The electronic form is available in the FRQ electronic Portfolio. You have a single FRQnet Portfolio account for the three Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ). To access the form, you must select the Société et culture (managing agency) section. The form is available under “Available competitions, Program: Research grants”.
This program refers to the Common General Rules (CGR), which apply to all FRQ programming. Any conditions specific to the AUDACE Plus program are indicated in this document and prevail over the CGR.
In the event of a discrepancy between the English and French versions of this program, the French version prevails.
AUDACE is the result of significant efforts made in recent years by the chief Scientist of Québec and the Directorate of Major Societal Challenges (DGDS) to foster intersectoral research through forums on research directions; periodic consultations with stakeholders from research, the public, private and political sectors and the artistic community; and by launching a wide-ranging process of reflection on creativity and intersectorality.
With this program, which was launched in 2017 and is now in its sixth edition, the FRQ are seeking to help consolidate Québec’s key position in the international shift toward High-Risk/High-Reward funding. AUDACE aims to provide researchers from the three major sectors covered by the FRQ with favorable conditions for initiating projects with a high level of risk and the potential for high impacts, be they scientific, social, economic, technological, cultural, aesthetic, etc.
More specifically, applications funded under the AUDACE program (1) are in line with an intersectoral and co-constructed approach, (2) dare to break with established frameworks and patterns of thought, and (3) aim to produce radically innovative knowledge with a high potential for impact. AUDACE is a springboard that allows teams to form and work on ambitious projects that are outside of the box.
After six editions and 86 funded projects, and in light of a very positive reception from the research community, the Fonds de recherche du Québec are launching a follow-up to AUDACE: AUDACE Plus. The Fonds de recherche du Québec wish to offer a more complete path for the realization of bold projects that could have considerable benefits for Québec.
2. PROGRAM OBJECTIVES
To date, AUDACE has served as a test bed. AUDACE Plus serves to strengthen the program by continuing to build on the teams created and the advances obtained. AUDACE Plus is intended exclusively for teams that already have projects funded under one of the first three AUDACE programs (2018-2019, 2019-2020 and 2020-2021).
The FRQ wish to support the pursuit of bold research that offers a departure from traditional approaches. Teams must demonstrate how their projects continue to be bold, innovative and intersectoral while seeking to go beyond the existing paradigms of their respective scientific cultures and fields of research (theories, practices, hypotheses, methods, modes of thought), and continue to have a high potential for transformation and impacts, be they scientific, social, economic, technological, cultural, aesthetic, etc.
AUDACE Plus offers two components: 1) the Visée component, which aims to provide support to address gaps or obstacles encountered in the implementation of the project; and 2) the Amplitude component, which aims to explore and further leverage the potential impact of projects through greater financial support. Based on a progress report, teams will have to demonstrate the advances made, their accomplishments, and their needs in light of the objectives of the chosen component.
Visée component: intended for projects in which teams have made advances and wish to fully achieve their initial objectives by addressing obstacles, unforeseen events or other needs and by building on their learning and experience. Teams may apply for one year of additional funding of up to $100,000 to be used over a period of 24 months.
Amplitude component: intended for projects that have essentially achieved their objectives but want to increase the scope of the impacts already achieved or in progress. Target projects are in an advanced phase of implementation and have already produced significant results that can be applied concretely in various fields of activity, thereby generating major societal impacts for Québec. Teams may apply for two years of additional funding of up to $600,000 to be used over a period of 36 months.
Both components involve the continuation of initial projects funded by the AUDACE program. Innovation, co-construction and intersectorality must remain at the heart of the research process. Only one submission per project is allowed for this competition. The team must choose the component that is most appropriate for the continuation of their project.
3. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
3.1 Eligibility requirements:
To be eligible, teams must:
- Have already been funded under one of the first three AUDACE competitions (2018-2019, 2019-2020 or 2020-2021). Funding will be conditional upon the submission of the financial and final reports for the initial grant;
- Include at least one researcher with CGR status 1, 2 or 3 who participated in+
- the initially funded project for which additional funding is being requested;
- Consist of at least one principal investigator AND one co-director or co-investigator with CGR status 1, 2 or 3.
To be eligible, the principal investigator must:
- Have status 1, 2 or 3 and meet all the eligibility requirements set out in the CGR.
In the event of a change in principal investigator, to be eligible, the team must provide a letter of support for the continuation of the project, signed by the principal investigator of the initial application (for eligibility purposes only; will not be given to the evaluation committee; template available in the Toolbox at the bottom of the page).
For AUDACE Plus, the intersectorality of the team (participation of individuals from at least two sectors covered by different Fonds (FRQ-Nature et technologies, FRQ-Santé and FRQ-Société et culture) is not mandatory but is strongly recommended (see evaluation criteria in Section 5).
Please note that the AUDACE Plus competition does not have a pre-application phase (see Sections 4 and 5 for details).
3.2 Role in the application
The principal investigator can designate one or a maximum of two people as project co-director(s) in the application. The co-director of a team must have Status 1, 2 or 3 as defined in the CGR.
A project co-director shares equal responsibility for the conduct of the proposed research with the principal investigator. Should the project receive funding, the co-director must 1) be identified with the principal investigator as co-leader of the research project and 2) endorse the final report at the end of the grant period.
An unlimited number of additional members may be added to the team as co-investigators. Co-investigators must have one of the research statuses defined in the CGR, namely:
- Status 1: university researcher;
- Status 2: clinical university researcher;
- Status 3: college researcher;
- 4: other research statuses that do not fall under statuses 1, 2 and 3 mentioned above, i.e.:
- researcher in a government institution recognized by the FRQ;
- researcher in a government-sector organization not recognized by the FRQ or in the private sector;
- individual contributor.
Finally, the research team may also enlist collaborators who provide specific expertise to the research project for which funding is requested (see CGR section “Definitions – Statuses and Roles”). As a result, postdoctoral fellows may contribute to the project as collaborators. However, research professionals are not eligible to be collaborators.
If a researcher’s status cannot be validated due to the absence of documents required under the program rules, that researcher will be removed from the list of team members before the application is forwarded to the evaluation committee.
3.3 Participation in more than one project
A principal investigator cannot be responsible for more than one funding application or grant awarded under this program.
4. APPLICATION PROCESS
Please note that the AUDACE Plus competition does not have a pre-application phase.
4.1 Electronic forms
The electronic form is available in the FRQ electronic Portfolio. To access the form, you must select the Société et culture (managing agency) section. The form is available under “Available competitions, Program: Research grants”.
IMPORTANT! The principal investigator must provide the file number of the previously funded AUDACE project in order to apply to the AUDACE Plus competition.
We invite research teams to refer to the documents provided in the Toolbox of the program web page to make sure they complete their application correctly.
4.2 Documents to be attached to the form
The principal investigator is asked to submit the following documents:
- A text (maximum 4 pages, PDF format) describing the project in relation to the objectives and evaluation criteria of the competition and the chosen component. The project description should also include the following sections, in the order indicated below:
- A supporting summary presenting the advances made and justifying the choice of funding component. Clearly indicate the objectives and impacts that were identified in the initial project and their achievement, where applicable. Also describe the motivation to continue the project.
- The intended use of the additional funding. For the Amplitude component, explain the concrete actions, with their timeline, for increasing the scope of the project’s impacts (scientific, technological, health, cultural, etc.) in a separate paragraph clearly identified for this purpose.
- Demonstration that the continuation of the project remains in line with the AUDACE program (disruptive research, knowledge co-construction, emphasis on intersectorality, etc.).
- A presentation of the team with a summary of the roles of each member. If applicable, justify any changes compared to the initial team including the redistribution of roles if applicable.
- An FRQ abridged CV for each member of the team (except collaborators, who do not need to provide a CV) prepared using the presentation rules available in the Toolbox at the bottom of the page (maximum 2 pages);
- A detailed budget and a maximum of 1 page of budgetary justifications;
- In the case of a change of principal investigator, a letter of support for the continuation of the project, signed by the principal investigator of the initial application (for eligibility purposes only; will not be given to the evaluation committee; template available in the Toolbox at the bottom of the page).
If the team includes a co-investigator who is paid as a contracted professor or has “retired” status, a letter from the institution must be provided if the application is selected for funding, attesting that the co-investigator’s employment relationship with the managing institution will be maintained for the duration of the grant.
Only forms completed by the principal investigator, submitted to his or her managing institution and transmitted electronically to the FRQ before the competition deadline are accepted. An application that does not contain the information necessary to determine eligibility or enable evaluation will be deemed invalid by the FRQ. No document submitted or sent after the deadline will be accepted.
5. APPLICATION EVALUATION
5.1 Evaluation committee
Applications will be evaluated by committees whose members are recognized for their skills, expertise and achievements related to the program’s objectives and the submitted applications. Given the diverse profiles of committee members, applicants are encouraged to present the project in such a way as to be easily understood by an interdisciplinary and intersectoral committee.
Applications will undergo scientific evaluation based on the objectives and criteria of the component. To be recommended for funding, the application must receive an overall score of 70% or higher.
- Applications will undergo scientific evaluation based on the objectives and criteria of the component. The ten (10) applications with the highest scores and an overall score of at least 70% are retained for Phase 2.
- The leaders of the selected projects will be invited for an interview and presentation before an international scientific committee. To be recommended for funding, the interview must receive an overall score of 85% or higher.
5.2 Evaluation criteria
In line with the program’s objectives, the evaluation criteria (the same for both components) and weightings (different for each component) are as follows:
1. Advances and motivation to continue
Clarity and coherence of the supporting summary, and progress in relation to the objectives and impacts indicated in the initial project.
2. Level of intersectoral integration
In concrete terms, intersectoral networking in research – which cannot be reduced to a merely collaborative approach – takes shape through:
- the joint design and development, within the project, of research problems that engage research questions or topics common to or shared by representatives of the different sectors;
- the development of an innovative methodology, adapted to each research problem and integrating approaches from each sector represented within the project;
- team composition: the project should be carried out by researchers from more than one sector of the FRQ.
3. Potential for disruptive innovative
By “disruptive innovation”, the FRQ mean significantly challenging the foundations, knowledge and practices that govern a field of research, or the approaches and methods that commonly underpin the study of a research topic. A project’s potential for disruptive innovation lies in its capacity, notably through intersectorality, to go beyond the boundaries of what is known, to break with established frameworks and standards n order to produce radically new knowledge of a theoretical, epistemological, methodological, aesthetic or technological nature.
4. Scope of the anticipated impacts
Quality of the proposal to follow up on the project and realism and scope of the anticipated impacts.
For the purposes of this program, the notion of “impacts” is understood to mean “deliverables”, in the broadest sense of the term. The potential impacts under this program, which must be of benefit to Québec society, can be scientific, social, economic, technological, cultural, or aesthetic in nature.
The budget estimates will be analyzed by the committee, which will verify their consistency with the submitted project.
Advances and motivation
Potential for rupture
6. IMPORTANT DATES AND ANNOUNCEMENT OF RESULTS
- June 8, 2023 at 11 AM: Information webinar on the program. An invitation will be sent directly to eligible applicants (the webinar will be recorded and available in the Toolbox of the program webpage after June 8)
- Deadline for submission of applications: September 21, 2023
- Interviews for the Amplitude component: Early February 2024 (no interview for the Visée component)
For the conditions regarding the announcement of funding, refer to Section 5 of the CGR.
7. DESCRIPTION AND NATURE OF FUNDING
Visée Component: One year of funding of up to $100,000. However, in the documents submitted for evaluation, the use of this amount can be spread over 24 months.
Amplitude Component: Two years of funding of up to $600,000 ($300,000 per year). However, in the documents submitted for evaluation, the use of this amount can be spread over 36 months.
The grant must be used to cover expenses directly related to the implementation of the project. All budget items listed in the CGR are eligible (see Section 8 of the CGR). Indirect costs equivalent to 27% of the grant amount will be paid in addition to the research grant.
8. FOLLOW-UP AND REPORTING
The first payment is conditional upon the submission of the financial and final reports for the initial grant.
Holders of a grant obtained under the AUDACE Plus program must submit a final report (in addition to the report for the initial grant) the format of which will be communicated in due course to the principal investigators of the funded applications.
In addition, in the interest of promoting the impacts of the projects funded under this program, teams must contribute, on invitation, to events such as forums, conferences and follow-up or transfer activities organized by the Fonds. The FRQ also encourage funding recipients to carry out knowledge mobilization activities for practice communities and the general public, whenever such activities are relevant.
9. IMMEDIATE OPEN ACCESS FOR PUBLICATIONS RESULTING FROM THIS GRANT
Peer-reviewed publications resulting from the research made possible by this grant must be released in immediate open access (without embargo), under an open license, in accordance with the Open access policy for the dissemination of research (revised in 2022) available in the Toolbox at the bottom of the page.
10. EFFECTIVE DATE
These rules apply to the 2023-2024 fiscal year.