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Flights and Fieldwork for the Advancement of Science and Technology (FAST 2017)

Announcement of Opportunity

Publication date:

Application deadline: New

Summary of key information

  • Expected budget for new awards over three years: $6 million
  • Eligible recipients: Canadian universities and post-secondary institutions
  • Type of transfer payment: Grants
  • Maximum amount per grant: Three funding categories:
    • Category A: $400,000
    • Category B: $200,000
    • Category C: $100,000
  • Project maximum duration per grant: up to 3 years
  • Number of approximate new awards provided adequate proposals of merit: 30
  • Application deadline: New

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. AO Objectives
  3. Eligibility Criteria
  4. Applications
  5. Evaluation
  6. Funding
  7. Funding Agreements
  8. Privacy Notice Statement
  9. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Introduction

The objective of the Flights and Fieldwork for the Advancement of Science and Technology (FAST) Announcement of Opportunity (AO) is to support Canadian universities and post-secondary institutions research projects that offer hands-on experience in space-like missions to Canadian Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) and more precisely to students and young researchers (post-doctoral fellows or PDFs) in order to acquire competencies required by the marketplace.

The primary result sought from this opportunity is to attract and train Canadian HQP to build capacity to enable Canada's future competitiveness and productivity in the space sector.

Building Canadian capacity in space science and technology is a priority for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). Canada must develop and maintain a robust and experienced workforce within industry, academia, and government in order to continue playing an active role in future space missions and contributing to Canada's economic growth. Opportunities to participate in a space mission, including developing and using scientific instruments for satellites, the International Space Station (ISS) or other space-based platforms, are infrequent, but when a space mission activity is approved, a team with expertise and experience must be quickly formed to meet challenging schedule constraints driven by launch or market opportunities.

"Space-like missions" are projects that allow space experts in academia to propose interesting research suitable to maintain their expertise, attract and train the next generation of space professionals, and prepare future space missions. These projects consist generally of:

"Space-like missions" also have the sense of fidelity to actual space mission requirements, operations and/or constraints. Where space-like missions proposed under this AO also contribute to validation of space missions currently in orbit, or reduction in risk for anticipated future space missions, the fidelity of the training experience is increased for students and Post-doctoral fellows (PDFs), and results of such space-like missions contribute more directly to research priorities for Canada.

"Simulated space environment" includes ground-based infrastructure and instruments simulating a microgravity or spacecraft environment, environment simulating the space environment, remote-sensing infrastructure located in remote environment, or simulating the remote and isolation of spaceflight and fieldwork conducted on Earth at analogue sites that replicate some features and/or processes that could be found on other planetary bodies and asteroids, or that replicate some operational constraints encountered on space missions. Typically, for Earth system and solar-terrestrial sciences research projects, the use of remote-sensing infrastructure in remote locations is highly relevant to testing and validation of scientific instruments in orbit, while for planetary surface missions, activities at analogue sites are necessary to understand and validate surface operations needs for instruments and systems.

Analogue sites, ground-based infrastructure simulating microgravity, remote-sensing infrastructure located in remote environments, and suborbital platforms are ideal environments to conduct space-like missions, providing students and PDFs with unique educational opportunities to obtain practical experience in projects related to all aspects of space-based mission experiments. Since these projects are relevant to the length of time required to complete master's and PhD programs, they present students with an excellent opportunity to acquire hands-on experience prior to entering the Canadian job market.

This AO is consistent with the terms and conditions of the CSA Class Grant and Contribution (G&C) Program to Support Research, Awareness and Learning in Space Science and Technology – Research Component.

Applicants are asked to read the following AO thoroughly before submitting their applications. This AO was prepared to help applicants complete the application process, and outlines key elements, including mandatory criteria for eligibility, details on eligible projects and the selection process. In the event of any discrepancies between this AO and the individual funding agreements governing a project, the latter document(s) will take precedence.

2. AO Objectives

The FAST AO 2017 main objectives are to:

3. Eligibility Criteria

3.1 Eligible Recipients

3.2 Eligible Projects

To be eligible, it is mandatory that a project address the following elements, which are further described in Sections 3.2.1 to 3.2.7. For instance, projects must include:

In addition, projects proposed under the funding category A (see Section 3.2.4) must include:

Different Canadian universities or post-secondary institutions could submit separate proposals for the same flight or field mission. In such instance, each proposal must have distinct technology development or scientific activities and involve different Canadian HQP.

Applicants are not allowed to break down a project into numerous phases of a project in order to obtain more than the maximum grant under this AO. Furthermore, even if the maximum funding for one project is not reached, the completion of a funded phase does not guarantee funding of the subsequent phases under future AO.

3.2.1 Eligible HQP

For this AO, Canadian HQP includes:

Applicants are encouraged to propose projects that increase the representation and advancement of women in the space sciences and engineering, as one means to foster excellence in research and training. Applicants should strive for a balanced gender representation in the group of trainees and in their supervisors, role models and mentors. If the discipline of the proposed projects tends to have a gender imbalance in the trainee population, applicants are strongly encouraged to demonstrate that this imbalance has been considered and addressed in their plan for trainee recruitment.

3.2.2 Training Plan

Proposals must include a detailed training plan that outlines how hands-on experience will enable Canadian HQP to develop some or all of the following skills:

The level and content of training should be appropriate to the research discipline, whether it is related to science or engineering, and should include opportunities for interaction and collaboration with other researchers inside and outside the organization, where appropriate.

The CSA strongly encourages collaborative research activities involving academia, industry, and foreign researchers. In collaborative research activities involving industry, HQP training may be enhanced by exposure to an industrial working environment. Similarly, industry personnel may benefit from being involved in academic research.

3.2.3 FAST AO Research Priorities

Eligible projects will have to focus on at least one (1) research disciplines and one (1) research priorities included in the following table:

Research Disciplines Funding Categories
(see Section 3.2.4)
Research Priorities
Innovative Space Technology All

Projects related to the development and testing of innovative technologies (including software and algorithms) and applications that could be commercialized or enhance competitiveness of the Canadian space sector.

It may include but is not limited to research consisting in the development of novel satellite components or subsystems, propulsion systems, navigation, communication or instruments not covered by other mentioned hereafter research disciplines.

Space Health and Life Science All Research to identify, characterize and mitigate risks humans face in space, and technology development to facilitate space health care delivery and/or health sciences research.
Space Astronomy All Projects that address space astronomy objectives identified in the Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA) Long Range Plan and the Mid-Term Review or the 2016 Canadian Space Exploration workshop and the Topical Team Report for Space Astronomy. Projects can include the development of prototypes of astronomical instruments requiring for testing the use of balloons or nanosats; and/or data analysis and initial studies related to definition of new instruments, missions and science investigations.
Planetary Exploration A For the FAST AO 2017, no projects will be supported under this funding category, a dedicated AO may be published in 2018 to support a specific analogue deployment.
Planetary Exploration B and C

Projects related to the development and testing of a prototype of a planetary science investigation aligned with priorities from the Topical Team Reports on Planetary Exploration 2017;

Fieldwork, data analysis, and/or initial studies related to the definition of a new planetary science investigation aligned with community priorities from the Topical Team Reports on Planetary Exploration 2017.

Atmospheric Sciences All

Projects related to remote sensing of atmospheric composition and dynamics, clouds and precipitation, primarily in Canada. Eligible project may include the following activities:

  • Measurements, using existing instruments with proven capabilities, for the purpose of validating data and derived products from active satellite missions; and,
  • Measurements, using innovative instrument(s) that show promise for future satellite missions, for the purpose of demonstrating the capabilities of the instrument(s) and the scientific value of the observations.
Earth System Sciences All

Projects related to remote sensing of soil moisture and freeze/thaw state, land cover, biomass fires, permafrost and thermokarst, snow and ice, surface water colour, storage and flow, coastal waters and oceans, primarily in Canada. Eligible projects may include the following activities:

  • Measurements, using existing instruments with proven capabilities, for the purpose of validating data and derived products from active satellite missions; and,
  • Measurements, using innovative instrument(s) that show promise for future satellite missions, for the purpose of demonstrating the capabilities of the instrument(s) and the scientific value of the observations.
Solar-Terrestrial Sciences All

Projects related to in situ measurements or remote sensing of energetic particles, magnetic fields, electric fields, and geospace interactions with the neutral atmosphere. Eligible projects may include the following activities:

  • Measurements, using existing instruments with proven capabilities, for the purpose of validating data and derived products from active satellite missions; and,
  • Measurements, using innovative instrument(s) that show promise for future satellite missions, for the purpose of demonstrating the capabilities of the instrument(s) and the scientific value of the observations.
3.2.4 Funding Categories

Eligible projects will have to fall within one of the following funding categories, which are further described in Section 6.1:

3.2.5 Links to CSA G&C Program Objectives

To be eligible, projects supported under this AO must contribute to at least one of the following CSA G&C Program objectives:

3.2.6 Eligible Research Platforms, Ground-based Infrastructure and Analogue Sites (for funding Category A - see Section 3.2.4)

The following platforms, ground-based infrastructures or field sites will be considered for the implementation of projects, either in Canada or abroad:

3.2.6.1 Suborbital/Orbital Platforms
3.2.6.2 Field Sites
3.2.6.3 Ground-based Infrastructure

If your project includes the use of a flight, fieldwork, infrastructure, scientific instrument, or data analysis, you should detail in your project description any mitigation measures you will undertake to address the risk associated with the availability of those elements and the impact on the achievement of your project.

Annex A lists examples on research platforms, ground-based infrastructure or analogue sites that could be used for projects related to Earth system science, Atmospheric science, solar terrestrial sciences or space life science.

3.2.7 Additional Information on End-to-end Space-like Mission Projects

End-to-end projects are mandatory under funding category A (see Section 3.2.4) but could also be proposed under funding category B and C without being mandatory for these categories. An end-to-end project usually includes the following activities:

3.3 Access to Research Platforms

Through this AO, the CSA is soliciting proposals that may require, among others, the use of suborbital platforms or other research platforms. Applicants may take advantage of opportunities that could be available free of charge or at a relatively low cost through this AO or through other space agencies calls for proposals. Examples of such opportunities are listed below and describe in Annex B:

  1. Access through the CSA to the Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES) Stratospheric Balloons ;
  2. Through the European Space Agency (ESA) Education Office, access to hypergravity centrifuges, drop towers, sounding-rockets, stratospheric balloons, parabolic flights, CubeSat development, and launch opportunities (including engineering support, verification and testing), and access to the ESA Academy for student training;
  3. Access through CSA to National Research Council Canada's Falcon-20 aircraft for reduced gravity flights;
  4. Access to MASER 14 Microgravity Rocket flight; and
  5. Access to CSA rovers & facility for field investigations.

4. Applications

4.1 Required Documentation

The application must include the following:

It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that his/her application complies with all relevant federal, provincial and territorial legislation and municipal by laws. Applications must be mailed to the CSA at the following address:

FAST AO
c/o Cathy Baillargeon
Senior Program Officer, Academic Development
Space Science & Technology
Canadian Space Agency
6767 Route de l'Aéroport
Saint-Hubert, Quebec J3Y 8Y9

Applicants must also take note of the following:

Questions and answers related to this AO will be posted on the CSA website in the FAQ Section of this AO (see Section 9). The CSA will answer questions received before December 15, 2017.

4.2 Service Standards for this AO – Complete Applications

Applicants will be notified in writing of decisions regarding their application. Selected applications will be announced on the CSA website. The CSA has set the following service standards for delays in processing requests, acknowledgements of receipt, funding decisions and payment procedures.

Acknowledgement: The CSA's goal is to acknowledge receipt of proposals within two weeks following the AO's closing date.

Decision: The CSA's goal is to respond to the proposal within eleven weeks of the AO's closing date and to send a grant agreement for signature within four weeks after formal approval of the proposal.

Payment: The CSA's goal is to issue payment within four weeks of the successful fulfillment of the requirements outlined in the grant agreement.

Compliance with these service standards is a shared responsibility. Applicants must submit all required documentation in a timely fashion.

5. Evaluation

5.1 Eligibility Criteria

Applications will first be assessed for an eligibility assessment to determine if each of them:

5.2 Evaluation Criteria

Once the eligibility assessment is completed, applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

Table 2 below shows the definition and a breakdown of all evaluation criteria, which are further described in Annex C. Applicants should carefully address each of them when writing their proposals. Please note that an application must receive an overall minimum score of 70% as well as minimum specified thresholds to be considered for funding.

Table 2. Definition and Breakdown of Evaluation Criteria
1. Benefits to Canada Min. score: 20
1.1 Increase knowledge in space science and technology Max. score: 15
This criterion evaluates the originality of the research and its probable impact and potential to advance knowledge in the field of space science and/or technology, directly or indirectly.
1.2 Relevance to FAST AO research priorities Max. score: 15
This criterion evaluates relevance of the proposed project to at least one of the FAST AO research priorities listed in Section 3.2.3.
2. Results in terms of contribution to the training of Canadian HQP Min. score: 17
2.1 The relevance of experience, knowledge and skills acquired by Canadian HQP to the Canadian space sector Max. score: 20
This criterion is used to assess the degree to which the experience, knowledge and skills targeted in HQP training are relevant to the Canadian space sector (industry, academia or government).
2.2 Interaction between Canadian HQP and researchers from different disciplines and occupations Max. score: 10
This criterion evaluates how well the project promotes collaborative team research and interaction between Canadian HQP of different levels of academic programs, between Canadian HQP and researchers from different disciplines, and other occupations from other organizations.
3. Resources Min. score: 11
3.1 Quality and experience of the team Max. score: 10
This criterion evaluates the quality of the project team, its combination of expertise, and its ability to carry out the research project and provide the proposed training activities.
3.2 Adequacy of allocated resources Max. score: 10
This criterion evaluates the quality, quantity and relevance of the human and non-human resources planned to be utilized to meet the project goals and objectives.
4. Project Feasibility Min. score: 11
4.1 Clarity and completeness of the research and training plans Max. score: 10
This criterion evaluates the clarity, completeness and feasibility of the research, training and mentoring plans, with the roles and responsibilities, contribution and level of involvement of each team member clearly identified.
4.2 Project risks (financial, managerial, environmental and technical) and mitigation strategies Max. score: 10
This criterion evaluates key risks associated with the project and the mitigation strategies for each risk.

5.3 Evaluation Process

Only applications that have passed the eligibility assessment listed in Section 5.1 will be given further consideration.

Once the eligibility criteria are confirmed, evaluators will assess the screened applications according to the criteria listed in Section 5.2. Evaluators shall be experts in the fields relevant to the applications and may include representatives of Canada and other countries, and representatives of other government and non-government agencies and organizations. If applicable, a multidisciplinary evaluation committee will be formed to evaluate interdisciplinary applications.

An application must receive an overall minimum score of 70% as well as minimum thresholds specified in Table 2 to be considered for funding.

Before a final decision is made, the CSA's Program Manager responsible for this AO may seek input and advice from other organizations, including (but not limited to) federal, provincial, territorial and municipal government agencies and organizations.

A review committee will make an overall selection based that would reflect the priorities of the Government of Canada and the CSA (e.g. regional distribution, university and post-secondary institution distribution). Grants agreements will be offered to the applicants in this final list in the order of the proposals to maximize the use of available funding.

6. Funding

6.1 Available Funding and Duration

Payments of transfer will be done through grant agreements. The total funding available under this AO is currently expected to be approximately $6 million. The three categories of funding are:

The following table explains the total estimated envelope for each category:

Total envelope Maximum CSA grant per proposal Maximum duration of grant agreement Maximum government assistance
Category A $2.4 million $400,000 36 months 100%
Category B $2.4 million $200,000 36 months 100%
Category C $1.2 million $100,000 36 months 100%

The CSA will ensure to fund at least one project per research discipline defined in Section 3.2.3. Unused funding from either category will be transferable to the other. The overall number of grants awarded and their funding level will depend on the availability of funds and results from the evaluation process.

Before each installment, the CSA Program Manager will reassess the recipient's eligibility and review the recipient's progress report.

Given the objectives of this AO and the limited available budget, a Principal Investigator (PI) can only submit one proposal in response to this AO (although an eligible recipient (the institution) may submit more than one application). An eligible recipient can submit only one application for the same project. However, two or more PIs from different institutions can apply separately for the same mission or project if their separate applications concern the development of distinct technologies or scientific research. It is expected that HQP to be involved in these separate applications will not be the same.

Approved proposals will be eligible for a total amount of government assistance (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal) of up to 100% of total project costs.

To determine the amount of funding to be allocated, consideration will be given to the availability of CSA funds, the total cost of the project, and the other confirmed sources of funds provided by other stakeholders and the applicant. The CSA reserves the right to reject any proposals or reduce the amount of the grants at its entire discretion.

Applicants must identify all sources of funding in their applications and confirm this information in a funding agreement if the project is selected for funding. Upon completion of a project, the recipient must also disclose all sources of funding.

6.2 Eligible Costs

Eligible costs are direct expenses that are associated with the delivery of the approved project and that are required to achieve the expected results of the project. Expenses will be covered subject to the applicant signing a grant agreement with the CSA.

Eligible costs for a grant under this AO are the following:

7. Funding Agreements

7.1 Payments

The CSA and each successful applicant (the recipient) will sign a grant funding agreement. This is a condition for any payment made by the CSA with respect to the approved project.

Payments will be made in a lump sum or instalments as described in the signed agreement. Grant funding agreements will include a clause stipulating the recipient's obligation to confirm, once a year in the case of multi-year agreements, their eligibility for the G&C Program – Research Component, and inform the CSA in writing of any changes to the conditions used in determining their eligibility for this component.

7.2 Audit

The recipient of a grant shall keep proper records of all documentation related to the funded project, for the duration of the project and for six (6) years after the completion date of the project, in the event of an audit. This documentation shall be available upon request.

7.3 Conflict of Interest

In the funding agreement, the recipient will certify that any current or former public office holder or public servant it employs complies with the provisions of the relevant Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for Public Office Holders and the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector respectively.

7.4 Intellectual Property

All intellectual property developed by the recipient in the course of the project shall vest in the recipient.

7.5 Organizations in Quebec

An organization in Quebec whose operations are partially or fully funded by the province of Quebec may be subject to the Act Respecting the Ministère du Conseil exécutif, R.S.Q., Chapter M-30.

Under Sections 3.11 and 3.12 of this Act, certain entities/organizations, as defined in the meaning of the Act, such as municipal bodies, school bodies, or public agencies, must obtain authorization from the Secrétariat aux relations canadiennes du Québec, as indicated by the Act, before signing any funding agreement with the Government of Canada, its departments or agencies, or a federal public agency.

Consequently, any entity that is subject to the Act is responsible for obtaining such authorization before signing any funding agreement with the Government of Canada.

Quebec applicants must complete, sign and include the M-30 Supporting Documentation form with their application.

7.6 Outcomes and Performance Measurement

This AO is expected to contribute to the following outcomes:

By contributing to maintaining excellence in key capabilities and to inspiring Canadians, this AO will address key principles of Canada's Space Policy Framework. It will enable Canadian HQP to be well prepared to participate in future space missions while developing their skills and acquiring new scientific and technical knowledge, thus helping ensure the strategic and sustained utilization of space in Canada.

The CSA will ask the recipients to report on certain aspects of their projects such as:

Knowledge Creation

Capacity Building

Collaboration

As a courtesy, the CSA would like to receive a copy of publications arising from the work, and to be informed in advance of significant press releases or media interest resulting from the work.

8. Privacy Notice Statement

The CSA will comply with the federal Access to Information Act and Privacy Act with respect to applications received. By submitting personal information, an applicant is consenting to its collection, use and disclosure in accordance with the following Privacy Notice Statement, which explains how the applicant's information will be managed.

Necessary measures have been taken to protect the confidentiality of the information provided by the applicant. This information is collected under the authority of the CSA Class G&C Program to Support Research, Awareness and Learning in Space Science and Technology – Research Component, and will be used for the evaluation and selection of proposals. Personal information (such as contact information and biographical information) included in the rejected proposals will be stored in a CSA Personal Information Bank for five (5) years and then destroyed (Personal Information File no. ASC PPU045). Personal information included in the successful proposals will be kept along with the proposal results for historical purposes. These data are protected under the Privacy Act. According to the Privacy Act, the data linked to an individual and included in the proposal being evaluated can be accessed by the specific concerned individual who has rights with respect to this information. This individual may, upon request,

  1. be given access to his/her data and
  2. have incorrect information corrected or have a notation attached.

Applicants shall note that for all agreements over $25,000, information related to the funding agreement (amount, grant or contribution, name of the recipient and project location) will be made available to the public on the CSA website.

For additional information on privacy matters prior to submitting a proposal, please contact:

Access to Information and Privacy
Canadian Space Agency
Telephone: 450-926-4866
Email: aiprp-atip@asc-csa.gc.ca

9. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

It is the responsibility of the applicants to obtain clarification of the requirements contained herein, if necessary, before submitting an application.

For any questions related to the AO, applicants shall use the following generic email address lecedessetc-thegandccoe@asc-csa.gc.ca. Questions and answers related to this AO will be posted on the CSA website in the FAQ Section of this AO. The CSA will respond to questions received before 5:00 p.m. (EST), December 15, 2017.

At any point, applicants are welcome to share with the CSA their comments or suggestions regarding the AO, the program or the process. Applicants may either use the generic email address or the generic web-based Comments and Suggestions Box.

Question 1: Can a recent graduate (1-2 years) now working be considered a HQP?

Answer 1: No.

Question 2: Can high school graduates now registering to enter academic eligible institution be considered a HQP?

Answer 2: Yes (for this AO).

Question 3: Under Section 4 - Eligibility Criteria of the application form, you state:

Involvement of a minimum number of HQP in project (see FAST AO Section 3.2):

  • At least 3 HQP under funding category A
  • At least 5 HQP under funding category B
  • At least 7 HQP under funding category C

Is this a typo?

Answer 3: Yes. We have modified the application form (French and English) to include the following information:

  • At least 7 HQP under funding category A
  • At least 5 HQP under funding category B
  • At least 3 HQP under funding category C

Question 4: Would proposals focussed on using existing or future NASA and CSA space missions (Spitzer, K2, TESS, JWST) be responsive to this call?

Answer 4: Proposals focussing on existing missions would not be responsive to the FAST AO unless otherwise specified in the Research priorities mentioned in Section 3.2.3 of the AO.

Question 5: While there is a limit to one proposal per PI, can a PI be a Co-I on other proposals in response to this call?

Answer 5: Yes.

Question 6: Can the deadline be postponed by three weeks?

Answer 6: The deadline can't be postponed by three weeks. However, the deadline will be extended until 2 p.m. (EST), January 19, 2018.

Question 7: Annex A lists example sites and infrastructures relevant for the Earth System Sciences, Atmospheric science and Solar-Terrestrial Sciences disciplines. It also mentions that "Other eligible sites and infrastructures could be located in the north of the southern limit of the discontinuous permafrost zone". Does this mean that FAST proposals that focus on Canadian infrastructure located south of the southern limit of the discontinuous permafrost zone are ineligible for this call?

Answer 7: Infrastructure located in remote locations and south of the discontinuous permafrost zone may qualify for this AO. As mentioned in section 3.2.6.3 of the AO, the terrestrial infrastructures mentioned in Annex A are examples of eligible infrastructures and are not limiting.

Question 8: Regarding the proposal: is there a page limit? And/or guidelines on what is expected in terms of format?

Answer 8: Information on the format of the proposal can be found in section 5 of the application form:

Please limit the document to a maximum of 20 pages in a commonly used format (.DOC, .DOCX, .PDF, .RTF, .TXT), 12pt type face, letter sized paper and 1" margins excluding reference pages.

Question 9 : In the application form, it is indicated that for proposal under Category A (max of $400K) there is a minimum of 7 HQP to be involved. Should these HQP already be enrolled in programs and should all contribute to some aspects of the proposal?

Answer 9: For a proposal submitted under Category A, a minimum of 7 HQP must participate in the project but not necessarily all the same time. They do not have to be already enrolled in programs when submitting the application form.

Question 10: Can we include students/or PDF even if they are not yet identified and budget for their salary?

Answer 10: Yes.

Question 11: Can external consultants be considered co-investigators?

Answer 11: The answer to this question depends on the nature of the consultants' tasks. The answer could be yes if the consultant will carry out essential and measurable tasks for the project and especially those concerning the training of students. The answer would be no if their job is only to provide advice.

Question 12: Can the Canadian common cv as formatted for NSERC grant applications be used for academic researchers?

Answer 12: Yes.

Question 13: Is the number of pages required to describe the project the same for funding categories A, B and C?

Answer 13: The limit (and not required) number of pages to describe the project is the same for categories A, B and C.

Question 14: Under Section 6.2 - Eligible Costs of the AO, you state:

  • Salaries and benefits (not to exceed 30% of total CSA grant value)

Does this include salaries for students? If it doesn't include salaries paid to students, under which category would they be covered?

Answer 14: For this AO, only salaries paid to others than students shall not exceed 30% of total CSA grant value. The proposal shall make a clear distinction between salaries paid to students and salaries paid to other people involved in the proposed project.

This information will be specified in the AO.

Question 15: Is it possible for an organization to use its own robots and drones as part of the AO?

Answer 15: Yes.

Question 16: In the application form, does the information on the Principal Investigator indicated in the first page need to be repeated in the Section 6 "Team Member 1"?

Answer 16: Yes.

Question 17: Can Co-Investigator be government researchers (Ministry) or they must be strictly university or college?

Answer 17: For this AO, a Co-I can't be a federal government researcher. He may however act as a collaborator but will not have access to the grant fund.

Question 18: Can Co-investigators be international researchers?

Answer 18: Yes.

Question 19: Can there be more than 4 team members?

Answer 19: Yes.

Question 20: It is stated that salaries and benefits cannot exceed 30% of the CSA grant value. Does this include stipends to post-doctoral fellows and graduate students? Or would this fall under bursaries category?

Answer 20: Stipends to PDFs and graduate students are included in the category "salaries and benefits". However, these amounts are not considered within the limit of 30%. This clarification has been provided to the AO and in the application form.

Question 21: Please clarify the eligibility requirements for a Principal Investigator (PI). Does the PI have to be a tenure track faculty member, or can a research associate or a post-doctoral fellow be eligible?

Answer 21: For this AO, we consider that it is the responsibility of the institution to determine the eligibility requirements for a PI. Usually, a PI is a faculty member holding a position or having received a firm job offer at the time of submitting a proposal as well as for the duration of the grant.

Question 22: What is the start date for the successful grants? Can the start date be delayed (say, by 9-12 months) in order to dove-tail with other on-going programs in the research groups?

Answer 22: The start date of a grant is the date when both parties have signed the grant agreement. Unfortunately, such date can't be delayed.

Question 23: Are Canadian citizens studying abroad at collaborating institutions who will clearly and directly benefit from the proposed training activities considered Canadian HQP for the purposes of this proposal?

Answer 23: No.

Question 24: Can an application include a competition for a Canadian institutional host site?

Answer 24: We can't rule on the eligibility of a project at this point. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that their project is eligible according to the criteria mentioned in section 3.2 of the AO.

Question 25: There are several resources available, as indicated in Annexes A and B of the FAST AO. Would it be possible also to have access to antenna measurements in the anechoic chambers of the David Florida laboratory?

Answer 25: You can have access to the various services offered by the David Florida laboratory. However, the costs related to these services will have to be included in the total costs of the project.

Question 26: In Section 6.2 Eligible Costs: under which cost category must shipping charges be requested (shipping of an instrument to a field site)?

Answer 26: Those costs can be claimed under the category Material and Supplies.

Question 27: Does the CSA grant cover the full cost of the project or should additional funding be sought?

Answer 27: As mentioned in section 6.1 of the AO, a CSA grant can cover up to 100% of the eligible expenses of a project. However, please note that in Annex C, Selection criterion 3.2 evaluates among others, the financial and/or in-kind contribution from collaborators which would leverage CSA funds.

Question 28: Can proposals from different PIs for the same mission or project divide the cost of a satellite launch between the proposals?

Answer 28: For this AO, splitting the cost of a satellite launch among applicants is not possible.

Question 29: Are launch costs considered to be part of the $200k per annual spending limit?

Answer 29: Yes.

Question 30: In relation to the following statement:

An eligible recipient can submit only one application for the same project or mission. However, two or more PIs from different institutions can apply separately for the same mission or project if their separate applications concern the development of distinct technologies or scientific research

Please clarify if this allows two distinct but complimentary proposals from one institution, as well as an additional, separate and also complimentary proposal from another eligible Canadian institution? The three proposals would constitute separate stand-alone elements (each with training components as an "end-to-end space-like mission project") of a single larger mission.

Answer 30: In section 6.1 of the AO, the sentence "An eligible recipient can submit only one application for the same project or mission" has been changed for "An eligible recipient can submit only one application for the same project". Therefore, an institution can present two stand-alone projects proposals for the same mission. However, each of those stand-alone projects should have different PIs and HQP and technologies which should not depend one on the other.

Question 31: For purposes of "team members" in section 6 of the application form, does one include foreign collaborators?

Answer 31: Yes.

Annex A – Examples of Sites and Infrastructures for Earth System Science, Atmospheric science, Solar-Terrestrial Science, and Space Lifeand Health Science Research Projects

This annex lists examples by Research Discipline of sites, infrastructures and instruments that could be considered for projects.

1. Examples of Sites and Infrastructures for Earth System Sciences, Atmospheric science and Solar-Terrestrial Sciences Disciplines:

Sites listed in the 2013 Geospace Observatory (GO) Canada – Instruments and Data Announcement Opportunity:

Site latitude (°) longitude (°)
Churchill 58.7 -94.2
Dawson 64.0 -139.1
Fort McMurray 56.7 -111.2
Fort Simpson 61.8 -121.9
Fort Smith 60.0 -112.0
Gillam 56.4 -94.6
Island Lake 53.9 -94.7
Pinawa 50.2 -96.0
Rabbit Lake 58.2 -103.7
Rankin Inlet 64.5 -92.1
Taloyoak 69.5 -93.6

Other eligible sites and infrastructures could be located in the north of the southern limit of the discontinuous permafrost zone, including for instance the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS), Cambridge Bay, NU, and the Polar Environmental Research Laboratory (PEARL), Eureka, NU.

2. Examples of Sites and Infrastructures for Space Life and Health SciencesFootnote 1

Examples of research platforms, ground-based infrastructures instruments and analogue sites that would be required to address one or more of the risks related to human space flights mentioned below in Table 1:

Table 1. Examples of Human Health, Behavioural and Performance Risks
Musculoskeletal Mission risks resulting from reduced muscle strength and aerobic capacity, and increased bone fragility.
Sensorimotor Mission risks resulting from sensory changes/dysfunctions.
Ocular Syndrome Mission and long-term health risks of microgravity-induced visual impairment and/or elevated intracranial pressure.
Nutrition Mission risks associated with metabolism and the effect of nutrient composition of diet on health.
Behavioural Health and Performance Mission and long-term behavioural health and performance risks, for example, associated with psychosocial adaptation, stress and fatigue, cognitive deterioration or issues with team dynamics, long-term risks associated with integration into post-space flight career phase.
Radiation Mission risks due to health and performance impairment associated with radiation damage.
Hypogravity Mission risks associated with adaptation during transit (i.e. long-duration exposure to microgravity) and sojourn on planetary surfaces.
Autonomous Medical Care Mission risks associated with the inability to provide adequate medical care throughout the mission (includes onboard training, diagnosis, treatment, and presence/absence of onboard physician).

Annex B - Access to Research Platforms

1. Access through the CSA to the CNES Stratospheric Balloons

In 2010, the CSA entered into a 10 year agreement with the France's CNES. This agreement allows the CSA to fly and operate with CNES multiple stratospheric balloons every year for Canada from different locations in the world. Selected grant recipients will be allowed to launch their instruments on these balloons under the CSA STRATOS program.

Altitudes of stratospheric balloons typically range between 32 and 42 km, depending on mission objectives, payload specifications and on weather conditions. Possible balloon launch sites include Timmins, Ontario (mid-latitude); Kiruna, Sweden (Arctic) and Alice Springs, Australia (Desert/South). The CNES balloon launch site for 2018 is Timmins, Ontario.

During a launch campaign, multiple balloon launches are conducted. All launches can accommodate either a single primary payload, multiple secondary payloads or both. As such, applicants will be considered for either a primary slot, or a secondary slot depending on their payload's mass and volume. Typically, a primary payload can weigh up to 1 ton, and a secondary payload can weigh up to 100 kg.

For primary payloads greater than 500 kg, it may be required for grantees to provide their own gondola to accommodate their own payload. If this is the case, neither CNES nor the CSA will be responsible for providing such a gondola, including the structure and pointing systems. However, CSA and CNES can provide the telemetry and telecommunications system (CNES-PASTIS and/or CSA PRISM) that will allow the payload communications system to send data to the ground. In some cases, CSA can also provide a power subsystem, including battery packs and a power distribution capacity.

In the case of secondary payloads, the recipient must provide a self-contained payload that will not interfere with the primary payload. Secondary payloads are opportunity-based; their launch is a function of the volume, mass and power available on the gondola. Although power will be provided by the gondola, there may be special cases where payloads would need to supply their own power. These will be assessed on a case by case basis.

All primary and secondary payloads flying with the CSA/CNES balloons can use the provided telecommunication & telemetry system CNES-PASTIS and/or the CSA PRISM for Position and attitude knowledge. For secondary payloads, the total bandwidth allocation will be shared by all of the instruments onboard.

Once a grant agreement is executed, for STRATOS balloon flight request, the recipient will fill out a questionnaire providing additional information on its payload and the flight requirements. The recipient will subsequently be responsible for ensuring its payload and its gondola (if appropriate) will be ready on time and meets safety and interface requirements, which are outlined in Balloon User Manual. The CSA will carry out an internal technology assessment several months before a balloon campaign to confirm whether or not a proposed payload is ready. The CSA will do its utmost to fly all FAST grant recipient payloads that meet the CSA Safety and Mission Assurance (S&MA), interface and schedule requirements, and that are compatible with STRATOS balloon campaign plans and schedule.

Applicants interested in utilizing a STRATOS balloon flight must clearly state so in their application and provide information on their payload as well as their flight preferences (such as period of the year for a flight, launch site and the expected support required by CNES and the CSA). However, the CSA cannot guarantee a flight at the location, period of the year or time of day stated in a recipient's proposal.

All expenses associated with payload and gondola (if applicable) development, testing, integration and shipping, as well as travel and accommodation before, during and after the launch campaign, are the grant recipient's responsibility. Expenses associated with a STRATOS balloon launch, flight operations and payload recovery will be supported by the CSA and therefore should not be included in the budget of the applicant's proposal.

For general information on the CSA's balloon program, please refer to the Stratospheric balloons website.

To obtain a copy of the Balloon User Manual, please send a request to: vites.fast@asc-csa.gc.ca. This document is subject to change at any time. Notice of such changes will be sent only to organizations that would have officially requested a copy of the document.

2. Through the ESA Education Office, access to Hypergravity Centrifuges, Drop Towers, Sounding-rockets, Stratospheric Balloons, Parabolic Flights, CubeSat development, launch opportunities (including engineering support, verification and testing) and access to the ESA Academy for student training

As a Cooperating State of the ESA, Canada has access to different ESA programs and activities. In particular, through ESA Education Office competitive processes, ESA offers to university students the opportunity to access a broad variety of educational programs.

The programs and opportunities offered to university students by ESA Education Office are all dealt under the terms and conditions of the ESA Academy. The ESA Academy programs and activities for university students include:

For more information on ESA Education Office visit the ESA Education web portal. For details on the ESA Academy visit the ESA Academy web pages.

3. Access, through CSA, to National Research Council Canada (NRC) Falcon-20 Aircraft for Reduced Gravity Flights

Due to collaboration with the NRC, the CSA has access to the NRC's Falcon 20 aircraft in Ottawa. As such, grant recipients will also be given access to a reduced gravity environment for experimentation. The Falcon 20 will be able to produce multiple short periods of near zero-g acceleration force. Lunar-g and Martian-g can also be simulated using this aircraft.

Depending on the physical properties of the experiment, the Falcon 20 can accommodate multiple payloads and experimenters on board. The Falcon 20 aircraft is also equipped to provide electrical power and a data acquisition system for the payloads. In addition, work space is available on the ground for build-up and checkout of test equipment prior to installation in the aircraft.

It is the responsibility of the recipient to comply with all of the safety procedures, and to ensure that the payload will be ready on time and meets safety and interface requirements, which are outlined in the Falcon 20 user manual available upon request. The CSA and the NRC will do its utmost to accommodate all of the experiments that comply with the multistage approval and review procedure of the NRC.

All expenses associated with payload development, testing, integration and shipping, as well as travel and accommodation before, during and after the flight, are the grant recipient's responsibility. Expenses associated with the flight and the engineering support required from CSA and NRC for payload integration and certification will be supported by the NRC and/or the CSA and therefore should not be included in the budget of the applicant's proposal.

Applicants interested in utilizing the NRC Falcon 20 aircraft must clearly state so in their application.

To obtain a copy of the Falcon 20 User Manual, please send a request to: vites.fast@asc-csa.gc.ca.

4. Access to MASER 14 Microgravity Rocket Flight

A flight opportunity on MASER 14 sounding rocket is available through the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC). The flight is currently planned for Spring 2019 from the ESRANGE base, located in Kiruna, Sweden. This sounding rocket flight will reach an apogee at 270 km and provide approximately 6 minutes of continuous microgravity below 1x10-4g. The available volume for payloads has a cylindrical shape with a diameter of 44 cm and a height of 130 cm. The total available mass allocation for this flight opportunity is 100 kg.

It is the responsibility of the recipient to make his arrangement with the SSC with regards to the seat reservation and to comply with all of the safety procedures, and to ensure that the payload will be ready on time and meets safety and interface requirements, which are outlined in the MASER user manual available upon request. All expenses associated with payload development, testing, integration and shipping, as well as travel and accommodation before, during and after the flight, are the grant recipient's responsibility. Expenses associated with the MASER 14 flight ticket are also the grant recipient responsibilities. There is no guarantee that this opportunity will remain available for Canada.

To obtain a copy of the MASER User Manual, please send a request to: vites.fast@asc-csa.gc.ca.

Note: This is not a CSA document. The information is only available in English.

5. Access to CSA Rovers, Infrastructure & Facilities in Saint-Hubert (Quebec) for Field Investigations

In order to facilitate the ground testing and demonstration of planetary exploration technologies, and to support field investigations to prepare Canada for future planetary exploration missions, the CSA has developed an infrastructure and facilities for testing, integration and operations of planetary exploration systems and equipment such as rovers and scientific instruments, in a "mission-like" planetary environment. The facilities include integration labs, test facilities, a planetary analogue site (located at the CSA), a control center and the communications infrastructure necessary to connect various on-site facilities.

The CSA is offering to recipients, subject to availability, its fleet of prototype Planetary Mobility Systems (Rovers) and associated indoor & outdoor Facilities and Infrastructure to support the Testing, Integration and Operations of Planetary Exploration systems and equipment (e.g. Rovers, instruments, payloads). Note that CSA Rovers are also available for use by the Recipient at their remote field sites, if required.

Applicants interested in utilizing CSA assets must clearly state so in their application and provide information on their rover, instrument or payload as well as their schedule. However, the CSA cannot guarantee a specific asset will be available at the location, period of the year or time of day stated in a recipient's proposal.

5.1 Use of CSA Rovers, Infrastructure or Facilities On-site in Saint-Hubert (Quebec)

The CSA will provide, subject to availability, expert engineering and technical staff resources to operate the CSA-provided elements and infrastructure, and support the recipients while on-site at the CSA.

The CSA will also provide the appropriate information to the recipient to ensure that interfaces (e.g. such as those of the rovers) are well understood in order to accommodate recipient instruments or payloads. Instrument or payload interface modifications may be necessary.

5.1.1 Process

Once a project has been selected, the applicant will have to fill out a questionnaire providing additional information on its rover, instrument or payload and the field investigation requirements. The applicant will subsequently be responsible for ensuring its equipment will be ready on time and meets CSA safety and interface requirements, which will be provided by the CSA upon request.

The CSA will carry out an internal technology assessment several months before activities commence to confirm whether or not a proposed rover, instrument or payload is ready. The CSA will do its utmost to accommodate all FAST selected applicant requests that meet the CSA Health & Safety (H&S), Security, interface requirements, and that are compatible with the ongoing CSA plans and schedule for use of its rovers, facilities and infrastructure and technical support resources.

Users of CSA facilities (e.g. Analogue Terrain) will be sent Facility-specific H&S Plan(s) prior to their arrival. Each participant will be asked to respond with an email stating that they have read, understood and will comply with the H&S requirements.

CSA badging will be arranged prior to arrival. Depending on the length of visit and frequency of trips to the CSA, either a Visitor's Badge (Escort required) or a CSA Access Badge (no Escort required) will be issued on-arrival. For CSA Visitor Badges - Canadians need to show ID (e.g. Driver's License) and non-Canadians need to show ID + student/work Visa + Passport). For CSA Access Badges - a Government Security Check will be done including Fingerprinting & Form to be filled and submitted approximately 2 weeks prior to visit.

5.1.2 Agreement

An agreement will have to be signed between CSA and a recipient in order to have access to CSA rovers, infrastructure and facilities. This agreement will include, among other things, clauses relating to the following elements:

5.1.3 Expenses

All expenses associated with the Recipients rover, instrument or payload development, testing, integration and shipping, as well as travel and accommodation before, during and after the field investigation activity, are the Grant recipient's responsibility.

5.2 Use of CSA Rovers at a Remote Location

Applicants requesting access to a CSA rover at a remote location must plan a visit to CSA Head Quarter located in Saint-Hubert (Quebec), as CSA will provide, subject to availability, expert engineering and technical staff resources to train recipients on how to operate the CSA rovers, but only at the CSA Saint-Hubert location.

During that visit, the CSA will work with the recipient to ensure that interfaces are well understood in order to accommodate recipient instruments or payloads. Instrument or payload interface modifications may be necessary.

5.2.1 Loan Agreement

Should the project involve the use of CSA rovers at a remote location, a loan agreement must be signed between CSA and the recipient. The agreement will include, among other things, clauses relating to the following elements:

5.2.2 Expenses Related to the use of CSA Rovers

All expenses associated with the recipient instrument or payload development, testing, shipping and integration in a rover, as well as travel and accommodation before, during and after the field investigation activity, are the grant recipient's responsibility. This also includes shipment of CSA-rover to the remote field site.

5.3 CSA Rovers & Facilities Overview Descriptions

The following Sections (5.3.1 and 5.3.2) provide a high level description of CSA rovers & facilities.

In order to provide as much information as possible for the AO release date, the following CSA Documents are also being made available on a per-request basis and in an "as-is" state. In some cases, the information contained does not reflect with 100% accuracy the current configuration of the facilities, as some upgrades may have occurred since the documents were prepared. However, the information supplied should be sufficient to provide the applicant with an understanding of the available functionality, capability and general interfaces. Available documentation is listed below:

To obtain a copy of those documents, please send a request to vites.fast@asc-csa.gc.ca.

For any questions on those documents, please refer to Section 9 of the AO.

5.3.1 CSA Fleet of Rovers
CSA's fleet of rovers

Credit: CSA

For a description of CSAs fleet of rovers.

5.3.2 CSA Facilities

5.3.2.1 ExDOC (Exploration Development & Operations Center)

The ExDOC provides centralized command and control for various technology and science resources deployed at local or remote analogue sites.

It also provides re-distribution of voice, video, and data & control functions to other participating centers e.g. universities, contractors, international partners.

Credit: CSA

5.3.2.2 AT (Planetary Analogue Terrain)

The CSA-located AT is a 60 X 120 meter outdoor facility offering various surface features and topographies to simulate the planetary surface, such as rock bed, crater, summit, and flag stone patch. This facility is also equipped with situation awareness cameras and WIFI network for the needs of rover and instrument or payload testing and deployment.

Credit: CSA

5.3.2.3 PCCS (Portable Command & Control Shelter)

This infrastructure provides a controlled & secure environment for conducting remote analogue site deployments i.e. a portable "ExDOC" and can be rapidly deployed and setup.

It measures approximately 10 m (including Hitch) by 3 m by 3 m tall.

Equipped with multiple workstations and satellite & wireless communications equipment.

Credit: CSA

5.3.2.4 RIF (Rover Integration Facility)

The RIF is both a development and integration & test facility for rovers, payloads and instruments, providing.

Credit: CSA

5.3.2.5 ESF (Exploration Storage Facility)

Co-located with the AT, the ESF provides a sheltered and secure environment in which to store a variety of rovers and science & technology instruments.

ESF dimensions are 10.4 m by 7 m with 3.2 m ceiling height, providing over 70 square-meters of storage area. It is able to provide storage for up to 20 rovers.

Credit: CSA

5.3.2.6 RIW (Rover Indoor Workspace)

The RIW is an indoor testing facility located in the CSA High Bay.

It is a somewhat smaller (13.4 m by 11.0 m) version of the AT that is generally used when weather conditions prohibit use of the AT, but provides similar functionality.

Credit: CSA

Annex C - Scoring and Weighting

A numerical weight is associated with each criterion. It is strongly recommended that applicants draft their proposals by providing information related to each highest score.

Since the main objective of this AO is to train Canadian HQP, some selection criteria relate particularly to the quality of HQP training. High-quality training should attract and equip students for future careers in space science or technology, hence research should benefit Canada (original, relevant to future missions and space opportunities), and results should provide the student with experience, knowledge and skills that are recognized and sought after in the Canadian space sector (industry, academia and/or government).

1. Benefits to Canada

1.1 Increased knowledge in space science and technology

This criterion evaluates the originality of the research and its probable impact and potential to advance our knowledge in the field of space science and/or technology, directly or indirectly.

Poor: The research is not expected to have a significant short- or long-term impact. The project lacks novel concepts and will not contribute to advancement of new knowledge in space science and/or technology. (Score: 0)

Average: The research could advance knowledge in the field of space science and/or technology. The work is largely derivative of previous work. (Score: 5)

Good: The probable results will advance knowledge in the field of space science and/or technology. The proposed research involves new or original concepts or methods, and/or builds on previous work (Score: 10)

Excellent: The probable results will advance knowledge in the field of space science and/or technology and have a broad, long-term impact beyond the immediate field of study. The proposed research stands out because of its highly innovative or original scientific or technical concepts or methods, and/or builds significantly on previous work. (Score: 15)

1.2 Relevance to the FAST AO research priorities

This criterion evaluates the relevance of the proposed project to at least one of the research priorities listed Section 3.2.3.

Poor: The research is not relevant to any of the FAST AO research priorities listed in Section 3.2.3. (Score: 0)

Average: The research is relevant to a FAST AO research priority listed in Section 3.2.3. (Score: 5)

Good: The research is relevant to a FAST AO research priority listed in Section 3.2.3, and may be integrated into, or contribute to, a future space mission. (Score: 10)

Excellent: The research is central to a FAST AO research priority listed in Section 3.2.3. It contributes to mission objectives currently under consideration and/or presents solutions to known and future space mission needs, and hence is highly likely to result in or contribute to a future space mission, or to be used/commercialized by industry. (Score: 15)

2. Results in terms of contribution to the training of Canadian HQP

2.1 The relevance of experience, knowledge and skills acquired by Canadian HQP to the Canadian space sector needs

This criterion is used to assess the degree to which experience, knowledge and skills targeted in HQP training are relevant to the Canadian space sector (industry, academia and/or government) needs.

Poor: The knowledge and skills to be acquired by Canadian HQP over the course of the project are not defined, or are unrelated or are irrelevant to the Canadian space sector. It is also not clear how the knowledge and skills planned to be acquired by Canadian HQP will increase their employability. (Score: 0)

Average: The knowledge and skills to be acquired by Canadian HQP involved in the project are defined to some degree and are relevant to the Canadian space sector. However, it is not clear who would acquire the knowledge and skills, what knowledge or skills would consist of, or what purpose they would serve. The knowledge and skills planned to be acquired by Canadian HQP may increase their employability. (Score: 7)

Good: The knowledge and skills to be acquired by Canadian HQP involved in the project are defined and relevant to the Canadian space sector. The knowledge and skills planned to be acquired by Canadian HQP will increase their employability. (Score: 14)

Excellent: The knowledge and skills to be acquired by Canadian HQP involved in the project are clearly defined and relevant to the Canadian space sector. There is a description of the need for the knowledge and skills to be acquired. Knowledge and skills planned to be acquired by Canadian HQP will greatly increase their employability. (Score: 20)

2.2 Interaction between Canadian HQP and researchers from different disciplines and occupations

This criterion evaluates how well the project promotes collaborative team research and interaction between Canadian HQP of different levels of academic programs as well as between Canadian HQP and researchers from different disciplines and other occupations from other organizations.

Poor: All Canadian HQP involved in the project are at the same academic level and/or have unclear or limited interaction with researchers other than their supervisor(s). (Score: 0)

Average: Some Canadian HQP involved in the project collaborate and interact with researchers from different disciplines and with others from other organizations. Canadian HQP are, however, at the same academic level (program and/or discipline). (Score: 4)

Good: Most of the Canadian HQP involved in the project collaborate and interact with researchers from different disciplines and others organizations. Canadian HQP are at different levels of academic programs and disciplines. (Score: 7)

Excellent: All Canadian HQP involved in the project collaborate and interact with researchers from different disciplines and with others in academia, industry and governments in Canada and abroad. Canadian HQP are from different levels of academic programs and disciplines. (Score: 10)

3. Resources

3.1 Quality and experience of the project team

This criterion evaluates the quality of the project team (PI, Co-PI or PDFs as applicable), its combination of expertise, and its ability to carry out the research project and provide the proposed training activities. It evaluates the qualifications of the team members and their past performance, particularly their track record in training HQP.

Poor: The project team has no experience or expertise in the field of study and/or the supervisors have little to no track record with training HQP. (Score: 0)

Average: The project team has some experience and expertise in the field of study. However, although the supervisors have a track record in managing and completing similar projects, they have little experience in training HQP. All team members may not have the appropriate expertise for the roles and responsibilities they would have during the project. (Score: 4)

Good: Members of the project team have demonstrated experience and expertise in the field of study and the supervisors have a good track record in training HQP. There is a good combination of expertise to undertake the proposed project and training activities. The supervisors have demonstrated the ability to manage and complete similar projects. Roles and responsibilities of each member correspond to their expertise and experience. (Score: 7)

Excellent: Members of the project team have extensive experience in the field of study and the supervisors have a solid track record in training HQP. The combination of expertise needed to undertake the proposed project and training activities is excellent. The team members have demonstrated the ability to manage and complete similar projects. Roles and responsibilities of each team member correspond to their expertise and experience. (Score: 10)

3.2 Adequacy of allocated resources

This criterion evaluates the quality, quantity and relevance of the human and non-human resources planned to be utilized to meet the project goals and objectives. It evaluates the timely availability of these resources and the adequate allocation of these resources to each specific project task. It also evaluates the existence of collaborators willing to provide financial and/or in-kind contribution, thereby leveraging funds from the CSA.

Poor: There is a clear mismatch between the resources proposed to be used and the project goals and objectives. Key resources are missing and there is no indication of a plan to obtain them. There are no contributions from the applicant or from other organizations. (0 Point)

Average: Some resources (material, research infrastructure, human (expertise and skills), and/or financial resources) are missing to accomplish the project goals and objectives.  The applicant provides an in-kind contribution.  Other organizations to be involved in the project plan to provide financial and/or in-kind contribution (4 Points).

Good: Material, research infrastructure, human (expertise and skills), and financial resources required to accomplish the project goals and objectives are identified and their utilization is planned adequately. While being well identified, there are some uncertainties about availability of resources in a timely manner. The allocation of resources per project task is appropriate. The applicant will provide an in-kind contribution. Other organizations to be involved in the project will provide a financial or in-kind contribution. Only some resources are secured and/or confirmed so far. (7 Points)

Excellent: Material, research infrastructure, human (expertise and skills), and financial resources required to accomplish the project goals and objectives are clearly identified, well detailed and planned to be efficiently and effectively used. Resources will be available in a timely manner. The allocation of resources per project task is clearly appropriate. The applicant will provide a significant in-kind contribution considering the total project budget.  Other organizations to be involved in the project will provide significant financial and in-kind contributions. All resources have been secured and/or confirmed. (10 Points)

4. Feasibility of the project

4.1 Clarity and completeness of the research and training plans

This criterion evaluates the clarity, completeness and feasibility of the research, training and mentoring plans, with the roles and responsibilities, contribution and level of involvement of each team member clearly identified. The criterion also evaluates the likelihood that the work will be completed on schedule and within budget.

Poor: The management, training and mentoring plans are poorly defined and/or there is a high likelihood that the objectives will not be met because of any or a combination of the following: inappropriate methods; inadequate or unavailable resources; the proposed budget or schedule is incomplete and/or highly under- or over-estimated. (Score: 0)

Average: The management, training and mentoring plans are defined to some degree, but details are lacking. The work and HQP training could be completed on schedule and within budget, but some doubts remain concerning the suitability of methods, the access of proposed ground-based infrastructure, analogue site, suborbital/orbital platform, scientific instruments and/or data to be used, and the availability of resources. A budget that appears to be reasonable is provided along with a basic rationale for projected expenses. (Score: 4)

Good: The management, training and mentoring plans are well defined. The methodology and resources required are clearly described and well suited to the work to be carried out. A budget is provided along with a sound rationale for projected expenses. The likelihood that the defined work including the ground-based infrastructure, analogue site, suborbital/orbital platform, scientific instruments and/or data utilization and training activities will be completed on schedule and within budget is good. (Score: 7)

Excellent: Well-thought-out management, training and mentoring plans are provided. The methodology and resources required are clearly described and well suited to the work to be carried out. There is great detail on the breakdown and related expenses, scheduled milestones, time allocations for team members to carry out the project. The proposal identifies adequate resources to be allocated to the project that are validated in a detailed rationale in support of the budget. The likelihood that the work, the ground-based infrastructure, analogue site, suborbital/orbital platform, scientific instruments and/or data utilization and training activities will be completed within schedule and budget is excellent. (Score: 10)

4.2 Project risks (financial, managerial, environmental and technical) and mitigation strategies

This criterion evaluates key risks associated with the project and the mitigation strategies for each risk. In addition, a thorough analysis of the project's financial, technical, managerial and environmental risks should be carried out. Detailed information should be provided on resources availability, risks associated with their non-availability and, the risk and mitigation strategies associated with those risks (level of uncertainties related to the launch date, access to infrastructure, field site, instruments and/or data, agreement with the launch provider, collaboration with industry and foreign research partners).

Poor: The proposal does not identify any key risks or outline any mitigation strategies or some risks are identified, but associated mitigation strategies are missing. (Score: 0)

Average: The proposal identifies some, but not all, of the main risks and provides mitigation strategies for those identified risks. There are great risks that the planned flight, fieldwork, the use infrastructure or scientific instrument, or the data analysis will not occur as planned. (Score: 4)

Good: Key financial, technical, managerial and environmental risks and associated mitigation strategies are described and are relevant, and some information is provided assessing the probability of the risks materializing. There is good confidence that the planned flight, fieldwork, use of infrastructure or scientific instrument, or data analysis will occur as planned during the period covered by the grant. Most other sources of funding have been confirmed. (Score: 7)

Excellent: Key financial, technical, managerial and environmental risks and associated mitigation strategies are described and are relevant. The information provided for the purpose of assessing the probability of the risks materializing is deemed realistic. The planned flight, fieldwork, use of infrastructure or scientific instrument, or data analysis will occur as planned during the period covered by the grant. All other sources of funding have been confirmed. (Score: 10)

Evaluation score

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