- Possibility to request the maximum annual amount of $40,000 by new researchers who work in a regional institution and whose managing institution is in a metropolitan community.
- New procedure for applications for an exceptional extension of the eligibility period (PEPA) to be filed at any time before September 8, 2023, 16:00.
This program refers to the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) Common General Rules (CGR), which govern all Fonds de recherche du Québec–Nature et technologies (FRQNT) funding offers. Only rules specific to the Research Support for New Academics program are indicated in this document, and these prevail over the CGR.
A link to the FRQnet Electronic Portfolio, as well as the forms associated with this competition, may be found by visiting the “Portal Access” section of FRQ’s website. More information is also available in the FRQnet Electronic Portfolio under “Documents.” Please note that it is the applicant’s responsibility to use the correct application form. If an error is made, the FRQ will not transfer the application from one program to another and the application will be deemed as not eligible.
The FRQ requires that the Canadian Common CV and a list of detailed contributions be included in the Canadian Common CV section of the FRQnet Electronic Portfolio. The applicant must ensure that the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT) version is used. The information in these documents should be updated as of June 2022.
For complete instructions, please consult the documents Instructions for detailed contributions and the Canadian Common CV – FRQNT and the Application Presentation Standards – FRQNT which may both be found in the “Portal Access” section of the FRQ website as well as in the FRQnet Electronic Portfolio under “Documents.”
AN APPLICATION SUBMITTED AFTER THE COMPETITION DEADLINE OF 16:00 ON SEPTEMBER 12, 2023, WILL BE DEEMED INADMISSIBLE BY THE FRQNT.
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 mobilization of technological and scientific knowledge to user communities and the general public.
- Encourage university students to do research.
The grant is for a maximum of two years and:
- A maximum of $30,000 per year for new researchers from institutions located within the metropolitan communities of Montréal and Québec (NCM);
- A maximum of $40,000 per year for
o New researchers from institutions in the regions, i.e., those located outside the metropolitan communities of Montréal and Québec (NCR).
o New researchers who work in a regional institution whose managing institution is in the metropolitan community (NCR).
This grant is not renewable.
Indirect costs of research (FIR) of 27% are paid to the managing institution in addition to these amounts.
An additional amount of up to $50,000 (including taxes) may be requested by the PI for the purchase of scientific equipment (the cost of each piece of equipment must be $7,001 or more). This amount is awarded based on the quality of the research project, identified needs, and within the limits of the budget envelope.
The Research Support for New Academics program is part of a continuum of funding and career advancement within a portfolio of three FRQNT programs:
- Research Support for New Academics
- Team Research Project
Each of the three programs has eligibility requirements related to the career stage of the principal investigator (PI) of the application. Please refer to the diagram below to verify that the Research Support for New Academics program applies to your situation.
The principal investigator (PI) must meet the eligibility requirements as per the program rules and the CGR in effect at the time of submitting the funding application and throughout the funding period covered by the grant. A PI who does not meet, or no longer meets, the eligibility requirements set out below is not, or is no longer, eligible. 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.
To be eligible, the PI must have Status 1 as defined in the CGR and meet the following conditions:
- The PI has held this position for less than 3 years, i.e., as of September 2, 2020, or later, but no later than September 2, 2024.
- Similar positions held in Québec or outside Québec must be included in this 3-years eligibility period. (See Section 4-Application: Letter from the PI’s institution).
- A contracted professor (“professeure ou professeur 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.
- The PI has obtained their doctorate or PhD or successfully defended their doctoral dissertation no later than September 2, 2023.
- The PI benefits from a teaching release of at least 25% to carry out the research project for the duration of the grant, i.e., from April 2024 to March 31, 2026. The managing institution must provide a letter of confirmation (see Section 4-Application: Letter from the PI’s institution). This condition cannot be met retroactively.
The following are not eligible for this program:
- A PI whose research project 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);
- A PI who is applying simultaneously for, or has been or is currently funded under, one of the following programs:
o Research Support for New Academics by Fonds de recherche du Québec — Société et culture (FRQSC).
o Research-Creation Support for New Academics by Fonds de recherche du Québec — Société et culture (FRQSC).
o Research Support for New Academics program by Fonds de recherche du Québec — Nature et technologies (FRQNT).
o Research Scholars, Junior 1 program by Fonds de recherche du Québec — Santé (FRQS).
Also, within the framework of all Continuum programs, and in accordance with Section 6.12 of the CGR, the FRQNT reserves the right to declare ineligible any research proposals submitted by the same researcher that present the same activities or whose description suggests that there is an overlap.
Exceptional Extension of Eligibility Period (PEPA)
A PI who has interrupted or delayed their research career due to parental leave, major family obligations, disability, bereavement, a career period outside the research community, or for health reasons may have their eligibility period extended.
Individuals who wish to apply for an exceptional extension of their eligibility period are invited to complete the form by clicking on this link Request PEPA
This form and supporting documents can be sent at any time before September 8, 2023, at 16:00. The Fonds determines the exceptional extension to be granted based on the documents provided and will send the response via the FRQnet portfolio.
Participation Limits as PI
The PI may submit a maximum of two applications for funding during their eligibility period.
Also, per Continuum competition year, the researcher may participate in a maximum of ONE application as PI, regardless of the program involved.
The result of the application’s eligibility assessment will be sent to the PI by email in November.
Applicants will not be notified of any element missing from their application. Any documents received after the application deadline will not be considered and applications cannot be updated. Pages that exceed the maximum page limit will be removed. These rules will be strictly applied. An incomplete application will be deemed ineligible. See Section 3.6 of the CRG for information on the language of submitted forms and documents.
NCM-Metropolitan Community and NCR-Region forms
Two forms are available corresponding to the geographic location of the PI’s university’s head office:
NCM form: Universities located in the metropolitan communities of Montréal (MMC) and Québec (QMC).
NCR form: Universities in the rest of Québec (outside the MMC and QMC). Also applies to regional academic institutions whose managing institution is in a metropolitan community (CMM or CMQ).
A complete application includes the following documents:
The funding application form (FRQnet Electronic Portfolio) including the following sections:
- Selection of the multidisciplinary evaluation committee: Select the multidisciplinary evaluation committee best suited to the research topic of your proposal. Please consult the list in the program 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 requirements related to the research field.
- Abstract: Provide two summaries: one in French (Section Abstract) and one in English (Section Other Documents) of no more than 500 words each.
- Description of the research project (maximum 7 pages): Attach a document describing the project proposal (including figures and tables).
- Bibliography (maximum 1 page): Attach the references related to the project proposal description.
- Justification of planned expenditures (maximum 1 page): Complete list of eligible expenses (Section 8 of the CGR and Section 6 of the program rules).
- Description of planned expenditures for the equipment grant (maximum 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 to be functional may be accepted. The relevance of the assembly must be clearly indicated in the application (diagram, etc.)
This justification will be evaluated under the Methodology criterion.
Be sure to clearly explain the following:
a) The relevance of the requested equipment for the successful completion of the research project.
b) Lack of overlap between this equipment request and all other sources of funding already obtained by the applicant since taking up their position (CFI or NSERC equipment grant, etc.).
c) The availability (physical or usage) of similar equipment in the PI’s institution or in the region.
d) The structuring impact of the equipment for the sustainability of the laboratory and the training plan for users.
e) The possibility of repairing or refurbishing existing equipment (if applicable).
f) The possibility of using computing or genomics platforms (if applicable).
g) Risk management plan if the equipment is not funded.
For each of the following categories, a description and appropriate supporting documents are also required:
Equipment with a value of $7,001 to $25,000: No quote required.
Equipment with a value of $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.
The assembly of equipment whose total cost exceeds $25,000 (including taxes, in Canadian dollars) requires at least one quote.
Equipment with a value over $50,000:
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 year (June 1).
A letter of undertaking from the managing institution must be included with the application in the “Other documents” section of the form.
- List of suggested experts: The PI must suggest 10 experts who will be able to assess the scientific merit of the project (see the FAQ in the Toolbox for further details). The experts must have no current or recent (five years or less) collaborative relationship with the PI (see Section 4.2 of the CGR for examples).
- Other documents: Letter from the PI’s institution
A letter written and signed by the managing institution, attesting to the following:
a) That the PI holds or will hold a full-time tenure-track position (no later than September 2, 2024);
b) That the PI will be released from at least 25% of their teaching duties to carry out the research project for the duration of the grant (2024-2026).
c) The hiring date and position held (DD-MM-YYYY).
d) Where applicable, employment start and end dates (DD-MM-YYYY) for all full-time tenure-track professorial positions previously held by the PI at other universities in Quebec or outside of the province of Quebec.
Include 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 FRQNT reserves the right to contact the appropriate university authorities to obtain further information.
e) If applicable, that the PI’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 PI has successfully defended their dissertation and that graduation is a mere administrative formality.
g) If applicable, that the PI affiliated with an NCM managing institution will perform most of their functions in an NCR institution for the duration of the funding.
Canadian Common CV and list of detailed contributions (FRQnet Electronic Portfolio)
The Canadian Common CV of the PI, including the PDF file of detailed contributions, must be attached in the FRQnet Electronic Portfolio.
The detailed contributions should cover the last 5 years (calculated from September 2, 2018) in FRQNT format. The Canadian Common CV and detailed contributions must have been updated since June 2022.
Proof for publications that are submitted, accepted or in press must be included with the Canadian Common CV PDF file of detailed contributions. (See the Instructions for detailed contributions and the Canadian Common CV for details.)
Please note that institutional approval is required before the application is submitted to the FRQNT. It is therefore likely that your institution has established an internal deadline that is earlier than that of the competition. It is your responsibility to be informed of this in order to ensure that your application is submitted to the FRQNT before the competition deadline.
Applications are evaluated by intradisciplinary evaluation committees, which may call on other experts to complement the committee’s expertise.
The internal evaluation process including funding decisions is explained in Section 4 of the CGR.
Funding applications are evaluated based on the following criteria:
Criterion 1: Quality of the project (70 pts)
Sub-criterion 1.1 Excellence in research (20 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 and 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, if applicable
Relevance of the requested equipment for the successful completion of the research project.
- 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.
- Democratization of knowledge
Sharing, valorization, plan for the dissemination of the results to scientific and user communities and the public. Consideration for access to data (open access, etc.).
Criterion 2: Applicant’s scientific competence (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. Risk-taking through the exploration of a new research topic must be accompanied by a risk management plan in relation to the skills required to carry out the proposal.
- Experience and potential
Applicant’s research experience: Quantity and quality of scientific contributions and achievements within the reality of the field of research, mentoring experience. Potential demonstrated by the applicant throughout their career and activities related to research and science: originality of academic background, risk-taking, engagement, collaborative network, leadership, etc.
Sub-criterion 2.2: Track record in knowledge dissemination (15 pts)
Knowledge dissemination activities for the scientific community, the user community, and the public.
To be successful, funding applications must receive a passing score of 80%.
The grant must be used for funding the operating expenses directly related to carrying out of the research project.
All budget items listed in the CGR (Section 8) are eligible. Specific details for this program are described below. The use of computing and genomics platforms such as Calcul Québec and Génome Québec is encouraged where applicable.
Supplement – student maternity leave
The student maternity leave supplement is designed to encourage the retention of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, where they have historically been under-represented.
A female student enrolled in a Québec postsecondary institution who receives a scholarship (not in the form of a salary) funded by a grant under this program may receive a maternity supplement paid 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 receiving the scholarship under the FRQNT grant for at least six months. In addition, she may not hold an award from another granting agency and may not be receiving benefits from the Québec Parental Insurance Plan.
To obtain the maternity leave supplement, the student must make the request by email to the FRQNT program officer and provide a copy of a medical certificate attesting to the pregnancy. Also, when the time comes, copies of the birth certificate or proof of adoption of the child, as well as proof of suspension of enrolment at the Québec postsecondary institution, should be sent to the FRQNT program officer. In addition, a copy of the student’s scholarship contract must be provided. The maternity supplement may begin up to eight months before the birth or adoption of the child. The FRQNT will transfer the student’s maternity leave supplement to the postsecondary institution upon receipt of the required documents.
The FRQNT authorizes the maternity leave supplement on the condition that the student’s post-secondary institution allows the time to be taken off. In addition, the PI of the grant must agree to resume supervision of the student after the absence. The FRQNT reserves the right to reject any application that does not provide adequate explanation.
7. Management and follow-up
See Sections 5 to 7 of the CGR.
Grants are awarded for a maximum of 2 years. Grants are disbursed annually for the period from April 1 to March 31 of each year.
The unspent balance remaining at the end of the grant period may be carried forward for an additional period of one year only, subject to Section 6.10 of the CGR.
Funding condition for professors who will occupy a position as of September 2, 2024
A principal investigator who will occupy a Status 1 position no later than September 1 of the year following this competition must have legal status to work in Québec no later than April 30, 2024 (see Section 2.1 of the CGR).
Funding condition for equipment grants
The equipment grant can only be used to purchase the equipment originally requested in the application (any equivalent purchases will need to be justified).
Equipment over $50,000
In order for the contribution of the FRQNT to come into effect, the PI must provide supporting documents indicating the sources of complementary funding for the purchase of the requested equipment before June 1st of the grant starting year.
The final report is administrative in nature and allows the FRQNT to document the impact of the grants it offers. The funding holder must complete and submit the final report, which is available in their FRQnet Electronic Portfolio, no later than 6 months after the submission of the last financial report.
If the final report is not submitted within the time prescribed by the FRQNT, or the report is not to the satisfaction of the FRQNT, the funding holder is not eligible to receive new funding as PI or CI from any of the three branches of the FRQ or may have their payments suspended until the situation has been remedied.
8. Open access policy
Peer-reviewed publications resulting from the research made possible by this grant must be released as immediate open access (without embargo), under an open license, in accordance with the FRQ Open Access Policy (revised in 2022).
9. Effective date
These rules apply to the 2024-2025 fiscal year.