Competition year : 
2022-2023

Deadline (pre-request) : 
October 6th, 2022 at 16:00 (EST)

Deadline (application) : 
December 1st, 2022 at 16:00 (EST)

Announcement of results : 
February 2023

Amount : 
$5,000

Duration : 
Maximum 1 year (not renewable)

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, including at least one student, 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, student and postdoctoral 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, student and postdoctoral 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, student and postdoctoral community. This program is intended for both emerging and more experienced researchers, and is divided into a “Student” component (described in the following sections) and a “Researcher” component.

2. OBJECTIVES

The Student component of this program has the following objectives:

  • Recognize the commitment of university students from all sectors of research to science communication and dialogue activities with the general public;
  • Encourage student researchers to hold science communication activities with the greater public;
  • Support the participation of university students 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.

The expected impacts of this program are:

  • Better recognition of science communication activities and dialogue with the general public carried out by doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows;
  • Greater involvement of students 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 young researchers who are familiar with science communication and dialogue with the general public.

3. ELIGIBILITY

The following are eligible to apply:

  • Doctoral students;
  • Postdoctoral fellows.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Have a director who is a researcher with status 1 or 2 as defined in the CGR;
  • Be recommended by a strategic cluster, research centre or institute, or research network in Québec, funded by one of the FRQ;
  • Present a science communication project aimed at the general public.

The following are not eligible:

  • 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

Description

Individuals interested in the program must inform a strategic cluster, research centre or institute, or research network of their intention to submit an application to the FRQ. They are then encouraged to send a complete application to this strategic cluster, research centre or institute, or research network (see Required documents, Section 4.2). This will help in preparing the application but is not mandatory. Note that strategic clusters, research centres or institutes, and research networks may have their own requirements at this stage.

Steps

Stage 2 (pre-application)

Description

After a selection process left to their discretion, each strategic cluster, research centre or institute, or research network may recommend one applicant to the FRQ from among all the applications received. The person to contact to inform the FRQ of their choice, no later than the pre-application deadline, is Josée Ann Maurais at joseeann.maurais@frq.gouv.qc.ca. At the same time, the applicant must be informed by the strategic cluster, research centre or institute, or research network that he or she has been selected to submit an application to the FRQ.

Important: the FRQ acknowledge receipt of all applications received at Stage 2 of this program as they are submitted by email. It is the responsibility of the person in charge of the pre-application within the strategic cluster, research centre or institute, or research network AND the applicant to ensure that the pre-application was received in the absence of an acknowledgement of receipt.

Steps

Stage 3 (application)

Description

The selected applicants must complete, following the instructions provided by the FRQ and by invitation only, through the FRQnet electronic portfolio, an electronic application form, no later than the application deadline. There are various sections to complete and documents to attach (see Section 4.2 below).

4.2  Documents required for the complete application submitted to the FRQ (Stage 3)

The forms and documents required in Stage 3 must be submitted through the FRQnet electronic portfolio. You must select the Santé section (managing agency). Documents sent by email or by post will not be accepted.

DOCUMENTS TO BE SUBMITTED ELECTRONICALLY WITH THE APPLICATION

1.  The online form including:

  • Project description in light of the objectives and evaluation criteria of this program (max. 2 pages);
  • Detailed action plan with measurable objectives and specific methods to reach a well-defined target audience (max. 2 pages);
  • Applicant’s motivation to undertake a science communication project aimed at the general public (max. 2 pages).

Other documents to be attached to the electronic form:
2.  A CV (max. 2 pages) for the applicant including the following:

  • Education;
  • Research achievements;
  • Experience in scientific communication.

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

4.  A letter of commitment from the strategic cluster or research centre, institute or network for the promotion of the projects listed in the science communication action plan (max. 2 pages).

5.  A letter of support from the applicant’s research director, outlining the support that will be provided (max. 1 page).

Important notes:

  • 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.
  • Applicants must indicate, in their action plan, whether their project is directly related to one or more science communication projects already receiving funding from another source.
  • Required documents that are missing or non-compliant will not be requested and will render the application ineligible.
  • Unrequested documents submitted with the application will be removed before evaluation.
  • Applicants are advised to prepare their application, at both the pre-application and application stages, well in advance to ensure that it is submitted before the deadline, given the large number of applications and requests received by the Fonds de recherche du Québec at the end of the competition.

5. EVALUATION

5.1 Evaluation committee

A joint committee composed of researchers, research students and science communication specialists will evaluate the applications received.

5.2 Evaluation Criteria

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

  1. · Skills and motivation – 20 points

Applicant’s science communication skills with the general public and/or motivation and commitment to carry out such activities.

  • Science communication action plan for the general public – 70 points

Relevance and originality of the science communication action plan;

Expected impacts of the activities;

Realism of the timeframe and budget, and capacity to implement the action plan.

  • Integration of the action plan in the activities of the strategic cluster, research centre or institute, or research network – 10 points

6. DESCRIPTION AND NATURE OF THE GRANT

Successful applicants will receive a grant of $5,000 for a maximum of 1 year. Twelve winners, four from each FRQ research sector, will be selected under this competition.

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.).
  • Costs related to the printing of promotional material for interaction with the general public.

Professional fees and compensation

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

Travel and Subsistence Costs

  • Travel expenses of the applicant (maximum $500). It should be noted that the FRQ may decide to approve a higher amount for this category of expense, provided that this is adequately justified in the application. However, applicants are advised to contact the program manager beforehand.

Other types of eligible expenses

  • Science communication training costs (max. $500).

7. FINANCIAL REPORTING

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 of $500 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.