Competition year :
Deadline (application) :
October 5th, 2021 at 16:00 (EST)
Announcement of results :
New evaluation criteria
Please consult the document “Information Guide – New Evaluation Criteria for Training Grant Programs”, which aims to provide you with the tools you need to prepare your application and to facilitate the understanding and interpretation of the newly added criteria for this competition.
CCV and detailed contributions
Please note that for this program the Canadian Common CV and detailed contributions are no longer required from applicants and their directors.
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.
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.
This program aims to support students seeking to gain health research training as part of a master’s degree program. Eligible topics cover all aspects of human health, regardless of methodology or model.
Table of contents
- ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
- REQUIRED DOCUMENTS
- AMOUNT OF THE AWARD
- TENURE OF THE AWARD
- OTHER FUNDING
- CHANGES TO THE TRAINING LOCATION, RESEARCH PROJECT, PROGRAM OR SUPERVISOR
- FINAL REPORT
- OPEN ACCESS
- KNOWLEDGE MOBILIZATION
- EQUITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
- IMPORTANT CHANGES SINCE THE LAST COMPETITION
- AWARDS IN PARTNERSHIP
1. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
Below are the eligibility requirements and restrictions relating to applicants, supervisors and training sites.
Applicants and eligibility period
- completed or intend to complete an undergraduate university degree;
- at the time of filing the application, had an overall average of at least B+ or the equivalent (not rounded up) in their undergraduate university program (only grades related to the degree on which students are admitted to the master’s degree program shall be considered);
- were enrolled in a Québec university for at least two (2) full-time semesters (or the equivalent) in the three (3) semesters prior to the competition deadline OR have a health insurance card from the Régie d’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) that is valid at the competition deadline or proof that an application for a health insurance card was filed with the RAMQ and that the card will be valid at the competition deadline (see Section 2.1 of the Common General Rules);
- are currently enrolled in a master’s research program on a full-time basis or intend to enrol in a master’s research program on a full-time basis before January 15, 2023, and whose research project has a direct bearing on human health. To be considered research-based, the master’s program must consist of at least 18 credits related to research and lead to a thesis;
- on April 30, 2022, will have completed no more than three (3) semesters of their master’s degree program (the number of registered sessions is calculated from the first date of enrolment in a research-based master’s degree program in human health). The summer semester is calculated as a matter of course, even if the student is not registered.
- Health professionals with a license valid in Québec will benefit from applying to one of the following award programs:
- Master’s degree program for individuals who completed a professional diploma (see program rules)
- Fellowship training (post-professional diploma) (see program rules)
- Individuals who began doctoral training after completing an undergraduate degree or professional master’s degree and individuals who are fast-tracked to a doctoral program without completing a master’s degree would benefit from applying to master’s competition if they are eligible to do so (up to three semesters on April 30, 2022).
- Individuals who enrol in France in a master’s of advanced studies (diplôme d’études approfondies) or the equivalent must submit their applications to master’s degree competitions.
These requirements shall remain in effect for the tenure of the award.
- Individuals who discontinued their master’s degree studies due to parental leave or special leave for serious illness or major family obligations may seek to defer the eligibility period for up to one (1) year.
- When an individual has a disability within the meaning of 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), the eligibility period shall not apply.
Supervision of research projects
- be university researchers or clinical university researchers (see definitions section of the Common General Rules). *
*When an applicant’s research supervisor is located outside Québec, the supervisor must still meet the requirements of the university researcher or clinical university researcher status in terms of university affiliation and autonomy (see definitions section of the Common General Rules).
The training location may be a university located in or outside Québec. To use a training award outside Québec, the awardee must:
- have a health insurance card from the Régie d’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) that is valid at the competition deadline or proof that an application for a health insurance card was filed with the RAMQ and that the card will be valid at the competition deadline (see Section 2.1 of the Common General Rules). The name and expiry date must be legible. Proof of private insurance shall not be accepted
- be a Canadian citizen at the time of filing the application.
Individuals who do not have a valid health insurance card from the Régie d’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) or proof that an application for a health insurance card was filed with the RAMQ and individuals who are not Canadian citizens at the time of filing the application must follow training in Québec (see Section 2.1 of the Common General Rules).
Awardees must be physically present at the training location to carry out their research training. Distance learning is not permitted.
- individuals enrolled in a professional master’s or doctoral program;
- individuals enrolled in certain psychology programs (see the page: Eligibility of psychology programs to FRQS training grants);
- individuals who have already completed a master’s research program in human health;
- individuals who received funding from a recognized agency (e.g. SSHCR, NSERC, CIRH, FRQNT, FRQS, FRQSC, etc.) over a total period of six (6) years (or 18 semesters) (see section 6.1 of the Common General Rules).
With the support of their supervisor, students who are granted a regular master’s degree award and who are then accepted in a doctor of medicine program are entitled to only one year of funding. To receive a second year of funding, they must enrol in an MD-MSc program.
Basic research ethics training
Basic research ethics training is mandatory for all FRQS awardees whose project or research program involves humans.
Research involving humans implies:
- the participation of humans;
- the use of human biological material (parts, products, tissues, cells, human genetic material from a living or deceased person);
- assisted human reproduction activities and/or the use of resulting embryos 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 humans.
Developed by the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS), the program includes levels 1 and 3 of the research ethics courseware.
Awardees must complete the training program to receive the first payment of the second year of their FRQS funding (see Required documents section).
It is the applicant’s responsibility to select the right program and application form. Once the eligibility review is complete, the application shall not be transferred to another program.
The form and required documents must be submitted through the electronic portfolio (ePortfolio). Documents received by email or courier shall not be accepted.
Required documents that are missing or invalid shall not be requested, and the application shall be deemed ineligible.
Unrequired documents (e.g. letter of recommendation, published article, etc.) included in the application shall be removed prior to review.
Elements received after the competition deadline shall not be considered. Applications shall not be updated.
Official documents submitted in a language other than French or English must include a certified translation of the original document. Other documents submitted in a language other than French or English must include a basic translation.
2. REQUIRED DOCUMENTS
TIP: Take the time to read the page Tips to improve the quality of your application. Without being exhaustive, this information is based on recurrent comments from reviewers and therefore includes elements considered critical in the application review process.
Documents required at the time of filing
- Master’s training application e-form PDF version – for information
- Copy of a health insurance card from the Régie d’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) that is valid at the competition deadline or proof that an application for a health insurance card was filed with the RAMQ and that the card will be valid at the competition deadline. The name and expiry date must be legible. Proof of private insurance shall not be accepted OR proof of full-time (or equivalent) enrolment in a Québec university for two (2) of the three (3) semesters prior to the competition deadline. The semester of the competition shall not be used to calculate the two full-time semesters of the three prior to the deadline;
- Copies of official transcripts (unofficial transcripts in electronic format not accepted) for all years of study (completed and incomplete)
- For an ongoing study program, the transcripts must be the most recent
- The transcripts must be complete and include the rating scales (back of the transcript), for both Quebec and foreign applicants.
- Transcripts obtained outside of North America must be accompanied by a letter explaining the grading system in effect at the institution concerned.
- Transcripts issued in a language other than French or English must be accompanied by a professional translation certified as true to the original.
- Attestation from the registrar confirming enrolment in each full-time semester that does not appear on the transcript, as well as for each part-time and/or unregistered semester;
- Acknowledgements of submitted articles and notifications from editors for accepted articles;
- Required documents for exceptions, as the case may be (e.g. medical certificate).
Research supervisors (and co- supervisors)
- Supervisor’s (or co- supervisor’s) e-form, as the case may be PDF version – for information
The elements that make up an official transcript vary from one academic institution to another. However, to be deemed official by the Fonds, the requirements are as follows:
- Transcript is issued by the university;
- Transcript includes elements indicating it is an official document issued by the university (e.g. university seal AND/OR signature of the registrar AND/OR the official transcript reference, etc.);
- A watermark does not make a transcript non-official, providing the requirements listed here are met;
- The transcript may be a scan of a transcript delivered by the registrar in a sealed envelope. Opening the envelope to scan the transcript does not make the document non-official for the Fonds.
A transcript that does not meet the requirements listed here or does not include official elements shall be considered NON-OFFICIAL, and the application shall therefore be deemed ineligible.
If the university does not issue transcripts:
- Supporting letter from the university (office of the registrar or equivalent administrative authority) specifying the reasons for which a transcript is not available;
If no transcript is issued and the applicant cannot obtain a letter from the university:
- Supporting letter from the applicant endorsed by the director of the department with which the host institution is affiliated explaining why a transcript is not issued.
Documents required throughout the tenure of the award
AT THE START DATE OF THE AWARD AND IN EVERY FOLLOWING SEMESTER
- official proof of enrolment (applicants in universities outside Québec)
Applicants who are pursuing their training in Québec are not required to provide proof of enrolment, since universities send confirmations to the Fonds directly.
AT THE START OF THE SECOND YEAR OF THE AWARD
- confirmation of supervision form from the supervisor – master’s and doctoral degrees
- Ethics training certifications (levels 1 and 3), as the case may be
If all the required documents are not received in the two (2) months following the start of the semester or should the applicant fail to meet the eligibility requirements and not request a deferral, the FRQS shall cancel the payment for the semester. When the payments for two consecutive sessions are cancelled because required documents are missing or the applicant has failed to meet eligibility requirements, the FRQS shall terminate the award.
3. AMOUNT OF THE AWARD
Amount and award management
Up to $17 500 per year*
*Exceptions apply (see partnership awards section 14)
- The award is paid to the awardee in three payments per year.
- The payments are made on May 30, September 30 and January 30.
- The payments are conditional upon the submission of all required documents through the ePortfolio and compliance with eligibility requirements.
- When an application remains incomplete and/or does not meet eligibility requirements in the two (2) months following the start of the payment period and a deferral is not requested, the FRQS will cancel the payment.
- The FRQS will terminate the award if two consecutive payments are cancelled due to missing documents and/or failure to meet eligibility requirements.
Read the awardee’s guide for more information on the requirements to receive award payments and the payment schedule.
The awardee is responsible for paying income tax on the amounts received from the FRQS. The FRQS does not make any deductions at the source on the amounts paid in a taxation year.
The payment date determines the year in which the awardee must file income tax returns for the amounts paid as income.
The T4A slip issued by Revenue Canada and Relevé 1 issued by Revenu Québec are available in the award management section of the FRQS ePortfolio in late February following the tax year.
The information provided in the program rules is for information purposes only. The FRQS shall not be held responsible for the validity of any information pertaining to income tax.
This program does not provide FRQS funding to cover institutions’ indirect research costs.
4. TENURE OF THE AWARD
Tenure of the award
The award may begin in May 2022 (summer semester), September 2022 (fall semester) or January 2023 (winter semester) depending on the start date of the study program.
However, if a master’s program is already underway in May 2022, the award must begin in May 2022 (exceptions apply).
The award covers a period of two (2) years or until the master’s degree program is completed (final submission of thesis), whichever the earlier. The award is non-renewable.
Use of the remaining payment
Awardees who complete their master’s degree without using all the payments may use one unused master’s award payment to begin a research doctorate, providing the program begins in the following semester, that the payment is made during the tenure of the initial award and all eligibility requirements are met.
Fast-tracking to a doctorate
Master’s awardees who plan to pursue doctoral studies without completing a master’s program may use the remaining master’s program payments to begin a research doctorate, providing the program begins in the following semester and all eligibility requirements are met. The payments must be made during the tenure of the initial award, and the awardee must have received at least one master’s award payment.
Master’s awardees who are fast-tracked to a research doctorate before beginning a master’s shall be entitled to up to one year (three semesters) of master’s award payments to transition to the doctoral program providing the eligibility requirements are met.
These situations shall not apply if an applicant accepts a doctoral award from the FRQS.
Awardees may defer an award payment during a parental leave (maternity, paternity or adoption) for a period of up to twelve (12) months. An awardee who has already received payments for an FRQS award and requests parental leave may receive an amount equal to six (6) months of the FRQS funding.
In such cases, awardees must complete and attach the award deferral form and supporting documents to their ePortfolio to inform the FRQS of their plan to request a supplement for a parental leave.
Sick leave and other types of leave
Awardees may defer an award during sick leave or for other reasons stipulated in the Act respecting labour standards under the terms set out in Section 6.14 of the Common General Rules. In such cases, awardees must complete and attach the award deferral form to their ePortfolio.
For every full year of FRQS funding, an awardee may suspend the award payments for the equivalent of one semester (four months) to gain relevant experience (work with a research team, teaching experience in her/his field of study, language stay, etc.). The payments are then deferred to the end of the tenure of the award.
Deferrals to gain relevant experience may be consecutive when approved by the research supervisor.
For a deferral to gain experience, the awardee must first submit a request to the FRQS by completing the award payment deferral form. In addition, the research supervisor must provide a letter confirming her/his approval and the relevance of the awardee’s activities to gain experience.
Any changes to an awardee’s status must be reported in the funding management module of the ePortfolio, as specified in Section 6.5 of the Common General Rules. Read the awardee’s guide (Document menu, ePortfolio blue banner) to learn where to find the required documents and attach them to the ePortfolio.
The FRQS reserves the right to reject any irrelevant or incomplete request.
Only family caregivers, parents and persons with a disability may be part-time students.
This measure applies only to awardees who are family caregivers for a member of their close family or who are the primary caregivers of a young child.
During part-time semesters, the awardee will receive 50% of the value of the regular award payments.
The awardee must complete the part-time studies form and attach it to her/his ePortfolio along with these documents:
- an attestation of part-time studies from the university
- a letter of support from the research supervisor
- a copy of a medical certificate (family caregiver), birth certificate or adoption order (parent)
This measure may be cumulated with parental insurance plan benefits, as the case may be.
Person with a disability
This measure only applies to awardees who have a disability within the meaning of 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).
During their part-time studies, awardees will receive full award payments, provided the university authorizes part-time studies.
The awardee must complete the part-time studies form and attach it to her/his ePortfolio with the following documents:
- attestation of part-time studies from the university
- letter of support from the research supervisor
- medical certificate attesting to the condition
Any changes to an awardee’s status must be reported in the funding management module of the ePortfolio, as specified in Section 6.5 of the Common General Rules.
The FRQS reserves the right to reject any incomplete request.
5. OTHER FUNDING
- In addition to their master’s degree training, awardees may undertake up to 225 hours of paid work per semester (45 hours per semester for a course assignment). One semester is equivalent to four months.
- The employment must be approved by the research supervisor, and the work must not have a negative impact on the awardee’s research activities.
- The hours worked must be reported to the Fonds with each request for payment through the ePortfolio.
The institution or research supervisor may grant an award supplement, which should not be reported in the ePortfolio.
It is the FRQS awardee’s responsibility to determine if the award supplement is allowed by the institution or research supervisor.
- Awardees may not hold concurrent awards.
- FRQS awardees who sought and received an award from another public funding agency or foundation recognized by the FRQS must inform the FRQS and decline the Fonds’ award when it is offered, except in the case of a supplement from the Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et sécurité du travail (IRSST). However, if the other award has a lesser value or shorter funding period, the recipient is eligible to receive an amount to cover the difference.
- FRQS awardees who sought and received a graduate award from one of the three Fonds de recherche du Québec may choose the start date of the graduate award (for holders who are fast-tracked to a doctoral program without completing a master’s).
FRQS training awardees may hold a concurrent research internship award that is not part of their study program from another organization provided certain conditions are met.
For an internship valued at $5 000 or less, the awardee must inform the FRQS by email prior to the start of the internship.
For an internship valued at $5 000 or more, before the start of the internship, the awardee must obtain approval from the FRQS by completing the internship authorization form. When approval is granted, the awardee may:
- receive the training and internship awards payments concurrently
- defer the amount of the FRQS award for a period equivalent to the internship period, up to six months.
6. CHANGES TO THE TRAINING LOCATION, RESEARCH PROJECT, PROGRAM OR SUPERVISOR
Requests for changes
Awardees who seek to change their research project, supervisor, program or training location must submit the request for changes form and required documents in a single PDF file (see awardee’s guide).
Any changes to an awardee’s status must be reported in the funding management module of the ePortfolio, as specified in Section 6.5 of the Common General Rules. Read the awardee’s guide for further details on informing the FRQS of any changes.
In the interest of fairness, the Fonds shall ensure the requested change does not challenge the outcome of the scientific review and meets all eligibility requirements and program rules. The request shall be reviewed by the Fonds, which may decide to pursue, reduce, suspend or terminate the payments. The Fonds may also require that the amounts paid be reimbursed. The decision shall be communicated by email.
The FRQS reserves the right to reject any incomplete request.
All applications are reviewed by expert committees that balance expertise and institutional representativeness.
Academic record – 30 points
- Honours (awards, distinctions and scholarships)
- Applicant’s ability to present his or her background in an integrated manner (relationship between experiences and interests and career and education choices, trajectory, etc.)
Research interest and potential – 50 points
- Relevant experience (participation in research projects, training internships, assistantships, etc.)
- Scientific achievements (conferences, presentations, publications, etc.)
- Proposed research (originality, clarity and coherence of the research problem, relevance of the methodology, feasibility and, if applicable quality of supervision)
Social mobilization – 15 points
- Ability to facilitate dialogue between science and society (outreach activities or participation in events intended for the general public)
- Capacity for engagement (volunteering, community projects, civic and non-profit involvement, event organization, etc.)
- Consideration of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including equity, diversity and inclusion*
* SDG and equity, diversity and inclusion considerations can be integrated in the proposed research or through science-society communication or engagement activities.
General presentation of the application – 5 points
8. FINAL REPORT
Awardees must submit a final report at the end of the semester of their last payment. Awardees will be notified by email when the final report form is available in the FRQS ePortfolio. The form must be completed and submitted by the deadline. The granting of further funding under another FRQS program is conditional upon the submission of the duly completed final report.
All applications submitted to the program must comply with the requirements set out in the FRQnet portals and e-forms.
10. OPEN ACCESS
In accordance with the FRQ’s open access policy (Politique de diffusion en libre accès des Fonds de recherche du Québec), all awardees will make their scientific publications available in open access in the twelve months after they are published. Go to the FRQ’s open science page for more information.
11. KNOWLEDGE MOBILIZATION
The FRQS encourages awardees to lead and contribute to knowledge mobilization activities (transfer, sharing, development, outreach and dissemination) with practice settings and the public. For more information, see the knowledge mobilization page.
12. EQUITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
The Fonds de recherche du Québec seek to support a research ecosystem based on equity, diversity and inclusion. Measures have therefore been implemented to ensure greater account of these principles is taken. The individuals who receive funding are also encouraged to prioritize these principles within the context of their research activities. Further details are available in the FRQS’s statements on equity, diversity and inclusion.
13. IMPORTANT CHANGES SINCE THE LAST COMPETITION
- Eligibility requirements
- Required documents
14. 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Foundation of Stars
Early childhood diseases
Training awards in the Pediatric research field, primarily in the area of childhood diseases. Amount of the award: $20 000 per year.
Mental Health Research Canada
Training award in the mental health field. The two following themes will be prioritised:
1) Enhancing Workplace Mental Health: Research supporting employee mental health in the workplace and the development of programs to help mitigate work-related stress. People spend a large portion of their lives in workplaces, and poor mental health has been shown to lead to increased absenteeism, decreased productivity and increased employer healthcare costs. COVID-19 has both augmented and spotlighted the importance of supporting mental health in workplaces, and at least 70% of Canadian businesses do not have a workplace mental health strategy (Deloitte, 2019).
2) Supporting Diverse Populations: Research supporting specific groups of people with unique needs. These may include, but are not restricted to: Indigenous populations, BIPOC populations, refugees and recent immigrants, LGBTQ+ communities, and/or women as examples.
Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada
Training Awards in the Multiple Sclerosis research field. All candidates must also submit an application to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. Amount of the M.Sc. award: $20 000 per year.
Unité de soutien SRAP du Québec (SPOR Support Unit in Québec)
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.