affiliated organization or institution.


Note: If paid directly to individuals, Nova Scotia Museum Research Grants are considered by the Canada Revenue Agency to be taxable income for the individual recipient. For up-to-date taxation information, contact the Canada Revenue Agency.


Nova Scotia Museum Research Grants - Terms of Reference

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