Members of the scientific community,
Over the past few days, many of you have expressed concerns about, among other things, our grant and scholarship payment operations. As I mentioned in a previous message, the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted my Office and the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) to adapt to the situation. With teleworking, our departments remain open to carry out the day-to-day operations of our activity cycle.
Through these day-to-day operations, we are making sure:
- That the planned payment schedule as of April 1 is maintained for all grants and scholarships funded by the FRQ for the current year and for subsequent years;
- That you receive, through your institution’s research office, the necessary information concerning the terms and conditions for managing current awards. The FRQ will be flexible with regard to procedure, including financial reports, account updates, final reports and end of funding periods.
We remain focused on solutions and flexibility in carrying out our operational activities. We are extremely aware that your research has been disrupted by the exceptional situation in which our research ecosystem finds itself.
Moreover, during the FRQ Boards of Directors meetings that will be held virtually in the second week of April, award decisions for our recent funding competitions will remain on the agenda. It should be noted that in the last Government of Québec budget, unveiled on March 10, the FRQ received, as expected, $214.6 million in appropriations (FRQNT: $62.7 million; FRQS: $91 million; and FRQSC: $60.8 million).
In recent weeks, both the federal government and the Government of Québec announced funding for COVID-19 research. Many Québec researchers are working to find concrete solutions to this pandemic. Beyond this additional government contribution, annual FRQ funding – particularly to research centres, institutes, networks, clusters and teams – will continue as planned, and some of this work will certainly contribute, in the short, medium and long terms, to a better understanding of the ins and outs of the COVID-19 phenomenon as experienced in Québec.
Rest assured that we are in constant discussion with our government authorities to find solutions in the face of this exceptional situation.
We ask you to share this message with your colleagues to be sure that it reaches the widest possible audience. In addition, we encourage you to follow us on our various social networks.
Thank you for your precious collaboration.
Chief Scientist of Québec