It has been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Québec. The personal and professional challenges for students and researchers have been significant, so the resilience demonstrated by the FRQNT community has been inspiring. I thank those researchers who have responded to our calls for volunteers (over 200 names) and science stories, of which six were published as Capsules in our website.
Throughout the pandemic, the FRQNT has supported its community to minimize the impact on essential activities, including laboratory and fieldwork, travel, and deadlines. At the same time, the FRQNT has also maintained its regular programs on which the Québec research community has come to rely on. The number of applications to FRQNT’s regular programs did not appear to fall due to the pandemic and we have just announced 65,3 M$ in support for our scholarships and grants programs. My most sincere congratulations to all recipients!
Over the past year, the FRQNT introduced several creative new pilot programs to fill in some gaps along the research continuum, including the Catalyseur d’innovation college-directed clusters to mobilize fundamental research, Visage Municipal to encourage cities to solve problems through research, and PRISME to bring together sciences and fine arts. These new programs were well received, based on the numbers of applications, and we will launch second editions later in 2021.
We have also several sectorial calls underway, including the new fast-tract IMPULSION programs for clean energy and the agrifood industry and various partnerships towards more sustainable practices in agriculture, forestry and mining. We anticipate other announcements this summer, so keep watch!