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

Research Project Grants

The Research Project Grant program is designed to support research on subjects related to occupational health and safety (OHS), innovative subjects, or emerging OHS problems. The IRSST seeks projects that:

  • contribute to the advancement of knowledge; 
  • address needs expressed by workplaces or the OHS network; or
  • focus on problems identified by the researchers.

All IRSST-funded projects must yield possible solutions or recommendations for improving occupational injury prevention, rehabilitation, and the sustainable return to work of injured workers. 

The IRSST encourages an interdisciplinary approach in the execution of the research. The maximum duration of the grant is three years, for a total amount of $360,000, including indirect expenses. Projects whose research subject concerns OHS and that are co-funded by other organizations may be submitted to the IRSST for funding. 


2023-2024 Competition for the Research Project Grant Program

(Notwithstanding the priorities identified below, the competition is open to all research initiatives aligning with one of the themes in the Institute’s reference framework for OHS research)

The IRSST has announced three research priorities for this year’s competition.

1. Battery EVs and hybrid EVs: handling batteries and OHS risks

The number of battery EVs and hybrid EVs on the road has grown considerably in the past few years, a trend that is expected to continue in the years ahead. Hybrid vehicles have been on the market for some 20 years and fully electric vehicles for around ten years. The first generations of these vehicles are therefore now due for maintenance and intervention, notably regarding their battery components. Garages and car dealerships offering repair and maintenance services must adapt to a new technological environment in which the batteries for these types of vehicles are generating potentially major OHS risks: electrical, mechanical or chemical-exposure risks during maintenance work, particularly when removing or handling batteries, and even fire risks (Sun et al., 2020).

The IRSST wishes to fund at least one research project aimed at identifying and estimating the risks associated with handling batteries of electric/hybrid vehicles in garages and car dealerships, as well as ways of controlling and reducing these risks in workplaces (e.g., training, tools and equipment, personal and collective protective equipment, work space).

2. Controlling violence in the workplace

Violence in the workplace poses a psychosocial risk that affects a significant proportion of workers. It can take a various forms: physical, psychological and verbal violence; threatening behaviour; sexual and discriminatory harassment; conjugal violence; criminal violence; and systemic, structural, technological and other forms of violence (INSPQ, 2018). Violence in the workplace may be perpetrated by parties within the organization (hierarchical superior, co-workers) or parties outside the organization (clients, users, family members, etc.). Despite the tools available for preventing violence in the workplace, it remains a major problem and affects the health and safety of the people exposed to it. A recent analysis by the CNESST reported a 25.7% increase in injuries attributable to workplace violence between 2018 and 2021. The healthcare and social assistance, educational, public administration, transportation and warehousing sectors are particularly affected (CNESST, 2023). In addition, the modernization of Québec’s occupational health and safety regime now imposes new obligations on employers with regard to controlling conjugal violence in the workplace, yet little is known about its prevention and intervention in the workplace.

The IRSST wishes to fund at least one project on each of the following aspects:

2.a. The level of development, implementation and effectiveness of measures and practices used by organizations to control workplace violence in the most heavily affected sectors.

2.b. Effective organizational practices and interventions for preventing conjugal violence in the workplace, by enterprise size.


INSPQ, 2018

CNESST, 2023

Sun et al. 2020

Eligibility Requirements

These grants serve to fund projects proposed either by IRSST researchers or researchers from Québec post-secondary educational institutions or research institutions. Applicants must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada;
  • have a PhD or the equivalent; and
  • hold a professor or researcher position.

Applicants may submit only one grant application per competition in the capacity of principal investigator.

Applicants who received funding in the capacity of principal investigator in the 2022-2023 competition may not submit a grant application in the capacity of principal investigator in the 2023-2024 competition.


Grant Applications

All funding applications must be made using the following forms:

Letter of intent:


All forms may be completed in English, except for the Résumé page, which must be submitted in French.

Guidelines for the Program:

IRSST’s Guidelines for the Research Projet Grant Program (in French only)

Main changes to the General Guidelines:

  • Budgetary change: The maximum budget per project is $360,000, including indirect expenses.
  • Requirements regarding CVs to be filed when submitting your letter of intent: Summary CV of the principal investigator (PI) and of the co-investigators (academic background, areas of expertise, academic affiliation, number of publications, selection of the 5 publications most pertinent to the research project; 3 pages maximum per CV).

Important Dates

Letter of Intent:

  • Deadline: September 18, 2023, 11:59 p.m. EDT
  • Announcement of letters of intent retained: November 27, 2023

Full Application:

  • Deadline: Febuary 2, 2024, 11:59 p.m. EST
  • Announcement of results: June, 2024

Submission of Letters of Intent


Steps in the Application Process

The application process takes place in two steps: submission of a letter of intent followed, upon invitation, by submission of a full application.

Step 1: Letter of Intent

Submission of letters of intent: Applicants submit a lettre d’intention [letter of intent] by e-mail to

  • Administrative verification: The Research Fund and Partnership Division verifies all letters of intent to determine their compliance with the eligibility requirements.
  • Evaluation of the pertinence and priority nature of the letters of intent: the members of the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) read each letter of intent and issue a decision on its pertinence and priority, taking the following points into account:
    • The alignment of the application with the Reference Framework for OHS Research its originality and its potential for contributing to the advancement of knowledge;
    • Originality and potential to contribute to the advancement of knowledge;
    • The magnitude of the OHS problem or issue
    • How closely it is linked to the OHS research needs of workplaces
    • The importance of the anticipated benefits and their potential for generalized application in workplaces.

Moreover, the financial participation of industrial partners is considered an asset when the project has an innovative or a commercial potential.

Step 2: Full Application

  • Submission of research protocols: Applicants whose letters of intent are retained are then asked to submit a research protocol, by e-mail, to
  • Scientific evaluation of protocols: The research protocols are submitted to a panel of experts for evaluation.
  • Recommendation regarding funding of the projects: Based on the results of the scientific evaluation, the research priorities announced, and the budgetary envelope for the competition, the SAB submit its opinion to the President-CEO regarding the funding of the projects.
  • Final decision on funding of the projects: Based on the recommendation filed by the President-CEO, the Board of Directors rules on the funding of the projects, depending on the available budgets.
  • Notice of award: A notice of award is sent to the applicants whose research projects have been selected. The reviewers’ comments are sent to all applicants.

Funding Procedures

The maximum amount for a research project grant is $360,000, including indirect research expenses, for a maximum period of three (3) years

The General Guidelines (in french only) for the Research Project Grant Program and the various forms (letter of intent, research protocol) provide details on eligible expenses. Please refer to these guidelines.

Instalment payments

The first instalment is generally paid within a maximum of 30 working days of acceptance of the grant. The other instalments are paid annually according to the payment procedures indicated in the letter of award.

Deadline for Using the Funds

Research funds awarded for activities such as correcting the final deliverable, presenting the results at conferences or colloquia, and meeting with information intermediaries and partners in the study, may be used for up to six (6) months after the date on which the final deliverable is submitted.

Unspent Balance

Upon completion of the research project, any unspent balance must be returned to the IRSST’s Research Fund and Partnership Division within three (3) months of the deadline for using the funds. 

Sharing of Information

To maintain sound management of its funds, the IRSST reserves the right to share information on the applications it receives with other funding agencies to prevent duplicate funding. 


Progress Report

Progress reports are used to monitor the progress of all IRSST-funded research and to ensure that the work performed is consistent with the research protocol.

Final report

The purpose of the final report is to make the results of IRSST research studies available to clients who are likely to be interested in or benefit from them. Recipients of an IRSST grant may choose to write their final report using one of the four templates provided, depending on the nature of the project. As a rule, the final report is published by the IRSST.


At the time of submission, the final report must be accompanied by the duly completed Attestation of receipt of authorizations form.

Form: Attestation of receipt of authorizations (in French only)

A financial report is requested at the end of the grant.

Additional Resource