Competition year : 
2022-2023

Deadline (pre-request) : 
September 8th, 2022 at 16:00 (EST)

Deadline (application) : 
December 8th, 2022 at 16:00 (EST)

Announcement of results : 
February 2023

Amount : 
Maximum of $40,000

Duration : 
Maximum 18 months (not renewable)

We have extended the deadline for submitting an application. You now have until December 8, 2022 at 4 p.m. (EST) to submit a request instead of December 1, 2022.

Reminder

In addition to these program rules, it is the responsibility of funding applicants to read the Common General Rules  (CGR), which apply to all Fonds de recherche du Québec (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.

The electronic form is available in the FRQnet electronic portfolio.To access the form, you must select the Santé section (managing agency). The form is available under “Available competitions, Program: Research grants”.

1. BACKGROUND

For years, the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) have been promoting the science-society dialogue. They have supported a number of initiatives over the years, while others have been developed by the FRQ themselves, including the DIALOGUE program. After three competitions, the FRQ have funded 18 science communication projects aimed at the general public and carried out by researchers and their teams, through grants of $40,000 each. In addition, under these three competitions, the FRQ have awarded 36 grants of $5,000 each to doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows for communication projects related to the research groups funded by the FRQ. The FRQ intend to continue to offer this program to the scientific community.

For the purposes of this grant program, the FRQ use the term “general public” to refer to citizens, individuals and families from different segments of the population (age groups, socio-economic backgrounds, ethnocultural origins, interests, etc.) who are curious and interested in various questions and issues related to science, research and the scientific process. It is a question of science culture and awareness of scientific information: the general public has a personal interest in research and finds it useful, but not in a professional capacity.

In a context of disinformation that leads to, among other things, the questioning of scientific consensus in print, electronic and social media, and in the context of public funding of research, it is essential for the scientific community to publicize its work, and for its members to exchange and interact with the general public. Many are already doing so, although their efforts may not receive the recognition they deserve from institutions or granting agencies. With this program, the FRQ wish to bring this type of communication activity to the forefront and send a mobilizing message to Québec’s scientific community. This program is intended for both emerging and more experienced researchers, and is divided into a “Student” component and a “Researcher” component (described in the following sections).

2. OBJECTIVES

The Researcher component of this program has the following objectives:

  • Recognize the commitment of researchers from all sectors of research to science communication and dialogue activities with the general public;
  • Support the participation of researchers in this type of activity, in order to make research, research findings, research methods and the scientific process better known to the general public, foster dialogue with the public, and spark interest in science;
  • Train and supervise students in science communication for participation in activities with the general public.

The expected impacts of this program are:

  • Better recognition of science communication activities and dialogue with the general public;
  • Greater involvement of researchers in the public sphere;
  • An increase in the presence of science and research in the public sphere through activities that would not take place without the grant;
  • An appreciation of research by the public reached by the activities;
  • The emergence of a new generation of researchers who are familiar with science communication and dialogue with the general public.

3. ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible, researchers must:

  • Have one of the following statuses, as defined in the CGR:
    • Status 1: University researcher;
    • Status 2: Clinical university researcher;
    • Status 3: College researcher.
  • Present a science communication project aimed at the general public.
  • Present a project involving the participation at least one graduate student.

The following are not eligible:

  • Projects directly related to one or more science communication projects already receiving funding from another source;
  • Projects that would have gone ahead without the funding provided under this program;
  • Projects that do not go beyond existing or well-established science communication activities.

4. APPLICATION PROCESS

4.1  Submitting an application

Steps

Stage 1 (pre-application)

Description

Applicants must submit a pre-application to the competition no later than the pre-application deadline. The pre-application will be assessed by a relevance committee based on the program’s objectives (Section 2) and evaluation criteria (Section 5).

The FRQ will send email confirmation of the acceptance or refusal of the pre-application.

A maximum of 18 applicants (6 for the FRQS, 6 for the FRQNT and 6 for the FRQSC) will be selected to submit a complete application.

Steps

Stage 2 (application)

Description

Teams who presented the projects assessed as being most relevant will receive access, by invitation, to an electronic application form to be completed and submitted, along with the required documents (see Section 4.2 below), no later than the application deadline.

4.2   REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

Electronic forms are available in the FRQnet electronic portfolio at each stage. To access the form, you must select the Santé section (managing agency). The form is available under “Available competitions, Program: Research grant”.

PRE-APPLICATION

1.  The online form including a text of a maximum of three (3) pages with the following points:

  • Summary description of the project and communication plan (the theme and an overview of the communication activities) in light of the objectives and evaluation criteria of this program (max. 2 pages);
  • Applicant’s motivation to undertake a science communication project aimed at the general public (max. 1 page).

Other documents to be attached to the electronic form:

  • An FRQ Abridged CV for the applicant prepared according to the presentation rules set out here, maximum two (2) pages, summarizing the following in this order:
    1. Research sector that represents your expertise in the proposed project: Natural sciences and engineering (FRQ-Nature et technologies), Health (FRQ -Santé), Social sciences and humanities, arts and letters (FRQ-Société et culture);
    2. Academic training (diplomas) and work experience;
    3. Professional and leadership experience;
    4. Expertise and contributions relevant to the proposal submitted to the FRQ.

COMPLETE APPLICATION

  1. The online form including a detailed science communication plan for the total duration of the grant – five (5) pages with the following points:
  • A strategy that includes measurable objectives and methods to reach a well-defined target audience;
  • A description of at least one graduate student’s participation in the project;
  • A strategy to ensure the sustainability of the activities.

It is important that it contain all the necessary information for the committee members to make a full and informed assessment of the project. If you feel you need to repeat any points that were included in the summary action plan in your pre-application, do not hesitate to do so. The committee members will not have access to your pre-application. They will, however, have access to the suggestions and comments made by the pre-application assessment committee.

The FRQ are aware that the amount of the grant offered under this program may not be sufficient to ensure the sustainability of the proposed communication activities. However, applicants are required to include, in their detailed action plan, a few lines related to strategies that could be implemented to do so.

2.  An FRQ Abridged CV for the applicant prepared according to the presentation rules set out here, maximum two (2) pages, summarizing the following in this order:

  • Research sector that represents your expertise in the proposed project: Natural sciences and engineering (FRQ-Nature et technologies), Health (FRQ -Santé), Social sciences and humanities, arts and letters (FRQ-Société et culture);
  • Academic training (diplomas) and work experience;
  • Professional and leadership experience;
  • Expertise and contributions relevant to the proposal submitted to the FRQ.

3.  A detailed budget (see eligible expense categories in Section 6).

4.  A letter of commitment from the communications and public relations department of the university or other affiliated institution for the promotion of the projects listed in the science communication action plan (max. 1 page).

5.  A letter of support from a partner deemed essential for the implementation of the science communication action plan (publisher/distributor or other – only one letter allowed, max. 1 page).

Important notes related to the detailed plan

  • In the introduction to your detailed science communication action plan, be sure to describe and contextualize the research topics or themes that will be the focus of the proposed activities or projects. In addition, be sure to define the target audience(s):  who, how to reach them, reach (how many), etc.
  • The dissemination strategy is expected to be innovative and ambitious. Dissemination solely via social media risks being considered insufficient by committee members.
  • The letter of commitment from the communications and public relations department of the university or other affiliated institution should demonstrate a real commitment to promoting the projects contained in your science communication action plan. For the FRQ, it is important that universities and other affiliated institutions commit to supporting you in your endeavours and promoting your activities. As such, a personalized letter will be better received by the committee members than a generic letter. Please do not delay in requesting such a letter.

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.
  • The approval of the managing institution is required before the pre-application and complete application can be forwarded to the FRQ. Please note that the deadlines fixed by your institution for approval are usually earlier than those specified in the program rules. It is therefore suggested that you contact the appropriate people at your institution to find out the internal deadlines as soon as you start preparing your application.
  • 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.[MJA1]Mettre le lien : https://frq.gouv.qc.ca/app/uploads/2021/06/regles_cv_abrege-dsmi.pdf
    [MJA2]Mettre lien : https://frq.gouv.qc.ca/app/uploads/2021/06/regles_cv_abrege-dsmi.pdf

5. EVALUATION

5.1  Évaluation Committee

A joint committee composed of researchers and science communication specialists will evaluate the applications received. Given the diverse profiles of evaluation committee members involved in this program, applicants are encouraged, in the documents submitted for evaluation, to present their project in such a way as to be easily understandable.

5.2  Evaluation Criteria

In line with the program’s objectives, applications will be assessed according to the following criteria:

Skills and interest – 15 points

  • Demonstration of the applicant’s experience or interest in science communication (e.g., public lectures, interviews in traditional and emerging media, blog articles, online videos, science communication training, etc.).
  • Quality of scientific achievements and research activities, peer recognition and outreach (transfer activities, conferences, publications, grants and awards, etc.).

Science communication action plan for the general public – 55 points

  • Relevance and originality of the science communication action plan for the total duration of the grant.
  • Quality of the dissemination and promotion plan for the communication activities: clear identification of the target audience(s), objectives, number of people potentially reached, and the means used.
  • Innovative and ambitious nature of the dissemination strategies.
  • Scope of the expected impacts of the activities.
  • Realism of the timeframe and budget, and capacity to implement the action plan.
  • Quality and realism of the strategies used or that could be used to ensure the sustainability of the communication activities.

Training of students in science communication – 30 points

  • Diversity and quality of planned student involvement with a view to enriching the science communication training of students beyond what is provided in study programs.

Budget estimates will be analyzed very carefully by the committee, which will assess their consistency with the proposed project. The committee will submit recommendations if necessary.

6. DESCRIPTION AND NATURE OF FUNDING

Successful projects will receive a maximum of $40,000 for a maximum period of 18 months. The grant is not renewable. A minimum of six winners, including at least two from each FRQ research sector, will be selected under this competition.

For each grant awarded, between $5,000 and $7,500 must be paid to a graduate student (masters, doctorate) or postdoctoral fellow to participate in the implementation of the action plan. The maximum amount specified is for the duration of the grant and not annually. Please note that a student may not apply to the “DIALOGUE – Student Component” program while he or she is being paid under the present program.

In accordance with the program’s objectives, the grant must be used to finance expenses that are directly related to the implementation of the project. This program does not offer payment by the FRQ for indirect research costs (FIR) incurred by the institution. The following expenses are eligible:

Dissemination and knowledge transfer

  • Costs of setting up, maintaining and promoting a digital platform (website, blog, YouTube channel, etc.).
  • Costs related to the production and dissemination of videos (filming, editing, materials, etc.).
  • Costs related to the organization and promotion of science communication events or activities.
  • Costs related to the production and promotion of popularized content (including social media advertising, partnerships with influencers, etc.).
  • osts related to the printing of promotional material for interaction with the general public.

Student support – scholarships and supplements

  • Scholarships for graduate students (master’s, doctoral, postdoctoral) to participate in the implementation of the action plan (mandatory – between $5,000 and $7,500).

Student support – remuneration

  • Remuneration for graduate students (master’s, doctoral, postdoctoral) to participate in the implementation of the action plan.

Professional fees and compensation

  • Science communication resource persons or service providers essential to the project.

Travel and Subsistence Costs

  • Travel expenses of the researcher or invited guests essential to the project (max. $2,250).

Other types of eligible expenses

  • Science communication training costs (max. $1,000 for the duration of the grant).

Important note

While the FRQ supports the remuneration of students, this must be done sparingly, given that the funded activities are expected to be highly professional and that it is possible, and even encouraged, to use qualified service providers for this purpose. A balance between budget items should be sought, and committee members will consider this in their evaluation. If a significant proportion of the funding is spent on remunerating students, this may be viewed unfavourably by committee members, as this would not really respect the “spirit” of the program.

The following expenses are not eligible:

·         Remuneration of the principal investigator

7. FINANCIAL SUPPORT

Successful applicants will be required to participate in a follow-up meeting with all grant holders under this program. This meeting will take place within three to six months of the announcement of the results. In addition, and in accordance with the CGR, an activity report, the format of which will be communicated in due course, must be submitted to the FRQ at the end of the grant period. A final payment, equivalent to 10% of the grant, will be released once this final activity report has been submitted.

8. ANNOUNCEMENT OF RESULTS

For conditions regarding the announcement and acceptance of awards, please refer to Section 5 of the CGR, with the exception of the date on which the results will be made public, which is scheduled for February 2023 for this program.