Competition year : 
2023-2024

Deadline (application) : 
October 6th, 2022 at 16:00 (EST)

Announcement of results : 
April 2023

Amount : 
from $25 024 to $39 323 per year

Duration : 
up to 6 semesters

1. OBJECTIVES

This program refers to the Common General Rules (CGR) of the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ). These rules apply to all FRQ funding offers. Only the specific requirements for this program are indicated in this document and take precedence over the CGR.

The scholarships granted by the Fonds de recherche du Québec aim to:

  • help support new generations of students in a range of research sectors:
    • natural sciences, mathematics sciences and engineering (FRQNT)
    • human health (FRQS)
    • humanities, social sciences, art and literature (FRQSC)
  • spark the interest of new generations of students in research; and
  • support research excellence by providing financial assistance to the best students as they undertake or pursue a master’s research program.

2. MAIN FEATURES

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2.1 Amounts awarded

25 024 $ to 39 323 $ per year, based on the year of graduation

The maximum amount is six (6) payments for a total amount ranging from $50,048 to $78,646.

3. ELIGIBILITY

Applicants must meet all eligibility requirements in effect during the competition period, as stipulated in the program rules and the CGR.

3.1 TARGETED PERSONS AND ELIGIBILITY PERIOD

Master’s training scholarship for applicants with a Professional Degree

The master’s training scholarship program is open to applicants who:

  • want to undertake or pursue a master’s research program in one of the areas covered by the Fonds Santé.
  • completed or intend to complete a professional university degree in human health and obtain a license valid in Québec from the start date of the award and throughout the tenure of the award OR are residents and members of the Collège des médecins du Québec who seek to partially interrupt their clinical training to gain research training (with a training card valid from the start date of the award and throughout the tenure of the award)

As part of the master’s research program, the awardee must be required to write a research thesis (essays, research reports, dissertations and articles not eligible). Professional master’s programs are not eligible.

Scholarships for re-entering the Research Community at the master’s level

The scholarship program for re-entering the research community at the master’s level is open to professional applicants who want to re-enter the research community by pursuing their studies or the equivalent in one of the areas covered by the Fonds.

The program is aimed at applicants who:

  • have not been registered in a graduate program for at least five (5) years (applicants may be registered for their first semester at the time of filing);
  • have not earned university credits for at least five (5) years at the competition deadline; and
  • have held an undergraduate degree for at least five (5) years at the competition deadline.
3.2 CITIZENSHIP AND DOMICILE

Applicants should refer to Section 2.1 of the CGR for further details.

To be eligible for a master’s scholarship for applicants with a Professional Degree, the applicant must:

  • have a health insurance card issued by the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) that is valid at the competition deadline or provide proof of application for a RAMQ card whose validity covers the competition deadline. The RAMQ card is issued by the government of Québec so citizens can benefit from the services covered by the province’s health insurance program;

OR

  • be 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. The fall semester of the competition cannot be used to calculate the number of semesters.
3.3 RESEARCH DIRECTOR

The applicant’s research director must be a status 1 or 2 researcher (see the Definitions section of the CGR), even if they work outside Québec.

3.4 RESTRICTIONS

4. APPLICATION

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IMPORTANT NOTES
  • The 2023–2024 application e-form will be available on the respective websites of the Fonds at least one month prior to the competition deadline. The form must be submitted electronically by the competition deadline, as determined by the Fonds.
  • IMPORTANT NOTE (Section 3.3 CGR): Applicants must prepare their application sufficiently in advance to ensure they have all the required documents and submit the form by the competition deadline. Applicants must also anticipate and consider the high volume of funding applications received by the Fonds near the competition deadline.
  • APPLICATIONS RECEIVED AFTER THE COMPETITION DEADLINE WILL BE DEEMED INELIGIBLE BY THE FONDS.
  • The links to the FRQnet electronic portfolio (ePortfolio) and the competition forms are available in the Portal access tab of the website. Additional information is available in the Documents menu of the FRQnet ePortfolio.
  • It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to select the right form from the right Fonds de recherche. In the event of an error, the Fonds will not transfer an application from one program to another, and the application will be deemed ineligible as part of the eligibility verification process or by the review committee.
  • Applications should be written in French, but may also be in English. However, the title and summary of the project (when required) must be in French.
  • Refer to the presentation standards for attachments in the FRQnet ePortfolio for further details.
4.1 SELECTION OF THE REVIEW COMMITTEE

Applicants are responsible for selecting their review committee. No changes may be made after the competition deadline. The choice must be made based on the research topic, field and training program.

4.2 REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

Transcripts

  • Transcripts that are missing, incomplete, unofficial, uncertified or not up-to-date shall render the application ineligible. 
  • Copies of all transcripts are required for all the applicant’s academic studies, whether completed or not, including transcripts from exchange programs and courses (equivalencies), if applicable.
  • The transcript for an applicant’s current program of study must include the last semester completed prior to the competition deadline, including the summer semester, if applicable.
  • The elements that make a transcript official may differ from one academic institution to the next. Nevertheless, to be considered official by the Fonds, each transcript must:
    • be issued by the relevant academic institution;
    • include the elements that prove it is an official transcript from the academic institution, including the university seal and/or signature of the registrar and/or wording such as official transcript, etc.
    • A WATERMARK does not render a transcript unofficial if the requirements specified above are met.
    • A transcript submitted in a sealed envelope from a registrar’s office may be opened and scanned.

If there is any doubt as to the authenticity of a transcript, the Fonds reserve the right to confirm the information with the applicant and with the academic institution.

Other documents to be attached with the transcripts (if applicable)

  • For transcripts obtained outside North America, a document explaining the current grading system. The attachment must clearly explain the grading system so that the transcripts may be easily understood;
  • Explanatory letter from the institution (registrar’s office or equivalent administrative body) when no transcript is issued. The attachment must detail the reason(s) for the missing transcripts. The Fonds reserve the right to verify the admissibility of the reasons given;
  • Explanatory letter from the applicant and signed by the department chair of the host institution when no transcript is issued and the applicant is unable to obtain a letter from the university.

RAMQ health insurance card (if applicable)

Case 1: Applicants who have not been registered for at least two (2) full-time semesters in a Québec university in the three (3) semesters preceding the competition deadline

Case 2: Applicants who are Canadian citizens and wish to use or eventually use a training scholarship to study outside Québec

Case 3: Applicants who do not have a RAMQ health insurance AND who were registered for at least two (2) full-time semesters in a Québec university in the three (3) semesters preceding the competition deadline must provide:

Applicants in cases 1 and 2 must provide:

  • a photocopy of their RAMQ health insurance card valid at the competition deadline;

OR

  • an official document from the Régie de l’assurance maladie that establishes their status as a resident of Québec within the meaning of the Health Insurance Act;

OR

  • if an official document is not available, proof that a health insurance card has been requested from the RAMQ and that the card will be valid at the competition deadline.

Applicants in case 3 must provide:

  • an attestation from the registrar’s office indicating the full-time semesters completed (if they do not appear on the transcript).

Acknowledgement of receipt from publishers

  • Acknowledgements for all papers submitted to publishers and publisher notifications for papers accepted for publication (acknowledgements for previously published papers are not shared with the committee).

Additional documents

Applicants who completed one or more part-time semesters since the date at which they first registered for a graduate program and applicants whose transcripts do not include all registered semesters:

  • Attestation from the registrar’s office indicating all semesters.

Applicants seeking to avail themselves of an exception:

  • Official document attesting to the duration of the parental leave or sick leave, such as a medical certificate or a copy of the child’s birth certificate.
  • In the case of a major family obligation or a person with a disability, documents attesting to the situation.

No appendices or documents other than those required will be shared with the review committee. Applications cannot be updated after the competition deadline.

NOTICE

Applicants will receive an email notification to inform them that their application was either sent to the review committee or deemed ineligible by December at the latest. Applicants who have not received an email notification must contact the program manager before the end of December.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Any anticipated changes to the training location, research supervisor, project, training program, etc. between the time the application is submitted and the scholarship announcement, if applicable, must be communicated to the Fonds. After analysis, the Fonds may deem an application ineligible. No document may be added to an application in connection with a change.

5. EVALUATION

For more information on the rules regarding the evaluation process, refer to Section 4 of the CGR.

Applications are reviewed according to the following evaluation criteria and weighting:

Criteria – Master’s training scholarship for applicant with a Professional Degree

Academic record and progress (50 points)

  • Transcripts
  • Honours (scholarships, distinctions, scholarships)
  • Achievements (scientific, professional, social, etc.) and relevant experience (related and unrelated to the project or academic progress)

Research interest and potential (45 points)

  • Proposed research (originality, clarity, coherence, etc.)
  • Relevance of the methodological elements and the overview of the conceptual framework and consideration of DEI principles, as applicable)
  • Potential to contribute to projects that tackle societal issues, specifically those set out in the SDGs (as applicable)

Overall presentation (5 points)

TOTAL (100 points)

6. OPEN ACCESS POLICY

Peer-reviewed publications stemming from the research funded by the scholarship must be made immediately available on an open access (non-embargoed) basis under an open license in accordance with the FRQ’s Open access policy for the dissemination of research (revised 2022).

Master’s theses stemming from the research funded by the scholarship must be made available on an open access (non-embargoed) basis in an institutional or disciplinary repository, in accordance with the FRQ’s open access policy for the dissemination of research (revised 2022).

7. SCHOLARSHIPS 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 send 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.

Foundation of Stars

Early childhood diseases

Training scholarships in the Pediatric research field, primarily in the area of childhood diseases. Amount of the scholarship: $20,000 per year.

Parkinson Quebec

Parkinson’s disease

Training scholarships in the Parkinson’s Disease research field.

Unité de soutien SRAP du Québec (SPOR Support Unit in Québec)

Patient-Oriented Research

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.

8. USING A SCHOLARSHIP FROM THE FONDS

To maintain a scholarship or supplement, the awardee must meet these basic requirements throughout the funding period:

  • Meet citizenship and residency requirements;
  • Be enrolled in the training program for which the scholarship was granted on a full-time basis (subject to the exceptions specified in this section);
  • Comply with the rules pertaining to concurrent scholarships;
  • Comply with the rules pertaining to employment and internships.

Awardees must also comply with all the requirements specified in the program rules and CGR.

Awardees who are registered in a program outside Québec (when permitted under the terms of the scholarship) must request official proof of registration from their university at the start of every semester and send it to the Fonds. For awardees registered in a Québec university, proof of registration is sent directly to the Fonds by the institution.

Awardees must notify the Fonds as soon as possible when a requirement is no longer met and whenever there is a change in their situation that could affect compliance with the terms of the scholarship. Failure to do so may result in the cancellation of the scholarship and/or the obligation to reimburse the amounts received.

8.1 Coming into effect of the scholarship

The payments may start in any of the three (3) semesters following the awardee’s acceptance.

The start date of the scholarship refers to the semester in which the first payment may be claimed (see Section 8.10.2 in the CGR for further details).

  • For awardees whose training program has not started when the scholarship letter is issued, the first payment may be made as of:
    • May 30 after the scholarship is granted (summer semester)
    • September 30 after the scholarship is granted (fall semester)
    • January 30 after the scholarship is granted (winter semester)
  • For awardees whose training program is in progress when the letter of scholarship is issued, the first payment will be made as of:
    • May 30 following the scholarship (summer semester)
8.2 Payments and management

Payments are conditional on compliance with the basic requirements and submission of all requirements documents in the FRQnet electronic portfolio (ePortfolio). Refer to the Scholarship holder’s guide to using an FRQ scholarship (Document Menu, blue Portfolio banner) for information on where to find the required documents and how to attach them to the ePortfolio.

8.2.1 Cancellation of a payment or a scholarship

  • The Fonds will cancel a scholarship upon notice if it is not claimed or deferred or if required documents are not received in the two months following the start of the semester.
  • The Fonds will cancel a scholarship upon notice if the awardee has not taken any action in their FRQnet ePortfolio for two consecutive semesters.
  • The Fonds will cancel a scholarship upon 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 semester.
  • In addition, the FRQ reserves the right to cancel any payment or scholarship in accordance with the Policy for the responsible conduct of research.
  • A scholarship offer that is declined by the applicant cannot be reactivated.

8.2.2 Report

A final report in the format required by the FRQ must be submitted at the end of the semester in which the last scholarship payment is made.

8.2.3 Mandatory basic research ethics training

Basic research ethics training is mandatory for all FRQS awardees whose research project or program involves humans.

Research involving humans consists of:

  • the participation of humans;
  • the use of human biological material (parts, products, tissue, 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 training program includes levels 1 and 3 of the research ethics courseware. Awardees must complete the training program in the year following the receipt of their scholarship offer from the FRQS (see Required documents section).

8.3 Exceptions for awardees registered as part-time students

This exception is only available to an awardee 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 following a full-time program (in the case of a disability, see Section 8.3.2). During part-time semesters, the awardee may receive 50% of the value of the scholarship payments.

Awardees who want to avail themselves of this exception must complete their FRQnet ePortfolio and attach the following documents:

  • Proof of part-time studies from the university
  • 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.

The Fonds reserve the right to refuse any exception request that is not adequately justified.

8.4 Concurrent scholarships

The following table details the rules for concurrent funding.

Type of scholarship / Scholarship program

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)

Rules for concurrent funding

Partial* concurrent funding allowed

Type of scholarship / Scholarship program

Training scholarships (master’s, doctorate, 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)

Rules for concurrent funding

No concurrent funding

Type of scholarship / Scholarship program

Scholarships from Canadian and Québec government departments and agencies other than those mentioned above

Rules for concurrent funding

Concurrent funding allowed

Type of scholarship / Scholarship program

Co-supervised international mobility scholarships and scholarships for internships outside Québec

Rules for concurrent funding

Concurrent funding allowed

Type of scholarship / Scholarship program

Scholarships from the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) or Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ)

Rules for concurrent funding

No concurrent funding when the scholarships are for the same project

Type of scholarship / Scholarship program

Scholarships from the private sector, internal scholarships from universities and affiliated centres and supplementary scholarships from the research supervisor

Rules for concurrent funding

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 awardee must accept the federal scholarship. However, the awardee may also accept the scholarship from the Fonds in order 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.
  • All the 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.

Awardees who receive payments in a situation in which concurrent funding is prohibited will be required to reimburse the sums paid.

8.5 Scholarship supplements

During the authorised suspension of the research project due to the birth or adoption of a child, a scholarship holder may apply for an eight-month continuous parental leave supplement. This supplement may be requested only by those who have already received their first instalment as a grant holder.

To be eligible for this supplement, the scholarship holder must not be enrolled in a training programme or be in paid employment for the duration of the leave. In the case of partial cumulation, the scholarship supplement cannot be granted when a parental leave allowance is received from a federal agency. In this case, the scholarship holder must take the paid leave offered by the federal agency. If your university permits, parental leave may be extended for an additional four months at no additional cost.

8.6 Employment and internships

Paid work carried out while enrolled in a training program is permitted. There is no limit of time per semester. The employment must be approved by the research supervisor and must not interfere with the research activities.

In addition to the paid work permitted per semester, awardees may earn a salary for working solely on the funded research project. For the sole purpose of interpreting the rules for concurrent funding (Section 8.4), the salary is considered a concurrent scholarship when confirmed by the research supervisor.

8.7 Deferral

Deferral of payment is permitted for sick leave (refer to CGR Section 6.14), parental leave (refer to CGR Section 6.13) or family leave or to gain relevant experience.

8.7.1  Gaining relevant experience

For each full year of funding, the Fonds may authorize the suspension of one scholarship payment (one semester/four months) during which the awardee 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. Awardees cannot use this provision for their first payment, 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 research supervisor. Part-time enrollment is also permitted during the consecutive semester(s), where university rules permit.

To avail themselves of an exception, awardees must submit a request to the Fonds that granted the scholarship. In addition, the research supervisor must provide a letter confirming their approval and the relevance of the activities that will be undertaken. The Fonds reserve the right to deny any request that is insufficiently justified or irrelevant.

8.7.2  Leave for major family obligations or parental leave

The Fund will authorize the deferral of one or more payments when an awardee pauses their training to undertake major family or parenting obligations for as long as the awardee’s university permits.

8.8 Discontinuation of the training program and part-time enrolment

An awardee who withdraws during the semester or who decides to pursue their studies on a part-time basis, with the exception of the cases described in sections 8.3 and 8.6.2, is no longer eligible for the scholarship and must notify the Fonds to terminate it. The awardee may be required to reimburse the amounts paid.

8.9 Completion of the training program and graduation

An awardee is eligible to receive payments until the final submission of the thesis. Full-time enrolment is not required after the thesis has been submitted.

8.10 Request for changes

Any change in an awardee’s situation must be communicated to the Fonds via the FRQnet ePortfolio. For reasons of equity, the Fonds will ensure the requested change does not impact the outcome of the application’s initial evaluation and remains in compliance with the eligibility requirements and program rules. The Fonds will assess the requested change and may decide to continue, reduce, suspend or terminate the payments. The Fonds my also require that the awardee reimburse the sums paid.

In all the following cases, the Fonds reserve the right to deny a request that is insufficiently justified or that calls into question the elements set out in the preceding paragraph.

8.10.1  Change in citizenship status

The conditions and privileges of the scholarship as they pertain to citizenship status at the time of application continue to apply throughout the term of the scholarship, even if an awardee’s citizenship status changes during the funding period.

8.10.2  Change in the term of the scholarship or start date

The funding period is determined based on the date of full-time registration in the training program. Two part-time semesters are equivalent to one full-time semester.

This type of change must be made prior to the first payment. It is strongly suggested that the change be requested upon accepting the scholarship. Once the first payment is made, the term of the scholarship and start date cannot be changed.

8.10.3  Change in study level

A master’s training scholarship holder who plans to pursue a doctoral degree may use the remaining payments of the master’s training scholarship to begin a doctoral program, on the condition that the program begins in the next semester. The payments must occur during the term of the initial scholarship. In addition, the awardee must have received at least one payment of the master’s training scholarship for at least one full-time semester in the program for which the scholarship was granted, except in the case of direct or fast-tracked transfer to a doctoral program.

8.10.4  Change in training program

Any change of program during the term of the scholarship must be in line with the research areas of the Fonds that granted the scholarship and the review committee selection, as established in the initial application. However, if an awardee intends to change programs for administrative reasons and remains in the same field of study and research, the Fonds will assess the situation and the scholarship may be maintained.

8.10.5  Change in training location and institution

An awardee may change the training and research location on the condition that the change is consistent with Section 2.1 Citizenship and Domicile in the CGR.

8.10.6  Change in research supervisor

An awardee who continues to study in the same training program and whose research project remains the same may change research supervisor. The request is automatically approved.

8.10.7  Change in research project

The awardee must justify, detail and demonstrate the new research project is of the same scientific quality as the initial project evaluated by the review committee. Before making its decision, the Fonds will ensure that the change does not impact the parameters of the committee’s evaluation. In addition, the awardee must specify whether they are remaining in the same field and department, with the same research supervisor and in the same university or research setting.

9. EFFECTIVE DATE

These rules apply to the 2023–2024 fiscal year.

10. IMPORTANT CHANGES SINCE THE LAST COMPETITION

  • Eligibility
  • Required documents
  • Evaluation