RQR Bulletin

September 2009 | Volume 2, Number 9

 

 

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As all should have become aware by now, the NSERC CREATE grant, submitted in late 2008, was one of 20 successful from a large number of applications.  This new grant provides good funding for training through 2015, a total of $1.65M.  The training grant application was structured about the use of RQR scientists as mentors, RQR core facilities for training, and the RQR network for interaction and co-direction.  An ambitious training program was proposed. Ten co-applicants were chosen from the RQR membership as representative of the breadth and depth of the network, and as a demonstration of the province-wide strength of our members.  The abiding principle of the RQR is that the benefits of the network accrue to all members.  This principle is also an essential tenet of the RQR CREATE initiative, all RQR members will have the opportunity to participate in the scholarship competitions.

 

Our success in the CREATE competition was based on the integration of a training program into a credible and active research network, the RQR. Thus, the NSERC-CREATE initiative and the FQRNT-RQR program are inseparable components of the RQR research endeavor.  For this reason, the small amount of funding in the FQRNT-RQR grant budget for scholarships will be combined with RQR-CREATE funding to support training across the network.  All scholarship awards will be competitive, and all trainees will be designated and tracked as RQR-CREATE Scholars.  As proposed in the CREATE application, the committees in place in the RQR, the Training Committee, the Scientific Committee and the Advisory Committee, will continue to establish the parameters and to oversee the competitions.

 

The amount available in the first year of the NSERC application was $150K, to be used primarily for recruiting summer students and new graduate students.  It came too late (early June) to be useful for recruiting summer students.  An earlier RQR scholarship competition to recruit new students resulted in the submission of several high quality applications, and these had been rigorously evaluated by the Training Committee.  Three partial scholarships had been awarded from FQRNT funds. Upon the advice of the Scientific Committee, and, after polling the co-applicants, it was decided to award a further eight partial scholarships from the new funds to the best candidates among the applicant pool that had already been evaluated.  It was further proposed that there be a further eight scholarships awarded in a competition to be held this autumn, thereby disbursing the entire first year NSERC and second year FQRNT scholarship funding by approximately February 2010.  This coincides with the submission of our first annual report to NSERC.  The modalities of the fall competition have not yet been decided, and the competition could again focus on recruitment of new students, on transfer from MSc to PhD, on new postdoctoral fellows, or on other scholarship initiatives

 

As we go forward into the second year of the RQR, there are a number of issues to be resolved with respect to awarding funding for training.   Firstly, should scholarship funds always be leveraged, i.e., should RQR-CREATE fund only partial stipends, in order to provide more scholarships to more trainees?  What is the best distribution of stipends across the categories of training, from summer students to postdoctoral fellows?  How can we promote the careers of our trainees after the completion of their programs?  These and other questions require the input of the RQR membership at large.  In the short term (i.e. for 2010), the Scientific Committee of the RQR will develop a plan of action that will be presented to the Advisory Committee for discussion.  Your comments are solicited.

RQR Annual Report

FQRNT-RQR and NSERC-CREATE

The 1st annual report of the RQR is available. It describes the accomplishments of the RQR since its creation as well as the perspectives for  the second year of the network.

2008-2009 RQR Annual Report

 

The 2009 RQR Symposium will take place on November 17th and 18th at the Delta Centre-Ville in Montréal. The program is now available on the RQR website. You will have until October 16th to register and send your abstract. Complete the registration  form and return it to eliane.auger@umontreal.ca along with your completed abstract form. For additional information on the Symposium, visit the RQR website.     Register now!

2009 RQR Symposium — Registration and call for abstracts

New collaborations

Nine new collaborations now exist thanks to the RQR new collaboration grant program. Each received 5000$ for the initiation of a new research project. Visit the RQR website to learn which collaborations were financed through this program.