Competition year : 
2022-2023

Deadline (application) : 
October 7th, 2021 at 16:00

Announcement of results : 
End of April 2022

Amount : 
$45,000

Duration : 
2 or 3 years

IMPORTANT

Please consult the document “Information Guide Training award programs : New evaluation criteria” in the toolbox, which aims to provide you with the tools you need to prepare your application and to facilitate the understanding and interpretation of the newly added criteria for this competition..

COVID IMPACTS DIRECTIVES

In your application, you will be able to describe how the COVID-19 pandemic may have affected your research or training activities during the past few months, in order for this information to be considered in the evaluation of your application. Please refer to the document “Considering the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the evaluation of funding applications” for further information.

This program refers to the Common General Rules (CGR) of the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ), which apply to all FRQ programming. Only rules specific to the Postdoctoral Research Scholarship are indicated in this document, and these prevail over the CGR.

The link to the FRQnet Portfolio and the forms associated with this competition are available under the Portal Access tab of the website. More information is available in the About FRQnet section. It is the applicant’s sole responsibility to choose the correct application form. Should an error occur, the Fonds will not transfer the application from one program to another and the application will be deemed ineligible.

The Fonds requires the Canadian Common CV and a PDF file of detailed contributions to be attached in the E-portfolio. Note: you must be sure to use the FRQNT version of the Canadian Common CV.

Refer to the Application presentation standards – FRQNT document available in the Portal access tab of the website.

AN APPLICATION SUBMITTED TO THE FONDS AFTER THE COMPETITION DEADLINE OF 4 P.M. ON OCTOBER 7, 2021 WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED BY THE FONDS.

1. Objectives

The Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT) Postdoctoral research scholarship program has the following objectives:

  • Help support a new generation of scientists working in various research environments in natural science, mathematics or engineering fields;
  • Encourage new doctorate holders to broaden their areas of research;
  • Encourage the mobility of student researchers toward scientifically stimulating and dynamic environments (universities, industries, government agencies, university-affiliated service institutions, etc.).

In keeping with its Knowledge Mobilization Strategy, the FRQNT encourages funding recipients to carry out such activities (sharing, valorization, dissemination, etc.) for the general public, whenever such activities are relevant in the context of their research.

Postdoctoral research scholarships:

Are intended for researchers in training who obtained their doctorate and who wish to begin or pursue postdoctoral research in a field covered by the FRQNT.

2. Eligibility requirements

Applicants must meet all the eligibility requirements at the competition deadline of 4 p.m. on October 7, 2021. Applicants and scholarship holders must meet all eligibility requirements in effect at the time of application, the program rules and the CGR for the entire period covered by the scholarship.

2.1 Eligibility period and target group

This program is intended for applicants who:

  • Obtained their doctorate within 2 years prior to the competition deadline;

OR

  • Have not yet finished their doctorate, but who plan to make their initial thesis submission no later than March 1st, 2023, the deadline by which scholarship payments must begin.

The doctorate is considered to have been obtained on the date at which all degree requirements were completed, including the successful completion of the thesis examination and submission of the revised version of the document.

In the case of applicants with more than one doctorate, the date of the first doctorate prevails.

2.2 Exceptions in calculating eligibility period

Exceptions to the rules governing the eligibility period for scholarships are considered only in circumstances beyond the applicant’s control, such as serious illness or major family obligations. In such a case, the applicant must provide the FRQNT with a notice describing the nature of the requested interruption and, if necessary, a medical certificate stating the duration and reason for the interruption.

Applicants who interrupt their studies for maternity or parental leave can request an extension of their eligibility period for a maximum of 12 months. Supporting documents must be included with the application.

When the student is a person with a disability as stipulated in the Act to secure the handicapped persons in the exercise of their rights with a view to achieving social, school and workplace integration (L.R.Q. c. E-20.1), the rules pertaining to the eligibility period do not apply. The duration of the scholarship remains unchanged at two years. Supporting documents must be included with the application.

The Fonds reserves the right to refuse any request for eligibility period exceptions that is not sufficiently justified.

2.3 Citizenship and residence

To be eligible for a Postdoctoral Research Scholarship, applicants must provide proof that they have been living in Québec for six of the seven months prior to the competition deadline OR 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 card will be valid at the competition deadline.

To be eligible for a Postdoctoral Research Scholarship, the place where the research will be carried out must be in Québec. However, the place where the research will be carried out can be outside Québec if the applicant has 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 card will be valid at the competition deadline AND is a Canadian citizen.

Applicants who do not have a valid RAMQ card or proof of eligibility for RAMQ at the time of application, or who are not Canadian citizens, must conduct their research in Québec. Their continuous physical presence in Québec is required for the duration of the scholarship.

2.4 Restrictions

Eligible applicants may submit only one application per year to one postdoctoral research program of one of the three Québec funding agencies.

Only one application may be submitted to any given scholarship program in a single year.

Applicants who have received or are currently receiving a postdoctoral research scholarship from a Québec or federal granting agency are not eligible for this competition.

2.5 Choice of host environment(s) (supervision and co-supervision, if applicable)

The postdoctoral research must be carried out at an institution other than the one that awarded the applicant’s doctorate. Internationally recognized research environments located outside Québec are preferred. Exceptionally, applicants who demonstrates that their mobility is restricted due to serious illness, a disability or major family obligations can carry out their research in the same institution as that which awarded the doctorate.

Applicants who wish to request an exception are strongly advised to consult with the program manager before submitting their application to the Fonds.

Supervising institution

An applicant’s doctoral supervisors and co-supervisors may not supervise his/her postdoctoral studies, even if they have changed institutions. Exceptionally, in the case of applicants who demonstrate that their mobility is restricted due to serious illness, a disability or major family obligations, post-doctoral supervision can be provided by their doctoral supervisors and co-supervisors if it is also shown that it is impossible for the postdoctoral studies to be supervised by any other person.

Co-supervising institution

The postdoctoral research can be co-supervised, provided that the applicant spends a minimum of 6 months at the co-supervisory environment.

2.6 Choice of evaluation committee

Applicants are responsible for choosing their evaluation committee. No changes can be made after the competition deadline. This choice must be based on the research topic. Other factors to be considered are the applicant’s field of study and research program.

Once awarded, the scholarship cannot be used for research on a subject in a field not covered by the committee that evaluated the application.

2.7 Paid leave

Applicants who are on a sabbatical or study leave with remuneration that exceeds 50% of their regular salary are not eligible. However, those receiving deferred remuneration are not subject to this restriction.

3. Contents of the funding application and required documents

The Fonds uses the Canadian Common CV in FRQNT format and requires a PDF file of detailed contributions. See the “Canadian Common CV” section in the applicant’s portfolio. All attached documents and section of the electronic application form, including the Detailed Contributions attachment, must meet the standards presented in the Application presentation standards – FRQNT document available in the Portal access tab of the website. Failure to adhere to these standards could render the application INELIGIBLE.

The applicant must create a user account in order to complete the scholarship application form. The form is available on the FRQNT website. It must be completed and submitted electronically by the competition deadline. Once completed, applicants can print the form and keep a copy for their records.

The applicant must also update his or her profile by completing the self-identification questionnaire in the FRQnet portal.

An applicant who chooses the multidisciplinary committee (14) must attach a one-page document to the form, in the “Other documents” section, explaining the multidisciplinary aspect of the program of study (Section 3).

The supervisor must complete a letter of acceptance from his or her user account on the FRQNT website.

The applicant must complete and submit the electronic Canadian Common CV form available on the FRQNT website.

The form and the letter of acceptance may be completed in English or French. Applicants who submit the form in English must provide a French title and abstract for their project.

Required documents:

Required documents must be submitted electronically in the appropriate sections of the application form. Any documents that are illegible or of a poor resolution will be rejected.

Applicants are responsible for their application, which must include all required documents and attachments to be considered eligible. Applicants must also ensure that their supervisor has submitted the letter of acceptance by the competition deadline.

Applicants must supply the following supporting documents:

TRANSCRIPTS (mandatory – any missing, incomplete, unofficial or out-of-date transcripts, 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; and
  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.

Any transcript that does not meet the requirements specified above or is not a certified copy of the original will be considered UNOFFICIAL and will render the application ineligible. If there is any doubt about the authenticity of a transcript included with the application, 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.

Other documents to be provided with the transcripts, where applicable:

  • Document explaining the grading system for transcripts from institutions outside North America. This letter must clearly explain the grading system used, so that the transcripts can be properly understood;
  • Letter of explanation from the institution (registrar’s office or equivalent administrative body) if no transcript is issued. The letter must state the reasons for the missing transcript;
  • If no transcript is issued but the applicant is unable to obtain a letter from the university, a letter of explanation written by the applicant, endorsed by the department director at the host institution, justifying the absence of the transcript;
  • If the doctoral program has been completed, a copy of the doctoral diploma or proof of successful completion of the thesis defense and a copy of proof that the final version of the thesis was submitted.

RAMQ card:

  • An applicant who has not been living in Québec (with the appropriate visas and authorizations) on a regular and daily basis for at least six months of the seven months prior to the competition deadline must provide a photocopy of a Québec health insurance (RAMQ) card that is valid at the competition deadline or other official document from the Régie de l’assurance maladie (RAMQ) confirming residency status in Québec under the meaning of the Québec health Insurance Act. If such a document is not available, proof of application for a RAMQ card and that the card will be valid at the competition deadline;
  • An applicant who is a Canadian citizen and who wishes, or may wish, to use a training award to undertake studies outside Québec must provide a photocopy of a Québec health insurance (RAMQ) card that is valid at the competition deadline or other official document from the Régie de l’assurance maladie (RAMQ) confirming residency status in Québec under the meaning of the Québec health Insurance Act. If such a document is not available, proof of application for a RAMQ card and that the card will be valid at the competition deadline;

Study of work permit:

  • An applicant who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada must provide a copy of his or her study permit or work permit issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada;

Additional documents for applicants seeking eligibility period exceptions:

  • An official document indicating the duration of the parental leave or sick leave or the nature of the disability, such as a medical certificate or copy of the child’s birth certificate.

Additional document for applicants who are carrying out their research abroad and who are assured a regular position in a Québec research centre or university upon their return:

  • A letter from the director of the research centre or university department confirming that the position will be granted when the applicant returns.

Only the electronic forms for the 2022-2023 financial year and the other required documents are accepted. No appendices or other unrequested documents will be forwarded to the evaluation committee. Files cannot be updated after the competition deadline. It is, however, important to update your contact information in your FRQnet portfolio.

The FRQNT reserves the right to verify with institutions concerned the authenticity of any documents and information provided with the application. Additional documents may be required.

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

4. Submitting the funding application

The funding application must be completed using the form available in the FRQnet Portfolio.

  • The funding application must be submitted to the FRQNT before 4 p.m. on October 7, 2021.

Applicants must attach all required documents in the appropriate tabs of the application form and submit the application before the competition deadline. No reminder will be made, and no documents can be added after the competition deadline.

Important: Incomplete applications will be deemed INELIGIBLE.

Eligibility of applications

The program manager and members of the evaluation committees verify the eligibility of each application according to the requirements set out in the program rules (Section 2).

Acknowledgement of receipt

You will receive a preliminary decision regarding the eligibility of your application by e-mail in December at the latest. Applicants who have not received this notification should contact the program manager before December 15.

5. Evaluation of applications

5.1 Evaluation criteria

Applications are assessed based on the following criteria and weighting:

Criteria

Research skills

  • Transcripts and honours (awards, distinctions and scholarships);
  • Relevant experience (teaching, supervision, assistantships, etc.) and scientific achievements (conferences, presentations, publications, etc.);
  • Applicant’s ability to present his or her background in an integrated manner (relationship between experiences and interests and career and education choices, trajectory etc.).
Weighting

25 points

Criteria

Research project

  • Originality, added value relative to the applicant’s doctoral training, and contribution to the advancement of knowledge;
  • Clarity and coherence of the research problem;
  • Relevance of the methodology;
  • Feasibility of the project and realism of the time frame.
Weighting

35 points

Criteria

Host environment

  • Justification and relevance of the chosen host environment, including the environment available to the applicant for his or her development and the realization of the project;
  • Added value for the development of the applicant’s career plan.
Weighting

15 points

Criteria

Social mobilization

  • Ability to facilitate dialogue between science and society (outreach activities or participation in events intended for the general public, etc.);
  • Capacity for engagement (volunteering, community projects, civic and non-profit involvement, event organization, etc.);
  • Consideration of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including equity, diversity and inclusion*.

* SDG and equity, diversity and inclusion considerations can be integrated in the proposed research or through science-society dialogue or engagement activities.

Weighting

20 points

Criteria

General presentation of the application

Weighting

5 points

Criteria

TOTAL

Weighting

100 points

5.2 Evaluation procedure

Role of evaluation committees 

Eligible applications are submitted to evaluation committees composed of three or four university faculty members. A committee may also include representatives from the private sector or government.

The evaluation committees compare the submitted applications according to the evaluation criteria in effect. Their job is to rank all the applications on merit. Contacting members of the committees, who are subject to rules of confidentiality, is strictly prohibited.

Role of the Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of the FRQNT receives the recommendations of the evaluation committees and makes funding decisions. The Board is accountable for its decisions to the Government of Québec.

Role of the program manager 

The FRQNT program manager is responsible for ensuring that committees comply with the program rules and rules of ethics in effect at the FRQ.

6. Announcement of results and value of the scholarship

6.1 Announcement of results

Applicants are evaluated and ranked on merit by the evaluation committees. For each committee or group, scholarships are offered according to the available budget. When allocating its budget, the FRQNT reserves the right to change its scholarships in keeping with objectives chosen by the Board of Directors. The decisions of the Board of Directors of the FRQNT are final and cannot be appealed.

Following the decisions of the Board of Directors, the Fonds informs each applicant of the outcome of the evaluation of their application and the funding decision that has been made. The results are announced through an official communiqué on the Fonds website and the announcement letter is placed in each applicant’s portfolio. This information is usually available by the end of April following the close of the competition.

Successful applicants must accept or refuse the scholarship within 30 calendar days after the scholarship offer was sent, in the “Manage my funding” section of their E-portfolio. An applicant who fails to accept the scholarship before the deadline is considered to have refused the scholarship (CGR, Section 5.2).

6.2 Value and duration of the scholarship

The annual value of the scholarship is $45,000. The FRQNT Board of Directors may modify the value of scholarships at any time, without notice, notably in accordance with the funds allocated annually by the Québec National Assembly, its strategic priorities and its budget process.

A supplement of $10,000 is granted to scholarship holders whose research is conducted abroad. The FRQNT considers that the research is conducted abroad if it is performed in an institution outside Québec located more than 250 km outside of Québec’s borders, or in an institution OUTSIDE CANADA.

The minimum duration of postdoctoral research is six months, and the maximum is 2 years with the possibility of a 3rd year following the evaluation of a renewal application. Information about renewal applications is provided at the end of these rules.

The scholarship holder may receive up to six payments during the eligibility period (24 months). Each payment covers a four-month period (one semester).

Scholarship holders whose postdoctoral research is conducted abroad and who have obtained formal assurance of a future position in a research center or a university in Québec upon completion of postdoctoral training may receive an increase of up to 50% of the scholarship to cover the cost of living. To obtain this supplement, scholarship holders must, at the time of application, include in their supporting documents a letter from the director of the research center or the head of the department confirming that they have been hired.

7. Terms of the scholarship

To retain the scholarship, the scholarship holder must satisfy the following basic conditions throughout the duration of funding:

  • Respect the conditions relating to citizenship and residence. Scholarship holders who are using their scholarship outside Québec must provide a copy of their RAMQ card in May of every year.
  • Have made an initial thesis submission before starting the scholarship and meet all requirements for the doctoral degree by the time of the second instalment.
  • Be present at the host environment on a full-time basis to carry out postdoctoral research.
  • Respect the rules relating to concurrent funding.
  • Respect the rules relating to paid employment.

Scholarship holders are required to inform the Fonds immediately if they cease to satisfy any of these conditions. Should any of these conditions no longer be met, the Fonds will be obliged to withdraw the scholarship and could request reimbursement.

7.1   Scholarship period

The scholarship period must begin between May 1, 2022 and March 1, 2023.

The scholarship cannot be carried over from one year to the next.

The scholarship is not retroactive, and months of research completed prior to May 2022 cannot be funded. For applicants who have already begun their program of study, the period of use begins on May 1, 2022.

7.2   Scholarship payments

Scholarship instalments must be requested for each 4-month period, in the “Manage my funding” section of the E-portfolio. The first payment will only be made once the Fonds has received a certified copy of the scholarship holder’s doctoral diploma, certified by the Registrar’s office, or an official attestation of the initial doctoral thesis submission. A copy of the doctoral diploma or proof that all requirements have been met for the doctoral degree is required for payment of the second instalment.

Triannual instalment payments are made for the duration of the scholarship period, subject to the production of a satisfactory progress report along with the request for the fourth instalment. You must submit a final report to the Fonds at the end of your scholarship.

An unclaimed payment may be cancelled at the end of the period it covers, without advance notice.

7.3   Presence at the host environment

To retain the scholarship, the scholarship holder must be present at the host environment for the duration of the scholarship and devote himself/herself full-time to his or her research activities. Failure to comply with this rule could result in the cancellation of the scholarship. If, under exceptional circumstances, these conditions cannot be respected, the Fonds must be advised as soon as possible and will determine whether the scholarship should be maintained or cancelled.

In all the following cases, the Fonds reserves the right to refuse any request with insufficient justification.

Major family obligation

A scholarship holder who is unable to pursue full-time studies for reasons arising from major family obligations has the possibility of enrolling part time and receiving partial scholarship payments (50%) if the university allows part-time enrolment and upon presentation of a medical certificate or other official document justifying the situation.

Person with a disability

A person with a disability who is unable to pursue full-time studies has the possibility of enrolling part time and receiving full scholarship payments provided the university authorizes the part-time enrolment and upon presentation of a medical certificate or other official document justifying 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).

7.4   Convertibility of the scholarship

Scholarship holders who obtain a position as a regular professor in a Québec university may, after completing one full year of postdoctoral research since the scholarship starting date, request permission to use part of the scholarship as a start-up grant. A maximum amount of $15,000 may be converted into a start-up grant for the new position. Eligible and applicable expenses for this grant are presented in Section 8 of the CGR.

The effective date of the start-up grant is the scholarship holder’s employment start date. A copy of your letter of appointment indicating the employment start date must be sent to the Fonds (no information regarding salary is required).

7.5   Reimbursement of travel expenses

The cost of travel outside of Québec for the scholarship holder and his/her spouse and children to the primary location of the postdoctoral research and their return to Québec will be reimbursed by the Fonds, provided that these expenses are not reimbursed by any other organization or agency. In the case of scholarship holders who defend their thesis during their postdoctoral internship, additional travel expenses will be reimbursed for the scholarship holder only.

7.5.1 Eligible expenses

  • Travel tickets (airline, boat, train, bus) purchased before the scholarship was granted:

The Fonds will reimburse travel tickets upon presentation of supporting documents (travel agency invoice and photocopy of the ticket). The maximum allowance for a plane trip is the equivalent of the price of a one-way economy-class ticket.

  • Travel tickets (airline, boat, train, bus) purchased by the Fonds:

If you did not purchase your travel tickets prior to the awarding of the scholarship, the Fonds is responsible for purchasing all your tickets. You must send an E-mail to the program manager indicating your departure date, departure city, arrival city and, where applicable, the name(s) of your spouse of any children requiring tickets. You must also provide each person’s date of birth. Tickets purchased directly by the scholarship holder after the awarding of the scholarship will not be reimbursed by the Fonds.

  • Transportation by car:

The Fonds will reimburse $0.43/km up to the value of a one-way economy-class airline ticket and upon the presentation of receipts from two gas stations – one in the departure city and the other at your destination. All claims for car travel expenses must be received by the Fonds within the two months following the trip.

7.5.2 Non-eligible expenses

  • Tickets purchased directly by the scholarship holder after the scholarship was awarded;
  • Moving expenses for personal effects;
  • Transport fees for research material;
  • Additional baggage allowances paid to airline companies;
  • Car rental expenses;
  • Parking fees;
  • Public transit/commuter train tickets;
  • Taxi fare.

7.6   Concurrent funding

The following table summarizes the rules for concurrent funding and partial concurrent funding.

TABLEAU DES RÈGLES DE CUMUL DE BOURSE

Type of scholarship / Scholarship program

Merit scholarships from federal granting agencies such as the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

Concurrent funding

Concurrent funding prohibited OR Partial Concurrent funding*

Type of scholarship / Scholarship program

Merit scholarships from Québec government granting agencies such as the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRSQ), le Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture (FRQSC), the Conseil de recherches en pêche et agroalimentaire du Québec (CORPAQ)

Concurrent funding

Concurrent funding prohibited

Type of scholarship / Scholarship program

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

Concurrent funding

Concurrent funding allowed

Type of scholarship / Scholarship program

Co-supervised international mobility scholarships and scholarships for an internship outside Québec

Concurrent funding

Concurrent funding allowed

Type of scholarship / Scholarship program

Private sector and internal university scholarships

Concurrent funding

Concurrent funding allowed

*Partial concurrent funding

Partial concurrent funding with a federal agency scholarship is possible when the FRQNT scholarship is of a higher value or longer duration than the scholarship for which concurrent funding is prohibited. In such cases, the scholarship holder must accept the federal scholarship. However, he or she may also accept the Fonds scholarship, where appropriate:

  • When the Fonds scholarship is of a higher value than the other scholarship, the Fonds scholarship amount will be adjusted to make up the shortfall.
  • When the Fonds scholarship is of a longer duration than the other scholarship, the Fonds will provide funding to make up the shortfall once the other scholarship has expired.

It is not possible to defer a payment or the start of a scholarship in order to receive another scholarship for which concurrent funding is prohibited.

Note that you can not delay the start of another scholarship for which concurrent funding is prohibited. The other scholarship must be started as soon as permitted, even retroactively when possible.

Reimbursement will be required for any payment received in a situation where concurrent funding is prohibited.

7.7   Paid employment

You must carry out your postdoctoral research on a full-time basis.

The salary that you receive from your supervisor to work exclusively on your research project is considered a scholarship for which concurrent funding is permitted.

However, within the limits outlined below, you may accept a lectureship, a paid internship or employment (one of the 3, regardless of how much time you spend on it). This rule does not apply to paid parental leave, during which working is not permitted.

7.7.1 Lecturer or teaching assistant

You may accept a position as a lecturer or teaching assistant for one course per semester. Please note that the same course given to two groups is equivalent to two lecturer positions and that, in this situation, the scholarship holder is not eligible to receive a scholarship payment.

7.7.2 Internship

You may receive a scholarship payment during a paid or unpaid internship, provided your research supervisor does not object. It must be indicated in “Manage my funding” (“Statements – incomes and academic status” section) of your instalment request form.

Please note that when carrying out a mandatory internship as part of your academic program and for which you do not receive research credits, you may register as a part-time student if the internship is full-time.

7.7.3 Other employment

You may accept a position that does not exceed the maximum hours per semester allowed by your institution, provided your research supervisor does not object and that these activities do not hinder your postdoctoral training.

If you exceed this limit while remaining in the program full-time, your scholarship payment will be cancelled.

7.8   Payment deferral or suspension of the scholarship

7.8.1 Deferral for acquiring relevant experience

For each full year of funding by the Fonds, you may request the suspension of your scholarship for one semester to enable you to acquire relevant experience (work with a research team; teaching experience in your field of study or research, language training, etc.).

If your request is accepted, this instalment is carried over to the end of your eligibility period. You are not required to enrol full-time in your program for this semester, provided the rules of the institution allow this.

To take advantage of this measure, simply complete the “Statements – situation and required documents” section in the “Manage my Funding” form.

You must also submit, in your Portfolio, a short supporting letter from your research supervisor confirming the relevance of the paid activities you intend to carry out.

For a scholarship beginning in January, you cannot use this provision for your first instalment because funding must begin by March 1 following the scholarship offer.

Note that you cannot use this provision to accept another scholarship for which concurrent funding is prohibited.

7.8.2 Sick leave or leave for family obligations

In addition to the suspension of studies for health reasons, the Fonds allows temporary suspension of studies for up to two years (unpaid) for scholarship holders with serious family obligations (informal caregiver, education of children, etc.) if permitted by your university and if your supervisor is duly informed. Scholarship holders must send a letter or e-mail to the Fonds confirming that the supervisor agrees with the leave. In the letter, the supervisor must agree to continue his/her supervision once the leave has ended.

However, once your university stops authorizing this leave, the Fonds will stop deferring your scholarship payments. To receive the remaining payments, you must meet all scholarship conditions.

In all cases you must complete and submit a “Manage my Funding” form (“Statements – situation and required documents” section) indicating the length of the suspension of studies and the reason for your request, and attach a medical certificate, where applicable.

The Fonds reserves the right to refuse any requests that it deems insufficiently justified.

7.8.3 Parental leave

If your interrupt your studies for the birth or adoption of a child, you may request parental leave. The maximum period for parental leave is 12 months (the equivalent of three semesters). Parental leave can begin during the semester when the birth or the adoption is expected to occur and end no later than one year after the birth or adoption of the child.

Paid parental leave is available for a period of eight months. Note that to be eligible for this benefit, you must not be enrolled in a study program, nor have paid employment. Furthermore, in the case of a complementary scholarship, paid parental leave from the Fonds cannot be granted to scholarship holders who receive parental leave from a federal granting agency. These scholarship holders must take the paid leave offered by the federal agency. You may extend this paid parental leave by an additional four months without pay if permitted by your university.

Parental leave is authorized by the Fonds if permitted by your supervisor.

It is important to note that only one parental leave is granted per child. Parents are free to organize the unpaid parental leave at their discretion.

To request parental leave, complete a “Manage my Funding” form (“Statements – situation and required documents” section) and provide a copy of the medical certificate attesting to the pregnancy and, when the time comes, the child’s birth or adoption certificate. You must also send a letter or an e-mail to the Fonds confirming the supervisor’s authorization to suspend the internship. In the letter or e-mail, the supervisor must agree to continue his/her supervision once the leave has ended.

The Fonds reserves the right to deny any request that is not adequately justified.

The parental leave offered by the Fonds can be combined with Québec’s parental insurance plan (RQAP).

7.9   Discontinuation of postdoctoral research

If you discontinue your postdoctoral research or decide to pursue it on a part-time basis, with the exception of the cases described in the “Presence at the host environment” section, you are no longer eligible for the scholarship and you must reimburse the current instalment in whole or in part, depending on the number of months of research completed. You must notify the Fonds by submitting a “Manage my Funding” form (“Statements – incomes and academic status” section).

7.10 Changing the conditions of your scholarship

To make any changes in the conditions of your scholarship, you must first submit a request to the Fonds by completing a statement in the “Manage my Funding” section of your Portfolio.

In the interests of equity, the Fonds and its partners must ensure that such a change does not affect the evaluation you received or your eligibility for the program. The following situations are the most frequent:

7.10.1 Deferring the starting date of the study or research program

Funding cannot start until you are physically present at your postdoctoral research host environment. Your program may begin no later than the winter semester (March 1) following the award announcement.

7.10.2 Changing your research supervisor

You must show that the quality of your new host environment is equivalent to that indicated in your initial proposal and forward a letter of acceptance from your new supervisor. Furthermore, the new host environment must respect the program rules regarding choice of host environment.

7.10.3 Changing your research project

You must submit your new project and demonstrate that its scientific quality is equivalent to that of your initial project. Before making a decision, the Fonds must ascertain that the change will not affect the evaluation you received. It is important to specify whether you will remain in the same field and at the same host environment.

7.10.4 Paid employment

Except for the exceptions relative to paid employment described in Section 7 of these rules, scholarship holders may accept employment that does not exceed the maximum hours per semester allowed by their institution, provided their research supervisor is in agreement and that these activities do not hinder their postdoctoral training.

The salary scholarship holders receive from their supervisor/director to work exclusively on their research project is considered to be a scholarship for which concurrence is permitted.

The FRQNT reserves the right to change, without notice, the value of the scholarships and the program rules described in this document.

8. Scholarships in partnership

The FRQNT offers scholarships in collaboration with partners.

Eligible applicants are selected through a three-step process:

  • Applicant must select, in the Partnership section of the application form, one or more partners whose research areas correspond to the theme of their application.
  • The FRQNT sends the partners a list of interested applicants and the information needed to assess the relevance of the applications based on their research priorities and strategy.
  • After evaluation of the applications by a committee of experts or peers, those that obtain a scientific excellence score of 70% and are deemed relevant by the partners concerned will be considered for partnership funding.

As with all other awards offered by the FRQNT, scholarships awarded in partnership are based on merit following scientific evaluation by a peer committee.

Note that by choosing to be considered for a scholarship in partnership and on obtaining this type of funding, you agree that the partner can contact you for activities related to your research project.

Partner:

Patient-oriented research
Québec SPOR Support Unit (Unité de soutien SRAP du Québec)

The Québec Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) Support Unit is a provincial unit of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) national SPOR network. Nestled at the heart of a learning health system, it supports and catalyzes the continuous improvement of Québec’s health system by mobilizing the research, health and social services communities, with and for the population.

The scholarships offered in partnership with the Unit allow recipients to hone their skills, gain valuable POR experience, network, and work in an interdisciplinary manner with the various actors and stakeholders of a learning health system.

9. Effective date

These rules apply to the 2022-2023 financial year.

10. Contact person

Michel Garceau
Program manager
Scholarship programs
Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies
Phone: 1 418 643-8560, ext. 3459
Email: bourses.nt@frq.gouv.qc.ca

Applicants who contact the FRQNT via email must provide a telephone number at which they can be reached. Priority is given to email enquiries.

Please note that the FRQNT does not accept collect calls.

Scholarship renewal application

It is possible to request that the postdoctoral research scholarship be renewed for a 3rd year. A renewal application form will be placed in your portfolio once the FRQNT has received your request (PDF form available in the Toolbox).

No change in research environment will be permitted between the submission of the renewal application and the end of the third year of funding.

To be eligible for renewal, the renewal application must be submitted within the final seven (7) months of the FRQNT scholarship. The application form is available in FRQnet. It must be completed and submitted electronically before one of the deadlines indicated below.

There are three evaluations per year and three deadlines for submitting a renewal application. These are:

  • February 1;
  • June 1; and
  • October 1.

A renewal application submitted after the end of the FRQNT scholarship is not eligible.

The postdoctoral supervisor must complete a letter of support which must be attached in the “Other documents” section of the application form. The letter must state the reasons why a third year of funding is necessary.

The evaluation criteria for the renewal application are as follows:

  • The progress of the project in light of the methodology and discipline (30%);
  • The relevance and added value of an additional year (30%);
  • The potential for success (30%); and
  • Publications, conferences and other presentations since the start of FRQNT funding of the postdoctoral research (10%).

The renewal application results will be announced about six (6) weeks after each application deadline.

To use a training award outside Québec, the award holder must be a Canadian citizen and have a valid RAMQ card or proof of eligibility for RAMQ at the time of application as set out in Section 3 of these rules.