This program is archived
Important modifications to the rules
- New eligibility conditions for team leaders in relation to the new research statuses described in the Common General Rules of the Fonds de recherche du Québec
- Equipment grant: quotations required when the cost of one piece of equipment exceeds $25,000
- New indicator in the Quality of the training environment criterion on the efforts put into offering an equitable and inclusive training environment and into attracting diverse students and postdoctoral fellow.
- Limit of researchers participation in the teams
- Standards for the presentation of the research project description
- Two bids from suppliers when the cost of one piece of equipment exceeds $25 000$ (tax included)
Table of contents
- Eligibility conditions
- Submitting applications
- Required documents
- Evaluation of applications
- Description and nature of financial assistance
- Duration of grant
- Announcement of results
- Research Ethics and Conformity
- Integrity of the Evaluation Process
- Liability of the Fonds
- False or Misleading Information
- Open access to research results
- Equity, diversity and inclusion
- Other aspects
- General considerations
- Effective date
The purpose of the program is to:
- foster the emergence of new research niches in all scientific fields covered by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT)
- enhance the ability of Quebec researchers to compete in federal competitions by carrying out innovative projects;
- promote the pooling of researchers with the complementary expertise needed to carry out a research project;
- provide a conducive environment to high-calibre student training and supervision.
2. Eligibility conditions
Note that only applications for financial assistance in the research fields covered by the FRQNT are eligible. (Common General Rules, article 3.1) More specifically, funding applications for research into living organisms must address the research themes that pertain to the sub-domains and topics listed on our Web site (in French only). Should there be any doubt as to the compliance of their research topic with the domains and sub-domains of the FRQNT, researchers can contact the program officer to ensure that their project falls within the domains covered by the Fonds. If necessary, the program officer may consult the FRQNT’s scientific advisory board.
Composition of the team
A team is composed of at least two university researchers, clinician university researchers or college researchers*. The latter may be established researchers, retired researchers, new researchers or institutional researchers accredited by the FRQ who possess a university affiliation and are allowed to be sole supervisors of graduate students. The team must be composed so as to reflect how the skills and qualifications of the researchers who will carry out the research project blend to form a cohesive whole.
*College and CCTT researchers must have a master’s or PhD and possess the professional autonomy required to direct research projects and supervise students.
Individuals who cannot claim Statuses 1 to 3 (“Definitions” section of the Common General Rules) can join the team as collaborators. These may be persons from a practice setting, individual participants or government, private sector or institutional researchers. Their CVs are not required.
Detailed research status definitions are provided in the “Definitions” section of the Common General Rules.
Citizenship of university, clinician university, and college, researchers
To qualify for a grant, the individual must be employed by a FRQ authorized research institution at the time of the application’s submission. The research institution must be able to confirm at each grant year that the individual is continuously in its employ (including maintaining suitable visas if applicable).
Identification of the project lead
The project lead is a researcher with one of the following statuses, as defined in the FRQ Common General Rules:
- Status 1: University researcher who receives a salary under definition i) of the Common General Rules
- Status 2: Clinical university researcher
- Status 3: College researcher
Retired researchers and university researchers with status 1 who receive a salary under definition ii) of the Common General Rules cannot lead a project under this program but can join the team as co-investigators.
Researchers may lead only one project under this program.
Participation of researchers in other teams
University, clinician university and college researchers may participate in only TWO team research projects either funded or in competition as a lead researcher or a regular member of a team. They may, however, contribute to the work of other teams as collaborators (COL). In such cases, they are identified in the “List of collaborators” section and their scientific contributions are not considered when evaluating the teams’ applications. Their role as collaborator requires clarifications in the Research project description.
Research projects cannot be subsidized by another funding agency while funded by the Fonds.
3. Submitting applications
Applications for financial assistance must be completed on the appropriate form available at the FRQNT Web site. Text file attachments including the 10-page project description (any exceeding pages will be discarded) and the list of scientific contributions must be sent with the team research form. The completed form is then transmitted electronically to the Fonds by the proper university authority. Since forms are transmitted electronically, the instructions regarding e‑transactions must be followed.
If applicable, the lead of the project must demonstrate, in the 10-page project description, how the team will take into consideration the question of gender in the realization of the research.
The Fonds is using the Canadian Common CV (www.ccv-cvc.ca) and requires that everyone who provides a CV enclose a PDF file detailing their scientific contributions (in the FRQnet electronic Portfolio). Proof of confirmation from the editor for each publication declared as submitted, accepted or in press must be inserted in the PDF file. Please read the documents entitled Preparing a CV for the Fonds and Formatting standards for Contributions – details in your Portfolio or the FRQNT web site.
Important : Your CV as well as those of your team members must be up to date since June 1, 2018 otherwise the system will not accept it.
Forms may be completed in French or English. However, the title of the project and the summary must be in French.
Standards for presentation of PDF files attached to the application form
All text file attachments must be presented on 8½ in x 11 in pages (216 mm x 279 mm) and submitted in a PDF format. The file must not be password protected.
Project description is a 10-page long PDF document which includes figures, tables, and references. The latter PDF document and any other PDF documents attached in the application form must meet the following requirements:
- Pages must be single-spaced, with no more than six lines of type per inch;
- All text must be in 12 pt Times New Roman font for Microsoft Office or Open Office users or 12 pt Nimbus Roman for LaTeX users;
- Margins must be set at a minimum of ¾ in (1.9 cm);
- Page identification :
- Upper right corner : Surname and given name
- Upper left corner : TITLE OF THE ATTACHED DOCUMENT
- Lower center : Pages 1, 2, … , 10.
- The maximum number of pages for each PDF documents is indicated in the application form. Any exceeding pages are not transmitted to the reviewers.
Documents that do not respect these standards are removed from the file.
Only official Team research project (Projet de recherche en équipe) 2020-2021 forms, the Canadian Common CV and the other required documents are accepted. Candidates are not sent notice of any information or documents missing from the file. Any documents received after the deadline for applications are not considered and files cannot be updated. These rules are strictly enforced.
An incomplete file is deemed inadmissible. The Team lead must make sure that his or her file is complete before transmission including all the required documents pertaining to the eligibility of the regular members of the team.
Your e-mail constitutes the access key to the new grant and scholarship managing system FRQnet and 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.
Files that do not include the information needed to determine candidates’ eligibility or to assess them are deemed inadmissible by the FRQNT.
Only candidates may ask for their file to be withdrawn.
The deadline for transmitting the application is Wednesday, September 11th, 2019, at 4 pm.
4. Required documents
The following documents must be transmitted to the FRQNT by 4 p.m. on September 11th, 2019:
- The Team research project (Projet de recherche en équipe) e-form;
- The Canadian Common CV e-form, for each team member with the status of university researcher, clinician university researcher or college researcher.
Any additional documents must be attached at the end of the Team research project electronic form by 4 p.m. on September 11th, 2019.
- a letter from the university or the college attesting that, for the duration of the grant, the retired researcher has access to the facilities and to the logistical support needed to carry out the proposed research activities, and will continue to train students and prepare them for a research career in the field in question. The university or the college must also ensure that it will manage the appropriations in the same manner as it currently manages them for the funded teams and groups thereof.
- two bids from suppliers when the cost of one piece of equipment exceeds $25,000 including all taxes. Exceptionally, a single bid can be submitted provided that it is fully justified in writing.
The program administrator, the members of the Scientific Council and the members of the evaluation committees assess during the whole process the eligibility status of each application in accordance with the conditions specified in the program rules. The decision with respect to the eligibility of the applications is e-mailed to the lead of the project.
6. Evaluation of applications
Eligible funding applications are sent to the Fonds’ scientific advisory board (Conseil scientifique), which will assign them to a thematic category based on the disciplinary focus of the research projects. The scientific advisory board will then appoint as many thematic assessment committees (Comité d’évaluation thématique (CET)) as necessary, attributing a limited number of applications to each one.
Evaluation by thematic assessment committees (CET):
The CETs are made up of at least three experts who possess the skills and expertise required to assess all of the applications they are assigned. The CET members confirm to the program administrator that they have the expertise to review the different files in the committee. The CETs must evaluate the quality of the applications based on five program criteria. Members may call upon other experts to complete their assessments and determine the scientific merit of an application as accurately as possible. CET members and the external experts with whom the CETs may consult are chosen from the lists of experts submitted by the principal investigators with their funding applications. A web research with keywords may also be done in various search engines.
CET members must determine the applications for which 1) funding should definitely be granted; 2) funding should be granted if financially possible; and 3) funding should not be granted. The CET assessments are then sent to multidisciplinary assessment committees (Comités d’évaluation multidisciplinaires (CEM)), which must establish the merit ranking of all applications recommended by the various CETs.
The appended evaluation grid is the list of criteria and indicators used by committee members. For each criterion, the committee members give a numerical score based on the statements that best describe the situation.
These numerical values for each criteria are used to assign an overall percentage grade to each funding application and to rank the applications analysed by the thematic assessment committee (CET) in order of merit.
Evaluation by multidisciplinary assessment committees (CEM):
CEM members produce a final ranking of applications. Each of the four CEMs oversees some ten specialized thematic assessment committees (CETs). The mandate of the CEMs is to analyze and rate the recommended applications in the various CETs. To do this, CEM members assign each application one of the following grades: A (excellent), B (very good) or C (satisfactory) to obtain a consensus on the final ranking. The level of funding for successful applications is determined based on the rank assigned by their committee and according to available appropriations. If appropriate, CEM members are also invited to rule on the amount to be granted for the equipment grant.
The Fonds Program administrator is responsible for ensuring that the committees and the various players consulted comply with evaluation criteria and procedures and with the rules of ethics in effect. The Program Administrator works with the members of the thematic committees to select the external referees.
Applications are evaluated based on the following criteria and indicators:
Criterion 1: Scientific quality of the research project (30 points)
- innovative, incubator or high-benefit aspects of the project;
- need to used complementary expertise for carrying out the project;
- methodological approach and feasibility of the timetable.
Criterion 2: Expected benefits of the project (25 points)
- impact on the advancement of knowledge and on the resolution of social, economic, cultural and technological issues;
- leverage for Québec;
- responds to the need for creating highly qualified personnel;
- possible partnerships with use;
- dissemination of research results to the public at large.
Criterion 3: Scientific quality of team members (15 points)
- demonstration of creativity or creative potential;
- achievements in research;
- recognition by the research community.
Criterion 4: Compatibility of team members’ skills and expertise (20 points)
- fit between the expertise of team members and the proposed research project;
- means of integrating the scientific skills of the team members;
- quality of collaborative links between team members and other key players or partners.
Criterion 5: Quality of the training environment (10 points)
- members’ experience in supervising students;
- integration of collegiate or university students from all cycles and postdoctoral trainees within the research project;
- project’s contribution to training;
- efforts put into offering an equitable and inclusive training environment and into attracting diverse students and postdoctoral fellow;
- ability of highly qualified manpower to enter the job market.
7. Description and nature of financial assistance
When results are announced at the end of April 2020, the funded researchers should refer to the document entitled Common General Rules, sections 6, 7, and 8. This document presents the rules for grant use and management.
Financial assistance of up to $60,000 annually for three years may be awarded and is not renewable.
The grant must be used for funding the operating expenses directly related to carrying out the research project. Only the following items are eligible:
Remuneration according to the policies of the institution (including fringe benefits)
- Collegiate students
- Undergraduate students
- Master’s students
- Ph.D. students
- Postdoctoral research trainees
- Research professionals
- Research technicians
Scholarships and Complementary Scholarships
- Collegiate students
- Undergraduate students
- Master’s students
- Ph.D. students
- Postdoctoral research trainees
- Travel and lodging expenses linked to the research*
- Congress, meetings, symposium*
- Research material, supplies and analysis fees
- Laboratory animals (purchase and daily fees)
- Study participants
- Scientific expertise or services
- Safety and waste disposal
- Equipments (purchase of small equipments less than $7,000, renting, operation, maintenance, installation and repairs)
- Shipping for research material and equipment
- Computer equipments
- Database purchase and access
- Publications demonstrating the production’s contribution to the advancement of knowledge, intended for the research community
- Publications intended for non-academic readership
- Web site linked to the research itself
* See also the measures to reconcile work and family life in the Common general rules (section 8.5)
Expenses related to the dissemination of research results to the public (e.g.: media relations, video production, general public activities, production of popularized content for mass media, the web and social media) and those generated through ethics activities are also eligible.
Salary support for college and Centre collégiaux de transfert de technologie (CCTT) researchers
In addition to the operating grant, a salary support of a maximum of $ 16,000 (equivalent to 0,2 FTE of duties) may be granted annually to a college or CCTT researcher.
The salary support application concerns full-time researchers and teachers in a general or vocational college, private college declared to be of public interest or government school that provides post-secondary education in Québec. Precarious teachers are eligible if they maintain their employment relationship with their college during the period covered by the research project. Any personnel who is not a professor in a college or a researcher in a CCTT is not eligible to the salary support.
Grant for equipment purchases
A grant may be added to the operating grant for the purchase of individual scientific equipments whose cost is between $7 001 and $50 000 (all taxes included). This grant is awarded on the basis of the criteria listed below.
Applications for equipment must be made the first year for any period for which an operating grant is requested. The appropriations are issued in full the first year but may be spent any time in the three years covered by the grant.
For equipment whose total cost exceeds $50,000, the Fonds’s contribution comes into effect as soon as candidates submit supporting documents indicating they have obtained other sources of complementary funding for the purchase of the requested equipment. The supporting documents must be sent to the Fonds within one year following the grant announcement.
The following criteria are used to evaluate requests for equipment:
- relevance of the requested equipment for achievement of the research project;
- availability of similar equipment at the candidate’s university or the region’s universities;
- overall benefits (accessible to several users, contribution to researcher training, etc.);
- amount of time the equipment will be used.
Student maternity leave
A student who receives an award funded by a grant under this program can get paid maternity leave by the FRQNT for a period of up to eight months for the birth or adoption of a child. To be eligible, the student must have been paid from the FRQNT grant for at least 6 months. In addition, she may not hold an award from another granting agency and may not receive benefits from the Québec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP).
To obtain paid maternity leave, the student must send a request by e-mail to the program officer and provide a copy of the medical certificate attesting to the pregnancy and, when the time comes, the child’s birth or adoption certificate and proof of interruption of university enrolment. In addition, a copy of the student’s award contract must be provided. Only one maternity leave is granted per child.
Maternity leave may begin before the birth or adoption of the child. If permitted by the institution, the student may extend the leave for an additional period of four months without pay. The FRQNT will transfer the maternity leave grant to the student upon receipt of the required documents.
Maternity leave is authorized by the Fonds provided that the institution allows maternity leave. The grant director undertakes to resume supervision of the student after her leave. The Fonds reserves the right to reject any request that is not adequately justified.
8. Duration of grant
Use of the grant
Grants are awarded annually for the period from April 1 to March 31.
Grants are awarded for a maximum of three years and are not renewable:
- The unspent balance of the operating grant at the end of the three years may be carried forward, but only for an additional period of one year. At the end of this year, any unspent funds must be returned to the FRQNT.
- The unspent balance of the equipment grant at the end of the three years cannot be carried forward.
Management and follow-up
Accepting the grant
- To initiate payment of the first instalment, the candidate must accept the grant within 30 days after receiving the competition results (April-May), in the “Manage my funding” section of the FRQnet E-portfolio.
Annual update statement
- To initiate the 2nd and 3rd grant instalments, the grant holder must, after receiving a notice to do so (in March), submit an online update statement in the FRQnet E-portfolio. The statement must be completed whether or not there are any changes to declare. Further grant payments are contingent on this step.
Annual financial report
- The managing institution must submit, no later than June each year, an annual financial report via the FRQnet E-portfolio. This report must be signed by the grant holder.
End of the grant
- 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
CEM recommendations are submitted to the Board of directors of the FRQNT who makes the funding decisions.
The decisions of the Board of Directors of the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies are final and cannot be appealed.
Grant results are announced at the end of April 2020. The decisions of the Board of Directors of the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies are sent to the institutions and candidates concerned. For any information on competition results, the candidate must contact the research office of his institution or visit the Fonds Web site.
The Fonds receives annual appropriations from the Québec government to fund its grant programs. It then undertakes annual commitments, conditional on the availability of funds. The value of the grants may be changed at any time without notice. Thus, it is highly recommended to not commit expenditures before the amount of funding is officially announced.
10. Research Ethics and Conformity
Any individual or institution that receives funding must demonstrate the highest standards of research ethics and scientific integrity. You must refer to the Common General Rules for further details.
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. 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 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 holder 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. Such qualities are essential to maintaining the trust of the Fonds in its funding holders.
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.
14. Open access to research results
In accordance with the Fonds de recherche du Québec open access policy for the dissemination of research, all 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.
15. 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 activities. For more information, please consult our statement on equity, diversity and inclusion.
16. Other aspects
Please refer to the Common General Rules for any questions regarding the responsible conduct of research, confidentiality and the protection of personal information, intellectual property and the protection of academic freedom.
17. General considerations
Researchers and institutions must meet the general eligibility requirements in effect at the time of submission of the letter of intent and the funding application. All specific program rules set out in the Common General Rules must be followed throughout the period covered by the grant.
18. Effective date
These rules apply to the 2020-2021 fiscal year.
Statements for each evaluation criterion
Program: Team research project
I – Scientific quality of the research project (30 points)
A (30 to 27) The research project is of exceptional quality and satisfies all the indicators: it is highly innovative and high-benefit, complementary expertise is essential, the issue at stake and the methodology are very pertinent and very well presented, the timetable is realistic.
B (27 to 24) The research project is of good quality and satisfies most of the indicators: it is innovative and high-benefit, it requires certain complementary expertise, the issue at stake and the methodology are pertinent and well presented, and the timetable is relatively realistic.
C (24 to 21) The research project is average and only satisfies some of the indicators: it is not very innovative or high-benefit, the researchers’ expertise do not the issue at stake and the methodology are briefly presented, the projected timetable is not very realistic.
D (21 to 18) The research project is weak and fails to satisfy a number of the indicators: it does not appear to be particularly innovative or high-benefit, a team with complementary expertise is not critical for carrying out the project, the issue at stake is only vaguely described, the methodology has certain weaknesses, and the timetable is absent.
II – Expected benefits of the project (25 points)
A (25 to 22.5) The research project will result in groundbreaking progress in terms of the advancement of knowledge internationally recognized by all specialists in the field. There will likely be major short-, medium- or long-term social, economic and cultural benefits. It should be a springboard to national and international programs or enable important partnerships to be formed with other users.
B (22.5 to 20) The research project could result in significant progress in terms of the advancement of knowledge recognized by international specialists in the field, or have some short-, medium- or long-term social, economic or cultural benefits. It could be a springboard to national and international programs or enable partnerships to be formed with other users.
C (20 to 17.5) The research project could lead to some progress in terms of the advancement of knowledge recognized by all Canadian specialists in the field, or have short-, medium- or long-term, social, economic or cultural benefits.
D (17.5 to 15) The research project should not yield any progress in terms of the advancement of knowledge recognized by specialists in the field, or yield certain short-, medium-, or long-term social, economic or cultural benefits.
III – Scientific quality of team members (15 points)
A (15 to 13.5) The main members are internationally known as being exceptional and have been credited with major achievements or are new researchers who have already gained recognition for their initiative and their aptitude for innovation. They have shown great capacity to work as a team with researchers who have different training and expertise.
B (13.5 to 12) The main members of the team are in most cases innovative and are internationally known for their expertise or are very promising new researchers. They have shown their capacity to work as a team with researchers who have different training and expertise.
C (12 to 10.5) The main members of the team are known nationally in their field or are promising new researchers. They have some teamwork experience.
D (10.5 to 09) The main members of the team are somewhat known by their colleagues or are new competent researchers.
IV – Compatibility of team members’ skills and expertise (20 points)
A (20 to 18) The compatibility between team members is essential and is likely to lead to important breakthroughs. Partnership with other university, government or industrial institutions is an integral part of the research project. The project could not be carried out without the personnel to be acquired. In cases where the researchers have received funding in the team research project program, collaborations have led to excellent results.
B (18 to 16) Together, the team members have the capacity to carry out a research project that could not be undertaken without their mutual expertise. A partnership with other university, government or industrial institutions is proposed as part of the research project. The personnel to be acquired are useful. In cases where the researchers have received funding in the team research project program, collaborations have led to very good results.
C (16 to 14) The team is made up of researchers who demonstrate certain complementary expertise. Additional expertise would be useful. A partnership with other university, government or industrial institutions is evoked in the research project. The team members have a well-integrated common project and will be in regular contact with the personnel acquired and make regular use of the research infrastructure established. In cases where the researchers have received funding in the team research project program, collaborations have led to some results.
D (14 to 12) The team is made up of researchers with related expertise and who have common interests. A partnership with other university, government or industrial institutions is not considered in the research project. The team will be in regular contact with the personnel to be acquired and make regular use of the research infrastructure to be established. In cases where the researchers have received funding in the team research project program, collaborations have yielded few results.
V – Quality of the training environment (10 points)
A (10 to 09) The team members, the nature of the project and the scientific animation activities create a unique training environment. Graduates from every level are in great demand.
B (09 to 08) The team members, the nature of the project, and the scientific animation activities create a very good training environment that has great potential for producing excellent graduates. The graduates find work easily.
C (08 to 07) The team members interact regularly with collegiate and undergraduate students and supervise an acceptable number of graduate students and postdoctoral trainees. Graduates receive a pertinent training and usually find work in a field closely related to their training.
D (07 to 06) The team members interact regularly with collegiate and undergraduate students and occasionally train graduate students. The students receive relevant training that will allow them to find work in a related field. The students involved in the project will be trained primarily in a specific discipline.