- An application checklist for applicants and managing institutions is available in the program’s Toolbox (right-hand menu on the website).
- The presentation standards for all documents are harmonized to facilitate the completion of the application.
- Clarification of the information requested in the letter from the managing institution.
- Verification of conflicts of interest among the list of suggested experts.
- New eligibility requirement: the applicant must have a master’s or a PhD.
- A section on best practices for equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in project management.
- New weighting and content for the evaluation criteria (see Application evaluation).
- Simplification of the program rules to complement the Common General Rules.
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 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 Common Canadian CV and its PDF file of detailed contributions to be included in the “Common Canadian CV” section of the FRQNet Portfolio. The applicant must complete the Fonds Nature et technologies version of the Common Canadian 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 Presentation standards for application – FRQNT document, available in the program’s Toolbox, for complete presentation instructions.
Table of contents
- Eligibility requirements
- Contents of the funding application and required documents
- Application process
- Determining eligibility of funding applications
- Application evaluation
- Description and nature of funding
- Duration and management of the grant
- Announcement of results
- Ethics and the responsible conduct of research
- Integrity of the Evaluation Process
- Equity, diversity and inclusion
- Liability of the Fonds
- False or misleading information
- Open access to research results
- Effective date
- Contact person for this program
- Personne à contacter pour ce programme
The Research Program for College has the following objectives:
- Promote and maintain a quality diverse, equitable and inclusive research base in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering in colleges 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 know-how;
- Prompt college students to do research in natural sciences, mathematics and engineering.
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:
College researchers, as defined in the CGR (status 3), who meet the following conditions:
2.1.1 Have a master’s or PhD and possess the professional autonomy required to direct research projects and supervise college 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 following conditions:
2.1.2 The applicant is employed full-time for at least two consecutive terms per year. Winter and fall sessions are considered to be consecutive.
2.1.3 The applicant holds:
a. A position as a college-level professor;
b. A position as a CCTT researcher;
c. A position in a college in which at least 75% of their workload is dedicated to research activities. The workload is calculated based on the official school calendar established for Cégeps by the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur (MEES) i.e. from July 1 to June 30 of each year.
For the purposes of this program, college researchers employed exclusively in a CCTT must obtain confirmation of employment from the college-level managing institution affiliated with the CCTT.
2.2 The following are not eligible for this program:
2.2.1 Applicants who do not meet the eligibility requirements listed above;
2.2.2 Applicants whose work is in a field that is not covered by the FRQNT and is not consistent with the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT) mission;
2.2.3 Applicants who submit more than one application to the same competition;
2.2.4 Applicants who hold two concurrent grants under this program on the date of announcement of the results for this competition (See Section 6.12 of the CGR).
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.
3. Contents of the funding application and required documents
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 application – FRQNT document available in the program’s Toolbox. Failure to comply with these standards will result in the application being deemed INELIGIBLE.
3.1 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.
Any excess pages or non-required documents (e.g. supporting letter) will be removed from the application.
Various documents are to be attached to the form in the sections intended for that purpose. The application includes 5 items:
3.1.1 The funding application form (FRQnet Portfolio)
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.
Details for certain sections of the form
Identification of the applicant
The applicant must identify the managing institution where he or she is employed.
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).
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.
In the Responsible Conduct section, the applicant must demonstrate how the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion will be taken into consideration in the management of the research project. Please refer to Section 12 for more information, including an online training module developed for Canada’s research community.
List of suggested experts
- The applicant must suggest 10 experts who will be able to assess the scientific relevance of the project.
- The experts must have sufficient knowledge of the language in which the application is written.
- They will not be notified of your suggestions.
- The experts must have no current or recent (five years or less) collaborative relationship with the applicant and, if applicable, other members of the research team.
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).
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.
3.1.2 Description of the research project (PDF attached to the form)
Maximum 7 pages (including figures, tables and bibliography) written according to the standards set out in the Presentation standards for application – FRQNT reference document available in the program’s Toolbox.
3.1.3 Justification of planned expenditures (PDF attached to the form)
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.
3.1.4 Letter from the applicant’s managing institution (PDF attached to the form)
A sample letter is available in the Toolbox section of the program’s web page. It must be signed by a general manager or authorized officer of the managing institution and 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 information mentioned in sections 2.1.2 and 2.1.3 including:
- The applicant’s employment starting date (year-month-day);
- Employment status (permanent or temporary);
- That the applicant meets one of the eligibility conditions listed in Section 2.1.3.
3.1.5 The Canadian Common CV and “Detailed Contributions” attachment (PDF attached in the “Canadian Common CV” section of the FRQnet Portfolio)
Please refer to the Presentation standards for application – FRQNT document available in the program’s Toolbox for complete presentation instructions.
4. Application process
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.).
- The status “Submitted to institution” 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 “Returned to applicant” 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.
A checklist is available in the program’s Toolbox.
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 14, 2020.
- 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.
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.
Only applicants may ask for their application to be withdrawn.
5. 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.
6. Application evaluation
6.1 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)
C1.1 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.);
1.1.2 Scientific scope
Scope of the objectives for the scientific and user communities and contributions within the field of research;
1.1.3 Collaborations and partnerships
Cooperation in Québec and/or internationally (relevance, added value for the project, the institution or Québec);
C1.2 Project presentation (30 pts)
Relevance in relation to the objectives; scientific and technical feasibility. Availability of infrastructure and equipment. Where appropriate, the reuse of scientific material and the purchase of second-hand material are encouraged. Ethical and environmental considerations;
1.2.2 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;
1.2.3 Quality of presentation
Project structure and understanding: description of objectives and keywords, clarity, popularization, quality of writing and language, etc.;
C1.3 Project benefits (20 pts)
1.3.1 Strengthening research capacity
Training and mentoring plan: feasibility of the project for the training of highly qualified personnel (HQP), recruitment, tasks, pedagogical scope.
1.3.2 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)
C2.1 Scientific capacity (15 pts)
2.1.1 Scientific expertise
Relevance of CV to the project: the applicant must possess the expertise and knowledge necessary to successfully carry out the proposed project;
2.1.2 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.;
C2.2 Knowledge dissemination (15 pts)
2.2.1 Scientific community
Knowledge transfer activities; organization and presentation at seminars, symposia, workshops; report, guide, etc.;
2.2.2 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)
Efforts put in place to promote equity, diversity and inclusion. It is up to each applicant to choose how to address this criterion through concrete actions, taking into account his or her unique situation. Efforts may involve composition, organization and management, knowledge sharing and dissemination to user communities, etc.
For more information on this criterion, please consult the document entitled Guidelines on considering equity, diversity and inclusion in the evaluation of FRQNT grant applications. This document is also available in the Toolbox Section.
6.2 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.
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.
7. 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. A teaching release for the grant holder can be added to the annual 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.
7.1 Operating grant
The operating grant can only be used 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.
The applicant must RESPECT THE MAXIMUM ANNUAL AMOUNT OF THE GRANT. Failure to do so will render the application INELIGIBLE.
7.2 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:
|Expense category||Type of expense|
|College researcher||Salary support (only for the grant holder);|
|Research professor||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|
|Training of 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 genetics 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|
|Participation in conferences and other scientific meetings||Costs associated only with the presentation of results|
|Travel and living expenses||Must not exceed 10% of the operating grant per year|
8. Duration and management of the grant
8.1 Use 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.
8.2 Management and follow-up
8.2.1 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.
8.2.2 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.
8.2.3 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.
8.2.4 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).
8.2.5 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.
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.
8.2.6 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.
9. 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.
10. Ethics and the responsible conduct of research
Any individual or institution that receives funding must demonstrate the highest standards of research ethics and scientific integrity. Please refer to the Common General Rules for further details.
This includes a declaration by the applicant and the managing institution that there are no real or apparent conflicts of interest that could influence the application assessment process. This applies to all individuals identified in the application (for example, suggested experts), the form or the documents required when submitting the funding application.
Please refer to the CGR for any matter related to responsible conduct in research, privacy and confidentiality, intellectual property and the protection of academic freedom.
11. Integrity of the Evaluation Process
At no time may applicants or their institutional authorities make contact with evaluation committee members, unless such contact is specified as part of the evaluation process. Similarly, evaluation committee members must not make contact with applicants, unless such contact is specifically indicated in the evaluation process. The identities of evaluation committee members are kept confidential to avoid any attempt at collusion. The Fonds reserve the right to withdraw an application from competition if there is any inappropriate intervention, lobby, undue influence or collusion during the evaluation process, as stipulated in the Policy for the Responsible Conduct of Research.
12. Equity, diversity and inclusion
The Fonds de recherche du Québec wish to contribute to supporting a research ecosystem based on equity, diversity and inclusion. Measures have been put in place to strengthen the integration of these principles. Funding recipients are also encouraged to consider them in the context of their research groups and activities.
To mitigate the influence of unconscious bias in the scientific assessment process, individuals taking part in the Fonds de recherche du Québec’s peer review process are now encouraged to take a short online training course.
In the interest of avoiding duplication for the scientific community, we have chosen to use the Unconscious bias training module developed by the federal funding agencies and available on the Canada Research Chairs website.
While this training course is not mandatory, we hope that a critical mass of reviewers will choose to take it to help enhance the fairness of the assessment process. Please note that all Fonds staff responsible for evaluation committees will be required to complete the online training module as well as additional training.
For more information, please consult our Statement on equity, diversity and inclusion.
13. Liability of the Fonds
The Fonds make all reasonable efforts to ensure optimal service. However, they cannot be held liable for any direct or indirect damage resulting from their handling of applications for funding. Furthermore, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the Fonds are not liable for any direct or indirect damage resulting from the disclosure of personal or confidential information that was not authorized by the Fonds.
14. False or misleading information
The Fonds presume the good faith of the declaration provided in funding applications or in any other document submitted at any time during the funding cycle, from the initial funding application to the final report. Applicants and funding recipients must be transparent and provide accurate and precise information. They must be conscientious about advising the Fonds of any changes in their situation, where applicable.
Under the Act Respecting the Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur, de la Recherche, de la Science et de la Technologie (CQLR, c. M-22.214.171.124), any individual who submits an application containing false or misleading information to obtain or procure financial support is committing an offence, is liable to a fine and could be barred from receiving financial support for a period of up to five years. Where a legal person commits such an offence, every director or representative of that legal person who was aware of the offence may be liable to a fine. Furthermore, such a declaration constitutes a breach of responsible research conduct, as set forth in the Fonds de recherche du Québec Policy for the Responsible Conduct of Research and may be subject to sanctions in accordance with this policy.
The Fonds reserve the right to take immediate measures to stop the use of public funds obtained through false or misleading information, and to take legal action to recover fraudulently obtained funds and claim compensation for damages caused where appropriate.
15. Open access to research results
The Fonds are committed to fostering the widest possible access to the outcomes of the research they fund. They would like this practice to be implanted in every research environment and intend to promote this principle through all means at their disposal, including the websites of the three Fonds.
16. Effective date
These rules apply to the 2021-2022 fiscal year.
18. Personne à contacter pour ce programme
Programme de la recherche collégiale
418 643-8560, poste : 3355