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 the Canadian Common CV and detailed contributions are no longer required from supervisors for this program.
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 award is intended for Canadian citizens and permanent residents domiciled in Québec or another Canadian province. Citizens of countries other than Canada must select the postdoctoral training program for non-Canadian citizens.
This postdoctoral training award aims to support individuals with a doctoral degree (Ph. D.) who seek to further their training and broaden their interests. It also aims to encourage researchers to become familiar with new scientific communities, learn new research methodologies and develop research project management, student supervision and communication skills. The FRQS expects the supervisor to take on the role of mentor to support the development of the awardee’s future career.
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
Applicants and eligibility period
- seek to pursue their postdoctoral training in human health on a full-time basis;
- completed a doctorate less than two (2) years prior to the competition deadline or who intend to submit their doctoral thesis before March 1, 2023 (except for renewal applications);
- are Canadian citizens or permanent residents domiciled in Québec, as stipulated in the Health Insurance Act (CQLR a A-29);
- are Canadian citizens domiciled in a province other than Québec.
These requirements shall remain in effect for the tenure of the award.
- Individuals who discontinued their studies after having obtained their Ph. D. 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 postdoctoral studies
- be university researchers or clinical university researchers (see definitions section of the Common General Rules)*;
- not have supervised the doctoral project or be affiliated with the university at which the doctorate was completed.
*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).
Canadian citizens domiciled in Québec
Canadian citizens must choose a host institution other than the institution that granted the doctorate and preferably one outside Québec*.
To use a training award outside Québec, awardees must :
- have a valid RAMQ card or proof of eligibility for the RAMQ a Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) card that is valid at the competition deadline or proof of eligibility for RAMQ covering the competition deadline
- be a Canadian citizen at the time of filing the application.
Permanent residents and Canadian citizens domiciled outside Québec
Permanent residents and Canadian citizens in other Canadian provinces must choose a training location in Québec*.
*Awardees must complete their research training in the physical location of the host institution. Distance learning is not allowed.
In the case of major family obligations, serious illness or disability, exceptions may apply. Based on the outcome of a review by the Fonds, applicants may propose to carry out their postdoctoral studies in the same university at which they completed their doctoral degree. It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide all required explanations and evidence (medical certificate, recognition of disability, application for tax credit for family caregiver, etc.) in the Other documents section of the e-form.
- individuals who hold a university position, unless they take an unpaid leave for the entire tenure of the training award. The employer must provide an official letter attesting to the individual’s employment status for the period and her/his return to work once the training period has ended;
- individuals who have been awarded or currently hold a postdoctoral research award from a Québec or Canadian funding agency (e.g. FRQNT, FRQS, FRQSC, CIHR, NSERC) (except renewals).
- individuals who have already been awarded three or more years of postdoctoral awards since the initial FRQ award was offered, regardless of the funding agency.
2. REQUIRED DOCUMENTS
TIP: Take the time to read the tips to improve the quality of your application page. Without being exhaustive, this information is based on recurrent comments from reviewers and therefore includes elements considered critical in the application review process.
- 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.
Documents required at the time of filing
- Canadian Common CV (funding CV for the FRQS) updated in the 12 months prior to the competition deadline (awards and grants must be listed in the research funding section and awards and recognition in the recognition section);
- Detailed contributions updated in the 12 months prior to the competition deadline (attach document in the FRQS ePortfolio on the Canadian Common CV page). IMPORTANT NOTE: read the page: Instructions for the detailed contributions and the common canadian CV);
- Postdoctoral training e-form Canadian citizens and permanent residents (PDF version – for information);
- Copy of official Ph. D. transcripts for completed and incomplete studies (except for renewal), including transcripts from exchange programs and credits, as the case may be;
- 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.
- For an ongoing study program, the transcripts must be the most recent.
- Copy of the doctoral degree (except for renewal). If not available, a copy of an official doctoral transcript will suffice;
- 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 OR evidence of eligibility to the health care plan of another Canadian province covering the competition deadline (except for renewal applications). The name and expiry date must be legible. Proof of private insurance shall not be accepted;
- Acknowledgements from publishers for articles that are submitted or accepted for publication;
- Documents required for eligibility period exception, if applicable (eg: medical certificate).
Applicants shall be notified of their eligibility by December 15, 2021.
SUPERVISOR (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.);
- 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
- confirmation of supervision and presence at the training location form;
- proof of initial thesis submission by March 1, 2023.
AT THE START OF THE SECOND YEAR OF THE AWARD
- confirmation of supervision and presence at the training location form;
- Ethics training certifications (levels 1 and 3), as the case may be
Read the awardee’s guide (document menu, ePortfolio blue banner) to learn where to find the required documents and attach them to the ePortfolio.
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.
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).
3. AMOUNT OF THE AWARD
Amount and award management
$45 000 per year*
Awardees who carry out their postdoctoral studies outside Québec will receive a supplemental amount of $10 000 per year.
*except in some cases (see section on Awards in partnership)
The award is paid in three payments per year, on the 30th of the payment month.
- 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 between May 2022 and March 2023, on the first of the month.
The Fonds systematically offers two (2) years with the option to renew for a third year following the review of an application for renewal (awards may only be renewed once).
Awardees may apply to renew their award for a third year. The application must be submitted according to the same eligibility and review calendar as the initial application (competition deadline in the fall, competition results the following spring). It is therefore the applicant’s responsibility to submit the application to the right competition to ensure the funding is not discontinued.
Applicants must submit their renewal application to the same program for which they currently receive funding, even if they have obtained permanent resident status or Canadian citizenship since the start of the tenure of the award.
Awards may only be renewed once.
Awardees who have received three (3) or more years of postdoctoral training awards since the initial FRQS award, regardless of the funding agency, are not eligible for renewed funding.
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.
Conversion to a starting grant
An awardee who obtains a position as a full-time professor in a Québec university may, after at least one full year of FRQS funding, request to use part of the award as start-up funding. Up to $15 000 may be converted. The awardee must contact the FRQS program manager to request the change.
The rules for using the funding are the same as those established for the starting grant for new scholars (see rules of the research scholars program).
5. OTHER FUNDING
- Up to 250 hours of paid work unrelated to the postdoctoral fellowship are permitted over a six-month period.
- The work may only be undertaken with the approval of the fellowship supervisor and providing it does 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 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.
The travel expenses (one return economy airline ticket) of awardees and their close family (spouse and children) carrying out their projects in institutions located outside Québec may be reimbursed upon the presentation of supporting documents, as long as these expenses are not reimbursed by another organization.
If the thesis is not yet defended, an additional round trip for the awardee may be reimbursed.
6. CHANGES TO THE TRAINING LOCATION, RESEARCH PROJECT, PROGRAM OR SUPERVISOR
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.
Research skills – 25 points
Transcripts and honours (awards, distinctions and scholarships)
- Relevant experience (teaching, supervision, assistantships, etc.) and scientific achievements (conferences, presentations, publications, etc.)
- 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 project – 35 points
- Originality, added value relative to the applicant’s doctoral training, and contribution to the advancement of knowledge
- Clarity and coherence of the research problem
- Relevance of the methodology
- Feasibility of the project and realism of the time frame
Host environment – 15 points
- Justification and relevance of the chosen host environment, including the environment available to the applicant for his or her development and the realization of the project
- Added value for the development of the applicant’s career plan
Social mobilization – 20 points
- Ability to facilitate dialogue between science and society (outreach activities or participation in events intended for the general public, etc.)
- 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*
General presentation of the application – 5 points
* SDG and equity, diversity and inclusion considerations can be integrated in the proposed research or through science-society communication or engagement activities.
Research project’s state of advancement since the start of
postdoctoral training (60 points)
- Level of completion of the project in view of the methodology and the research area (20 points)
- Justification for renewal and potential for successful outcome (20 points)
- Research supervisor’s evaluation (20 points)
Achievements since the start of postdoctoral training (40 points)
- Lectures and presentations (20 points)
- Publications (20 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. More information is available in 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
- 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.