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

General regulations

Objective of the program

1. The objective of the IRSST’s Graduate Studies Scholarship and Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), is to broaden the pool of scientists in this field in order to meet research needs.

Seeking to complement the assistance offered by other granting agencies, this program provides financial support to applicants with a proven aptitude for graduate studies or postdoctoral research, through the payment of scholarship supplements.

Bearing this in mind and given the limited number of scholarships available, applicants should also apply to other granting agencies.

Categories of scholarships offered

  • First category: master's and doctoral scholarships, thematic scholarships and scholarship supplements
  • Second category: postdoctoral fellowships

Hereafter in this document, “scholarship” is used to designate both scholarship and fellowship.

Eligibility requirements

2. An applicant must meet each of the following general eligibility requirements at the time he1 submits his application. He must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen within the meaning of the Citizenship Act (R.S.C. 1985, c. C-29) or a permanent resident of Canada within the meaning of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (S.C. 2001, c. 27); this requirement does not apply to applicants for the IRSST Guest Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • Be a permanent resident of Québec within the meaning of the Health Insurance Act and be domiciled in Québec; this requirement does not apply to applicants for the IRSST Guest Postdoctoral Fellowship
    • Persons who are residents of Québec but who have left the province solely to pursue full-time studies at an educational institution are deemed to be domiciled in Québec.
  • Submit the IRSST's scholarship application form, duly completed and signed, as well as all other documents required for the scholarship category concerned, no later than the deadline for receipt of documents
  • Present a research project deemed relevant to the field of occupational health and safety
    • To be deemed relevant, a research project must be congruent with the IRSST's mission as defined in its Scientific Policy.
    • The Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail was created in 1980 to contribute, through research, to the prevention of industrial accidents and occupational diseases, as well as to the rehabilitation of affected workers. Its mandate is also to disseminate knowledge and serve as a scientific reference centre and expert.
    • Though this list is not exhaustive, the IRSST's main fields of research interest are defined in its research priorities.

3. Sabbaticals and study leaves

An applicant from the public or parapublic sector who takes a sabbatical or paid study leave with remuneration equal to more than 50% of his regular salary is not eligible. However, an applicant who receives deferred or advanced pay is not subject to this restriction.

4. Studies and research location

Studies and research must be carried out at a university or recognized research centre

Preparation of an application

5. An applicant's file must include the IRSST's scholarship application form, duly completed (front side only) and signed, along with the required documents, as specified for each scholarship category.

Incomplete files are not forwarded to the review committee.

All documents included in the application file and written in a language other than French or English must be accompanied by a certified translation of the original.

No document other than those required will be forwarded to the review committee.

All applicants are responsible for their files and for knowing the different categories of scholarships and their requirements. They must also ensure that all the required information and documents are sent by mail or courier, in paper format, to the IRSST no later than the competition deadline. The postmark or the courier-dated and -signed receipt serves as proof of the date of mailing.

Evaluation of applications

6. Selection process and evaluation criteria

In keeping with the provisions of its Scientific Policy, the IRSST evaluates all research projects and activities, including scholarship applications, in light of their relevance, priority, and scientific merit.

The relevance and priority level of the projects are determined by the Executive Office based on the IRSST's Scientific Advisory Board's recommendation. Only those files considered relevant and as having a high priority level undergo scientific evaluation.

Scientific merit is evaluated by a multidisciplinary committee comprising specialists from the relevant disciplines.

Criteria used to evaluate the scientific merit of a new application

  1. Applicant's performance 
    • Academic record and its evolution (university grades, relevance of courses taken, progress in studies, scholarships, awards and distinctions earned)
    • Research abilities (publications and other research activities, overall scientific competence and ability to pursue a career in research, relevant work experience and achievements)
  2. Scientific merit of the research project
    Originality, clarity of objectives, methodology and impact on the research field
  3.  Quality and relevance of the research environment
    Quality of supervision, calibre of researchers and productivity of the team, relevance to the subject matter, and occupational health and safety expertise

These criteria are weighted as follows

Criteria Performance Project Environment Total
Master's 10 6 4 20
Doctorate 8 8 4 20
Postdoctorate 6 10 4 20

More specific conditions may apply, depending on the scholarship category.

A minimum score of 15/20 must be obtained for an applicant to be recommended for a scholarship.

Following the recommendations made by the review committee, the Scientific Advisory Board submits its assessment to the IRSST's President and Chief Executive Officer, who submits a recommendation to the Board of Directors for the final decision.

Notification of decision

7. Decision

The IRSST's decision is sent to the applicant by mail in April, to the address indicated on the application form.

8. Appealing a decision

The decision may not be appealed. Therefore, there is no appeal procedure.

9. Integrity of the evaluation process

The scientific evaluation of the applications is carried out independently of the final approval process, which is the responsibility of the Board of Directors. In addition, applicants and research supervisors must not contact the chair or members of the review committee at any time. The IRSST reserves the right to withdraw from the competition any applications that are subject to canvassing or interference in the evaluation process.

10. Inquiries relating to the evaluation

Inquiries concerning the evaluation of scholarship applications must be submitted in writing to the head of the scholarship program, who then responds to them in writing.

11. Acceptance of the scholarship

Successful applicants must inform the IRSST of their intention to accept or decline the scholarship, within 30 days of the date appearing on the letter announcing the Institute's decision. Applicants who accept the offer must also submit an attestation of registration in the relevant university program (master's or doctorate) or the department's confirmation (post-doctorate) regarding the session in which the scholarship funds will start to be used. Foreign candidates (guest postdoctoral fellows) must also submit a certified true copy of a work permit issued by a Canadian consular office and valid for the period of their stay in Québec. Any applicant who fails to comply with these requirements within the prescribed deadlines shall be understood to have declined the scholarship offer.

The IRSST may publish the list of scholarship recipients on its Web site, in any publication (hard copy or electronic) and in any other manner that it deems appropriate.

By accepting the scholarship, the applicant undertakes to comply with the program regulations and all other applicable conditions and requirements. Applicants who fail to comply with these rules and regulations will have their scholarships cancelled.

Rules regarding scholarship use

12. Period of scholarship use

A scholarship recipient must start using the scholarship between May 1 of the year in which it is awarded and January 15 of the following year.

Scholarships may not be transferred from one year to another. Nor may applicants obtain a second IRSST scholarship for the same level of university studies.

13. Scholarship payment

The IRSST's contribution is paid quarterly, over a period of one year, directly to the university where the scholarship recipient is doing his studies and research.

The university pays instalments to the scholarship recipient in accordance with its standard policy, and issues income tax receipts.

Scholarship recipients who do their studies and research program outside Québec receive their scholarship instalments by mail directly from the IRSST at the Québec address indicated on their application form.

14. Annual renewal

A scholarship is renewed only if:

  • the applicant has submitted a scholarship renewal application in accordance with the established procedures
  • the applicant has demonstrated satisfactory progress, as assessed by the IRSST, in both his studies and his research project
  • the applicant's research project is advancing as planned (any changes made to the original schedule must be soundly justified).

15. Modification of an approved program

A scholarship recipient may not change his study program, research project, institution or research supervisor during the course of the year without the prior written authorization of the IRSST. The reasons for the change must be described in the request for authorization. The requested change will be assessed by the IRSST, which may decide to reduce, suspend, or terminate the scholarship payments, as the case may be.

16. Termination

When a scholarship recipient relinquishes his scholarship or completes his university program during the period when the scholarship is still valid, the amount of the scholarship is reduced proportionally. The recipient must notify the IRSST as soon as the termination date is established, and must reimburse any overpayments.

17. Scholarship recipient's report

All scholarship recipients must submit a final report of their work to the IRSST in the six months following their receipt of their final scholarship instalment.

18. Publications

Scholarship recipients are required to mention the financial assistance provided by the IRSST in any publications or communications resulting from the funded work.

19. Declaration

The application of any individual who knowingly makes a false statement in order to obtain a scholarship will automatically be rejected, and if applicable, he will be required to reimburse the IRSST for any amounts received. Moreover, he may not apply for another IRSST scholarship for a period of three years.

20. Research ethics and scientific integrity

The scholarship recipient and his research supervisor must ensure that the research project complies with the ethical standards generally applicable to professional and research activities.

Responsability of the IRSST 

21. The IRSST'S only obligation or responsibility is to pay the scholarships once all the requirements have been met, subject to the availability of funds.

22. The IRSST is not required to accept a predetermined number of applications or to predetermine the number of scholarships to be allocated to each category of program. The IRSST reserves the right to set quotas for the different occupational health and safety research sectors.

23. The IRSST may not be held liable for any damages whatsoever resulting either directly or indirectly from the setting up or administering of the Scholarship Program, including, most notably, direct or indirect damages resulting from the processing, non-processing, acceptance or rejection of a scholarship application, or any publication concerning the scholarships and the scholarship programs.

24. An English version of this text was prepared solely to help English speakers better understand the applicable rules and regulations. In the event of a discrepancy between the English and French versions of the regulations, the French version shall take precedence.

Forms and additional information

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..