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
- support research excellence by providing financial assistance to the best students as they undertake or pursue a master’s research program.
This particular program is designed to help citizens of other countries who hold a doctorate (Ph.D.) to further their training and broaden their interests. It is also intended to encourage these researchers to learn about new scientific environments, new research methodologies, research project management and student leadership skills, and communication skills. The FRQS expects the internship supervisor to act as a mentor in the development of the candidate’s future academic career.
2. AMOUNTS AWARDED
2.1 Value of the scholarship
The postdoctoral scholarship is valued at $45,000/year.
The maximum amount is six (6) payments totalling $90,000.
Awardees who carry out their postdoctoral studies outside Québec will receive a supplemental amount of $10,000 per year.
Fellows may apply for a renewal in the same competition for a subsequent year if they wish to extend their postdoctoral fellowship award by one year. An additional year’s award of $45,000 may be granted following the evaluation. See the following section “Renewal” for more details.
Awardees may submit a renewal application to the same program for a subsequent year if they wish to extend their postdoctoral fellowship award by one year. An additional year’s award of $45,000 may be granted following the evaluation of the application.
The renewal application is made on the same form and according to the same schedule as the initial application. It is the applicant’s responsibility to apply at the right time, considering that the deadline for application is in October of each year, that the results come out in May, and that the scholarship must begin within one year of the results being announced. Proper planning can eventually ensure that the applicant has access to an award without interruption.
Applicants must submit their renewal application to the same program for which they currently receive funding, even if they have obtained permanent resident status or Canadian citizenship since the start of the tenure of the award.
Awards may only be renewed once.
Awardees who have received three (3) or more years of postdoctoral training awards since the initial FRQS award, regardless of the funding agency, are not eligible for renewed funding.
Applicants must meet all eligibility requirements in effect during the competition period, as stipulated in the program rules and the CGR.
4.1 Applications and eligibility period
This program is intended for candidates who wish to undertake or pursue a post-doctoral research training program in one of the fields covered by the Health Fund.
- Applicants must have completed a doctorate less than two (2) years prior to the competition deadline or intend to submit their doctoral thesis before March 1, 2024 (except for renewal applications).
- Applicants who apply to the FRQS are eligible to receive scholarship payments for a period of six (6) semesters or until the end of the program for which the scholarship is sought, whichever comes first.
The Fonds reserve the right to refuse any exception request that is not adequately justified.
The rules pertaining to the eligibility period for training scholarships allow for exceptions in circumstances that are beyond an applicant’s control, such as serious illness, major family obligations or disability.
- Major family obligation or serious illness: an applicant who has suspended or delayed their studies owing to a parental leave, serious illness or a major family obligation may seek to extend the eligibility period for up to twelve (12) months. The Fonds will determine the duration of the extension based on the supporting documents provided by the applicant.
- Disability: as defined in the Act to secure handicapped persons in the exercise of their rights with a view to achieving social, school and workplace integration (E-20.1) and reserved for persons who meet the definition of “handicapped person” in the Act, the rules pertaining to the eligibility period do not apply. The maximum duration of the funding is six (6) semesters at the master’s level. Supporting documents must be submitted with the application.
4.2 Citizenship and domicile
Applicants should refer to Section 2.1 of the CGR for further details.
To be eligible for this postdoctoral scholarship, applicants must be citizens of countries other than Canada who seek to pursue their postdoctoral training in Québec.
These requirements shall remain in effect for the tenure of the award.
4.3 Research supervisors
- The applicant’s research supervisor and cosupervisor must not have supervised the doctoral project or be affiliated with the university at which the doctorate was completed.
- They must also be university researchers or clinical university researchers (see definitions section of the Common General Rules)
4.4 Training location
Applicants must choose a host university other than the one at which they earned their Ph. D., which must be in Québec*.
*Awardees must complete their research training in the physical location of the host institution. Distance learning is not allowed.
In the case of major family obligations, serious illness or disability, exceptions may apply. Based on the outcome of a review by the Fonds, applicants may propose to carry out their postdoctoral studies in the same university at which they completed their doctoral degree. It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide all required explanations and evidence (medical certificate, recognition of disability, application for tax credit for family caregiver, etc.) in the Other documents section of the e-form.
- Individuals who hold a university position are ineligible, unless they take an unpaid leave for the entire tenure of the training award. The employer must provide an official letter attesting to the individual’s employment status for the period and her/his return to work once the training period has ended;
- Individuals who have been awarded or currently hold a postdoctoral research award from a Québec or Canadian funding agency (e.g. FRQNT, FRQS, FRQSC, CIHR, NSERC) (except renewals) are ineligible.
- The 2023–2024 application e-form (see pdf for information) 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.
- All required documents must be included with the application for it to be considered eligible. Documents that are illegible or low-resolution and those that do not make it possible to determine eligibility will not be accepted.
- Official documents submitted in a language other than English or French must include a certified professional translation. Any other documents submitted in a language other than English or French must include a simple translation.
5.1 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 on the basis of the research topic, field and training program.
5.2 Required documents
Canadian Common CV (FRQS funding CV version)
The CV must be up to date, i.e., updated within the 12 months preceding the competition closing date (scholarships and fellowships must be listed in the Research Funding section and prizes and awards in the Recognition section).
Detailed contributions that are up to date, i.e., updated within the 12 months preceding the competition closing date (to be attached in the FRQS electronic portfolio on the Canadian Common CV page).
Copy of doctoral degree (except for renewal applications)
If not available, the copy of the official transcript of the doctorate is sufficient.
Copy of official Ph. D. transcript
- Transcripts that are missing, incomplete, unofficial, uncertified or not up-to-date shall render the application ineligible.
- 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; AND
- 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.
- 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.
- A transcript submitted in a sealed envelope from a registrar’s office may be opened and scanned.
Other documents to be attached with the transcript (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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Academic record and career (35 points)
- Transcripts and honours (awards, distinctions and scholarships)
- Relevant achievements (scientific, professional, social, etc.) and experience (related to the project or career)
- Capacity for engagement and leadership (within and outside the academic community)
- Ability to facilitate dialogue between science and society
Research project (50 points)
- Originality, added value relative to the applicant’s doctoral training, and contribution to the advancement of knowledge
- Clarity and coherence of the research problem
- Relevance of the methodology and consideration of EDI principles, if applicable
- Feasibility of the project and realism of the time frame
- Potential of the project to contribute to societal issues, including those outlined in the SDGs, if applicable.
Host environment (15 points)
- Justification and relevance of the chosen host environment, including the environment available to the applicant for his or her development and the realization of the project
- Added value for the development of the applicant’s career plan
TOTAL (100 points)
Research project’s state of advancement since the start of postdoctoral training (60 points)
- Level of completion of the project in view of the methodology and the research area (20 points)
- Justification for renewal and potential for successful outcome (20 points)
- Research supervisor’s evaluation (20 points)
Achievements since the start of postdoctoral training (40 points)
- Lectures and presentations (20 points)
- Publications (20 points)
7. 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).
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.
9. 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.
9.1 Coming into effect of the scholarship
The award may begin between May 2023 and March 2024 on the 1st of the month.
- For individuals whose training program is in progress at the time of the award letter, the first payment will be made as of :
- May 30 following the award (summer session)
9.2 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.
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.
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.
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).
9.3 Exceptions for awardees registered as part-time students
In all the following cases, the Fonds reserve the right to deny an insufficiently justified request.
Part-time studies are permitted only in these cases:
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.
A person with a disability who is unable to pursue their training program on a full-time basis may choose to enrol on a part-time basis and benefit from full scholarship payments when the university allows for part-time status and upon presentation of a medical certificate or an official document attesting to the situation. This exception is in accordance with the Act to secure handicapped persons in the exercise of their rights with a view to achieving social, school and workplace integration (E-20.1) and reserved for persons who meet the definition of “handicapped person” in the Act.
Awardees must complete their FRQnet ePortfolio and attach these documents:
- Proof of part-time study from the university
- Medical certificate attesting to the condition
The Fonds reserve the right to deny an insufficiently justified request.
Training scholarships (master’s, doctoral and postdoctoral) from federal funding agencies: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
Partial concurrent funding* allowed
Training scholarships (master’s, 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)
No concurrent funding
Scholarships from Canadian and Québec government departments and agencies other than those mentioned above
Concurrent funding allowed
Co-supervised international mobility scholarships and scholarships for internships outside Québec
Concurrent funding allowed
Scholarships from the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) or Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ)
No concurrent funding when the scholarships are for the same project
Scholarships from the private sector, internal scholarships from universities and affiliated centres and supplementary scholarships from the research supervisor
Concurrent funding allowed
*Partial concurrent funding with a scholarship from a federal funding agency
Partial concurrent funding with a scholarship from a federal funding agency is possible when the scholarship from the Fonds is of a higher value or longer duration than the scholarship with which concurrent funding is prohibited. In such cases, the 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.
9.5 Conversion to a starting grant
An awardee who obtains a position as a full-time professor in a Québec university may, after at least one full year of FRQS funding, request to use part of the award as start-up funding. Up to $15,000 may be converted. The awardee must contact the FRQS program manager to request the change.
The rules for using the funding are the same as those established for the starting grant for new scholars (see rules of the research scholars program).
9.6 Scholarship supplements for parental leave
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.
9.7 Employment and internships
In compliance with the conditions detailed here, an awardee may accept a paid employment.
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 9.4), the salary is considered a concurrent scholarship when confirmed by the research supervisor.
In compliance with the conditions detailed here, an awardee may accept a lectureship, an internship (mandatory or not)
Part-time enrolment is permitted for the duration of an internship if the internship is required as part of the awardee’s training program and no research credit is granted. It is not possible to ask to defer payments to carry out an internship.
In the case of a non-mandatory internship as part of the awardee’s training program, the remuneration related to the internship is considered employment income. Where university rules permit, a deferral of payment may be requested if the non-mandatory internship constitutes an opportunity to gain relevant experience (Section 8.7.1).
9.8.1 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.
9.8.2 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.
9.9 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, except for 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.
9.10 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.
9.11 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.
9.11.1 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.
9.11.2 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.
9.11.3 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.
9.11.4 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.
9.11.5 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.
9.11.6 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.
10. PRISE D'EFFET
These rules apply to fiscal year 2023–2024.
11. MODIFICATIONS IMPORTANTES DEPUIS LE DERNIER CONCOURS
- Using a scholarship from the Fonds