Information about NSERC’s role in the Industrial Innovation Scholarships Program
As directed in the Economic Action Plan 2015, Mitacs’ Accelerate program will become the primary delivery agent for federally supported graduate-level industrial research and development internships. Consequently, NSERC will withdraw from its partnership with the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT), in the Industrial Innovation Scholarships Program as of August 31, 2015.
Note that all existing funding commitments will be honoured. For information about the program, contact the FRQNT.
|Value||$7,000 per year from NSERC, $7,000 per year from the FRQNT, for a maximum of two years, plus a company contribution of at least $7,000 per year.|
|Application Deadline||No NSERC or FRQNT deadline (there may be university deadlines).|
|How to Apply||See below|
|Value||$9,000 per year from NSERC, $9,000 per year from the FRQNT, for a maximum of three years, plus a minimum company contribution of $9,000 per year.|
|Application Deadline||No NSERC or FRQNT deadline (there may be university deadlines).|
|Supplement to the scholarship paid as a training supplement|
|Value||Maximum $2,500. The total cost is shared equally between NSERC and the FRQNT.|
|How to Apply||Access the application form in the Form section on the FRQNT Web site. Submit application directly to the FRQNT.|
|For More Information||Consult the Contact List|
The Industrial Innovation Scholarships (IIS [BMP Innovation]) Program, offered jointly by NSERC and the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT), offers scholarships to students enrolled in a master’s or doctoral program and interested in undertaking research in natural sciences and engineering, through a university-business partnership.
The objective of the IIS Program is to foster the development of companies' innovation capacity and to improve employment prospects for recent graduates of master's and doctoral programs through university-industry partnerships:
The IIS Program is aimed primarily at full-time master’s or doctoral students in a natural sciences or engineering program at a Quebec university at the time the scholarship is received. Part-time student candidates will also be considered (consult the Part-time section).
To be considered eligible for support, you must:
Scholarships are not given to students completing qualifying studies.
To determine your eligibility for the IIS Program, the number of months of graduate studies completed in the program for which you are requesting funding will be considered, as well as whether the program deals with a research field supported by NSERC and the FRQNT. Eight months of part-time graduate study will be counted as the equivalent of one four-month session of full-time study at the time of your application.
Rules pertaining to the IIS Program eligibility period take into account the number of months of studies completed at the master’s or doctoral level for a graduate degree, even if these months were completed at an institution other than the one where you received, or will receive, your degree.
You are eligible for this scholarship category only if you are enrolled in, or plan to enrol in, a research-based Master’s program.
You are not considered eligible for an IIS (Master’s) if you previously held an IPS 1, a PGS M, a CGS M, a PGS A, an FRQNT master’s research scholarship (B1) or an FRQNT research practicum scholarship. If you have already received financial support from a recognized funding agency (e.g., NSERC, Canadian Institutes of Health Research [CIHR], Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada [SSHRC], Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé [FRQS], Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture [FRQSC]) over a total period of five years (15 academic terms or 60 months full-time), you are not eligible to receive an IIS (Master’s).
You are eligible for this scholarship category only if you are, or will be, a doctoral candidate.
When your application is received, you must:
Support will not extend beyond the 52nd month of doctoral studies, unless you were admitted into the doctoral program directly from your bachelor’s program, in which case support will not extend beyond the 64th month. You must remain in the graduate program for which you received the scholarship for at least two years (or six academic terms). The minimum required period for the IIS (Doctoral) scholarship is 24 months.
You are not eligible for an IIS (Doctoral) scholarship if you previously held an IPS 2, a PGS D, a CGS D, a PGS B or an FRQNT doctoral research scholarship (B2). If you have received financial support from a recognized funding agency (e.g., NSERC, Canadian Institutes of Health Research [CIHR], Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada [SSHRC], Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé [FRQS], Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture [FRQSC]), over a period totalling five years (15 academic terms or 60 months full-time), you are not eligible for an IIS (Doctoral) scholarship.
Part-time students are eligible for financial support at one half the normal award level for a maximum period of twice the normal duration (foreign students should consult the Information for foreign students section). The practicum setting is expected to contribute at least $3,500 per year for a master’s student and $4,500 per year for a doctoral student. Students must devote the equivalent of at least 25 days of full-time study per year at the practicum setting working on the project identified in their scholarship application.
To be considered a practicum setting, the business or host organization must fill out the required form and provide the documents listed in the form. An eligibility analysis is conducted jointly by NSERC and the FRQNT.
In the event that a business or an organization has a number of places of business, each location will have to be evaluated; the appropriate forms will need to be submitted. Please contact the program lead for more information on this topic.
Potentially eligible organizations are evaluated against the following evaluation criteria: the financial capacity of the business or host organization and its student-mentoring and research capacity. Each criterion must be deemed satisfactory by NSERC and the FRQNT. If an organization has been shown to have potential eligibility, but certain risks have also been identified, conditional eligibility outlining specific circumstances may be granted.
A practicum setting may be an individual business, an industrial association, a production group or a collective of such companies.
Start-up organizations that have a viable business plan and guaranteed financial support may be accepted. In addition to meeting the eligibility criteria, these organizations must demonstrate their capacity to use the research results or their potential to acquire this capacity.
An organization owned in part or in whole by a professor may be eligible if it is demonstrated that there is no conflict of interest between the professor and the student.
The following practicum settings may be eligible:
The following practicum settings are ineligible:
You must contact the university’s Graduate Studies Office, which is responsible for submitting applications. The Graduate Studies Office coordinates all IIS Program scholarship applications and forwards all documents to the FRQNT.
A complete application includes the following documents:
Student applications for the NSERC-FRQNT Industrial Innovation Scholarships Program may be submitted at any time; however, the university can assign internal deadlines. For more information about university deadlines, contact the Graduate Studies Office of the university in question.
The university will evaluate the application by providing a score and a comment for each of the four criteria listed below and making an overall recommendation.
A committee composed of NSERC and the FRQNT program managers examines the applications and makes a recommendation on whether funds should be granted.
Applications will be evaluated by the university on the basis of the following criteria:
The results of the application process are announced no later than two months after receipt of the application and all required documents, including the signed cooperation agreement.
The scholarship may be used only at the university that submitted your application. However, in order to meet the terms and conditions of the scholarship, you must generally devote the majority of your research time while at the practicum setting to research activities related to your thesis at the host organization site. Interaction with the organization includes carrying out field work or devoting time to an alternate industrial organization, with the approval of NSERC and the FRQNT.
You must keep a record of the time you spend at the practicum setting by providing complete information on dates and hours, in tabular form, for inclusion as part of your progress report.
You must also comply with the terms and conditions for use of your scholarship as described on the Policies and Requirements page of the Award Holder’s Guide, including, but not limited to, performing a maximum of 150 hours of paid work per four-month period.
The IIS cannot be combined with any other scholarship from a federal funding agency such as NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR, and provincial funding agencies such as the FRQNT, FRQSC and FRQS. Scholarships of equal or greater value awarded by other Quebec or federal government departments cannot be combined with the IIS unless there are agreements on particular joint initiatives between these organizations and NSERC or the FRQNT.
If you are receiving a scholarship from a private source, including universities, research chairs, consortiums, private, international or foreign foundations, other Canadian provincial governments or foreign governments, you may hold that scholarship concurrently with the IIS if the concurrency rules of these organizations allow it.
Holding awards concurrently with loans and scholarships from the Quebec Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport (MELS) is permitted.
The start date of the scholarship may be retroactive to the start of the academic term when the application was properly submitted. This retroactivity does not apply to applications for which information is missing at the end of the term. In addition, retroactivity does not apply to scholarships for which applications are submitted after February 1, or that were submitted but for which required information is missing on that date. In these cases, scholarships will not be awarded until the start of a term following the February 1 date.
The scholarships are awarded for the duration of the eligibility period, subject to the submission of progress reports deemed satisfactory by NSERC, the FRQNT and the practicum setting.
The university will be responsible for making regular payments to the scholarship holder for the NSERC and the business portions of the scholarship. The FRQNT portion will be paid directly to the student.
The scholarship is terminated if:
In order to authorize a payment for renewal of the scholarship, NSERC and the FRQNT must have received a yearly progress report. The report is sent to the FRQNT by the Graduate Studies Office each year by the anniversary date of the start date of the scholarship. This report must:
A final report is required after the scholarship end date one month following the term in which the scholarship ends. Any further financial assistance under another program of the FRQNT is conditional upon the receipt of the report.
A Training supplement may be provided to pay for aspects of the student's training and for the acquisition of skills. The total amount cannot exceed $2,500 for the course of the scholarship. The supplement is intended to facilitate travel and registration in relevant training activities. The goal of these activities is to assist the student in acquiring complementary skills for working in the organization.
The student must submit a duly completed Training supplement application form directly to the FRQNT. This application must be well justified. The application for the supplement will be processed following the same procedure as the scholarship applications and will be assessed by the committee created by the two funding agencies for this purpose. The application may be submitted at the same time as the scholarship application or, at the latest, within the first four months of the last year of financial support.
The training activities must take place during the course of the scholarship. The supplement will be paid to the student once receipts have been submitted (for details regarding reimbursement of expenses, consult the Training Supplement section of the Award Holder’s Guide) and must be used solely for the training activities approved by the joint committee.
A travel allowance is offered, upon request, to students who carry out their research at organizations located in outlying areas and that are in a different region from their studies.
The goal of this allowance is to support students who wish to carry out their research in an organization located in a region more than 150 kilometres away from where they live or study.
Candidates must comply with all the following criteria:
The FRQNT will offer up to $1,500 to master’s students and up to $2,000 for PhD students for the duration of the scholarship.
To obtain this travel allowance, students must apply to the FRQNT at the time of application for scholarship, using the appropriate form signed by the research director and the industrial supervisor. In the application for travel allowance, students must include an estimate of the supplementary expenses that will be incurred due to their research being carried out at organizations located in outlying areas that are in a different region from their studies. This travel allowance will primarily cover the additional transportation expenses and any accommodation expenses, if applicable.
The travel allowance will be paid to the student upon presentation of receipts (see the Award Holder’s Guide for claims’ guidelines) and must only relate to travel approved by the FRQNT.
NSERC and the FRQNT will allow foreign students to apply for an IIS Program scholarship. These applicants, as well as their applications, must meet all other IIS Program requirements.
NSERC and the FRQNT may decide to limit the number of IIS Program scholarships awarded to foreign students. In such an event, NSERC and the FRQNT will inform the universities of this decision.
Foreign students who receive an IIS have the same rights and must follow the same rules as other IIS holders, as described on the Policies and Requirements page in the Award Holder’s Guide. However, foreign students enrolled in a part-time program are not eligible for an IIS.
IIS awards are scholarships and should not be considered as employment. Therefore, foreign students who hold student visas allowing them to study in Canada are permitted to collaborate with the practicum setting through an IIS.
Foreign students who hold an IIS must work for a business whose offices, labs or other facilities are located in Quebec. Students must devote their research time to activities covered by the IIS. These activities must be carried out at practicum settings located in Quebec.
If their transcripts are in a language other than English or French, foreign students must attach a certified translation of these transcripts to their application. An assessment of the academic qualifications upon which the student’s admissibility to the graduate program was based must also be attached. This assessment must be written by the university.
Consult the Introduction page of the Award Holder’s Guide for more information on these regulations.