New university researchers start up program


Summary

Competition year :

2018-2019

 

Deadline (application) :

September 20th, 2017, 4 PM

 

Amount :

$20,000 to $30,000

 

Duration :

2 years

 

Announcement of results :

End of April 2018

 

Program rules

Important modifications

  • Application deadline : September 20th, 2017
  • New gateway to fill the application form in FRQnet: Electronic Portfolio
  • Relaxation of rules on citizenship and permanent residency
  • Maternity leave for students


1.

Objectives

The purpose of the New University Researchers Start-up Program is the following:

  • Contribute to fostering a new generation of researchers within the university research and teaching community by assisting new researchers who have just launched their academic career to become established as independent researchers and become competitive nationally and internationally;
  • Strengthen the research system by encouraging new researchers to develop original avenues of research.

2.

Eligibility conditions

Candidate must meet each of the following conditions:

  • Be employed by an authorized research institution at the time of the application's submission. The research institution must confirm at each grant year that the individual is continuously in its employ (including maintaining suitable visas if applicable).
  • Be a Professor or occupy a position at a similar level, or be a professorial fellow (professeur ou professeure sous octroi)[1] in a Quebec university for less than 3 years, namely that the position started September 20, 2014 or later. The candidate who will occupy such a position not later than September 1st 2018 is also eligible.
  • Have obtained his/her doctorate or successfully defended his/her doctoral dissertation at the deadline of the competition, namely no later than September 20, 2017;
  • Benefit of a teaching release of at least 25% for the duration of the grant. For instance, in the case where the teaching load is of 4 courses per year, this must be reduced by at least one course for the duration of the grant. The applicant's university must commit to respect this condition which cannot retroactively be fulfilled.
  • Candidates may ask for an extension of their eligibility period (requirement as to when the university position started) due to maternity or parental leaves, or for medical reasons.

[1] A professorial fellow (professeur ou professeure sous octroi) must occupy a position or have received a firm offer of appointment to a position with an annually renewable contract in a Québec university. The externally-funded academic appointment must have been ratified by the person or the authority responsible for approval of university appointments (or their representatives) in accordance with the constitution of the university concerned. The position held must allow the professorial fellow to perform research without any supervision from another researcher and to individually supervise undergraduate or graduate students or postdoctoral fellows.

The following candidates are not eligible:

  • Researchers who has been holding a position as professor or equivalent in one or more universities or similar establishments in Québec, Canada or abroad for a total of 3 years or more;
  • Researchers in fields that are not covered by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT) and that are not consistent with the FRQNT mission;
  • Researchers who apply for, or have been or are funded under one of the following programs : Research support for new academics of the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture (FRQSC) as well as Établissement de jeunes chercheurs of the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS). Candidates who are funded under the New university researchers start up program of the FRQNT cannot apply to the above-mentioned programs.

Candidates may apply only twice during their eligibility period. However, researchers who have already obtained a grant under the present FRQNT New University Researchers Start-up Program are not eligible.


3.

Submitting application

Applications for financial assistance must be completed on the appropriate form available at the FRQNT Web site. Text file attachments, including the 7-page project description and the list of scientific contributions, must be sent with the form. The completed form is then transmitted electronically to the FRQNT by the proper university authority. Since forms are transmitted electronically, the instructions regarding e-transactions must be followed.

If applicable, the candidate must demonstrate, within the 7-page project description, how he/she will take into consideration the question of gender in the realization of the project.

The FRQNT is using the Canadian Common CV and also requires that everyone who provides a CV encloses a PDF file detailing his/her scientific contributions (in the FRQnet electronic Portfolio). Proof of confirmation from the editor for each publication declared as submitted, accepted or in press must be inserted in the PDF file. Please read the documents entitled Preparing a CV for the FRQNT and Formatting standards for Contributions - details in your Portfolio or the FRQNT web site.

Forms may be completed in French or in English. However, the title of the project and the summary must be in French.

Standards for presentation of PDF files attached to the application form

All text file attachments must be presented on 8½ x 11-inch pages (216 mm x 279 mm) and submitted in a PDF format. . The files must not be password protected.

The description of the research project is a 7-page long PDF document which includes figures, tables, and references. The latter PDF document and any other PDF documents attached in the application form must meet the following requirements :

  • Pages must be single-spaced with a maximum of six lines of type per inch;
  • All text must be in Times New Roman font (12 pt) for users of Microsoft Office or Open Office, or in Nimbus Roman font (12 pt) for users of LaTeX;
  • Condensed fonts are not accepted;
  • Margins must be set at a minimum of 1.9 cm (¾");
  • Pages must be identified as followed:
    • Upper right corner :  Last and first name of the applicant
    • Upper left corner : TITLE OF THE ATTACHED DOCUMENT
    • Lower center : Pages 1, 2, … , 7
  • The maximum number of pages for each PDF documents is specified in the application form. Any exceeding pages are not transmitted to the reviewers.

Only official New university researchers start up program and Canadian Common CV forms, and the other required documents are accepted. Candidates are not sent notice of any information or documents missing from the file. Any documents received after the deadline for applications are not considered and files cannot be updated. Any excess pages or documents that are not required are removed from the application. These rules are strictly enforced.

Form signatories declare that the information provided is accurate and complete. They agree to abide by the rules and principles stated in the « Politique d'éthique et d'intégrité scientifique » of Fonds. Consequently, where required, researchers authorize the institution to transmit any personal information arising from application of this policy. Signatories agree to allow the information in this application to be disclosed for evaluation and examination purposes, provided those with access to the information agree to abide by standard rules of confidentiality. Furthermore, the signatories agree to share the responsibilities defined by the Government of Québec in its action plan for the management of intellectual property in universities and health and social service network institutions where research is carried out.

Your e-mail constitutes the access key to the new grant and scholarship managing system FRQnet and facilitates communication between the agency and its clientele, while complying with the Act respecting access to documents held by public bodies and the protection of personal information.

Applications that do not include the information needed to determine candidates' eligibility or to assess them are deemed inadmissible by the FRQNT.Only candidates may ask for their applications to be withdrawn.

The closing date for applications is September 20, 2017 at 4 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Saving Time).


4.

Required documents

The following documents must be electronically sent to the FRQNT by September 20, 2017 at 4 p.m (Eastern Daylight Saving Time):

  • The New university researchers start up program (Établissement de nouveaux chercheurs et nouvelles chercheuses universitaires) e-form.
  • The Canadian Common CV e-form.
  • Additional documents to be sent no later than September 20, 2017 at 4 p.m. : Two quotations from suppliers when the cost of one piece of equipment exceeds $20 000. Exceptionally, one quotation is acceptable when it is fully justified by written by the candidate.
  • A letter from the university stating the date the candidate started (or will start) his/her position as a professor and stating that a teaching release of at least 25% will be granted for the period covered by the grant. In the case of funded researchers (professeurs our professeures sous octroi), this letter must also state that the salary of the candidate will be covered by the university or another source for the duration of the grant;
  • if applicable, a letter from the proper authorities of the institution attesting that the candidate successfully defended the dissertation and that the degree is forthcoming;
  • If applicable, a document from a doctor or the employer attesting any maternity or sick leave, or an attestation of parental leave or leave for any other family reason.

The FRQNT reserves the right to verify with the relevant agencies the authenticity of all documents and information provided in the application.


5.

Eligibility

The program administrator, scientific advisors and members of the multidisciplinary evaluation committees assess during the whole process the eligibility status of each application in accordance with the conditions specified in the program rules.

The decision with respect to the eligibility of the application is e-mailed to the candidate.


6.

Evaluation of applications

Evaluation criteria:

Applications are evaluated based on the following criteria and weighting:

  •       Quality of the researcher (50 points);
  •       Quality of the research project (50 points);

The following indicators are used to determine the quality of the researcher:

  • Ability of the researcher to carry out the proposed research activities;
  • The researcher's scientific achievements and, if applicable, grants awarded on the basis of peer reviews. The time dedicated to student supervision is also taken into account;
  • Innovations within industry or a research laboratory outside the academic community, if applicable;
  • Knowledge transfer activities, such as the organization of seminars, study days, symposiums or training sessions, if applicable;
  • Activities for dissemination to the general public, such as media relations, video production, general public activities, production of popularized content for mass media, the web and social media, if applicable.

The following indicators are used to determine the quality of the research project:

  • Contribution to the advancement of knowledge in one or more field or contribution to the resolution of social, economic or industrial problems or issues;
  • Quality of the theoretical approach and clarity of the objectives pursued;
  • Precision and relevance of the proposed methodology and feasibility of the timetable;
  • Originality of the research project compared to the candidate's work during training or his/her research experience;
  • Potential of student supervision;
  • Availability of research infrastructures and equipment to realize the project;
  • Budget justification and link, if applicable, with other sources of funding.

The following criteria are used to evaluate requests for equipment:

  • Relevance of the requested equipment for achievement of the research project;
  • If applicable, complementarity of the requested equipment with those obtained or requested from other funding agencies (CFI, NSERC, etc...);
  • Availability of similar equipment at the candidate's university or the region's universities.

Evaluation procedures:

Eligible applications are forwarded to FRQNT scientific advisors who distribute them through the different multidisciplinary evaluation committees according to the discipline of the proposed research project. Scientific advisors create as many committees as judged necessary and entrust to each of them the analysis of a limited number of proposals.

Eligible applications are reviewed by multidisciplinary evaluation committees assisted by external referees.

Role of multidisciplinary evaluation committees

The multidisciplinary evaluation committees assess applications according to the program's evaluation criteria.

The multidisciplinary evaluation committees are also responsible for ranking the applications on merit and for identifying those they wish to recommend to the Board of Directors for funding.

Role of external referees

The external referees report on the scientific quality of researchers and on the quality of the proposed research project accordingly to these two evaluation criteria.

Role of Program Administrator

The Program Administrator is responsible for ensuring that the committees and the external referees comply with the current rules of the program, and standard rules of ethics.


7.

Announcement of results

Recommendations from the multidisciplinary evaluation committees are submitted to the Board of Directors of the FRQNT who makes the funding decisions.

The decisions of the Board of Directors of the FRQNT are final and cannot be appealed.

The results will be announced by the end of April 2017. The decisions of the Board of Directors of the FRQNT are sent to concerned applicants and institutions. For information on the results, the applicant must refer to his/her institution's research office or the FRQNT's website.

Grants are conditional to the budget allocation from the Assemblée nationale du Québec and decisions from the Board of Directors of FRQNT. The value of the grants may be changed at any time without notice. Thus, it is highly recommended to not commit expenditures before the amount of funding is officially announced.


8.

Description and nature of the financial assistance

Once the results are announced, funded new researchers should refer to the Common General Rules and the specific rules of the current program available at the FRQNT Web site. These documents provide the information relative to grant management.

Operating grant

The financial assistance awarded consists of an operating grant of up to $20 000 a year for two years. This maximum is $30 000 for new researchers acting in the regions.

The grant must be used for funding the operating expenses directly related to carrying out of the research project. Only the following items are eligible:

Remuneration according to prevailing institutional standards (including fringe benefits)

  • College students
  • Undergraduate students
  • Master's students
  • Ph.D. students
  • Postdoctoral research trainees
  • Research professionals
  • Research technicians

Fellowship and fellowship supplements

  • College students
  • Undergraduate students
  • Master's students
  • Ph.D. students
  • Postdoctoral research trainees

Other expenses

  • Travel and lodging expenses linked to the research*
  • Congress, meetings and symposium*
  • Research material,  supplies analysis fees
  • Laboratory animals (purchase and daily fees)
  • Study participants
  • Safety and waste disposal
  • Equipments (purchase of small equipments less than $7,000, renting, operation, maintenance, installation and repairs)
  • Shipping for research material and equipment
  • Telecommunications
  • Computer equipments
  • Database purchase and access
  • Editing, reprography, and translation
  • Publications
  • Dissemination and knowledge transfer†
  • Web site linked to the research itself

* See also the measures to reconcile work and family life in the Common general rules (section 8.5)

†Expenses related to the dissemination of research results to the public (e.g. media relations, video production, general public activities, production of popularized content for mass media, the web and social media) and those generated through ethics activities are also eligible.

Student maternity leave

A student who receives an award funded by a grant under this program can get paid maternity leave for a period of up to eight months for the birth or adoption of a child. To be eligible, the student must have been paid from the FRQNT grant for at least 6 months. In addition, she may not hold an award from another granting agency and may not receive benefits from the Québec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP).

To obtain paid maternity leave, the student must send a request by e-mail to the program officer and provide a copy of the medical certificate attesting to the pregnancy and, when the time comes, the child's birth or adoption certificate and proof of interruption of university enrolment. In addition, a copy of the student's award contract must be provided. Only one maternity leave is granted per child.

Maternity leave may begin before the birth or adoption of the child. If permitted by the institution, the student may extend the leave for an additional period of four months without pay. The FRQNT will transfer the maternity leave grant to the student upon receipt of the required documents.

Maternity leave is authorized by the Fonds provided that the institution allows maternity leave. The grant director undertakes to resume supervision of the student after her leave. The Fonds reserves the right to reject any request that is not adequately justified

Equipment grant

An equipment grant may be added to the operating grant for the purchase of scientific equipments which unit cost is of $7 001 or more. This grant, up to $50 000 (all taxes included), is awarded on the merit of the research project and is based on the researcher's needs. Candidates who have been successful in obtaining a CFI or NSERC equipment grant may exceptionally submit an equipment grant in as much as it is well justified.

Applications for equipment must be made the first year for any period for which an operating grant is requested. The appropriations are issued in full the first year but may be spent any time in the two years covered by the grant. Except specific circumstances, the equipment grant can only be used to buy the equipments originally requested in the proposal.

For equipment whose total cost exceeds $50 000, the FRQNT contribution comes into effect as soon as candidates submit supporting documents indicating they have obtained other sources of complementary funding for the purchase of the requested equipment.


9.

Duration of grants

Grants are awarded annually for the period from April 1 to March 31 for up to two years and are not renewable. The balance remaining upon expiry of the funding period may be carried over, but only for one more year. Any balance after this additional year must be returned to the FRQNT.


11.

Integrity of the Evaluation Process

At no time may applicants or their institutional authorities make contact with evaluation committee members, unless such contact is specified as part of the evaluation process. Similarly, evaluation committee members must not make contact with applicants, unless such contact is specifically indicated in the evaluation process. The identities of evaluation committee members are kept confidential to avoid any attempt at collusion. The Fonds reserve the right to withdraw an application from competition if there is any inappropriate intervention, lobby, undue influence or collusion during the evaluation process, as stipulated in the Policy for the Responsible Conduct of Research.


12.

Liability of the Fonds

The Fonds make all reasonable efforts to ensure optimal service. However, they cannot be held liable for any direct or indirect damage resulting from their handling of applications for funding. Furthermore, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the Fonds are not liable for any direct or indirect damage resulting from the disclosure of personal or confidential information that was not authorized by the Fonds.


13.

False or misleading information

The Fonds presume the good faith of the declaration provided in funding applications or in any other document submitted at any time during the funding cycle, from the initial funding application to the final report. Applicants and funding holder must be transparent and provide accurate and precise information. They must be conscientious about advising the Fonds of any changes in their situation, where applicable. Such qualities are essential to maintaining the trust of the Fonds in its funding holders.

Under the Act Respecting the Ministère de l'Enseignement supérieur, de la Recherche, de la Science et de la Technologie (CQLR, c. M-15.1.0.1), any individual who submits an application containing false or misleading information to obtain or procure financial support is committing an offence, is liable to a fine and could be barred from receiving financial support for a period of up to five years. Where a legal person commits such an offence, every director or representative of that legal person who was aware of the offence may be liable to a fine. Furthermore, such a declaration constitutes a breach of responsible research conduct, as set forth in the Fonds de recherche du Québec Policy for the Responsible Conduct of Research, and may be subject to sanctions in accordance with this policy.

The Fonds reserve the right to take immediate measures to stop the use of public funds obtained through false or misleading information, and to take legal action to recover fraudulently obtained funds and claim compensation for damages caused where appropriate.


Do you have questions?

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Guy Tremblay

Program Manager

 nouvcherc.nt

418 643-8560 ext: 3439