Important changes 2022-2023
- Removal of the declaration of intent stage;
- Removal of participation limits for the PC;
- A municipality can be involved in up to four applications for funding;
- Cross-sectoral team building is no longer required but is still encouraged;
- Change in financial contributions from partner municipalities;
- Adjustment of the evaluation criteria.
This program refers to the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ)’s Common General Rules (CGR), which govern all of the FRQ’s programming. The information below provides guidelines specifically applicable to the Visage Municipal program, and these rules take precedence 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 provide the correct application form. In the event that 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 FRQnet Electronic Portfolio application. The applicant must ensure that they fill out the Fund’s version of their research area, either FRQNT, FRQSC or FRQS. These documents must be updated as of June 2021.
For complete instructions, please consult the documents Instructions for detailed contributions and the Canadian Common CV for the Funds corresponding to your research area and the Application Presentation Standards which may be both found in the Portal Access section of the FRQ website as well as in the FRQnet Electronic Portfolio under “Documents”.
A FILE SENT TO THE FRQ AFTER THE COMPETITION DEADLINE OF OCTOBER 21, 2022 AT 4:00 P.M. WILL BE DECLARED INELIGIBLE BY THE FRQ.
The general objective of the Visage Municipal (MUN) program is to develop research projects carried out in partnership between the research community and key players in the municipal and territorial sectors in Quebec.
More specifically, this program aims to:
- Support the realization of research projects based on the needs and challenges of municipalities;
- Provide a decisive leverage effect on the development of research projects defined and conducted in partnership between post-secondary institutions and Quebec municipalities;
- Promote high quality environments that will provide opportunities for the training, mentoring and skill development of students;
- Strengthen the FRQNT’s and the scientific community’s commitment to society by supporting projects that meet the needs of Quebec municipalities in terms of research, innovation and skills development.
The grant is for a period of two years and a maximum of $50,000 per year. This grant is non-renewable.
Indirect research costs (FIR) of 27% are paid to the managing institution and are in addition to these amounts.
For the purposes of this program, the term “Municipality” refers to the territories under the responsibility of:
(a) any local municipality constituted under the general municipal systems (including the Cities and Towns Act and the Quebec Municipal Code);
(b) the 14 Northern villages and the Kativik Regional Government (KRG) governed by the Act respecting Northern villages and the Kativik Regional Government;
(c) any regional county municipality (RCM);
(d) the Regional Government of Eeyou Istchee James Bay (GREIBJ);
(e) the Cree Nation Government (CNG);
(f) local governments on Category IA and IA-N lands and Cree and Naskapi village municipalities governed by The Cree Villages and the Naskapi Village Act;
(g) First Nation communities whose land base includes Indian reserves or Indian settlements.
See the list of Northern Quebec communities and villages as a reference for points (b), (f) and (g).
All research projects, principal investigators, research teams and participants must comply with the eligibility requirements in effect in the program rules and the GCRs at the time of application for funding and throughout the award period covered by the grant. Any project, researcher, research team or participant that does not meet or no longer meets the eligibility requirements listed below is not or no longer eligible. Failure to comply with program rules or to provide information to establish eligibility or to evaluate the project may result in ineligibility.
3.1 Principal Investigator (PI)
The PI is a status 1, 2 or 3 researcher as defined in the CGR.
A researcher under award who meets CGR status 1, but is in a non-tenure track position at his/her university, must provide a letter from his/her academic institution (see Section 4).
The PI may participate in multiple applications as a PI.
3.2 Team composition
Projects must be carried out by a team that includes the PI and at least one co-investigator (CI) originating from the Municipality (Municipal CI).
In addition, up to three additional co-investigators (CIs) may also join the team. These individuals work in research areas covered by one or more of the 3 FRQs.
3.3 Co-investigators (CI)
The CI(s) may participate in multiple applications per competition.
Person who ensures that the project is well grounded in reality and responds to the needs of the territory targeted by the study. This person corresponds to Status 4c of the CGR. No amount of the FRQNT grant may be transferred to this person or to his or her home municipality.
A person is eligible to be the CI of the Municipality if he or she:
- Contributes to the project by bringing their skills, their capacity to act within the framework of the project, their experience and practical knowledge of the territory and not their expertise in research or research-creation;
- Is identified and supported by the Municipality to represent it on the research team. This support must be formalized at the time the Application is submitted (see section 3 of the program rules).
Is not eligible as a CI of the Municipality:
- The mayor or mayoress of the municipality and any member of the municipal council;
- Any person who fits into statuses 1, 2, 3, 4a, 4b as defined in the CGR;
- Any person paid by – or under contract with – a post-secondary institution for research activities at the time of application and for the duration of the funding.
Any person meeting status 1 to 3 as defined in the CGR or research institution may join the team as a co-investigator.
Any person meeting status 1 to 4 as defined in the CGR or research institution may join the team as a collaborator. A CV is not required. In addition, international researchers are also eligible.
The complementary nature of the expertise required to carry out the research project must be reflected in the composition of the team.
3.5 Research project
Please note that all applications for funding that fall within the research areas covered by the FRQ are eligible (FRQNT, FRQSC, FRQS). In case of doubt about the conformity of their research project to the program, researchers can contact the program manager.
In addition, the project must be carried out entirely in Quebec and involve the active participation of people residing in Quebec.
3.6 Partner Municipality(ies)
A project submitted to this program must have the support of at least one Partner Municipality. The term “Municipality” in the context of the program is defined in section 2.
A municipality may support up to four applications for funding in a single competition.
The support of the Partner Municipality is demonstrated by the following actions:
- The Partner Municipality provides the PI with a signed Acknowledgement of Contribution from Partner Municipality form. Accepted signatories are indicated on the Acknowledgement Form.
- In the Contribution Attestation form, the Partner Municipality identifies and supports the CI of the Municipality in his or her role as representative of the Municipality and as a direct link between the team and the Municipality throughout the project, from its conception to the communication of its benefits for the territory.
3.7 Financial contribution (Partner Municipality(ies))
The Partner Municipality(ies) must contribute financially to the project according to the following terms and conditions:
A-Municipality of less than 100,000 inhabitants: the Municipality commits to a minimum contribution equal to 25% of the annual funding requested from the FRQNT, distributed as follows: 15% in financial contribution and 10% in the form of human and/or material resources.
B-Municipality of more than 100,001 inhabitants: the Municipality commits to a minimum contribution equal to 40% of the annual funding requested from the FRQNT, distributed as follows: 30% in financial contribution and 10% in the form of human and/or material resources.
As soon as several municipalities are involved in the same project, the contribution is calculated according to the terms and conditions of B-Municipality of more than 100,001 inhabitants.
Some university managing institutions may request a matching Indirect Research Costs (FIR) from the Partner Municipality(ies) in the event of funding. The amounts and terms of these payments are agreed upon between the institution managing the funding and the Partner Municipality and are excluded from the calculation of the mandatory minimum contribution requested by the FRQNT.
A notice of transmittal for evaluation or of non-eligibility of the application will be sent by email to the PI in November.
Applicants will not be asked to provide any items missing from their application. All documents received after the deadline for submitting applications to the FRQ will not be considered and there will be no update of the application. Any excess pages will be removed from the application. These rules will be strictly enforced. Incomplete applications are not eligible. Refer to Section 3 of the CGR for application procedures. For applications written in English, the title and summary must be provided in both French and English.
The FRQNT reserves the right to request additional documentation to support the monetary contribution claims of the partner municipalities.
A complete application includes the following documents:
Funding Application Form (FRQnet e-Portfolio) including the following sections:
- Project description (10 pages): “Project/Programming Description” section, not including the EDI criteria.
- Bibliography (1 page): “Bibliography” section of the FRQnet form. Optional.
- Justification of Planned Expenses for FRQNT Funding (2 pages): “Budget” section.
- Attestation of the Municipality’s contribution: “Project Partners’ Contribution” section.
- Justification of the additional amount requested for teaching release time: Section “Teaching release – Colleges”.
- Abbreviated CV of the Municipality’s CIs (3 pages): “Co-Investigators” section. See the FRQ Short CV – Expected Information document in the Toolbox.
- Consideration of the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion (500 words): “Equity, Diversity and Inclusion” section. Refer to Evaluation Criteria 4 for details on what this section should contain.
- Other documents:
A. A letter of support from each partnering Municipality indicating how the Municipality intends to contribute to the research project AND will benefit from the results of the research project.
Canadian Common CV and List of Detailed Contributions (FRQnet e-Portfolio)
The Canadian Common CV, including the PDF file of detailed contributions, must be attached via the FRQnet e-Portfolio for the PI and CIs (excluding the Municipality CI).
The detailed contributions must present the last 5 years (as of September 2017) in the format of the FRQ corresponding to your field of research, i.e. FRQNT, FRQSC or FRQS. The Canadian Common CV and detailed contributions must have been updated since June 2021.
Note that institutional approval is required prior to submission of the application to FRQNT. Therefore, it is likely that internal deadlines prior to this competition have been established by your institution. It is your responsibility to inform yourself of these deadlines so that your application can be submitted to the FRQ before the competition deadline.
The evaluation of applications is carried out by multidisciplinary evaluation committees (MEC), which may request the advice of experts to complement the committee’s expertise.
The internal review process, including the funding decision, is detailed in Section 4 of the CGR.
Applications for funding are evaluated according to the following criteria:
Criterion 1: Scientific quality of the research project (25 points)
- Contribution of the project to the advancement of knowledge and/or potential for knowledge transferability;
- Clarity of the scientific objectives, the proposed methodology and adequacy with the needs of the Municipality;
- Expected results and deliverables consistent with the objectives;
- Realism of the budget and schedule.
Criterion 2: Quality of the team, the research/territory collaboration plan and the knowledge mobilization plan (50 points)
- For the researcher(s) on the team: Research accomplishments and relevance of the expertise in the context of the project;
- For the co-researcher(s) from the municipality(ies): Previous achievements, involvement in the project and capacity for action within the municipality during AND after the project, when implementing the research outcomes;
- Collaborative construction and joint implementation of the project: Direct relevance of the project’s objectives, results and deliverables to the needs of the Partner Municipality(ies);
- Concrete presentation of a plan for integrating the project into the Municipality’s operations;
- Implementation of a strategy for mobilizing and appropriating knowledge, know-how or technology from the Partner Municipality(ies).
Criterion 3: Quality of the environment for the supervision of young researchers (20 points)
- Integration and supervision of students (college, undergraduate, graduate) or postdoctoral fellows in the research project;
- Joint experience of team members in mentoring students;
- Quality of the inclusive and diverse mentoring environment.
The involvement of the next generation of researchers in the project must be described. The value of collaboration with the municipal sector in training the next generation of researchers is an asset.
Criterion 4: Consideration of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (5 points)
The evaluation of this criterion focuses on the PI’s efforts to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI), not on the composition of the teams1.
- Training: specific actions already taken and/or planned to promote EDI in the training of the next generation (recruitment practices, coaching, career development, etc.);
- Research: when relevant, consideration of EDI in the design and execution of research projects (research questions, methodology, etc.), dissemination and mobilization of knowledge to a diverse audience;
- Involvement: specific actions already taken and/or planned to promote EDI in one’s environment, in one’s field or in the research community in general (committees, inclusive scientific events, awareness activities, etc.).
1The PI must not provide information regarding his/her own or team members’ belonging to marginalized or underrepresented groups.
For more information, please see the document Considering Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Efforts in the Evaluation of FRQNT Grant Applications in the Document section of the FRQnet e-Portfolio.
There is an 80% passing threshold in the evaluation of the funding application.
The grant must be used only to finance current expenses directly related to the implementation of the research project.
No amount of the FRQNT grant may be transferred to the Partner Municipality. Municipal CIs may be reimbursed upon presentation of invoices for expenses incurred as a result of their participation in the funded research activity.
All budget items as outlined in the CGR (Section 8) are eligible. More specific information regarding eligible expenses for this program are described below.
Conditions for persons whose salary is charged to the regular budget of an institution subsidized by the government or any other government agency
Except for the specific case of college researchers (status 3), grants from the FRQ must not be used to pay salaries or salary supplements to PIs, CIs and individuals whose salary is charged to the regular budget of a government-funded institution such as a university, a ministry or its institutions or any other government agency. See the CGR for details.
Terms and conditions for salary support for eligible CCTT Status 3 researchers who do not have teaching duties
An amount of the FRQNT grant may be used for salary support for college researchers who are members of the team and do not have teaching duties. This amount may be transferred by the PI’s institution directly to the college with which the CCTT is affiliated in the case of a CCTT researcher.
ADDITIONAL teaching release amount for eligible status 3 researchers with teaching duties
For each college researcher who is a member of the team and has a teaching assignment, an additional amount of up to $16,000 per year will be paid directly to the college to compensate for the portion of the salary dedicated to the teaching assignment. This amount, paid directly to the managing college institution, may be used to compensate for the portion of the researcher’s salary dedicated to the release from teaching duties or to ensure that the researcher’s teaching duties are performed by another college faculty member.
Maternity BONUS for female students
This measure is designed to encourage the retention of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, where they have historically been underrepresented.
A female student enrolled in a Quebec post-secondary institution who receives a bursary (not in the form of a salary) from a grant under this program may receive a maternity bonus paid by the FRQNT for a maximum period of eight months for the birth or adoption of a child. To be eligible, the student must have been receiving her grant from FRQNT for at least six months. In addition, she may not hold a bursary from another granting agency and may not receive benefits from the Québec Parental Insurance Plan.
To obtain the maternity allowance, the student must make a request by e-mail to the person in charge of the program at FRQNT and provide a copy of the medical certificate attesting to her pregnancy and, when the time comes, the birth certificate, or proof of adoption of the child, as well as proof of suspension of registration from the Québec post-secondary institution. In addition, a copy of the scholarship contract established with the student must be submitted. The maternity allowance may begin up to eight months before the birth or adoption of the child. The FRQNT will transfer the student’s maternity allowance to the post-secondary institution upon receipt of the required documentation.
The maternity grant is authorized by FRQNT on the condition that the post-secondary institution allows time off from her study project to focus on her parenting project. The PI of the grant agrees to resume supervision of the student after the absence. The FRQNT reserves the right to reject any application that is insufficiently justified.
7. Management and monitoring
Projects are scheduled to begin on April 1st, 2023.
Please refer to sections 5 to 7 of the CGR.
The grant is awarded for a maximum period of two years. Grants are paid annually for the period from April 1st to March 31st of each year.
The unexpended balance at the end of the grant may be carried forward, but only for one additional year and subject to the conditions of section 6.10 of the CGR.
7.1 Intellectual Property
Recognition of intellectual property rights – The FRQNT recognizes the rights of the grant holder and its home institution to the intellectual property of the research work, including: the original raw data, the interim research work, the progress report, the scientific report, the final report and the research results, in whatever form, resulting from the work funded under the program.
Sharing of intellectual property and exploitation rights – The sharing of rights must respect the principles defined by the Quebec government in the Plan d’action : gestion de la propriété intellectuelle dans les universités et les établissements du réseau de la santé et des services sociaux (MRST, 2002) and the CGR.
Adherence – Researchers funded under this program are expected to adhere to the practices of their institution. Team members and partners are also required to adhere to these practices. As such, researchers and their institutions will negotiate intellectual property clauses with partner municipalities that respect the fundamental principles of the Intellectual Property Plan and CGR.
FRQNT’s Right to Use Research – All requests for the use of research, including reproduction, translation, performance, or communication to the public by any means, must be made directly to the grantees or their institutions. The latter must take into account their obligations, particularly with respect to the protection of research participants or compliance with intellectual property policies applicable to the research work.
FRQNT’s rights regarding the scientific report – FRQNT may use the scientific report for reproduction, adaptation, publication, translation and communication to the public by any means (conferences, websites, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), in compliance with copyright and for non-commercial purposes only. Linguistic revisions may be made prior to release without further notice.
In addition to the above CGR and statements, the following applies:
- To encourage the use, for the benefit of Quebec and Quebec society, of the results of research conducted in whole or in part with FRQ funds;
- To promote the establishment of fruitful partnerships and to recognize the unique contribution of the various partners while protecting the IP rights of the different parties;
- To ensure that the results of the research are made public. The FRQ does not support secret or classified work;
- To ensure that a student’s graduation will not be delayed due to IP issues. The FRQ recognizes that reasonable release times may be necessary to protect patents;
- To grant researchers the right to use the results of their research for non-commercial purposes in their subsequent teaching or research activities.
In any agreement inherent in this grant, the parties shall comply with the following mandatory elements:
- Confidential Information: Confidential information vested in the various parties must be respected. A partner’s proprietary data, commercially sensitive information, potentially valuable ideas or results must be protected from unauthorized, inadvertent or premature disclosure. It is therefore incumbent upon the party or parties holding confidential information to share only such information in the course of research programming as can be handled in a manner consistent with the above principles;
- Sharing of IP Rights: Prior IP rights vested in the various parties must be respected. Improvements to IP arising from the results of the research program shall be shared equitably between the parties;
- Mandatory disclosure of research results: The results of FRQ-funded research cannot be considered as confidential information of the partner(s). The managing institution must allow the partner(s) to review the articles prior to publication. Publication of research results must not result in the disclosure of a partner’s proprietary information without the express consent of the partner;
- Academic Progress: The submission of a student’s thesis and defense cannot be delayed under any circumstances.
The FRQNT IP guidelines include passages taken or strongly inspired by the NSERC Intellectual Property Policy, as it appears on the NSERC website on April 1st, 2019, with its authorization.
The awarding of the grant and the payment of the amounts provided for the first year are conditional upon:
- The PI’s agreement to carry out the research project in accordance with the objectives and timetable established in the funding application, with the financial resources granted, and in compliance with the conditions set out in the summary sheet accompanying the letter of announcement;
- The continued support of the Municipality(ies) involved in the project throughout the duration of the funding, in accordance with the terms and conditions set out in the Attestation of Contribution from the Municipality provided with the evaluated file;
- The PC agrees to grant FRQNT and the Municipalities a non-exclusive and non-transferable license to its copyrights on the scientific and final report, without territorial limits and for an unlimited period. The grantee warrants to the FRQNT and the Municipalities that it holds all rights to grant this copyright license. This license allows the FRQNT and the Municipalities to reproduce the scientific report, to adapt it, to publish it, to translate it and to communicate it to the public by any means (conferences, websites, Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Linguistic revision may be made prior to release, without further notice;
- The PI agrees to write the progress, scientific and final reports required by the FRQNT schedule (in French, if applicable);
- That grant holders and their institution negotiate intellectual property clauses with the Municipality(ies) that respect the fundamental principles set out in the FRQ’s CGR on intellectual property as well as the conditions of this guide, particularly those set out in the Intellectual Property section. In particular, the agreement reached with the Municipality(ies) must not have the effect of preventing the grant holder from disseminating its results (subject to a reasonable delay to allow, for example, for a patent application). In order to release the first instalment of the grant, the managing institution shall confirm to the FRQNT that such an agreement has been reached between the grant holder, its managing institution and the Municipality(ies), no later than six months following the announcement of the grant. The agreement must be effective as of April 1st, 2023, the start date of the projects.
The other conditions of the awards as set out in the CGR must also be met.
- Scientific Report: Three months after the project end date, the PI must submit a scientific report (in French, if applicable) via their FRQnet e-Portfolio. Distinct from the final report, the scientific report is shorter and presents the research results in plain language for use by the partner. In particular, it explains the benefits to the practice partners of their participation in the project. This report may be released in its entirety by the FRQNT and by the partner (see the Intellectual Property section of this guide for more details).
- Final Report: The final report is administrative in nature and allows the FRQNT to document the impact of the grants offered. The PI must complete and submit the final report, available through his/her FRQnet electronic portfolio, no later than 6 months after the submission of the last financial report.
In the event that the Scientific Report and/or Final Report are not submitted within the timeframe specified by the FRQ, or if the Scientific Report and/or Final Report are not to the satisfaction of the FRQ according to the processes described above, the grantee is not eligible to receive further financial support from any of the three FRQ or may have their payments suspended until this condition is met.
8. Open access policy
Peer-reviewed publications resulting from the research enabled by this award shall be released in immediate open access (non-embargoed), under an open license, in accordance with the Open Access Dissemination Policy (revised in 2022).
9. Effective date
These rules are effective for the 2022-2023 fiscal year.