The following changes were made during the latest update of the Common General Rules (CGR) of the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ).
· Terminology: the expression “financial support” has been replaced by “funding”.
· Research status:
o University researcher (Status 1): adjustment to clarify that the requirement “university-affiliated” applies only to “other public institution within the health and social services network”.
o University researcher (Status 1) / Clinical university researcher (Status 2): clarification of the scope of the rule that early-career researchers also qualify for Status 1 or 2. This rule is intended to prevent the exclusion of young researchers who do not yet supervise students, but whose position provides for and allows supervision.
o Government or private sector researcher (Status 4b): the title of Status 4b “Government or private sector researcher” is replaced by “Researcher in a government-sector organization not recognized by the FRQ or in the private sector”, to clarify that it applies to government sector organizations that are not recognized to manage funding, unlike Status 4a.
o Individual participant (Status 4e): the title of Status 4e “Individual participant” is replaced by “Individual contributor” to avoid confusion with the “research participants” mentioned in Sections 8.4 and 8.5.
· Roles in the application:
o Principal investigator: deletion of the reference to individuals qualifying for one of the categories of Status 4.
§ 1st paragraph, clarification added to include contributions to a group CV.
§ 2nd paragraph, addition of a notation that substantial management of the project cannot be entrusted to a Status 4 co-investigator or a sub-contractor.
o Collaborator: adjustment to clarify that a collaborator cannot be delegated to manage a portion of the funds.
· Section 2.1 – citizenship and domicile: clarification of eligibility requirements for training awards. Applicants who have applied for a RAMQ card and can prove that the card will be valid at the competition deadline are eligible.
· Section 3.2 – Instructions for Completing and Submitting an Application: addition of details governing the use of hyperlinks in funding applications.
· Section 4.1 – composition and role of evaluation committees: addition of the specification that evaluation committee members are trained in the risks of bias.
· Section 5.2 – conditions of funding: clarification that an individual whose account is not in good standing cannot apply for or receive funding from any of the Fonds, whether they have the role of principal investigator or co-investigator.
· Section 5.5 – research ethics and conformity: adjustments related to the responsibility for obtaining the necessary research ethics approvals.
· Section 6.10 – residual balance: clarification of conditions governing the carryover of unexpended funds when the grant is linked to another grant.
· Section 6.12 – concurrent funding: clarification to consider the reality of research groups by extending the Section to include co-investigators.
· Section 8.4 – compensation, training and professional fees: the expression “research subjects” is replaced by “research participants”.
· Section 8.5 – travel and subsistence costs: the expression “research subjects” is replaced by “research participants”.
· Section 8.6 – material, equipment and resources:
o Eligible expenses: addition of routers as an eligible expense.
o Non-eligible expenses: specification that indirect research costs may be eligible under individual program rules.
· Section 8.7 – common research platforms or infrastructures: deletion of the 3rd paragraph, as it already appears in the program rules of FRQS research infrastructure programs.