This program is intended for college institutions recognized by the FRQ to manage funding in fields covered by the Fonds de recherche du Québec-Nature et technologies (FRQNT). The leader of an RIC must be affiliated with a college or CCTT recognized by the FRQNT.
2.1 Innovation cluster
To be eligible, an RIC must:
2.1.1 Present a coherent research program that integrates activities oriented towards the needs of the user community;
2.1.2 Respond to the strategic plans of the institutions represented in the RIC with respect to research;
2.1.3 Respond to the action plans and/or strategic plans of the CCTTs and college research centres;
2.1.4 Have an organizational governance structure specific to the RIC and distinct from that of a college institution, a department, a CCTT or a national school;
2.1.5 Be located within a college institution recognized by the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) to manage funding;
2.1.6 Establish a new partnership between the members from colleges, CCTTs and universities and the members from the practitioners;
2.1.7 Have a minimum of 9 members and a maximum of 20 members;
2.1.8 Two-thirds of its members must be from colleges and/or CCTTs;
2.1.9 The other third of its members must include:
A minimum of one member and a maximum of 3 members from universities AND
A minimum of 2 members representing the practitioner;
2.1.10 80% of its members, including the cluster leader, must work in disciplinary fields supported by the FRQNT.
Refer to Section 2.3 for further details on members and their statuses.
2.2 Leader of the RIC
The RIC leader has the role of principal investigator in the application.
Eligibility requirements for the role of principal investigator
A college researcher, as defined in the CGR (Status 3) who meets the following conditions:
2.2.1 Has a master's or PhD and possess the professional autonomy required to direct research projects and supervise students;
The managing institution must be able to confirm, at each grant instalment and for the entire duration of funding, that the RIC leader meets the following conditions:
2.2.2 Is employed full-time for at least two consecutive terms per year.
2.2.3 The RIC leader holds:
a. A position as a college-level professor;
b. A position as a CCTT or college research centre researcher;
c. A position in a college in which at least 75% of their workload is dedicated to research activities. The workload is calculated based on the official school calendar established for Cégeps by the Ministère de l'Éducation et de l'Enseignement supérieur (MÉES) i.e. from July 1 to June 30 of each year.
The following are not eligible to lead an RIC:
2.2.4 Individuals who do not meet the eligibility requirements listed above;
2.2.5 Individuals who hold a position as an associate professor in a university potentially related to this application.
2.2.6 Researchers whose work is in a field that is not covered by the Fonds de recherche du Québec — Nature et technologies (FRQNT).
2.3 RIC members
The cluster must have a minimum of 9 members and a maximum of 20 members. Each post-secondary institution may be represented by a maximum of 2 people and the practitioners by a minimum of 2 people.
RIC members have the role of co-investigator and must have one of the following statuses as defined in the CGR:
2.3.1 College researcher (Status 3)
2.3.2 College research centre researcher;
2.3.3 University researcher (Status 1);
2.3.4 Practitioner (Status 4c);
RIC members with Status 3 (CGR) and the status of College research centre researcher are subject to the same eligibility requirements as the cluster leader. In addition, those who meet the conditions set out in 2.2.5 and 2.2.6 are also eligible.
RIC members with Statuses 1 and 4c (CGR) may work in areas not covered by the Fonds de recherche du Québec — Nature et technologies (FRQNT).
In an effort to foster the intersectorality of the RIC, researchers working in disciplinary fields covered by the Fonds Société et culture (FRQSC) and Santé (FRQS) will be admitted as members of the RIC, while respecting the condition set out in 2.1.10.
2.4 Managing institution, partner institutions and practitioner
The institution of the principal investigator submitting the application (RIC leader) is designated as the managing institution.
The managing institution must be a college institution recognized by the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) to manage funding.
At the time of submission of the RIC application, the managing institution must formally affirm its support.
All other institutions comprising the RIC will be considered partner institutions.
The members representing partner institutions therefore all have the role of co-investigator.
Members representing user communities are identified as practitioner and assume the role of co-investigator (Status 4c). They receive no remuneration under the grant for their contribution to the cluster.
2.5 Support from the institutions and practitioners
In the creation of a RIC, the cluster must receive support from the post-secondary institutions and the practitioners that will use the research knowledge. A minimum additional contribution equal to 25% of the grant is required, broken down as follows: 10% in cash and 15% in kind in the form of human and/or material resources.
The cash contribution cannot come entirely by the managing institution. It must be the sum of contributions from the managing institution and all partner institutions and practitioners.
Contribution from the managing institution and all partner institutions and practitioners
Per year: $150,000
Over 3 years: $450,000
The financial contribution may be spread unevenly between years, as long as the total contribution required for the duration of the grant is respected.
At the application request stage, financial and in-kind contributions must be entered in the section Contributions from project partners and not added to the grant amount in the budget section of the form.
2.6 Exclusions and special conditions.
The RIC leader and the managing institution, as well as the co-investigators from the cluster's partner institutions, can only present or be part of one letter of intent under this competition.
Any combination of managing institution and partner institutions that presents an application to create an RIC with a theme that is essentially the same as that of a Strategic cluster will be refused.
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