Support for innovative projects


Deadline (notice or letter of intent) :

Any time


Deadline (application) :

November 6th, 2013, 4 PM


Amount :

Up to $25,000 per year


Duration :

18 months maximum


Announcement of results :




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

This program is in line with the Québec Policy on Science and Innovation (Politique québécoise de la science et de l'innovation 2001), which emphasizes the tacit relationship between scientific activity and the innovative scope of its results. The program draws on the spirit of this policy by supporting fundamental research focused on the development of new conceptual frameworks and perspectives – work that sheds new light on the complexity of social and cultural phenomena and applied research that fosters innovative knowledge transfer.

The Fonds de la recherche sur la Société et Culture is a hub for researchers inhumanities, the social sciences and art and literature. To meet the varied interests of its members, the Fonds offers an inter-disciplinary program that is open to all and which supports projects in the major research areas in the field. The program's budget is akin to venture capital invested to fund research stemming from new ideas, which constitute the very basis of science and innovation.


Program mission and characterictics

The program aims to foster the emergence of knowledge-enhancing projects by enabling researchers to give free reign to their creative imagination and develop and submit research proposals that stand out by their originality in terms of themes, conceptual approaches and/or research design architecture. Researchers are therefore invited to propose innovative, daring and unconventional projects. The program is based on the following characteristics:

  • openness to the free exploration of topics, with the aim of seeing how intuitions, ideas and hypotheses may be used as part of a more systematic approach to research;


  • openness to various forms of research: fundamental, applied, theoretical, empirical, monographic, documentary, exploratory, descriptive, explanatory, experimental, evaluative, interpretative, comparative, action research, etc.;


  • openness to innovation in practical application methods based on the results of theoretical work;


  • openness to variety in activities to advance and implement a research process through the creation of an open environment to foster unprecedented forms of scientific exchanges or collaborative method sharing between researchers;


  • openness to experimentation in knowledge dissemination and transfer with the aim to develop methods that are more effective and better suited to the needs and characteristics of users and partners;


  • openness to flexible funding methods to ensure that the value of the grant is adapted to the scope, duration and nature of the project and the activities required to carry it out;

  • openness to the research specificities of various disciplines. Researchers may opt for an individual approach, teamwork with colleagues or collaborative work with partners in different environments or goods and services productions.


Program objectives

The program aims to support research projects that veer off the beaten path, break away from the established order and explore new approaches, perspectives and hypotheses to avoid the redundancy of work that is a variation of the same theme.
The project must be exceptionally innovative, and mainstream projects are therefore ineligible. The program is based on the following objectives:

  • support the research projects or initiatives that are the most likely to lead to breakthroughs in terms of knowledge renewal and new prospects for innovation in the fields that drive economic, social and cultural progress for communities so as to avoid repeating experiments and assessments with a limited scope;
  • support daring research projects focused on a culture of questioning rather than certitude;
  • support research projects that do not meet the requirements of the standard funding programs offered by the Fonds or other granting agencies or which cannot obtain funding elsewhere because of their innovative component;
  • support activities to enhance, disseminate and transfer knowledge and research results.

The Fonds encourages researchers to carry out knowledge transfer activities whenever relevant.

The Fonds will invite grant holders and their teams (if applicable) to discussion forums to build on the expertise and experiences gained as part of the projects.
Participation in this activity is mandatory. The forum will foster exchanges as a showcase for innovative development and an opportunity to share the development perspectives of new projects.


Eligibility requirements

Applicants must meet the general conditions set out in the Common General Rules as well as the following requirements:

be a university researcher (CHU or CHUN), institutional researcher (CE) or college researcher (CHC).

See Appendix 1 for further details on researcher statuses.


Submitting an application

4.1 Submitting the preliminary research design

Applicants must first submit a preliminary research design using the Support for Innovative Projects (Appui aux projets novateurs) e-form on the Web site of the Fonds.

The main purpose of the preliminary research design is to:

  • establish the original and innovative features of the research proposal;
  • ensure that the proposal takes the program's objectives and characteristics into account;
  • establish the eligibility of the project leader.

The preliminary research design evaluation process is eliminatory.

4.2 Required documents

The following documents must be sent to the Fonds Société et Culture by the competition deadline on November 6, 2013, at 4 p.m.:

Via e-form:

  • the Support for Innovative Projects (Appui aux projets novateurs) preliminary proposal e-form available on the Web site of the Fonds Société et Culture;
  • The new Common Canadian CV of the project leader (available mid-June 2013);
  • The "Detailed contributions" attachment.

The following documents must be sent to the Fonds Société et Culture by the competition deadline on November 6, 2013:


Comité d'admissibilité - Appui aux projets novateurs
Fonds Société et Culture
140 Grande-Allée Est, Suite 470
Québec (Québec) G1R 5M8

  • for applicants who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents: copies of the documents demonstrating that the applicants have taken the steps necessary to obtain permanent resident status;
  • two bids from suppliers when the cost of the requested equipment exceeds $20 000;
  • if applicable, a copy of the certificate of ethics for the use of human subjects, human biological materials or animals as part of the project. Funding will be conditional on the submission of all of the documents that pertain to thecertification.

The preliminary research design may be written in French or English. However, the project title and summary must be in French.

Only the official funding application from the Support for Innovative Projects program (Demande d'aide financière, Programme Appui aux projets novateurs), the 2014-2015 Common Canadian CV and other required documents will be accepted. Any items missing from the file will not be requested from the applicants. All documents received after the application deadline will not be considered, and no file can be updated after the deadline. The Canada Post postmark or the dated receipt of a courier service will attest to the delivery of the application by the deadline. Since the form is transmitted online, the instructions concerning electronic transactions must be observed.

The individuals who sign an application attest that all of the information provided is exact and complete. They agree to respect the rules and principles set out in the Politique en matière d'éthique et d'intégrité en recherche policy of the Fonds Société et Culture. The researcher therefore authorizes the institution to transmit any personal information in accordance with this policy, if applicable. The individuals who sign an application accept that the information contained in that application will be communicated for evaluation or study purposes on the condition that the people who have access to the information respect all confidentiality rules. In addition, signing applicants must respect the division of responsibilities defined by the government of Québec in its Action Plan: Managing intellectual property in universities and institutions of the health and social service network where research activities are conducted.

The Fonds Société et Culture will attribute a personal identification number (PIN) to each researcher entered into the database. The PIN (NIP) is the access key to the computer system and facilitates communications between the organization and its clientele, in keeping with the Act respecting access to documents held by public bodies and the protection of personal information.

Applications that do not contain the information necessary to establish eligibility or which cannot be evaluated will be deemed non-receivable by the Fonds Société et Culture. Any part of the project description or bibliography, including the annexes, that exceeds the maximum number of authorized pages will be removed from the application.

The preliminary research design must be transmitted by the institution.


Application assessment

A multidisciplinary committee will assess the preliminary research designs and interviews. A committee chair, a scientific advisor, peers and at least one nonacademic member whose professional activities have made him/her a renowned innovative leader in the field will make up the committee. Evaluation committee
members may be from Québec, elsewhere in Canada or abroad. The Fonds will ensure that the evaluation process is tailored to meet program characteristics so that promising proposals are not deemed inadmissible or premature.

The multidisciplinary committee will first carry out a close reading of the preliminary research design. Only applicants whose research designs are in line with program objectives and characteristics will be called in for an interview (the second part of the evaluation process). The evaluation committee will render its decision based on the following criteria:

  • Originality and innovation
  • Feasibility

The following principles should be used as guidelines to interpret the evaluation criteria. They are not exhaustive, and proposals need not fulfill all criteria.

Originality and innovation

  • The proposal breaks new ground in research.
  • The proposal explores or tests new ideas, methods or practices.
  • The proposal could potentially lead to breakthroughs in terms of knowledge or practice.
  • The proposal re-examines a field or area of research.
  • The proposal explores new knowledge transfer methods.
  • The proposal makes a social, cultural or economic contribution.


  • The proposed methodology is relevant to the research topic and objectives.
  • The project leader will be able to ensure that the proposed research is carried out successfully.

Qualitative appreciation of the following aspects:

  • Realism of the timetable
  • Sound justification of budget estimates
  • Sound justification of the need for transfer support

In light of these features, the proposal cannot be funded under the regular programs
offered by the Fonds and other funding agencies.

Once the research design has been approved, the project leaders will be called in by the evaluation committee for an interview lasting up to 45 minutes. The interview will include a 20-minute presentation, a 25-minute discussion and a question period with evaluation committee members. The project leader must demonstrate the original and innovative aspects of the research proposal and the feasibility of the project. Researchers may select the presentation format.

Evaluation procedure

Role of the evaluation committees
Evaluation committees must evaluate the applications based on the standard rules of practice and research traditions of the relevant disciplines.

The evaluation committees assess applications based on the evaluation criteria set out in the program. The budget estimates are evaluated along with the application for funding, and evaluation committees may recommend budget cuts.

The evaluation committees must rank all of the applications according to merit, determining those that will be recommended for funding by the Board of Directors.

Role of the Board of Directors
The Board of Directors receives the recommendations of the evaluation committees and makes funding decisions, since it is the only body with an overall view of the work of the evaluation committees. Thus, while being accountable to the government for its decisions, it can, with the best information available, carry out its role as a manager of public funds.

Role of the program administrator
The Fonds Société et Culture program administrator will ensure that evaluation committee members respect the evaluation criteria and applicable program and ethical rules.


Description and nature of the financial support

When the results are announced, newly funded researchers should refer to the document entitled Guide d'utilisation des subventions du Fonds Société et Culture 2014-2015. This guide presents the rules for grant use and management.

Operating grants

The funding is an operating grant that varies according to the scope of the project.
Up to $25 000 (1) will be awarded for a period of between 6 and 18 months.

(1) The maximum annual amount is $25 000.

The grant must be used to cover the expenses directly incurred through research activities as part of the program. Only the budget items listed below are covered:

  • Release from up to 50% of teaching duties (up to $40 000/year) for college researchers. (Conditional upon the allocation of new program funds under the next Politique nationale de recherche et d'innovation (PNRI)). The supplement is paid out to the college researcher's institution;
  • remuneration for research professionals, technicians, students and postdoctoral research trainees;
  • compensation for study participants;
  • professional fees (consultants);
  • travel and living expenses;
  • research material and supplies;
  • material and equipment transportation costs;
  • premises and equipment rental costs;
  • telecommunications expenses;
  • computer supplies and databank purchasing expenses;
  • production, editing or reproduction fees;
  • translation fees;
  • purchase of equipment.

No other expenses are eligible.

Statutory supplements for college researchers (Conditional upon the allocation of new program funds under the next Politique nationale de recherche et d'innovation (PNRI)).

Statutory supplements may be granted in the following cases:
$7 000/year for each college researcher or retired college researcher who receives a positive assessment from the evaluation committee. This supplement is intended for college researchers or retired college researchers to cover part of their research expenses. This supplement is paid out to the college researcher's or retired college researcher's institution on the condition that he/she take part in the team's research activities, regardless of whether he/she obtains a release from his/her teaching duties;

$3 000 to $10 000/year for each inter-institutional team that includes researchers in universities or colleges in outlying areas. This supplement covers the researchrelated travel expenses of team researchers and students.

Supplement for transfer support
Additional funding of up to $7 000 may be granted to support transfer initiatives (e.g. dissemination activities, exchanges and knowledge-sharing between researchers and users, etc.).


Responsibility of the Fonds

The Fonds Société et Culture is not responsible for any direct or indirect damages resulting from the processing of any application with regards to any fellowship, funding or any other type of request. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the Fonds Société et Culture is not responsible for any direct or indirect damages resulting from the unauthorized disclosure of any information contained in an application. Despite all of the precautions that the Fonds Société et Culture takes to preserve the confidentiality of all information that must remain as such, it is possible that certain countries to which the information is communicated do not follow the same protection processes (e.g.: asymmetric cryptography, enciphering, etc.).

Act respecting access to documents held by public bodies and the protection of personal information

The Fonds Société et Culture is subject to the Act respecting access to documents held by public bodies and the protection of personal information (R.S.Q., chapter A- 2.1). The mandatory data is gathered, used and kept in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

The applicant should contact the person in charge of access at the Fonds Société et Culture for information on the access procedure, the protection of personal information and the rights of recourse stipulated in the Act.


General considerations

All of the programs must be approved by the government, and the grants are subject to government credits.

The Fonds Société et Culture reserves the right to modify the value of the grant and the program rules detailed in this document without prior notice.

The applicant must respect the eligibility criteria of the program and the Common General Rules, which are available on the Web site of Fonds Société et Culture.


Appendix 1: Status of researchers

University Researcher (CHU)
A university researcher is a regular member of a faculty in a Québec university who possesses a doctorate or equivalent status, or a researcher occupying a position equivalent to that of a professor who has been empowered by his/her institution to direct or co-direct Master's dissertations or doctoral theses. The salary of a University Researcher must be paid out of the university's regular budget. Also considered as a CHU is a research fellow from a Québec or Canadian granting organization.

New University Researcher (CHUN)
A university researcher must meet the eligibility criteria set out in the Établissement de nouveaux professeurs-chercheurs program (Start-up Program for New Researcher Professors) .

University Researcher-Creator (CRU)
A university researcher-creator is a regular member of the faculty of a Québec university, whose work involves creative or performance activities, who engages in a sustained creative practice and who is authorized by his/her institution to direct research-creation projects and train students enrolled at the graduate and postgraduate levels. The salary of a CRU must be paid out of the university's regular budget.

New University Researcher-Creator (CRUN)
A new university researcher-creator must meet CRU criteria and the eligibility criteria set out in the Établissement de nouveaux professeurs-chercheurs-créateurs program (Start-up Program for New Researcher-creator Professors).

Retired University Researcher (CHUT)
A retired university researcher must, for the duration of the grant, occupy a position of guest, associate or emeritus professor in a Québec university and be empowered by his/her institution to direct research projects and guide students.

College Researcher (CHC)
A college researcher is a full-time member of the faculty of a general or professional college, a private college in the public interest or a government school that dispenses post-secondary education. A college researcher may also hold a regular full-or parttime position in a college research and transfer centre. A college researcher-creator also meets these criteria, and his/her tasks involves creation or performance activities.

Retired College Researcher (CHCT)
A retired college researcher is from a general or vocational college, a private college of public interest, a government school that provides post-secondary education or a college centre for the transfer of technology. A retired college researcher-creator also meets these requirements and his/her tasks involve creation or performance activities.

Affiliated Researcher (CHA)
An affiliated researcher is a faculty member or researcher who holds a doctorate or equivalent status and is working in a Québec university but does not belong to its regular staff.

Government Researcher (CHG)
A government researcher is a researcher from a governmental environment.

Research Practitioner (PC)
A research practitioner is a professional who holds a position as a practitioner in an institution and who is released from all or part of his professional duties to be able to devote time to research activities recognized by the institution:

  • participation in the formulation and performance of research projects;
  • collaboration in the drafting of pedagogical documents for practitioners;
  • collaboration in scientific communication or diffusion activities within the institution or in the network.

Institutional Researcher (CE)
An institutional researcher is a person who possesses a doctorate, who is certified by a university to direct or co-direct Masters dissertations and doctoral thesis and who has the status of researcher in the institution. This person plays a key role in the interface between researchers, practitioners and managers. This may be a person who has a Master's degree and recognized expertise in research.

Industrial Researcher (CHI)
An industrial researcher is a researcher from an industrial environment.

Researcher from outside Quebec (CHH)
A researcher from outside Quebec is a researcher from a research environment outside Quebec.

Visiting Researcher (VIS)
A visiting researcher is a researcher from an institution different than the one with which the person responsible for the application is connected, who is participating, for a pre-determined period, in the research work of a team, group or centre.

Researcher without Recognized Institutional Affiliation (CHS)
A researcher without recognized institutional affiliation is a researcher residing in Québec but not holding a position or being paid by any institutional research or teaching structure, private or public, in Québec or elsewhere.

Postdoctoral Research Trainee (STP)
Person who performs, full-time and for a pre-determined period, a supervised postdoctoral research internship with a researcher, a group, a team, a centre, a grouping or a network, and who contributes actively to their research work.

Professional Artist (ARQ)
A professional artist is an artist who creates or interprets works on his/her own account, is recognized by his/her peers in his/her discipline and signs works which are disseminated in a professional context.

Professional Artist from Outside Québec (ARH)
A professional artist from outside Québec is a professional artist coming from an artistic environment outside Québec.

Do you have questions?

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Michelle Chiasson

Responsable de programmes

418 643-7582, poste 3161