The electronic form is available in the FRQnet Electronic Portfolio (E-portfolio). To access the form, you must select the Santé section (managing agency), regardless of the applicant’s research sector. The form is available under “Available competitions, Program: Dissemination grants”.
In addition to these program rules, it is the responsibility of funding applicants to read the Common General Rules (CGR), which apply to all Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) programs. Any specific conditions that apply to this program are set out below 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. Disinformation is an obstacle to bridging the gap between science and society: it undermines the credibility of scientific information and has consequences for collective and individual decision-making on sensitive issues such as climate change.
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 held in 2015.
To work with the new generation of researchers on preserving the integrity of scientific information and helping attain the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Québec, the Chief Scientist and the FRQ have created a science communication grant program for students. The student community is invited to propose science communication projects in digital form (video, podcast, blog, etc.) with the goal of engaging and communicating with 18- to 30-year-olds about SDGs.
Inspired by the COVID Jeunes 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:
- 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.
To be eligible, the lead applicant (identified in the “Applicant” section of the FRQnet form) must:
- Be enrolled in an undergraduate, master’s or doctoral program;
- Attend a Québec educational institution, university-affiliated institution or research institution at the competition deadline;
- Include at least one other student (co-applicant) enrolled in a college, undergraduate, master’s or doctoral program who is attending a Québec educational institution, university-affiliated institution or research institution at the competition deadline (identified in the “Co-Applicant” section of the FRQnet form). The student co-applicant is co-leader of the project and shares equal responsibility for the conduct of the project with the applicant;
- Be supervised by a researcher (identified in the “Supervisor” section of the FRQnet form). It is strongly recommended that the supervisor have expertise related to the SDG(s) targeted by the project. The supervisor must have one of the following statuses as defined in the Common General Rules (CGR) of the FRQ:
o Status 1: university researcher;
o Status 2: clinical university researcher;
o Status 3: college researcher.
In addition to providing scientific supervision, the supervisor agrees to review and co-sign the activity and financial reports prepared by the student project leader and submitted to the FRQ.
- Projects that are directly linked to another source of funding, unless the support awarded under the REGARDS – SDG program would be used to achieve complementary objectives.
Important notes on team composition
- 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).
If the grant is awarded, the applicant co-applicant must carry out the project in Québec.
4. APPLICATION PROCESS
The electronic form is available in the FRQnet E-portfolio under “Available competitions, Program: Dissemination grants”.
To access the form, you must select the Santé section (managing agency), regardless of the applicant’s research sector.
4.1 Required documents
1- The electronic form including:
- A text of no more than five 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;
- 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). Be sure to specify how the audience of 18- to 30-year-olds will be reached.
- Identification of the researcher supervising the project in the “Supervisor” section. The supervisor will receive an email to complete and submit a consent form. This step must be completed before the application deadline.
2- The FRQ Abridged Student CV of the lead applicant AND the co-applicant (max. two pages each) prepared using the presentation template provided, including the following:
a. Research sector representing your expertise for the proposed project: Natural science and engineering (FRQ-Nature et technologies), Health (FRQ -Santé), Social sciences and humanities or Arts and letters (FRQ-Société et culture);
b. Academic background (degrees) and work experience;
c. Research and communication experience (if applicable);
d. Expertise and contributions relevant to the proposal submitted to the FRQ.
The CVs of the applicant and co-applicant should be attached in the “Other documents” section.
3- Official transcripts of the lead applicant AND the co-applicant (see Important notes related to transcripts below).
4- The abridged CV of the researcher (max. 2 pages) supervising the project (identified in the “Supervision” section of the FRQnet form). This CV must be attached in the “Supervision” section of the FRQnet form.
a. Research area;
b. Academic training (degrees) and work experience;
c. Professional and leadership experience;
d. Expertise and contributions relevant to the realization of the project (related to the SDG(s) targeted by the project).
5- A detailed budget with justification of expenditures (max. 1 page). See the eligible expense categories in Section 6. The budget will be carefully analyzed by the committee. A budget devoted mainly to student salaries or the purchase of equipment could be viewed unfavourably. If necessary, the committee will make recommendations.
IMPORTANT NOTE RELATED TO THE PROJECT
- Given the project’s potential for outreach not only in Québec but internationally, and the objective of disseminating scientific knowledge to a wide audience, the communication tools related to the project may be in a language other than French, provided that a French translation is provided (e.g., video subtitles).
4.2 Important notes related to transcripts
- Any transcripts that are missing, unofficial, not certified as a true copy, or out-of-date will render the application ineligible.
- Copies of all academic transcripts are required, for all university studies pursued by the applicants, whether completed or not. This includes transcripts from exchange programs or courses (equivalencies), where applicable.
- What makes a transcript official may differ from one academic institution to another. Nonetheless, to be deemed official by the FRQ, each transcript must:
o be issued by the university institution in question;
o 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”, etc.
- THE PRESENCE OF A WATERMARK will not render a transcript unofficial, as long as it meets the requirements specified above.
- If there is any doubt about the authenticity of a transcript, the Fonds reserves the right to verify with the applicant or the institution concerned.
- A transcript delivered in a sealed envelope by the registrar’s office can be opened and its contents scanned.
Other documents to attach, if applicable, along with the transcripts:
- Document explaining the current grading system for transcripts from institutions outside North America. This letter must clearly explain the grading system used, so that the transcripts can be properly understood;
- Letter of explanation from the institution (registrar’s office or equivalent administrative body) if no transcript is issued. The letter must state the reasons for the missing transcript. The Fonds reserves the right to verify the validity of the reasons given;
- If no transcript is issued but the applicant is unable to obtain a letter from the university, a letter of explanation written by the applicant, endorsed by the department director at the host institution, explaining the absence of the transcript.
4.3 Important notes related to submitting applications
- 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 Fonds at the end of the competition period.
- All required documents must be included with the application for it to be considered eligible. Documents that are illegible or low-resolution and those that do not make it possible to determine eligibility will not be accepted.
- Official documents submitted in a language other than French or English must include a certified translation. Other documents submitted in a language other than French or English must be accompanied by a basic translation.
- No appendices or documents other than those required will be shared with the evaluation committee. Applications cannot be updated after the competition deadline.
A mixed committee made up of researchers, research students and science communication specialists will evaluate the applications received. Given the diverse profiles of committee members, applicants are encouraged to present the project in such a way as to be easily understood.
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.
- This grant may be held concurrently with a training award (master’s, doctoral, postdoctoral, etc.), but it may not be held concurrently with a DIALOGUE – Student Component grant.
- A minimum of 10 projects will be selected for funding under this competition, if possible.
- In line with the program objectives, the grant is paid directly to the funded students, who are responsible for the financial management of their project. The grant must be used to finance expenses that are directly related to the implementation of the project.
6.2 Eligible expense categories
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.).
- Science communication training (maximum $500).
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).
- Indirect costs of research for managing institutions affiliated with the lead applicant, co-applicant or supervisor.
- Remuneration of the researcher supervising the project.
- Successful applicants will be required to participate in follow-up meetings with all grant holders under this program.
- Every four months, the lead applicant must produce financial and activity reports, have them approved by their supervisor, and submit them to the FRQ. The format of these reports will be communicated in due course. Supporting documents for expenses incurred may be requested at any time.
- A final payment, equivalent to 10% of the grant, will be released once the final activity report has been submitted.
8. ANNOUNCEMENT OF RESULTS
The results will be announced in February 2024. 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.