Competition year : 
2022-2023

Deadline (application) : 
October 7th, 2021 at 16:00

Announcement of results : 
End of April 2022

Amount : 
$20,000 to $60,000

Duration : 
Maximum 36 months

Partnership

Ouranos

1. Objectives

The objectives of the Réal-Decoste Scholarship program are to foster student interest in research and financially assist the best applicants in undertaking or continuing a research doctorate on climate change and its expected impacts.

Eligible research fields and priorities

The eligible research fields are as follows:

  • climate sciences
  • applied regional climatology
  • fields of research related to the impacts of climate changes such as:
    • hydrology
    • biology
    • life sciences
    • social sciences

Among those fields, themes deemed priorities by Ouranos are:

  • historical data
  • climate models
  • modelling oceanic and atmospheric exchanges
  • climate scenarios
  • analysis of climate variability
  • impacts of climate change on:
    • permafrost
    • hydrology and electricity generation
    • forestry
    • coastal erosion
    • water levels in rivers
    • agricultural production
    • the St. Lawrence River
    • tourism
    • health
    • water management and treatment systems
    • energy demand
    • socio-economic assessments of impacts and adaptation strategies

2. Target group

Réal-Decoste Doctoral Research Scholarships are intended for Canadian and international students enrolled in a Québec university who wish to undertake or continue a doctoral program in areas related to climatic change and its impacts.

3. Eligibility conditions

  • Undertake or continue a doctoral program in an area or discipline related to climate change or its impacts;
  • Be accepted or enrolled in a doctoral program at a university in Québec;
  • Have a research supervisor or an agreement with a research supervisor for their doctoral research.

Citizenship and residence

This competition is open to all applicants wishing to study in climate change fields, with no citizenship or residence restrictions.

Restriction

It should be noted that applicants cannot use the scholarship for preparatory studies.

Eligibility period

Applicants are eligible to receive doctoral scholarship payments for a period of three years or until the end of their doctoral program, whichever comes first.

4. Submitting applications

Applicants wishing to apply to the scholarship should follow the presentation standards for documents to be submitted with applications.

Only one application per competition is allowed.

Applicants who apply to the Réal-Decoste Doctoral Research Scholarship may also apply to the general FRQNT programs (B1X, B2X or A2X).

Contents of the application

Online forms

Applicants must have a personal identification number (PIN) in order to fill out the form.

The application form is available on the FRQNT website. It must be completed and submitted electronically by the competition deadline. Keep a printed copy of the form for your files.

The form may be completed in English or French. Applicants who submit the form in English must provide a French title for their project.

Two letters of recommendation are required. Letter e-forms are available on the FRQNT website. Note that research supervisors and co-supervisors in Québec may not write letters of recommendation.

The e-form may be submitted to the Fonds from the respondent’s personal account.

Supervisor’s section

A supervisor who does not have a personal identification number (PIN) must obtain one from the FRQNT and provide it to the applicant in a timely manner. The applicant must include the supervisor’s PIN on the application form.

Once the applicant enters his/her supervisor’s PIN into the application form, the “Supervisor’s section” will become available in the supervisor’s personal account.

The “Supervisor’s section” form must be completed and submitted electronically by the research supervisor by the competition deadline.

Required documents

The required documents must be submitted in the appropriate file attachments to the application form.

Applicants are responsible for their application, which must include all required documents.

The applicant must provide the following documents:

  • A copy of official transcripts for all university studies, whether completed or not (certificate, degree, Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD., etc.) When equivalences are granted for courses taken at other institutions or in previous programs, transcripts for these grades must be attached, 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 Fonds reserves the right to verify with institutions the authenticity of any information provided by applicants. The FRQNT considers transcripts issued by the Registrar’s Office to the applicant to be official transcripts. Opening the envelope to scan the transcript will not render it unofficial for FRQNT purposes.
  • Proof of citizenship;
  • 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);
  • Copies of the announcement or confirmation letters for all scholarships received.

Only the electronic forms for the 2022-2023 financial year and the other required documents are accepted. No appendices or other unrequested documents will be forwarded to the evaluation committee. Files cannot be updated after the competition deadline. You may, however, update your contact information (address, phone number and email address) at the following address: bourses.nt@frq.gouv.qc.ca.

Any document submitted in a language other than French or English must be accompanied by an official translation certified as a true copy of the original.

Procedure for submitting required documents

Applicants must submit all required documents in the appropriate file attachments to the application form before the competition deadline.

Incomplete applications will be deemed ineligible.

Acknowledgement of receipt

You will receive a preliminary decision regarding the eligibility of your application by e-mail in December at the latest. Applicants who have not received this notification should contact the program manager before December 15.

5. Évaluation des demandes

Evaluation criteria

Applications are assessed based on the following criteria and weighting:

Doctorate

Excellence of university record

Weighting

25 points

Doctorate

Aptitude for research and relevant research experience

Weighting

25 points

Doctorate

Quality of the research project and the academic environment, and compatibility of the project with the priorities of the Ouranos Consortium

Weighting

50 points

Doctorate

TOTAL

Weighting

100 points

Excellence of university record

The following indicators are used:

  • Cumulative average obtained for undergraduate and master’s studies
  • Progression of studies
  • The multidisciplinary nature of the studies, where relevant

Aptitude for research and relevant research experience, where applicable

The following indicators are used:

  • Reason for the application, including research interests and applicant’s motivation for doctoral studies
  • Applicant’s experience and achievements
  • Leadership skills
  • Letters of evaluation
  • General presentation of the application

Quality of the research project and the academic environment, and compatibility of the project with the priorities of the Ouranos Consortium

The following indicators are used:

  • Clarity of the scientific objectives
  • Relevance of the methodology for the objectives sought
  • Compatibility of the research project with the themes deemed priorities by the Ouranos Consortium
  • Support provided by the host environment
  • The multidisciplinary nature of the project or the contribution of more than one discipline to its execution

Evaluation procedure

Role of the FRQNT

The FRQNT manages the Réal-Décoste Doctoral Research Scholarship program for the Ouranos Consortium.

Role of the evaluation committee

Eligible applications are submitted to an evaluation committee composed of researchers/professors from universities affiliated or not with Ouranos, Consortium representatives and representatives from private enterprises or government agencies.

The evaluation committee compares the applications submitted according to the evaluation criteria in effect. Its job is to rank all the applications by merit.

Role of the program administrator

The FRQNT program administrator prepares the annual call for applicants and appoints the evaluation committee. The program administrator follows up on all correspondence with applicants, scholarship holders and scholarship coordinators in Québec universities. The program administrator must also see that committee members respect the evaluation criteria and rules of ethics that are in effect.

The role of the Ouranos Consortium

The Consortium receives recommendations from the evaluation committees, makes funding decisions and announces the results.

6. Awarding of scholarships and announcement of results

Awarding of scholarships

Applications are evaluated and ranked on merit by the evaluation committee. One scholarship is awarded per competition.

Announcement of results

Each applicant receives a letter informing him or her of the results at the end of April.

Contacting members of the committees, who are subject to rules of confidentiality, is strictly prohibited.

The decisions of the Ouranos Consortium are final and cannot be appealed. There is no review process.

The applicant must accept or decline the scholarship within 10 days of receiving the scholarship notification by completing the appropriate form in his or her FRQnet E-portfolio. After this deadline, applicants are deemed to have declined the scholarship.

7. Terms of the scholarship

Basic conditions

To retain the scholarship, the scholarship holder must satisfy the following basic conditions throughout the duration of funding:

  • Respect the conditions relating to citizenship and residence.
  • Be enrolled full time in a program of study.
  • Respect the rules relating to concurrent funding.
  • Respect the rules relating to paid employment.

Scholarship holders must attend a Québec university and study or conduct research in Québec.

Double doctoral degree programs (cotutelle) are not admissible.

The scholarship holder must meet all eligibility requirements for the duration of his/her scholarship.

Scholarship holders are required to inform the Fonds immediately if they cease to satisfy any of these conditions. Failure to meet any of these conditions may result in a request for a full refund of the funds received.

Exceptions for part-time enrolment

In all the following cases, the Fonds reserves the right to refuse any request with insufficient justification.

Major family obligation

A scholarship holder who is unable to pursue full-time studies for reasons arising from major family obligations has the possibility of enrolling part time and receiving partial scholarship payments (50%) if the university allows part-time enrolment and upon presentation of a medical certificate or other official document justifying the situation.

Person with a disability

A person with a disability who is unable to pursue full-time studies has the possibility of enrolling part time and receiving full scholarship payments provided the university authorizes the part-time enrolment and upon presentation of a medical certificate or other official document justifying the situation. This exception is in accordance with the Act to secure handicapped persons in the exercise of their rights with a view to achieving social, school and workplace integration (CQLR c. E-20.1).

Period for using scholarships

The scholarship period must begin between May 1st, 2022, and January 15th, 2023. Barring exceptional circumstances, scholarships 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 2022.

The scholarship is not retroactive, and semesters completed prior to summer 2022 cannot be funded.

The maximum duration of a scholarship is three years. Scholarships are awarded for the duration of the eligibility period, subject to presentation of progress reports deemed satisfactory by the program administrator.

Value of scholarships

The maximum value of the doctoral scholarship is $20,000 for a period of three semesters, or 12 months of studies.

The scholarship holder may receive a maximum of nine instalments totaling $60,000 within the eligibility period (nine semesters or 36 months). Each instalment of a maximum of $6,667 covers a period of four months, or one semester.

Changes to the program, project or place of study

Please note that, to make any changes to the program, project or place of study, the scholarship holder must first submit a written request to the FRQNT. The FRQNT and Ouranos Consortium will verify that such a change does not affect the evaluation received.

Concurrent funding

The scholarship may not be held concurrently with:

  • Merit scholarships from Québec government granting agencies;
  • Scholarships from the Conseil de recherches en pêche et agroalimentaire du Québec (CORPAQ);
  • Merit Scholarship for Foreign Students from the Ministère de l’​Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur (MEES).

The scholarship may be held concurrently with:

  • Merit scholarships from federal granting agencies;
  • Scholarships from Canadian government departments and agencies;
  • Scholarships from Québec government departments and agencies other than those mentioned above, provided an agreement has been signed between the government department or agency and the Consortium;
  • Private sector and university scholarships;
  • Loans and bursaries from the MEES.

Paid employment

Except for the exceptions relative to paid employment described in the Scholarship Holder’s Guide, scholarship holders may accept employment that does not represent more than 150 hours per semester, 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.

LECTURER OR TEACHING ASSISTANT

You may accept a position as a lecturer or teaching assistant for one course per semester. Please note that the same course given to two groups is equivalent to two lecturer positions and that, in this situation, the scholarship holder is not eligible to receive a scholarship payment.

If you accept a position as a lecturer or teaching assistant, you may not carry out an internship or hold other employment.

INTERNSHIP

You may receive a scholarship payment during a paid or unpaid internship, provided your research supervisor does not object. It must be indicated in “Manage my funding” (“Statements – incomes and academic status” section) of your instalment request form.

If you carry out an internship, you may not accept a position as a lecturer or teaching assistant or hold other employment.

Please note that when carrying out a mandatory internship as part of your academic program and for which you do not receive research credits, you may register as a part-time student if the internship is full-time.

OTHER EMPLOYMENT

You may accept a position that does not exceed the maximum hours per semester allowed by your institution, provided your research supervisor does not object and that these activities do not hinder your studies. If you accept employment, you cannot have a position as a lecturer or teaching assistant and cannot carry out an internship.

If you exceed this limit while remaining in the study program full-time, your scholarship payment will be cancelled.

PAYMENT DEFERRAL OR SUSPENSION OF THE SCHOLARSHIP

DEFERRAL FOR ACQUIRING RELEVANT EXPÉRIENCE

For each full year of funding by the Fonds, you may request the suspension of your scholarship for one semester to enable you to acquire relevant experience (work with a research team; teaching experience in your field of study or research, language training, etc.).

If your request is accepted, this instalment is carried over to the end of your eligibility period. You are not required to enrol full-time in your program for this semester, provided the rules of the institution allow this.

To take advantage of this measure, simply complete the “Statements – situation and required documents” section in the “Manage my Funding” form.

You must also submit, in your Portfolio, a short supporting letter from your research supervisor confirming the relevance of the paid activities you intend to carry out.

For a scholarship beginning in January, you cannot use this provision for your first instalment because funding must begin by January 15 following the scholarship offer.

Note that you cannot use this provision to accept another scholarship for which concurrent funding is prohibited.

SICK LEAVE OR LEAVE FOR FAMILY OBLIGATIONS

In addition to the suspension of studies for health reasons, the Fonds allows temporary suspension of studies for up to two years (unpaid) for scholarship holders with serious family obligations (informal caregiver, education of children, etc.) if permitted by your university and if your supervisor is duly informed.

However, once your university stops authorizing this leave, the Fonds will stop deferring your scholarship payments. To receive the remaining payments, you must meet all scholarship conditions.

In all cases you must complete and submit a “Manage my Funding” form (“Statements – situation and required documents” section) indicating the length of the suspension of studies and the reason for your request, and attach a medical certificate, where applicable.

The Fonds reserves the right to refuse any requests that it deems insufficiently justified.

PARENTAL LEAVE

If your interrupt your studies for the birth or adoption of a child, you may request parental leave. The maximum period for parental leave is 12 months (the equivalent of three semesters). Parental leave can begin during the semester when the birth or the adoption is expected to occur and end no later than one year after the birth or

Parental leave is authorized by the Fonds if permitted by your university and if your supervisor is duly informed.

It is important to note that only one parental leave is granted per child. Parents are free to organize the unpaid parental leave at their discretion.

To request parental leave, complete a “Manage my Funding” form (“Statements – situation and required documents” section) and provide a copy of the medical certificate attesting to the pregnancy and, when the time comes, the child’s birth or adoption certificate as well as proof of suspension of enrolment from your university.

The Fonds reserves the right to deny any request that is not adequately justified.

Cancellation of an instalment or termination of the scholarship

The Fonds will cancel an instalment without notice if it is not claimed or carried over or the required documents are not received in the two months following the beginning of the semester. The Fonds may also terminate a scholarship without notice if an instalment has not been claimed or carried over for two consecutive semesters.

DISCONTINUATION OF STUDIES OR THE POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCH

If you discontinue your studies or decide to pursue them on a part-time basis, you are no longer eligible for the scholarship and you must reimburse the current instalment. You must notify the Fonds by submitting a “Manage my Funding” form (“Statements – incomes and academic status” section).

8. Research ethics and conformity

Any individual or institution that receives funding must demonstrate the highest standards of research ethics and scientific integrity. See the Common General Rules for further details.

9. 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.

10. Liability of the Fonds and the Ouranos Consortium

The FRQNT is entrusted with the management of the competition and the scholarships granted by the Ouranos Consortium. The FRQNT offers the electronic resources necessary to prepare and submit applications.

The FRQNT and the Ouranos Consortium art not liable for any direct or indirect injury arising from processing of scholarships, bursaries or other applications, and, without limiting the generality of the above, are not liable for any direct or indirect injury arising from unauthorized disclosure by the FRQNT of the information contained in applicants’ files. Despite all the precautions taken by the FRQNT to protect information that must be kept confidential, certain countries to which information is transmitted may not have security procedures such as asymmetric cryptography or encryption.

11. False or misleading information

The Fonds presume the good faith of the declarations 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-15.1.0.1), 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.

12. 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.

13. General considerations

The Ouranos Consortium reserves the right to change the value and duration of scholarships and the program rules described in this document without notice.

14. Effective date

These rules apply to the 2022-2023 financial year.

15. Pour information

Please note that the FRQNT does not accept collect calls. Applicants who contact the FRQNT via email must provide a telephone number at which they can be reached.

Priority is given to email enquiries.

For more information about the Réal-Decoste Scholarship, visit the Ouranos Consortium website: http://www.ouranos.ca/fr/notre-organisation/bourse-real-decoste.php