New university researchers start up program


Summary

Competition year :

2016-2017

 

Deadline (application) :

September 16th, 2015, 4 PM

 

Amount :

$20,000 to $30,000

 

Duration :

2 years

 

Announcement of results :

End of April 2016

 

Program rules

Important modifications

  • To be eligible, candidates have to occupy a position as a Professor in a Quebec university for less than 3 years.
  • Proposals are now evaluated based on two criteria, namely the quality of the researcher (50%) and the quality of the research project (50%). This last criteria has now three additional indicators.

 


1.

Objectives

The purpose of the New University Researchers Start-up Program (Établissement de nouveaux chercheurs universitaires) 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 a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (S.C. 2001, c.27). Otherwise, the candidate must demonstrate at the time of submission of the grant application that he/she holds a permit attesting that he/she has legal status and the right to work in Canada. Funding of the first year of a grant  will not begin until the candidate has demonstrated that he/she has applied for a Québec Selection Certificate from the appropriate authorities. Furthermore, to qualify for the second year of a grant , the candidate must have taken the necessary steps to obtain permanent resident status;
  • Be an Assistant Professor[1] or occupy a position at a similar level, or be a Professor with an externally-funded academic appointment (professeur sous octroi)[2] in a Quebec university for less than 3 years, namely that the position started September 16, 2012 or later. The candidate who will occupy such a position not later than September 1st 2016 is also eligible.
  • Have obtained his/her doctorate or successfully defended his1her doctoral dissertation at the deadline of the competition, namely no later than September 16, 2015;
  • 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 candidate from the industry or the government sector occupying a position as an Associate Professor is also eligible.

[2] A Professor with an externally-funded academic appointment (professeur sous octroi) must hold a position or have received a firm offer of appointment to a position 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 Professor with an externally-funded academic appointment to perform research without any supervision from another researcher and to supervise, individually or jointly, undergraduate or graduate students or postdoctoral fellows.

The following candidates are not eligible:

  • Researchers who have been professors or occupied any equivalent position in an university or a similar institution in Quebec, in Canada or abroad for 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 : Start-up program for new research professors of the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture (FRQSC) as well as Research scholars (Chercheurs boursiers) and Établissement de jeunes chercheurs-juniors 1 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 in this program during their eligibility period.

 

3.

Submitting application

Applications for financial assistance must be completed on the appropriate form available at the FRQNT Web site. Text file attachments must be sent with the form. The completed form is then transmitted electronically to the Fonds by the proper university authority. Since forms are transmitted electronically, the instructions regarding e-transactions must be followed.

The Fonds 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 Votre dossier). Please read the documents entitled Preparing a CV for the Fonds and Formatting standards for Contributions - details in Votre dossier (your e-file).

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

The pages of all attachments to the electronic application must be 8½" x 11" (216 mm x 279 mm) and submitted as PDF files.

The description of the research project, including the references, must follow the requirements below :

  • 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 : 5. DESCRIPTION DU PROJET DE RECHERCHE
    • Bottom center : Pages 3.1, 3.2, … , 3.7
  • Maximum of 7 pages including tables, figures and references. Additional pages are not sent to the reviewers.

Only official « Établissement de nouveaux chercheurs universitaires » 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. These rules are strictly enforced. Required documents must be postmarked or delivered by messenger or e-mailed no later than the closing date for applications.

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.

The FRQNT assigns a personal identification number (PIN) to the researchers in its database. This code enables them to access the computer system 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.

Files 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 file to be withdrawn.

The closing date for applications is September 16, 2015 at 4 p.m.


4.

Required documents

The following documents must be sent to the FRQNT by September 16, 2015 at the latest:

Electronically:

  • The « Établissement de nouveaux chercheurs universitaires » e-form.
  • The Canadian Common CV e-form.

Send by regular mail, courier or e-mail in PDF format to nouvcherc.nt@frq.gouv.qc.ca:

  • A letter or e-mail of confirmation from the editor for each publication declared as submitted, accepted or in press in the Canadian Common CV.
  • 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 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 copy of the permanent residence card of Canada (recto verso). If the candidate is neither a Canadian citizen nor a permanent resident, a copy of a document proving his/her legal status in Canada.  To obtain the first instalment, the candidate will have to demonstrate that he/she has applied for a Québec Selection Certificate from the appropriate authorities. For the second instalment, the candidate will have to demonstrate that a permanent resident application has been submitted;
  • 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.

7.

Assessment process

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.

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;
  • Distinction between the requested grant and obtained funding from any other source.

The following criteria are used to evaluate requests for equipment:

  • Relevance of the requested equipment for achievement of the research project;
  • 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 rules of the program, and standard rules of ethics.


8.

Integrity of the evaluation process

The FRQNT board members are not involved in the scientific evaluation of funding applications, and at no time may researchers, students or institutional authorities make contact with the multidisciplinary evaluation committee chairperson or members. The FRQNT has the right to withdraw an application from competition if there is any attempt to lobby the committee or sway the evaluation process.

Every person recruited to sit on a multidisciplinary evaluation committee must comply with standard rules of confidentiality regarding the application packages, committee makeup, deliberations and recommendations. The multidisciplinary evaluation committee chairperson, members and outside experts are required to disclose any conflict of interest and must sign a written statement in this regard.


9.

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 2016. 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.


10.

Description and nature of the financial assistance

Once the results are announced, funded new researchers should refer to the Common General Rules available at the Fonds Web site. This document presents the rules for 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:

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

Fellowship and fellowship supplements:

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

Other expenses:

  • Travel and lodging expenses (see also specific work-life balance measures in the Common General Rules, article 8.5)
  • Research and supplies material, and costs of analysis
  • Shipping costs for research material and equipment
  • Equipment and space rental or using fees
  • Telecommunications fees
  • Data-processing supplies and purchase of databanks
  • Production, publishing and printing costs
  • Translation fees
  • Purchase of small equipment (unit cost of $7 000 or less)

Note: Expenses related to the dissemination of research results to the public and thoses generated through ethics activities are eligible.

All other expenses are not eligible.

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, 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 Fonds 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.


12.

False of misleading information

Under the Act respecting the Ministère du Développement économique, de l'Innovation et de l'Exportation (R.S.Q., c. M-30.01), any applicant who gives false or misleading information to obtain or procure financial support is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine. If found guilty, the individual is barred from receiving financial support for a five-year period.

Where a legal entity commits an offence, any of its directors or representatives who knew about the offence are considered to be parties to the offence and are also subject to a fine, unless they prove to the court's satisfaction that they did not agree with the commission of the offence. Moreover, such declaration constitutes a breach of responsible research conduct.

The Fonds has the right to impose any penalty or take any additional measures they deems expedient. The Fonds may also take legal action to recover fraudulently obtained funds and collect damages.


13.

Responsibilities of the FRQNT

The FRQNT is not liable for any direct or indirect injury arising from processing of scholarships, grants or other applications, and, without limiting the generality of the above, is not liable for any direct or indirect injury arising from unauthorized disclosure by the Fonds of the information contained in candidates' files. Despite all the precautions taken by the FRQNT to protect information that must be kept confidential, certain countries to which information is transmitted may not have security procedures such as asymmetric cryptography or encryption.

Act respecting access to documents held by public bodies and the protection of personal information

The FRQNT is subject to the Act respecting access to documents held by public bodies and the protection of personal information (R.S.Q., c. A-2.1). Candidates can obtain further information on access procedures, the protection of personal information and the recourse provided for in the Act by contacting the person responsible for the Act at the FRQNT:

Me Mylène Deschênes, B.C.L., LL.B., LL.M.
Directrice, affaires éthiques et juridiques
responsableacces.nt@frq.gouv.qc.ca


Do you have questions?

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Guy Tremblay

Program Manager

 nouvcherc.nt

418 643-8560 ext: 3439

Assistance informatique

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