Policies and Requirements
To hold an award, you must:
- accept the terms and conditions of the award, as set out in this Guide, in the Notice of Award (including attachments), in the program description provided in the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
(NSERC) Program Guide for Students and Fellows, and the program description accessible from the
page of the Fonds de recherche du Québec — Nature et technologies (FRQNT) Web site;
- comply with the Politique d'éthique et d'intégrité scientifique du FRQNT (policy on ethics and scientific integrity);
- publicly acknowledge, whenever possible, the funding assistance the FRQNT has provided for the research;
- have been unconditionally accepted into a recognized graduate studies degree program in a field supported by NSERC and the FRQNT; and
- be registered and progressing satisfactorily in a graduate studies program at an eligible Quebec institution.
Note that if you are completing qualifying studies, you are not eligible for this scholarship.
Awards may be cancelled without notice if the conditions under which they are granted are violated. If you receive a payment for a period during which you were not eligible to hold this award, you must return this payment.
- Shown on award letter.
- Cannot be changed without prior authorization by NSERC and the FRQNT.
Value and Duration of Award
- IIS – Master's Level: The value of the award is $14,000 per year, plus a minimum company contribution of $7,000 per year.
- IIS – Doctoral Level: The value of the award is $18,000 per year, plus a minimum company contribution of $9,000 per year.
- The duration of your IIS is specified in your Notice of Award.
- The value and duration of your award may be adjusted if your registration status changes (for example, if you complete your degree early or if you choose to terminate your graduate studies).
- Training Supplement and Travel Allowance: The values of the training supplement and travel allowance are specified in your Notice of Award. You must make use of this supplement and this allowance during the period that your IIS is in effect.
You must notify NSERC and the FRQNT of any changes in your registration status.
IIS (Master's) scholarship holders: IIS Master's scholarship holders should note that this financial support will not extend beyond the 28th month of their master's program. If, as of the start date of your award, you have already completed more than four months' full-time equivalent in a master's program, the normal 24-month duration of the award will be decreased by the number of months in excess of four that you have completed at that time.
Request for the balance of your IIS (Master's) scholarship if the duration of your award is less than the maximum of 24 months: You can request the balance of the award if you transfer to a doctoral program during the term of your award or if you complete your master's degree prior to the termination of your award and enter immediately into a doctoral degree program. To request the balance of your award, you must submit an application for change by selecting "Changing the level of study" from the pull-down menu. If you wish to receive an IIS (Doctoral) scholarship, you must submit a new application.
IIS (Doctoral) scholarship holders: The term of your scholarship support will not extend beyond your 52nd month of doctoral studies, unless you are admitted into the doctoral program directly from your bachelor’s program, in which case it will extend to your 64th month of studies.
Part-time Industrial Innovation Scholarships
- You may be eligible to receive an Industrial Innovation Scholarship if you are enrolled part-time in a natural sciences or engineering graduate studies program at an eligible Quebec university. For more information, contact NSERC or the FRQNT.
- If you are changing your status from full-time to part-time, you must contact NSERC and the FRQNT by submitting a "Demande de modification et de mise à jour du dossier" (request to modify and update file) form. All signatories to the agreement will have to agree to the change, and amendments to the agreement will be required to correct the duration of the award and the amounts paid.
Deferment of Award
- If you want to defer your award, you must complete a "Demande de modification et de mise à jour du dossier" (request to modify and update file) form. Your university and your host company must also submit letters of support.
Payment of Award
- NSERC and your host company will send their payments to your university. Your university will then distribute the funds to you.
- The portion of the scholarship funded by the FRQNT will be paid directly into your bank account. Important: The summer, fall, and winter payments will not be made before the first Thursday in May, the first Thursday in September, and the second Thursday in January, respectively.
To receive the FRQNT portion of your scholarship at the start of each academic term, you must:
- in your "Dossier du boursier" (scholarship file), complete a "Demande de versement" (request for instalment) form on which you must declare any other scholarships, awards, and employment income (excluding the funding that you have received from NSERC and from the host organization where you hold your Industrial Innovation Scholarship). The "Demande de versement" (request for instalment) form is accessible one month before the start of the academic term for which the instalment payment is to be made. From the start of each academic term, you have two months to submit this application. After that, your instalment payment will be cancelled. If you fail to apply for two consecutive instalments, then your scholarship will be cancelled. To determine the application processing date and the payment date, see the instalment schedule in your file;
- verify the information regarding the conditions of your scholarship and provide the information identifying your financial institution in Quebec and the account into which your instalment payments should be deposited;
- for each instalment payment, your institution forwards proof of enrolment in your program of study to the FRQNT.
The Training Supplement will be paid directly into your bank account once the required original receipts have been submitted to the FRQNT.
Eligible travel expenses
Expenses incurred to travel to the training site shall be reimbursed upon submission of supporting documents (the travel agency's invoice and a photocopy of the ticket), provided that they have not already been reimbursed by other organizations. The maximum amount of travel expenses that may be reimbursed is equivalent to the price of an economy-class ticket if you travel by air. NSERC and the FRQNT expect you to purchase the cheapest ticket (round-trip or one-way [departure or return]). NSERC and the FRQNT do not agree to reimburse the full amount if you make a detour for family or other reasons.
If you travel by train or bus, reimbursement will be made upon submission of supporting documents.
If you use a rental car, your rental and fuel expenses will be reimbursed upon submission of supporting documents. If you use a private vehicle, then only your fuel expenses will be reimbursed, upon submission of supporting documents. No meal expenses will be reimbursed.
Travel Allowance (provided by the FRQNT)
The Travel Allowance will be paid directly into your bank account once the required original receipts have been submitted to the FRQNT. The allowance will be paid only for the period during which you are receiving a scholarship.
Eligible travel expenses
Expenses incurred to travel to the host organization research site shall be reimbursed upon submission of supporting documents (the travel agency's invoice and a photocopy of the ticket), provided that they have not already been reimbursed by other organizations. The maximum amount of travel expenses that may be reimbursed is equivalent to the price of an economy-class ticket if you travel by air. The FRQNT expects you to purchase the cheapest ticket (round-trip or one-way [departure or return]). The FRQNT does not agree to reimburse the full amount if you make a detour for family or other reasons.
If you travel by train or bus, reimbursement will be made upon submission of supporting documents.
If you use a rental automobile, you will be reimbursed for car rental expenses and fuel costs upon presentation of receipts. If you use your own private automobile, you will be reimbursed at the rate of $0.43 per kilometre, up to a maximum amount equivalent to the price of a round-trip economy-class plane ticket. These expenses will be reimbursed to you upon submission of two service-station receipts on which you record the kilometrage readings from your odometer: the reading at the start of your trip, and the reading when you have returned.
No reimbursement will be made for other expenses, such as travel expenses for your spouse or your dependants or expenses for moving your personal belongings and research equipment.
If you have to pay additional accommodation expenses, reasonable expenses will be reimbursed upon submission of a copy of the lease/rental contracts concerned.
Interruption of Award
Any interruption in an award (whether or not payment has been made) requires prior agreement from the university, the sponsoring company, NSERC and the FRQNT.
- You may interrupt your award only for the reasons described in Unpaid Leave for Reasons of Maternity, Child Rearing, Illness or Health-Related Family Responsibilities; in Paid Parental Leave; or in Leave for Relevant Work Experience.
- For approved interruptions, the payment of your award will be suspended for the duration of the interruption and will resume when you satisfy all the conditions of your award (generally, when you return to full-time studies). The interruption will not reduce the total amount of support paid to you, and the end date of the award will be adjusted.
- You may not interrupt your IIS award in order to accept an industrial research and development internship (e.g., MITACS-Accelerate internship award) or to pursue studies other than those for which you have received your IIS award. You may, however, combine your IIS with the
FRQNT scholarships supporting international mobility.
- You must send all of the necessary documentation to the FRQNT for purposes of approval by the two agencies. Please see the relevant sub-section below.
- You must specify the dates on which the interruption will start and end.
Unpaid Leave for Reasons of Maternity, Child Rearing, Illness or Health-Related Family Responsibilities
- You are eligible for a leave of absence of up to three years, in accordance with your institution's policies and requirements, only for reasons of maternity, child rearing, illness or health-related family responsibilities, provided that both your university and your host organization permit such leaves.
- To request this leave of absence, please submit a "Demande de modification et de mise à jour du dossier" (request to modify or update file) form. You must provide supporting documentation, such as birth or medical certificates, justifying and substantiating the reason for interrupting your award, as well as a letter of support from the Dean of Graduate Studies.
Paid Parental Leave
- If you will be interrupting your studies/award within six months following a child's birth or adoption in order to be the primary caregiver for the child, you may request a paid parental leave supplement at your current stipend level for up to four months.
- You may not receive this supplement while your award is being deferred.
- The maximum period of paid parental leave is four months, even in cases of multiple births or adoption of more than one child at the same time.
- If both parents are supported by NSERC or the FRQNT, each parent may take a portion of the leave, for a combined maximum duration of four months.
- To request the paid parental leave, you must fill out a "Demande de modification et de mise à jour du dossier" (request to modify and update file) form and provide a letter in which you confirm that:
- during the parental leave you will not be engaged in your research activities or employed;
- you will be the primary caregiver of your child during the parental leave; and
- you are not eligible for and will not receive employment insurance or other maternity/parental benefits from other sources. (If you are eligible for benefits from the
Québec Parental Insurance Plan, then you can receive only that portion of the paid parental leave supplement that is paid by the FRQNT – for example, half of the total value.)
- Please request the paid parental leave at least four months before the proposed start date of the leave.
- As soon as possible after the birth/adoption of the child, you must submit a copy of the child's birth/adoption certificate, along with confirmation of suspension of registration, to NSERC in order to activate payment.
Leave for Relevant Work Experience
- You are not entitled to receive your award payments during such interruptions.
- To request an interruption, please complete a "Demande de modification et de mise à jour du dossier" (request to modify and update file) form.
- Your request must be supported by your academic supervisor, your on-the-job supervisor, and the Dean of Graduate Studies, all of whom must submit a letter in support of your request. Note that some amendments to your agreement may be required.
- You are permitted one four-month interruption during the term of the award, provided the company and institution approve it. Please note that this work experience does not count toward your obligation to devote the majority of your research time to the company.
- Your institution's policies and requirements will apply regarding vacation leave.
Reinstatement of Award
- To reinstate a deferred or interrupted award, you must provide confirmation from your institution (Faculty of Graduate Studies) that you have resumed the studies or research for which the funds were awarded, and forward this confirmation to the FRQNT.
- Awards will be governed by the policies and the requirements the applicable at the time of reinstatement.
Change of Research Project
- If your program of studies or research is in a discipline that falls under the mandate of more than one federal or provincial granting agency (e.g., psychology, management studies, geography, physical education, optometry or health sciences), you must obtain prior approval from NSERC and the FRQNT to change your research project. To do so, send an outline of the proposed research, including the proposed supervisor's name, to the FRQNT.
- Any change in research project must be approved by your supervisor at your host company.
- If you modify your research project to the extent that the field of study is not under NSERC and the FRQNT's mandate, you will no longer be eligible to hold the IIS scholarship, and it will be cancelled.
- To make any change, you must complete a "Demande de modification et de mise à jour du dossier" (request to modify and update file) form in the " Dossier du boursier" (scholarship file).
Change of Institution/Location of Research
- If you wish to change your institution of tenure/research location, you must obtain prior approval from NSERC and the FRQNT to confirm your eligibility to hold the award at the new institution. Such requests should be made as soon as possible, preferably eight weeks prior to your start or transfer date.
- You must submit a new agreement signed by the new institution, the company and other concerned parties. You must also submit an amended plan regarding the fulfilment of your obligation to devote the majority of your research time to the company. If you also change supervisors, you must describe to what extent it changes the research project.
Other Sources of Income (Employment and Other Awards)
- You may not hold an NSERC-FRQNT Industrial Innovation Scholarship simultaneously with a scholarship or other award from another federal or Quebec granting agency (such as the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé or the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture). You may, however, accept such scholarships and awards from other sources (such as foreign sources, agencies of Canadian provinces other than Quebec, private organizations, and your university), regardless of their value. You may also combine your IIS scholarship with an FRQNT international-mobility scholarship in order to do an internship at a university or research institution outside of Quebec, provided that your host company has given its approval and that, for the entire term of your IIS scholarship, you continue to meet the requirement concerning the amount of your research time that you devote to this company.
Industrial Innovation Scholarship holders who are full-time students
- NSERC and the FRQNT expect IIS holders who are full-time students to complete their degree programs expeditiously, by devoting at least five days per week to them (including time devoted to research for the host company) throughout the term of their scholarships. In this regard, IIS holders who are full-time students are allowed to perform a maximum of 150 hours of paid work per four-month period in each academic term, beginning from the start date of their scholarships.
Industrial Innovation Scholarship holders who are part-time students
- NSERC and the FRQNT expect IIS holders who are full-time students to complete their degree programs within a reasonable timeframe. Although there is no restriction on the number of hours of paid work, students are expected to devote a large part of their time to their studies. In addition, students must devote the equivalent of at least 25 full-time days per year at the host organization working on the project identified in their scholarship application, failing which the scholarship may be withdrawn.
Annual Progress Reports
- As the scholarship holder, you are responsible for providing a progress report to the Dean of Graduate Studies. This progress report is incorporated into your applications for your third and seventh payments and is accessible in your
"Dossier du boursier"
(scholarship file). Each year during the tenure of the award, full-time and part-time award holders must submit a progress report to the Dean of Graduate Studies one month prior to the anniversary date of the award. The FRQNT must receive the first progress report one year after the start date of the award. For holders of three-year IIS awards, and IIS holders who are part-time students, subsequent progress reports are due every year on the anniversary date of the award.
Subsequent scholarship instalments shall be paid if the progress report indicates satisfactory progress.
Your award may be cancelled if you fail to submit a progress report within two months of its due date (12 and 24 months if this is the case).
The following are to be supplied by the student to the office of the Dean of Graduate Studies:
- general information regarding the progress made towards the research objectives identified at the time of the application;
- details, in tabular form, of the time spent working on this project at the company location (complete with dates and hours). If no time has been spent at the company, the award may not be renewed; and
- if you have been unable to devote the majority of your research time to the company, you must provide justification and submit a proposal for increasing your activities within the company over the coming scholarship year.
This part may be prepared entirely by the student, or parts may be contributed by the supervisor at the company or the university supervisor.
Termination of Award
- If you have submitted your master's or doctoral thesis, you are still eligible to receive your payments until you have successfully defended it, provided that you have not accepted full-time employment or started another program of studies, and you are still registered full-time in the graduate studies program for which funding was awarded.
Industrial Innovation Scholarship holders who are full-time students
- As soon as you either cease to be a full-time student or accept full-time employment (except in the circumstances described in Interruption of Award and Other Sources of Income [Employment and Other Awards]) you must complete a “Demande de modification et de mise à jour du dossier” (request to modify and update file) form so that the necessary arrangements can be made.
- You will have to reimburse any overpayment of your award.
You must submit a final report at the end of the scholarship period. When the time comes, you will be notified by e-mail that the form is available in your " Dossier du boursier" (scholarship file). You must then fill-out this form and submit it electronically. Any further financial assistance under another program will be conditional upon receipt of this report.
Taxation and Insurance
- NSERC and the FRQNT are unable to dispense advice on income tax matters to individual students and fellows, given the uniqueness of each award recipient's personal financial situation. Consequently, you are encouraged to seek advice from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), from Revenu Québec or from a qualified income tax specialist.
- You are referred to two documents published by CRA:
- Revenu Québec: Reimbursements for living expenses, tuition fees, and travel expenses constitute taxable income. However, master's and doctoral scholarships are not taxable. Here are some useful links:
- If your university pays you the scholarship on behalf of NSERC, or if you receive income from other sources (e.g., foreign sources, provincial award, private organizations or your university), those organizations should provide you with the appropriate income tax slips. For the portion of your scholarship that comes from the FRQNT, the FRQNT will send the Revenue Canada T4A slip and the appropriate Revenu Québec slip to your mailing address in February of the year following the taxation year concerned.
- NSERC and the FRQNT are unable to assume liability for accidents, illness, or losses that may occur during the tenure of an award. You are responsible for ensuring that you have appropriate insurance.