AUDACE Program, fall 2017


Competition year :



Deadline (application) :

November 29th, 2017, 4 PM


Amount :

Up to $100,000 over a period of 12 months, may be spread over 24 months


Duration :

1 year


Announcement of results :

April 2018



IMPORTANT NOTICE: The link to the FRQ electronic Portfolio (forms) is available under the Portals Access. More details are available in the About FRQnet section.



Note: In the event of a discrepancy between the English and French versions of this program, the French version prevails.

This program refers to the Common General Rules (CGR), which are applicable to all programs of the Fonds de recherche. Any special terms and conditions applicable to the AUDACE program are indicated in this document, and these prevail over the CGR.




Convinced that an intersectoral approach will open up novel research perspectives, introduce groundbreaking conceptual frameworks, cast new light on complex phenomena and provide innovative solutions to multidimensional issues, the Fonds de recherche du Québec invite researchers from all sectors (natural sciences and engineering, health sciences, humanities and social sciences, arts and literature) to address the major challenges facing Québec society, by viewing them through the prism of a truly joint, co-constructed, integrated approach.

AUDACE is part of significant efforts made over the last five years by the Chief Scientist of Québec to foster intersectoral research through forums on research direction; periodic consultations with stakeholders from research, the public, private and political sectors and the artistic community; and by launching a wide-ranging process of reflection on creativity and intersectorality.

AUDACE is the first funding opportunity to come out of new programming focusing on intersectoral networking and on the advances that can be made by the cross-pollination of scientific knowledge, approaches and cultures. It is in line with the Support for innovative research and Support for innovative projects programs—which succeeded one another as part of FRQSC's programming between 2002 and 2013—, two funding offers that invited the  community to propose projects that were out of the ordinary, innovative, and outside of the box. Drawing on lessons learned through these programs, AUDACE represents a firm commitment on the part of the three Fonds to support exploratory intersectoral initiatives with the potential to radically transform research and creation.

With this program, the FRQ are also seeking to restore Québec's position in the international shift toward High-Risk/High-Reward funding. AUDACE aims to provide researchers from the three major sectors covered by the Fonds with favourable conditions for initiating projects with a high level of risk and the potential for high impacts, be they scientific, social, economic, technological, cultural, aesthetic, etc. More specifically, Québec researchers are invited to submit proposals that:

  • Are in line with an intersectoral approach – in the sense that they involve collaboration between researchers from at least two of the three major sectors covered by the Fonds;
  • Dare to break with established frameworks and patterns of thought;
  • Are likely to produce radically innovative knowledge and have a high potential for impact.

Given the program's exploratory nature and the wish of the FRQ to be responsive and base this new program on the current state of science in Québec and internationally, this edition of AUDACE is a pilot program. Its rules are subject to adjustment and revision with each edition.



2.1. General objective

The objective of the AUDACE program is to support bold research that offers a departure from traditional approaches. For the purposes of this program, "bold" refers to the ability of the researchers and their project to go beyond the existing paradigms of their respective scientific cultures and fields of research – theories, practices, hypotheses, methods, and even modes of thought. The FRQ also wish to encourage innovative research proposals with a high potential to transform and to produce considerable impacts, regardless of their nature (scientific, social, economic, technological, cultural, aesthetic…).

2.2. Specific objectives

More specifically, through this program, the FRQ aim to:

  • Foster intersectoral networking by funding research projects at the crossroads of disciplines and sectors;

  • Provide funding for projects considered risky because of their boldness and which, due to their intersectoral nature, do not fall within the scope of the regular funding programs offered by each of the three Fonds de recherche.

By "intersectoral networking", the FRQ are referring to a research and collaboration approach which, in order to shed new light on common or shared research issues, brings together researchers from disciplinary fields or research practices from at least two of the three major sectors covered by the Fonds to work on a research topic, problem, method or question. We are talking about going beyond the simple combination or juxtaposition of several disciplines and sectors (or even the instrumentalization of one discipline or sector by another) to resolve a problem or tackle a research topic. From an intersectoral perspective, disciplines and sectors must firmly engage in a joint, co-created "research approach" whose mode of operation lies outside of the hierarchization of fields of knowledge.



3.1 Eligibility of the project leader

The person responsible for the application (project leader) must have one of the following statuses:

  • university researcher;

  • university clinical researcher;

  • college researcher.

He/she must also meet the general eligibility requirements set out in the CGR.

3.2 Team configuration

In order to be eligible, a project must be headed by at least two people from at least two sectors covered by the Fonds de recherche du Québec (Nature et technologies – Santé – Société et culture) with the status of:

  • university researcher;

  • university clinical researcher;

  • college researcher.

A project may include co-researchers or collaborators with the statuses mentioned above, or with the status of "other researcher, practitioner, or artist" (CGR, Definitions - status and roles). Postdoctoral research fellows as well as researchers from outside of Province of Quebec may contribute to the project as collaborators.

3.3 Participation in more than one project

No individual can be responsible for more than one funding application or grant awarded under this program.

It is possible to have the role of co-researcher in several projects submitted or funded under this program. However, the relevance and feasibility of this type of multiple participation will be subject to evaluation.



Before submitting a funding application, the applicant must create a user account on the Fonds website, if this has not already been done. Individuals who already have a personal identification number (PIN) have direct access to a FRQnet account and must update their profile using the E-Portfolio.

4.1 E-forms

Applicants must complete the e-form that will be made available in their E-Portfolio two months before the competition deadline.

As indicated in the CGR, forms may be filled out in English or French. However, the project title and summary must be written in French. This information may be used for promotion and dissemination purposes.

Only forms completed and transmitted electronically will be accepted.

Applications that do not contain the information necessary to establish eligibility or to evaluate their merit will be deemed ineligible by the Fonds.

Any documents that are not required and which are included with the application will not be submitted to the evaluation committee. Applicants will not be notified of any information or documents missing from the application. Any documents received after the deadline for application, or exceeding the formats specified in these rules will not be considered.

Applications must be submitted no later than November 24, 2017, at 4 p.m.


4.2 Documents to be included

The applicant is asked to submit the following documents:

  • A three-page defense of the project in light of the evaluation criteria (see 5.1).
  • An additional document presenting the project and its leaders may be attached to the form. The choice of content is at the discretion of the applicants. The following formats are accepted:
    • A text of up to 3,500 characters, including spaces and characters that are part of any images or graphic elements;
    • A video or audio recording with a maximum length of 3 minutes (180 seconds);
    • A PowerPoint presentation of up to 10 slides, presented in the form of a video with a maximum length of 3 minutes (180 seconds).
  • Digital accompanying documents (video between 500 and 1024 MB or PowerPoint) must be sent to the Fonds via the following web address: They must be identified as follows: NAME OF APPLICANT - APPLICATION NUMBER.

  • ATTENTION: Candidates are requested to send their accompanying documents only once in their final version. In case of duplicate transmission resulting from a manipulation error, the most recent version will be considered for the evaluation.

  • Each team member must provide an abridged CV in PDF format (maximum 2 pages) summarizing the following in relation to the project, in the order listed:
    • academic and/or professional training;
    • relevant expertise and experience, as it pertains to the project;
    • scientific or other achievements, as they pertain to the project.
  • Two pages of budgetary justifications.
  • Where applicable, an ethical justification of up to one page for the use of human subjects, human biological materials or animals.

Retired university researchers must provide, via the « Other documents » section of the e-form, a letter from the university attesting this status. The letter must indicate that prior to his/her retirement, the researcher was a regular professor and that, for the term of the grant, he/she will have access to the facilities and logistical support required to carry out research activities and that he/she will continue to train/supervise students and young researchers in the field, where applicable

Researchers who respond to the status of university researcher or clinical university researcher, but do not occupy a tenure-track position (for example: contractual ) must attach via the "Other documents" section of the e-form a document  establishing that ou certifying that they will retain this status throughout the duration of the grant.

4.3. Frequency of the competition

The competition is offered every year.



5.1 Evaluation criteria

In line with the program objectives, applications are evaluated according to three main criteria:

Level of intersectoral integration

In concrete terms, intersectoral networking in research – which cannot be reduced to a merely collaborative approach – takes shape through:

The joint design and development, within the project, of research problems that engage research questions or topics common to or shared by representatives of the different sectors;

  • The development of an innovative methodology, adapted to each research problem and integrating approaches from each sector represented within the project;

  • Team composition: the project must be headed by researchers from at least two sectors.

Potential for disruptive innovation

By "disruptive innovation", the FRQ mean significantly challenging the foundations, knowledge and practices that govern a field of research, or the approaches and methods that commonly underpin the study of a research topic. A project's potential for disruptive innovation lies in its capacity, thanks to its intersectoral focus, to go beyond the boundaries of what is known, to break with its inherited frameworks and standards in order to produce radically new knowledge of a theoretical, epistemological, methodological, aesthetic or technological nature that will transform the research field. The applicants must demonstrate that the anticipated breakthroughs of the project have a real potential for disruption.

Scope of the anticipated impacts

For the purposes of this program, the notion of "impacts" is understood to mean "deliverables", in the broadest sense of the term. The potential impacts under this program, which must be of benefit to Québec society, can be scientific, social, economic, technological, cultural, or aesthetic in nature.

In all cases, the impacts of the project, as envisaged, must be considerable in the event of success. 

Finally, the budget estimates are analyzed by the committee, which verifies their consistency with the submitted project.

5.2 Evaluation process

As indicated in Section 4 of the CGR, the Fonds receive funding applications, check their eligibility and submit them for scientific evaluation by a committee whose members are recognized for their skills, expertise and achievements relating to the program objectives and the applications submitted. Nonetheless, as the evaluators for this type of program come from a variety of different backgrounds, applicants are encouraged, in the documents submitted for evaluation, to present their project in such a way as to be easily understandable in a multidisciplinary context.

The project evaluation process takes place in two phases:

  • Phase 1: analysis by the evaluation committee of the submitted application and accompanying document;

  • Phase 2: interview with the leaders of the projects selected in Phase 1 for a presentation before the evaluation committee.

The conditions governing funding decisions are specified in Section 4.5 of the CGR.



For the conditions regarding the announcement of funding, refer to Section 5 of the CGR.

A copy of the certificate of ethics for the use of human subjects, human biological materials or animals as part of the project is required on the awarding of any grant, if applicable. Payment of the grant is contingent on the submission of the certificate and related documents. 



The funding consists of a grant of up to $100,000 over a period of 12 months. In the documents submitted for evaluation, the use of the funding amount may be spread over 24 months.

In accordance with the program objectives, the grant must be used to cover expenses directly related to the implementation of the project. All budget items listed in the CGR are eligible, with the exception of costs associated with dissemination, reproduction, publishing, reprography or translation (Section 8.9. of the CGR). The costs associated with teaching release or clinical activities release for the conduct of research or for the coordination of activities are authorized in this program but reserved to principal investigators.



In accordance with the CGR, the holder of a grant obtained under this program is required submit a final report, the format of which will be communicated in due course to the project leader who submitted the application.

In addition, in the interest of promoting the impacts of the projects funded under this program, teams may be invited to participate in events such as forums, conferences, follow-up or transfer activities, etc.



These rules apply to the 2017-2018 fiscal year.

Technical assistance

Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Phone: 418 646-3669

Toll free: 1 866 621-7084

Priority will be given to e-mail enquiries.

Updated October 17, 2017

Do you have questions?

Sophie Gauthier-Clerc

Responsable de programmes
Direction des défis de société et maillages intersectoriels


514 873-2114, poste 4269