Research Scholars - Junior 1 and 2, Senior


Competition year :



Deadline (notice or letter of intent) :

August 22nd, 2016, 4:30 PM


Deadline (application) :

October 3rd, 2016, 4:30 PM


Amount :

$30,005 to $88,469


Duration :

4 years


Announcement of results :

April 2017



This program is designed to facilitate the recruitment of qualified researchers seeking to begin or continue an independent career in health-care research. With this program, the FRQS intends to promote continuity in health research in Québec and ensure that high-caliber scientists are available to meet the needs of universities, hospitals and industries.

Applicants must hold a doctorate in research or a professional degree in a health-related field at the doctoral level and work as full-time researchers (at least 75% of their working hours). This program is divided into three research areas: 1) basic research; 2) clinical and epidemiological research; and 3) research on health and society.

Program rules that prevail are those of the PDF version.

Program rules





Eligible applicants

  • Applicants who hold a doctoral degree in research (Ph.D. or equivalent)

Applicants holding a degree in a discipline not directly related to the health sciences (e.g. sociology, anthropology, psychology, economics, etc.) are eligible provided that their research program focuses on health-related issues.

  • Applicants who hold a professional degree in health sciences at the doctoral level (MD, D.D.S., etc.), and have completed at least two continuous years of additional research training, with at least 75% of their time devoted to research.

Canadian citizens or permanent residents (as defined in section 2.1 of the Common General Rules) and 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 two times in the four years in which they are classified Junior 2 (4 to 7 years' experience).

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

Not eligible

  • Directors or associate scientific directors of research centers 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 12 months remaining as of October 1, 2016.

Terms and conditions

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

  • Obtain the university approval required by the FRQS

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

  • Must devote at least 75% of his or her working hours to research (full-time)

Health-care professionals who hold a valid license to practice in Québec and spend at least 50% (half-time) on their working hours on research may apply for the following program: Clinical 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, including directing students enrolled in a research training program

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

  • 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):

  • he/she is not domiciled in Québec;

  • he/she does not have a working knowledge of the official language of Québec;

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

Basic research ethics training

Basic research ethics training is mandatory for all FRQS awardees conducting research projects that involve human subjects.

Research that involves human subjects includes work on :

  • living human subjects

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

  • personal information from files that enables a person to be identified.

Awardees must therefore successfully complete levels 1 and 3 of the Online Tutorial in Research Ethics developed by the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux.

This training must be completed in the year following the receipt of a confirmation from the FRQS that the award was granted.

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.





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 behaviors. 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 redirect 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.




Documents sent via mail or e-mail will not be accepted
Transmission via the FRQS Web site only

Any missing document or document that is not in conformity with the program rules and forms
may result in the ineligibility of the funding application.


The Notice of Intent allows the FRQS to:

  • establish applicant's eligibility

  • verify the type of program and area of research chosen by the applicant (see Research areas) and assign 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 the university approval

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

Only applicants who are deemed to be eligible and have been approved by their university may submit a complete application.




Transmission via the FRQS Web site only

Any missing document or document that is not in conformity with the program rules and forms
may result in the ineligibility of the funding application.


  • Canadian Common CV , Funding CV version, for the FRQS (updated since June 2014);

  • Detailed contributions updated since June 2014 (attachment required through the FRQS portal on the Canadian Common CV page) , consult the Guidelines for the CV attachment available in the toolbox

  • Electronic form Demande complète Chercheurs-boursiers
    PDF version - for information

    • copies of the notices of awards and grants received since October 1, 2011(other than those attributed by the FRQS)

    • an official copy 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 certificat de selection du Québec or permanent residence card or work permit.


E-mail transmission (PDF documents only)

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

  • Applicants who are registered in a M.Sc. or Ph.D. program must submit a proof attesting that they will have fulfilled the program requirements to obtain their degree by June 30, 2017.

  • Proof of membership to a professional corporation (if applicable) certifying that the applicant will be entitled to practice in Québec by June 30, 2017.

If the license is to be delivered after June 30, 2017, the applicant must advise the FRQS in writing prior to the deadline.

Directors of university research centres or departments

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.
    PDF version - for information

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.
    PDF version - for information

Application update

Applicants may update their award notices and publication lists until January 10, 2017. 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 if it has not been held yet.


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





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 expects 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.





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, 2017) 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 at the effective starting date of the award (July 1st). 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.




Effective starting date

Between July 1 and September 30, 2017


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 the Award section).

Parental leave

In accordance to section 6.13 of the Common General Rules, the awardee may benefit from an award payment deferral during parental leave (maternity, paternity or adoption). The award may be deferred for a maximum of two years.

The awardee must give the FRQS and the university's authority a written notice of his/her intention to take advantage of such deferral.

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 or other reasons

The awardee may defer the award in case of illness or other reasons provided by the Loi sur les normes du travail as described in section 6.14 of the Common General Rules. The awardee has to inform by email the FRQS of his/her intention to take advantage of such deferral. Payments will be suspended during that period.





From 30 005 $ to 88 469 $, including benefits of 12 %, based on years of experience.

This amount must be used exclusively to pay the salary of the awardee and cannot, under any circumstances, be converted into research funds.

For awardees who hold a professional degree, the award will be calculated based on whether the degree comes with a valid license to practice in Québec.

For those who do not hold a valid license, the calculation will be based on the date on which the applicant earned his or her second degree, or the date on which the training period ends.

The pay scale for 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 section).

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/her a position (see University authorities' agreement section).

Indirect costs of research

This program does not benefit from the amount paid out by FRQS to cover indirect costs of research of the institutions.





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 $20,000/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 $ 10,000 for the term of the grant

Non-eligible 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

Indirect costs of research

  • The starting grant associated with the research scholars program does not benefit from the amount paid out by FRQS to cover indirect costs of research of the institutions.





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 research area (basic, clinical and epidemiological or health and society) and research experience (Junior 1, Junior 2 or Senior).

The FRQS will recruit 5 review committees for the research scholars:


  Basic science

  Clinical and epidemiological     

Health and society

Junior 1

Committee 1

Committee 4

Committee 5

Junior 2

Committee 2


Committee 3



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 French) for Junior 1, Junior 2 and Senior.





In submitting an application, the applicant must:





The university approves applications and assumes the responsibilities listed below jointly with the head 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.

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 (75%) of his/her professional activities to research.






The FRQS offers a number of awards in collaboration with partners. The financial contribution of 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:

  • Applicants must select by priority order, one or more partners whose research areas are in line with the themes of their application in order of preference (see section Partenariats [partnerships] on the form).

  • The FRQS sends the partners a list of applications for relevancy review based on their interests and research priorities.

  • Applications are then reviewed by the regular FRQS committees of experts or peers. Applications with a scientific excellence score of at least 70% and also relevant to one or more partners may be considered for funding in partnership.

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

Breast Cancer
(Junior 1 only)

Fondation du cancer du sein du Québec

Career awards in the Breast Cancer research field.

Cardiovascular and cerebrovascular health
(Junior 1 and Junior 2 only)

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Québec

Career awards in the Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Health research field.

Child Health
(Junior 1 only)

Canadian Child Health Scientist Programe (CCHSCP)

All candidates must also submit an application to CCHCSP.

(Junior 1 only)

Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA)

Career awards in the Diabetes research field. All candidates must also submit an application to the CDA.

Early childhood diseases (diagnosis)
(Junior 1 only)

Foundation of Stars

Career awards in the Pediatric research field, primarily in the area of early childhood diseases diagnosis.

(Junior 1 and Junior 2 only)

Société québécoise d'hypertension artérielle (SQHA) - Jacques de Champlain Award

The Jacques de Champlain Award in Cardiovascular health and Hypertension fields includes a research support supplement (maximum of $10,000 per year).

Kidney Health
(Junior 1 only)

The Kidney Foundation of Canada - KRESCENT Research Program

All candidates must also submit an application to the KRESCENT Program (Kidney Research Scientist Core Education and National Training). Amount of the award: minimum of $ 70,000 per year.

Macular Degeneration

Fondation Antoine-Turmel

Career Awards in the Macular Degeneration research field.  Priority will be given to Junior 1 awards.

Optimal drug use

Institut national d'excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS)

Career Awards in the research field of medication: pharmacology, phamacoepidemiology, clinical pharmacology, and evaluative research on drug use


Fondation Antoine-Turmel

Career Awards in the Osteoporosis research field.  Priority will be given to Junior 1 awards.

Parkinson's disease

Parkinson Québec

Career Awards in the Parkinson's Disease research field.


Fondation de l'Association des radiologistes du Québec (FARQ)

Career awards in the Diagnostic Radiology research field (including therapeutic and intervention impacts). Only radiologists (physicians) are eligible to apply.


Traumatology Research Consortium

Career Awards in the Traumatology research field.

Consortium partners:

  • Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS)

  • Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ)

  • FRQS Provincial Rehabilitation Research Network (REPAR)

  • Comité directeur pour la recherche en traumatologie (formerly AERDPQ – AQESSS)