About FRQnet

As of July 20, 2017, members of the scientific community who want to transact with 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 manages 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.

 

Montréal, November 20, 2017 – This bulletin is to clarify a number of points on FRQnet and detail some of the definitions set out in the Common General Rules. It is further to the research office managers' meeting on October 18 and the questions received by Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) staff. In this respect, we would like to thank the members of the scientific community for their valuable collaboration in helping to enhance the new management tool.

The meeting made it possible to assess the current situation and review the key issues that have arisen since the launch of FRQnet and their solutions, including the availability of data lists specific to each institution and the functional improvements to the institutions portal.

Upgrades made to date:

  • Enhancement of the multi-criteria search function with the addition of fields (last name, first name, user account)
  • Additions in the results table (status, last updated)
  • Option to export the results table to an Excel file (.xls)
  • Availability of follow-up lists concerning individuals with access privileges and created and submitted application forms in Excel (.xls) format in the Institutional documents section

To ensure continuous improvement, analyses are currently underway to further enhance the institutions portal. We welcome your feedback (infoFRQnet@frq.gouv.qc.ca).

The concept of recognized institution

Research office managers expressed the need for further details on the institutions recognized by the FRQ to manage research funds. Indeed, only the recognized institutions listed on the Web sites of the three Fonds may be granted access to the institutions portal to approve applications for funding and submit accounting documents (financial reports).

Under the Common General Rules of the FRQ, the principle of institutional recognition goes hand in hand with the eligibility of an application for funding (except applications for training awards and internships). On the application form, the applicant must select an employing institution: the institution with which he/she has entered into an employment contract. This institution will then be designated to approve the application and submit it to the Fonds through the institutions portal. It should be noted that associate university professor status does not constitute an employment relationship between an individual and an institution.

The FRQ have created a new managing institutions category: Québec government agencies with the mission to conduct research. However, for a researcher, being employed by this type of institution recognized by the FRQ is not enough to confer principal investigator status.

Finally, the only exception that should be further qualified pertains to the FRQS career awards programs (research scholars). For applicants to these programs, employment is not a criterion in itself: in compliance with the Regulation respecting the application of the Health Insurance Act (A-29, r-5, art. 54), the administration of a salary award may be ensured by an institution that is not necessarily the researcher's employer. For example, the funds may be received and managed by a CIUSSS (where the work is carried out) while the researcher is employed by a university, which must approve the application form in the institutions portal, according to program conditions.

In sum

To submit an application as a principal investigator or to receive funds directly or by interinstitution transfer, the researcher must hold one of the following statuses: 

  • University researcher
  • University clinician researcher
  • College researcher

Individuals who file an application must select the institution in which they are employed on the e-form. Note that associate professor status does not constitute an employment relationship. Applicants must then ensure that their employer is a managing institution recognized by the FRQ.

Before confirming an employment relationship and providing confirmation of an application it receives, the institution must ensure that it is recognized by the FRQ as a managing institution. It must then approve the researcher's application in FRQnet. In doing so, the institution confirms the employment relationship.   

It is important to distinguish the recognized managing institution that manages the research funding and the location at which the research is conducted. For example, a researcher employed by a university (recognized institution) may carry out research in a health network institution that does not employ him/her. In this case, the applicant researcher must select his/her employing institution (university) and not the health network institution where the research is conducted—even if it appears in the list of institutions recognized by the FRQ—on the e-form. 

The adjustments to the Common General Rules outlined here do not impact the business processes of the Registre des centres, groupes et instituts de recherche (FRQS) or the e-Regroupement application (FRQNT and FRQSC).

Financial reports: deadline to submit reports postponed to March 2, 2018

The deadline to submit the 2016–2017 financial reports to the FRQNT and FRQSC, which was initially December 4, 2017, has been postponed to March 2, 2018. The date was changed to provide time to plan and host training sessions for those who manage financial services in the institutions portal. These sessions are the opportunity to discuss the three Fonds' harmonized expenditures, the new information structures of the financial report and the recovery of historical expenditure in the old system. The FRQnet module to submit financial reports will be open to the institutions that must file 2016– 2017 reports in early 2018.

Invitations to the training sessions will be sent out before the holidays.

FRQ workshop at the ADARUQ symposium

Finally, the FRQ will be taking part in an information and discussion workshop on FRQnet at the 34e Colloque de l'ADARUQ (Association des administratrices et des administrateurs de recherche universitaire du Québec), which will be held from November 22 to 24, 2017, in Shawinigan. Topics will include the financial reports, institutions portal and FRQnet system.

Need help?

Visit the webpage on Recognized institutions to manage funding to become a recognized institution.

For technical questions on the Fonds de recherche e-portfolio:

For general technical questions (e.g. log in, password, etc.): centre.assistance@frq.gouv.qc.ca

For program questions, contact the program manager of the Fonds that oversees the program. The contact information is available on the Web sites of the Fonds.

For general comments on FRQnet, suggestions for improvements or the development of new video tutorials: infoFRQnet@frq.gouv.qc.ca

The FRQ encourage you to share this release with your colleagues and visit the FAQ page on the Web sites of the Fonds.

 

E-Portfolio (in French)

 

Institution portal (in French)


Portail des évaluateurs

 

 


Last update: September 15, 2017

  1. What is FRQnet?

FRQnet is the name of the new awards and grants management system shared by the three Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ): Nature et technologies, Santé and Société et culture.

  1. Why a new system?

FRQnet was developed to align and simplify the FRQ's competition and administration processes and carry out technology updates.

  1. What are the advantages of FRQnet?

The system ensures the integrated management of every step, from the submission and review of applications and the awarding of funding to the analysis of the programs' impacts for the FRQ. It is the main tool to transact with the FRQ and each Fonds.

  1. Who uses FRQNet?

All individuals (applicants, award and grant holders, reviewers, respondents, mentors, supervisors, institutional managers, etc.) who interact with the FRQ in connection with an application for funding or grant management must use FRQnet. Note that only a few programs are not managed through FRQnet.

  1. Does FRQnet impact the e-Regroupement application of the FRQNT and FRQSC or the Registre des centres et instituts de recherche of the FRQS?

No, e-Regroupement and the Registre are not affected by the current FRQnet implementation phase. In this respect, the FRQS research centre funding programs and the FRQNT and FRQSC strategic clusters programs have not been integrated into FRQnet.

  1. When will FRQnet be functional?

FRQnet will launch on July 20, 2017.

  1. How does FRQnet impact current processes?

FRQnet is a joint system shared by the three Fonds. Its functions are different from those that users are accustomed to. While the changes are more or less significant for different uses, FRQnet aims to be as user friendly as possible. Information sessions (workshops) were held in recent weeks and video tutorials are available on the Web sites of each Fonds (see video tutorials tab on this page). Other tutorials, including a series on the review process, will be released in fall.

  1. How do the Fonds share information?

The information entered into FRQnet is stored in a shared database. However, only authorized individuals who must know the information to review an application or manage or follow-up on a grant may access the information.

Scientific advisors and other FRQ agents, reviewers, managing institution employees and the individuals mandated to collaborate on reviews or manage grants 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-15.1.0.1, section 33).

  1. Are the awards and grants application forms in FRQnet common to the FRQ's joint programs?

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 the same from one agency to the next. All programs are based on the FRQ's Common General Rules.

  1. Are the CCV attachments harmonized?

There are no changes to the CCV attachments for the 2017 competitions. Each individual must still 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.

  1. Are FRQnet users required to create a new PIN?

No, FRQnet does 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 create a new profile. However, individuals who used a PIN to access the FRQ's previous system must enter it along with their password to log on to FRQnet for the first time. Once they fill in their profile, their e-mail address becomes their primary identifier.

  1. Are FRQnet users required to fill in a profile?

Yes, all FRQnet users must fill in a profile. For each profile, the individual's e-mail address serves as a primary 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 his/her role (i.e. applicant, reviewer, employee, managing institution representative, etc.).

  1. If a user changes e-mail address, does he/she need to create a new user account?

No, a user who changes e-mail address should not create a new user account. Different data (e.g. previous applications, details on awards/grants received and the association with the Canadian Common CV) are linked to the user account. When a user changes e-mail address, he/she must use his/her former e-mail address to access the e-portfolio and go to his/her profile to change the personal information. This way, all the account data will still be stored.

  1. Are FRQnet users required to create a different account for each of the three Fonds?

No, users can access all three Fonds and the different portals through a single account. Users can access the pages specific to a particular Fonds through a shared home page.

  1. Are FRQnet users required to create a different account for each of their roles (applicant, supervisor, reviewer, institutional manager, etc.)?

No, users can access FRQnet in any capacity through a single account.

  1. Have current files been transferred to FRQnet?

Yes, current awards and grants files have been transferred. So have some 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.

Note that FRQnet is not a long-term archiving tool. We recommend that you keep copies of your own records.

  1. Are there changes to the process in terms of accountability for award and grant holders?

The interfaces with FRQnet are different from those that were available up until now and the types of interventions by grants and awards holders are better aligned between the three FRQs (progress report, payment request, final report, financial report, request for changes, etc.).

The FRQ produced video tutorials to ensure that the grants and awards management and accountability modules are correctly filled in. They are available in the video tutorials tab on this page. Additional tutorials will be released in fall. All users must carefully read the information when the e-portfolio portal, which replaces the My file section (FRQNT and FRQSC), becomes available. Awardees funded by the FRQS already use an electronic portfolio portal to which certain changes have been made.

  1. Are there any changes to the process to submit a financial report or the submission deadlines?

Yes, there are changes for certain Fonds. For the current year, the deadline to submit the 2016–2017 financial reports that must be filed with the FRQNT and FRQSC has been postponed until December 4, 2017. 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 aligned between the three Fonds and must be filled in and submitted directly through FRQnet.

  1. Which browsers does FRQnet support?

FRQnet was tested on the most recent versions of these browsers:

  •  Chrome (versions C35 and C34 or most recent)
  •  Firefox (versions FF30 and FF29 or most recent)
  •  Internet Explorer (versions IE 10, IE 11 or most recent)
  •  Safari (version S7 or more recent)

If your browser is not up to date, you may have difficulty accessing FRQnet. The site is visible (but not tested) on other versions of the browsers and some elements may not display properly.

  1. 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.

  1. What type of support do the FRQ provide to users who have difficulty using the system?

All the FRQ teams are available to provide support to FRQnet users.

For technical questions on the FRQ e-portfolio, write to:

For general technical questions (login, password, etc.), write to: centre.assistance@frq.gouv.qc.ca.

For questions on the funding programs, contact the program manager of the Fonds that manages the program.

To provide feedback on FRQnet or suggest improvements or topics for new video tutorials, write to: infoFRQnet@frq.gouv.qc.ca.

The list of FRQ video tutorials is available on this page. Go to the tutorials tab.

 

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