THESE PROGRAM RULES ARE NOW OUT OF COMPETITION.
!!! COMPETITION REOPENING!!! If you opened a form during the initial competition period (which ended on October 11, 2022), you need to open a new form and upload the documents again. Please note that letters of support are now optional, albeit strongly recommended. A document explaining the grading system for institutions outside North America is also required, where applicable).
The electronic form is available in the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) electronic Portfolio. You have a single FRQnet Portfolio account for the three FRQ. To access the form, you must select the Société et culture section (FRQ-Société et culture is the managing agency). The form is available under “Available competitions”, Program: “Training and internship awards”.
This competition refers to the Common General Rules (CGR), which apply to all FRQ programs. Any specific conditions that apply to this program are set out below and prevail over the CGR.
In the event of a discrepancy between the English and French versions of this program, the French version prevails.
Table of contents
- PROGRAM OBJECTIVES
- REQUIRED DOCUMENTS
- DURATION AND AMOUNT OF THE FELLOWSHIP
- TERMS OF THE FELLOWSHIP
- APPLICATION EVALUATION PROCESS
- IMPORTANT DATES, ANNOUNCEMENT OF RESULTS AND EFFECTIVE DATE
- IMMEDIATE OPEN ACCESS FOR PUBLICATIONS RESULTING FROM THIS FELLOWSHIP
- KNOWLEDGE MOBILIZATION
- CONTACT PERSONS
A partnership between the FRQ and the Advisory Committee on Climate Change
The Advisory Committee on Climate Change (hereinafter, the “Committee”) and the FRQ have joined forces to support the advancement of knowledge on the urgent societal challenge of climate change.
The Committee is a standing independent body whose mission is to advise the Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change on orientations, programs, policies and strategies to tackle climate change. The Committee publishes the opinions it produces for the Minister. In carrying out its mandate, the Committee takes into account the evolution of scientific and technological knowledge as well as scientific consensuses. When formulating and disseminating its opinions, the Committee also relies on consultation and collaboration processes involving a plurality of civil society actors.
Considering the complex and multidimensional issues of climate change mitigation and adaptation, and in the wake of the Climate Action Fellowship Program, the FRQ and the Committee have developed this new postdoctoral fellowship program, the objective of which is to encourage the development of innovative studies that contribute to improving science advice to government. The work carried out under this fellowship will thus help support and inform the Committee’s work in its advisory role to the Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change.
2. PROGRAM OBJECTIVES
The Climate Policy Postdoctoral Fellowship program aims to support the work of the Committee and to offer the successful applicant a career opportunity that will further his or her skills in the field of Québec public policy on climate change. For this first competition, the fellowship will be carried out within the Committee’s secretariat under the academic supervision of the Committee’s Chair, Professor Alain Webster of the Université de Sherbrooke School of Management. The successful applicant’s content expertise must be in one or more of the following areas related to the fight against climate change:
- Mitigation actions across all emission sectors;
- Adaptation actions;
- Environmental, social and economic impacts of climate change;
- Equity issues in Quebec between sectors of activity, between regions and local communities, between generations, and between genders;
- Indigenous issues and perspectives.
2.1 Specific mandate
The postdoctoral work carried out by the successful applicant will serve to assist the Committee in preparing a report on Québec’s climate action as part of the global stocktake on climate action to be carried out in 2023 under the Paris Agreement, to which Québec has declared itself bound. This report will be prepared by the Committee based on the best available scientific data and will be made public in late fall 2023. The successful applicant will also be expected to produce analyses on the fight against climate change to support the production of other opinions or publications by the Committee, in priority areas determined by the Committee and according to his or her expertise.
2.2 Expertise sought
The successful applicant’s content expertise must be related to one or more of the areas mentioned above and may be from any discipline. In addition to content expertise, the successful applicant must have advanced analysis and writing skills, as well as an aptitude for knowledge transfer in professional settings. The ability to articulate science-based advice for government leaders (issue summaries, options for action) is also highly desired. Finally, the successful applicant is expected to be able to conduct comparative studies on climate policy and action and be familiar with the work of international organizations dealing with climate issues.
Applicants must meet all eligibility requirements on the competition deadline of January 19, 2023 at 4 PM.
3.1 Eligibility period and target group
This program is aimed at applicants who:
- obtained their doctorate no more than 2 years (maximum 24 months) before the competition deadline;
- have not yet completed their doctorate but will make their initial thesis submission no later than January 16, 2023, the deadline for starting to use the fellowship.
Eligibility will be determined based on the date indicated on the doctoral diploma.
- are domiciled in Québec for the duration of the postdoctoral fellowship.
3.2 Eligibility period exceptions
Exceptions regarding postdoctoral fellowship eligibility periods will only be considered in circumstances that are beyond the applicant’s control. Applicants may suspend or postpone their studies for parental leave, major family obligations, serious illness, or because of a disability. In all such cases, supporting documents must be submitted along with the application, in the sections intended for this purpose (“Other documents” section).
Parental leave, major family obligations or serious illness
Applicants who have interrupted or delayed their studies for parental leave, major family obligations or serious illness may be granted an eligibility period extension. In the case of parental leave, the eligibility period may be extended for up to one year per parental leave. In the case of major family obligations or a career interruption due to serious illness, the Fonds will determine the extension to be granted based on the supporting documents provided by the applicant.
Persons with disabilities
Applicants who suspend or postpone their studies for reasons related to a disability may also be granted an eligibility period extension. This exemption is in accordance with the Act to secure handicapped persons in the exercise of their rights with a view to achieving social, school and workplace integration (CQLR c. E-20.1). Supporting documents are required and must be submitted with the application.
The Fonds reserves the right to refuse any exception request that is not adequately justified.
A continuous physical presence in Québec is required for the duration of the fellowship, apart from break periods listed in the university calendar. The applicant agrees to meet the residency requirements for the duration of the fellowship.
Applicants may submit only one application to this competition, and the fellowship cannot be held concurrently with other postdoctoral scholarships from the FRQ or another recognized Québec or Canadian granting agency (e.g., the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Canada Council for the Arts (CAC), etc.) (see Section 6). Applicants holding a regular academic faculty position are not eligible, as per Section 2.2 of the CGR.
3.5 Supervisor and host environment
For this first competition, the fellowship will be carried out within the Committee’s secretariat, and academic supervision will take place at the Université de Sherbrooke School of Management under the supervision of the Committee’s Chair, Professor Alain Webster. As the Committee’s secretariat also has staff located in both Québec City and Montréal, most of the work will be done remotely with periodic face-to-face meetings.
As with the regular FRQ postdoctoral fellowship programs, the supervised postdoctoral fellowship must be carried out at an institution other than the awarding institution or the co-supervisory/cotutelle institution (if applicable) of the doctoral degree. Applicants wishing to request an exception to do the postdoctoral fellowship at the same university that awarded their doctorate must include a 1-page explanatory letter, in PDF format, with the application form (“Other documents” section).
3.6 Co-supervisor and co-supervisory environment (if applicable)
The postdoctoral trainee may also be co-supervised by another member of the Committee with one of the following statuses as defined in the CGR (see the section “Definitions – Status and Roles”):
- Status 1: University researcher
- Status 2: Clinical university researcher
- Status 3: College researcher
- Status 4a: Researcher in a government institution recognized by the FRQ
- Status 4b: Researcher in a government-sector organization not recognized by the FRQ
or in the private sector
- Status 4c: Practitioner
- Status 4d: Artist
The postdoctoral trainee cannot be co-supervised by his/her doctoral research supervisor. Similarly, the co-supervisor cannot be affiliated with the institution where the postdoctoral trainee carried out his/her doctoral studies.
4. REQUIRED DOCUMENTS
1) The electronic form, to be completed directly in the applicant’s FRQSC electronic Portfolio (Société et culture is the managing agency for this program), which includes the following sections:
- Project summary (maximum 500 words);
- A description of the project proposal (maximum of 4 pages, excluding the bibliography) highlighting the applicant’s skills and knowledge in the fight against climate change and the potential contribution of this expertise to the preparation of the Québec climate action report. The description must include a timeline outlining the activities proposed by the applicant in view of the Committee’s publication of the Québec climate action report in late fall 2023. The proposal must specify to which priority issue(s), as defined in Section 2, the project would contribute.
2) A 2-page abridged CV prepared according to the format indicated in the document in the toolbox at the bottom of this webpage (this document is mandatory)
3) A cover letter of up to two (2) pages in which the applicant explains how the postdoctoral fellowship would fit into his or her academic and career goals (this document is mandatory)
4) Two letters of support of up to (1) page each (these documents are optional, but strongly recommended)
5) Official transcripts
A copy of all transcripts is required, for all university studies pursued by the applicant, whether completed or not. This includes transcripts from exchange programs or courses (equivalencies), where applicable. Transcripts must be up-to-date and include all completed semesters and grading scales (back of transcript).
Transcripts sent to the Fonds must be official. What makes a transcript official may differ from one academic institution to another. Nonetheless, to be deemed official by the Fonds, each transcript must: (1) be issued by the institution in question; and (2) include elements indicating that it is an official transcript for that academic institution. This may be the seal or stamp of the issuing institution AND/OR the registrar’s signature AND/OR the notation “Official Transcript”.
See the Important Notes at the end of this section for more details.
6) Where applicable, the following documents must be included in the “Other documents” section of the form:
Submitted, in press and accepted articles: All submitted articles must be accompanied by a letter of acknowledgement from the publisher. Articles accepted for publication or in press must be accompanied by a notification from the publisher. The applicant must be identified by name, or the article in question will not be considered in the application evaluation.
Medical certificate for eligibility period exception: Applicants seeking eligibility period exceptions must provide a medical certificate attesting to the duration of the sick leave or parental leave or the disability to justify the delay or interruption of studies. A certificate from the university may replace the medical certificate in the case of parental leave.
Important notes related to official transcripts:
Transcripts sent to the Fonds must be official.
It is the fellowship applicant’s responsibility to check with the relevant educational institutions to determine the processing time for obtaining official transcripts.
THE PRESENCE OF A WATERMARK will not render a transcript unofficial, as long as it meets the requirements specified above.
A transcript delivered in a sealed envelope by the registrar’s office can be opened and its contents scanned. Opening the envelope to scan the transcript will not render it unofficial for the purposes of the Fonds.
For a current program of study, the transcript must include the last semester completed before the competition deadline, including the summer session.
In the case of transcripts from institutions outside North America, a document explaining the grading system used must be included in the “Academic background ” section of the form. This letter must clearly explain the institution’s grading system, in order to allow a proper understanding of the transcripts.
If the university where the applicant’s studies took place does not provide a transcript, the applicant must attach a letter of explanation from this institution (registrar’s office or equivalent administrative body) stating the reasons for the missing transcripts.
If such a letter from the institution is not available, a letter of explanation written by the applicant, justifying the absence of a transcript and endorsed by the department director, must be attached to the application.
Important notes related to submitting applications:
The required forms and documents must be submitted through the FRQnet electronic Portfolio. Documents sent by email or by post will not be accepted.
Required documents that are missing or non-compliant will not be requested and will render the application ineligible.
Unrequested documents submitted with the pre-application or application will be removed before evaluation.
Documents received after the competition deadline will not be considered. Once submitted, applications cannot be updated.
Any official document submitted in a language other than French or English must be accompanied by a professional translation certified as a true copy of the original document. Any other document submitted in a language other than French or English must include a basic translation.
5. DURATION AND AMOUNT OF THE FELLOWSHIP
The duration of the fellowship is one year. It may be extended once for an additional year, in which case a new project description must be submitted and approved by the Committee member supervising the postdoctoral trainee. For this first contest, only one fellowship is available.
The fellowship must begin on the date indicated in the award letter. Start and end dates may be changed upon approval by the FRQ of a documented change request, approved by the Committee and sent by email to the program manager at the FRQ.
The annual value of the fellowship is $50,000 including $5,000 to cover fellowship-related travel expenses.
The value of the fellowship may be modified at any time without prior notice, notably in accordance with the funds allocated annually to the FRQ by the Québec National Assembly and the funds available in the Fonds d’électrification et de changements climatiques.
6. TERMS OF THE FELLOWSHIP
To retain the fellowship, the fellowship holder must:
- Respect the conditions relating to domicile, be present at the host environment, in accordance with the conditions agreed on with the fellowship supervisor, for the duration of the fellowship, and devote himself/herself full-time to the postdoctoral research. Failure to comply with this rule could result in the cancellation of the fellowship;
- Respect the rules relating to concurrent funding;
- Respect the rules relating to paid employment.
6.1 Concurrent funding
This fellowship may not be held concurrently with:
- A scholarship from a Canadian granting agency such as the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), etc;
- A scholarship from a Québec granting agency such as the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS), the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT), the Conseil de recherches en pêche et agro-alimentaire du Québec (CORPAQ), etc.;
- A scholarship from the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) or the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ) awarded for the same project.
This fellowship may be held concurrently with:
- Scholarships from ministries and agencies of the Québec and Canadian governments, other than those mentioned above;
- Private sector and university scholarships.
6.2 Paid employment
The postdoctoral trainee may accept additional paid employment provided that: (1) the employment does not exceed 250 hours per 4-month period, (2) the Committee member supervising the fellowship does not object, and (3) the employment does not interfere with the research activities.
The FRQ consider teaching a 45-hour course to be equivalent to 150 hours of employment. Note that the same course given to two different groups during the same term is considered to be equivalent to two teaching assignments. A salary received for working exclusively on the research project is considered a fellowship.
6.3 Changes to the project, host environment, supervisor or co-supervisor
Please refer to Section 6.5 of the CGR.
6.4 Deferral and supplement during parental leave
Please refer to Section 6.13 of the CGR.
7. APPLICATION EVALUATION PROCESS
Applications are evaluated in two phases. The first is a relevance assesment and the second a scientific evaluation.
Phase 1: Relevance assessment
Eligible applications are assessed for relevance by a panel composed of members of the Advisory Committee on Climate Change, or any other person appointed by the Committee, to select the projects that meet its needs and priority issues as defined for the current year, including work related to the Québec climate action report.
Relevance assessment criteria
Proficiency in sectoral and interdisciplinary climate change issues in Québec: 50%
- Number and quality of publications and other knowledge transfer activities related to one or more sectoral climate change issues
- Level of excellence of the applicant’s academic background (grades, scholarships and awards)
- Integrated knowledge of the various dimensions of climate issues
Potential for knowledge dissemination and support for the development of public policy advice: 35%
- Amount of dissemination and advisory experience as presented in the CV and the project proposal
- Capacity to translate the expected research results into concrete proposals, solutions, recommendations or public initiatives
Feasibility of the proposed project, particularly in view of the planned publication of the Québec climate action report in the fall of 2023: 15%
- Knowledge and interest in issues and challenges related to public decision-making and public policy implementation
- Realistic nature of the timeline
Phase 2: Scientific evaluation
A limited number of applications selected during the relevance assessment undergo scientific evaluation by an intersectoral panel composed of individuals known for their climate change expertise and selected according to the rules in force at the FRQ.
Quality of the academic record: 35%
- Research ability (scientific experience and achievements)
- Level of excellence of the applicant’s academic background (grades, scholarships and awards)
Scientific quality of the project: 50%
- Clarity and coherence of the perspective, research problem, methodology and objectives
- Scientific quality and rigour of the proposed activities
Feasibility of the project, particularly in view of the planned publication of the Québec climate action report in the fall of 2023: 15%
- Potential for integration of the proposed project in the applicant’s academic and career goals
- Realistic nature of the proposed timeline
To be recommended for funding, an application must: 1) include all required documents, 2) be deemed relevant to the competition themes and the tasks required under the fellowship, and 3) obtain a minimum overall score of 70% in the scientific evaluation.
8. IMPORTANT DATES, ANNOUNCEMENT OF RESULTS AND EFFECTIVE DATE
January 19, 2023 at 4 PM: Deadline for application
Beginning of March 2023: Announcement of results
For the conditions regarding the announcement of funding, refer to Section 5 of the CGR, with the exception of the date on which the results will be published, which is variable for this program.
These rules apply to the 2022-2023 fiscal year.
9. IMMEDIATE OPEN ACCESS FOR PUBLICATIONS RESULTING FROM THIS FELLOWSHIP
Peer-reviewed publications resulting from the research made possible by this fellowship must be released as immediate open access (without embargo), under an open license, in accordance with the FRQ Open Access Dissemination Policy (see version revised in 2022)).
10. KNOWLEDGE MOBILIZATION
The FRQ and the Committee encourage funding recipients to lead and contribute to knowledge mobilization activities (transfer, sharing, development, outreach and dissemination) with practice settings and the public, whenever such activities are relevant in the context of their research. To learn more, please click here: Knowledge mobilization.
11. CONTACT PERSONS
For the FRQ:
Directorate of Societal Challenges and Intersectoral Networks
Office of the Chief Scientist
For the Advisory Committee on Climate Change:
Secrétariat du Comité consultatif sur les changements climatiques
Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques
Phone: 418 558-1607