Postdoctoral research scholarship


Summary

Competition year :

2015-2016

 

Deadline (application) :

October 2nd, 2014, 4 PM

 

Amount :

$30,000

 

Duration :

From 6 to 24 months

 

Announcement of results :

End of April

 

Program rules

 

Program rules that prevail are those within the PDF document.

Program rules (PDF)

 

 


1.

Objectives

The objective of the postdoctoral research scholarship program is to foster up-and-coming researchers working in various research environments, by helping new doctorate holders to broaden their field of research. These scholarships also seek to encourage the mobility of researchers toward scientifically stimulating and dynamic environments. These environments may be universities, industries, government agencies and university affiliated institutions.


3.

Eligibility conditions

Candidates must meet eligibility conditions as of the deadline for submitting applications, namely, October 2, 2013, 4 p.m.

Citizenship and residence

Candidates must meet each of the following three conditions:

  • Be Canadian citizens or permanent residents within the meaning of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (L.R.C., 2001 ch. 27). (A permanent resident has obtained landed immigrant status without having acquired Canadian citizenship) ;
  • Have been living in Quebec for at least one year ;
  • Be residents of Quebec within the meaning of the Quebec Health Insurance Act (L.R.Q. c. A-29).

Persons who maintain their Quebec resident status within the meaning of the Quebec Health Insurance Act in particular those living outside Quebec solely for the purpose of continuing their studies, are deemed to be living in Quebec.

Persons who do not maintain their Quebec resident status and who have been living outside Quebec for fewer than two years after having, for at least five years, been domiciled in Quebec and having been residents within the meaning the Quebec Health Insurance Act are exempt from residence requirements.

Scholarship holders must meet citizenship and residence requirements within the meaning of the Quebec Health Insurance Act.

Restrictions

Candidates who have benefited from a postdoctoral research scholarship from one of the three Quebec funding or federal agencies may not submit another application for this program.

Eligibility period for the scholarship

Postdoctoral research scholarships are intended for new researchers who obtained their doctorate no more than two years prior to the competition deadline or who will have submitted their thesis in January 2016 at the latest, the deadline for holding the fellowship.

The graduation date is considered to be the date at which all of the degree requirements were completed, including the successful completion of the thesis examination and submission of the revised version of the document.

In the case of candidates with more than one doctorate, the date of the first doctorate prevails.

Exceptions in calculating the eligibility period

The only exception to the rules governing the eligibility period for scholarships concerns circumstances beyond the candidate's control, such as a serious illness that forces students to suspend their studies. Supporting documents must be enclosed with the application.

Candidates who interrupt their studies for maternity or parental leave can request an extension of their eligibility period for a maximum of 12 months. Supporting documents must be enclosed with the application.

When the student is a person with a disability as stipulated in the Act to secure the handicapped persons in the exercise of their rights with a view to achieving social, school and workplace integration (L.R.Q. chapt. E-20.1), the rules pertaining to the eligibility period do not apply. The duration of the scholarship is two years at the Master's level and three years at the Doctoral level. Documents must be then passed on with the demand.

The Fonds may refuse any request not adequately justified.

Postdoctoral research location

The postdoctoral research must be carried out in an institution other than one from which the doctorate was earned. Internationally-recognized research environments located outside Québec are preferred. However, applicants who are not Canadian citizens may not apply for funding to carry out studies or training outside Canada.

Supervisors

The applicant's doctoral supervisors and co-supervisors may not act as his/her postdoctoral supervisor, even if they have changed institutions.

Choosing an evaluation committee

Candidates must choose their evaluation committee, based on their research subject. Other factors are the candidate field of study, program and degree. Once granted, the scholarship cannot be used for research on a subject in a field not covered by the committee that evaluated the application.

A candidate who chooses the multidisciplinary committee (14) must fill out an additional section in which he/she must explain the multidisciplinary aspect of his/her studies program of study.

Paid leave

Candidates who are on a sabbatical or study leave with remuneration that exceeds 50% of their regular salary are not eligible. However, those receiving deferred remuneration are not subject to this restriction.


4.

Submitting applications

Candidates who wish to apply for a scholarship must follow the Instructions for completing an application for Master's or Doctoral research scholarships. It is also strongly suggested to read the guide for the preparation of a demand Building on Excellence.

A candidate may apply for a postdoctoral research scholarship to only one of the three Quebec research funding agencies for the same financial year.

Contents of a file

E-forms

All of the e-forms must be filled out and sent in by the competition deadline on October 2, 2013, 4 p.m.

A candidate must have a personal identification number (PIN) in order to fill out the form.

The form is available on the Web site of the FRQNT. It must be filled out and sent electronically by the competition deadline. Once it has been completed, the form may be printed and saved by the applicant.

Forms may be completed in English or French. Candidates who submit the form in English must provide a French title for their project.

Two letters of reference are required. The e-forms for the letter (on-line or in PDF format) are available at the Fonds Web site.

  • The on-line form can be sent to the Fonds electronically from the referee's personal file. However, candidates must provide their referees with their application number and personal identification number (PIN) so that the letters of recommendation can be sent from their personal file.
  • A PDF version of this form is also available for referees who have no personal electronic file. The letter in PDF format must be filled out, signed and sent directly by e-mail at bourses.nt@frq.gouv.qc.ca.

The postdoctoral research supervisor's letter of acceptance form (online or PDF) is available on the Web site of the FRQNT. The online form may be sent electronically to the FRQNT from the supervisor's personal file with applicant's application and personal identification numbers. The form is also available in PDF format for supervisors who do not have a personal e-file. The letter of acceptance in PDF format must be filled out, signed and sent directly by e-mail at bourses.nt@frq.gouv.qc.ca.

The applicant must fill out and send in the Canadian Common CV e-form.

IMPORTANT NOTE: From now on, the Fonds will be using the new Canadian Common CV and will also require that everyone who provides a CV enclose a PDF file detailing 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).

Supporting documents required

The required documents must be submitted in the appropriate file on the request form.

The applicant is responsible for his/her application which must include all of the required documents for an application to be deemed receivable. The applicant must also ensure that his/her respondents and supervisor have submitted their letters of recommendation and acceptance by the competition deadline at the latest.

You have to supply the following documents:

  • An official transcript of marks (any non official electronic version will not be accepted) for all university studies, completed or not (certificate, degree, Bachelor's, Master's or Ph. D., etc). When equivalences are granted for courses taken at other institutions or in previous programs, transcripts for these grades must be enclosed with the file, including collegial transcripts. For transcripts from outside Canada or United States, candidates must enclose a letter explaining the grading system used by the institution in question. The Fonds de recherche reserves the right to verify with institutions the authenticity of any information given by applicants;
  • Proof that the applicant successfully defended his/her thesis and a copy of the document attesting that the final version of the thesis was submitted. If the applicant is not able to provide these documents, he/she may include a copy of his/her doctoral transcript;
  • For permanent residents, a copy of Canadian immigration papers permanent Resident Card;
  • For Canadian citizens born outside, copy of proof of Canadian citizenship;
  • A photocopy of a valid Quebec medical insurance card or any other document which proves that you are a resident of Quebec within the meaning of the Quebec Health Insurance Act ;
  • Acknowledgements of receipt from the editor for all articles submitted and notices received from editors for articles accepted for publication (Acknowledgements of receipt for articles already published are not sent to the evaluation committee);
  • Acknowledgements of receipt for any patents submitted.

Additional documents for candidates wishing to be considered for exemptions regarding the eligibility period:

  • Official attestation of interrupted enrolment and, where applicable, a medical certificate indicating the duration of and the reason for the interruption.

Additional document for applicants who are carrying out their research abroad and who are ensured a regular position in a Québec research centre or university upon their return:

  • A letter from the director of the research centre or university department confirming that the position will be granted when the applicant returns.

Only the e-form for the 2014-2015 financial year and the other documents required are accepted. No attached material or documents other than those required are forwarded to the evaluation committee. Files cannot be updated after the closing date for applications. You may, however, update any contact information (address, phone number and e-mail address) at the following address: bourses.nt@frq.gouv.qc.ca.

Any document submitted in a language other than French or English must be accompanied by a certified translation.

Procedure for submitting required documents

Before the closing date for applications, candidates must submit all required documents in the appropriate file on the application form. No reminder will be made and no files can be added after the deadline for submitting applications.

IMPORTANT: Incomplete files will not be accepted.

Acknowledgement of receipt

Candidates will be e-mailed an acknowledgement of receipt in December at the latest. Candidates who have not received this notification must contact the program administrator before December 15.


5.

Evaluation of applications

Assessment criteria

The applications will be assessed based on the following criteria and weighting:

Criteria Points

Research skills and experience

  • Research or teaching assistantship;
  • Internships;
  • Student supervision;
  • Ability to use his/her skills and apply his/her knowledge;
  • Publications, communications;
  • Reports;
  • Patents;
  • Etc.
6 points

Scientific quality of the project

  • Feasibility and value of the proposed research;
  • Clarity of the scientific objectives;
  • Relevance of the methodology in light of the research objectives;
  • Originality of the project;         
  • Contribution to advancing knowledge in the field;
  • Added value of the project in light of the doctoral work.

5 points

Quality and relevance of the research environment

  • Rationale behind the choice of research environment;
  • Fit between the proposed project and the supervisor's research field;
  • Quality and recognition of the training environment;
  • Choice of research environment outside Québec;
  • Fit between the research environment and the career plan.
4 points

Excellence of the applicant

  • Excellence of the applicant's academic record;
  • Duration and progression of his/her studies;    
  • Awards and honors;
  • Letters of recommendation.
3 points

Social involvement, leadership and communication skills

  • Leadership skills;
  • Organisation of conferences and meetings;
  • Nominations;
  • Volunteering;
  • Mentoring;
  • Experience as a supervisor;
  • Project management;
  • Committee chairmanship;
  • Ability or potential to clearly and logically communicate scientific concepts;
  • General presentation of the application.
2 points

TOTAL

20 points

Evaluation procedure

Eligible applications are submitted to evaluation committees composed of three or four members, mostly university professionals and, occasionally, government and private enterprise representatives.

The evaluation committees compare the candidacies submitted according to the evaluation criteria in effect. Consequently, these committees are responsible for ranking all of the applications on merit.

Role of Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is advised by the evaluation committees and, being the only body with an overall view of the work of peer committees, makes funding decisions, thereby exercising its role as an administrator of public funds to the best of its knowledge. The Board is accountable for its decisions to the Government of Quebec.

Role of program administrators

FRQNT program administrators are responsible for ensuring that the committees comply with the evaluation criteria, the rules in effect, and standard rules of ethics.


6.

Awarding of scholarships and annoucement of results

Awarding of scholarships

Candidates are evaluated and ranked on merit by the evaluation committees. Scholarships are offered according to the available budget. When allocating its budget, the FRQNT reserves the right to change its scholarships in keeping with objectives chosen by the Board of Directors.

Announcement of the results

By the end of April, the FRQNT transmits its decision to candidates through their e-file. Candidates are responsible for ensuring that their address is updated. Candidates are informed of the classification of their file and may then print the letter of decision.

Contacting members of the committees, who are subject to rules of confidentiality, is strictly prohibited.

The decisions of the Board of Directors are final and cannot be appealed. There is no appeal process.

The candidate must accept or decline the scholarship within 10 days of receiving the scholarship notification. After this deadline, candidates are deemed to have declined the scholarship.


7.

Rules for using scholarships

The scholarship holders have to conform to all the rules described in detail in the Scholarship Holder's Guide.

The scholarship period must begin between May 1st, 2014 and January 15th, 2015.

Unless exceptional circumstances exist, the scholarship cannot be carried over from one year to the next. For candidates who have begun the program of study, the period of use begins in May 2014.

The scholarship is not retroactive and research prior to May 2014 cannot be financed.

The scholarship holder must be present at the postdoctoral research site throughout the duration of the scholarship.

Excluding the exceptional cases relating to part-time studies as outlined in the scholarship holder's guide, at the time the scholarship is received, scholarship holder must be dedicated full time to his research activities.

Scholarships are granted for a maximum period of two years, subject to presentation of a progress report deemed satisfactory by the program administrator.

To make any changes to his/her study program, project or location, the grant holder must first submit a request as prescribed in the Scholarship Holder's Guide.

Value of the scholarship

The FRQNT Board of Directors reserves the right to modify the value of scholarships at any time, without notice, notably in accordance with the credits annually allocated by the Assemblée nationale du Québec, its strategic priorities and budgetary process.

The maximum annual value of postdoctoral research scholarships is $30,000.

The minimum duration of postdoctoral research is six months and the maximum 24 months.

The applicant may receive up to six payments during his/her eligibility period (24 months). Each payment covers a four-month period (one session).

Scholarship holders whose postdoctoral research is conducted abroad and who have obtained formal assurance of a future position in a research center or a university in Quebec upon completion of postdoctoral training may receive an increase of up to 50% of the scholarship to cover the cost of living. To obtain this supplement, scholarship holders must, at the time of the presentation of the application, include in their supporting documents a letter from the director of the research center or the head of the department confirming that they have been hired.

Convertibility of Scholarship

Scholarship holders who obtain a position as a regular professor in a Quebec university, may, after having completed one full year of studies, request permission to use part of the scholarship as a start-up grant. A maximum amount of $15 000 may be converted into a grant. The rules governing the use of this grant are the same as those governing the « Établissement de nouveaux chercheurs » program.

Reimbursement of travel expenses

According to rules presented in a way more detailed in the guide for scholarship holders, the travel expenses at the beginning and at the end the postdoctoral research are assumed by the Fonds, on condition that they are not already paid off by the other bodies. For the scholarship holder whose thesis is not supported yet, an additional reimbursement of travel expenses can be granted.

Holding several scholarships concurrently (cumulation)

  • According to rules presented in a way more detailed in the guide for scholarship holders:
  • The Fonds provides additional funding based on merit. The current rule pertaining to the cumulation of scholarships guarantees that the scholarship recipient will not receive less than what he would have received if he had only obtained a scholarship from the Fonds.
  • Candidates who receive a scholarship from a private source, including universities, research chairs, consortiums, private international and foreign foundations, governments of other Canadian provinces and of foreign governments, may combine this support source with a Fonds scholarship if allowed under these instances' rules governing combined scholarships. When a combination limit is

Remuneration

Regardless of the exceptions relative to the paid work described in the guide for scholarship holders, scholarship holders may accept a job that does not represent more than 150 hours per session, provided their supervisor is in agreement and that these activities do not hinder their research program. For the purpose of this rule, a course load of 45 hours is equivalent to 150 hours of work.

The salary that students receive from their supervisor for working solely on their research project is considered a scholarship for which cumulation is permitted.


8.

False or misleading information

In accordance with the Act Respecting the Ministère du Développement Économique, de l'Innovation et de l'Exportation (R.S.Q., c. M-30.01), applicants who give false or misleading information in view of obtaining or procuring financial support is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine. If found guilty, he cannot obtain financial support for a period of five years.

Where a legal person commits an offence, every director or representative of that legal person who was aware of the offence is deemed to be a party to the offence and is liable to a fine, unless he proves to the satisfaction of the court that he did not acquiesce to the commission of the offence. The Fonds de recherche reserves the right to impose any sanction or supplementary measure deemed useful, and initiate legal proceedings to obtain reimbursement of fraudulently obtained amounts and a compensation for suffered damages.


9.

Responsibilities of the FRQNT

The FRQNT is not liable for any direct or indirect injury arising from processing of scholarships, bursaries 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 FRQNT of the information contained in candidates' files. Despite all the precaution taken by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies 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). The data required are collected, used and preserved in accordance with the requirements of this law.

Applicants can obtain further information on access procedures, the protection of personal information and the recourse rights provided for in the Act by sending a duly signed letter to or appearing in person before the person responsible at the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies for the Act respecting access to documents held by public bodies and the protection of personal information.

Responsable de l'accès aux documents et à la protection des renseignements personnels

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


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