Competition year : 
2023-2024

Deadline (application) : 
November 1st, 2022 at 16:00 (EST)

Announcement of results : 
April 2023

Amount : 
Variable

Duration : 
Variable

Important dates

  • Submission of applications for preselection: variable (see in the Toolbox).
  • Submission to FRQNT of the preselected candidates by responsible bodies (universities, Synchronex): September 30, 2022, 4 p.m.
  • Submission to FRQNT of the candidates preselected by CSC: before March 31, 2023.
  • Submission of application to FRQNT by preselected candidates: November 1, 2022, 4 p.m.

Merit Scholarship for Foreign Students (PBEEE) program rules

This program refers to the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) Common General Rules (CGR), which govern all FRQ funding offers. Only rules specific to this program are indicated in this document, and these prevail over the CGR.

The link to the FRQnet electronic Portfolio and the forms associated with this competition is available under the Portal Access tab of the website. More information is available in the Documents menu of the FRQnet electronic Portfolio. It is the applicant’s sole responsibility to choose the correct application form for the right Fonds. Should an error occur, the Fonds will not transfer the application from one program to another and the application will be deemed ineligible, either when assessed for eligibility or by the evaluation committee.

AN APPLICATION SUBMITTED TO THE FONDS AFTER THE COMPETITION DEADLINE DATE AND TIME WILL BE DEEMED INADMISSIBLE BY THE FONDS.

IMPORTANT NOTE (Section 3.3 of the CGR):

Applicants are advised to prepare their application well in advance to be sure of obtaining the required documents and submitting the application before the deadline. They should also take into account the large number of applications and requests received by the Fonds at the end of the competition period.

1. Objectives

In support of the Québec government’s science policy, the Merit Scholarship for Foreign Students program has the following objectives:

  • Support the internationalization of research activities in Québec’s higher education institutions;
  • Attract top foreign researchers and students and promote international recognition of Québec universities and College Centres for the Transfer of Technologies (CCTT);
  • Create cultural links and pave the way for the setting up of joint scientific research projects.

The Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT) is responsible for managing the program. It was commissioned by the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur du Québec (MEES) which provides the funding.

2. Characteristics

The program has a component open to students of all countries and five specific components reserved for students from Brazil, China, India, Israel and Wallonia. These specific components arise from agreements concluded between Québec and foreign governments.

This program covers higher education as a whole by providing CCTT researchers and administrators with the opportunity to participate.

The Merit Scholarship Program for Foreign Students has three components:

  • Doctoral research scholarships (V1, 1B, 1C, 1I, 1IS, 1W)
  • Postdoctoral scholarships (V2, 2B, 2C, 2I)
  • Short-term research or professional development scholarships (V3, 3B, 3C, 3I, 3IS, 3W)

All-countries scholarships

  • Doctoral research scholarships (V1)
  • Postdoctoral scholarships (V2)
  • Short-term research or professional development scholarships (V3)

Québec-Brazil scholarships

  • Québec-Brazil Doctoral research scholarships (1B)
  • Québec-Brazil Postdoctoral scholarships (2B)
  • Québec-Brazil Short-term research or professional development scholarships (3B)

Québec-China scholarships

  • Québec-China Doctoral research scholarships (1C)
  • Québec-China Postdoctoral scholarships (2C)
  • Québec-China Short-term research or professional development scholarships (3C)

Québec-India scholarships

  • Québec-India Doctoral research scholarships (1I)
  • Québec-India Postdoctoral scholarships (2I)
  • Québec-India Short-term research or professional development scholarships (3I)

Québec-Israel scholarships

  • Québec-Israel Doctoral research scholarships (1IS)
  • Québec-Israel Short-term research or professional development scholarships (3IS)

Québec-Wallonia scholarships

  • Québec-Wallonia Doctoral research scholarships (1W)
  • Québec-Wallonia Short-term research or professional development scholarships (3W)

The annual value of a Doctoral research scholarship (V1, 1B, 1C, 1I, 1IS, 1W) is $25,000. The maximum amount that can be awarded is 9 instalments (9 semesters) totalling $75,000. It is also possible to obtain an extension of up to 12 months.

The annual value of a Postdoctoral scholarship (V2, 2B, 2C, 2I) is $35,000. The maximum amount that can be awarded is 3 instalments (one year) totalling $35,000.

The value of a Short-term research or professional development scholarship (V3, 3B, 3C, 3I, 3IS, 3W) is $3,000 per month. The maximum amount that can be awarded is 4 instalments (4 months) totalling $12,000.

In addition to the scholarship, MEES offers all scholarship recipients an exemption from paying the higher tuition fees required for foreign students and the medical insurance coverage offered by the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ).

3. Eligibility

Applicants must meet all eligibility requirements in effect at the time of application as set out in the program rules and the CGR.

3.1 Target group and eligibility period

These scholarships are intended for foreign students or researchers from all research sectors (health, humanities and social sciences, arts and letters, natural sciences, and engineering) preselected by a Québec university, Synchronex (for CCTTs) or the China Scholarship Council (CSC) who wish to begin or continue studies or research activities in Québec. No research sector is given preference.

Doctoral research component (V1, 1B, 1C, 1I, 1IS, 1W)

Candidates are eligible for doctoral merit program scholarships from MEES in the first nine semesters of their doctoral studies. All doctoral semesters, funded or unfunded, completed before the scholarship takes effect, are subtracted from the eligibility period.

A candidate admitted into a doctoral program from a bachelor’s program and one who fast-tracks into a doctoral program without writing a thesis must apply to the doctoral scholarships competition to obtain the scholarship during the 3rd, 4th, and 5th years of his/her graduate studies (semesters 7 to 15).

Postdoctoral component (V2, 2 B, 2 C, 2I)

Postdoctoral scholarships are intended for researchers who have obtained their PhD no more than two years before the competition deadline or who submitted their doctoral dissertation by January 15, 2024.

The postdoctoral research must be conducted in an institution other than the one that granted the doctoral degree. The candidate’s doctoral supervisors and co-supervisors may not act as his/her postdoctoral supervisor, even if they have changed institutions.

The maximum duration of this scholarship is 12 months. This scholarship is not renewable.

Short-term research or professional development component (V3, 3B, 3C, 3I, 3IS, 3W)

Short-term research or professional development scholarships are intended for technical and university students (option A) or researchers who have completed a doctorate no more than five years before the deadline for the competition (option B).

The short-term research or professional development must be conducted in an institution other than the one at which the student was enrolled when he or she applied.

The duration of this scholarship is four months. The scholarship is not renewable.

Exceptions in calculating the eligibility period

The only exception to the rules governing the eligibility period concerns circumstances beyond the candidate’s control.

Candidates who suspend their studies due to maternity or parental leave can request an extension of their eligibility period for a maximum of 12 months. The FRQNT reserves the right to refuse any request that is not sufficiently justified.

3.2 Citizenship and residence requirements

This competition is open to all candidates who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada and who have not applied for permanent residence under Canadian immigration laws.

 3.3 Restrictions

Québec-Wallonia scholarship candidates must have previously studied in a French-language university-level institution in Belgium at the time they are awarded their scholarship.

4. Preselection of candidates

Only candidates preselected by a Québec university or Synchronex as of September 30, 2022 can be part of this competition. Candidates for the Québec-China scholarship must be preselected by the CSC as of March 31, 2023.

The universities, Synchronex, and the CSC assume full responsibility for candidate preselection. You can consult the various deadlines for the preselection competition of each Québec university and Synchronex on the FRQNT website.

Those in charge of candidate preselection must refer to the instructions for candidate preselection available on the program web page.

Those in charge of candidate preselection in a Québec university or at Synchronex must complete the form for nominating candidates for the Merit Scholarship Programs for Foreign Students available through the FRQnet system of the FRQNT. It must be transmitted electronically by 4 p.m. on September 30, 2022.

Candidates must meet all the eligibility requirements of this program. Candidates proposed by a Québec university, Synchronex or the CSC may be declared ineligible by the FRQNT if these criteria are not met.

Candidates preselected for the general program components (V1, V2, V3) can also be preselected for the Québec-Brazil-China-India-Israel-Wallonia program components.

All-countries scholarships (V1, V2, V3)

Universities can recommend four candidates per year for each of these three components.

Synchronex can recommend four candidates for Postdoctoral scholarships (V2) and Short-term research or professional development scholarships (V3).

There are no quotas per country.

Québec-Brazil scholarships (1B, 2B, 3B)

Universities can recommend one candidate per year for each of these three components.

Synchronex can recommend one candidate for Postdoctoral scholarships (2B) and Short-term research or professional development scholarships (3B).

Québec-China scholarships (1C, 2C, 3C)

The CSC recommends at least 10 candidates for each of the competition’s three components. The CSC must take into account Québec’s linguistic specificities.

Québec-India scholarships (1I, 2I, 3I)

Universities can recommend one candidate per year for each of these three components.

Synchronex can recommend one candidate for Postdoctoral scholarships (2I) and Short-term research or professional development scholarships (3I).

Québec-Israel scholarships (1IS, 3IS)

Universities can recommend one candidate per year for each of these two components.

Synchronex can recommend one candidate for Short-term research or professional development scholarships (3IS).

Québec-Wallonia scholarships (1W, 3W)

Universities can recommend one candidate per year for each of these two components.

Synchronex can recommend one candidate for Short-term research or professional development scholarships (3W).

5. Applications

Once preselected, the candidate must create an account in the FRQnet system. The FRQNT will then contact all preselected candidates to complete an electronic form to which the required documents will be attached, and which must be submitted electronically by the competition deadline time and date set by the Fonds.

The form may be completed in French or English. Candidates who apply in English must provide a French title for their project.

Please refer to the Presentation Standards for Attached Files in the FRQnet electronic Portfolio when preparing the files to be attached to the form.

Files cannot be updated after the application deadline.

Required documents

All required documents must be included in the application for it to be considered eligible. Any documents that are illegible, of a poor resolution or that do not allow verification of the application’s eligibility will be rejected.

Documents submitted in a language other than French or English must be accompanied by a basic translation.

For all components of the program

  • A photocopy of the identification page of a passport from the candidate’s country of origin or any other official document establishing the candidate’s citizenship;
  • Transcripts for every year of all university studies, whether completed or not (certificates, diplomas, Bachelor’s, Master’s, Ph.D. etc.). You do not have to include a copy of the diploma unless it shows academic grades. Transcripts for equivalences granted for courses taken at other institutions or for previous programs must be included. For transcripts from outside North America, candidates must enclose a letter explaining the grading system used by the institution concerned. The FRQNT reserves the right to verify with institutions the authenticity of any information given by candidates. Transcripts must be organized chronologically from newest to oldest;
  • Acknowledgements of receipt from the publisher for all articles submitted and notices received from editors for articles accepted for publication (acknowledgements of receipt for articles already published are not sent to the evaluation committee);
  • A letter of acceptance from the supervisor. To allow the supervisor to complete the letter of acceptance, the candidate must enter the supervisor’s account information in the FRQnet form. The supervisor will then have access to the letter of acceptance through his or her Portfolio in the section “As a Director, Supervisor or Mentor”. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure that his or her supervisor submits the letter of acceptance by the competition deadline.

Additional document for the Doctoral research component (V1, 1B, 1C, 1I, 1IS, 1W)

  • If applicable, an attestation from the registrar’s office identifying part-time or unregistered semesters;
  • If applicable, an official attestation of interrupted enrolment and, if necessary, a medical certificate indicating the duration and the reasons for the interruption.

Additional document for the Postdoctoral scholarship component (V2, 2B, 2C, 2I)

  • A copy of the doctoral diploma (or attestation of the first reading of the dissertation). If these documents cannot be provided, a copy of the doctoral transcript is required.
  • Two letters of reference. To allow the referee to complete the reference letter, the candidate must enter the referee’s account information in the FRQnet form. The referee will then have access to the letter through his or her Portfolio in the “As a referee” section. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure that his or her referees submit their letters of reference by the competition deadline.

Additional document for the Short-term research or professional development component (V3, 3B, 3I, 3IS, 3W)

  • A letter of acceptance from the supervisor. To allow the supervisor to complete the letter of acceptance, the candidate must enter the referee’s account information in the FRQnet form. The supervisor will then have access to the letter of acceptance through his or her Portfolio in the section “As a Director, Supervisor or Mentor”. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure that his or her supervisor submits the letter of acceptance by the competition deadline.

Notice

A notice of the application’s transmission for evaluation or of its non-eligibility will be sent to you by email in December at the latest. A candidate who has not received this notice should contact the program manager before December 15.

6. Evaluation

To find out more about the rules governing the scholarship evaluation process, please refer to Section 4 of the CGR.

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

CRITERIA

Excellence of university record

  • Cumulative average obtained
  • Progression of studies
  • Duration of studies
  • Prizes and distinctions
DOCTORATE

30 points

POSTDOCTORATE

20 points

SHORT-TERM RESEARCH

30 points

CRITERIA

Aptitude for research and relevant research experience

  • Reason for the application
  • Candidate’s experience and achievements
  • Leadership skills
  • Referee’s letters of reference
  • General presentation of the file
DOCTORATE

40 points

POSTDOCTORATE

30 points

SHORT-TERM RESEARCH

30 points

CRITERIA

Scientific quality and interest of the proposed research project and the proposed research environment

  • Quality of the environment
  • Clarity of the scientific objectives
  • Relevance of the methodology for the objectives sought
  • Originality of the project
  • Contribution to the advancement of knowledge in the concerned field
  • Compatibility of the proposed project with the supervisor’s field of research
DOCTORATE

30 points

POSTDOCTORATE

50 points

SHORT-TERM RESEARCH

40 points

CRITERIA

TOTAL

DOCTORATE

100 points

POSTDOCTORATE

100 points

SHORT-TERM RESEARCH

100 points

7. Awarding of scholarships

Scholarships are offered by competition, on a merit basis.

Scholarship holders are selected by multidisciplinary committees formed of professors/researchers.

Scholarships are offered according to the available budget.

Decisions are final and cannot be appealed. There is no review process.

8. Rules for using scholarships

Scholarship holders must comply with all the rules described in detail in the scholarship holder’s guide.

IMPORTANT

Please note that scholarship payments will only begin after the Fonds has received a copy of the study permit (for doctoral scholarships) or a copy of the work permit (for postdoctoral scholarships).

At the time candidates receive their scholarship payments, they must be working full-time on the program of study, research, or professional development for which they were awarded the scholarship.

Scholarships are awarded for the duration of the eligibility period and are subject to the presentation of progress reports deemed satisfactory for each full year of funding in the case of doctoral scholarships (V1, 1B, 1C, 1I, 1IS, 1W) scholarships, and at the midpoint of the funding period in the case of postdoctoral scholarships (V2, 2B, 2C, 2I).

Period for using scholarships

The scholarship period must begin between May 1, 2023, and January 15, 2024

Barring exceptional circumstances, scholarships cannot be carried over from one year to the next. It is therefore not possible to delay the scholarship starting date after January 15, 2024.

The scholarships are not retroactive and semesters completed before summer 2023 cannot be funded.

Place where scholarship is used

Scholarship recipients must attend the Quebec university or the CCTT at which they were preselected and study or conduct their research there.

Joint (cotutelle) degree programs are not eligible.

Rules regarding concurrent scholarships

The scholarship may not be held concurrently with:

  • Scholarships granted by government departments or by Canadian or Québec government grant agencies.

The scholarship may be held concurrently with:

  • Scholarships from the private sector, from the government of the scholarship holder’s country of origin, and university scholarships.

Paid employment

The scholarship holder must respect the requirements of their study permit or work permit with regard to part-time work. These requirements are specified by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Part-time work, if any, may be accepted only if the supervisor of the scholarship holder does not object and if such activities do not affect the research program.

The salary that students receive from their supervisor for working solely on their research project is considered a scholarship for which concurrent funding is permitted.

9. Effective date

The rules apply to the 2023-2024 fiscal year.

10. Contact person

Michel Garceau
Program manager
FRQNT Training Awards
Phone: 418 643-8560 ext. 3459
Email: pbeee@frq.gouv.qc.ca