Canadian Student Participation in the International Astronautical Congress (IAC)

Announcement of Opportunity

Publication date:

Application deadline: Announcement of opportunity (AO) cancelled

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) only receives applications when the selection process is open. This AO is currently closed.

COVID-19 - Update:

As the situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, the CSA has decided to cancel this AO. Please note that no grants will be issued for the IAC  CyberSpace edition. A new AO may be published in the upcoming year to support the participation of Canadian students in IAC , therefore the CSA encourages you to visit its website regularly to find out about upcoming opportunities. Please note that this notice in no way guarantees that an AO will be published for IAC .

COVID-19 - Update:

Due to the uncertainty associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and the International Astronautical Federation's (IAF) recent postponement of IAC , the CSA would like to inform you that this AO is on hold until further notice. We ask interested candidates to visit this webpage on a regular basis to learn about further decisions and subsequent guidelines. Given that this AO has been put on hold, the service standards for application processing times outlined in section 5 of the AO are no longer applicable, and applications will no longer be accepted. The service standards will be updated if this process is reopened. Please note that the CSA reserves the right to modify the AO closing date and/or requirements, or to cancel this AO.

Key dates:

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Eligibility criteria
  3. How to apply
  4. Evaluation process
  5. Service standards
  6. Financing and eligible costs
  7. Grants agreement
  8. Confidentiality
  9. Symposium E2
  10. Outreach activities
  11. Additional information
  12. Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

1. Introduction

This year, the CSA will once again award grants to students who are interested in participating in the IAC and in the activities organized by the International Space Education Board (ISEB), both to be hosted in Dubai, UAE from to .

IAC is the International Astronautical Federation's (IAF) world premier global space event representing an excellent gathering venue for all specialists within the space sector. For students, it is an opportunity to learn more about the future of the space industry, to develop their international networks and to present their research at the highest professional level.

As part of its commitment to support the development of the next generation of space professionals in Canada, the CSA invites university students (undergraduate, master's and doctoral levels) to apply for a grant to participate in the congress.

In addition to attending IAC and participating in ISEB-sponsored activities, some of the selected applicants may also be invited to participate in the SGC which will also be hosted in Dubai from to . This congress is organized by the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC), a non-profit organization developing networks amongst university students and young space professionals in support of the United Nations Program on Space Applications. The number of students who will be offered the opportunity to participate in the SGC is subject to the number of seats allocated to CSA-sponsored students by the SGAC.

Applicants who are selected to receive a grant for IAC may also be offered internships or short-term employment opportunities within the CSA following their participation in the congress.

2. Eligibility criteria

To apply for a grant under the Student Participation in IAC initiative, candidates must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  1. Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
  2. Be enrolled in a Canadian university as a full-time student (undergraduate, master's or doctoral) for the Winter semester ( – ); and
  3. Have submitted an abstract to IAF for a technical or poster presentation during IAC .

For more information on IAC and how to submit an abstract, consult the following website: IAC - Call for Papers.

Please note that the candidate's paper presentation during IAC (subject to IAF acceptance) as well as the participation in all activities organized by ISEB will be mandatory for all students who will be selected by the CSA for a grant under this AO.

3. How to apply

Candidates must complete the following three steps below to submit their application for funding under the Student Participation in IAC initiative:

  1. Download and complete the grant application form (Word, 175 KB or PDF, 310 KB templates);
  2. A complete application must contain the following:
    • A completed original application form signed by the applicant;
    • A copy of the applicant's proof of citizenship (such as a Canadian passport) or permanent resident card;
    • A proof of the student's full-time enrolment in an undergraduate or graduate program at a Canadian university for the Winter semester (e.g. Letter of Attestation from the university);
    • A motivation letter (maximum of 1,000 words) written by the applicant (refer to section 4.2 of the AO or Annex 1 of the application form for the elements that should be covered in the motivation letter);
    • A reference letter (maximum of 1,000 words) from a professor that holds a faculty position at the applicant's university (refer to section 4.2 of the AO or Annex 1 of the application form for the elements that should be covered in the reference letter). The reference letter must be a separate document and it may be submitted in a sealed envelope (at the professor's discretion); however it must be included in the candidate's application package;
    • A copy of the applicant's abstract submitted to IAF for IAC (for more information regarding how to submit an abstract, please visit IAC  – Call for Papers);
    • A copy of IAF's response confirming the acceptance or refusal of the applicant's abstract/paper/poster; this document shall be sent at the same time as the other application documents; and,
    • The applicant's curriculum vitae.
  3. Mail the application to the CSA at following address:

    Student Participation in IAC
    c/o Natasha Isloor
    Program Officer, Academic Development
    Canadian Space Agency
    6767 Route de l'Aéroport
    Saint-Hubert, Quebec J3Y 8Y9

Important notes:

4. Evaluation process

4.1 Eligibility

Applications will first be submitted to an eligibility assessment by the CSA to verify whether they comply with the eligibility criteria listed in section 2 of the AO. Only applications that have passed the eligibility assessment will be given further consideration.

4.2 Evaluation by the CSA

Once the eligibility criteria are confirmed, the CSA's evaluators will assess the screened applications according to the criteria presented in Table 1 below. Candidates shall provide the appropriate documents, as indicated in the "Evidence" column and requested in section 3 of the AO to demonstrate how each evaluation criterion is met. Only applications that obtain a total minimum score of 70% will be given further consideration.

Table 1. Definition and breakdown of evaluation criteria
Criteria
(weighting %)
Indicators Evidence
Relevance of the candidate's experience to the Canadian space sector
(30%)
  • Professional and academic background of the candidate as well as achievements and other extracurricular activities that bear relevance to the Canadian space sector;
  • Initiative and autonomy;
  • Research experience and participation in publication writing.
  • Factual examples provided in motivation letter in clearly identified sections;
  • Factual examples provided in reference letter in clearly identified sections;
  • Curriculum vitae.
Motivation to contribute to the Canadian space sector
(30%)
  • Candidate's expectations for participating in IAC 2020 and how their participation will positively impact his or her future contribution to the Canadian space sector;
  • Candidate's motivation in pursuing studies or a career in Canada in a space-related discipline or in a discipline the space sector could benefit from in the future.
  • Factual examples provided in motivation letter in clearly identified sections;
  • Factual examples provided in reference letter in clearly identified sections.
Personal characteristics and interpersonal skills
(20%)
  • Professional, academic and/or other relevant extracurricular interactions and collaborations with supervisors, colleagues, peers, students and members of the community that demonstrate the applicant's positive personal qualities and interpersonal skills;
  • Description of how the candidate's work as a student stands out.
  • Factual examples provided in motivation letter in clearly identified sections;
  • Factual examples provided in reference letter in clearly identified sections.
Abstract
(20%)
  • Relevance of abstract to IAC Technical Programme (refer to IAC  – Call for Papers for more information);
  • Clarity, brevity and structure of the abstract and its contents, which include the problem, the objectives, the research methods, and the expected results or the outcomes of the work;
  • Acceptance or refusal of abstract by IAF.
  • Copy of abstract submitted to IAF for IAC ;
  • Confirmation of abstract acceptance or refusal by IAF for IAC .

Notes:

4.3 Final selection

For the final selection, the CSA will first consider the applicants having the highest final scores. Because of limited funding, priority will be given to:

  1. Students whose abstract has been selected by IAC and who have not previously been funded directly by the CSA to attend a conference. If an insufficient number of applications meet this prerequisite, then the CSA will also consider:
  2. Students whose abstract has been selected by IAC and who have previously been funded directly by the CSA to attend a conference. If an insufficient number of applications meet this prerequisite, then the CSA will also consider:
  3. Students whose abstract has not been selected by IAC and who have not previously been funded directly by the CSA to attend a conference.

Students may submit co-authored abstracts to receive a grant; however the CSA will offer just one grant per abstract.

The CSA could also take into consideration factors such as a balanced grants distribution across Canada as well as a diversified representativeness among the four designated groups. The CSA encourages applicants to indicate on a voluntary basis if they belong to one or more of the four following groups: women, Aboriginal People, persons with disabilities and member of visibility minority. Please visit Employment equity for a complete definition of each group.

Some of the selected students will have the opportunity to participate in the SGC . The selection of these students will be based on the number of seats offered to the CSA by SGAC and the highest ranking score among selected and interested applicants.

Please note that the results from the Student Participation in IAC evaluation committee are final.

5. Service standards

Applicants will be notified by e-mail of decisions regarding their application. The CSA has set the following service standards for application processing times, including acknowledgements of receipt, funding decisions and payment procedures (see key dates).

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

Decisions: the CSA's objective is to respond within ten (10) weeks following the AO's closing date and, to send to selected students the grant agreements for signature within three (3) weeks following such replies.

Payment: the CSA's objective is to issue the payment within four (4) weeks from the date of the receipt of the funding agreement signed by the student.

Meeting these service standards is a shared responsibility. Applicants must provide all the required documents at the right time.

Key dates:

6. Financing and eligible costs

The maximum amount for each grant is $3,600 for participation in IAC and in the activities organized by ISEB, and a possibility of an additional $840 for those who will also be selected to participate in SGC . The total budget for this AO should be sufficient to support approximately twelve (12) students. The CSA reserves the right to reject applications or to reduce the amount of a grant at its sole discretion.

Although applicants are not obligated to indicate an interest in participating in SGC , it is deemed a prime opportunity for students to develop their networks amongst other students and young professionals. Applicants who are interested in participating in SGC must indicate so on their application form.

The recipient will have to accept to use the awarded grant to cover (partially or totally) the costs associated with his/her participation in IAC and, if applicable, in SGC . The funding should be used to cover the following expenses:

All other costs exceeding the CSA grant amount are entirely the recipient's responsibility.

7. Grants agreement

The CSA and each successful applicant will sign a grant agreement. This condition must be met for the CSA to issue a payment. Such an agreement will include conditions that the recipient must attend IAC in its entirety and participate in all the mandatory activities organized by ISEB between to (inclusively). If applicable, a condition that the recipient participate in SGC from to (inclusively) will also be included in the agreement.

7.1 Payment

Payment will be made in the form of a single payment, as indicated in the signed grant agreement. Recipients undertake to inform the CSA in writing of any change in the conditions used to establish their eligibility for the grant.

7.2 Final report

The CSA will require that each recipient submit a report within 30 days following the end of IAC using a template the CSA will make available in advance. Students who fail to submit their report in a timely manner may not be offered an internship at the CSA.

8. Confidentiality

The CSA manages and protects the information provided by the applicant 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 Privacy Statement, which explains how the information about the applicant will be processed.

The information is collected under the CSA Class Grants and Contributions Program in Support of Awareness, Research and Learning - Research Component (ASC PPU 045) and Awareness and Learning Component (ASC PPU 040). This information will be used for administration and application evaluation purposes. Personal information will be kept accordingly to the retention schedule. You may also refer to Info Source for additional information about the functions, programs, activities and related information holdings of government institutions subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. According to the Privacy Act, any individual may, upon request, have access to his or her personal data and request correction of the incorrect information.

Applicants should also note that information relating to the Funding Agreement could be disclosed publicly in accordance with the laws, policies and directives of the Government of Canada.

For additional information regarding this statement, please contact:

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

9. Symposium E2

Symposium E2 is an international student competition hosted at IAC in which undergraduate and graduate level students (no more than 28 years of age) present technical papers on any project in space sciences, industry or technology.

Two CSA-sponsored students will be invited to participate in this event. Applicants may, on a voluntary basis, indicate in their applications (Section G) if they are interested in participating in this event. Should the level of interest exceed the number of available presentation slots, students will be asked to submit a short YouTube video to the CSA explaining their research and why they believe they should be selected to compete. This informal selection process will take place in .

Important notes:

10. Outreach activities

Applicants that are selected to participate in IAC are encouraged, upon their return, to take part in outreach activities to share their experience with other students. Applicants may refer to Section J of the Application Form to indicate their interest, if they are selected, to participate in outreach activities upon their return.

Important note:

11. Additional information

  1. Recipients are advised to contact their insurers (travel, medical, and others) in order to verify their coverage with respect to foreign travel and participation in IAC . The CSA provides no protection in this regard.
  2. Recipients are also advised to ensure that they have in their possession all the documents needed (valid passport or visa, if applicable) to enter UAE, and that their documents meet the country's entry/exit requirements. For more details, please refer to the Government of Canada Travel Advice and Advisories website.
  3. IAC , SGC , and the activities organized by ISEB will mostly take place at or near the Dubai World Trade Center (DWTC).
  4. It is the sole responsibility of the recipient to plan and book their travel arrangements, both internationally and locally.
  5. Recipients are also responsible for booking their lodging; however the CSA will provide a recommendation for a hotel where a number of rooms has been blocked for a limited time for CSA-sponsored students.
  6. Please go to the IAC official website for more information on the IAC technical program.

12. Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Should the need arise, it is up to applicants to obtain clarification regarding the requirements contained in this opportunity before applying.

For all questions, applicants must use this generic e-mail address: asc.stedia-dstemu.csa@canada.ca. Questions and their answers will be posted on the CSA website under the "Frequently asked questions" section of this AO. The CSA will answer questions received no later than 5 p.m. (ET) on .

Question 1: When will the application submission process for IAC begin?

Answer 1: As stipulated in the AO, it is anticipated that the publication date of the AO for IAC will be in or , and it is expected that applications will be accepted until (the exact dates are still to be determined).

Note that the IAF's call for abstracts generally opens in November or December and ends in February of each year.

Question 2: Am I eligible to apply for a grant under the IAC  initiative if I already received a grant from the CSA to attend a previous IAC?

Answer 2: Yes, you are still eligible to apply for a grant under the IAC  initiative, even if you have already received a grant from the CSA to attend a previous IAC.

However, as stipulated in section 4.3 of the AO, first priority will be given to students who have not previously been funded directly by the CSA to attend a conference and whose abstracts have been selected by IAC .

Question 3: Are Canadian students studying at the International Space University (ISU) eligible to apply for a grant under the IAC  initiative?

Answer 3: No, Canadian students studying at ISU are not eligible to apply for a grant under the IAC  initiative. As stipulated in section 2 of the AO, candidates must be enrolled in a Canadian university for the Winter semester.

Question 4: As the IAC in Dubai has been postponed due to COVID-19, is the deadline to apply for a grant under the IAC  initiative also being delayed? Since the IAF has not announced which abstracts were accepted, should I list the abstract status as "pending" in my grant application?

Answer 4: The IAC  initiative has been placed on hold until further notice and applications are no longer being accepted. Please visit this webpage on a regular basis to learn about further decisions and subsequent guidelines.

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