Important changes in 2022-2023
- Creation of two separate forms for applications from the regions (NCR) and the metropolitan communities (NCM);
- Selection of the evaluation committee by the applicant;
- Addition of a one-page document for the bibliography, separate from the project description;
- Addition of a one-page document for the EDI criterion, separate from the project description, to be attached in the “Other documents” section of the form;
- Addition of presentation standards in Criterion 1.2 – Quality of presentation;
- Simplification of the program rules to complement the Common General Rules;
- Access to Frequently Asked Questions for all our programs.
COVID IMPACTS DIRECTIVES : In your application, you will be able to describe how the COVID-19 pandemic may have affected your research or training activities during the past few months, in order for this information to be considered in the evaluation of your application. Please refer to the document “Considering the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the evaluation of funding applications” for further information.
This program refers to the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ)’s Common General Rules (CGR), which govern all Fonds de recherche du Québec–Nature et technologies (FRQNT) programming. Only rules specific to the Research Support for New Academics program are indicated in this document, and these prevail over the CGR.
The link to the FRQnet Portfolio and the forms associated with this competition are available under the Portal Access tab of the website. More information is available in the Capsules section. It is the applicant’s sole responsibility to choose the correct application form. Should an error occur, the Fonds will not transfer the application from one program to another and the application will be deemed ineligible.
The Fonds requires the Canadian Common CV and its PDF file of detailed contributions to be included in the “Canadian Common CV” section of the FRQNet Portfolio. The applicant must complete the Fonds Nature et technologies version of the Canadian Common CV, update this document within 12 months prior to the competition deadline, and complete the Detailed Contributions file in due form. Please refer to the Instructions for the Detailed Contributions and Canadian Common CV — FRQNT and the Presentation standards for PDF attachments to FRQnet forms available in the Portal Access tab of the FRQ website and in the Documents section of FRQnet.
AN APPLICATION SUBMITTED TO THE FONDS AFTER THE COMPETITION DEADLINE OF 4 P.M. ON SEPTEMBER 15, 2021 WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED BY THE FONDS.
Table of contents
The Research Support for New Academics program in natural sciences, mathematics and engineering has the following objectives:
- Contribute to fostering a new generation of researchers within the university research and teaching community by assisting new researchers who have just launched their academic career to become established as independent researchers and become competitive nationally and internationally;
- Strengthen the research system by encouraging new researchers to develop original avenues of research;
- Foster the transfer of technological and scientific knowledge to user communities and the general public;
- Encourage university students to do research.
2. Eligibility requirements
Applicants are responsible for verifying, well in advance, the eligibility of their application with their research office to ensure that all required documents are obtained from the managing institution in time.
2.1 The following are eligible for this program:
University professors, as defined in the CGR (status 1), who meet the following conditions:
- Has Have occupied this position for less than 3 years, i.e. as of September 15, 2018 or later. An applicant who will occupy such a position no later than September 1, 2022 is also eligible.
- International experience in a similar position must be included in this 3-year eligibility period. The managing institution must provide documentation detailing the conditions of such experience. (See Section 3, Letter from the institution).
- A contracted professor (“professeur ou professeure sous octroi”) must occupy a position or have received a firm offer of appointment to a position with an annually renewable contract in a Québec university. The appointment must have been ratified by the person or the authority responsible for approval of university appointments (or their representatives) in accordance with the constitution of the university concerned. The position held must allow the contracted professor to perform research without any supervision from another researcher and to individually supervise undergraduate or graduate students or postdoctoral fellows.
- A professor who will occupy such a position no later than September 1 of the year following this competition must have the legal status to work in Québec at the time of application.
- Professors who have interrupted or delayed their career for parental leave, major family obligations, a disability or serious health reasons may be granted an eligibility period extension. Supporting documents must be submitted with the application (see Section 3). The Fonds will determine the extension to be granted and may request additional supporting documents.
- Have obtained their doctorate or successfully defended their doctoral dissertation at the competition deadline, i.e. no later than September 15, 2021.
- Benefit from a teaching release of at least 25% in order to carry out the research project for the duration of the grant, i.e. from April 2022 to March 31, 2024. The applicant’s managing institution must attest to this at the time of application (see Section 3, Letter from the institution). This condition cannot be met retroactively.
2.2 The following are not eligible for this program:
- Applicants who do not meet the eligibility requirements listed above;
- Applicants whose work is in a field that is not covered by the mission and research fields of the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT);
- Applicants who are applying for, or have been or are currently funded under, one of the following programs:
- Research Support for New Academics of the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture (FRQSC) or Nature et technologies (FRQNT);
- Research Scholars, Junior 1 of the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS).
Thus, researchers can only be funded under one of these three programs intended for new academics.
Applications that do not comply with the program rules or do not contain the information needed to determine eligibility or to be evaluated will be deemed INELIGIBLE.
Applicants may submit a maximum of two funding applications during their eligibility period.
An application that is declared ineligible during the evaluation process is considered as submitted and will reduce opportunities to reapply to the program.
As this program is highly competitive, it is in applicants’ best interest to apply at the appropriate time in their career.
2.3 Determining eligibility of funding applications
The program administrator, scientific council and members of the multidisciplinary evaluation committees assess during the whole process the eligibility status of each application in accordance with the conditions set out in the program rules and the CGR.
Notification of the decision with respect to the eligibility of the application is sent to the applicant’s email address.
3. Contents of the funding application and required documents
All attached documents and section of the electronic application form, including the Detailed Contributions attachment, must meet the standards presented in the Presentation standards for PDF attachments to FRQnet forms available in the Documents section of FRQnet. You will also find a Word template formatted to the presentation standards in the program’s Toolbox.
Region-specific form (NCM-$20,000 or NCR-$30,000)
Before completing your funding application, you must select the form corresponding to the geographic location of your university’s head office:
All funding applications from universities located in the metropolitan communities of Montreal (MMC) and Québec (QMC). The operating grant is set at $20,000 per year for two years.
All funding applications from universities in the rest of Québec (outside the MMC and QMC). The operating grant is set at a maximum of $30,000 per year over two years.
Good to know
The lists of managing institutions for the two forms are mutually exclusive. It will therefore not be possible to select your managing institution if you do not use the right form.
The funding application must be submitted to the Fonds electronically. It must be completed using the official forms available in the FRQnet Portfolio.
This form has several sections to complete and requires the uploading of PDF documents. The sections may be completed in English or French. However, if you complete your application in English, you must provide a title and a project summary in both French and English.
Any excess pages or non-required documents (e.g. letter of support) will be removed from the application.
Required documents :
The funding application form (FRQnet Portfolio) including the following section:
List of suggested experts
The applicant must suggest 10 experts who will be able to assess the scientific merit of the project.
- Experts must have sufficient knowledge of the language in which the application is written.
- They will not be notified of your suggestions.
- They must have no current or recent (five years or less) collaborative relationship with the applicant and, if applicable, other members of the research team.
It is the responsibility of the applicant and the managing institution to ensure that the suggested experts are not in a conflict of interest (see Section 4.2 of the CGR for examples).
List of suggested experts – Eligibility criterion
During the course of the evaluation, if it comes to the attention of the program administrator that a real or apparent conflict of interest could affect the integrity of the evaluation process, the application may be deemed INELIGIBLE.
Selection of the multidisciplinary evaluation committee
Select the multidisciplinary evaluation committee best suited to the research topic of your project proposal. Please consult the list in the Toolbox with descriptions of the different research areas covered by each committee.
The FRQNT scientific council will confirm the allocation of applications to the different committees, as well as compliance with eligibility requirement 2.
Description of the research project (7 pages)
Maximum 7 pages (including figures and tables) written according to the Presentation standards for PDF attachments to FRQnet forms available in the Documents section of FRQnet. You will also find a Word template formatted to the presentation standards in the program’s Toolbox.
Bibliography (1 page)
You may attach a bibliography of up to one page. This document must be added in the “Bibliography” section of the form.
Consideration of equity, diversity and inclusion (1 page)
Consideration of equity, diversity and inclusion must be explained in this document of up to one page, which is to be attached in the “Other documents” section. Refer to the evaluation criteria for details on what this document should contain.
Justification of planned expenditures for the operating grant (1 page)
Refer to Section 8 of the CGR for a complete list of eligible expenses for the operating grant.
Description of planned expenditures for the equipment grant (2 pages) (if applicable)
This complement to the grant covers requests for equipment whose total cost exceeds $7,000. The equipment grant must be spent during the first year of the research project.
Equipment that requires an assembly of modules or accessories in order to be functional may be accepted. The relevance of the assembly must be clearly indicated in the application (diagram, etc.)
Be sure to clearly explain the following:
a) Why the requested equipment is necessary for the successful completion of the project. This justification will be evaluated under Criterion 1.2 – Methodology. Mention the user training plan if necessary;
b) That there is no overlap between this equipment request and all other sources of funding already obtained by the applicant since taking up his or her position (CFI or NSERC equipment grant, etc.);
c) Why other options already present at the institution or within a 20-km radius are not compatible with or available for the needs of the project;
d) The possibility of repairing or refurbishing existing instruments or equipment (if applicable);
e) The possibility of using computing or genomics platforms (if applicable).
The purchase of computer equipment in excess of $7,000 requires justification based on the nature of the data being processed and the research activities that require such computing power.
In addition, the purchase of computer equipment with this equipment grant must not be for personal use by students.
For each of the following categories, a description and appropriate supporting documents are also required:
$7,001 to $25,000:
No quote required.
$25,001 to $50,000:
When the cost of a single piece of equipment exceeds $25,000 (including taxes, in Canadian dollars), two quotes from suppliers must be provided in the appropriate section (20 pages).
Exceptionally, a single quote may be accepted provided this is fully justified.
For equipment whose total cost exceeds $50,000, two quotes from suppliers must be provided in the appropriate section.
Furthermore, the applicant must specify the source(s) of complementary funding in the description of planned expenditures for the equipment grant.
If, at the time of application, the applicant does not have the complementary funding, the managing institution must undertake to pay the necessary amount before the first instalment of the grant starting year.
A letter of undertaking from the managing institution must be included with the application in the “Other documents” section.
Equipment grant over $50,000 – Funding condition
In order for the contribution of the Fonds to come into effect, the applicant must provide supporting documents indicating the sources of complementary funding for the purchase of the requested equipment before June 1 of the grant starting year.
Equipment grant – Refusal
An insufficient description and justification and/or failure to provide the required number of quotes may result in the refusal of the equipment grant request by the evaluation committee.
Letter from the applicant’s institution (PDF attached to the form)
A letter written and signed by the managing institution, attesting to the following:
a) That the applicant holds or will hold a full-time tenure-track position (no later than September 1 2022);
b) That the applicant will be released from at least 25% of his/her teaching duties in order to carry out the research project for the duration of the grant (2022-2024).
c) To the hiring date and position held (day-month-year).
d) Where applicable, employment start and end dates (day-month-year) for all full-time tenure-track professorial positions previously held by the applicant at other universities in Canada or abroad.
We recommend including any official documents that provide a definition of the position occupied at another Canadian or a foreign university.
In case of doubt as to the nature and duration of previous positions, the Fonds reserves the right to contact the appropriate university authorities to obtain further information.
e) If applicable, that the applicant’s salary will be paid by the university or another source for the duration of the grant, in the case of a contracted professor.
f) If applicable, that the applicant has successfully defended his/her thesis and that graduation is a mere formality.
g) If applicable, the start and end dates (day-month-year) of parental leave or leave related to major family obligation, disability or health reasons.
In the case of a request for an eligibility period extension, appropriate supporting documents indicating and justifying the leave or situation must be provided in PDF format in the “Other documents” section of the electronic form.
Letter from the institution – Eligibility criterion
The Research Support for New Academics program requires that the letter from the managing institution be an attestation. Under no circumstances should it be a letter of support.
The receipt of a letter of support from the managing institution could render the application INELIGIBLE.
The Canadian Common CV and Detailed Contributions attachment (PDF attached in the “Canadian Common CV” section of the FRQnet Portfolio)
Canadian Common CV — Eligibility criterion
Only the Fonds Nature et technologies version of the Canadian Common CV and the Detailed Contributions will be accepted for this program.
Please refer to the Instructions for the Detailed Contributions and Canadian Common CV — FRQNT for complete instructions on the information to be included in these documents.
4. Application process
The deadline for applications is September 15, 2021 at 4 p.m.
Submitting the funding application in the FRQnet Portfolio
Applicants must submit all required documents in their FRQnet Portfolio before the internal deadline of the managing institution. To find out the internal deadline, applicants should contact the person in charge of research at their institution (research officer, research advisor, etc.).
The status “Transmis à l’établissement” will appear in the Portfolio.
Approval of the funding application by the managing institution
The managing institution must approve the funding application via the FRQnet Institutions Portal before it is transmitted to the FRQNT.
At this stage, the managing institution may return the application to the applicant for modification.
The status “À reviser” will then appear in the Portfolio.
The applicant must then resubmit the application in his/her FRQnet Portfolio for approval by the managing institution.
It is important to take this process into account in order to ensure that the documents are submitted within the required time frame. Applicants will not be notified of any element missing from their application. Any documents received after submission of the application will not be considered and applications cannot be updated.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions are available in the program’s Toolbox.
Transmitting the funding application to the FRQNT via FRQnet
The application must be transmitted by the managing institution before the competition deadline of 4 p.m. on September 15, 2021.
The status “Transmis au Fonds” will appear in the applicant’s FRQnet Portfolio.
Reminder of requirements before transmitting the application to the FRQNT:
The applicant must:
- Check that all requested documents have been placed in the applicant’s FRQnet Portfolio and that the application is complete.
- Ensure that none of the suggested experts on the list provided are in a conflict of interest and make any necessary changes. This is not a list of professional references or persons who have had a professional or personal relationship with the applicant within the last 5 years (see Section 4.2 of the CGR for more examples).
- Ensure that there is a title and project summary in both French and English if the application is completed in English.
- Check that all documents meet the required presentation standards.
- Verify that all required elements are included in the equipment grant request.
The head of the managing institution must then:
- Ensure that the electronic form contains all required information and that all required documents have been included in the various sections of the form;
- Ensure that the letter from the managing institution attests to all the requested information including the applicant’s previous university experience.
- Check whether any documents require translation;
- Ensure that the FRQNT version of the CCV and Detailed Contributions have been uploaded to the Portfolio;
- Check for any conflicts of interest between the applicant and the list of suggested experts and make the necessary changes (see Section 4.2 of the CGR for examples).
- Ensure that there is a title and project summary in both French and English if the application is completed in English.
- Approve the funding application and transmit it to the FRQNT via FRQnet before the competition deadline.
At any time, applicants can verify the transmission status of their application in the “My forms” section of their FRQnet Portfolio.
FRQnet access – Managing institutions
A managing institution that does not have access to the FRQnet system or that wishes to change the institution’s FRQnet system manager must contact the program administrator no later than 10 working days before the application deadline.
The electronic transmission of the application acts as an electronic signature by the applicant. The FRQNT reserves the right to verify the authenticity of all documents and information provided with the authorities concerned.
In signing the funding application, parties declare that the information provided is accurate and complete and agree to respect the rules and principles set out in the Fonds de recherche du Québec’s Politique d’éthique et d’intégrité scientifique. Applicants authorize their institution to transmit any personal information necessary in accordance with this policy, where applicable.
Signatories agree to allow the information in this application to be disclosed for evaluation and examination purposes, provided those with access to the information agree to abide by standard privacy rules. Furthermore, signatories agree to comply with the intellectual property policies of their respective institutions.
Your email address is the access key to the FRQnet grant and scholarship management system. It 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.
Important – Transmitting the funding application
Only applicants may ask for their application to be withdrawn.
5. Application evaluation
5.1 Evaluation process
The program administrator and scientific council ensure that applications are evaluated by the evaluation committee corresponding to their area of research. The scientific council also ensures that eligibility requirements are met.
Applications are evaluated by multidisciplinary evaluation committees and external experts selected among peers from Canadian and international academia and the industrial and socio-economic sectors. Keywords are essential to the recruitment of evaluators.
Role of the multidisciplinary evaluation committees and external experts
The multidisciplinary evaluation committees and, where applicable, external experts evaluate applications according to the rules and evaluation criteria in effect for the program, taking into account the quality standards and existing research traditions in the different disciplines concerned.
The committees rank the applications and advise the board of directors of the proposals that merit funding. Budget projections are considered in the evaluation process.
The application must receive an evaluation score of 80% or higher to be recommended for funding.
Role of the program administrator
The program administrator is responsible for ensuring that committee members and external referees comply with the current rules of the program, as well as the rules relating to ethics, confidentiality, the responsible conduct of research, and equity, diversity and inclusion.
5.2 Evaluation criteria
Applications are evaluated based on the following criteria, according to the weighting indicated. It is the applicant’s responsibility to clearly address these criteria in their written proposal.
The criteria listed below form a repertory of values and objectives of the Research Support for New Academics program, and were developed to suit a diversity of research projects and applicant profiles.
Thus, evaluators do not necessarily expect all applicants to meet all of the sub-indicators presented below, but to meet most of them in a consistent manner.
Criterion 1: Quality of the research project (65 pts)
Sub-criterion 1.1 Excellence in research (15 pts)
Creativity, potential for disruption and advancement in the field (relevance of the theme and issues addressed, theoretical approach, new approach, risk-taking, etc.);
- Scientific scope
Scope of the objectives for the community and users and contributions within the field of research (applied or fundamental);
- Collaborations and partnerships
Cooperation in Québec and/or internationally (relevance, added value for the project, the institution or Québec, etc.).
Sub-criterion 1.2 Project presentation (30 pts)
Relevance in relation to the objectives; scientific and technical feasibility. Availability of infrastructure and equipment. Ethical and environmental considerations;
Justification for the equipment grant ($7,001 – $50,000 including taxes), if applicable
Relevance of the requested equipment for the successful completion of the research project. Refer to Section 3 – Description of planned expenditures for the equipment grant for the list of what should be included in the justification.
- Realism of the time frame and budget
Appropriateness of budget and time frame: budget justification (details, quantification, etc.), relevance of the project duration to the research question and budget, risk management plan;
- Quality of presentation
Project structure and understanding: description of objectives and keywords, clarity, popularization, quality of writing, compliance with the presentation standards.
Sub-criterion 1.3 Project benefits (20 pts)
- Strengthening research capacity
Detailed training and mentoring plan: feasibility of the project for the training of highly qualified personnel (HQP), recruitment, tasks, pedagogical scope;
- Knowledge transfer
Valorization, promotion and dissemination of results to scientific and user communities and the general public. Consideration for access to data (open access, etc.);
Criterion 2: Applicant’s competency in science (30 pts)
Sub-criterion 2.1 Scientific capacity (15 pts)
- Scientific expertise
Relevance of CV to the project: the applicant must possess the expertise and knowledge necessary to successfully carry out the proposed project;
- Experience and potential
Applicant’s research experience: quantity and quality of scientific contributions and achievements, mentoring. Potential demonstrated by the applicant throughout his/her career and activities related to research and science: originality of academic background, risk-taking, engagement, collaborative network, leadership, etc.;
Sub-criterion 2.2 Knowledge dissemination (15 pts)
- Scientific community
Knowledge transfer/dissemination activities (organization & participation in seminars, symposia, publications, patents, etc.);
- General public and user communities
Discussions and dissemination activities for a wide audience: general public, schools, postsecondary institutions, municipal services, other users, media, volunteering, production of non-technical content, etc.;
Criterion 3: Integration of the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion in research (5 pts)
This criterion assesses the applicant’s efforts to promote equity, diversity and inclusion, not the composition of research teams*. The one-page document, to be attached in the “Other documents” section.
- Training: specific actions already taken and/or planned to promote EDI in the training of the next generation (recruitment, mentoring and career development practices, etc.);
- Research: where relevant, the consideration of diversity in the design and execution of research projects (research questions, methodology, etc.) and the dissemination and mobilization of knowledge to a diverse audience;
- Involvement: specific actions already taken and/or planned to promote EDI in the applicant’s community or field or within the research community in general (committees, inclusive scientific events, awareness activities, etc.).
*The applicant should not provide any information as to whether he or she, or members of the team, belong to marginalized or underrepresented groups.
For more information, please refer to the Our Actions section under the Equity, diversity and inclusion tab of the FRQ website.
6. Description and nature of funding
The applicant should refer to the CGR and Section 8 of the program rules for the rules governing the use and management of the grant.
6.1 Operating grant
The grant must be used for funding the operating expenses directly related to carrying out of the research project.
For the complete list of eligible expense categories, please refer to Section 8 of the CGR, Eligible and non-eligible expenses.
In addition, the use of computing and genomics platforms such as Calcul Québec and Génome Québec is encouraged where applicable.
The funding consists of an operating grant for two years with a maximum value of:
- $20,000 per year for new researchers at institutions in the metropolitan communities of Montréal or Québec City (form NCM-20,000);
- $30,000 per year for new researchers at institutions in the regions, i.e. outside the metropolitan communities of Montréal and Québec City (form NCR-30,000).
6.2 Equipment grant
An equipment grant may be added to the operating grant for the purchase of scientific equipment with a unit cost of $7,001 or more. This grant, up to $50,000 (including taxes), is awarded on the merit of the research project and is based on the needs identified, which must be clearly justified (see Section 3 — Contents of the application and required documents).
Good to know – equipment grant
The equipment grant must be requested at the same time as the operating grant.
The grant can only be used to buy the equipment originally requested in the application (equivalents must be justified to the program administrator).
7. Duration and management of the grant
Grants are awarded annually for the period from April 1 to March 31.
Grants are awarded for a maximum of 2 years and are not renewable. The balance remaining at the end of each budget year may be carried over to the next year, for the duration of the grant.
The unspent balance remaining at the end of the grant period may be carried forward for an additional period of one year. To do so, the grant holder and managing institution must justify their extension request to the program administrator and comply with the terms set out in Section 6.10 of the CGR.
7.2 Management and follow-up
Accepting the grant
- To initiate payment of the first instalment, the applicant must accept the grant within 30 days after receiving the competition results (end of April), in the “Manage my funding” section of the FRQnet Portfolio.
Annual update statement
- To initiate payment of the 2nd grant year, the grant holder must, after receiving a notice to do so (in March), submit an online update statement in the FRQnet Portfolio. The statement must be completed whether or not there are any changes to declare. Further grant payments are conditional on this step.
Annual financial report
- The managing institution must submit, no later than June of each year of funding, an annual financial report via the FRQnet Portfolio. This report must be signed by the grant holder.
- Grant payments are conditional on the submission of an annual financial report by the managing institution.
Changes during funding period
- Any major changes made during the funding period, including a redistribution of expenses by category for the operating or equipment grant, must be justified by email to the program administrator and reported in the FRQnet Portfolio (See Section 6.5 of the CGR).
Departure of the grant holder
- Grant recipients who leave their employing institution or Québec, for more than three months or permanently, must give prior notice by email to the Fonds concerned and record it in the FRQnet Portfolio. (See Sections 6.7, 6.8, 6.9 of the CGR).
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.
8. Announcement of results
The multidisciplinary evaluation committees submit their recommendations to the Board of directors of the FRQNT, which makes the funding decisions. All decisions of the Board of Directors of the FRQNT are final and cannot be appealed.
Grant results are announced at the end of April. The decisions of the Board of Directors of the FRQNT are sent to the institutions and applicants concerned. For any information on competition results, applicants must contact their institution’s research office or equivalent or visit the Fonds website.
Grants are contingent on the allocation of funding from the Assemblée nationale du Québec and the decisions of the board of directors of the Fonds and may be modified at any time without notice. It is therefore strongly recommended not to commit expenditures before the funding has been officially announced.
Applicants who wish to receive a summary of the evaluation committee’s comments must indicate this by email within 15 calendar days of the award letter. This feedback may be verbal or written.
9. Effective date
These rules apply to the 2022-2023 fiscal year.