Note: In the event of a discrepancy between the English and French versions of this program, the French version prevails.
This program refers to the Common General Rules (CGR). These apply to all Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) programs. It is the responsibility of applicants and/or funding holders to read the CGR, which set out all rules governing competitions and managing awards. Only conditions specific to the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture (FRQSC) Postdoctoral Fellowship (B3Z) program are indicated in this document and these prevail over the CGR.
IMPORTANT: The link to the FRQnet E-portfolio and the forms associated with this competition is available under Portals Access on the website. Further details are available in the “Documents” menu of the FRQnet E-portfolio.
AT THE COMPETITION DEADLINE OF 4 P.M. ON OCTOBER 12, 2023, THE STATUS OF THE APPLICATION IN THE FRQnet SYSTEM MUST BE “SUBMITTED TO THE FONDS”. AN APPLICATION WITH ANY OTHER STATUS WILL BE CONSIDERED INADMISSIBLE.
Should you have any questions while preparing your application, do not hesitate to contact the program officer.
This version was updated on July 11, 2023, subject to the approval of the Ministre de l’Économie, de l’Innovation et de l’Énergie.
The objectives of the Postdoctoral Fellowship program are as follows:
- Contribute to the development of the next generation of experts in the social sciences, humanities, arts and literature;
- Support individuals who have graduated from doctoral programs as they broaden the scope of their research;
- Foster the mobility of young researchers towards stimulating and dynamic scientific environments such as universities, corporate environments, government organizations and university-affiliated service centres;
- Facilitate integration into new networks and the development of new collaborations.
2. VALUE AND DURATION
The annual value of the postdoctoral research fellowship is $45,000.
The duration of the postdoctoral research fellowship is a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 24 months. Recipients of a FRQSC postdoctoral fellowship are also eligible to apply for a funding extension for an additional year through the Postdoctoral Fellowship – Knowledge Mobilization Plan (B3ZR) program. See Section 10 of these rules for the terms and conditions of this program.
If the postdoctoral research is being carried out more than 250 km from Québec’s borders, an annual supplement of $10,000 will be granted for a total of $55,000 per year. In the case of co-supervision with a Québec institution, the amount will be adjusted in proportion to the number of months spent outside Québec.
Applicants must meet all eligibility requirements in effect at the time of application as stipulated in the program rules and the CGR.
3.1 Eligibility period and target group
This program is aimed at applicants who:
- obtained their doctorate within 2 years (no more than 24 months) prior to the competition deadline*;
- who will make their initial thesis submission no later than March 1st, 2025, the deadline by which grant payments must begin.
* Eligibility will be determined based on the date indicated on the doctoral diploma.
3.2 Eligibility period exceptions
Exceptions regarding postdoctoral fellowship eligibility periods will only be considered in circumstances that are beyond the applicant’s control. Applicants may have suspended or postponed their studies for parental leave, major family obligations, serious illness, or because of a disability. In all such cases, supporting documents must be submitted along with the application, in the sections intended for this purpose (see Section 4.4 “Required Documents” below). The Fonds reserves the right to refuse any request that is not adequately justified.
Parental leave, major family obligations or serious illness
Applicants who have interrupted or delayed their studies for parental leave, major family obligations or serious illness may be granted an eligibility period extension. In the case of parental leave, the eligibility period may be extended for up to one year per parental leave. In the case of major family obligations or a career interruption due to serious illness, the Fonds will determine the extension to be granted based on the supporting documents provided by the applicant.
Persons with disabilities
Applicants who have suspended or postponed their studies for reasons related to a disability may also be granted an eligibility period extension. This exemption is in accordance with 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). Supporting documents are required and must be submitted with the application.
3.3 Citizenship and residence
The following section is based on Section 2.1. of the CGR.
3.3.1 Basic conditions
To be eligible to apply for a postdoctoral fellowship, applicants must:
- be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- have a Régie d’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) card that is valid at the competition deadline or proof of application for a RAMQ card and that the new card will be valid at the competition deadline.
If either of the above conditions is not met, the applicant must submit the following document to be eligible:
- an acceptance form from their fellowship supervisor at a Québec university (see section 4.3 of these rules for more information about this document).
3.3.2 Conditions for postdoctoral research outside Québec
An applicant may carry out their postdoctoral research outside Québec only if they:
- are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- have a Régie d’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) card that is valid at the competition deadline or proof of application for a RAMQ card and that the new card will be valid at the competition deadline.
If either of the above conditions is not met, applicants must pursue their postdoctoral internship in Québec. Those under co-supervision are also subject to this rule. Continued physical presence in Québec is required throughout the duration of funding, apart from break periods listed in the university calendar, unless the institution approves* travel outside Québec deemed necessary for the proper implementation of activities related to the postdoctoral research.
* To avail themselves of this option if the fellowship is awarded, applicants must provide a Declaration of travel outside Québec (Déclaration de séjour hors Québec) approved by the Québec university in the Manage my funding section of the FRQnet E-portfolio.
IMPORTANT: FRQSC scholarship holders must meet the citizenship and residency requirements throughout the duration of their scholarship. Applicants who are not eligible to use their fellowship outside Québec at the time of application will remain ineligible for the duration of the funding period, even if their citizenship and residency conditions change.
Applicants may only submit an application to one of the following FRQSC scholarship programs in the same year:
- Master’s Research Scholarships (B1Z)
- Doctoral Research Scholarships (B2Z)
- Scholarships for re-entering the Research Community (A2Z)
- Postdoctoral Fellowship (B3Z)
- Postdoctoral Research-Creation Fellowship (B5)
Applicants may only hold a scholarship from one of the Fonds (CGR, Section 3.1).
Applicants who receive or have received postdoctoral funding from a recognized agency in Québec or Canada (e.g. SSHRC, NSERC, CIHR, FRQSC, FRQNT, FRQS, etc.) are not eligible for this competition.
Applicants who hold a regular professorial position at a university are also ineligible for this program, as per Section 2.2 of the CGR.
3.5 Choice of host environment (supervision and co-supervision, if applicable)
The planned host environment(s) must enable applicants to join new scientific networks, enhance their research perspectives and develop collaborative relationships in a quality scientific environment. The applicant must plan to be present at the host environment throughout the duration of the fellowship, in accordance with the host environment integration objectives of this program. The postdoctoral research can be co-supervised, provided that the applicant spends a minimum of 6 months of the 2 years at the co-supervisory environment.
The choice of host environment(s) must comply with the conditions relating to citizenship and residency set out in Section 3.3 of these rules.
The Fonds encourages mobility outside Québec and internationally, when permitted by the program’s eligibility requirements. However, the research can be carried out in Québec if this choice is clearly justified by the applicant, who must demonstrate that carrying out the project in this environment adds value to their research training.
3.5.1 Internship supervisor
The fellowship must be supervised by a person whose position or university affiliation qualifies them to act as the sole supervisor of graduate students and independently lead research projects.
A fellowship holder cannot be supervised by their doctoral research supervisor.
Similarly, the supervisor cannot be affiliated with the institution where the applicant carried out their doctoral studies.
3.5.2 Internship co-supervisor (if applicable)
The fellowship may be co-supervised by a person whose expertise is considered relevant to the postdoctoral research, and who holds a regular university position or a full-time paid position in a public, parapublic, community, private, or practice sector organization, or other setting deemed appropriate.
A fellowship holder cannot be co-supervised by their doctoral research supervisor.
Similarly, the co-supervisor cannot be affiliated with the institution where the applicant carried out their doctoral studies.
3.5.3 Supervising institution
The supervised internship must take place at the supervisor’s institution of affiliation.
The supervised postdoctoral fellowship must be carried out at an institution other than the awarding institution or the co-supervisory/cotutelle institution (if applicable) of the doctoral degree.
IMPORTANT: Applicants who completed a joint doctoral program offered by multiple universities are encouraged to choose a host environment that is not at one of these associated universities. If not, this choice must be fully justified in the application.
3.5.4 Co-supervising institution (if applicable)
The co-supervising institution may be a university; a university-affiliated service centre; a public, parapublic, community, private or practice sector organization; or any other setting deemed appropriate.
A co-supervised postdoctoral fellowship must be carried out at an institution other than the awarding institution or the co-supervisory/cotutelle institution (if applicable) of the doctoral degree.
The restriction regarding the supervising institution for applicants who completed a joint doctoral program offered by multiple universities, as set out above, also applies to the choice of co-supervising institution, where applicable.
An exception may be made in the case of major family obligations, a disability or for serious health reasons. Following analysis by the Fonds, an applicant may be authorized to propose a postdoctoral research project at the same institution that awarded their doctorate, but under a different supervisor. In order for the application to be considered admissible at the eligibility stage, it is the applicant’s responsibility to provide the necessary explanations in an attachment in the “Host environment” section of the form and to upload relevant supporting documents (medical certificate, certificate of disability, proof of tax credit for caregivers, etc.) in the “Other documents” section. Note that only the explanatory document will be given to the scientific evaluation committee.
Applicants wishing to request such an exception are advised to verify the admissibility of the exception with the program manager before submitting their application form.
3.5.5 Field research and data collection trips
Field research and data collection trips are permitted*. However, when these exceed a period of 6 months, a co-supervision agreement must be formalized in the application. A letter of acceptance must then be provided by the co-supervisor (see Section 4.3 below).
* In the case of applicants who are not eligible to use their fellowship outside Québec, all trips for field research or data collection must take place within Québec, unless the institution approves travel outside Québec deemed necessary for the proper implementation of activities related to the postdoctoral research. See Section 3.3.2 above for more information.
IMPORTANT: It is strongly recommended that all individuals who apply for a postdoctoral fellowship with the FRQSC simultaneously submit a similar application at the federal level.
With regard to the language of submitted forms and documents, please refer to Section 3.6 of the CGR.
A postdoctoral fellowship application consists of the following documents:
- Postdoctoral Fellowship application form, available in the FRQnet E-portfolio (see 4.1);
- Canadian Common CV and “Detailed Contributions” attachment file (see 4.2);
- Supervisor acceptance form(s) and letter(s) (see 4.3);
- Required documents, attached to the application form (see 4.4).
4.1 Application Form
The Postdoctoral Fellowship (B3Z) application form is available in the FRQnet portal no later than one month before the competition deadline, under “Available competitions”. A PDF version of this application form (for information purposes) can be consulted in the program Toolbox.
In the application form, applicants must select the evaluation committee that corresponds the best to their research topic. A List of evaluation committees (Liste des comités d’évaluation) is available in the program Toolbox. As this choice has a significant impact on the evaluation of their application, applicants are encouraged to contact the program officer in case of doubt or difficulty in selecting the appropriate committee.
IMPORTANT: It is the applicant’s sole responsibility to choose the right application form, the right evaluation committee, the right funding program and the right Fonds for their application. In the event of an error in any of these respects, the Fonds will not transfer the application and the application will be deemed ineligible, either when assessed for eligibility or by the evaluation committee.
4.2 Canadian Common CV and Detailed Contributions
The Canadian Common CV and “Detailed Contributions” attachment file are available in the Toolbox section on the fellowship program page or directly in the “Activity details” box in the FRQnet E-portfolio.
The Canadian Common CV – “Fonds Société et culture” version – must be updated within the 12 months prior to the competition deadline.
The Detailed Contributions attachment must be duly completed using the template specific to postdoctoral fellowship programs, available in the program Toolbox. Once completed, it must be attached to the application in the appropriate section of the FRQnet E-portfolio. To ensure that the attachment is properly transmitted to the Fonds, it must be saved in PDF format under “Canadian Common CV” in the FRQnet E-portfolio.
For more information, please refer to Preparing a CV for the Fonds in the program Toolbox.
4.3 Supervisor acceptance form(s) and letter(s)
Supervisors, and co-supervisors where applicable, must complete the form provided for that purpose in their own FRQnet E-portfolio and attach the required file (letter of acceptance).
A supervisor or co-supervisor who does not have an FRQnet account must first create a user account (Créer un nouveau compte).
Once they have been transmitted electronically in accordance with the instructions provided in the supervisor acceptance form, the form and letter will be automatically attached to the applicant’s fellowship application.
Supervisors and co-supervisors must complete and submit their letters and forms prior to the submission of the applicant’s application, no later than the competition deadline. If any of these letters are not received by the Fonds, the application will be deemed ineligible.
Only letters completed using the supervisor acceptance form in the FRQnet E-portfolio will be accepted. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide the persons concerned with instructions for creating an account and writing the letter, and to ensure that the letters and forms are submitted before the deadline.
These letters of acceptance support the application but should in no way serve to fill any gaps in the applicant’s demonstration of alignment with the “Host environment” criterion (see Section 5.1).
ATTENTION: The supervisor’s acceptance form and the attached letter are a mandatory part of the funding application for all applicants. For applicants who, under the eligibility conditions relating to citizenship and residency, must do their postdoctoral research in Quebec (see 3.3), these two documents also allow the supervisor to certify that they will be hosting the applicant at the Québec university with which they are affiliated. A PDF version of the supervisor acceptance form is available in the program Toolbox, for information purposes only.
4.4 Required documents
All the required documents, detailed below, must be scanned in PDF format and inserted directly into the application in the appropriate sections of the form under “Activity details”. Do not include any documents that are not required.
To be accepted, scanned PDF copies must be legible and without read protection or special double tab configuration.
Any official document submitted in a language other than French or English must be accompanied by a professional translation certified as a true copy of the original document. Any other document submitted in a language other than French or English must include a basic translation.
Please refer to the FRQnet Application Presentation Standards document to properly format any documents to be attached to the application.
The number of pages required for each document may vary and is specified in the form.
The following documents are required:
- RAMQ CARD (if applicable):
Applicants who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents AND have
- a Régie d’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) card that is valid at the competition deadline;
- an official document from the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) that establishes their status as a resident of Québec within the meaning of the Health Insurance Act;
- proof that a card has been requested from the RAMQ and that the new card will be valid at the competition deadline
must provide one of these documents.
Applicants who do not have any of the three documents listed above do not need to attach any other documents in this section of the form.
- DOCTORAL TRANSCRIPTS (mandatory):
Any doctoral transcripts that are missing, incomplete, unofficial, not certified as a true copy, or are out-of-date, as well as the absence of any other required document listed below, will render the application ineligible.
A copy of all transcripts is required, for all doctoral studies pursued by the applicant, whether completed or not. This includes transcripts from exchange programs or courses (equivalencies), where applicable.
Transcripts must be up-to-date and include all completed semesters and grading scales (back of transcript).
Transcripts sent to the Fonds must be official. What makes a transcript official may differ from one academic institution to another. Nonetheless, to be deemed official by the Fonds, each transcript must:
1) be issued by the institution in question;
2) 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. Opening the envelope to scan the transcript will not render it unofficial for the purposes of the Fonds.
PLEASE NOTE: For a current program of study, the transcript must include the last semester completed before the competition deadline, including the summer session, if applicable. In this context, the Fonds will validate this document based on the date of issue indicated on the transcript. This date must be after the last session completed before the competition deadline in order for the document to be considered up-to-date.
Other documents to be included in the transcripts file, where applicable:
- For transcripts from institutions outside North America, the applicant must include a document (short letter) explaining the institution’s grading system, in order to allow a clear understanding of the transcripts.
- If the institution where the applicant’s studies took place does not provide a transcript, the applicant must attach a letter of explanation from this institution (registrar’s office or equivalent administrative body) stating the reasons for the missing transcripts.
- If such a letter from the institution is not available, a letter of explanation written by the applicant, justifying the absence of a transcript and endorsed by the department director at the host institution, must be attached to the application.
Either of these two last documents should allow the Fonds to verify the eligibility of the application, and then allow the evaluation committee to understand the situation and take it into consideration. The absence of either of these two letters, when required under the circumstances described above, will automatically render the application ineligible.
- INTEGRATED BACKGROUND PRESENTATION (mandatory):
Document in which the applicant establishes links between their experiences and interests on the one hand, and their education, training and career choices on the other. This integrated presentation should give the evaluation committee a clear understanding of the applicant’s background. This document is not graded.
- DOCTORAL THESIS (mandatory):
Document stating the title, summary and progress of the applicant’s doctoral thesis, as well as the link between the thesis topic and the postdoctoral research project.
- RESEARCH PROJECT DESCRIPTION (mandatory):
Refer to the evaluation criteria for the research project (5.1) to be sure of including all necessary elements.
- BIBLIOGRAPHY (mandatory):
List the full references of the works used in the project description. Links to web pages may be included as bibliographic references where relevant.
- JUSTIFICATION OF HOST ENVIRONMENT (mandatory):
Refer to the evaluation criteria for the host environment (5.1) to be sure of including all necessary elements. The benefits of co-supervision must also be demonstrated, if applicable.
More specifically, the following documents must be attached in the “Other documents” section of the form:
- DOCTORAL DIPLOMA OR OTHER OFFICIAL DOCUMENT (if applicable):
If the doctoral program has been completed, a copy of the applicant’s original doctoral diploma issued by the registrar’s office is required.
If the doctoral diploma has not yet been obtained, the applicant must include proof that the thesis has been successfully defended or proof of the final thesis submission.
If the thesis has not been defended, proof of the initial thesis submission* must be provided.
If the thesis has not been submitted at the time of application, no document is required.
* The document attesting to the initial thesis submission must be provided before the beginning of the fellowship.
- SUPPORTING DOCUMENT FOR ELIGIBILITY PERIOD EXCEPTION (if applicable):
Applicants seeking eligibility period exceptions in accordance with Section 3.2 above must provide an official document for each birth since the thesis submission or a medical certificate attesting to serious health reasons or disability.
Similarly, applicants seeking an exception to the host environment rule (see Section 3.5 above) must include the required supporting documents (medical certificate, certificate of disability, proof of tax credit for caregivers, etc.).
4.5 Submitting the application
At the competition deadline of October 12, 2023 at 4:00 p.m., the status of the application in the FRQnet system must be “Submitted to the Fonds” and all required documents must be attached to the form.
An incomplete application that does not contain the information necessary to establish eligibility or which cannot be evaluated will be deemed ineligible by the Fonds. Applicants will not be notified of any information or documents missing from the application. No documents received after the competition deadline will be considered and applications cannot be updated after this deadline. No documents other than those required will be submitted to the evaluation committee.
The applicant is responsible for ensuring that all required documents have been included and transmitted.
As indicated in the CGR (Section 3.7), an acknowledgement of receipt confirms that the application has been transmitted to the Fonds.
All applications received by the Fonds are assessed for eligibility. A notice will be sent via email no later than December following the competition deadline, informing the applicant of the status of their application and, where applicable, its transmission to the evaluation committee. Applicants whose application package is deemed incomplete or invalid will be notified by email that their application has not been transmitted to the evaluation committee.
5.1 Evaluation criteria, sub-criteria and weighting
Committee members evaluate the applications according to the evaluation criteria, sub-criteria and weighting specified in these program rules, based on the Fonds Scoring System Grid.
To be recommended, an application must obtain an overall score of 70% or more.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Applicants are advised to attach equal importance to both the evaluation criteria and their associated sub-criteria.
Applications are evaluated according to the following criteria, sub-criteria and weighting:
Academic record and career
- Honours (awards, distinctions and scholarships)
- Relevant achievements (scientific, professional, social, etc.) and experience (related to the project or career)
- Capacity for engagement and leadership (within and outside the academic community)
- Ability to facilitate dialogue between science and society
- Originality of the project and its potential to contribute 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
- Justification and suitability of the host environment chosen for the project
- Added value for the development of the applicant’s career plan
The conditions governing funding decisions are specified in Section 4.5 of the CGR .
6. ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE RESULTS
The Fonds informs every applicant, via email, of the evaluation and funding decision made with regard to their application. Competition results are officially announced on the Fonds website and a letter is sent to the applicant’s FRQnet E-portfolio, generally at the end of the month of April following the competition deadline.
Successful applicants must accept or refuse the fellowship within thirty (30) calendar days after the fellowship offer was sent, in the “Manage my funding” section of their FRQnet E-portfolio. An applicant who fails to accept the fellowship before the deadline is considered to have refused the fellowship (CGR , Section 5.3).
7. OPEN ACCESS POLICY
Peer-reviewed publications resulting from the research made possible by this award must be released as immediate open access (without embargo), under an open license, in accordance with the FRQ Open Access Policy (revised in 2022).
8. SCHOLARSHIPS OFFERED IN PARTNERSHIP
The Fonds may grant training scholarships with partners. As with all scholarships granted by the Fonds, scholarship offers are given out according to merit following a scientific evaluation by a peer review committee.
There are three steps in the process to select eligible applicants for the scholarships:
- Applicants select one or more partners whose research areas are in line with their research theme (in the Partnerships section of the application form);
- The Fonds sends the partners the list of applicants who have expressed interest and the information required to determine the relevance of the applications to their strategic and research priorities;
- When the evaluation process is complete (see Section 5 of this document), applicants who obtained a scientific excellence rating that entitles them to receive funding from the Fonds and whose proposed projects are deemed relevant by the partners may receive an offer for a partnership scholarship.
By choosing to be considered for a partnership scholarship and being granted a scholarship, applicants agree that the partner may contact them regarding activities related to the research project.
- SSA Québec Support Unit / SPOR National Training Entity (NTE)
The SSA Québec Support Unit is a provincial unit of the national Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) network of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).
The Unit’s vision is to continuously improve the Québec health system and make it a learning system. It mobilizes and empowers the network to do things differently and achieve the quintuple aim by making partnership a driving force, integrating science and innovation, and facilitating change. The unit’s teams work across Québec and deploy their expertise by offering training, consultation services, tools, facilitation and networking opportunities:
- It builds scientific and experiential knowledge
- It offers support to project leaders in the network
- It oversees the continuous improvement of quality
The SPOR National Training Entity (NTE), an integral part of the CIHR SPOR network, is a pan-Canadian organization that aims to increase, support and maintain the capacity of a collaborative, interdisciplinary research community focused on partnerships with and for patients. The NTE provides answers to changing healthcare questions, helping to improve the patient experience.
The scholarships offered by the FRQ in partnership with the Unit and the SPOR National Training Entity allow scholarship holders to hone their skills and gain experience in research with and for patients, to network, and to work across disciplines with different healthcare professionals and organizations in a learning health system approach.
9. TERMS OF THE FELLOWSHIP
To retain the fellowship, fellowship holders must meet the following basic conditions throughout the duration of funding:
- Respect the conditions relating to citizenship and place of residence.
- Have made an initial thesis submission before starting the fellowship and meet all requirements for the doctoral degree at the time of the third instalment.
- Be present at the host environment for the duration of the fellowship and devote themself full-time to the postdoctoral research.
- Respect the rules relating to concurrent funding.
- Respect the rules relating to paid employment.
Fellowship holders must also comply with all applicable requirements specified in the program rules and the CGR.
The conditions and privileges attached to the fellowship in relation to citizenship status at the time of application (see Section 3.3) will continue to apply throughout the fellowship, even if citizenship status changes during the funding period.
Fellowship holders are required to inform the Fonds immediately if they cease to satisfy any of these conditions. Should any of these basic conditions no longer be met, the Fonds will be obliged to withdraw the fellowship and could request reimbursement.
9.1 Fellowship start date
The fellowship must start between May 1, 2024 and March 1, 2025.
More specifically, the first payment may be made as of one of the following dates:
- May 30 following the award (summer term)
- September 30 following the award (fall term)
- January 30 following the award (winter term)
The fellowship is non-transferrable from one year to the next.
The fellowship is not retroactive and any work conducted in the months prior to May 2024 will not be funded.
9.2 Fellowship payments and management
Each fellowship instalment covers a period of 4 months (the equivalent of one university term). Instalments must be requested each term in the “Manage my funding” section of the FRQnet E-portfolio.
Triannual instalment payments are made for the duration of the fellowship eligibility period. Payments are conditional on compliance with the basic requirements and submission of all requirements documents in the FRQnet E-portfolio.
9.2.1 Cancellation of a payment or a fellowship
With the exception of the first instalment, which must be claimed no later than March 1 of the year following the awarding of the fellowship under penalty of immediate cancellation of the fellowship, the Fonds will cancel a payment after prior notice if it is not claimed or deferred or if required documents are not received in the two months following the deadline for the instalment in question.
The Fonds will cancel a fellowship after prior notice if the fellowship holder has not taken any action in their FRQnet E-portfolio for two consecutive periods.
The Fonds will cancel a fellowship after prior notice if two consecutive payments must be cancelled due to non-compliance with the basic requirements or if required documents have not been submitted in the two months following the start of the period in question.
In addition, the FRQ reserves the right to cancel any payment or fellowship in accordance with the Policy for the responsible conduct of research.
A funding offer that is declined by the applicant cannot be reactivated.
A final report in the format required by the FRQ must be submitted at the end of the semester in which the last payment is made.
9.3 Presence at the host environment
To retain the fellowship, the fellowship holder must be present at the host environment for the duration of the fellowship and devote themself full-time to carrying out the research activities. Failure to respect this rule could result in the withdrawal of the fellowship. If, under exceptional circumstances, these conditions cannot be respected, the Fonds must be advised as soon as possible and will determine whether the fellowship should be maintained or cancelled.
A 4-week annual vacation period is permitted.
9.4 Exceptions for part-time postdoctoral research
In all the following cases, the Fonds reserves the right to deny an insufficiently justified request.
Part-time postdoctoral research is permitted only in the cases mentioned below:
9.4.1 Family caregiver, parenthood or medical condition
This exception is only available to a fellowship holder who is the caregiver for a close family member, who is the primary caregiver for a young child (5 years and under), or who has a medical condition that prevents them from pursuing postdoctoral research on a full-time basis (in the case of a disability, see Section 9.4.2). While enrolled part time, the fellowship holder may receive 50% of the value of the fellowship payments.
Fellowship holders who want to avail themselves of this exception must make a request in their FRQnet E-portfolio and attach the following documents:
- Letter from their supervisor confirming approval of part-time enrolment;
- Copy of the medical certificate (caregiver, medical condition) or the birth or adoption certificate of a child (parent).
It is possible to receive concurrent parental insurance plan benefits, as applicable.
A person with a disability who is unable to pursue their postdoctoral research on a full-time basis may choose to enrol part-time while benefitting from full fellowship payments, provided that the supervisor authorizes part-time status and upon presentation of a medical certificate or other official document attesting to the situation. This exception is in accordance with 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) and reserved for persons who meet the definition of “handicapped person” in the Act.
The fellowship holder must complete a request in their FRQnet E-portfolio and attach the following documents:
- Letter from their supervisor confirming approval of part-time enrolment;
- Medical certificate attesting to the condition.
9.5 Paid employment
Paid work carried out while pursuing the Postdoctoral Fellowship program is permitted with no time limit per semester. This employment must be approved by the fellowship supervisor and must not interfere with the fellowship holder’s research activities.
In addition to the paid work permitted per semester, a fellowship holder may accept remuneration to work exclusively on the research project funded by the Fonds. For the sole purpose of interpreting the rules for concurrent funding (see 9.11), this remuneration is considered a scholarship for which concurrent funding is permitted when confirmed by the fellowship supervisor.
9.6 Instalment deferral
9.6.1 Gaining relevant experience
For each full year of funding, the Fonds may authorize the suspension of one fellowship payment (four months) during which the fellowship holder gains relevant experience (experience within a research team, teaching experience related in the field of training, language stay, etc.). The payment is then deferred until the end of the funding period. This provision cannot be used for the first instalment, and fellowship holders cannot use this provision to accept another scholarship with which concurrent funding is prohibited or to return to work while on study leave.
Deferrals to gain relevant experience may be consecutive if approved by the fellowship holder’s research supervisor.
To avail themselves of this measure, fellowship holders must submit a request to the Fonds that granted the fellowship. In addition, the research supervisor must provide a letter confirming their approval and the relevance of the activities that will be undertaken. The Fond reserves the right to deny any request that is insufficiently justified or inappropriate.
9.6.2 Leave for major family or parental obligations
The Fonds will authorize the deferral of one or more payments when a fellowship holder pauses their postdoctoral research to undertake major family or parental obligations, for as long as the fellowship holder’s university permits.
9.7 Parental leave
A postdoctoral fellowship holder may suspend their research for an unpaid parental leave of up to one year.
During this leave, it is possible to receive an additional instalment for parental leave for a maximum of 8 continuous months, if the research is interrupted in the 6 months following the birth or adoption of a child and the first instalment of the fellowship has already been paid. If the fellowship holder receives this additional 8-month instalment, the unpaid leave is reduced to 4 months for a total of one year.
This supplement cannot be divided. In case of a parental leave of a shorter duration, the supplement will be adjusted. To receive the supplement for parental leave, the fellowship holder must suspend their postdoctoral research and not hold paid employment for the duration of the leave. Pursuant to the rules for concurrent funding (see 9.11), in the context of double funding with a Canadian granting agency, the fellowship supplement cannot be granted when a parental leave allowance is received from the federal agency. In such a case, the fellowship holder must accept the paid leave offered by the federal agency.
For more information about conditions regarding parental leave, refer to Section 6.13 of the CGR.
9.8 Change request
As indicated in Section 6.5 of the CGR , any modification to the research project, environment or (co)supervisor requires prior authorization from the Fonds. The fellowship holder must submit a change request in their FRQnet E-portfolio in the “Manage my funding” section. The Fonds will analyze the request and ensure that it does not affect the outcome of the initial application evaluation or its eligibility for the award program. The decision to accept or refuse the request will be communicated via email.
9.9 Reimbursement of travel expenses
Travel expenses to and from the host environment outside Québec at the start and end of the postdoctoral program are reimbursed when supported by receipts, provided they were not reimbursed by another agency. The maximum travel allowance is equivalent to the price of one economy airline ticket.
Fellowship holders who have not yet defended their thesis may be reimbursed for an additional round trip (for the fellowship holder only).
In addition, at the beginning and end of the postdoctoral fellowship, travel expenses outside Québec for the spouse and children of the fellowship holder may also be covered by the Fonds, provided they are not reimbursed by any other agency.
9.10 Convertibility of the fellowship
A fellowship can be used as a start-up grant by a fellowship holder who is offered a position as a regular professor in a Québec university. The fellowship holder must have completed a full year of funding under the postdoctoral fellowship (12 months) or received 3 full fellowship instalments before requesting to convert part of the fellowship (up to $15,000) into a start-up grant for the new position. The effective date of the start-up grant is the fellowship holder’s employment start date.
This grant is subject to the same rules as those of the Research Support for New Academics program. A person who benefits from this conversion remains eligible to apply for this program.
A SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship holder who has also received a FRQSC funding offer under this program and accepted it, may benefit from this conversion, if applicable.
9.11 Concurrent awards
The following table details the rules for concurrent funding.
Training scholarships (master’s, doctoral and postdoctoral) from federal funding agencies: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
Partial concurrent funding* allowed
Training scholarships (master’s, doctoral, postdoctoral, partnership) from Québec funding agencies such as the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS), the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture (FRQSC), the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT), the Conseil de recherches en pêche et agroalimentaire du Québec (CORPAQ)
No concurrent funding
Scholarships from Canadian and Québec government departments and agencies other than those mentioned above
Concurrent funding allowed
Co-supervised international mobility scholarships and scholarships for internships in or outside Québec
Concurrent funding allowed
Scholarships from the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) or Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ)
No concurrent funding when the scholarships are for the same project
Scholarships from the private sector, internal scholarships from universities and affiliated centres and supplementary scholarships from the research supervisor
Concurrent funding allowed
*Partial concurrent funding with a scholarship from a federal funding agency
Partial concurrent funding with a scholarship from a federal funding agency is possible when the scholarship from the Fonds is of a higher value or longer duration than the scholarship with which concurrent funding is prohibited. In such cases, the fellowship holder must accept the federal scholarship. However, the fellowship holder may also accept the scholarship from the Fonds to take advantage of additional benefits that are not covered by the federal scholarship, as applicable:
- When the value of the scholarship from the Fonds is higher than that of the other scholarship, the amount will be adjusted to make up for the shortfall.
- When the duration of the scholarship from the Fonds is longer than that of the other scholarship, the Fonds will extend the term of the scholarship to make up for the shortfall when the other scholarship ends, unless the total value of the other scholarship is equal to or higher than the total value of the scholarship from the Fonds.
- If the requirements governing the start date of the federal scholarship do not allow the first instalment to be paid as soon as the thesis is submitted, the scholarship holder may receive one instalment of the Fonds scholarship while waiting to meet the conditions for obtaining the first instalment of the federal scholarship. However, the federal scholarship cannot be delayed in order to benefit from this first instalment from the Fonds.
- All financial benefits associated with the Fonds scholarship will also be made available by the Fonds.
It is not possible to defer a payment or the start of a scholarship to receive another scholarship with which concurrent funding is prohibited.
Fellowship holders who receive payments in a situation in which concurrent funding is prohibited will be required to reimburse the sums paid.
10. FUNDING EXTENSION – KNOWLEDGE MOBILIZATION PLAN (B3ZR)
Recipients of a FRQSC postdoctoral fellowship under this competition may apply for an extension of funding for an additional year through the Postdoctoral Fellowship – Knowledge Mobilization Plan (B3ZR) program.
During the second year of the fellowship, a plan for the mobilization of knowledge stemming from the postdoctoral research can be submitted to the Fonds via a funding competition. The plan will be subject to evaluation. This funding extension may only be requested once.
IMPORTANT: It is the responsibility of the postdoctoral fellowship (B3Z) holder to consult the rules of the Postdoctoral Fellowship – Knowledge Mobilization Plan (B3ZR) program to obtain all the necessary information to apply for the extension. These rules are available on the Fonds website and are regularly updated.
11. EFFECTIVE DATE
The provisions set out in this document apply to the 2024-2025 and subsequent fiscal years.
The Fonds reserves the right to modify the value of the scholarship and/or the program rules detailed in this document without prior notice.
Version updated on the website July 11, 2023.