Programs rules master: (B1X), doctoral (B2X) and re-entering the research community (A2X)
Please read the following sections carefully: “Eligibility requirements” and “Submitting the funding application”. No reminder will be made, and no documents can be added after the application deadline. An incomplete application is deemed inadmissible.
The FRQ’s common general rules provide the basic rules applicable to all Fonds de recherche du Québec programming. This document provides rules specifically applicable to these scholarship programs. It is necessary to consult both documents to know all the applicable rules. The clarifications provided in these rules take precedence over the Common General Rules.
Table of contents
- Eligibility requirements
- Contents of the funding application and required documents
- Evaluation of applications
- Awarding of scholarships and announcement of results
- Duration and management of scholarships
- Supplement for studying outside Québec
- Ethics and the responsible conduct of research
- Integrity of the evaluation process
- Open access to research results
- Equity, diversity and inclusion
- Liability of the Fonds
- False or misleading information
- General considerations
- Effective date
- Contact person for this program
The Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT) scholarship programs have the following objectives:
- To foster student interest in research,
- To support excellence in research by providing financial assistance for top applicants to undertake or continue a master’s or doctoral program in natural science, mathematics or engineering research.
In keeping with its Knowledge Mobilization Strategy, the FRQNT encourages students to carry out mobilization activities (sharing, valorization, dissemination, etc.) for the general public, whenever such activities are relevant in the context of their research.
Master’s (B1X) and Doctoral (B2X) Research Scholarships:
Are intended for applicants who wish to undertake or continue a graduate university program in a field covered by the FRQNT.
Scholarships for Re-entering the Research Community (A2X):
Are intended for applicants who have had an undergraduate or master’s degree for at least five years and who wish to re-enter the research community through master’s- or doctoral-level studies or the equivalent in a field covered by the FRQNT.
2. Eligibility requirements
Applicants must meet all the eligibility conditions set out below at the competition deadline.
2.1 Citizenship and domicile
To be eligible for a Master’s or Doctoral Scholarship, applicants must have been enrolled at a Québec university on a full-time basis (or equivalent) for 2 of the 3 semesters prior to the competition deadline OR have a valid Régie d’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) card or proof of eligibility for RAMQ (i.e. a letter from the RAMQ confirming that a new card has been requested).
To be eligible for a Master’s or Doctoral Scholarship, the place where the research or studies will be carried out must be in Québec. However, the place where the research or studies will be carried out can be outside Québec if the applicant has a valid RAMQ card or proof of eligibility for RAMQ at the time of application AND is a Canadian citizen.
Applicants who do not have a valid RAMQ card or proof of eligibility for RAMQ at the time of application, or who are not Canadian citizens, must pursue their studies in Québec. Their continuous physical presence in Québec is required throughout the duration of funding, apart from break periods listed in the university calendar.
FRQNT scholarship holders must meet the citizenship AND domicile conditions throughout the duration of the scholarship. Changes in citizenship, eligibility for RAMQ or place of domicile during the scholarship period will not allow the scholarship to be used outside Québec.
2.2 Minimum cumulative average
Applicants for a Master’s Scholarship or master’s-level Re-entering the Research Community Scholarship must have an average equal or greater than 3.55 or the equivalent for their undergraduate degree.
Applicants with a lower average are not eligible
In the case of applicants who are changing careers, grades from courses unrelated to the program of study for which the scholarship is being sought are not considered. However, grades for courses used as the basis for admission to a master’s or doctoral program are deemed relevant in calculating the average and must be included with the application.
It should be noted that:
- Applicants cannot apply for a scholarship to carry out preparatory studies;
- An applicant with a Ph.D. is not eligible for a master’s scholarship;
- Applicants who have already received financial assistance from a recognized funding agency, (e.g. SSHRC, NSERC, CIHR, Fonds de recherche du Québec, etc.) over a period totaling 18 semesters (master’s and doctoral level combined) cannot apply for the current competition to start or continue a master’s or doctoral program;
- Applicants may hold an award or scholarship from only one Fonds.
2.4 Eligibility period
The conditions for determining the scholarship eligibility period take into account semesters (master’s and doctoral level) completed before May 1st, 2021, whether funded or not.
The FRQNT considers part-time or unregistered semesters in calculating the eligibility period, provided the registrar’s attestations are included with the application.
The FRQNT also takes into account the number of semesters during which the applicant received financial assistance from all recognized funding agencies (e.g. SSHRC, NSERC, CIHR, Fonds de recherche du Québec, etc.) to ensure that total funding does not exceed 18 semesters.
2.4.1 Master’s Scholarship eligibility period
To be eligible for a Master’s Scholarship, an applicant must not have been enrolled at the master’s level for more than 3 full-time semesters (1 year) before May 1, 2021.
An applicant is eligible for a Master’s Scholarship during the first six semesters of his/her master’s degree (or equivalent). The semesters completed in a master’s program (or equivalent) prior to the effective date of the scholarship will be deducted from the duration of the funding. No funding will be granted after a student’s sixth semester in a master’s program
Scholarship holders who go on to the doctoral level without having used all the instalments of their master’s scholarship can use them to begin their doctoral program. However, they must successfully apply to the Doctoral Scholarship competition in order to receive subsequent scholarship payments.
2.4.2 Eligibility period for students who proceed directly from a bachelor’s to a doctoral program and for students who fast-track from a master’s into a doctoral program
An applicant admitted into a doctoral program from a bachelor’s program or who fast-tracks into a doctoral program without writing a thesis is eligible for a Master’s Scholarship (B1X) during the first six semesters of his/her graduate studies program. As a result, these first six semesters can only be funded by a Master’s Scholarship. In this case, the value of the Master’s Scholarship will be increased to be of the same value as the Doctoral Scholarship. The scholarship holder must apply to the Doctoral Scholarship competition (B2X) to fund subsequent semesters. The semesters completed in a program prior to the effective date of the scholarship will be deducted from the duration of the funding. In all cases, no funding will be granted after the fifteenth (15th) semester of doctoral studies.
An applicant who holds a master’s degree when beginning his/her doctoral studies must apply to the Doctoral Scholarship competition.
2.4.3 Doctoral Scholarship eligibility period
An applicant is eligible for a Doctoral Scholarship for twelve (12) consecutive semesters of doctoral studies (or the equivalent) during the first fifteen (15) semesters of the doctoral program. However, the eleventh (11th) and twelfth (12th) semesters of funding are contingent on the submission of the doctoral thesis before the end of the twelfth semester of funding. In all cases, no funding will be granted after the fifteenth (15th) semester of doctoral studies.
2.4.4 Exceptions in calculating eligibility period
Exceptions to the rules governing the eligibility period for scholarships are considered only in circumstances beyond the applicant’s control, such as a serious illness or major family obligations. Supporting documents must be included with the application. Exceptions cannot be made to justify cumulative averages below the minimum cumulative average for Master’s Scholarship applications.
Applicants who interrupt their studies for maternity or parental leave can request an extension of their eligibility period for a maximum of 12 months per leave. Supporting documents must be included with the application.
When the student is a person with a disability as stipulated in the Act to secure the handicapped persons in the exercise of their rights with a view to achieving social, school and workplace integration (L.R.Q. c. E-20.1), the rules pertaining to the eligibility period do not apply. The duration of the scholarship is unchanged at two years at the master’s level and three years at the doctoral level. Supporting documents must be included with the application.
2.5 Choosing an evaluation committee
Applicants must choose their evaluation committee based on their research topic. Other factors to be considered are the applicant’s field of study, program and degree. Once granted, the scholarship cannot be used for research on a subject in a field not covered by the committee that evaluated the application.
An applicant who chooses the multidisciplinary committee (14) must attach a one-page document to the form, in the “Other documents” section, explaining the multidisciplinary aspect of the program of study.
The applicant is responsible for choosing his/her evaluation committee. No changes can be made after the competition deadline.
2.6 Paid leave
Applicants who are on a sabbatical or study leave with remuneration that exceeds 50% of their regular salary are not eligible. However, those receiving deferred remuneration are not subject to this restriction.
2.7 Additional eligibility requirements for Re-entering the Research Community Scholarship (A2X) applicants
At the competition deadline, applicants for a Re-entering the Research Community Scholarship (A2) must have had an undergraduate or graduate degree for at least five years and not have been subsequently enrolled in a university program. However, applicants may be enrolled for their first semester on the date they apply.
Rules governing the duration of funding for master’s- or doctoral-level studies under the Scholarships for re-entering the Research Community program are the same as those for the general programs (B1X-B2X).
3. Contents of the funding application and required documents
Applicants may not submit simultaneous applications for a Masters Scholarship (B1X) and a Re-entering the Research Community Scholarship (A2X).
Applicants may not submit simultaneous applications for a Doctoral Scholarship (B2X) and a Re-entering the Research Community Scholarship (A2X).
Applicants may submit simultaneous applications for a Master’s Scholarship and a Doctoral Scholarship if, during the allotted period for beginning to use the scholarship (see Section 8), the Master’s Scholarship eligibility period ends and the Doctoral Scholarship eligibility period begins.
Contents of the application
The applicant must create a user account in order to complete the scholarship application form.
The application form is available on the FRQNT website. It must be completed and submitted electronically before the competition deadline. Once completed, applicants can print the form and keep a copy for their records.
An applicant who chooses the multidisciplinary committee (14) must attach a one-page document to the form, in the “Other documents” section, explaining the multidisciplinary aspect of the program of study.
Forms may be completed in English or French. Applicants who submit the form in English must provide a French title and summary for their project.
Refer to the PDF file provided for this purpose in the program’s Toolbox.
Required documents must be submitted electronically in the appropriate sections of the application form. Any documents that are illegible or of a poor resolution will be rejected.
Applicants are responsible for their application, which must include all required documents and attachments to be considered admissible.
Applicants must supply the following documents:
- A copy of official transcripts of grades (non-official electronic versions will not be accepted) for all university studies, completed or not (certificate, degree, bachelor’s, master’s or Ph.D., etc). When equivalences are granted for courses taken at other institutions or in previous programs, transcripts for these grades must be enclosed with the file, including collegial transcripts. For transcripts from outside North America, applicants must enclose a letter explaining the grading system used by the institution in question;
- The FRQNT considers transcripts issued to the applicant by the registrar’s office, and that are not marked “unofficial” (or equivalent), to be official transcripts. Opening the envelope to scan the transcript will not render it unofficial for FRQNT purposes;
- An applicant who was not enrolled in a Québec university for at least two of the three semesters prior to the competition deadline must provide a photocopy of a valid Québec health insurance card or other official document from the Régie de l’assurance maladie (RAMQ) confirming residency status in Québec under the meaning of the Québec health Insurance Act. If such a document is not available, the applicant must provide a letter addressed to the eligibility committee explaining the reasons, accompanied by proof that a replacement card has been requested from the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec or that another official document is provided;
- An applicant who is a Canadian citizen and who wishes, or may wish, to use a training award to undertake studies outside Québec must provide a photocopy of a valid Québec health insurance card or other official document from the Régie de l’assurance maladie (RAMQ) confirming residency status in Québec under the meaning of the Québec health Insurance Act. If such a document is not available, the applicant must provide a letter addressed to the eligibility committee explaining the reasons, accompanied by proof that a replacement card has been requested from the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec or that another official document is provided;
- Acknowledgements of receipt from the editor for all articles submitted and notices received from editors for articles accepted for publication (Acknowledgements of receipt for articles already published are not sent to the evaluation committee).
Additional document for applicants who studied part-time for at least one semester since first enrolling for graduate studies:
- A letter from the registrar’s office identifying part-time or unregistered semesters, where applicable.
Additional documents for applicants wishing to be considered for eligibility period exemptions:
- Official proof of interrupted enrolment and, where applicable, a medical certificate indicating the duration of and the reason for the interruption;
- For the eligibility extension for parental leave, a copy of the child’s birth certificate or adoption certificate.
Only the e-forms for the 2020-2021 financial year and the other required documents are accepted. No appendices or other unrequested documents will be forwarded to the evaluation committee. Applications cannot be updated after the deadline. It is, however, important to update your contact information in your FRQnet portfolio.
The FRQNT reserves the right to verify the authenticity of any documents and information provided with the application with institutions concerned. Additional documents may be required.
Documents submitted in a language other than French or English must be accompanied by a translation certified as a true copy of the original document.
Submitting the funding application
Applicants must attach the required documents in the appropriate sections of the application form and submit the application before the competition deadline. No reminder will be made and no documents can be added after the competition deadline.
Eligibility of applications
The program administrator and members of the evaluation committees verify the eligibility of each application according to the requirements set out in the program rules.
Acknowledgement of receipt
You will receive a preliminary decision regarding the eligibility of your application by email in December at the latest. Applicants who have not received this notification should contact the program administrator before December 15.
4. Evaluation of applications
4.1 Evaluation criteria
Applications are evaluated based on the following criteria and weighting:
|Excellence of university record
|Aptitude for research and relevant research experience, where applicable
|Scientific quality and interest of the research project
No project requested
|Social implication, leadership and communication skills
4.2 Evaluation procedure
Role of evaluation committees
Eligible applications are submitted to evaluation committees composed of three or four university faculty members. A committee may also include representatives from the private sector or government.
The evaluation committees compare the submitted applications according to the evaluation criteria in effect.
The evaluation committees are responsible for ranking all the applications on merit.
It is strictly prohibited to contact any of the members of the evaluation committees, who must abide by confidentiality rules.
Role of Board of Directors
The Board of Directors receives the recommendations of the evaluation committees and makes funding decisions. The Board is accountable for its decisions to the Government of Quebec.
Role of program administrators
FRQNT program administrators are responsible for ensuring that committees comply with the program and rules of ethics in effect.
5. Awarding of scholarships and announcement of results
Awarding of scholarships
Applications are evaluated and ranked on merit by the evaluation committees. For each committee or group, scholarships are offered according to the available budget. When allocating its budget, the FRQNT reserves the right to change its scholarships in keeping with the objectives chosen by the Board of Directors.
Announcement of results
The decision of the FRQNT Board of Directors is announced electronically in late April via the applicant’s online account. Applicants are informed of their results and can print their notification letter.
After receiving your scholarship notification letter, you have 30 calendar days to indicate your acceptance or refusal by completing the “Manage my funding” form. After this deadline, applicants are deemed to have declined the scholarship.
6. Duration and management of scholarships
Scholarship holders must comply with all the rules described in detail in the Scholarship Holder’s Guide.
To use a training award for studies outside Québec, the scholarship holder must be a Canadian citizen and have a valid RAMQ card or proof of eligibility for RAMQ at the time of application as set out in Section 3 of these rules.
The scholarship period must begin between May 1st, 2021 and January 15th, 2022. Barring exceptional circumstances, the scholarship cannot be carried over from one year to the next. For applicants who have already begun their program of study, the period of use begins in May 2021.
The scholarship is not retroactive and semesters prior to Summer 2021 cannot be funded.
Excluding the exceptional cases relating to part-time studies as outlined in the Scholarship Holder’s Guide (disabled persons, family caregivers and parents), at the time the scholarship is received, the scholarship holder must be enrolled full time in the master’s or doctoral program for which the scholarship is awarded.
Scholarships are awarded for the duration of the eligibility period, subject to the submission of progress reports deemed satisfactory by the program administrator.
Please note that for all changes to the program, project or place of study, scholarship holders must submit a request as prescribed in the Scholarship Holder’s Guide.
Value of scholarships
The FRQNT Board of Directors may modify the value of scholarships at any time, without notice, notably in accordance with the funds allocated annually by the Québec National Assembly, its strategic priorities and its budget process.
The maximum value of a Master’s Scholarship is $17,500 per year. The scholarship holder may receive a maximum of six instalments totalling $35,000 within the eligibility period (six semesters or 24 months). Each instalment of up to $5,833 covers a period of four months, or one semester.
The maximum value of a Doctoral scholarship is $21,000 per year. The scholarship holder may receive a maximum of 12 instalments totalling $84,000 within the eligibility period (12 semesters or 48 months). Each instalment of up to $7,000 covers a period of four months, or one semester. The 11th and 12th instalments are contingent on submission of the doctoral thesis before the end of the 12th funded semester. These 11th and 12th instalments will only be paid after the initial thesis submission.
In accordance with the provisions presented in greater detail in the Scholarship Holder’s Guide:
- The FRQNT provides additional funding based on merit. The current rule governing concurrent scholarships guarantees that the scholarship holder will not receive less than he/she would have received if he/she had only obtained the FRQNT scholarship.
- When the FRQNT offers a scholarship of equal or higher value or duration than a federal granting agency, the student may receive a complementary scholarship to make up for the difference in value and/or duration between the two scholarships. In this case, the scholarships must be coordinated. If the duration/value of the scholarship from the Fonds is longer/higher, the scholarship holder must accept the NSERC, CIHR or SSHRC scholarship and the one from the FRQNT.
- Concurrent funding is permitted with scholarships from federal and provincial granting agencies if, when the Fonds scholarship comes into effect, the scholarship holder is attending a teaching establishment outside Québec and his/her annual tuition fees are equal to or greater than the annual value of the award offered by the Fonds. In evaluating annual tuition fees, the Fonds does not include enrolment fees, membership fees for student associations, etc. The tuition fees must not be reimbursed by any other organization.
- Applicants who receive a scholarship from a private source, including universities, research chairs, consortiums, private international and foreign foundations, governments of other Canadian provinces and foreign governments, may combine this support source with a FRQNT scholarship if allowed under these entities’ rules governing concurrent scholarships.
Regardless of the exceptions relative to the paid work described in the Scholarship Holder’s Guide, scholarship holders may accept employment that does not exceed the maximum hours per semester allowed by their institution, provided their supervisor is in agreement and that these activities do not hinder their research program.
The salary that students receive from their supervisor for working solely on their research project is considered a scholarship for which concurrent funding is permitted.
If you interrupt your studies for the birth or adoption of a child, you may request parental leave. Parental leave may not exceed twelve months, or the equivalent of three semesters. It may begin during the semester the birth or adoption is expected and end no later than one year after the child’s birth. Notwithstanding Article 6.13 of the Common General Rules, paid parental leave is available for a period of eight months. However, you must have already started at least one semester as a FRQNT scholarship holder to receive paid parental leave. It is important to note that only one parental leave is granted per birth or adoption.
7. Supplement for studying outside Québec
The supplement for studies outside Québec aims to help top students to undertake or pursue graduate studies outside Québec.
These supplements are exclusively intended for Master’s Scholarship (B1X) and Doctoral Scholarship (B2X) applicants.
These supplements are reserved for scholarship holders who choose to study outside Québec, as indicated in their scholarship application. The supplements are awarded to the ten top-ranking applicants across all evaluation committees. All applications indicating a place of study outside Québec are automatically considered.
At the time the supplement is received, the applicant must be enrolled full time in a university institution located outside Quebec.
The maximum annual value of the supplement is $1,500. The supplement is added to the Master’s or Doctoral Scholarship amount.
8. Ethics and the responsible conduct of research
8.1 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 project’s principal investigator and the managing institution that there are no real or apparent conflicts of interest that could influence the application evaluation process.
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.
8.2 Intellectual property
The sharing of intellectual property rights and exploitation rights must comply with the principles defined by the Government of Québec in its Action Plan for managing intellectual property in universities and institutions of the health and social service network (MRST, 2002) and the CGR (Section 5.5).
Rights of the FRQNT regarding the summary of results available in the final report: The FRQNT may use the summary of project results and applications requested in the final report form, for reproduction, adaptation, publication, translation, or communication to the public by any means (conference, websites, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) in compliance with copyrights and for non-commercial purposes only. The text may be edited prior to dissemination without further notice.
9. Integrity of the evaluation process
At no time may applicants and evaluation committee members discuss or comment on the selection process currently underway. 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.
FRQNT Board of Directors members are not involved in the scientific evaluation process.
At no time may applicants make contact with evaluation committee members. Similarly, evaluation committee members must not make contact with applicants. 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. See the Policy for the Responsible Conduct of Research for more details.
Every person recruited to sit on an evaluation committee must comply with standard confidentiality rules regarding the application packages, committee makeup, deliberations and recommendations. The evaluation committee chairperson, members and outside experts are required to disclose any conflicts of interest and must sign a written statement in this regard.
Each committee participant has signed a confidentiality agreement in which they consent not to reveal any of the information gained during the course of their mandates. All discussions are also subject to confidentiality rules.
10. Open access to research results
In accordance with the FRQ open access policy for the dissemination of research, funding recipients must agree to provide open access to their scientific publications no later than 12 months after publication. To learn more about the FRQ’s requirements on this subject, please visit our page on Open Science.
11. 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.
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 will henceforth be 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.
Funding recipients are also encouraged to consider these measures in the context of their research groups and activities. For more information, please consult our Statement on equity, diversity and inclusion.
12. 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.
13. False or misleading information
The Fonds presume the good faith of the information 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 holders 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-188.8.131.52), 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.
14. General considerations
Funding recipients must meet the general eligibility requirements in effect at the time of application, the program rules and the Common General Rules throughout the period covered by the funding.
The FRQNT reserves the right to modify, without prior notice, the value of its scholarships and the program rules described in this document.
15. Effective date
These rules apply to the 2021-2022 financial year.
16. Contact person for this program
Programs of scholarships of 2nd and 3rd cycles
Applicants who contact the Fonds via email must provide a telephone number at which they can be reached.
Priority is given to email enquiries.