THESE PROGRAM RULES ARE OUT OF COMPETITION.
Please note that the results of this competition is reported at the beginning of March 2023 instead of February 2023.
If you wish to access the electronic form to submit an application, you must go to your FRQnet electronic Portfolio and select the Santé section (managing agency). The form is available under “Available competitions, Program: Dissemination grants”.
This program refers to the Common General Rules (CGR), which apply to all FRQ programs. However, some specific conditions apply to the REGARDS Program. These are indicated in these program rules and prevail over the CGR.
In the event of a discrepancy between the English and French versions of this program, the French version prevails.
The phenomenon of disinformation has grown over the past decade, exacerbated by the emergence of social media. Science is a common target of disinformation, fuelled by societal crises or concerns, be they related to health, the environment, identity, or other issues.
In the fight against disinformation, the Chief Scientist and the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) have taken numerous actions in recent years, particularly following the forum on researchers in the public sphere (in French) held in 2015. Through their actions, the FRQ wish to ensure a greater presence for the research community, students, journalists and science communicators in the public space. The FRQ have also developed a research program dedicated to building links between science and society and bringing the research community closer to the various spheres of society through participatory science projects and knowledge transfer initiatives to user communities.
However, disinformation is an obstacle to linking science and society: it undermines the credibility of scientific information and has consequences for collective and individual decision-making on sensitive subjects such as climate change. In an effort to preserve the integrity of scientific information, and to contribute to the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Québec, the Chief Scientist and the FRQ are creating a science communication grant program for students.
Through this program, the student community is invited to propose science communication projects in digital form (video, podcast, blog, etc.) with the goal of exchanging and communicating with 18-30 year-olds surrounding the priority SDGs identified during the day of reflection held by the FRQ in June 2021, in link with the phenomena of disinformation.
This program was made possible through funding obtained under the Stratégie québécoise de recherche et d’investissement en innovation 2022-2027 (SQRI2).
Inspired by the COVID Jeunes (in French) pilot program conducted in 2020-2021 at the height of the health crisis, the objectives of the REGARDS-SDG program are to:
- Fight disinformation about SDGs;
- Mobilize young people on the importance of attaining SDGs in Québec;
- Contribute to attaining SDGs in Québec;
- Support young people in practical training and the management of science communication projects.
While we recognize the importance of the 17 SDGs, priority will be given to science communication projects related to the priority SDGs identified during the day of reflection held by the FRQ (in French):
· SDG 3: Health and well-being
· SDG 4: Quality education
· SDG 10: Reducing inequality
· SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities
· SDG 13: Action to combat climate change
By reflecting on issues of health and well-being, by looking at ways to ensure quality education for all, or by imagining a sustainable future for our cities and communities, successful students will establish a rich dialogue with other young people, leading to innovative actions through an original approach.
3. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
3.1 Target group and team composition
To be eligible, the lead applicant (identified in the “Applicant” section of the FRQnet form) must:
- Be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate, master’s or doctoral program at a Québec university at the application closing date. The applicant must have been enrolled at a Québec university for at least 2 full-time semesters (or equivalent) of the 3 semesters prior to the competition deadline, as attested by the transcripts provided. The current semester is not included in this calculation.
- Include at least one other student enrolled full-time in a college, undergraduate, master’s or doctoral program at a Québec institution at the application closing date in the team’s composition (identified in the “Co-Applicant” section of the FRQnet form). The student co-applicant is co-leader of the project and shares the responsibility for the conduct of the project with the applicant. Other students may participate as collaborators in the project.
- Be supervised* by a researcher (identified in the “Supervision” section of the FRQnet form) whose scientific expertise is related to the priority SDG(s) that will be the subject of the science communication project, and who has one of the following statuses, in accordance with the Common General Rules (CGR) of the FRQ:
- Status 1: university researcher;
- Status 2: clinical university researcher;
- Status 3: college researcher.
Any other students who will contribute significantly to the project may be identified as collaborators in the application. They do not need to provide a CV, but their roles and skills can be listed in the project description.
* Please note! In addition to the scientific supervision of the content to be disseminated, the supervisor (researcher) is also responsible for ensuring required project reporting. The supervisor agrees to review and co-sign the required activity and financial reports every four months. The lead applicant must write the reports, have them signed by the supervisor, and submit them to the FRQ.
Important notes on team composition
The scientific supervisor must commit to this role by consenting to be included in the team in his or her FRQnet account. An email will be sent to this effect once he or she has been identified in the “Supervision” section of the FRQnet form.
It is strongly recommended that the scientific supervisor have expertise in a field related to the SDG(s) targeted by the proposed project.
The team is also encouraged to work with other individuals who have expertise in science communication and individuals or organizations that can contribute to the outreach and dissemination of the digital project (influencers, artists, community groups, etc.).
All individuals identified in the application may participate in only one application under this program, including student collaborators, but excluding service providers (e.g., influencers).
3.2 Project location
Grant recipients must carry out their project in Québec. The scientific supervisor must attest to this fact in order for funding to be released.
4. APPLICATION PROCESS
The application form and required documents must be submitted through the FRQnet electronic Portfolio. You must select the FRQ-Santé (FRQ-S) section in the FRQnet portal, as the FRQ-S is the managing agency for this program. Documents sent by email or by post will not be accepted.
DOCUMENTS TO BE SUBMITTED DIGITALLY AT THE TIME OF APPLICATION
The electronic form, completed directly in the FRQ-S electronic Portfolio. This form includes:
1- A document of no more than five (5) pages containing:
- A project description* in light of the objectives and evaluation criteria of this program including project stages and a timeframe (max. 2 pages). Be sure to describe and contextualize the SDG(s) that will be the subject of your project. In addition, be sure to specify how the audience of 18- to 30-year-olds will be reached, the scope of the production, and the anticipated impacts.
- The team’s motivation towards the targeted SDG(s) (max. 1/2 page);
- A description and justification of the team composition and collaborators (max. 1/2 page);
- The dissemination strategy including a precise description of the digital tools that will be used* (max 1 1/2 pages);
- Anticipated reach and impact (max. 1/2 page).
*While the FRQ encourage scientific production in French, the communication tools may be in a language other than French, provided that a French translation is provided (e.g., video subtitles).Important notes:
- Applicants must indicate whether their project is directly related to one or more science communication projects already receiving funding from another source.
- Required documents that are missing or non-compliant will not be requested and will automatically render the application ineligible.
- Documents received after the competition deadline will not be considered. Once submitted, applications cannot be updated.
- Unrequested documents submitted with the application will be removed before evaluation.
- All required documents must be included in the application for it to be considered eligible. Any documents that are illegible, of a poor resolution or that do not allow verification of the application’s eligibility will be rejected.
- Any official document submitted in a language other than French or English must be accompanied by a professional translation certified as a true copy of the original document. Any other document submitted in a language other than French or English must include a basic translation.
2- Abridged CVs (max. 2 pages each) of the lead applicant (student submitting the application) AND the student co-applicant (identified in the “Co-Applicant” section of the FRQnet form) including the following:
- Education and academic background;
- Research achievements, if applicable;
- Experience in science communication, if applicable.
See the Toolbox for the Abridged CV template.
3- An abridged CV (max. 2 pages) of the project’s scientific supervisor (identified in the “Supervision” section of the FRQnet form). See the Toolbox for the Abridged CV template. This CV must be included in the “Supervision” section of the FRQnet form.
- Research area;
- Academic training (diplomas) and work experience;
- Professional and leadership experience;
- Expertise and contributions relevant to the realization of the project (related to the SDG(s) targeted by the project).
4- The supervisor form completed by the scientific supervisor (once identified in the “Supervision” section, the supervisor will receive an email to complete and submit the FRQnet form).
5- A detailed budget with justification of expenditures (max. 1 page). See the eligible expense categories in Section 6.
Other documents to be attached in the electronic form:
1- Official transcripts
- Copies of all academic transcripts are required, for all university studies pursued by the lead applicant. This includes transcripts from exchange programs or courses (equivalencies), where applicable.
- Transcripts must be up-to-date and include all completed semesters and grading scales (back of transcript).
- Transcripts sent to the Fonds must be official. What makes a transcript official may differ from one academic institution to another. Nonetheless, to be deemed official by the FRQ, each transcript must:
- be issued by the institution in question;
- include elements indicating that it is an official transcript for that academic institution. This may be the seal or stamp of the issuing institution AND/OR the registrar’s signature AND/OR the notation “Official Transcript”.
2- Proof of full-time enrolment
- One (1) document certifying full-time enrolment at a Québec educational institution for both the lead applicant AND the student co-applicant (to be attached in the “Other documents” section). The following documents are accepted:
- Proof of full-time enrolment from the registrar of the Québec higher education institution (highlight in yellow the part of the document that confirms full-time registration);
- A letter of confirmation from the thesis or dissertation supervisor for master’s and doctoral students.
The following are not accepted:
- Proof of enrolment sent to local transport authorities or municipal institutions;
- Invoice for tuition fees.
Applicants are advised to prepare their application well in advance to ensure that it is submitted before the deadline, given the large number of applications and requests received by the FRQ at the end of the competition.
5. EVALUATION CRITERIA
A mixed committee made up of researchers and research students with significant experience in science communication and science communication specialists will evaluate the applications received.
Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
- Relevance and originality of the science communication project: 25%
- Alignment with the program objectives;
- Relevance of the digital media used to reach the target audience (likely to appeal to young people, attractiveness of the proposed format, platform with high deployment potential);
- Innovative nature of the project (e.g., angle of approach, graphics processing, concept, etc.);
- Quality and clarity of the proposal.
- Team composition: 25%
- Expertise in a field related to the SDG(s) targeted by the proposed project (in particular for the scientific supervisor) and the contribution of team members;
- Experience in science communication and with individuals or organizations that can contribute to the outreach and dissemination of the digital project (influencers, artists, community groups, etc.);
- Relevance of the proposed collaborators for the project.
- Potential for outreach and impacts: 25%
- Anticipated impacts (media coverage, interviews, visibility, anticipated number of people and audience reached, creation of tools, content lifespan);
- Demonstration that the proposed project would not have gone ahead without the funding provided under this program, or at least that it generates science communication activities that go beyond existing activities.
- Feasibility of the project with the means and resources available: 25%
- Clear and appropriate project stages;
- Realism of the timeframe;
- Consistency of the project with the proposed budget and available resources.
6. DESCRIPTION AND NATURE OF THE GRANT
Successful applicants will receive a grant of $12,000, paid in 3 instalments. A maximum of 10 projects will be selected. This grant may not be held concurrently with the DIALOGUE – Student Component, program, but it may be held concurrently with a training award (Master’s, PhD, etc.).
In accordance with the program’s objectives, the grant must be used to finance expenses that are directly related to the implementation of the project. This program does not offer payment by the FRQ for indirect research costs (FIR) incurred by the institution. The following expenses are eligible:
Dissemination and knowledge transfer costs
- Costs of setting up, maintaining and promoting a digital platform (website, blog, YouTube channel, etc.).
- Costs related to the production and dissemination of videos (filming, editing, materials, etc.).
- Costs related to the production and promotion of popularized content (including social media advertising, partnerships with influencers, etc.).
Professional fees and compensation
- Science communication resource persons or service providers essential to the project.
- Stipend in the form of a bursary for student team members, up to a maximum of $2,000.
Travel and subsistence costs
- Travel expenses for the team (maximum 10% of the budget).
Other types of eligible expenses
- Science communication training (maximum $500).
Deadline for project completion: March 31, 2024
Successful applicants will be required to participate in a follow-up meeting every four months with all grant holders under this program. In addition, each lead applicant must produce an activity report and a financial report every four months and have them approved by the scientific supervisor. The format of these reports will be communicated in due course. These reports, co-signed by the lead applicant and the scientific supervisor, must be submitted to the FRQ in order to receive the subsequent payment.
A final payment of $500 will be released once the final activity and financial reports, including a summary of all expenses, have been submitted. Any future financial support under another Fonds de recherche du Québec program is conditional upon receipt of these duly completed reports.
Should these reports reveal non-compliance with the program rules or Common Genera Rules, or should the lead applicant be unable to justify the expenses (with supporting documents), the Fonds may, after prior notice, suspend or cancel, in whole or in part, the planned payments and recover, if applicable, any amounts already paid.
8. ANNOUNCEMENT OF RESULTS
The results will be announced in March 2023. For the conditions regarding the announcement of and acceptance of funding, please refer to Section 5 of the CGR, with the exception of the date on which the results will be published.