Clinical Research Scholars - Junior 1 and 2, Senior / 2014-2015


Competition year :



Deadline (notice or letter of intent) :

August 22nd, 2013, 11:59 PM


Deadline (application) :

October 1st, 2013, 11:59 PM


Amount :

from 18 003 $ to 53 082 $


Duration :

4 years


Announcement of results :

April 2014



NOTE: No technical or administrative support will be available on Saturday or Sunday.

This program is designed to facilitate the recruitment of qualified clinical researchers who seeking to begin or continue an independent career in health-care research. With this program, the FRQS intends to promote continuity in clinical research in Québec, particularly in health-care institutions affiliated to FRQS research centres, and ensure that new knowledge derived from basic research can benefit patients as fast as possible.

Applicants must hold a professional degree in health sciences and who conduct research half-time (at least 50% of their working hours). This program is divided into three areas: 1) basic research; 2) clinical and epidemiological research; and 3) research on health and society, all of which are open to all eligible applicants.


Eligibility requirements

Eligible applicants

  • Applicants who hold a professional university degree in health sciences at the doctoral level (M.D., D.D.S., etc.), a valid license to practice, and at least two continuous years of additional research training, with at least 50% of time devoted to research.The license must remain valid throughout the duration of the award.

  • Canadian citizens or permanent residents (as defined in section 1.1 of the Common Rules and Regulations) domiciled in Québec at the time the award comes into effect.

Candidates may apply:

  • A maximum of three times in the four years in which they are classified Junior 1 (0 to 3 years' experience).

  • A maximum of twice in the four years in which they are classified Junior 2 (4 to 7 years' experience).

  • A maximum of twice in the four years in which they are classified Senior (8 to 11 years' experience). See the Research experience section.

Not eligible:

  • Directors or associate scientific directors of research centres funded by the FRQS or senior managers in university-level teaching institutions (unless permission in writing has been obtained from the FRQS)

  • Applicants holding an award with more than 18 months remaining as of April 1, 2014.

Terms and conditions

  • Must be working in Québec as a clinician in a health-care institution in the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) network

  • Must have permission from the director of the department or research director of an institution recognized by the FRQS to conduct research activities (see Research location)

  • Must have a commitment from the university that the applicant will be appointed to a university position as soon as the award comes into effect

  • Must devote at least 50% of his or her working hours to research while carrying on clinical activities at a level satisfactory to the FRQS (at least 25%). Health-care professionals who hold a valid license to practice in Québec and spend at least 75% or more on their working hours on research may apply for the following program: Research Scholars – Junior 1 and 2, Senior

  • Must demonstrate the capacity or potential to be a competitive researcher at the national and international levels

  • Must have supervisory privileges, directing students enrolled in a research training program to the satisfaction of the FRQS

  • Must demonstrate the capacity or potential to collaborate with researchers from other disciplines

  • Must comply with the provisions of the Québec Health Insurance Act (section XII, articles 95 to 104) regarding research scholarships. Specifically, all applicants must agree to comply with the provisions of the Act regarding the awarding of research scholarships (article 96):

"No one shall be entitled to a research scholarship if, in the opinion of the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé under the Act respecting the Ministère du Développement économique, de l'innovation et de l'Exportation."(chapter M-30.01),

  1. he is not domiciled in Québec;

  2. he does not have a working knowledge of the official language of Québec;

Basic training in research ethics

Basic training in research ethics is compulsory for all FRQS awardees when their research project involves human subjects.

The term "research project involving human subjects" applies when the research project involves:

  • living human subjects

  • cadavers, human remains, tissues, biological fluids, gametes, embryos or fetuses, cells or genetic materials

  • personal information on file. Personal information is defined as information that enables a person to be identified.

This basic training consists of successful completion of Levels 1 and 3 of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux On-line Tutorial in Research Ethics.

Awardees must complete this basic training within a year of receipt of a positive response concerning the FRQS award.

In addition, all career researchers must attend a Research Ethics Board (REB) meeting as observers. The REB must be affiliated with a university or with an institution within the health and social services network. Participation must occur within two years of receipt of a positive response concerning the FRQS award.


Research areas

All applicants who hold a doctoral degree in research or a professional degree in the health sciences at the doctoral level are required to choose one of the following research areas:

Basic science

This includes the basic biological mechanisms of health at the molecular, cellular, tissue and integrative levels, including all research that uses intact animal organisms or their cellular components, cellular descendants, or human cells and tissues. Research that involves the participation of human subjects is included under this heading as long as it involves basic mechanisms.

Clinical and epidemiological science

In general, this includes all biological, medical and epidemiological research that involves the participation of human subjects.

Health and society

This includes research on individual, social and cultural factors and interactions among them that are linked to health status or behaviours. There are many social and cultural factors that are relevant to health: the organization and provision of health care, social and health-care policy, education, economics and employment, the media, ethical issues, the environment in which we live, and so on.

It is possible to combine two areas of research; for example, basic science and clinical and epidemiological science may intersect in research projects that involve human subjects.

After reviewing the Notices of Intent, the FRQS may recommend that an applicant redirects his or her application to the research area in which the Review Committee possesses the most appropriate expertise for reviewing the file. In doubt, applicants are invited to contact the FRQS.


Required documents - Notice of intent

Electronic documents

Please make sure to submit your e-documents to the FRQS.


  • Notice of Intent form compulsory

  • Canadian Common CV (complete new version)

The Fonds de recherche du Québec are using the new version of the Canadian Common CV for this competition. Only the Funding CV for the agency will be accepted.

  • detailed contributions (as a CV attachment)

  • The Notice of Intent is used to:

  • establish the applicant's eligibility

  • verify the type of program and area of research chosen by the applicant (see Research areas) and put the applicant to a preliminary category based on experience (see Research experience) in order to recruit peer-review committees. Scientific reviews are not based on the Notice of Intent.

  • obtain approval from the university

The FRQS will confirm applicants' eligibility by e-mail in early September.

Only those applicants who are deemed to be eligible and have been approved by the university may submit applications.


Required documents - complete application

Submitting documents via the FRQS Web site only

Please make sure to submit your e-documents to the FRQS.


  • Canadian Common CV (complete new version)
    The Fonds de recherche du Québec are using the new version of the Canadian Common CV for this competition. Only the Funding CV for the agency will be accepted.

  • detailed contributions (as a CV attachment)

  • Chercheurs-boursiers cliniciens application form including:

  • copies of the notices of awards and grants received since October 1, 2009 (other than those attributed by the FRQS)

  • an official copy (PDF) of the degree(s) establishing the applicant's eligibility for the program (Ph.D., MD, D.D.S., etc.) bearing the official seal of the university or a copy certified by a notary or commissioner of oaths, except for applicants who are already FRQS research scholars or clinical research scholars.

  • a copy of the applicant's highest specialist license (CSPQ, FRCPC, etc.) or second degree (M.Sc.), if applicable.

  • If applicable, a copy of the applicant's Québec Selection Certificate or permanent residence card.

Directors of university research centres or departments

  • Form

Two respondents (Junior 1 applicants only)

  • Form including 2 letters of recommendation from 2 respondents who are familiar with the applicant's work. One of the respondents must have been involved in the applicant's most recent research training.

Mentor (Junior 1 applicants only)

  • Form including the applicant's mentorship plan, which must describe the arrangement for the first year of the grant and a four-year outlook (max. 2 pages). The letter must detail the support provided by an experienced researcher in terms of preparing applications, planning and carrying out the research program and ensuring support for other aspects of the applicant's career.

Submitting documents via e-mail (PDF format only)

Please make sure to submit all your e-documents to the program officer.

The e-mail transmission date will attest to the date on which the documents were submitted.


  • Applicants who are registered in an M.Sc. or a Ph.D. program must submit proof attesting that they will have fulfilled the program requirements to obtain their degree by June 30, 2014.

  • proof of membership to a professional corporation (if applicable) certifying that the applicant will be entitled to practice in Québec by June 30, 2014.

If the license is to be delivered after June 30, 2014, the applicant must advise the FRQS in writing prior to the deadline.

  • a copy of the applicant's permanent resident card before the award comes into effect or by June 30, 2014, if applicable.

Application update

Applicants may update their award notices and publication lists until January 10, 2014.

Please include grant confirmations and acknowledgements from editors for articles that are accepted for publication and submitted (do not include the articles). All documents must be sent to the program officer in a PDF file. The file name must include the applicant's name, application number and research topic. No other documents will be accepted.

After January 10, applicants may only submit the results of funding competitions in PDF format. These documents will be forwarded to the evaluation committee.


Applicants will receive e-mail confirmation of receipt of application in November.


Research location

Choice of research location

  • at an FRQS group or centre, an institution administered by the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) or a Québec university

Applicants may conduct their research outside the MSSS network or outside the FRQS network of research centres if they belong to a team or laboratory working on health-care issues recognized by the FRQS.

  • in an industrial setting

An agreement may be signed between the FRQS, the host company and a university, depending on the applicant's particular case. Under such an agreement, the applicant will conduct an innovative research program and train graduate students.

Change of research location

The FRQS presumes that the Research Scholar will work at the institution or university that approved his or her application throughout the award period.

Awardees wishing to change their research location must send the FRQS a written request detailing the reasons for the change and describing how it could affect their research project.

University authorities must give the FRQS written notice that they have approved the change.

The director of the new research centre or university department must inform the FRQS in writing that he/she accepts the applicant and will provide conditions equivalent to those outlined in the form submitted by the director of the previous centre.


Research experience

The FRQS will classify the applicant as a Junior 1, Junior 2 or Senior Researcher and notify the applicant of his or her classification. On receiving such notice, the applicant has 10 business days to request a review of his or her classification, specifying the reasons for the claim.

Classification is based on a given reference year as of which applicants demonstrate their capacity for independent research. Within the meaning of the FRQS, this capacity is demonstrated or should have been demonstrated:

  • At the time when the application for the Junior 1 Research Scholars is filed,

  • When applicants obtain a career award comparable to a Junior 1 Research Scholar award or a grant awarded by an organization recognized by the FRQS for a project in which they were the principal investigator,

  • Or no later than 6 years after applicants have obtained their most recent university degree (Ph.D., MD, D.D.S., etc., or an M. Sc. as a second degree by June 30, 2014) or since qualifying as a medical specialist (C.S.P.Q., FRCP).

When one of these conditions is met, applicants are classified Junior 1 with 0 years of experience, and, as of this point, the number of years of experience is updated annually. Applicants with 4 to 7 years' experience are classified Junior 2, and those with 8 to 11 years' experience are classified Senior. For the FRQS, each year of experience is calculated from July 1 to June 30.

In calculating years of experience, the FRQS may take into account particular situations that may cause applicants to temporarily put their research on hold (e.g. pregnancy, illness, professional activities not involving research: clinical, treatment, management, etc.) and may subtract such years when calculating years of experience.


Duration of the award

Effective starting date

Between July 1 and September 30, 2014


Junior 1: 4 years for all applicants

Junior 2: maximum 4 years

Senior: maximum 4 years

The duration of Junior 1 awards, regardless of the level of experience calculated at the time the award is received by the applicant, is 4 years. At the end of the 4 years of the Junior 1 award, awardees are promoted to Junior 2 status with 4 years' experience in research. The number of years of experience is updated annually as of this new reference year.

For the Junior 2 and Senior classification level, the duration of the award is a maximum of 4 years which decreases with the number of years of experience. For example, the duration of a Junior 2 award is 4 years if the number of years of experience is deemed to be 4, 3 years if there are 5 years of experience, 2 years for 6 years of experience, and 1 year for the Junior 2 level (with one year credited towards the Senior level) for awardees with 7 years' experience.

For the Senior category, the FRQS undertakes to remunerate the applicant in decreasing amounts. (See Amount of Award)

Parental leave

Awardees are entitled to take parental leave (maternity, paternity or adoption leave). The award may be deferred for a maximum of two years.

The awardee must give the FRQS written notice of his/her intention to take parental leave.

Sabbatical leave

Research Scholars will receive their full stipend during a sabbatical year as long as they meet the following requirements:

  • Be a Senior or Junior 2 Research Scholar with six years of experience based on the FRQS classification

  • Send the FRQS a request for a sabbatical of up to 12 months

  • Send the FRQS a complementary training program or program of activities that will advance the research project

The program must be accepted in writing by the FRQS at least 60 days before the starting date of the sabbatical.

  • Send the FRQS a copy of the sabbatical approval signed by the university authorities or by the administrators of the institution where he/she works.

  • If applicable, send the FRQS official notice that the laboratory has agreed to host the Research Scholar.

Sick leave

The awardee may defer the award in case of serious illness (his or her own or the illness of a close family member) upon presentation of a medical certificate that includes the precise length of leave prescribed by the physician. Payments will be suspended during that period.


Amount of the award


From $18,003 to $53,082, including benefits of 12%, based on years of experience.

This award corresponds to 60% of the award for Research Scholars in the Research Scholars – Junior 1 and 2 and Senior program.

The pay scale for Clinical Research Scholars is set by the government of Québec and appears in article 52 of section XVI of the Bylaws to the Québec Health Insurance Act.

This amount must be supplemented by the university (see University authorities' agreement)

University share

For the Senior category, the FRQS undertakes to pay the applicant in decreasing amounts:

8 years of experience 100 %
9 years of experience 100 %
10 years of experience 75 %
11 years of experience 50 %

This policy is designed to ensure that the host institution agrees to supplement the applicant's salary and offer him or her a position (see University authorities' agreement).

Starting grant for young investigators - Junior 1

Individuals who apply to the FRQS competition for Junior 1 research scholars will also receive a starting grant for young investigators – Junior 1 from the FRQS valued at $10, 000/year for three (3) years, non-renewable.


When a researcher receives an FRQS starting grant and a starting grant from another research institution, the FRQS will deduct the amount received from the other institution from the FRQS grant. Grant holders and the individuals who manage the grants are jointly responsible for advising the FRQS that two grants were awarded.

Eligible expenses

  • Expenses directly related to research activities:

  • Purchase research material or carry out the research project

  • Purchase or rent equipment (only grant holders who have not received a Leaders Opportunity Fund grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation)

  • Pay out salaries to technical and clinical research staff

  • Take part in conferences (presentations, posters), up to $7,500 for the term of the grant

Ineligible expenses

  • Rent or renovate premises or cover heating or electricity costs or any other indirect costs related to the research activities for a researcher working in an institution of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux or a university institution




All applications are reviewed by a peer-review committee made up of members representing various health disciplines and research methodologies.

The applications will be categorized and assessed based on the program (Research Scholars or Clinical Research Scholars), research area (basic, clinical and epidemiological or health and society) and research experience (Junior 1, Junior 2 or Senior).

The FRQS will recruit six review committees:

Experience Basic science Clinical and epidemiological Health and society
Junior 1

R + CR

R (Committee 4)   CR (Committee 5) R + CR
(Committee 6)
Junior 2 R + CR
(Committee 2)
Senior R + CR
Committee 3)

R = Researchers
CR = Clinical researchers


Different criteria are used based on the area of research; its relative importance in the overall review by the peer-review committees may vary depending on the classification level - Junior 1, Junior 2 or Senior:

  • the review of the applicant's research training and proposed research project is of greater relative importance at the Junior 1 level
  • the review of the applicant's outreach and productivity in terms of training students and obtaining grants assumes increasing importance at the Junior 2 and Senior levels

The evaluation criteria for each level are detailed in the Evaluation grids in the toolbox.



Awardee's agreement

    In submitting an application, the applicant must:

  • Comply with the obligations outlined in the Common General Rules (Règles générales communes) of the three Fonds and in the Politique du Libre accès aux résultats de recherche publiés as well as with the conditions and requirements outlined in the online program description.

  • Comply with the provisions of the Health Insurance Act pertaining to research grants (division XII, article 96): " No one shall be entitled to a research scholarship if, in the opinion of the Québec Research Fund–Health established pursuant to the Act respecting the Ministère du Développement économique, de l'Innovation et de l'Exportation (chapter M-30.01):

  1. he is not domiciled in Québec;

  2. he does not have a working knowledge of the official language of Québec;

  3. he is not pursuing, for a university body or for an institution, research in connection with one of the health sciences."

  • Comply with the ethics and integrity standards outlined in the FRQS document Standards en éthique de la recherche et d'intégrité scientifique and carry out the responsibilities of a researcher, as defined by the Ministère du Développement Économique, de l'Innovation et de l'Exportation 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 où se déroulent des activités de recherche (available on the Web site of the FRQS).

  • Authorize the FRQS to retain and use the personal and scientific information included in the application documents, in keeping with the terms outlined in the document Accès aux documents et protection des renseignements personnels and provided that the people who are granted access to the information respect its confidentiality.



University authorities' agreement


Universities approve applications and assume the responsibilities listed below jointly with the heads of the department with which the applicant is affiliated and the research centre where the research will be conducted (if applicable).

Salary Supplement

University authorities supporting an application for a Research Scholar must ensure that the applicant will receive a salary supplement equal to the difference between the award and the remuneration that the applicant would receive from the university as a full-time professor, to the satisfaction of the FRQS.

Should the applicant have a mixed affiliation involving a company, the university and the partner must jointly endorse the Research Scholar's application.

Under such circumstances, the partners must ensure that the applicant will receive a salary supplement equal to the difference between the award and the remuneration that the applicant would receive from the university or from the partner as a full-time professor or employee. A protocol of agreement must be signed with the FRQS to cover this partnership.

Confirmation of position – Senior Research Scholars

For applications in the Senior Research Scholar competition: The university must agree to make the researcher part of the team on completion of the award and offer the applicant a full-time permanent position or a contract position for at least five years after the end of the award (at a salary commensurate with the applicant's university rank).

Benefits and laboratory or research premises

The applicant must be eligible to join the pension plan and enjoy other benefits available to full-time staff working at the university. These obligations imply that the researcher's salary will be administered by the university even if he or she works at a research centre.

The host institution agrees to provide the functional laboratory or research premises and basic equipment the applicant requires for research purposes. The applicant must also have access, if applicable, to outpatient clinical premises and a sufficient number of beds to complete the clinical research project.

Protected time for research

University and host institution administrators must jointly ensure that the applicant is released from his/her administrative, clinical and teaching duties so that he/she may fulfill the obligation to devote at least half (50%) of his/her professional activities to research.


Awards offered in partnership

The FRQS offers a number of awards in collaboration with partners. The amounts of funding provided by the FRQS and the partner as well as other funding conditions (i.e. funding period and renewal option) may vary according to the agreements in effect.

Eligible applicants are selected through a three-step process:

  1. Applicants must select, by priority order, ono or more partners whose research domains are in line with the themes of the application (see section Partenariats [partnerships] on the form).

  2. The FRQS will send the partners a list of applications. The partners will assess the relevance of the applications based on their interests and research priorities.

  3. The applications will be assessed by a committee of experts or peers. Applications that obtain a score of at least 70% for scientific excellence and which are relevant to one or more partners may be offered partnership funding.

Like all other FRQS awards, the partnership awards are attributed based on merit following a scientific assessment by a committee of experts or peers.

Allergy and immunology
(Junior 1 only)
Breast cancer
(Junior 1 only)
Fondation du cancer du sein du Québec
Child Health
(Junior 1 only)

Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program (CCHCSP)

All applicants must submit an application to the CCHCSP
(Junior 1 only)

Fondation de recherche chiropratique du Québec

Ordre des chiropraticiens du Québec

Only applicants who hold a doctor of chiropractic are eligible to apply.

Emergency Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) - Programme de recherche sur la problématique des urgences
(Juniors 1 and 2 only)
Société québécoise d'hypertension artérielle (SQHA) - Jacques de Champlain Award

The Jacques de Champlain Award in cardiovascular health and hypertension areas includes a research support supplement.

Infectious diseases and AIDS Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) – Service de lutte contre les infections transmissibles sexuellement et par le sang (SLITSS)
Kidney health
(Junior 1 only)

The Kidney Foundation of Canada - KRESCENT Research Program
(Kidney Research Scientist Core Education and National Training)

Canadian Society of Nephrology

The applicant must also submit an application to the KRESCENT Program.)

Macular Degeneration Fondation Antoine Turmel
Optimal drug use Institut national d'excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS)

The research theme of these research scholars is medication: pharmacology, phamacoepidemiology, clinical pharmacology, and evaluative research on drug use

Osteoporosis Fondation Antoine Turmel
(Junior 1 only)
Fondation de l'Association des radiologistes du Québec (FARQ)

This award is aimed at research scholars in diagnostic radiology (including therapeutic and intervention impacts). Only radiologists (physicians) are eligible to apply.

(junior1 and 2 only)
Réseau québécois de recherche sur le suicide (RQRS)
Traumatology Traumatology Research Consortium

Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS)
Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ)
Provincial Rehabilitation Research Network (REPAR)
Association québécoise d'établissements de santé et des services sociaux (AQESSS)
Association des établissements de réadaptation en déficience physique du Québec (AERDPQ)