As of July 2017, members of the scientific community who want to contact the Fonds de recherche du Québec will be able to do so through FRQnet, a new integrated scholarship and grant management system that is common to the three agencies (Nature et technologies, Santé and Société et culture). FRQnet aims to ensure the harmonization, technological updating and simplification of the FRQ's competition processes and administrative follow-ups, to everyone's benefit.
The system will manage every step from the submission of applications for funding through the evaluation and grant awarding processes, as well as program impact assessment for the three Fonds de recherche du Québec.
A web page accessible from the Fonds' websites was created to keep the scientific community informed on the project's advancement and eventual launch.
To facilitate the transition, please send your questions and comments to infoFRQnet@frq.gouv.qc.ca.
System access closure
FRQNT and FRQSC: June 2 2017, 6 pm
FRQS: June 9 2017, 6 pm
As part of the implementation of the new integrated awards and grants management system FRQnet, scheduled for July, the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) will have to interrupt access to current systems in early June 2017 for all users. This operation will enable the final transition of current systems to FRQnet.
During the transition period, FRQ's staff will have access to current systems for all information requests. Nonetheless, please note that no transaction or data modification will be possible during this period. The official opening date of FRQnet is to be announced in the coming weeks.
The FRQ apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
Montréal, May 11, 2017 – FRQnet, the new integrated awards and grants management system of the three Fonds de recherche du Québec—Nature et technologies, Santé, and Société et culture—will launch this July. The single-entry system will provide access to five portals, including four aimed at members of the research community: e-portfolio, institution portal, reviewer portal and partner portal. The fifth, the administrative portal, will be used solely by FRQ employees for internal management purposes.
As of July, the e-portfolio and institution portal will be the first interfaces to require action by members of the research community.
For those who are currently using the FRQNT and FRQSC systems, the e-portfolio is the equivalent of what was previously known as Votre dossier and Dossier du boursier.
In the first step to use the e-portfolio, each individual who wishes to submit an application or follow up on his/her FRQ file must enter his/her account and profile information.
Because all the information on current awards and grants will be migrated to the new system by July, researchers who are already registered in one of the FRQ systems must enter their information in FRQnet to access the portals, activate their account, validate the details and sign a new consent form. Members of the scientific community will receive further instructions when the system is online in July.
In the second step, when the new awards and grants competitions open in July, applicants must access their e-portfolio to submit an application. To facilitate system adoption, a series of short videos will be available online. For example:
- Creating a new user account
- Accessing the system as an applicant
- Accessing current competitions and submitting an application for funding
- Accessing the system as a co-investigator
- Filling in and submitting forms online
The institution portal, which will replace the FRQNT and FRQSC extranet sites and the institution portal currently used by the FRQS, will be the only interface for institutions to communicate with the three Fonds. Institution employees may use the system to follow up on applications by researchers affiliated with their organization, as well as determine internal dates to approve applications and interact directly with researchers via the portal before a funding application is submitted to a Fonds (if applicable).
The main steps to be taken by institution employees who wish to use the portal in the months following the launch are listed below.
- Assign roles according to the FRQnet user account
- Approve applications, notice and letters of intent (if applicable)
- Confirm registration (awards) for the FRQNT and FRQSC and for the FRQS during 2017–2018
- Manage final reports, financial reports, inter-institutional transfers, etc.
In the coming weeks, the FRQ will contact the individuals who oversee research in the Québec's institutions to request a list of employees who will be granted a management role in the portal. When the system launches, the institutions will be able to manage the access of the user groups designated to act as liaison officers and administrative and financial services managers. The FRQnet system adoption process will be facilitated for the user groups.
For the current year, the deadline to receive the 2016–2017 financial reports that must be filed with the FRQNT and FRQSC has been postponed until December 4, 2017. Note that these reports must be entered and submitted via the FRQnet system. The FRQS has not postponed the date at which its financial reports must be received. They are required in their current format (Excel or PDF file) until the end of March 2018. As of April 2018, the financial reports (all formats) will be harmonized between the three Fonds and must be filled in and submitted directly through FRQnet.
With regard to the confirmation of registration for student award holders, the FRQ have decided to no longer use the student's number and instead require the students' permanent code. As was the case up until now for student numbers, the permanent codes will not be mandatory or conditional upon the submission of the form. This confirmation of registration process, which was not previously required by the FRQS, will apply for the Fonds Santé in 2017–2018.
During the week of June 12, the FRQ will hold meetings to acquaint the institutional representatives designated as portal managers and other user groups with the system and interact with the FRQnet team. Invitations will be sent out shortly to those concerned.
Information on the reviewer portal and partner portal will be communicated at a later date.
The FRQ invite you to share this release with your colleagues and read the updated FAQ.
Please send your questions and comments to: infoFRQnet@frq.gouv.qc.ca
What is FRQnet?
FRQnet is the name of the new awards and grants management system common to the three Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ): Nature et technologies; Santé; Société et culture.
Why a new system?
FRQnet was developed to align and simplify the FRQ's competition and administrative follow-up processes and carry out technological upgrades.
What are the advantages of FRQnet?
The system will ensure the integrated management of every step, from the submission and evaluation of applications and the awarding of funding to the analysis of the programs' impacts for the FRQ.
When will FRQnet be functional?
FRQnet is planned for launch in July 2017.
How will FRQnet impact current processes?
FRQnet is common to the three Fonds and will provide functions that are different from those that users have become accustomed to. While the changes are more or less significant for different uses, FRQnet aims to be as user friendly as possible. Training webinars, workshops and videos will be available over the next few months and later on the Web sites of each Fonds.
How will the Fonds share information?
The information that is entered into FRQnet will be stored in a common database. However only those authorized—those who require access to the information to evaluate an application or manage or follow-up on a grant—will be able to access the information.
FRQ scientific advisors, reviewers, employees in managing institutions and those mandated to collaborate on evaluations or grant management must sign a confidentiality agreement. This sharing of information is in keeping with the law that constitutes the Fonds, which calls for the pooling of the Fonds' activities (CQLR, c M-220.127.116.11, section 33).
Will the awards and grants application forms in FRQnet be common to the joint programs within the FRQ?
In the short term, each Fonds will ensure the links between its programs and forms. In the longer term, the FRQ will work to align the format and content of the forms for programs that are exactly alike from one agency to the next. However, all the programs are based on the FRQ's Common General Rules.
Will the CCV attachments be harmonized?
There will be no changes to the CCV attachments for the 2017 competitions. Each researcher will fill out the attachment from the Fonds to which he/she is applying. The FRQ are currently in discussions with those who oversee the CCV to improve the process.
What type of support will the FRQ provide in case of difficulties using the system?
All the FRQ teams will be available to provide support for FRQnet users. However, over the next year, users will be invited to watch the upcoming information messages before contacting the FRQ for help. A reminder will also be included in the program rules.
Will FRQnet users have to create a new PIN?
No, FRQnet will not require a PIN. When logging on to FRQnet for the first time, users will be prompted to read the new FRQnet use policy and fill in a profile.
Will FRQnet users have to fill in a profile?
Yes, all FRQnet users must have a profile. For each profile, the individual's e-mail address will serve as an identifier. Still, the FRQ will link each user's old and new files to ensure follow up.
In FRQnet, a user must always use the same identifier and password, regardless of why he/she is accessing the system (i.e. as an applicant, a reviewer, a managing institution representative, etc.).
Will current files be transferred to FRQnet?
Yes, current awards and grants files will be transferred. So will certain sections of files whose funding has ended. However, the entire archives will not be transferred to FRQnet for safety reasons and in keeping with the FRQ's records retention schedule.
Prior to the launch of FRQnet, details on the data access period on FRQnet will be sent to the persons concerned. Note that FRQnet is not a long-term archiving tool. We recommend that you keep copies of your own records.
Will there be changes to the current process in terms of accountability in awards and grants management for funded researchers?
The interfaces with FRQnet will be different from current interfaces and the types of interventions by grants and awards holders will be better harmonized between the three FRQs (progress report, payment request, final report, financial report, request for changes, etc.).
The FRQ will produce information messages to ensure that the grants and awards management and accountability modules are correctly filled in. All users must carefully read the information when the Portfolio électronique portal, which replaces the Mon dossier section (FRQNT and FRQSC), becomes available. Persons funded by the FRQS already use an electronic portfolio portal to which a few changes will be made.
Which browsers will FRQnet support?
FRQnet was tested on the most recent versions of the following browsers:
- Chrome (versions C35 and C34 or more recent)
- Firefox (versions FF30 and FF29 or more recent)
- Internet Explorer (versions IE 10, IE 11 or more recent)
- Safari (version S7 or more recent)
If your browser is not up to date, you may have difficulty accessing FRQnet. It is visible (but not tested) on other versions of the browsers and some elements may not display properly.
Will I have to create a different user account for each Fonds?
You only need one user account to interact with the three Fonds and the Fonds portals. FRQnet provides a joint page on which users can select the specific agency they wish to communicate with.
Will FRQnet impact the e-Regroupement application of the FRQNT and FRQSC or the Registre des centres et instituts de recherche of the FRQS?
No, the e-Regroupement app and the Registre des centres et instituts de recherche will not be impacted by FRQnet's current implementation phase.
Will institutions be able to access prior applications for funding?
Yes, but only for a certain number of years back. The FRQ will implement rules within FRQnet to only display documents to a specific date.
Will FRQnet be available in English?
Certain sections of FRQnet, including the general interfaces of the e-portfolio, the page to create accounts and profiles, the consent forms, and certain funding application forms, will be available in English.
Will there be any changes to the process to enter and submit financial reports or the submission deadlines?
Yes, there will be changes for certain Fonds. For the current year, the deadline to receive the 2016–2017 financial reports that must be filed with the FRQNT and FRQSC has been postponed until December 4, 2017. Note that these reports must be entered and submitted via the FRQnet system. The FRQS has not postponed the date at which its financial reports must be received. They are required in their current format (Excel or PDF file) until the end of March 2018. As of April 2018, the financial reports (all formats) will be harmonized between the three Fonds and must be filled in and submitted directly through FRQnet.