- A template to fill out for the project description;
- Addition of a one-page bibliography document, separate from the project description;
- Addition of a one-page document for the EDI criterion to be attached in the “Other documents” section of the form;
- Addition of presentation standards in Criterion 1.2 – Quality of presentation;
- Access to Frequently Asked Questions for all our programs.
Impacts of COVID: 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 Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ)’s Common General Rules (CGR), which govern all Fonds de recherche du Québec–Nature et technologies (FRQNT) programming. Only rules specific to the Program for College Research 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 Capsules d’information 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 its PDF file of detailed contributions to be included in the “Canadian Common CV” section of the FRQNet Portfolio. The applicant must complete the Fonds Nature et technologies version of the Canadian Common CV, update this document within 12 months prior to the competition deadline, and complete the Detailed Contributions file in due form. Please refer to the Instructions for the Detailed Contributions and Canadian Common CV — FRQNT and the Presentation standards for PDF attachments to FRQnet forms available in the Portal Access tab of the FRQ website and in the Documents section of FRQnet for complete presentation instructions.
AN APPLICATION SUBMITTED TO THE FONDS AFTER THE COMPETITION DEADLINE OF 4 P.M. ON OCTOBER 13, 2021 WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED BY THE FONDS.
Table of contents
The Program for College Research in natural sciences, mathematics and engineering has the following objectives:
- Promote and maintain a quality diverse, equitable and inclusive research base in colleges, college research centres and college centres for technology transfer (CCTTs);
- Foster the emergence, establishment and retention of researchers in the college network;
- Foster the transfer of technological and scientific knowledge to user communities;
- Foster the transfer of technological and scientific knowledge to general and technical training programs in college institutions;
- Promote and maintain the advancement of scientific knowledge;
- Encourage college students to do research.
2. Eligibility requirements
Applicants are responsible for verifying, well in advance, the eligibility of their application with their research office (research advisor or director of studies) to ensure that all required documents are obtained from the managing institution in time.
2.1 The following are eligible for this program (Status 3*):
- College researchers, as defined in the CGR (Status 3), who also meet the following requirement (hereafter referred to as Status 3*):
- Have a PhD or master’s and possess the professional autonomy required to direct research projects and supervise college and undergraduate students;
The managing institution must be able to confirm, at each grant payment and for the entire duration of funding, that the applicant meets the criteria for Status 3*.
The workload is calculated based on the official school calendar established for Cégeps by the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur (MÉES) i.e. from July 1 to June 30 of each year.
Good to know
For the purposes of this program, college researchers employed exlusively in a CCTT must obtain confirmation of maintenance of the eligibility requirements from the college-level managing institution with which the CCTT is affiliated.
This document must be signed by the management of the CCTT and by a general manager or the director of studies of the college.
2.2 The following are not eligible for this program:
- Applicants who do not meet the eligibility requirements listed above (Status 3*);
- Applicants who have two research statuses as defined by the CGR;
- Applicants whose work is in a field that is not covered by the mission and research fields of the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT);
- Applicants who submit more than one application to the same competition;
- Applicants who hold two concurrent active grants under this program on the date of announcement of the results for this competition (See Section 6.12 of the CGR;).
Application eligibility — during the evaluation process
Applications that do not comply with the program rules or do not contain the information needed to determine eligibility or to be evaluated will be deemed INELIGIBLE.
2.3 Determining eligibility of funding applications
The program administrator and members of the multidisciplinary evaluation committees assess during the whole process the eligibility status of each application in accordance with the conditions set out in the program rules and the CGR.
Notification of the decision with respect to the eligibility of the application is sent via the FRQnet Portfolio of the applicant and the managing institution.
3. Contents of the funding application and required documents
The funding application must be submitted to the Fonds electronically. It must be completed using the official forms available in the FRQnet Portfolio.
All attached documents and section of the electronic application form, including the Detailed Contributions attachment, must meet the standards presented in the Presentation standards for PDF attachments to FRQnet forms available in the Documents section of FRQnet. You will also find a Word template formatted to the presentation standards in the program’s Toolbox.
Any excess pages or non-required documents (e.g. supporting letter) will be removed from the application.
This form has several sections to complete and requires the uploading of documents. The sections may be completed in English or French. However, if you complete your application in English, you must provide a title and a project summary in both French and English.
The funding application form (FRQnet Portfolio) including the following section:
Identification of the applicant
The applicant must identify the college-level managing institution where he or she is employed.
- Applicant — CCTT
All college research centres and CCTTs are affiliated with a college-level managing institution recognized by the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) to manage funding. (See Definitions in the CGR).
Applicants from a CCTT must indicate the name of the CCTT in the appropriate box;
- Applicant — Constituent college
Applicants from a constituent college must indicate their home campus in the appropriate box.
Good to know
Only applicants with associate professor status at a Québec university and who are identified as such in this section will be able to supervise undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows.
Ethics, responsible conduct and the environment
If applicable, the applicant must explain in the Ethics section how the use of humans, human biological materials or animals, the question of sex or gender, and environmental impacts will be taken into consideration in the realization of the research project.
List of suggested experts
The applicant must suggest 10 experts who will be able to assess the scientific merit of the project.
- Experts must have sufficient knowledge of the language in which the application is written;
- They may be college faculty members and/or conduct research projects at the college level;
- They may be university faculty members and/or specialists in organizations conducting research projects;
- They must have no current or recent (five years or less) collaborative relationship with the applicant and, if applicable, other members of the research team;
- They will not be notified of your suggestions.
It is the responsibility of the applicant and the managing institution to ensure that the suggested experts are not in a conflict of interest (see Section 4.2 of the CGR for examples).
List of suggested experts – Eligibility criterion
During the course of the evaluation, if it comes to the attention of the program administrator that a real or apparent conflict of interest could affect the integrity of the evaluation process, the application may be deemed INELIGIBLE.
Description of the research project (PDF attached to the form) (7 pages)
Maximum 7 pages (including figures and tables). To ensure that all elements of the research project are covered, you will find a Project description — College research template in the program’s Toolbox.
Bibliography (1 page)
You may attach a bibliography of up to one page as a separate document to the project description.
Consideration of equity, diversity and inclusion (1 page)
Consideration of equity, diversity and inclusion must be explained in this document of up to one page, which is to be attached in the “Other documents” section. Refer to the evaluation criteria for details on what this document should contain.
Justification of planned expenditures (1 page)
It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the planned expenditures DO NOT EXCEED the maximum annual budget or the maximum program budget (see Section 7 — Description and nature of funding), otherwise the application will be deemed INELIGIBLE.
Letter from the applicant’s managing institution (PDF attached to the form)
A Managing institution letter — College research template is available in the Toolbox section. It must be signed by a general manager or authorized officer of the managing institution and a member of the CCTT management where applicable. This document must be attached in the “Other documents” section of the electronic form.
This letter written and signed by the managing institution must confirm the applicant’s eligibility (see Section 2.1). It must clearly provide the following information:
- The applicant’s employment starting date (year-month-day);
- Employment status (permanent or temporary);
- That the applicant meets the eligibility requirements for Status 3*.
The Canadian Common CV and “Detailed Contributions” attachment (PDF attached in the “Canadian Common CV” section of the FRQnet Portfolio)
Please refer to the Instructions for the Detailed Contributions and Canadian Common CV — FRQNT for complete instructions on the information to be included in these documents.
4. Application process
The deadline for applications is October 13, 2021 at 4 p.m.
Submitting the funding application in the FRQnet Portfolio
Applicants must submit all required documents in their FRQnet Portfolio before the internal deadline of the managing institution. To find out the internal deadline, applicants should contact the person in charge of research at their institution (research officer, research advisor, etc.).
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions are available in the program’s Toolbox.
The status “Transmis à l’établissement” will appear in the Portfolio.
Approval of the funding application by the managing institution
The managing institution must approve the funding application via the FRQnet Institutions Portal before it is transmitted to the FRQNT.
At this stage, the managing institution may return the application to the applicant for modification.
The status “À reviser” will then appear in the Portfolio.
The applicant must then resubmit the application in his/her FRQnet Portfolio for approval by the managing institution.
It is important to take this process into account in order to ensure that the documents are submitted within the required time frame. Applicants will not be notified of any element missing from their application. Any documents received after submission of the application will not be considered and applications cannot be updated.
Transmitting the funding application to the FRQNT via FRQnet
The application must be transmitted by the managing institution before the competition deadline of 4 p.m. on October 13, 2021.
The status “Transmis au Fonds” will appear in the applicant’s FRQnet Portfolio.
Reminder of requirements before transmitting the application to the FRQNT:
The applicant must:
- Check that all requested documents have been placed in the applicant’s FRQnet Portfolio and that the application is complete.
- Ensure that none of the suggested experts on the list provided are in a conflict of interest and make any necessary changes. This is not a list of professional references or persons who have had a professional or personal relationship with the applicant within the last 5 years (see Section 4.2 of the CGR for more examples).
- Ensure that there is a title and project summary in both French and English if the application is completed in English.
- Check that all documents meet the required presentation standards. If not, the application will be deemed ineligible by the FRQNT.
The head of the managing institution must then:
- Ensure that the electronic form contains all required information and that all required documents have been included in the various sections of the form;
- In the case of CCTT researchers, pay particular attention to the letter from the managing institution.
- Check whether any documents require translation;
- Ensure that the CCV and Detailed Contributions document have been uploaded to the Portfolio;
- Check for any conflicts of interest between the applicant and the list of suggested experts and make the necessary changes (see Section 4.2 of the CGR for examples).
- Ensure that there is a title and project summary in both French and English if the application is completed in English.
- Approve the funding application and transmit it to the FRQNT via FRQnet before the competition deadline.
At any time, applicants can verify the transmission status of their application in the “My forms” section of their FRQnet Portfolio.
FRQnet access – Managing institutions
The head of a managing institution that does not have access to the FRQnet system or that wishes to change the institution’s FRQnet system manager must contact the program administrator no later than 10 working days before the application deadline.
The electronic transmission of the application acts as an electronic signature by the applicant. The FRQNT reserves the right to verify the authenticity of all documents and information provided with the authorities concerned.
In signing the funding application, parties declare that the information provided is accurate and complete and agree to respect the rules and principles set out in the Fonds de recherche du Québec’s Politique d’éthique et d’intégrité scientifique. Applicants authorize their institution to transmit any personal information necessary in accordance with this policy, where applicable.
Signatories agree to allow the information in this application to be disclosed for evaluation and examination purposes, provided those with access to the information agree to abide by standard privacy rules. Furthermore, signatories agree to comply with the intellectual property policies of their respective colleges.
Your email address is the access key to the FRQnet grant and scholarship management system. It facilitates communication between the agency and its clientele, while complying with the Act respecting access to documents held by public bodies and the protection of personal information.
Important – Transmitting the funding application
Only applicants may ask for their application to be withdrawn.
5. Application evaluation
5.1 Evaluation process
The program administrator and scientific advisors classify the funding applications according to their research fields. Keywords are essential to this classification.
Applications are evaluated by multidisciplinary evaluation committees and external experts. All evaluators are selected among peers from the college, industrial, socio-economic and university sectors.
Role of the multidisciplinary evaluation committees and external experts
The multidisciplinary evaluation committees and, where applicable, external experts evaluate applications according to the rules and evaluation criteria in effect for the program, taking into account the quality standards and existing research traditions in the different disciplines concerned.
The committees rank the applications and advise the board of directors of the proposals that merit funding. Budget projections are considered in the evaluation process.
The application must receive an evaluation score of 80% or higher to be recommended for funding.
Role of the program administrator
The program administrator is responsible for ensuring that committee members and external referees comply with the current rules of the program, as well as the rules relating to ethics, confidentiality, the responsible conduct of research, and equity, diversity and inclusion.
5.2 Evaluation criteria
Applications are evaluated based on the following criteria, according to the weighting indicated. It is the applicant’s responsibility to clearly address these criteria in their written proposal.
The criteria listed below form a repertory of values and objectives of the Program for College Research, and were developed to suit a diversity of research projects and applicant profiles.
Thus, evaluators do not necessarily expect all applicants to meet all of the sub-indicators presented below, but to meet most of them in a consistent manner.
Criterion 1: Quality of the research project (65 pts)
Sub-criterion 1.1 Excellence in research (15 pts)
Creativity, innovation, potential for disruption and advancement in the field, theoretical approach if applicable (relevance of the theme and issues addressed, new approach, risk-taking, etc.);
- Scientific scope
Scope of the objectives for the scientific and user communities and contributions within the field of research;
- Collaborations and partnerships
Cooperation in Québec and/or internationally (relevance, added value for the project, the institution or Québec).
Sub-criterion 1.2 Project presentation (30 pts)
Relevance in relation to the objectives; scientific and technical feasibility. Availability of infrastructure and equipment. Ethical and environmental considerations;
- Realism of the time frame and budget
Appropriateness of budget and time frame: budget justification (details, quantification, financial structuring, etc.), relevance of the project duration to the research question and budget, risk management plan;
- Quality of presentation
Project structure and understanding: description of objectives and keywords, clarity, popularization, quality of writing and language, compliance with the presentation standards.
Sub-criterion 1.3 Project benefits (20 pts)
- Strengthening research capacity
Training and mentoring plan: feasibility of the project for the training of highly qualified personnel (HQP), recruitment, tasks, pedagogical scope;
- Knowledge transfer
Valorization, promotion and dissemination of results internally and in technical and general training programs as well as to user communities and the general public. Consideration for access to data (open access, etc.).
Criterion 2: Applicant’s competency in science (30 pts)
Sub-criterion 2.1 Scientific capacity (15 pts)
- Scientific expertise
Relevance of CV to the project: the applicant must possess the expertise and knowledge necessary to successfully carry out the proposed project;
- Experience and potential
Applicant’s research experience: quantity and quality of scientific contributions and achievements, mentoring and potential demonstrated by the applicant throughout his/her career and activities related to research and science: originality of academic background, risk-taking, engagement, collaborative network, leadership, etc.
Sub-criterion 2.2 Knowledge dissemination (15 pts)
- Scientific community
Knowledge transfer activities; organization and presentation at seminars, symposia, workshops; report, guide, etc.;
- General public and user communities
Discussions and dissemination activities for a wide audience: general public, schools, colleges, municipal services, media, volunteering, production of non-technical content, etc.
Criterion 3: Integration of the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion in research (5 pts)
This criterion assesses the applicant’s efforts to promote equity, diversity and inclusion, not the composition of research teams*. The one-page document, to be attached in the “Other documents” section.
- Training: specific actions already taken and/or planned to promote EDI in the training of the next generation (recruitment, mentoring and career development practices, etc.);
- Research: where relevant, the consideration of diversity in the design and execution of research projects (research questions, methodology, etc.) and the dissemination and mobilization of knowledge to a diverse audience;
- Involvement: specific actions already taken and/or planned to promote EDI in the applicant’s community or field or within the research community in general (committees, inclusive scientific events, awareness activities, etc.).
*The applicant should not provide any information as to whether he or she, or members of the team, belong to marginalized or underrepresented groups.
For more information, please refer to the Our Actions section under the Equity, diversity and inclusion tab of the FRQ website.
6. Description and nature of funding
The applicant should refer to the CGR and Section 8 of the program rules for the rules governing the use and management of the grant.
The maximum grant amount is set at $32,000 per year for up to two or three years. The funding consists of a grant that can be split between salary support or teaching release and an operating grant.
Salary support for the grant holder
Part of the operating grant can be used to provide salary support for the grant holder if he or she has no teaching duties. This amount is paid directly to the college-level managing institution or the college with which the CCTT is affiliated in the case of a CCTT researcher.
Teaching release for the grant holder
Part of the operating grant can be used as a teaching release for the grant holder if he or she has teaching duties, up to a maximum of $24,000 per year, to cover the portion of the salary related to a release from teaching duties. This amount is paid directly to the college-level managing institution.
6.1 Operating grant
The operating grant must be used only to fund current expenses that are directly related to the completion of the research project.
The operating grant may be supplemented by other grants or monetary or in-kind contributions from colleges, CCTTs, universities, government departments or other granting agencies, in keeping with the regulations of these programs.
Operating grant — eligibility criterion
The applicant must respect the maximum annual amount of the grant. Failure to do so will render the application INELIGIBLE.
6.2 Categories of eligible expenses
For the complete list of eligible expense categories, please refer to Section 8 of the CGR, Eligible and non-eligible expenses.
The following expenses are also eligible under the Program for College Research:
For the grant holder:
- College researcher Status 3*: Salary support
- College research professor Status 3*: Release from teaching duties up to a maximum of $24,000 per year;
See also the work-family balance measures in Section 6.13 of the CGR
Student support (Training of highly qualified personnel (HQP):
- Parental leave for students associated with the research project: The same conditions apply as for training award recipients (see Section 6.13 of the CGR);
- Use of computing or genomics platform services (Calcul Québec, Calcul Canada, Génome Québec): Access fees (operating cost);
- Computer services and other information services provided by the managing institution to the CCTT: Project-related services fees;
- Ethics, environment and responsible conduct: Costs incurred to meet granting agency requirements;
Dissemination and knowledge transfer:
- Travel and living expenses: Must not exceed 10% of the operating grant per year.
7. Duration and management of the grant
Grants are awarded annually for the period from April 1 to March 31. The managing institution receives 4 equal payments per year.
Grants are awarded for a maximum of two or three years. The balance remaining at the end of each budget year may be carried over to the next year, for the duration of the grant.
The unspent balance remaining at the end of the grant period may be carried forward for an additional period of one year. To do so, the grant holder and managing institution must justify their extension request to the program administrator and comply with the terms set out in Section 6.10 of the CGR.
7.2 Management and follow-up
Accepting the grant
- To initiate payment of the first instalment, the applicant must accept the grant within 30 days after receiving the competition results (end of April), in the “Manage my funding” section of the FRQnet Portfolio.
Biannual update statement
- The grant is conditional on the maintenance of the eligibility requirements (Section 2) including continuing full-time employment of the grant holder with the college, college research centre or CCTT throughout the term of the grant.
- To initiate payment of the 2nd and 3rd grant years, the grant holder must, after receiving a notice to do so (in March), submit an online update statement in the FRQnet Portfolio. The statement must be completed whether or not there are any changes to declare. Further grant payments are conditional on this step.
Annual financial report
- The managing institution must submit, no later than June of each year of funding, an annual financial report via the FRQnet Portfolio. This report must be signed by the grant holder.
- Grant payments are conditional on the submission of an annual financial report by the managing institution.
Changes during funding period
- Any major changes made during the funding period, including a redistribution of expenses by category or a loss of expertise related to staff turnover, must be justified by email to the program administrator and reported in the FRQnet Portfolio (See Section 6.5 of the CGR).
Departure of the grant holder
- Funding is awarded to the grant holder and cannot be transferred to another researcher belonging to the same or another college-level institution recognized by the Fonds to manage funding.
Departure from a college-level managing institution to another college
- A grant holder who leaves one college institution to work at another college institution may transfer the grant to that institution. The eligibility requirements of the Program for College Research must be met. The new managing institution will be asked to provide a letter confirming compliance with the eligibility requirements.
- It is the responsibility of the original managing institution to reach an agreement with the FRQNT and the managing institution that will be receiving the grant holder.
Departure from a college-level managing institution to another type of institution
- A grant holder who leaves his or her managing institution must comply with the terms and conditions set out in Section 6.7 of the CGR.
- It is the responsibility of the managing institution to take into consideration the fact that the grant holder receives 4 equal payments per fiscal year. The Fonds may reduce, suspend or terminate the funding.
Important – Help us to help you
The program administrator must be informed without delay of any change to the grant holder’s managing institution, ideally before the grant holder’s departure.
End of the grant
- The final report must comply with the terms and conditions set out in Section 7.2 of the CGR.
- The grant holder is required to submit a final report no later than 21 months after the end date of the grant (not including the additional year, where applicable).
Any future funding is contingent on the submission of this final report within the prescribed time and to the satisfaction of the Fonds.
8. Announcement of results
The multidisciplinary evaluation committees submit their recommendations to the Board of directors of the FRQNT, which makes the funding decisions. All decisions of the Board of Directors of the FRQNT are final and cannot be appealed.
Grant results are announced at the end of April. The decisions of the Board of Directors of the FRQNT are sent to the institutions and applicants concerned. For any information on competition results, applicants must contact their institution’s research office or equivalent or visit the Fonds website.
Grants are contingent on the allocation of funding from the Assemblée nationale du Québec and the decisions of the board of directors of the Fonds and may be modified at any time without notice. It is therefore strongly recommended not to commit expenditures before the funding has been officially announced.
Applicants who wish to receive a summary of the evaluation committee’s comments must indicate this by email within 15 calendar days of the award letter. This feedback may be verbal or written.
9. Effective date
These rules apply to the 2022-2023 fiscal year.