Flights and Fieldwork for the Advancement of Science and Technology (FAST 2019)

Announcement of Opportunity

Publication date:

Application deadline: New

Please take note of the changes to the answers to questions 9 and 14 under Frequently Asked Questions (Section 9).

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. AO objectives
  3. Eligibility criteria
  4. Submitting an application
  5. Evaluation
  6. Funding
  7. Funding agreements
  8. Confidentiality
  9. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Summary of key information

  • Expected budget for this Announcement of Opportunity (AO): $3.5 million
  • Eligible recipients: Canadian universities and post-secondary institutions
  • Type of transfer payments: Grants
  • Maximum amount per grant: two funding categories:
    • Category A: $300,000
    • Category B: $100,000
  • Maximum duration of a project per grant: up to three years
  • Approximate number of new awards: 19
  • Application deadline:

1. Introduction

The objective of this Flights and Fieldwork for the Advancement of Science and Technology (FAST) AO is to support the research projects of Canadian universities and post-secondary institutions that will contribute to the development of new scientific knowledge and space technologies, while making it possible for students to acquire hands-on experience in space-like missions.

Building Canadian capacity in space science and technology is a priority for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). In addition to the development of space science technologies and knowledge, 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 the economic growth of the country. 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 business opportunities.

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

"Space-like missions" attempt to faithfully reproduce the requirements, operations or constraints of actual space missions. Where space-like missions proposed under this AO also contribute to the validation of space missions currently in orbit or to the reduction in risk for anticipated future space missions, the value of the training experience is increased for students and postdoctoral fellows (PDFs); these activities will therefore contribute more directly to Canada's priorities regarding research.

A "simulated space environment" includes ground-based infrastructure, suborbital or orbital platforms and instruments simulating a microgravity or spacecraft environment; test chambers simulating the space environment; remote sensing infrastructure located in a remote environment, or simulating the remoteness and isolation of spaceflight; and fieldwork conducted at terrestrial 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.

A simulated space environment is an ideal environment to conduct space-like missions, and to provide students and PDFs with learning opportunities allowing them to obtain practical experience in projects related to all aspects of space missions. Since these projects are consistent with the length of time required to complete a master's and doctorate program, 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

In accordance with the Space Strategy for Canada, the main objectives of the FAST AO  are to:

3. Eligibility criteria

3.1 Eligible recipients

3.2 Eligible projects

To be eligible, all research projects must include the following elements:

In addition, a research project proposed under Funding Category A (see Section 6.1) must be an end-to-end space-like mission project (see Section 3.2.3) that includes:

Different universities and post-secondary institutions may submit separate applications for the same project. In such cases, each application must include separate research or scientific activities requiring the participation of different Canadian students and PDFs.

All phases necessary for the completion of a project are eligible for funding. Any logical combination or breakdown of these phases may constitute a project in itself and be eligible for funding. However, applicants are not allowed to break down a project into numerous phases 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 automatically guarantee funding for the remaining phases.

3.2.1 Eligible students

For this AO, eligible Canadian students include:

Applicants are encouraged to propose projects that increase the representation and advancement of women in 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 students and amongst their supervisors, role models and mentors. If in the research discipline of the proposed project there is a gender imbalance in the student population, applicants are strongly encouraged to demonstrate that this imbalance has been taken into consideration in their plan for recruitment of students implicated in their project.

3.2.2 Training plan

Applications must include a training plan consisting of the following:

The training level and content should be tailored to the research discipline, whether science- or engineering-related, and include opportunities to interact and collaborate with other researchers within or outside the educational institution, as applicable.

As outlined in one of the application evaluation criteria, 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 exposing them to an industrial work environment. Similarly, industry personnel may benefit from being involved in academic research.

3.2.3 Additional information on end-to-end projects (for Funding under Category A – see Section 6.1)

It is mandatory to submit an end-to-end project under Funding Category A. An end-to-end project generally includes the following activities:

3.2.4 Eligible suborbital/orbital platforms, research sites and ground-based infrastructure (for Funding under Category A - see Section 6.1)

The following suborbital/orbital platforms, research sites or ground-based infrastructures will be considered for the implementation of projects in Canada or abroad:

3.2.4.1 Suborbital/orbital platforms

3.2.4.2 Research sites

3.2.4.3 Ground-based infrastructure

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

Annex A provides examples of research platforms, research sites or ground-based infrastructure that could be used for projects pertaining to life sciences and space health.

3.2.5 Access to research platforms

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

  1. Access through the CSA to 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 flight opportunities (including support in engineering, verification and testing), and access to the ESA Academy for student training;
  3. Access through the CSA to National Research Council Canada (NRC)'s Falcon 20 aircraft for reduced gravity flights;
  4. Access to suborbital express flights (MASER rockets) for microgravity research;
  5. Access to rovers, infrastructure and facilities at the CSA in St. Hubert, Quebec for field investigations.

3.3 Links to CSA priorities

To be eligible, projects supported for the purposes of this AO must focus on at least one (1) of the research disciplines and one (1) of the research priorities indicated in the following table:

Research disciplines Funding categories
(see Section 6.1)
Research priorities
Innovative Space Technology All

Projects related to the development (including prototyping, testing and/or demonstration) of innovative technologies.

This includes, without being limited to, new satellite components or subsystems, simulators, propulsion, navigation and communication systems, power subsystems, mechanism software, algorithms (i.e. artificial intelligence) and instruments that are not part of the research disciplines mentioned hereafter.

Space Health and Life Science All Research to identify, characterize and mitigate risks that humans face in space, particularly radiation, human behaviour and performance, and technology development to facilitate space research and the delivery of healthcare, which may include diagnosis, monitoring and treatments, as well as associated research tools, as described in the Canadian Space Exploration: Science and Space Health Priorities report. Many space risks have terrestrial parallels that should be identified in order to highlight benefits to Earth that will accrue from the proposed 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 Canadian Space Exploration: Science and Space Health Priorities report. Projects may include the development of prototypes of astronomical instruments for which testing requires the use of balloons or nanosatellites; and/or data analysis and preliminary studies related to creation of new instruments and the defining of new missions and scientific research.
Planetary Exploration All

Projects related to the development and testing of a prototype for planetary science investigation aligned with priorities set out in the Canadian Space Exploration: Science and Space Health Priorities report.

Fieldwork, data analysis, and/or initial studies related to the definition of a new planetary science investigation aligned with community priorities set out in the Canadian Space Exploration: Science and Space Health Priorities report.

Atmospheric SciencesTable note * All

Projects related to remote sensing of the composition and dynamics of the atmosphere, of clouds and of precipitation, 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 instruments 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 ScienceTable note * 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 instruments 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 ScienceTable note * All

Projects related to in situ measurements or remote sensing of energetic particles, magnetic fields, electric fields, and geospatial 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 instruments 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.

3.4 Links to Grants and Contributions Program objectives

To be eligible, projects supported under this AO must contribute to the following CSA Grants and Contributions Program objectives:

4. Submitting an application

4.1 Required documentation

The application must include the following:

The following documents may be required upon request:

It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the application complies with all relevant federal, provincial/territorial and municipal laws.

Applications must be post-mailed to the CSA at the address below:

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

Please note:

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 October 11, 2019.

4.2 Service standards for this AO – Complete applications

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

Acknowledgement of receipt: The CSA's goal is to acknowledge receipt of applications within two (2) weeks following the AO's closing date.

Decision: The CSA's goal is to respond to the application within twenty-eight (28) weeks following the AO's closing date and to send a grant agreement for signature within four (4) weeks after formal approval of the application.

Payment: The CSA's goal is to issue payment within four (4) 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 manner.

5. Evaluation

5.1 Eligibility criteria

Applications will first be submitted for an eligibility assessment to verify whether they comply with the following criteria:

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 the evaluation criteria, which are further described in Annex C. Applicants should address each criterion in their application. Please note that an application must receive an overall minimum score of 70% and achieve the minimum specified thresholds to be considered for funding.

Table 2. Definition and breakdown of selection criteria
1. Benefits to Canada and outcomes Max. score: 25
Min.
score: 20
1.1 Proposed research Max. score: 25
This criterion is used to evaluate 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, in line with the research priorities and the Space Strategy for Canada.
2. Feasibility Max. score: 35
Min. score: 20
2.1 Research plan and schedule Max. score: 15
This criterion is used to evaluate the clarity, completeness and feasibility of the research plan, as well as the clarity of the definitions of duties and responsibilities, contributions and level of involvement of each proposed team member. It is also used to evaluate the probability of the work being completed according to the set schedule.
2.2 Training plan Max. score: 20
This criterion is used to evaluate the quality, relevance and clarity of the training plan. It also is used to evaluate the impact of the knowledge and experience that the students will acquire.
3. Resources Max. score: 30
Min. score: 20
3.1 Project team Max. score: 15
This criterion is used to evaluate the quality of the project team (principal investigator (PI), co-investigators or PDFs, as applicable), its combination of expertise, and its ability to carry out the research project. It is also used to evaluate the skills and past performance of team members.
3.2 Budget, funding, physical resources and infrastructure Max. score: 15
This criterion is used to assess whether the planned budget is adequate to achieve the project objectives. It also takes the various sources of project funding into consideration, and is used to assess the timely availability of physical resources (scientific equipment, instruments and/or data) and infrastructure (ground-based infrastructure, suborbital/orbital platforms, analogue sites).
4. Risks Max. score: 10
Min. score: 7
4.1 Project-related risks and mitigation strategies Max. score: 10
This criterion is used to assess the applicant's analysis of the main risks associated with the project as well as strategies for mitigating 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. The evaluators will be experts in the fields relevant to the applications. Evaluators may include representatives of the Government of Canada and of other countries, as well as representatives of other governmental and non-governmental 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 achieve the minimum thresholds specified in Table 2 in order to be deemed eligible 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 municipal, provincial, territorial and federal governmental agencies and organizations.

A selection committee made up of CSA executive management members will carry out a strategic overall selection based on Government of Canada and CSA priorities, such as:

6. Funding

6.1 Available funding

Transfer payments will be made through grant agreements. The total funding available under this AO is currently expected to be approximately $3.5 million. The two funding categories are:

The CSA intends to fund at least one project per research discipline defined in Section 3.3. The overall number of grants awarded and their value will depend on the availability of funds and the results of the evaluation process.

Prior to each instalment, the CSA program manager will reassess the recipient's eligibility and review the recipient's progress report.

A recipient's grant agreement may be amended to allow a recipient to fly or use its payload or technology a second time during an additional flight mission or fieldwork campaign. In such a case, the grant agreement would be amended under the same terms and conditions as those set out in the original grant agreement. Under such an amendment, additional funding to support travel and living expenses and related overhead costs may be awarded to a recipient, subject to the availability of funds and an evaluation of the justification provided by the recipient.

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

Approved applications 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 that it will allocate, the CSA will take into account the availability of CSA funds, the total cost of the project, and other confirmed sources of funds provided by other stakeholders and the applicant. The CSA reserves the right to reject any application 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 funding agreement 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 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 du Québec aux relations canadiennes (SQRC), as stipulated in 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 Performance measurement

The CSA will require recipients to report on certain elements in their projects, such as the following:

The CSA will also require recipients to be informed in advance of important press releases or news releases of interest to the media resulting from work related to this AO.

7.7 Open science

The CSA wishes to promote the dissemination of the results of funded projects to the widest possible audience and at the earliest possible opportunity. Greater access to science findings not only allows scientists to use a broader range of resources and knowledge, but also to increase research collaboration and coordination, increase public involvement and support the economy.

The CSA thus encourages recipients to practice open-access publishing and archiving to facilitate the widespread dissemination of the results of projects for which it provides funding. Recipients are therefore invited to publish their articles in a timely manner using one of the following methods:

  1. A freely accessible online repository (institution or discipline-based) so that publications are freely accessible;
  2. A journal offering free access to articles.

Publication costs are eligible expenses, as defined in Section 6.2. Note that these two methods are not mutually exclusive and that recipients are invited to use both.

Lastly, the CSA wishes to receive complementary copies of publications generated as a result of the allocated funding (if not freely accessible) or the hyperlink (if freely accessible) and its digital object identifier (DOI). The hyperlink and the DOI will be incorporated into the directory of CSA publications generated as a result of allocated funding, and will be made available to the public.

8. Confidentiality

The CSA will manage and protect information provided by applicants under the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act. By submitting your personal information, you consent to its collection, use and disclosure in accordance with the following Confidentiality Statement, which explains how information on applicants is handled.

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 (ASC PPU 045) and Awareness and Learning Component (ASC PPU 040). This information will be used for administrative purposes and for the evaluation of applications. Personal information (such as name, contact information and biographical information) will be stored for six years, then destroyed. Under the Privacy Act, any individual, upon request, may

  1. be given access to his/her data, and
  2. have incorrect information corrected or add a note.

Applicants shall also note that information relative to the funding agreement will be publicly disclosed under Government of Canada legislation, policies and directives.

For additional information on privacy matters prior to submitting an application, please contact:

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

9. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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

For any questions related to this AO, applicants shall use the following generic email address: asc.stedia-dstemu.csa@canada.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 reply to questions received before October 11, 2019.

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

Question 1: The AO has several examples and descriptions of ground-based infrastructures. Can a project that uses a site or infrastructure that is not listed in the AO, such as a ground-based telescope in a remote location, be considered admissible for funding under Category A?

Answer 1: The ground-based infrastructures mentioned in Annex A are examples of eligible infrastructures. Other ground-based infrastructures can be used, as long as they are in line with the description of the eligible ground-based infrastructures (see Section 3.2.4.3) and used in the context of an eligible project in line with the CSA Priorities (see Section 3.3).

As described in the Section 6.1, the projects submitted under Category A must include, amongst others, the use of the technology during a flight, a field deployment or a research site deployment.

At this stage of the AO process, CSA cannot comment on the eligibility of a project. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that its project is eligible according to the criteria mentioned in section 3.2 of the AO.

Question 2: In Section 10 of the Application Form – Detailed Budget, there is no specific entry for Salaries and Benefits for students and postdoctoral Fellows. Is it allowed to add sub-categories?

Answer 2: Yes, it is allowed to add sub-categories. We also modified the Application Form to add a budget line for Salaries and Benefits for eligible students.

Question 3: Does the "Canadian students" definition include all the students registered in a Canadian post-secondary institution or only the students who have Canadian citizenship or permanent residence?

Answer 3: For the purpose of this AO, the definition of "Canadian students" should be interpreted as follows: all students (including foreign students) that are registered in a Canadian post-secondary institution.

Question 4: For FAST projects, are principal investigator (PI) fees eligible costs?

Answer 4: Salary of university faculty or college professor/teacher are not eligible costs under this AO. Eligible costs are described in Section 6.2 of the AO and in the application form.

Question 5: Could a project that uses theoretical methods to study molecules that play an important role in interstellar space be eligible under this AO?

Answer 5: At this stage of the AO process, CSA cannot comment on the eligibility of a project. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that its project is eligible according to the criteria mentioned in section 3.2 of the AO.

Question 6: Is the FAST AO can finance a proposal that was already submit a few year ago?

Answer 6: At this stage of the AO process, CSA cannot comment on the eligibility of a project.

Question 7: What is the page limit for the proposal (i.e. Section 2 Research Project and Proposed Training)?

Answer 7: The proposal must contain a maximum of 20 pages as specified in section 6 (project description) of the application form.

Question 8: The downloadable application form template doesn't follow the format instruction given in the said document, i.e.: "common format with 12 pt. type face, letter-sized paper and 1" margins"

Which format is the right one?

Answer 8: As mentioned in Section 6 of the Application Form, the format indicated applies only for the project proposal which must be provided as an attached document to the Application Form.

Question 9: Is the Principal Investigator of the proposed project required to hold an independent academic position (university faculty appointment)?

Answer 9: For the FAST AO , it is the responsibility of the applicant (i.e. the Canadian post-secondary institution) to decide who could act as a PI since the grant is awarded to the applicant and not the PI.Footnote 1

Question 10: Are Co-Investigators of the proposed project required to be affiliated with Canadian institutions?

Answer 10: No.

Question 11: Are travel expenses for a non-Canadian co-investigator eligible?

Answer 11: Travel expenses for a non-Canadian co-investigator are not an eligible expenses under this AO. Non-Canadian co-investigator is expected to bring his own resources to the project.

Question 12: Is a DSLR camera considered as a material/supply or as an equipment?

Answer 12:

  • If the camera is part of a payload, it is considered as a material/supply.
  • If the camera is part of the equipment of a laboratory, it is considered as an equipment.

Question 13: Is the salary cost related to the release from teaching task assignment of college researchers eligible under this heading?

"Salaries and benefits – other than those for students (not to exceed 30% of the CSA grant value)"

Answer 13: No. It is not an eligible cost under this AO.

Question 14: Is an Adjunct at a university who supervised graduate students can apply to this opportunity as a PI considering is status?

Answer 14: For the FAST AO , it is the responsibility of the applicant (i.e. the Canadian post-secondary institution) to decide who could act as a PI since the grant is awarded to the applicant and not the PI.Footnote 1

Question 15: Is it possible to have two co-applicants for a proposal?

Answer 15: No. An application must be submitted only under the name of one applicant.

Question 16: For Category B, must a ground-based remote sensing infrastructure be located in a remote environment?

Answer 16: For Category B, there is no requirement regarding the location of a ground-based remote sensing infrastructure.

Question 17: Are salaries of non-faculty Co-Is eligible? (e.g. technician or program managers etc.)?

Budgets states "Salaries and benefits paid to persons other than students (not to exceed 30% of total CSA grant value)"

Answer 17: Yes. Salaries paid by a Canadian institution to non-faculty Co-Investigators are eligible expenses under the category of expenses “Salaries and benefits paid to persons other than students (not to exceed 30% of total CSA grant value)".

Question 18: A group of students would like to know the distinction between the roles of the different people mentioned in the application form (researcher, research office representative, duly authorized legal representative).

In addition, this group of students would like to know what is the legal name of an organization?

Answer 18: An application submitted under the FAST AO must be from a Canadian university or post-secondary institution. It can not come from a group of students.

We suggest that the group of students contact their institution's research office for more details on the process for applying for funding and who should be involved.

Question 19: In section 6 of the application form, it is mentioned that we have to provide a document of a maximum of 20 pages containing a description of the project.

Does this document have to be provided in addition to the application form or do we need to give the information in the form itself?

Answer 19: The information requested must be provided in a separate document in addition to the application form.

Question 20: For Category B projects, what is the minimum number of eligible students that must be included in the proposal?

Answer 20: As mentioned in item 3.2 of the AO, a participation of at least three (3) students is required for a project in funding category B.

Question 21: It is mentioned in Section 3.2.2 of the AO that CSA strongly encourages research activities carried out in collaboration with academia, industry and foreign researchers. Does the term “foreign” apply only to researchers or also to industry and academia?

Answer 21: The term “foreign” applies only to researchers.

Question 22: Are there any restrictions on the types of international partnerships?

Answer 22: No. There is no restrictions.

Question 23: Is a Canadian Permanent Resident considered Canadian for purposes of this proposal?

Answer 23: Yes.

Question 24: If investigators are based at a university in Quebec, is the university considered as a school as mentioned in Form M-30?

Answer 24: Form M-30 must be completed by an eligible recipient (Canadian university or post-secondary institution) located in the province of Quebec.

We suggest that you contact your institution's research office for more details on the application of Chapter M-30 of the Act respecting the Ministère du Conseil exécutif.

Question 25: Can non-faculty personnel be listed as a Co-I (i.e. research associates, technician, project manager etc.)? If no, how should non-student personnel be included?

Answer 25: Yes. However, Co-Investigator must be qualified to undertake research independently and is expected to contribute to the overall intellectual direction of the research project.

A description of the work to be done by the Co-Investigator has to be provided in the project description.

Question 26: Is salary for non-faculty/non-students an eligible expense (e.g. Salaries and benefits paid to persons other than students (not to exceed 30% of total CSA grant value)?

Does this person need to be listed as a Co-Investigator?

Answer 26: Yes. Salary paid by the applicant to non-faculty/non-students is an eligible expense under the category "Salaries and benefits paid to persons other than students (must not exceed 30% of the total value of the CSA grant").

It is not mandatory that the person be identified as a Co-Investigator. However, this person will have to contribute directly to the realization of the project. A description of the work that will be done by the person must be provided in the project description.

Question 27: We are not able to obtain the original signature of the Principal Investigator (PI) on the application form because he is out of the country. Can we provide you with an application form with a scanned version of the PI's signature.

Answer 27: Under exceptional circumstances, we can accept an application form with the scanned signature of the Principal Investigator.

However, the original signature of the duly authorized representative of the eligible recipient must appear on:

  • the Application form
  • the Applicant's Statement on Confidentiality, the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act
  • Chapter M-30 Supporting Documents Form (for organizations in Quebec)

Question 28: The applications must be post-mailed to the CSA. What do you mean by "post-mailed"?

Answer 28: The hard copy of the application (including the required original signatures) must be received by the CSA no later than (by any kind of courier delivery service). No application sent by email will be accepted.

Question 29: Can you clarify if the overhead cost (10% of total amount requested from CSA before overhead) is to be included in the total amount requested for the Category B (100 000$) funding?

Answer 29: A grant under the Category B can not exceed 100,000$ including overhead.

Question 30: What supporting documents that should be sent to certify that Chapter M-30 of the Act respecting the ministère du Conseil exécutif does not apply to our organization.

Answer 30: To determine if your organization is covered by Chapter M-30 of of the Act respecting the Ministère du Conseil exécutif, we suggest that you contact the Secrétariat aux affaires intergouvernementales canadiennes.

One of the supporting documents that can be provided with the Form M-30 (a form that you must complete and could be found in the CSA application form) is a copy of your organization's charter of constitution.

Question 31: Are Postdoctoral Fellows (PDFs) considered eligible students for the purposes of salaries and benefits, meaning their salaries and benefits are not limited to 30% of the total CSA grant value?

Answer 31: As mentioned in section 3.2.1 of the AO, Postdoctoral Fellows (PDFs) are considered eligible students. As a result, their salaries and benefits are not limited to 30% of the total value of the CSA grant.

Question 32: If one of our investigators works for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), is he eligible to be one of our co-applicants or would that be considered a conflict of interest?

Answer 32: A CSA employee can not be a co-applicant.

Question 33: Should a curriculum vitae be provided under a specific format?

Is there a maximum number of pages?

Answer 33: As mentioned in the section 4.1 of the AO, a curriculum vitae or the CSA form has to be provided for each member of the team. There is no maximum number of pages.

Question 34: A researcher will have a co-investigator from a federal organisation. Would we be able to transfer funds to them through a sub-agreement?

Alternatively, could we pay a federal organisation asconsultants if we require their technical expertise?

Answer 34: Grant funds paid by a federal organisation (CSA) to a university can not be transferred to another federal organisation.

However, technical services from a federal organisation that are normally offered to the public on a fee basis may be charged to a university project funded by a grant from another federal organisation (CSA) and be considered under a category of expenses such as "Consulting services".

Question 35: Can the contact person from the industrial partner be listed as a co-Investigator?

Answer 35: No.

Question 36: Can Postdoctoral Fellows (PDFs) be identified as co-investigators?

Answer 36: Yes.

Question 37: Can some Postdoctoral Fellows (PDFs) be counted along with students while others who have management roles can be listed as co-investigators?

Answer 37: Yes.

Question 38: Can students be called "collaborators" (as they do collaborate with other researchers), or simply "students"?

Answer 38: Students should be called "students" even if they do collaborate with other researchers. It is expected that such students will contribute to the project.

Question 39: Can a research assistant/technician be a co-investigator, a collaborator or a consultant?

In which category of expenses can his salary be considered?

Answer 39: Depending on the tasks that will be carried out for the project, a research assistant/technician may be a co-investigator, a collaborator or a research assistant/technician. His salary may be considered under the category of expenses "Salaries and benefits paid to persons other than students (must not exceed 30% of the total value of the CSA grant").

However, this person will have to contribute directly to the realization of the project. A description of the work that will be done by the person must be provided in the project description.

Question 40: Can a Postdoctoral Fellow (PDF) be identified as a project manager?

Answer 40: Yes.

Question 41: Should the funding for students and Postdoctoral Fellows(PDFs) be presented under the category "Bursaries" in the budget?

Answer 41: If students and postdoctoral fellows receive a salary, the expense will have to appear under the category "Salaries and benefits paid to eligible students". If it is a bursary, the expense should appear under the category "Bursaries".

Question 42: We intend to apply for the Category A funding (end-to-end),to build an instrument which would ultimately be mounted on a rover and tested in an analog site. However, the instrument will not be mounted on a rover for the test. Would such non-autonomy contravene to the 'end-to-end' criterion?

Answer 42: At this stage of the AO process, CSA cannot comment on the eligibility of a project.

Question 43: How do I account for my industrial partner? Would they be considered as a consultant?

Answer 43: In the context of this AO, if an industrial partner contributes their expertise to the project in exchange for a fee, they should be considered as a consultant.

If the industrial partner charges a fee for equipment or material, this cost should be accounted for in a specific category of expenses such as "Acquisition or rental of equipment" or "Material and supplies".

Question 44: Can an industrial partner be considered as part of the project team (in the sense that they should provide a curriculum vitae and a letter of support?

Answer 44: If an industrial partner contributes their expertise to a project and does not charge fees or expenses to the recipient for their participation, they can be considered as a collaborator. The industrial partner will have to provide a letter of support that confirms their involvement in the project.

Question 45: Does the Detailed Implementation Schedule (Section 9 of the application form) count towards the 20-page proposal limit?

Answer 45: No.

Question 46: If we have been awarded a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery Grant to finance a portion of the project, do we need a letter of support from NSERC, or is a letter of support from the University or the Principal Investigator sufficient?

Answer 46: A letter of support from the University will be sufficient.

Question 47: Do we need to provide the curricula vitae for graduate and undergraduate students who may be involved in a project?

Answer 47: No.

Question 48: Is the deadline for sending the application package by mail, or should the package have arrived at the CSA by ?

Answer 48: We must have received the application package at the CSA no later than at 1:00 p.m.

Question 49: Do we need to provide the details of the bursaries in addition to the main form?

Answer 49: No.

Question 50: Who must sign the application form?

Answer 50: The application form must be signed by the principal investigator and the authorized representative of the eligible recipient.

Question 51: Is it possible to submit the proposal in person at the Canadian Space Agency's headquarters?

Answer 51: Yes.

Annex A – Examples of sites, infrastructure and instruments for research projects pertaining to life sciences and space health

Examples of sites, infrastructure and instruments for research projects pertaining to life sciences and space healthFootnote 2 that could be considered to mitigate one or more risks related to human spaceflights mentioned in Table 3 are presented below:

Table 3. Examples of Human Health, Behavioural and Performance Risks
Musculoskeletal Mission risk resulting from reduced muscle strength and aerobic capacity, and increased bone fragility.
Sensorimotor Mission risk resulting from sensory changes/dysfunctions.
Ocular syndrome Mission and long-term health risk 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, and long-term risk associated with integration into post-space flight career phase.
Radiation Mission risk due to health and performance impairment associated with radiation damage.
Hypogravity Mission risk associated with adaptation during transit (i.e. long-duration exposure to microgravity) and sojourn on planetary surfaces.
Autonomous medical care Mission risk 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 France's CNES. This agreement allows the CSA to fly and operate the CNES' multiple stratospheric balloons every year for Canada from different locations around the world. Selected grant recipients will be allowed to launch their instruments on these balloons as part of the CSA's STRATOS program.

The altitude of stratospheric balloons typically ranges between 32 and 42 km, depending on mission objectives, payload specifications and weather conditions. Possible balloon launch sites include the following: Timmins, Ontario (mid-latitude); Kiruna, Sweden (Arctic) and Teresina, Brazil (equatorial latitude). The CNES balloon launch site for  is expected to be Kiruna, Sweden, and is still to be confirmed for subsequent years.

During a launch campaign, multiple balloons are launched. All launches can accommodate either a single primary payload, multiple secondary payloads or both. Consequently, 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, grant recipients may be required to provide their own gondola to accommodate their own payload. If that is the case, neither the CNES nor the CSA will be responsible for providing such a gondola, including the structure and pointing systems. However, the CSA and the CNES can provide the telemetry and telecommunications systems (CNES-PASTIS and/or CSA PRISM) that will allow the payload communications system to send data to the ground. In some cases, the 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 will be accepted depending on the volume, mass and power available on board 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 CNES-PASTIS and/or CSA PRISM telecommunication and telemetry system for position and attitude knowledge. For secondary payloads, the total bandwidth allocation will be shared by all of the instruments onboard.

Once a grant is obtained for any STRATOS balloon flights, the recipient must fill out a questionnaire providing additional information on its payload and the flight requirements. The recipient will subsequently be responsible for ensuring that its payload and its gondola (if appropriate) will be ready on time and meet safety and interface requirements, which are outlined in user manuals available upon request. 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 the 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 application.

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 application.

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

To obtain a copy of the Stratospheric Balloon User Manual, please send a request to: asc.vites.fast.csa@canada.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. Access to ESA infrastructures and suborbital and orbital platforms

As a Cooperating State of the ESA, Canada has access to various ESA programs and activities. In particular, through the Education Office's selection processes, the ESA offers university students access to a variety of educational programs and to various infrastructures and suborbital and orbital platforms.

All programs and opportunities offered to university students by the ESA Education Office are handled according to ESA Academy terms and conditions, and include the following:

For additional information, consult the websites of the ESA Education Office or the ESA Academy.

3. Access, through the CSA, to NRC Falcon 20 aircraft for reduced gravity flights

As a result of collaboration with the NRC, the CSA has access to the NRC's Falcon 20 aircraft in Ottawa. Consequently, selected 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 grant recipient's responsibility to comply with all 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 their utmost to accommodate all of the experiments to be selected following the NRC's multi stage approval and review procedure.

Expenses associated with the flight and the engineering support required from the CSA and the NRC for payload integration and certification will be borne by the NRC and/or the CSA and therefore should not be included in the budget of the applicant's application.

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 asc.vites.fast.csa@canada.ca.

4. Access to Suborbital Express sounding rocket flights

Flight opportunities on SubOrbital Express sounding rockets are available through the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC). The flights are carried out from the Esrange Space Center base, located in Kiruna, Sweden. Depending on client's needs, these rocket flights can be optimized for microgravity or atmospheric/ionospheric research as well as for high altitude drop and re-entry tests, sometimes combining different mission objectives in one flight. Flights tailored for atmospheric research can be provided with approximately 6 months lead time. Flights of SSC's microgravity platform are planned on a regular, annual basis (approximately every 18 months). For microgravity flights, SubOrbital Express rockets typically reach an apogee at 260 km and provide approximately 6 minutes of continuous microgravity below 1x10-4g. For atmospheric research, flights typically reach an altitude between 80 and 150 km. The available volume for microgravity payloads has a cylindrical shape with an inside diameter of 43 cm and a height of roughly 130 cm. The maximum total available scientific payload mass is about 125 kg. For atmospheric research, the available volume has a cylindrical shape with an inside diameter of 35 cm and a height of 100 cm. For any mission, the height allocated to each experiment is selected to fit the experiment's needs; typically from 45 cm and upwards, but also small-sized payloads can be accommodated, sharing a dedicated volume and basic resources with other payloads. For both microgravity and atmospheric research flights, the total available mass allocation per flight opportunity is roughly 100 kg.

SubOrbital Express payload launches, flights and recoveries are conducted over land and payloads are normally recovered within 2 hours after landing. Science teams have late access to their payloads up to 2 hours before launch. Flights are conducted in polar atmospheric conditions close to the Arctic region. Ground temperatures vary from -30 °C in winter to +20 °C in summer, with extremes at -40 °C and +30 °C.

It is the responsibility of the recipient to make his or her arrangements with the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) (or through the booking site) 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 meet safety and interface requirements, which are outlined in the SubOrbital Express user manual available upon request. The expenses associated with placing the payload on the SubOrbital Express are the grant recipient's responsibility and constitute eligible expenses. There is no guarantee that this opportunity will remain available for Canada.

To obtain a copy of the Suborbital Express User Manual, please send a request to: asc.vites.fast.csa@canada.ca.

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

5. Access to CSA rovers, infrastructure and 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 infrastructure and facilities for testing, integrating and operating 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 centre and the communications infrastructure necessary to connect various on-site facilities.

The CSA is making available to grant recipients, subject to availability, some of its prototype planetary mobility systems (rovers) and associated indoor and outdoor facilities and infrastructure to support the testing, integration and operation of planetary exploration systems and equipment (e.g. rovers, instruments, payloads).

Applicants interested in using 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 that a specific asset will be available at the location, period of the year or time of day stated in a recipient's application. The application must also mention the risks and mitigation measures if none of the requested CSA assets and resources cannot be made available.

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 provide information that grant recipients will need to ensure that the interfaces (e.g. those for a rover) are well understood in order to accommodate the grant recipient's instruments or payloads. Instrument or payload interface modifications may be necessary.

5.1.1 Process

Once a project has been selected, the CSA organizes a technical meeting (teleconference) during which the applicant will have to fill out a questionnaire providing additional technical information on its rover, instrument or payload and the field investigation requirements relative to its use of CSA equipment and infrastructure. The applicant will subsequently be responsible for ensuring that its equipment will be ready on time and meets CSA safety and interface requirements, which will be provided by the CSA upon request.

The preliminary schedule provided in the application must include target dates for the demonstration of capacities (deployment) and a preparedness review, to have been carried out four weeks prior to the deployment. The CSA will do its utmost to accommodate all FAST selected applicant requests that meet CSA health and safety (H&S), security and interface requirements, and that are compatible with 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. All participants 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 upon arrival. For CSA Visitor Badges, Canadians must show ID (e.g. driver's licence) and non-Canadians must show ID + a student/work visa + a passport). For CSA access badges, a government security check will be done, including fingerprinting and a form to be filled out and submitted approximately two weeks prior to the visit.

5.1.2 Agreement

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

5.1.3 Expenses

All expenses associated with the recipient's 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 CSA Rovers and facilities overview descriptions

The following Sections (5.2.1 and 5.2.2) provide a summary description of the CSA's rovers and 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 copies of these documents, please send a request to asc.vites.fast.csa@canada.ca.

Should you have any questions about these documents, please refer to Section 9 of the AO.

5.2.1 CSA fleet of rovers
CSA's fleet of rovers

Credit: CSA

Description of the CSA's fleet of rovers.

5.2.2 CSA facilities

5.2.2.1 Exploration Development and Operations Centre (ExDOC)

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 and control functions to other participating centres, e.g. universities, contractors and international partners.

Credit: CSA

5.2.2.2 Analogue terrain (AT)

The CSA-located AT is a 60- x 120-metre 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

5.2.2.3 Portable Command and Control Shelter (PCCS)

This infrastructure provides a controlled and secure environment for conducting remote analogue site deployments, i.e., a portable "ExDOC", and can be quickly deployed and set up.

It measures approximately 10 m long (including hitch) by 3 m wide by 3 m high.

It is equipped with multiple workstations and satellite and wireless communications equipment.

Credit: CSA

5.2.2.4 Rover Integration Facility (RIF)

The RIF is both a development and an integration and testing facility for rovers, payloads and instruments, and has the following characteristics:

Credit: CSA

5.2.2.5 Exploration Storage Facility (ESF)

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

The ESF's dimensions are 10.4 m by 7 m with 3.2-m ceiling height, providing over 70 m2 of storage area. It can provide storage for up to 20 rovers.

Credit: CSA

5.2.2.6 High Bay and Rover Indoor Workspace (RIW)

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

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

Credit: CSA

Annex C - Scoring

A numerical score is associated with each criterion. It is strongly recommended that applicants include in their applications information related to each highest score.

1. Benefits to Canada

1.1. Proposed research

This criterion is used to evaluate 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, and in line with the research priorities of the FAST AO and the Space Strategy for Canada.

Poor: The research project does not present new concepts and will not contribute to advancement of new knowledge in space science and/or technology. It will also not help to achieve one of the research priorities of the FAST AO or is not aligned with the Space Strategy for Canada. (Score: 0)

Average: The probable research project findings could advance knowledge in the field of space science and/or technology. The relationships between the research work and one of the research priorities of the FAST AO or the Space Strategy for Canada are weak. The work is derivative of previous work. (Score: 10)

Good: The probable research project findings will advance knowledge in the field of space science and/or technology, and could produce benefits in the short and long terms. The research work will help to achieve one of the research priorities of the FAST AO, it is aligned with the Space Strategy for Canada, and make use of new or original methods or concepts, and is based on previous work. (Score: 20)

Excellent: The probable research project findings will significantly advance knowledge in the field of space science and/or technology, and will produce substantial long-term benefits beyond the immediate field of study. The research work will help considerably to achieve the research priorities of the FAST AO and it is aligned with the Space Strategy for Canada. The research work is outstanding because of its highly innovative or original scientific or technical concepts or methods, and/or builds significantly on previous work. (Score: 25)

2. Feasibility

2.1. Research plan and schedule

This criterion is used to evaluate the clarity, completeness and feasibility of the research plan, with the duties and responsibilities, contributions and level of involvement of each team member clearly identified. The criterion is also used to evaluate the likelihood that the work will be completed on schedule.

Poor: The research plan is 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; duties and responsibilities of team members poorly defined; incomplete and/or highly underestimated or overestimated schedule. (Score: 0)

Average: The research plan is partially defined and contains shortcomings. The project team's work may comply with the planned schedule, but there are still doubts as to the relevance of the methods, the allocation of some resources, and the duties and responsibilities of some team members. (Score: 5)

Good: The research plan is well-defined. The method and required resources are well-described and suited to the work to be carried out. There is a high probability that the work described will be completed on schedule. (Score: 10)

Excellent: The research plan is very well-defined. The method and required resources are clearly described and well-suited to the work to be carried out. Many details are provided regarding, in particular, the breakdown of the work, scheduled milestones, and the organization of team members' time to carry out the project. There is an excellent probability that the work described will be carried out on schedule and within budget. (Score: 15)

2.2. Training plan

This criterion is used to evaluate the quality, relevance and clarity of the training plan, as well as the impact of the knowledge and experience that the students will acquire.

Poor: The training plan is poorly defined and contains few details on the activities or projects in which the students will participate, and on the distribution of tasks. (Score: 0)

Average: The training plan is partially defined and details are missing on the activities or projects in which the students will participate, and on the distribution of tasks. Overall, the activities or projects suit the academic level of the students involved in the project (undergraduate, Master's, PhD, etc.). There is little information provided on the method that will be used to supervise the students. (Score: 10)

Good: The training plan is well-designed and provides detailed information on the activities or projects in which the students will participate, and on the distribution of tasks. The activities or projects suit the academic level of the students involved in the project (undergraduate, Master's, PhD, etc.). The methods for supervising the students are described and suited to the work to be carried out. Detailed information is provided on the knowledge and skills that the students may acquire. (Score: 15)

Excellent: The training plan is well-designed and describes in great detail the activities or projects in which the students will participate, and on the distribution of tasks. The activities or projects suit the academic level of the students involved in the project (undergraduate, Master's, PhD, etc.). The methods for supervising the students are clearly described and well-suited to the work to be carried out. A lot of detailed information is provided on the knowledge and skills that the students will acquire and the impact on the students. The students will benefit from the industry's participation in the project. (Score: 20)

3. Resources

3.1. Project team

This criterion is used to evaluate the quality of the project team (PIs, co-investigators or post doctoral fellows, as applicable), its combination of expertise, its capacity to carry out the research project, the skills of team members, and the past achievements of team members.

Poor: The project team members do not have experience and/or expertise in the field of study. (Score: 0)

Average: The project team members have some experience and some expertise in the field of study. The team members may not have all of the appropriate expertise for the duties and responsibilities that may be assigned to them during the project. (Score: 5)

Good: The project team members have demonstrated experience in the field of study. The team is made up of experts from various educational institutions. They have a variety of expertise that will enable them to undertake the proposed project. The team members have demonstrated their capacity to manage and carry out similar projects. The duties and responsibilities assigned to each team member are consistent with each team member's experience and expertise. (Score: 10)

Excellent: The project team members have considerable demonstrated experience in the field of study. The team is made up of experts from various educational institutions in Canada and other countries. They have an excellent variety of expertise that will enable them to undertake the proposed project. The team members have demonstrated their capacity to manage and complete similar projects. The duties and responsibilities assigned to each team member are consistent with each team member's experience and expertise. (Score: 15)

3.2. Budget, source of funding, physical resources and infrastructure

This criterion is used to evaluate whether the planned budget is adequate to achieve the project's objectives. It also takes the project's various sources of funding into consideration. It is also used to evaluate the timely availability of physical resources (equipment, instruments and/or scientific data) and infrastructure (ground-based infrastructure, suborbital/orbital platform, analogous site).

Poor: There is a clear mismatch between the planned budget and the work associated with the project. The main physical resources or infrastructure that should be required for the project are absent, and nothing indicates that the applicant has a plan for obtaining them. There is no contribution from the applicant or from other organizations. (Score: 0)

Average: Overall, the budget appears to be adequate for the proposed work and a reasonable rationale is provided, but there are still questions about some cost items. There are missing specifications concerning access to some physical resources and infrastructure. The applicant will make a financial or in-kind contribution, if applicable. Other organizations participating in the project plan to make a financial contribution and/or a contribution in kind. (Score: 5)

Good: The budget appears to be adequate and reasonable for all components of the proposed work and a good rationale is provided. The physical resources and infrastructure required to achieve the project's goals and objectives are identified and supported by rationales, and their use is properly planned. However, there are still some uncertainties as to their timely availability. The applicant will make a financial or in-kind contribution. Other organizations participating in the project plan will make a financial or in-kind contribution. Only a few resources have been obtained or confirmed to date. (Score: 10)

Excellent: The budget appears to be adequate and reasonable for all components of the proposed work and a good rationale is provided. The physical resources and infrastructure required to achieve the project's goals and objectives are identified in detail, supported by rationales, and planned in order to be used efficiently and effectively. The confirmed resources will be available in a timely manner. The applicant will make a financial or in-kind contribution, if applicable, given the total budget for the project. Other organizations participating in the project will make substantial financial or in-kind contributions. All resources have been obtained or confirmed. (Score: 15)

4. Risks

4.1. Project-related risks and mitigation strategies

This criterion is used to evaluate the applicant's analysis of the main risks associated with the project, as well as the mitigation strategies for each risk.

The applicant must carry out an in-depth risk analysis (financial, managerial, technical, environmental, scientific and technical risks). Detailed information must be provided on the availability of resources and risks associated with their non-availability and on mitigation strategies for these risks (degree of uncertainty, particularly with respect to the launch date, access to infrastructure, the launch site, instruments or scientific data, the agreement with the launch services supplier, and collaboration with the industry and foreign research partners).

Poor: The application does not mention any of the main risks associated with the project, and does not contain any mitigation strategy, or includes some risks, but the associated mitigation strategies are missing. (Score: 0)

Average: The application mentions a few of the main risks and contains mitigation strategies for these risks. The risks are high that the flight, work on the ground, use of the infrastructure or scientific instruments, or the data analysis will not take place as planned. (Score: 4)

Good: The main risks (financial, managerial, environmental, scientific and technical risks) and the associated mitigation strategies are described and relevant. Some information is provided to assess the probability of the risks materializing. It is possible to believe in good faith that everything will take place as planned during the period covered by this grant, or that in the case of unforeseen circumstances, the mitigation strategies considered will allow the project to be carried out with respect to flight, fieldwork, use of infrastructure or scientific instruments, or data analysis. (Score: 7)

Excellent: The main risks (financial, managerial, environmental, scientific and technical risks) are well-described, and relevant mitigation strategies are proposed for each risk. The information provided to assess the probability of the risks materializing are deemed to be realistic. The flight, fieldwork, use of the infrastructure or scientific instruments, and the data analysis will take place as planned during the period covered by the grant, or in the case of unforeseen circumstances, the mitigation strategies considered will allow the project to be carried out. (Score: 10)

Evaluation score

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