The Advisory Committee on Climate Change (hereinafter “the Committee”) and the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) are launching, for a second year, the Climate Action Scholarship Program, aimed at developing and implementing public policies to combat climate change in Québec. This program is intended for doctoral students who wish to explore new ways of increasing the impact of their research through science advice.
The Committee is a public body that acts independently to fulfil its mission. This mission consists of advising the minister responsible for the fight against climate change on orientations, programs, policies and strategies to tackle climate change. The Committee publishes the opinions it produces for the Minister. In carrying out its mandate, the Committee takes into account the evolution of scientific and technological knowledge as well as scientific consensuses.
Quebec is facing significant global warming and is committed to decarbonizing in less than three decades. In this context, the Committee’s mission is to advise the Minister responsible for the fight against climate change, at the latter’s request or on his own initiative, on the orientations, programs, policies and strategies for the fight against climate change, taking into account the evolution of scientific and technological knowledge as well as scientific consensus in this area. This advisory role is part of a context in which the Minister coordinates all government action in the fight against climate change. The Committee is a permanent independent organisation.
With this scholarship program, the Committee and the FRQ wish to offer $12,000 scholarships to doctoral students in all disciplines and provide an opportunity to participate in the future of climate action in Québec. The students selected under this program will use their research skills to produce new scientific knowledge to support the Committee’s science advice activities. The Committee and the FRQ hope to receive a diversity of projects encompassing technological and social dimensions as well as issues relating to individual and community health and the role of artistic approaches in the construction and deconstruction of environmental perspectives, mobilization and incitement to action. Whatever the proposed research framework, the knowledge generated should provide scientific findings on climate change to inform public policy. In this sense, it is likely to have significant societal benefits.
The program is open to anyone enrolled in a doctoral research program at a Québec university, and the scholarship offered may be held concurrently with other awards. In addition, the scholarship is conditional on the completion of a four- to six-month project involving the drafting and submission of a final deliverable, which may be published on the Committee’s website.
Successful projects may cover a number of disciplinary fields relevant to the fight against climate change, including reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation to the impacts of climate change, greenhouse gas sequestration, and mobilization for climate action. The objective is to mobilize multiple perspectives on complex climate change issues in ways that complement the work of the Committee. The Committee hopes that these projects will, among other things, build bridges with civil society groups and traditional knowledge, and that they will be part of a just transition.
For this second edition (2023-2024), the priority themes are:
The scholarship has a value of $12,000. This scholarship may be held concurrently with other funding, as its amount and duration are equivalent to a scholarship supplement. A first payment of $6,000 is made at the start of the period referred to in the scholarship announcement and a second payment of $6,000 is made after approval of the final deliverable by the Committee.
The following are eligible for this competition:
To be eligible, students must also have the support of their research director, who must give consent via their FRQnet portal certifying that:
Applications are evaluated in two phases.
Phase 1 – Preselection: A preselection process is applied to all eligible applications by a panel composed of members of the Advisory Committee on Climate Change, or any other person appointed by the Committee or suggested by the FRQ according to the rules in force at the FRQ, to select the projects that meet the Committee’s needs, with a focus on the themes of the competition. An employee of the FRQ participates as an observer in this initial selection phase.
Quality of the academic record: 25%
Project relevance: 50%
Potential feasibility of the project and of the production of the deliverable by the applicant: 25%
Phase 2 – Scientific evaluation: A limited number of applications that passed the preselection phase then undergo scientific evaluation by an intersectoral panel composed of individuals known for their climate change expertise and selected according to the rules in force at the FRQ and in light of the program’s evaluation criteria. An employee of the Committee participates as an observer in this second selection phase.
Scientific evaluation criteria:
Quality of the academic record: 35%
Scientific quality of the project: 50%
Potential for integration of the scholarship project into the applicant’s academic and personal career path in conjunction with the completion of the applicant’s degree: 15%
To be recommended for funding, the application must: 1) include all required documents; 2) be deemed relevant to the themes of the competition; 3) obtain a minimum overall score of 70% in the scientific evaluation.
The 2023-2024 electronic application form is available on the website in the applicant’s FRQSC Portfolio (Société et culture is the managing agency for this program). The completed form must be submitted electronically by the competition deadline date and time.
Please see Section 3.6 of the Common General Rules for information regarding the language of submitted forms and documents.
Refer to the Presentation standards for PDF attachments in the FRQnet E-portfolio to properly format any documents to be attached to the application.
5.1 Required documents
1) The electronic form with the following sections completed:
o Research problem, perspective, methodology and objectives;
o Relationship of the research project to the chosen theme;
o Nature and contents of the final deliverable;
o Contribution of the project and the deliverable to the Committee’s mandate and Québec climate policy;
o Implementation plan with timeline.
2) Official transcripts (see notes in Section 5.2 for details)
3) Where applicable, the following documents must be included in the “Other documents” section of the form:
o Official document attesting to the duration of parental leave or sick leave, such as a medical certificate or copy of the child’s birth certificate;
o In the case of a major family obligation or a person with a disability, provide documents attestant to the situation.
4) United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)
In accordance with the Québec research and innovation investment strategy 2022-2028 (SQRI2) and the Québec Government Sustainable Development Strategy 2023-2028 (SGDD 2023-2028) and in line with their 2022-2025 strategic plans, the FRQ are seeking to promote the role of science and the scientific community in attaining the SDGs.
To that end, applicants are asked to indicate, if appropriate to their project, the contribution of their research to attaining the SDGs in the “Contribution to the sustainable development goals” section of their application form. This section will not be sent to the evaluation committees. Please consult the FRQ SDG Guide for further details.
5.2 Important notes related to official 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 applicant, 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:
Be issued by the university institution in question;
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:
5.3 Important notes related to submitting the application:
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.
For more details, visit the website.