Doctoral Research Scholarships Program for Foreign Students 2017-2018

Publish Date: Aug 03, 2016

Deadline: Sep 23, 2016


The Doctoral Research Scholarships Program for Foreign Students (DE) of the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Nature et technologies (FRQNT) aims to stimulate international student's interest in beginning or pursuing doctoral studies in Québec and provide financial support to leading international Ph.D. candidates in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering fields.


The scholarships are aimed at foreign students who had been preselected by a Québec university and who wish to carry out their doctoral studies in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering fields. To be eligible, applicants must specialize in the following areas:

  • Aerospace
  • Information and communication technologies
  • Health technologies
  • Genomics
  • Nanotechnologies

Eligibility, Citizenship and Residence Criteria

Applicants must:

  • Meet all eligibility criteria by the competition deadline on November 1st, 2016.
  • Have been preselected by a Québec university by September 23th, 2016.
  • Not have obtained a Merit Scholarship for Foreign Students from the Ministère de l'Education et de l'Enseignement supérieur du Québec (MEES) or one of the Fonds de recherche du Québec.
  • Not be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.
  • Not have submitted an application for permanent residence under Canadian immigration laws.

In addition to the aforementioned criteria, applicants should note the following restrictions and administrative prerequisites:

Study program restrictions:

  • The scholarship cannot be used for qualifying studies.

Eligibility criteria

Scholarship program eligibility rules account for all doctoral sessions (funded or not) completed prior to May 1st, 2017.

When calculating the eligibility period, the FRQNT will consider all of the unregistered or part-time sessions for which registrar attestations are provided in the application. The applicant must verify his/her eligibility by consulting the equivalents table for unregistered or part-time sessions in the Toolbox.

The FRQNT will also consider the number of master's and doctoral sessions for which the applicant received funding from a recognized funding agency (e.g. NSERC, CIHR, SSHRC, the FRQNT, etc.) to ensure that the support does not exceed 15 sessions.

Eligibility period for applicants registered in direct-entry doctoral programs (bachelor's to doctorate) and fast-track master's/doctoral programs

Applicants admitted to a doctoral program after completing their bachelor's degree and those who fast-tracked to a doctoral program without submitting a thesis may apply to the doctoral scholarships competition (DE) in the 3rd, 4th and 5th years of their graduate studies (between their 7th and 15th study sessions). Sessions that are completed when the scholarship comes into effect will be subtracted from the funding period. Under no circumstances will funding be granted before the 7th session or after the 15th session.

Applicants who hold a master's degree when beginning their doctoral studies must submit their applications to the doctoral scholarships competition.

Doctoral scholarship eligibility period

Applicants are eligible for the doctoral research scholarships (DE) competition during the first nine (9) sessions of their doctoral studies (or the equivalent). Doctoral sessions (or the equivalent) that are already completed when the scholarship comes into effect will be subtracted from the scholarship period. Under no circumstances will funding be granted after an applicant's 9th doctoral program session.

Eligibility period exceptions

Scholarship eligibility period exceptions will only be made in circumstances that are beyond the applicant's control. In such cases, all supporting documents must be submitted along with the application.

Applicants who suspend their studies for a maternity or parental leave may ask to extend their eligibility for a maximum period of 12 months. In such cases, all supporting documents must be submitted along with the application.

When the applicant is a person with a disability under the Act to secure handicapped persons in the exercise of their rights with a view to achieving social, school and workplace integration (R.S.Q. c. E-20.1), the eligibility requirements do not apply. However, the doctoral scholarship period remains the same (three years). In such cases, all supporting documents must be submitted along with the application.

The FRQNT reserves the right to refuse any request that is not adequately justified.

Applicant preselection

Only students who have been preselected by a Québec university may apply to the competition.

Universities may support two competition applications per year.

Applicant preselection is the sole responsibility of the university. Information on preselection deadlines is available In the Toolbox.

The university representatives who must preselect the applicants should consult the Instructions for preselecting applicants in the Toolbox.

University representatives who preselect applicants must fill out the applicant nomination form, which is available on the Extranet site of the FRQNT. The form must be submitted electronically by September 23th, 2016, at 4 PM.

Applicants must meet all program eligibility requirements. Applications submitted by a university may be deemed ineligible by the FRQNT if the applicants do not meet all program requirements.

Preselected applications may also be preselected for the Merit scholarships Program for Foreign Students awarded by the Ministère de l'Éducation et de l'Enseignement supérieur (MEES). If an applicant submits several applications in the same year, he/she must send only one copy of the reference letters to the FRQNT.

Submitting application

Preselected applicants will receive a Personal Identification Number (PIN) and a password and must then fill out an e-form to which will be attached the required documents. Applicants may consult the document: Instructions for completing an application in the Toolbox.

Only the 2017-2018 competition e-forms and other required documents will be accepted. Any appendices or documents other than those required will not be given to the evaluation committee.

The e-forms are only available in the secure section of the website of the Fonds. These forms must be filled out and submitted electronically by the competition deadline on November 1st, 2016, at 4 PM (coordinated universal time UTC-5, Est time zone). Applicants will not be able to update their applications after the competition deadline. It is recommended that applicants keep a hard copy of the e-form for their personal files.

The form may be written in French or English. Applicants who submit their applications in English must provide the French translation of the project title.

Important : Applications that do not include the information required will be deemed ineligible by the FRQNT.

Required supporting documents

Letter of reference (by email or online)

Two letters of reference from referees should be sent to the program manager. The applicant must provide the number of his application and his personal identification number (PIN) to his referees to fulfill the letter.

  • For Quebec referees, it is strongly suggested to use the letter available online in the researcher's personal electronic file. This letter is sent to the Fund through his electronic file.
  • Foreign referees can use the dynamic PDF letter available in the Toolbox. Referees must complete the letter in PDF format, print it, sign it, scan it and send it to the Fund by mail:

Documents to include in the electronic form (PDF)

The documents listed below must be attached to the electronic form in the order described in two (2) PDF documents. The first one includes a copy of the identification page of a valid passport or official document. The second includes the rest of the documents.The student must ensure that the documents are not protected by a password.

Documents submitted in a language other than French or English must be accompanied by a translation of the original.

  • A copy of transcripts for every year of the applicant's university studies, whether they were completed or not (certificate, diploma, bachelor's, master's, doctoral, etc.).
  • A copy of the identification page of the applicant's valid passport from his/her home country or any other official document that established the applicant's citizenship;
  • A copy of your diploma unless there is a grade in this document. The applicant must also provide the transcripts for any equivalencies that were granted for courses taken in other institutions or as part of other programs. Any transcripts from institutions located outside North America must include a note from the applicant explaining the marking system. The FRQNT reserves the right to verify with institutions the authenticity of any information given by applicants. The transcripts must be organized chronologically from newest to oldest;
  • Acknowledgements of receipt or letters from editors for articles that are submitted, accepted or in press (acknowledgements for published articles will not be given to the committee).

Additional document for applicants who carried out part-time or unregistered sessions since first registering for their graduate studies

  • An attestation from the registrar listing any unregistered or part-time sessions.

Additional document for applicants seeking an eligibility period exception

  • An official document attesting to the applicant's suspended registration and a medical certificate indicating the reasons and duration of the suspension, if applicable.

The FRQNT reserves the right to verify the authenticity of any information or documents given by applicants with relevant bodies.

Submitting the required documents

The candidate must send the electronic form to the FRQNT before the competition deadline: November 1st 2016.

It is the applicant's responsibility to verify that the documents attached to the electronic form (PDF) include all the required documents for the application to be considered acceptable. No document requested in the electronic form that would be sent by email or mail will be accepted.

The candidate must ensure that his referees send the letters of reference no later than the competition deadline.

Acknowledgment of receipt

In December, applicants will be informed via email of the receipt of their application. The candidate who has not received this notice should contact the program manager before December 15th 2016.

Applications assessment

Applicant's academic record

Criterion indicators:

  • Grade point average;
  • Academic progress;
  • Years of schooling;
  • Awards and prizes.

Research skills and relevant research experience

Criterion indicators:

  • Soundness of the application and research interests;
  • Applicant's experience and accomplishments;
  • Letters of recommendation from respondents.

Quality and scientific interest of the research project

Criterion indicators:

  • Clarity of the scientific objectives;
  • Relevance of the methodology in light of the set objectives;
  • Originality of the project;
  • Project's contribution to advancing knowledge in the field;
  • Project's relevance to the research director's field.

Social involvement, leadership and communication skills

Criterion indicators:

  • Applicant's leadership skills;
  • Conference and meeting organization;
  • Positions held;
  • Volunteering;
  • Mentoring;
  • Experience in supervision;
  • Experience in knowledge transfer;
  • Project management;
  • Committee chairmanship;
  • Ability or potential to clearly and logically communicate scientific concepts;
  • Overall presentation.

Evaluation process

Role of the evaluation committee

Eligible applications will be assessed by a four-member multidisciplinary committee. The committees will include university faculty members who may call upon representatives from the private and government sectors.

The evaluation committee will assess applications based on program criteria and rank the applications according to merit.

Depending on the number of eligible applications, the Fonds may appoint field-specific committees.

Role of the board of directors

The board of directors will receive recommendations from the evaluation committees and make the final funding decisions. The board is accountable for its decisions to the government of Québec.

Role of the program administrator

The program administrator is responsible for ensuring that the evaluators respect the evaluation criteria and rules in effect as well as the standard rules of ethics.

Awarding of the scholarships and announcement of the results

Awarding of the scholarships

The applications will be evaluated and ranked according to merit by the evaluation committees. Scholarships will be awarded based on available funds. The FRQNT reserved the right to adjust the offer based on the directions set out by the board of directors.

Announcement of the results

The board of directors of the FRQNT will announce its decision electronically in late April, advising applicants directly via their e-files. Each applicant will be informed of his/her ranking and may print his/her announcement letter.

It is strictly prohibited to contact committee members, who must abide by confidentiality rules.

The decisions of the board of directors of the FRQNT are final and without appeal. There is no review process.

The applicant must accept or refuse the scholarship in the ten (10) business days following the receipt of the offer by filling out the e-form in his/her scholarship holder's file. Should an applicant fail to accept the award before the deadline, the Fonds will consider that he/she has refused it.

For more information please click on the "Further official information" below.

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