Research program for college


Summary

Competition year :

2020-2021

 

Deadline (application) :

October 16th, 2019, 4 PM

 

Amount :

Maximum of $32 000

 

Duration :

2 to 3 years

 

Announcement of results :

End of April 2020

 

Program rules

Important modifications to the rules

  • New weighting and specificity regarding the criteria for the evaluation process ;
  • New eligibility condition : have a Master's or PhD  ;
  • New required document : a letter from the candidate's institution ;
  • A checklist to submit the application is available in the Program Toolbox for applicants and managers.

Important: To submit an application or access the application forms, the link to the FRQnet Electronic Portfolio is available under the Portal Access tab of the website.

More information is available in the About FRQnet section.

This program is based on the Common General Rules (CGR), which govern all FRQNT programming. Only the special conditions applicable to the Research Program for College Researchers are indicated in this document, and these prevail over the Common General Rules.

The Fonds requires the Common Canadian CV and its PDF file of detailed contributions to be included in the appropriate section of the E-portfolio. The applicant must complete the Fonds Nature et technologies version of the Common Canadian CV, update this document within 12 months prior to the competition deadline, and complete the Detailed Contributions file in due form. The documents Preparing a CV for the Fonds and Detailed Contributions attachment, available in the program's Toolbox, can be consulted as needed.

ANY APPLICATION THAT IS INCOMPLETE AT THE COMPETITION DEADLINE OF 4 PM ON OCTOBER 16, 2019 WILL BE DEEMED INELIGIBLE BY THE FONDS.


1.

Objectives

The Research Program for College has the following objectives:

  • Promote and maintain a quality diverse, equitable and inclusive research base in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering in colleges and college centres for technology transfer (CCTTs);
  • Foster the emergence, establishment and retention of researchers in the college network;
  • Foster the transfer of technological and scientific know-how;
  • Prompt college students to do research in natural sciences, mathematics and engineering.

2.

Eligibility conditions

 
It is the candidates' responsibility to verify, sufficiently in advance, the eligibility of their application with their managing institution.

In order to be eligible for the program, the college researcher must:

  •   Be permanently or temporarily employed by a college recognized by the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) to manage funding or a CCTT, at the time of application and throughout the duration of funding. The managing institution must confirm at each grant year that the individual is continuously in its employ;
  •   Be employed full time, have a Master's or PhD, and possess the professional autonomy to lead research projects and supervise students; or iii) in a college in which at least 75% of their time is dedicated to research activities.

The following are not eligible:

  •   Researchers who do not meet the eligibility requirements listed above;
  •   Researchers whose work is in a field that is not covered by the FRQNT and is not consistent with the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT) mission.

The applicant may submit only one application for funding to each competition and cannot hold simultaneously two grants through this program.


3.

Contents of the funding application and required documents

Required documents

The funding application must be submitted to the Fonds electronically. It must be completed using the appropriate form available in the FRQnet E-portfolio. Various documents are to be attached to the form in the sections intended for that purpose. The application includes 5 items:

1) The funding application (FRQnet E-portfolio)

This form has several sections to complete and requires the uploading of documents. The sections may be completed in English or French. However, the title and project summary must imperatively be in French. If applicable, the candidate must demonstrate, in the appropriate section, how the question of gender or sex, as well as environmental impact, will be taken into consideration in the realization of the research project.

2) A description of the research project (PDF attached to the form)

Maximum 7 pages (including figures, tables and bibliography) meeting the strict presentation standards set out below.

3) Justification of planned expenditures (PDF attached to the form)

1 page. It is the candidate's responsibility to ensure that the planned expenditures do NOT EXCEED the maximum annual budget or the maximum program budget (see Section 7 — Description and nature of funding), otherwise the application will be deemed INELIGIBLE.

4) A letter from the candidate's institution (PDF attached to the form)

A 1-page document that must be attached in the "Other documents" section of the electronic form. This letter written and signed by the managing institution must indicate the full-time position held by the candidate's and his or her employment starting date.

5) The Canadian Common CV and "Detailed Contributions" attachment (PDF attached in the FRQnet E-portfolio)

The CCV and Detailed Contributions document must be attached in the "Canadian Common CV" section. The CCV should cover only the past 5 years prior to the competition deadline. To create this document, please consult the document Preparing a CV for the Fonds. Note: candidates who already have a CCV must have updated it within one year prior to the competition deadline.

The list of scientific contributions should present the candidate's most relevant achievements since the beginning of his/her career (with no time restriction, unlike the CCV). However, the list of publications in the detailed contributions document should be limited to the last 5 years prior to the competition deadline. Proof of publication status (submitted, accepted, etc.) must also be included in the PDF document. For more information, refer to the document Detailed contributions attached file.

Presentation standards

The funding application may be completed in English or French. However, the title and project summary must imperatively be in French. These may be used by the Fonds for promotional and dissemination purposes. Any section of the application that exceeds the maximum number of pages will be removed from the application before submission for evaluation

All documents attached to the electronic form must meet the following requirements, otherwise the application will be deemed INELIGIBLE:

  • Document format: 8½ x 11-inch pages (216 mm x 279 mm), in PDF format, not password protected;
  • Spacing: single-spaced with a maximum of six lines of type per inch;
  • Font: Times New Roman (12 point) for Microsoft Office or Open Office users, or Nimbus Roman (12 points) for LaTeX users. Condensed fonts are not accepted;
  • Margins: 1.9 cm (¾ inch);
  • Page identification:
  • Upper right corner: last and first name of candidate
  • Upper left corner: title of the attached document;
  • Lower centre: page number;
  • Respect the maximum number of pages permitted, which varies according to the type of document and is specified in the form. Excess pages will not be submitted to the evaluation committee.

Processing of applications and ineligibility criteria

  • Only the official program forms, the CCV and the required documents will be accepted. Any excess pages and non-required documents (e.g. supporting letter) will be removed from the application;
  • Candidates will not be notified of any element missing from their application. Any documents received after the application deadline will not be considered and applications cannot be updated;
  • Documents that do not meet the presentation rules and standards may lead to the application being deemed ineligible;
  • Applications that do not comply with the program rules or do not contain the information needed to determine eligibility or to be evaluated will be deemed ineligible by the FRQNT;
  • Only candidates may ask for their application to be withdrawn.

Other information

In signing the funding application, parties declare that the information provided is accurate and complete and agree to respect the rules and principles set out in the Fonds de recherche du Québec Policy for the responsible Conduct of Research. Candidates authorize their institution to transmit any personal information necessary in accordance with this policy, where applicable. 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 email address is the access key to the FRQnet grant and scholarship management system. It 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.


4.

Submitting the funding application

The deadline for applications is October 16, 2019 at 4 p.m.

The managing institution must first approve the funding application via FRQnet before it is submitted to the FRQNT. It is therefore likely that the candidate's institution has set an internal deadline earlier than the actual competition deadline. It is important to take this into account and to prepare and submit the application to the institution within the required time frame.

The candidate must:

  • Verify that the application has been properly completed before submitting it electronically via FRQnet to the head of the managing institution, before the institution's internal deadline, if applicable. The status "Transmis à l'établissement" will appear in the E-portfolio;
  • Note that no changes can be made to an application form once it has been submitted. It is therefore not possible to submit it again.  However, the managing institution can return the application to the candidate for correction and resubmission before the competition deadline. In this case, the status "à reviser" will appear.

The head of the managing institution must then:

  • Ensure that the electronic form contains all the required information;
  • Verify that the required documents have been included in the different sections of the form;
  • Ensure that the CCV and Detailed Contributions document have been uploaded to the E-portfolio;
  • Approve the funding application and submit it to the FRQNT via FRQnet. The status "Transmis au Fonds" will appear in the E-portfolio.
    The head of a college without access to the FRQnet system must contact the program administrator to appoint a FRQnet system manager for the institution, no later than two weeks before the application deadline, i.e. no later than October 2, 2019.
At any time, candidates can verify the transmission status of their application in the "My forms" section of their E-portfolio.

The electronic transmission of the application acts as an electronic signature by the candidate. The FRQNT reserves the right to verify the authenticity of all documents and information provided with the authorities concerned.


6.

Evaluation process

Applications are evaluated based on the following criteria, according to the weighting indicated. It is the candidate's responsibility to clearly address these criteria in their written proposal.

The criteria listed below form a repertory of values and objectives of the Research Program for College, and were developed to suit a diversity of research projects and candidate profiles.

Thus, evaluators do not necessarily expect all candidates to meet all of the sub-indicators presented below, but to meet most of them in a consistent manner.

Criterion 1: Quality of the research project (60 pts)

Excellence in research 

  • Originality
    Creativity, potential for disruption & advancement in the field (relevance of the theme and issues addressed, new approach, risk-taking, etc.);
  • Scientific scope
    Scope of the objectives for the community and users & contributions within the field of research (applied or fundamental);
  • Collaborations & partnerships
    Cooperation in Québec and/or internationally (relevance, added value for the project, the institution or Québec etc.).

Project presentation

  • Methodology
    Relevance, scientific & technical feasibility. Availability of infrastructure & equipment. Where appropriate, the reuse of scientific material and the purchase of second-hand material are encouraged. Ethical & environmental considerations;
  • Realism of the time frame & budget
    Appropriateness of budget & time frame: budget justification (details, quantification, etc.), relevance of the project duration to the research question and budget;
  • Quality of presentation
    Project structure and understanding: description of objectives & keywords, clarity, quality of drafting and of presentation etc.

Project benefits 

  • Strengthening research capacity
    Training and mentoring plan : feasibility of the project for the training of highly qualified personnel, recruitment, tasks, pedagogical scope, consideration for equity, diversity & inclusion (recruitment process, etc.);
  • Knowledge transfer
    Valorization, promotion & dissemination of results. Consideration for access to data (open access, etc.).

Criterion 2: Candidate's competency in science (40 pts)

Scientific capacity

  • Scientific expertise
    Relevance of CV to the project: the candidate must possess the expertise and knowledge necessary to successfully carry out the proposed project;
  • Experience and potential
    Candidate's experience in the research field : quantity and quality of scientific contributions & achievements, mentoring & efforts put into offering an equitable and inclusive training environment and into attracting diversified students and trainees (animation activities toward under-represented groups etc.). Potential demonstrated by the applicant throughout his/her career and activities related to research & science : originality of academic background, risk-taking, engagement, influence, perseverance, drive etc.

Knowledge dissemination

  • Scientific community
    Knowledge transfer/diffusion activities (organization & participation in seminars, symposia, publications, patents, etc.) ;
  • General public and targeted users
    Discussions and dissemination activities for a wide audience: general public, schools, municipal services, media, volunteering, production of non-technical content, etc

Evaluation process

The program administrator and scientific advisors classify the funding applications according to their research fields.

Applications are evaluated by multidisciplinary assessment committees and external experts selected among peers from the college, industrial, socio-economic and university sectors.

Role of the multidisciplinary assessment committees and external experts

The multidisciplinary assessment committees and, where applicable, external experts evaluate applications according to the rules and evaluation criteria in effect for the program, and taking into account the quality standards and existing research traditions in the different disciplines concerned.

The committees rank the applications and advise the board of directors of the proposals that merit funding. Budget projections are considered in the evaluation process.

Role of the 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.

Description and nature of the financial assistance

For information about the administration and management of the grant, successful candidates should refer to the Common General Rules and the specific program rules, which can be found on the Fonds website.

Operating grant

The financial assistance consists of a grant of up to $32,000 per year. This grant may be made up of salary support and an operating grant.

A project may also receive funding from other sources or monetary or in-kind contributions from colleges, CCTTs, universities, government departments or other granting agencies, in keeping with the regulations of these programs.

The operating grant can only be used to fund current expenses that are directly related to the completion of the research project. The admissible expenses are:

Remuneration according to prevailing institutional standards (including fringe benefits):

  • College researchers – Salary support or teaching release (for the applicants only)
  • 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 expenses linked to the research (by land, where appropriate) *, **
  • Congress, meetings and symposium*, **
  • New or second-hand material, and research supplies (including 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 demonstrating the production's contribution to the advancement of knowledge, intended for the research community
  • Publications intended for non-academic readership
  • Digital platforms: websites and social media.

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

** Participation to congress, meeting or symposium is allowed in the mandatory condition that project's results are presented. Eligible costs must not exceed $ 2,500 per year.

***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.

The funds are paid out directly to the colleges, which administrate them and make them available to the researchers. Only the expenses that are directly related to the project and incurred after the approval date are accepted.

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 educational institution 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.


8.

Duration and management of the grant

Use of the grant

Grants are awarded annually for the period from April 1 to March 31.

Grants are awarded for a maximum of 2 or 3 years. The unspent balance at the end of the grant may be carried forward, but only for an additional period of one year. To do so, the candidate and managing institution must verify the feasibility of the carryover with the program administrator. At the end of this year, any unspent funds must be returned to the FRQNT.

The grant is conditional on the candidate remaining in the employ of the managing institution (college or CCTT), under the same eligibility conditions set out in Section 2 — Eligibility requirements.

Payments are also conditional on the submission of an annual financial report from the college administering the funding. If needed, the grant can be transferred to another institution following the approval of the FRQNT and the institutions concerned.

Management and follow-up

Accepting the grant

  • To initiate payment of the first instalment, the candidate must accept the grant within 30 days after receiving the competition results (April-May), in the "Manage my funding" section of the FRQnet E-portfolio.

Annual update statement

  • To initiate payment of the 2nd and 3rd grant years, the grant holder must, after receiving a notice to do so (in March), submit an online update statement in the FRQnet E-portfolio. The statement must be completed whether or not there are any changes to declare. Further grant payments are conditional on this step.

Annual financial report

  • The managing institution must submit, no later than June of each year of funding, an annual financial report via the FRQnet E-portfolio. This report must be signed by the grant holder.

End of the grant

  • The grant holder is required to submit a final report no later than 21 months after the end date of the grant (not including the additional year, where applicable). Any future funding is contingent on the submission of this final report within the prescribed time and to the satisfaction of the Fonds.

9.

Announcement of results

The multidisciplinary evaluation committees submit their recommendations to the Board of directors of the FRQNT, which makes the funding decisions.

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

Grant results are announced in April 2020. The decisions of the Board of Directors of the FRQNT are sent to the institutions and candidates concerned. For any information on competition results, the candidate must contact the research office of his institution or visit the Fonds Web site.

Grants are contingent on the allocation of funding from the Assemblée nationale du Québec and the decisions of the board of directors of the Fonds and may be modified at any time without notice. It is therefore strongly recommended not to commit expenditures before the funding has been officially announced.


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.