IRSST - Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

Specific regulations for master's and doctoral scholarships, thematic scholarships and scholarship supplements

This category of research scholarship is intended for master's and doctoral students who wish to do studies and research in the occupational health and safety field. 

Without predetermining the number of scholarships to be attributed for master's and doctoral studies, the IRSST gives priority to doctoral-level research.

To encourage the next generation of researchers in specific research fields, thematic scholarships may therefore be awarded to applicants whose subject of study is related to the IRSST's priority research orientations.

Fast-tracking to a doctorate

Applicants who have been accepted into a doctoral program after obtaining their bachelor's degree or who have fast-tracked to a doctoral program must apply to the master's-level scholarship program for the first two years of graduate studies. Only after the second year may they apply for a doctoral scholarship.

Eligibility requirements

1. To be eligible, applicants must, at the time they submit their applications:

  • meet the criteria stipulated in the general regulations
  • be starting or continuing, on a full-time basis, either a master’s program leading to obtention of an M.Sc. degree, a doctoral program leading to obtention of a Ph.D. degree or a graduate research program
  • have at least one academic year left to complete, beginning on the date when they start to use the scholarship, if applying for a new scholarship (see article 6)
  • have a cumulative average of at least B+ or the equivalent for all studies completed for their undergraduate degree, if they wish to apply for a master's scholarship. If they submit their application prior to completion of their undergraduate studies, the awarding of the scholarship will be contingent upon their obtaining an average grade of at least B+ or the equivalent.

Scholarship amounts

2. Master's scholarship

The amount of the scholarship is $14,250 a year.

3. Doctoral scholarship 

The amount of the scholarship is $19,000 a year for scholarship recipients who do their studies and research program in Québec, and $25,000 a year for those who do their program outside Québec. 

Scholarship recipients who do their programs partially in Québec and partially outside Québec must contact the IRSST to come to an agreement regarding the conditions that apply in their particular case with regard to establishing the scholarship amount.

4. Thematic scholarships

Thematic scholarships may be awarded to applicants whose subject of study is related to one or another of the IRSST's specific research fields.

  • Two master's scholarships of $14,250 each and two doctoral scholarships of $19,000 each may be awarded each year to applications whose subject of study is  related to the prevention of mecanical risks.
  • A master's schrolarship of $14,250 or a doctoral scholarship of $19,000 may be awarded each year to an applicant whose subject of study is related to the theme of road safety at work.

5.  Studies and research outside Québec and reimbursements

In addition, scholarship recipients who do their studies and research program outside Québec are reimbursed for the following expenses, upon submission of supporting documents:

  • the portion of their annual tuition fees exceeding the first $2,500, up to a maximum of $9,000
  • the cost of one round-trip a year to the studies and research location, equal to the cost of one economy-class return airfare or one return trip by car, for each year of the period during which the scholarship is valid (maximum of two years for a master's program and three years for a doctoral program).

Eligibility period and renewal

6.  The master's scholarship is awarded for a maximum period of two years (six consecutive sessions), if the applicant obtains a new IRSST scholarship at the very beginning of his1 master's program.

If this is not the case, the scholarship eligibility period is reduced by the number of sessions already elapsed between the student's initial registration in the master's program and the time when he receives the scholarship. Sessions completed on a part-time basis are factored into the calculation of the scholarship eligibility period according to the equivalences shown in the table below. However, no scholarship of less than one year can be awarded.

The doctoral scholarship is awarded for a maximum period of three years (nine consecutive sessions), if the applicant obtains a new IRSST scholarship at the very beginning of his doctoral program. If this is not the case, the scholarship eligibility period is reduced by the number of sessions elapsed between the student's initial registration in the doctoral program and the time when he receives the scholarship. Sessions completed on a part-time basis are factored into the calculation of the scholarship eligibility period according to the equivalences shown in the table below. However, no scholarship of less than one year can be awarded.

Equivalence awarded for part-time sessions

Number of
part-time sessions

Number of sessions entering into the calculation of
the scholarship eligibility period

1 0
2 ou 3 1
4 ou 5 2
6 ou 7 3
etc.

7. To receive his scholarship in the second year and, when applicable, in the third year, the scholarship recipient must submit a duly completed scholarship renewal application each year. The deadline for submitting the scholarship renewal application is the same as that for submitting a new scholarship application.

Maternity leave, paternity leave and sick leave

8. The rules concerning the scholarship eligibility period (duration of the scholarship) only leave room for exceptions under circumstances beyond the recipient's control, such as a serious illness that obliges him to defer his studies and research program.

Recipients who defer their program to take parental leave may request an extension of their eligibility period of up to 12 months.

In both these cases, the scholarship is still awarded for the maximum number of eligible sessions. Recipients who wish to avail themselves of the exceptional circumstances provision regarding the eligibility period must submit an official attestation of registration deferral, and if necessary, a medical certificate indicating the duration of and reason for the deferral.

Combining scholarships, scholarships supplements and other remuneration

9. IRSST scholarship recipients may not accept other scholarships awarded by the Canadian or Québec governments, one of their agencies, or a federal or provincial granting agency.

However, a student who is offered a scholarship by both the IRSST and one of the following agencies as part of their general master's or doctoral scholarship programs:

and who accepts a scholarship from one of these agencies may receive an annual supplement from the IRSST of $3,750 for the master's level and $5,000 for the doctoral level, for the duration of the scholarship, provided that he continues to meet all the requirements and submits all the documents required of an IRSST scholarship recipient.

An IRSST scholarship can be combined with other scholarships from the private sector (foundations, private institutes, companies, etc.).

10. Research projects must be carried out by scholarship recipients on a full-time basis.

Subject to the approval of their project supervisor, scholarship recipients may accept remunerated work that is related to their field of research and does not exceed 150 hours per session. For the purposes of this rule, a 45-hour course load is considered equivalent to 150 hours of work.

The remuneration paid to scholarship recipients to allow them to work exclusively on their research project is considered a scholarship that cannot be combined with an IRSST scholarship.

11.   Internships outside Québec

During their studies, doctoral scholarship recipients who do their studies and research program in Québec may request authorization from the IRSST to do an internship abroad for a minimum of 3 months and a maximum of 12 months, provided that this internship is carried out in accordance with their studies and research program and with the consent of their research supervisor, and that the research environment meets the requirements of the IRSST with respect to the factors assessed under Criterion 3 of its scientific merit evaluation process. The request must be accompanied by an official attestation of the scholarship recipient's acceptance by the research institution with details about the planned activities and supervision provided.

The IRSST may accept or reject the request at its sole discretion. In the event that such a request is granted by the IRSST, the amount of the scholarship will be adjusted in light of the amounts awarded to scholarship recipients who do their studies and research program outside of Québec. Furthermore, depending on the funds available, the IRSST may authorize reimbursement of the cost of one round-trip to the internship location, upon presentation of supporting documents.

This reimbursement is equal to the cost of one economy-class return airfare or a return trip by car.

Documents required2

To be considered valid, photocopies of official documents must be legible and officially authenticated by a commissioner for oaths or any other duly authorized person. A certified true copy is a document that has been confirmed by a commissioner for oaths to be true to the original. Most universities offer this service. You can find a commissioner for oaths by doing a search by postal code.

For a new application:

  • a proof of Canadian citizenship (birth certificate or certificate of citizenship) or of permanent residency in Canada (permanent resident card). An original or certified true copy is required
  • a photocopy of a valid Québec health insurance card (a card with an expiry date prior to the deadline for the scholarship competition is not valid) or any official document confirming Québec resident status within the meaning of the Health Insurance Act (certified true copy)
  • the scholarship application form (master's or doctoral), duly completed (front side only) and signed by the applicant and the research supervisor
  • the official transcripts of all university grades, including those for completed programs and those under way (if the program has begun but the grades are not yet available, include an official attestation of acceptance or registration). The document must bear the seal of the university registrar. In the case of transcripts from outside North America, include an official letter explaining the grading system used by the institution concerned
  • an evaluation form from each of two scientists other than the research supervisor, who have participated in the applicant's education (they must complete the relevant form)
  • a letter of recommendation (maximum of two pages on the front side only) written by the research supervisor (the latter must give his general assessment of the applicant and the research project submitted; specify how the project fits in with his work, if applicable; specify how the applicant will be supervised; describe the research environment and explain its relevance);
  • the Declaration of the research supervisor form and, if applicable, of the research co-supervisor(s) or a personal CV of the supervisor(s) whose content is limited to what is required in the form
  • Applicants wishing to do their studies and research outside Québec must submit documents explaining the chosen program and institution.

For a scholarship renewal application :

  • the duly completed scholarship renewal application form, signed by both the applicant and the research supervisor
  • an official transcript for the program underway. The document must bear the seal of the registrar of the university institution. 

Application deadline

The deadline for submitting applications to the IRSST is 4:00 p.m. on the third Wednesday of October (the postmark or the courier-signed and -dated receipt serves as proof of the date of submission).  

1 The masculine form is used in this text solely in the interests of readability. It refers equally to women and men, with no gender discrimination intended.
2 Please note that no documents other than those required and no documents exceeding the length stipulated on the form will be forwarded to the review committee.