Industrial Innovation Scholarships Program
|Value||$7,000 per year from NSERC, $7,000 per year from 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|
|Application Forms|| IIS Form (application submitted by the Graduate Studies Office)
Terms and Conditions of Applying Form (form-fillable)
|Value||$9,000 per year from NSERC, $9,000 per year from 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).|
|Application Forms|| IIS Form
(application submitted by the Graduate Studies Office)
Terms and Conditions of Applying Form (form-fillable)
|Supplement to the scholarship paid as a training supplement|
|Value||Maximum $2,500. The total cost is shared equally between NSERC and FRQNT.|
|How to Apply||Access the form in the Director’s Electronic Section on the FRQNT Web site. Submit application directly to FRQNT.|
|Contact||View Contact Directory|
What kind of support do these scholarships provide?
The Industrial Innovation Scholarships (IIS) Program, offered jointly by NSERC and the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT), offers financial assistance 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:
- by enabling students to acquire experience, as well as personal and employment skills;
- by developing innovative training initiatives;
- by building networks of collaboration and knowledge-transfer;
- by encouraging companies to invest in training and R&D; and
- by contributing to increased innovation in key sectors of the various regions in Quebec.
Who may apply?
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.
Are you eligible for scholarship support?
To be considered eligible for support, you must:
- be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada or a foreign student. Foreign students must consult the Information for foreign students section.
- be enrolled in graduate studies in natural sciences or engineering at a Quebec university; and
- have achieved a first-class cumulative average (A-) in the last two years of completed study, or an undergraduate average of B+.
Note: If you have an academic average slightly below the requirement, but have demonstrated skills and experience relevant to the research project, the Graduate Studies Office can make a case on your behalf for an exception to this requirement.
Scholarships are not given to students completing qualifying studies.
To evaluate 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 four months 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.
What types of scholarships are available?
IIS (Master’s) – Maximum length: 24 months
When your application is received, you must:
- be entering, or have begun the first year of a master’s program;
- be entering, or have begun the first year of a doctoral program, if you were admitted to the PhD program directly from your bachelor’s program;
- intend to enroll for a minimum of one year (or three academic terms). The maximum length of time for the scholarship is two years (or six academic terms); and
- have completed no more than the equivalent of 12 months of full-time graduate studies in the master’s program for which you are requesting funding. The minimum required period is 12 months. Scholarship support will not extend beyond the 28th month of a 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], Fonds Formation de chercheurs et aide à la recherche [FCAR]) 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).
IIS (Doctoral) – Maximum duration: 36 months
You are eligible for this type of scholarship only if you are, or will be, a doctoral candidate.
When your application is received, you must:
- have completed no more than the full-time equivalent of 24 months of full-time studies in the doctoral program for which you are requesting funding in a field of research that NSERC and the FRQNT support;
- have completed the equivalent of four to 36 months of full-time studies in the doctoral program for which you are requesting funding, if you were admitted into a doctoral program directly from your bachelor’s program.
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 (six academic terms). The minimum required period is 24 months.
You are not eligible for an IIS (Doctoral) 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, CIHR, SSHRC, FRQS, FRQSC, FCAR) 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. The host organization 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 host organization working on the project identified in their scholarship application.
Who are the eligible host organizations?
- Eligible host organizations:
- Companies, consortiums and private-sector industry groups (production, processing, service) working in partnership with universities and involved or interested in becoming involved in R&D in Quebec;
- Companies or organizations outside Quebec may be considered if the benefits of the initiative for Quebec are demonstrated;
- Government agencies operating as regular for-profit enterprises, or on a cost-recovery basis;
- Start-up or spin-off companies with their own research facilities (i.e., not attached to a university);
- Non-profit organizations that do not receive a significant portion (more than 50 percent) of their operating budget from public funds.
- University laboratories, research centres and institutes;
- Federal, provincial and municipal governments;
- Non-profit organizations that receive a significant portion (more than 50 percent) of their operating budget from public funds.
How do you apply?
You must contact the university’s Graduate Studies Office (in French only), which is responsible for submitting applications. The office of the Dean of Graduate Studies coordinates all IIS Program scholarship applications and forwards all documents to the FRQNT.
A complete application includes the following documents:
- The IIS Form, available on the FRQNT Web site. The form must be completed and delivered electronically (you must already have obtained a personal identification number [PIN]). Keep a printed copy of the application for your file. You must also deliver a copy to the Graduate Studies Office. In the application form, you must clearly describe, in detail, what you expect your work with the host organization will entail or you must provide a detailed table or work plan that can be electronically attached to the application.
- The Terms and Conditions of Applying Form.
- A notification that the application file has been submitted, which can be printed once the electronic form has been sent.
- Official academic transcripts with the grade point average (GPA) indicated.
- A certified true copy of proof of citizenship or residency status.
- A certification by the Dean of Graduate Studies of the student's admission to the proposed degree program.
- The director’s section electronically completed and forwarded to FRQNT.
- The host organization’s supervisor’s section duly completed and signed.
- The university recommendation (consult the Review Process section).
- A statement signed by the university, the host organization, the student and the university supervisor in which you all agree to:
- the host organization’s financial contribution to the scholarship;
- the ownership of intellectual property arising from the research. This agreement must comply with the Quebec action plan for the management of intellectual property in universities and with the Guiding Principles and Mandatory Elements set out in NSERC’s Policy on Intellectual Property;
- that the student must generally spend most of his/her research time at the host organization;
- that granting of student’s degree will not be delayed by the desire to keep research results confidential; and
- that the student will not be subject to any restrictions regarding the offers of employment that he or she may accept while enrolled in the graduate program or after obtaining a degree.
- The Training Supplement application form, if this additional financial support is requested at the time of application; and
- The Travel Allowance application form, if this additional financial support is requested.
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 or the Scholarship Liaison Officer (in French only).
Announcement of Results
The results of the competition will be announced no later than two months following the acknowledgement of the complete application, including all the required documents and the signed partnership agreement.
The university must evaluate the proposal by providing a score and a comment for each of the four criteria listed below and make an overall recommendation.
A joint 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:
- Relevance and quality of the research project;
- Candidate's aptitude for research and innovation;
- Supervision available to the student; and
- Candidate's academic record.
Criteria, Indicators and Weighting
The scholarship may be used only at the university that submitted your application. However, in order to meet the scholarship requirements, you must generally devote the majority of your research time while with the host organization to research activities related to your thesis at the host organization site. This may include such things as field work or spending time with an alternate industrial partner, with the approval of the FRQNT and NSERC.
You must keep a record of the time you spend at the host organization site (complete with dates and hours, in tabular form) and provide it as part of your progress report.
You must also comply with the conditions for use of your scholarship, as described in the Award Holder’s Guide, including, but not limited to, the authorization to perform a maximum of 150 hours of paid work per four-month period.
Concurrent scholarships not allowed
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 or by charitable foundations cannot be combined with the IIS unless there are agreements on particular joint initiatives between these organizations and NSERC or the FRQNT.
Concurrent scholarships allowed
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.
Start date and period of scholarship validity
The start date of the scholarship may be retroactive to the start of the academic term when the application was submitted. This 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 the term following the February 1 date. The scholarships should be awarded approximately three months after the nominations are received.
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 host organization.
Payment of scholarships
The university will be responsible for making regular payments to the scholarship holder for the NSERC and host organization portions of the scholarship. The FRQNT portion will be paid directly to the student.
Termination of support
- If you are no longer eligible for this scholarship, it will be terminated.
- If your host organization withdraws its financial support for your scholarship, or if you no longer meet the eligibility criteria that were in effect at the time your award was approved, the scholarship will be terminated.
In order to authorize a payment for subsequent years of the scholarship, NSERC and the FRQNT must have received a yearly progress report. The report is sent to the FRQNT by the Dean of Graduate Studies by the anniversary date of the start date of the scholarship. This report must:
- verify the student's satisfactory standing in the graduate program;
- describe the progress the student has made in the research project;
- detail the time the student has spent at the host organization site; and
- confirm the host organization's continued financial support.
Parts of the report may be prepared by the Dean of Graduate Studies, the student, the university supervisor, or the host organization representative (as appropriate).
A final report is required after the scholarship end date one month following the session in which the scholarship ends. Any further financial assistance under another program will be conditional upon the receipt of the report.
Value of scholarship
- IIS (Master’s) – Annual value of scholarship: $14,000 plus a minimum of $7,000 from the private partner (i.e., NSERC: $7,000 plus the FRQNT: $7,000 plus private partner: $7,000 = $21,000 or more).
- IIS (Doctoral) – Annual value of scholarship: $18,000 plus a minimum of $9,000 from the private partner (i.e., NSERC: $9,000 plus the FRQNT: $9,000 plus private partner: $9,000 = $27,000 or more).
- Training supplement (maximum $2,500). The total cost is shared equally between NSERC and the FRQNT.
- Travel Allowance (maximum $1,500 for IIS [Master’s] and $2,000 for IIS [Doctoral]). The cost is absorbed by the FRQNT.
A Training Supplement is available to pay for aspects of the student's training and for the acquisition of skills. The total amount may not exceed $2,500 during the course of the scholarship. It 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 host 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 joint 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 payment period of the scholarship. The supplement will be paid to the student once receipts have been submitted (for details regarding reimbursement of expenses, see the Award Holder’s Guide) and must be used solely for the training activities approved by the joint committee.
The FRQNT offers, upon request, a travel allowance to students who carry out their research at host organizations located in outlying areas and that are in a different region from their studies. The host organization must be located in a different region and more than 150 kilometres away from where the student lives or from the university where they propose to carry out their studies. 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 (for more information, see the FRQNT Web site).
Information for foreign students
The FRQNT and NSERC will accept applications from foreign students. These applicants, as well as their applications, must meet all other IIS Program requirements.
A maximum of 20 percent of IIS Program scholarships will be awarded to foreign students. The FRQNT and NSERC will inform the universities when the limit has almost been reached.
Foreign students who receive an IIS will have the same rights and must follow the same rules as other IIS holders, as described in the Award Holder’s Guide. However, foreign students enrolled in a part-time program are not eligible for an IIS.
Student visa and employment
NSERC and the FRQNT emphasize that 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 not required to obtain a work permit in order to collaborate with sponsoring organizations through an IIS.
Eligible host organizations for foreign students who hold an IIS
Foreign students who hold an IIS must work for a host organization 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 on host organization premises located in Quebec.
Additional documents required for IIS applications submitted by foreign students
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.
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