The electronic form is available in the Electronic Portfolio (E-portfolio) of the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ). You have a single FRQnet E-portfolio account for the three Fonds de recherche du Québec. To access the form, you must select the “Société et culture” section (FRQSC 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 Fonds de recherche du Québec 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 Advisory Committee on Climate Change (hereinafter “the Committee”) and the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) are launching, for a second year, the Climate Action Scholarship Program, aimed at developing and implementing public policies to combat climate change in Québec. This program is intended for doctoral students who wish to explore new ways of increasing the impact of their research through science advice.
The Committee is a public body that acts independently to fulfil its mission (website). This mission consists of advising the minister responsible for 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.
Quebec is facing significant global warming and is committed to decarbonizing in less than three decades. In this context, the Committee’s mission is to advise the Minister responsible for the fight against climate change, at the latter’s request or on his own initiative, on the orientations, programs, policies and strategies for the fight against climate change, taking into account the evolution of scientific and technological knowledge as well as scientific consensus in this area (web page). This advisory role is part of a context in which the Minister coordinates all government action in the fight against climate change. The Committee is a permanent independent organisation.
With this scholarship program, the Committee and the FRQ wish to offer $12,000 scholarships to doctoral students in all disciplines and provide an opportunity to participate in the future of climate action in Québec. The students selected under this program will use their research skills to produce new scientific knowledge to support the Committee’s science advice activities. The Committee and the FRQ hope to receive a diversity of projects encompassing technological and social dimensions as well as issues relating to individual and community health and the role of artistic approaches in the construction and deconstruction of environmental perspectives, mobilization and incitement to action. Whatever the proposed research framework, the knowledge generated should provide scientific findings on climate change to inform public policy. In this sense, it is likely to have significant societal benefits.
The program is open to anyone enrolled in a doctoral research program at a Québec university, and the scholarship offered may be held concurrently with other awards. In addition, the scholarship is conditional on the completion of a four- to six-month project involving the drafting and submission of a final deliverable, which may be published on the Committee’s website.
2. OBJECTIVES AND EXPECTATIONS
2.1 Program objectives
Developed in partnership by the Committee and the FRQ, the program’s objective is to award climate change research scholarships in order to support studies directly related to the work of the Committee and diversify the scientific knowledge available, thereby contributing to the fulfilment of its mandate, which is to advise the minister responsible for the fight against climate change. It also aims to offer the new generation of researchers the opportunity to:
- Contribute to addressing major societal challenges through multiple perspectives with the potential to provide solutions;
- Develop cross-disciplinary skills through science advice;
- Become familiar with public administration as a professional environment.
The program also aims to:
- Recognize the excellence of doctoral student research and make it accessible, wherever possible, to a wide audience.
2.2 Priority research themes
Successful projects may cover a number of disciplinary fields relevant to the fight against climate change, including reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation to the impacts of climate change, greenhouse gas sequestration, and mobilization for climate action. The objective is to mobilize multiple perspectives on complex climate change issues in ways that complement the work of the Committee. The Committee hopes that these projects will, among other things, build bridges with civil society groups and traditional knowledge, and that they will be part of a just transition.
For this second edition (2023-2024), the priority themes are:
- Improving or developing adaptation strategies in Québec;
- Improving or developing new mitigation measures in various emissions sectors in Québec;
- Renewable energy development and energy conservation in a context of decarbonization;
- Just transition and equity in the fight against climate change in Quebec;
- Indigenous issues and perspectives;
- Citizen mobilization;
- The promotion of the role of cities in climate action;
- Québec’s climate action from an international perspective.
The FRQ and the Committee fund research projects that lead to the production of deliverables whose final purpose is the formulation of recommendations, potential solutions or the development of public initiatives based on science and best practices. In their projects, applicants propose a final deliverable to be written in French and whose objective is to contribute to the application, in the Québec context, of the knowledge resulting from the proposed research project related to the fight against climate change.
The final deliverable can take, without being limited to, one of the following forms:
- A 30-page report specifying the problem, perspective, methodology, results and recommendations of the research project;
- A systematic review of the literature and/or of best practices in a specific field;
- Any type of artistic work or production that promotes a better understanding of climate change and encourages climate action;
- A web page or other public communication tool;
- A meta-analysis synthesizing the results of all studies in a specific field;
- A survey.
By accepting the award, the scholarship holder grants to the parties a non-exclusive and non-transferable license on the final deliverable. This licence allows the recipient to reproduce, adapt, translate, communicate to the public by any means, represent or execute in public and to carry out further research, based on the results contained therein, for non-commercial purposes and in compliance with copyright law. This licence is granted without territorial or time limits. This licence includes the right to grant sub-licences under the same conditions to other ministries and agencies of the Government of Québec.
3.1 Value of the scholarship
The scholarship has a value of $12,000. This scholarship may be held concurrently with other funding, as its amount and duration are equivalent to a scholarship supplement. A first payment of $6,000 is made at the start of the period referred to in the scholarship announcement and a second payment of $6,000 is made after approval of the final deliverable by the Committee.
3.2 Duration of the scholarship
The scholarship is for a period of 4 to 6 months and must begin on the date indicated in the award letter. The scholarship start and end dates may be changed subject to approval by the FRQ and the Committee of a documented change request sent by email to the FRQ program manager. The proposed change must meet all eligibility requirements and may not change the nature of the scholarship as initially evaluated by the FRQ.
3.3 Support and follow-up
Successful applicants will carry out their project under the supervision of their thesis director.
At the same time, the Committee will provide follow-up to maximize the relevance of the work and ensure that the deliverables provided to the Committee contribute to the fulfilment of its mandate. This follow-up will also allow the selected applicants to gain hands-on experience of climate action from a public policy perspective. For this reason, applicants must have a satisfactory level of conversational French and be available for follow-up activities. These follow-up activities include a group start-up meeting and an individual meeting before submission of the final deliverable.
The following are eligible for this competition:
- Students enrolled in a doctoral program at a Québec university at the competition closing date.
To be eligible, students must also have the support of their research director, who must give consent via their FRQnet portal certifying that:
- The proposed project integrates well with the applicant’s workload and that it can realistically be completed in 4 to 6 months (e.g., compatible with their other tasks, complementary to their thesis work);
- The student is enrolled at a Québec university at the competition closing date.
The 2023-2024 electronic application form is available on the website in the applicant’s FRQSC Portfolio (Société et culture is the managing agency for this program). The completed form must be submitted electronically by the competition deadline date and time.
Please see Section 3.6 of the Common General Rules for information regarding the language of submitted forms and documents.
Refer to the Presentation standards for PDF attachments in the FRQnet E-portfolio to properly format any documents to be attached to the application.
5.1 Required documents
1) The electronic form with the following sections completed:
- Project summary (max. 500 words);
- Project description (max. three pages) and bibliography (max. one page) with the following elements:
o Research problem, perspective, methodology and objectives;
o Relationship of the research project to the chosen theme;
o Nature and contents of the final deliverable;
o Contribution of the project and the deliverable to the Committee’s mandate and Québec climate policy;
o Implementation plan with timeline.
- Academic background: study programs and training environments;
- Integrated presentation of the applicant’s background explaining why the chosen theme and the scholarship program are consistent with the applicant’s academic and personal career path. Include a section that describes the degree of advancement in the doctoral program;
- Relevant experience and scientific achievements;
- Recognitions: scholarships, awards, etc.
2) Official transcripts (see notes in Section 5.2 for details)
3) 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.
- Applicants seeking to avail themselves of an exception:
o Official document attesting to the duration of parental leave or sick leave, such as a medical certificate or copy of the child’s birth certificate;
o In the case of a major family obligation or a person with a disability, provide documents attestant to the situation.
4) United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)
In accordance with the Québec research and innovation investment strategy 2022-2028 (SQRI2) and the Québec Government Sustainable Development Strategy 2023-2028 (SGDD 2023-2028) and in line with their 2022-2025 strategic plans, the FRQ are seeking to promote the role of science and the scientific community in attaining the SDGs.
To that end, applicants are asked to indicate, if appropriate to their project, the contribution of their research to attaining the SDGs in the “Contribution to the sustainable development goals” section of their application form. This section will not be sent to the evaluation committees. Please consult the FRQ SDG Guide for further details.
5.2 Important notes related to official transcripts
Any transcripts that are missing, unofficial, not certified as a true copy, or out-of-date will render the application ineligible.
Copies of all academic transcripts are required, for all university studies pursued by the applicant, whether completed or not. This includes transcripts from exchange programs or courses (equivalencies), where applicable.
What makes a transcript official may differ from one academic institution to another. Nonetheless, to be deemed official by the FRQ, each transcript must:
Be issued by the university institution in question;
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”, etc.
THE PRESENCE OF A WATERMARK will not render a transcript unofficial, as long as it meets the requirements specified above.
If there is any doubt about the authenticity of a transcript, the Fonds reserves the right to verify with the applicant or the institution concerned.
A transcript delivered in a sealed envelope by the registrar’s office can be opened and its contents scanned.
Other documents to attach, if applicable, along with the transcripts:
- Document explaining the current grading system for transcripts from institutions outside North America. This letter must clearly explain the grading system used, so that the transcripts can be properly understood;
- Letter of explanation from the institution (registrar’s office or equivalent administrative body) if no transcript is issued. The letter must state the reasons for the missing transcript. The Fonds reserves the right to verify the validity of the reasons given;
- If no transcript is issued but the applicant is unable to obtain a letter from the university, a letter of explanation written by the applicant, endorsed by the department director at the host institution, explaining the absence of the transcript.
5.3 Important notes related to submitting the application:
All required documents must be included with the application for it to be considered eligible. Documents that are illegible or low-resolution and those that do not make it possible to determine eligibility will not be accepted.
Official documents submitted in a language other than French or English must include a certified translation. Other documents submitted in a language other than French or English must be accompanied by a basic translation.
No appendices or documents other than those required will be shared with the evaluation committee. Applications cannot be updated after the competition deadline.
6. APPLICATION EVALUATION PROCESS AND CRITERIA
Applications are evaluated in two phases.
Phase 1 – Preselection: A preselection process is applied to all eligible applications by a panel composed of members of the Advisory Committee on Climate Change, or any other person appointed by the Committee or suggested by the FRQ according to the rules in force at the FRQ, to select the projects that meet the Committee’s needs, with a focus on the themes of the competition. An employee of the FRQ participates as an observer in this initial selection phase.
Quality of the academic record: 25%
- Relevance of the applicant’s academic background in relation to this scholarship program and the chosen theme;
- Level of excellence of the applicant’s academic background in terms of grades, scholarships and awards.
Project relevance: 50%
- Project’s potential contribution to the achievement of the Committee’s objectives;
- Alignment with the theme or themes of the competition;
- Integrated knowledge of the climate issue addressed in the project in its various dimensions;
- Capacity to translate the expected research results into concrete proposals, solutions, recommendations or public initiatives.
Potential feasibility of the project and of the production of the deliverable by the applicant: 25%
- Realistic nature of the proposed timeline;
- Knowledge of the issues and challenges related to public decision-making and public policy implementation and interest in such issues and policies;
- Stage in the doctoral program.
Phase 2 – Scientific evaluation: A limited number of applications that passed the preselection phase then 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 and in light of the program’s evaluation criteria. An employee of the Committee participates as an observer in this second selection phase.
Scientific evaluation criteria:
Quality of the academic record: 35%
- Research ability (scientific experience and achievements);
- Level of excellence of the applicant’s academic background in terms of 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 deliverable.
Potential for integration of the scholarship project into the applicant’s academic and personal career path in conjunction with the completion of the applicant’s degree: 15%
To be recommended for funding, the application must: 1) include all required documents; 2) be deemed relevant to the themes of the competition; 3) obtain a minimum overall score of 70% in the scientific evaluation.
7. IMPORTANT DATES, ANNOUNCEMENT OF RESULTS AND EFFECTIVE DATE
July 6, 2023: Launch of the competition
October 12, 2023 at 16:00 (EST): Deadline for application
February 2024: announcement of results and the start of the project
For the conditions regarding the announcement of funding, please refer to Section 5 of the CGR, except for the date on which the results will be published, which is variable for this program.
These rules apply to the 2023-2024 fiscal year.
8. OPEN ACCESS POLICY
Peer-reviewed publications resulting from the research made possible by this scholarship must be released as immediate open access (without embargo), under an open license, in accordance with the FRQ Open Access Policy (revised in 2022).
9. KNOWLEDGE MOBILIZATION
The FRQ and the Committee encourage funding recipients to contribute to knowledge mobilization activities (transfer, sharing, development, outreach and dissemination), or to carry out such activities, 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.
10. CONTACT PERSONS
For the FRQ:
Directorate of Societal Challenges and Intersectoral Networks
Office of the Chief Scientist
For the Advisory Committee on Climate Change:
Advisory Committee on Climate Change