Equity, diversity and inclusion enrich the research community and the quality, relevance and impacts of the research it produces.

Among other benefits, they promote a diversity of perspectives and approaches. In addition, the prejudices and systemic barriers faced by certain groups may deprive the research community of access to top talent or research projects.

The Fonds de recherche du Québec’s commitment to EDI aims primarily to reinforce the excellence of the research they fund.

What do we mean by equity, diversity and inclusion?

Although the acronym « EDI » is frequently used, it is important to distinguish between its three components, each one being essential for research to reach its full potential.


Equity refers to fair treatment, including the elimination of systemic barriers that disadvantage particular groups. Fair treatment takes into account the different realities, both present and historical, in the access to opportunities for the promotion and support of research.


Diversity refers to the presence, within the research ecosystem and society, of people from different groups, which promotes the expression of diverse perspectives, approaches and experiences, including those of underrepresented groups. The FRQ value the contribution of this diversity to research.


Inclusion refers to the establishment of practices that allow all members of the research community to be and to feel valued, supported and respected, paying particular attention to underrepresented groups   within the research community and in research itself.

Main fields of action

Program rules

To strengthen equity in their programs, the FRQ’s measures are implemented through the revision of their rules and procedures, rather than by making “piecemeal” exceptions in response to individual requests. This is to ensure that these measures benefit everyone who needs them, and not just those who contact the FRQ, which would be inequitable.

Over the years, the FRQ have introduced various measures into their funding programs to correct certain obstacles (for example, related to parenthood or disability) that different groups may unduly face in their research careers.

Assessment process

Whether we like it or not, we all have biases. These can influence our judgement, often without our knowledge. When the scientific evaluation of an application is influenced by unconscious biases based, for example, on the applicant’s gender, ethno-cultural origins or disability, the evaluation is no longer based on excellence.

To mitigate the influence of unconscious bias in the scientific assessment process, individuals taking part in the Fonds de recherche du Québec’s peer review process are invited to take a short online training course. In the interest of avoiding duplication for the scientific community, we have chosen to use the Bias in Peer Review training module developed by the federal funding agencies.

Raising awareness

Given that public research should benefit the greatest possible number of people, the Fonds de recherche du Québec, in line with research ethics standards, believe that the projects they support should take human diversity into account, where relevant. Furthermore, Health Canada recommends that comparative analyses based on sex or gender be included in research on therapeutic products (medical devices, genetic therapies and natural health products, pharmaceuticals, biologics or radiopharmaceuticals).

Funding applicants must declare on the application form whether sex- or gender-based analyses are planned as part of their research project. The FRQ recognize that the consideration of diversity in research design is not applicable to all research themes or projects but encourage applicants to reflect on this aspect when preparing a research proposal. This information will not be transmitted to the reviewers and will not affect the eligibility or the scientific assessment of the applications. The purpose of this measure is to raise applicants’ awareness of the importance of such considerations, and to enable the FRQ to document efforts made to consider sex and gender in the research projects they fund. Please refer to Section 5.5 of the Fonds’ Common General Rules for further details.

Documentation and follow-up

Candidates and reviewers using the FRQnet platform must complete a short self-identification questionnaire linked to the My Profile section of their FRQnet portfolio.

In accordance with the Politique sur la collecte de données sociodémographiques visant à planifier des mesures en matière d’équité, de diversité et d’inclusion, adopted by the boards of directors of the three Fonds, the data collected will allow the FRQ to detect potentially inequitable situations and to plan and monitor the impact of any improvement measures. The information provided will remain confidential and will have no impact on funding decisions, eligibility or evaluation of applications.

For more information on the self-identification questionnaire, please refer to the FAQ sheet (PDF file).