Competition year : 
2022-2023

Deadline (notice or letter of intent) : 
August 23rd, 2021 at 16:00 (EST)

Deadline (application) : 
October 1st, 2021 at 16:00 (EST)

Announcement of results : 
April 2022

Amount : 
$18,005 to $53,082

Duration : 
4 years

COVID-19

In your application, you will be able to describe how the COVID-19 pandemic may have affected your training or research activities during the past few months, in order for this information to be considered in the evaluation. Please refer to the document “Considering the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the evaluation of funding applications” for further information.

REMINDER

It is the applicant’s responsibility to read the Common General Rules (CGR) of the Fonds de recherche du Québec, which apply to all FRQS programs, in addition to these program rules. The particular conditions of the current program are detailed here and take precedence over the CGR.

Objectives

This program is designed to facilitate the recruitment of qualified researchers seeking to begin or continue a career as independent researcher in human health. With this program, the FRQS intends to promote continuity in human health research in Québec and ensure that high-caliber scientists are available to meet the needs of universities, hospitals and industries.

Applicants must hold a professional degree in a health-related field and work as half-time researchers (at least 50% of their working hours). This program is divided into four research areas: 1) basic research; 2) clinical and epidemiological research; 3) research on health and society; and 4) research on health and technologies.

Important note: It is the responsibility of the applicant to choose the right program and the right form for the career award application. No program transfer will be made following the applicant’s file eligibility review.

1. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Eligible applicants

Applicants must:

  • hold a professional university degree in health sciences at the doctoral level (MD, DDS, etc.), a valid license to practice, and at least two continuous years of additional research training, with at least 50% of time devoted to research. The license must remain valid throughout the duration of the award.
  • be employed by a managing institution and reside in Quebec at the inception of the award. The managing institution must confirm, each award year, that the person is employed continuously (including the maintenance of appropriate visas, if applicable).
  • meet the criteria relating to research status “University clinician researcher” (see the Definition section of the Common General Rules).
  • devote at least 50% of their working hours to research while carrying on clinical activities at a level satisfactory to the FRQS (at least 25%).

Health-care professionals who hold a valid license to practice in Québec and spend at least 75% or more on their working hours on research may apply for the following program: Research Scholars – Junior 1 and 2, Senior.

Candidates may apply:

  • A maximum of three times within the four years during which they are classified as Junior 1 (0 to 3 years’ experience).
  • A maximum of two times within the four years during which they are classified as Junior 2 (4 to 7 years’ experience).
  • A maximum of two times within the four years during which they are classified as Senior (8 to 11 years’ experience). See the Research experience section.

The following individuals are not eligible to apply :

  • Directors or associate scientific directors of research centres funded by the FRQS or senior managers in university-level teaching institutions (unless permission in writing has been obtained from the FRQS).
  • Applicants holding an award with more than 12 months remaining as of October 1, 2021.

Terms and conditions

  • Must be working in Québec as a clinician in a health-care institution in the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) network
  • Must have permission from the director of the department or research director of an institution recognized by the FRQS to conduct research activities (see section on Research location)
  • Obtain the university approval required by the FRQS

University approval is done in the Institutions portal at a date that is determined by the university and which precedes the FRQS deadline (see section on Required Documents)

  • Must have a commitment from the university that the applicant will be appointed to a university position at the inception of the award
  • Must comply with the provisions of the Québec Health Insurance Act (section XII, articles 95 to 104) regarding research scholarships. Specifically, all applicants must agree to comply with the provisions of the Act regarding the awarding of research scholarships (article 96):

“No one shall be entitled to a research scholarship if, in the opinion of the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé under the Act respecting the Ministère du Développement économique, de lIinnovation et de l’Exportation.”(chapter M-30.01),

  • He/she is not domiciled in Québec;
  • He/she does not have a working knowledge of the official language of Québec;
  • He/she is not pursuing, for a university body or for an institution, research in connection with one of the health sciences.”

Basic research ethics training

Basic research ethics training is mandatory for all recipients of an FRQS career award when their research projects or programs involve human beings.

Research on human beings involves:

  • Participation of human beings;
  • Use of human biological materials (parts, products, tissue, cells, genetic materials, derived from a living or dead individual);
  • Assisted procreation activities or the use of human embryos derived therefrom, within the meaning of the Act respecting clinical and research activities relating to assisted procreation (CQLR c. A-5.01);
  • The use of administrative, scientific or descriptive data from human participants

Awardees must therefore successfully complete levels 1 and 3 of the Online Tutorial in Research Ethics developed by the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux.

This training must be completed within the one year of the date following confirmation by the FRQS that the award is granted.

In addition, all career award recipients must attend a Research Ethics Board (REB) meeting as observers. The REB must be affiliated with a university or with an institution within the health and social services network. Participation must occur within two years of receipt of a positive response concerning the FRQS award.

2. RESEARCH AREAS

All applicants are required to choose one of the four following research areas :

Basic science

This area includes the basic biological mechanisms of health at the molecular, cellular, tissue and integrative levels, including all research that uses intact animal organisms or their cellular components, cell lines, or human cells and tissues. Research that involves the participation of human subjects is included under this heading as long as it involves basic mechanisms.

Clinical and epidemiological science

In general, this area includes all biological, medical and epidemiological research that involves the participation of human subjects.

Health and society

This area includes research on individual, social and cultural factors and interactions among them that are linked to health status or behaviors. There are many social and cultural factors that are relevant to health: the organization and provision of health care, social and health-care policy, education, economics and employment, the media, ethical issues, the environment in which we live, and so on.

Health and technologies

The health and technologies research area focuses on research whose main objective is to create, develop or evaluate innovative technologies applicable to human health such as biomaterials, biomechanics, tissue engineering, biomedical imaging, artificial intelligence, nanomedicine, nanotechnologies, regenerative medicine, electrophysiology, radiobiology, telemedicine and health information sciences, rehabilitation engineering, etc. Please note that projects using new technologies to meet other objectives should be submitted to the other research areas, according to the objectives and the corresponding methodologies.

It is possible to combine two research areas ; for example, basic science and clinical and epidemiological science may intersect in research projects that involve human subjects.

After reviewing the Notices of Intent, the FRQS may ask that an applicant redirect his or her application to the research area in which the Review Committee possesses the most appropriate expertise for reviewing the file. In doubt, applicants are invited to contact the FRQS.

IMPORTANT NOTES

The only font now accepted is Times New Roman, size 12.

  • The transmission of documents for the notice of intent is done via the FRQS Electronic Portfolio only.
  • No document sent by email or post will be accepted.
  • Any document that is missing or does not comply with the rules of the program and electronic forms, but deemed critical for eligibility or evaluation, renders the file ineligible.
  • Items required but missing from the file will not be claimed.
  • No extension will be allowed. Any form not sent by the dates and deadlines indicated will be automatically rejected.

IMPORTANT

  • The notice of intent must be sent before the institution (university) deadline, which precedes the FRQS filing deadline, to allow academic approval (details provided in the electronic form). University approval, which automatically triggers the transmission of the form to the FRQS, must be made before the deadline for submission to the FRQS.
  • Once the form has been sent, it will no longer be possible to modify it.

3. REQUIRED DOCUMENTS – NOTICE OF INTENT

The Notice of Intent allows the FRQS to:

  • establish applicant’s eligibility;
  • verify the type of program and area of research chosen by the applicant (see Research areas) and assign the applicant to a preliminary category based on experience (see Research experience) in order to recruit peer-review committees. Scientific reviews are not based on the Notice of Intent;
  • obtain the university approval.

Only applicants who are deemed to be eligible and have been approved by their university may submit a complete application.

Applicants

The FRQS will confirm applicant’s eligibility by e-mail by mid-September.

IMPORTANT NOTES

The only font now accepted is Times New Roman, size 12.

  • The transmission of documents for the notice of intent is done via the FRQS Electronic Portfolio only.
  • No document sent by email or post will be accepted.
  • Any document that is missing or does not comply with the rules of the program and electronic forms, but deemed critical for eligibility or evaluation, renders the file ineligible.
  • Items required but missing from the file will not be claimed.
  • No extension will be allowed. Any form not sent by the dates and deadlines indicated will be automatically rejected.

IMPORTANT :

  • The Complete Application must be sent before the institution (university) deadline, which precedes the FRQS filing deadline, to allow academic approval (details provided in the electronic form).
  • University approval, which automatically triggers the transmission of the form to the FRQS, must be made before the deadline for submission to the FRQS.
  • Once the form has been sent, it will no longer be possible to modify it.

4. REQUIRED DOCUMENTS – COMPLETE APPLICATION

Applicants

Directors of university research centers or departments

Two respondents (for Junior 1 applicants only)

  • Electronic form  to be completed by each respondent including a letter of recommendation. The respondents must be familiar with the applicant’s works. One of them must have been involved in the applicant’s most recent research training (PDF version – for information).
  • The application will be rejected if one of the two respondents is missing.

Mentor (For Junior 1 applicants only)

  • Electronic form (PDF version – for information) including the applicant’s mentorship plan, which must describe the arrangement for the first year of the grant and a four-year outlook (max. 2 pages). The letter must detail the support provided by an experienced researcher in terms of preparing applications, planning and carrying out the research program and ensuring support for other aspects of the applicant’s career.

Resubmission

If the application is a resubmission in the same category, the candidate must indicate it in the form and include the answers of the previous reviewers. The application will be rejected if it is not mentionned.

IMPORTANT : All forms (applicants and supervisors as well as respondents and mentors if applicable) should be submitted before the institutional (university) deadline, which is before the FRQS submission deadline. Specific instructions are provided in each form.

Application update

Applicants may update their award notices and publication lists until January 5, 2022. Please include grant confirmations and acknowledgements from editors for articles that are accepted for publication and submitted (do not include copy of the articles). One PDF document must be sent to the program officer. The file name must include the applicant’s name, application number and research topic. No other documents will be accepted.

After January 5, 2022, applicants may only submit the results of funding competitions in PDF format. These documents will be forwarded to the evaluation committee if it has not been held yet.

Confirmation

By email, and no later than November, applicants will be notified whether or not their application has been accepted for peer review.

5. RESEARCH LOCATION

Choice of research location

  • FRQS funded centre, an institution administered by the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) or a Québec university
    • Applicants may conduct their research outside the MSSS network or outside the FRQS network of research centres if they belong to a team or laboratory working on health-care issues recognized by the FRQS.
  • an industrial setting
    • An agreement may be signed between the FRQS, the host company and a university, depending on the applicant’s particular case. Under such an agreement, the applicant will conduct an innovative research program and train graduate students.

Change of research location

The FRQS expects that the award recipient will work at the institution or university that approved his or her application throughout the award period.

Awardees wishing to change their research location must send the FRQS a written request detailing the reasons for the change and describing how it could affect their research project (Change of research location form – see Toolbox).

As stated in section 6.5 of the Common General Rules, any change in an award holder’s status must  be reported in the Manage My Funding module of the ePortfolio.
University authorities must give the FRQS written notice that they have approved the change.

The director of the new research centre or university department must inform the FRQS in writing that they accept to host the award recipient and will provide conditions equivalent to those outlined in the form submitted by the director of the previous centre.

6. RESEARCH EXPERIENCE

The FRQS will classify the applicants as a Junior 1, Junior 2 or Senior Clinical Researcher and will notify them of their classification. On receiving such notice, applicants have 7 business days to request a review of their classification, specifying the reasons for the claim.

Classification is based on a given reference year as of which applicants demonstrate their capacity for independent research. As defined by the FRQS, this capacity is demonstrated or should have been demonstrated:

  • At the time when an application for the Junior 1 Clinical Research Scholars or the Career Transition award National Institute of Health NIH-FRQS (Phase 2) is filed,
  • When applicants obtain a career award comparable to a Junior 1 Research Scholar award or a grant awarded by an organization recognized by the FRQS for a project in which they were the principal investigator,
  • Or no later than 6 years after applicants have obtained their most recent university degree (Ph.D., MD, D.D.S., etc., or an M. Sc. as a second degree by June 30, 2021) or since qualifying as a medical specialist (C.S.P.Q., FRCP).

When one of these conditions is met, applicants are classified Junior 1 with 0 years of experience, and, as of this point, the number of years of experience is updated annually. Applicants with 4 to 7 years’ experience are classified Junior 2, and those with 8 to 11 years’ experience are classified Senior. For the FRQS, each year of experience is calculated at the effective starting date of the award (July 1st).

Once the counting of years of experience has started, there is no going back. However, during the calculation of the number of years of experience, the  FRQS does take into account particular situations that may cause applicants to temporarily put their research on hold (e.g. parental leave, sick leaves,  professional activities not involving research: clinical, treatment, management, etc.) and may subtract such years when counting years of experience.

For more information, please consult the document Calculation of research experience and particular situations, available in the Toolbox.

7. DURATION OF THE AWARD

Effective starting date

Between July 1st and September 30th, 2022

Duration

Junior 1: 4 years for all applicants

Junior 2: maximum 4 years

Senior: maximum 4 years

The duration of Junior 1 award is 4 years, regardless of the level of experience calculated at the time the award is received by the applicant. At the end of the 4 years of the Junior 1 award, awardees are promoted to Junior 2 status with 4 years’ experience in research. The number of years of experience is updated annually as of this new reference year.

For the Junior 2 and Senior classification level, the duration of the award is a maximum of 4 years which decreases with the number of years of experience. For example, the duration of a Junior 2 award is 4 years if the number of years of experience is deemed to be 4, 3 years if there are 5 years of experience, 2 years for 6 years of experience, and 1 year for the Junior 2 level (with one year credited towards the Senior level) for awardees with 7 years’ experience.

For the Senior category, the FRQS undertakes to remunerate the applicant in decreasing amounts (see Amount of the Award section).

Parental leave

In accordance to section 6.13 of the Common General Rules, the awardee may benefit from an award payment deferral during parental leave (maternity, paternity or adoption). The award may be deferred for a maximum of two years.

At least 6 months prior to the leave, the awardee must give the FRQS and the university’s authority a written notice of his/her intention to take advantage of such deferral. A letter from the University and a medical certificate  (delivery date) or any other document (birth or adoption certificate) will be required to confirm the date at which the parental leave starts and the date of return to work.

Sabbatical leave

Award recipients will receive their full stipend during a sabbatical year as long as they meet the following requirements:

  • Be a Senior or Junior 2 Research Scholar with six years of experience based on the FRQS classification. In exceptional cases, individuals at the Junior 1 level may also benefit from a sabbatical leave.
  • Send the FRQS a request for a sabbatical of up to 12 months, at least 3 months before the leave,as well as the description of the complementary training program or of the activities that will help advance the awardees research project
  • The FRQS must give his written approval of the program at least 60 days before the starting date of the sabbatical.
  • Send the FRQS a copy of the sabbatical approval signed by the university authorities or by the administrators of the institution where he/she works.
  • If applicable, send the FRQS official notice that a laboratory has agreed to host the awardee.

Sick leave or other reasons

The awardee may defer the award in case of illness or other reasons provided by the Loi sur les normes du travail as described in section 6.14 of the Common General Rules. The awardee has to inform by email the FRQS of his/her intention to take advantage of such deferral by attaching a document from his/her institution stating the authorized duration of the leave. Payments will be suspended during that period.

8. AMOUNT OF THE AWARD

Amount

From $18,005 to $53,082, including benefits of 12%, based on years of experience.

This amount must be used exclusively to pay the salary of the awardee and cannot, under any circumstances, be converted into research funds.

This award corresponds to 60% of the award for Research Scholars in the Research Scholars – Junior 1, Junior 2 and Senior program.

The pay scale for Clinical Research Scholars is set by the government of Québec and appears in article 52 of section XVI of the Bylaws to the Québec Health Insurance Act.

This amount must be supplemented by the university (see section on University authorities’ agreement)

University share

For the Senior category, the FRQS undertakes to pay the award recipient in decreasing amounts:

8 years of experience      100 %
9 years of experience      100 %
10 years of experience       75 %
11 years of experience       50 %

This policy is designed to ensure that the host institution agrees to supplement the award recipient’s salary and to integrate them into their workforce (see section on University authorities’ agreement)

Management

The list of institutions that can administer funding from the FRQ is limited to the managing institutions recognized by the FRQ, including universities, CIUSSS, CISSS, some institutions of the healthcare network and colleges.

The managing institution is generally the employing institution of the funding recipient (see section 6.2 of the Common General Rules).

Indirect costs of research

This program does not benefit from the amount paid out by FRQS to cover indirect costs of research of the institutions.

9. STARTING GRANT FOR YOUNG CLINICIAN INVESTIGATORS - JUNIOR 1

Individuals who apply to the FRQS competition for Junior 1 clinical research scholars will also receive a starting grant for young clinician investigators – Junior 1 from the FRQS valued at $15,000/year for four (4) years, non-renewable.

Restriction

When an individual receives a starting grant for young clinician investigators from the FRQS and a starting grant from another research institution, the FRQS will deduct the amount received from the other institution from the FRQS grant. Grant holders and the individuals who manage the grants are jointly responsible for advising the FRQS that two grants were awarded.

Eligible expenses

Expenses directly related to research activities:

  • Purchase research material or carry out the research project
  • Purchase or rent equipment (only individuals who have not received a Leaders Opportunity Fund grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation)
  • Pay out salaries to technical and clinical research staff
  • Take part in conferences (presentations, posters), up to $15,000 for the term of the grant

Non-eligible expenses

  • Rent or renovate premises or cover heating or electricity costs or any other indirect costs related to the research activities for a researcher working in an institution of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux or a Quebec university.
  • Pay student and postdoctoral awards

Indirect costs of research

The starting grant associated with the research scholars program does not benefit from the amount paid out by FRQS to cover indirect costs of research of the institutions.

Extension

The carry over of an unspent amount is allowed according to the terms and conditions described in section 6.10 of the Common General Rules. In addition, any unspent balance at the end of the fiscal year may be carried over to the following year provided that it is less than twenty-five percent (25%) of the total annual grant. Any balance exceeding 25% must be returned to the FRSQ.

10. OTHER SOURCES OF FUNDING

Concurrent funding

  • See Common General Rules, art. 6.12
  • A Canada Research Chair holder cannot concurrently hold the Chair and also receive a salary award from the FRQS or a starting grant for young clinician investigators at the Junior 1 level.

11. EVALUATION

Criteria

In addition to the specific evaluation criteria, the candidate must demonstrate the ability or potential:

  • to be a competitive researcher at the national and international levels
  • to collaborate with researchers from other disciplines to the satisfaction of the FRQS

Different criteria are used based on the area of research; its relative importance in the overall review by the peer-review committees may vary depending on the classification level – Junior 1, Junior 2 or Senior:

  • The review of the applicant’s research training and proposed research project is of greater relative importance at the Junior 1 level
  • The review of the applicant’s outreach and productivity in terms of training students and obtaining grants assumes increasing importance at the Junior 2 and Senior levels.

The evaluation criteria for each level are detailed in the Evaluation grids Junior 1, Junior 2, Senior (See Toolbox).

Process

All applications are reviewed:

  • By a peer-review committee made up of members representing various health disciplines and research methodologies.
  • According to the research area (basic, clinical and epidemiological, health and society or health and technologies) and research experience (Junior 1, Junior 2 or Senior).

The FRQS will recruit 4 review committees for the clinical research scholars:

Commitees

Commitee 1 – Clinical and epidemiological ; Health and society: Junior 1

Commitee 2 – Clinical and epidemiological; Health and society: Junior 2 and senior

Committee 3 – Basic science: Junior 1, Junior 2 and Senior

Committee 4 – Health and technologies: Junior 1, Junior 2 and Senior

12. REPORTS

Financial Report

For Start-up grant for young clinician investigators :

By accepting the starting grant for young clinician investigators, the awardee and the managing institution commit to giving an annual financial report by the deadline set by the FRQS.

13. COMMITMENTS

Any application submitted to this program is subject to compliance with the conditions set out in the FRQnet electronic portals and forms.

14. UNIVERSITY AUTHORITIES' AGREEMENT

Approval

The university approves applications and assumes the responsibilities listed below jointly with the head of the department with which the applicant is affiliated and the research centre where the research will be conducted (if applicable).

This approval is done in the Institutions portal at a date that is determined by the university and which is before the FRQS deadline (see section on Required Documents)

Salary supplement

University authorities supporting an application for a Clinical Research Scholar must ensure that the applicant will receive a salary supplement equal to the difference between the award and the remuneration that the individual would receive from the university as a full-time professor, to the satisfaction of the FRQS.

Should the applicant have a mixed affiliation involving a company, the university and the partner must jointly endorse the Clinical Research Scholar’s application.
Under such circumstances, the partners must ensure that the applicant will receive a salary supplement equal to the difference between the award and the remuneration that the applicant would receive from the university or from the partner as a full-time professor or employee. A protocol of agreement must be signed with the FRQS to cover this partnership.

Confirmation of position – Senior Clinical Research Scholars

For applications in the Senior Clinical Research Scholar competition:

The university must agree to integrate the researcher on completion of the award and offer the applicant a full-time permanent position or a contract position for at least five years after the end of the award (at a salary commensurate with the applicant’s university rank).

Benefits and laboratory or research premises

The awardee must be eligible to join the pension plan and enjoy other benefits available to full-time staff working at the university. These obligations imply that the researcher’s salary will be administered by the university even if he or she works at a research centre.

The host institution agrees to provide the functional laboratory or research premises and basic equipment the awardee requires for research purposes.

Protected time for research

University and host institution administrators must jointly ensure that the awardee is released from his/her administrative, clinical and teaching duties so that he/she may fulfill the obligation to devote at least half (50%) of his/her professional activities to research.

15. OPEN ACCESS

In accordance with the Fonds de recherche du Québec Open access policy for the dissemination of research, all funding recipients must agree to make their publications freely available in open access within 12 months of publication. For further information concerning FRQ requirements on the subject, please consult our Open science Web page.

16. KNOWLEDGE MOBILIZATION

The FRQS encourages awardees to conduct and participate in knowledge mobilization activities (transfer, sharing, development, enhancement and dissemination) with practice settings and the general public, when such activities are relevant. Please consult the  Knowledge Mobilization Web page.

17. EQUITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

The Fonds de recherche du Québec wish to contribute to supporting a research ecosystem based on equity, diversity and inclusion. Measures have been put in place to strengthen the integration of these principles. Funding recipients are also encouraged to consider them in the context of their research activities. For more information, see our statements on equity, diversity and inclusion.

18. IMPORTANT MODIFICATIONS SINCE THE LAST COMPETITION

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19. AWARDS IN PARTNERSHIP

The FRQS offers a number of awards in collaboration with partners. The share of funding from the FRQS and the partner may vary according to the agreements in effect.

Eligible applicants are selected through a three-step process:

  1. The applicant selects, in the Partnership [Partenariat] section of the application form, one or more partners whose targeted research areas correspond to the theme of their application.
  2. The FRQS sends to the partners a list of candidates and useful information for them to assess the relevance of the request according to their research priorities and strategy.
  3. After evaluation of the applications by a committee of experts or peers, applications having obtained the scientific excellence rating of 70 % and which have been deemed relevant by one or more partners, may receive a partnership award offer.
    As with all the awards offered by FRQS, the awards granted in partnership are based on merit following a scientific evaluation by a committee of experts or peers.

Note that by choosing to be considered for an award in partnership, and that you obtain such an award, you agree that the partner communicates with you for activities related to the award.

Kidney Foundation of Canada and Canadian Society of Nephrology – KRESCENT program

Kidney health

Candidates must also submit an application to the KRESCENT Program (Kidney Research Scientist Core Education and National Training).

Fondation de l’Association des radiologistes du Québec (FARQ)

Radiology

Career awards in the Diagnostic Radiology research field (including therapeutic and intervention components). Only radiologists (physicians) are eligible to apply.

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Quebec

Cardiovascular and cerebrovascular health

Career awards in the Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Health research field.

Parkinson Quebec

Parkinson’s disease

Career Awards in the Parkinson’s Disease research field.

Société québécoise de néphrologie

Kidney health

Career awards in the Kidney health research. Only nephrologists are eligible.

Société québécoise d’hypertension artérielle (SQHA) – Jacques de Champlain award

Hypertension and cardiovascular health

The Jacques de Champlain Award in Cardiovascular Health and Hypertension fields includes a research support supplement (maximum of $10,000 per year).

Unité de soutien SRAP du Québec

Patient-oriented research

The Patient-Oriented Research Strategy Support Unit (SPOR) is a provincial unit of the national SPOR network of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Nestled at the heart of a learning health system, it supports and catalyzes the continuous improvement of the Quebec health system by mobilizing the research, health and social services communities, with and for the population. The grants offered in partnership with the Unit allow grant holders to hone their skills and gain experience in patient-oriented research, to network and to work in interdisciplinarity with the various actors and stakeholders of a health-centric learning system.