Queen Elizabeth Scholarships 2017 – FAQs

Last day to submit questions is Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at 4pm EST.

Key dates and figures

What is the deadline for the request for proposals?

The submission deadline is Wednesday October 18, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. EST

What is the duration of the program?

Universities are invited to submit one project proposal of two to four years in duration. All project activities must be completed by December 31, 2021.

What is the proposed start date for scholar activities?

Student project activities are anticipated to begin in early 2018 (subject to the signing of a Contribution Agreement between Community Foundations Canada and the Canadian university).

What is the total value of this program?

The total value of this program is expected to be approximately $ 6 million CAD.

Projects must be completed by Dec 31, 2021. Does this include final reporting or can that be completed in early 2022?

Final reports will be due December 31, 2021. Universities Canada will require January to March 2022 to review final reports, issue final payments and compile the results of the program.

With regards to the potential for 1 or more Canadian universities to submit a joint proposal, would the maximum amount of the proposal still be $300,000, split between the partnering Canadian universities? Or could the proposal amount exceed $300,000 and then be shared between the joint institutions?

The maximum amount per project proposal is $300,000. If the Canadian university chooses to submit a joint proposal the maximum amount would still be $300,000.

The guidelines states that the funding is maximized at $300,000 per project proposal. Is the $300,000 the total amount for the proposal including the university/partner funding contribution, or is that the amount we can request from the project, and compliment it with the Canadian university funding? (So in essence the total amount of the project would exceed the $300,000).

The $300,000 is the maximum contribution that can be requested from the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships per project. Universities will be expected to contribute to project costs and higher contributions will be viewed favourably by the selection committee. There is no maximum amount to Canadian university’s contribution. Please note contributions may include: in-kind or cash contributions. The cash, in-kind and leveraged contribution(s) provided by the university, the partner institution/organisation and/or participant. This may include:

  • Tuition paid by the students, tuition waivers or discounts; other discounts or waivers to academic, living or travel costs;
  • Supervisory time, researchers’ salaries and/or research assistants’ stipends, publication costs, communication costs, technical costs, conference registration fees, costs for organizing an academic event/conference and interpretation. The partner institutions/organisations may also contribute toward airfares, ground transportation, per diems, etc.; and
  • Financial contributions from other sources including foundations, community and/or industry partners and other funding agencies.

Note: overhead costs are not considered an eligible contribution.

Could you clarify the expected start date of the program? It seems like we will only find out in January if we are successful, but should we plan our program around a spring 2018 or fall 2018 start date?

We anticipate sending results to universities in late 2017/early 2018. Subject to the signing of the contribution agreement, it is at the discretion of the Canadian university when to implement program activities.

When you refer to ‘year’, is this the calendar year, the university year or other? When will quarterly financial reports be due?

The QES program operates on a fiscal year that runs from April 1st to March 31st.  Quarterly financial reports must be submitted no later than

  • July 31 (for the period April, May and June);
  • October 31 (for the period July, August and September);
  • January 31 (for the period October, November and December); and
  • April 30 (for the period January, February and March).

Eligibility requirements

Can you confirm if previously-funded projects would be considered eligible for the current competition? New

Yes, all previously funded projects are eligible to apply

What will the program fund?

This call for proposals will fund a) awards for Canadian students to undertake internships in eligible countries and b)  Awards for incoming international grad students from eligible countries to study or undertake research at a Canadian university

 

Which academic disciplines are eligible?

The program is open to all academic disciplines.

What are examples of community engagement activities?

Activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Applying global experiences or knowledge to enhance the local community;
  • Strengthening character and professional skills through public speaking, networking, problem-solving, and leadership activities;
  • Participating in community events, such as roundtables, fora and panel discussions;
  • Peer mentoring, knowledge sharing and networking between alumni and current scholars; and
  • Volunteering within the local community.
Are students who have previously received a QES award eligible?

Yes they are. Each university may manage this at their own discretion.  

Are the terms of reference for internships to be prepared once funding has been secured or as part of the proposal for funding?

The terms of reference do not need to be prepared as part of the proposal. Note, in the application form we ask how your university will help ensure the success of the partnership and how the interns will contribute to the objectives of the partner institution.

Do you need to identify specific partners in the proposal?

If you will be sending Canadian interns abroad, you need to identify specific partners, or a strategy to identify partners if you do not have them by the time of submission. If you are only receiving international students, you do not have to identify specific partners.

With regards to the incoming international student coming to the Canadian university, how will the whole issue of 'credit' be managed. Do they have to be obtaining a Canadian degree or can the study/research done while in Canada be transferred back to their home institution graduate degree?

The incoming international student may complete an entire degree at a Canadian institution or can be funded to undertake short term course work or research, as long as they meet the program criteria.  In the case of incoming scholars undertaking short term study or research, QES funded activities must be directly linked to the Masters or PhD program in which they are registered in their home country.

Are all students (Canadian outbound interns and inbound internationals to Canada) basically considered like exchange students to count in current bilateral exchange partnerships? In this regard do we have to have an existing agreement with the partnering country, or plan to pursue a bilateral partnership with them?

Canadian universities are not required to have an existing partnership with the country as the program seeks to both encourage the development of new partnerships as well as build on existing partnerships.  We expect strong proposals to answer the questions clearly and succinctly in the application form. Note, the application form requires the Canadian university to describe their partnership approach and, for each partner referred to in the application form, you must describe their key objectives as an organization, the relationship they have with your university, and the roles and responsibilities they will play in implementing this project. Please note, a scanned letter of support is required from each partner. For any partners that have yet to be identified, the Canadian university is to describe their strategy to identify and develop effective partnerships that will ensure the success of the project.

The guidelines say “The program aims for a 50% contribution”: (1) is this a target for the entire program or, is this recommended for each individual submission? ; (2) is there a minimum recommended cost-sharing percentage for this call, including the proportion of in-kind vs cash?

The 50% contribution is the aim for the overall program. (2) There is no minimum recommended for each project proposal; a higher contribution will be viewed more favourably by the selection process. Note, as defined in the guidelines, the university contribution refers to the cash, in-kind and leveraged contribution(s) provided by the university, the partner institution/organisation and/or participant. This may include:

  • Tuition paid by the students, tuition waivers or discounts; other discounts or waivers to academic, living or travel costs;
  • Supervisory time, researchers’ salaries and/or research assistants’ stipends, publication costs, communication costs, technical costs, conference registration fees, costs for organizing an academic event/conference and interpretation. The partner institutions/organisations may also contribute toward airfares, ground transportation, per diems, etc.; and
  • Financial contributions from other sources including foundations, community and/or industry partners and other funding agencies.

Note: overhead costs are not considered an eligible contribution.

What is the definition of an internship?

As defined in the guidelines, internship is broadly defined as an opportunity for students to gain practical or professional skills, also often referred to as experiential learning. This does not include study abroad nor does it include conducting research related to the student’s Canadian university degree.  N.B. internships may include research undertaken for the host institution/organisation.

Internships may be paid or voluntary positions.

Do medical residencies in the field qualify as internships for Canadian students?

Medical residences in the field (outside of Canada) qualify as internships if they meet all the program requirements.

Please define “Project” as per The Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships program. We are uncertain what we can classify as a project.

Universities are to apply for funding for one or more of the following:

  • Internships for Canadian students to eligible countries.
  • Scholarships for international students from an eligible country to study or do research at a Canadian university.

This application or ‘bundle’ of activities is what is referred to as a project. How these activities are linked together is at the discretion of the Canadian university. A university may choose to limit their proposals to outgoing Canadian internships or to incoming international students or do both, all of which are acceptable options. Diversity and innovation will be viewed favourably, as well as proposals that demonstrate a coherent vision and strategic project approach.

Is there any limit for overseas partners in terms of how many partnerships they can strike up for this program? We are in contact with an overseas partner about a potential partnership for this program and as they have already been approached by other Canadian institutions, they were concerned about whether or not this is a problem.

It is possible for an overseas partner to collaborate with multiple Canadian institutions on this program.

“The program will ensure that 100% of funding will be issued to Canadian universities and at least 75% of Queen Elizabeth Scholars are Canadian students”. What does this mean? Does it mean that each proposal should ensure that 75% of the budget is aligned towards Canadian students going out on internships and only 25% towards incoming international students?

The overall program will ensure that at least 75% of Queen Elizabeth Scholars are Canadian (not that 75% of the program funds are awarded to Canadian students). The selection process will ensure that the overall program criteria are met; universities do not need to address these criteria in their proposal.

For graduate students coming to study at Canadian universities, are we expected to recruit students from our partner universities in eligible countries or recruit students from a pool of exchange students who have already arranged for an exchange program?

It is at the discretion of the Canadian university how to recruit international students from eligible countries.

Is it possible for Canadian students to undertake research related to their degree or working with a Canadian researcher as part of this program?

Internships are broadly defined as an opportunity for students to gain practical or professional skills, also often referred to as experiential learning.  Conducting research related to the student’s Canadian university degree would not be considered an internship.  N.B. internships may include research undertaken for the host organisation.

Do international students have to come from partner organizations in one of the eligible countries that will be mentioned in relation to outgoing interns in the proposal or can they come from any eligible country (without having a partner in place)?

Incoming international students do not have to come from a partner institution; they can come from any eligible country.

Do all internships have to be with university partners or can a student identify a placement and receive QES funding.

All internships must be with university partner organisations.

We would like to have students already enrolled at one of our partner universities come to Canada and do a full-time term at our university as a visiting graduate student. The students would register with our university but they would remain as enrolled students at their home university and would not get their degree from our university. They would take courses/programs/workshops and do community engagement while here. Would these students be eligible for the scholarship?

Incoming international students are not required to pursue their entire degree at the Canadian institution but are still required to meet all program requirements as described in the guidelines.

Selection process

How many proposals will be selected for the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Scholarships program?

There is no predetermined number of universities that will be selected for this program. The selection process will award the best candidates based on the applications received through the call for proposals. The maximum available through this call for proposal is approximately $6,000,000.

What does the selection process involve?

A selection committee including Canadian and other representatives from academic, public and non-governmental organizations will review all complete, eligible proposals received by the application deadline (Wednesday October 18, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. EST). Convened by  Universities Canada the committee will assess proposals against the program’s selection criteria and will have the option of accepting, rejecting or providing conditional approval to proposals. It may also elect to approve only certain components or elements of a proposal The recommended proposals will be sent to the Rideau Hall Foundation for approval.  Results are expected to be emailed to applicants in late 2017/early 2018.

Could you provide an estimate of the number of proposals that will be funded?

We are anticipating between 18-22 projects will be funded; however, the final number will depend upon the number and quality of proposals submitted.

 

In the guidelines, it states that “at least 75% of QE Scholars are Canadian students.” Does this mean that applications with an emphasis on incoming international students will not be reviewed favourably?

The selection process will ensure that the overall program criteria are met. Selection will be based on the quality of the proposed activities the university is undertaking. Therefore a proposal that has a very strong approach with only one activity may be received more favourably than a proposal with weak approaches over the two activities and vice versa.

What is eligible as ‘academic credit’?

All students must receive academic credit for the successful completion of their QES funded activities. How the credit is attributed is to be determined by the Canadian university. In the case of incoming scholars undertaking short term study or research, QES funded activities must be directly linked to the Masters or PhD program in which they are registered in their home country.

Will submissions made in French be reviewed by the submissions committee on equal footing with submissions made in English? In other words, could the selection committee give preference to proposals submitted in English over those submitted in French?

All submissions will receive equal consideration by the selection committee.

Submitting an application

What is the maximum amount awarded for a call for proposal?

Canadian universities may seek QES project funding of up to $300,000 CAD.

Who can apply for funding?

Canadian universities which have recognized provincial degree granting powers, or their affiliates, may submit a proposal to the QES program. Universities may partner with one or more other Canadian university(ies) for a joint proposal; however, each university may only be the lead applicant in one submission to the program.

Do universities need to apply for both types of activities (internships and international students)?

No, universities may submit projects that comprise of one or both of the program activities.

When can Canadian universities apply for this program?

The deadline for Canadian universities to submit their proposal application is Wednesday October 18, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. EST. 

When will candidates be notified of the results of their applications?

Results are expected to be emailed to all applicants in late 2017/early 2018.

How frequently will Universities Canada update its FAQs page? Are we going to receive responses to our requests individually or should we be referring to the Universities Canada’s page?

Universities Canada will respond to all email inquiries sent to  QES2017@univcan.ca within one working day if received by Tuesday October 10, 2017 at 4 pm EST. All responses are posted on our FAQ page, which is updated weekly. The last update to the FAQ page will be on Friday October 13, 2017.

It is mentioned that one of the requirements are letter(s) of support from each partner. Does this mean that we need letters of support from both the collaborator from the partner organization and from our university? For the letters of support, is it OK to have the letter(s) from the person that would collaborate with us on this project, and from ourselves, or do these letters of support be from a representative of the partner/ our university?

The letter of support would be from the partner organization (not the Canadian university). The letter may be from whoever is most appropriate from the partner organization; this is at the discretion of the Canadian university.

 

Is there a restriction on the word count for the letter of support from each partner? Could you clarify your expectations regarding the content of this letter? Can some of the letters be written in French and others in English?

There is no restriction on the length of the letters of support, in which partners must indicate their support for the project. Yes, it is possible to submit some letters written in French and others written in English.

Is it possible to submit a bilingual proposal (with a combination of the 2 languages)? In other words, can parts of the submission be written in English and others in French? Or does the submission form have to be completed in only one language (English or French)?

It is also possible to submit a bilingual proposal with some parts in English and others in French.

I’m seeking clarification of the requirement to have letters of support from partners. You have indicated that if partners are yet to be identified to indicate the “strategy to identify and develop effective partnerships that will ensure the success of the project” and further that “a scanned letter of support is required from each partner” (source FAQ’s online). If a partner has been identified but the timeline for submission does not allow for a letter of support, is outlining the strategy sufficient?

Letters of support are required for all identified partners.

Is it necessary to include with our application letters of support confirming matching funds (e.g. from the university or other sources), or is it sufficient to simply add the amount of external funding we have secured in the budget under the “university contribution” column?

Letters of support to confirm matching funds are not required; however, we expect strong applicants to provide a detailed explanation of where the funds are coming from in the Cost Effectiveness and Budget section of the application form.

Eligible costs

Are any funds available for university program administration activities?

An activity fund of $ 1,000 CAD per student will be provided to support community engagement/networking/leadership activities and other project administration requirements. In the case of incoming international students undertaking studies/research for more than 12 months, $1,000 CAD is payable per twelve months. For example, if a university has an incoming international student doing a 2 year program, your budget can reflect $2,000 CAD for community engagement/networking/leadership activities and other project administration.

What is the minimum university contribution?

There is no minimum university contribution. A higher contribution will be viewed more favourably by the selection process. This program aims for an overall 50% contribution. University/partner/scholar contribution is defined as: The cash, in-kind and leveraged contribution(s) provided by the university, the partner institution/organisation and/or participant. This may include:

  • Tuition waivers or discounts; other discounts or waivers to academic, living or travel costs;
  • Supervisory time, researchers’ salaries and/or research assistants’ stipends, publication costs, communication costs, technical costs, conference registration fees, costs for organizing an academic event/conference and interpretation. The partner institutions/organisations may also contribute toward airfares, ground transportation, per diems, etc.;
  • Financial contributions from other sources including foundations, community and/or industry partners and other funding agencies; and
  • All contributions, be they cash or in-kind, must be justified and verifiable in the case of an audit.

Note: overhead costs are not considered an eligible contribution.

What is the expected student contribution to the program?

There is no mandatory or expected student contribution. Keep in mind that the student is required to pay tuition while on internship; the tuition paid by the student can be counted as the student’s contribution.

What expenses are covered by the scholarships for incoming international students (i.e. tuition, airfare, visas, accommodations, etc.?

Please refer to the Guidelines, Annex C and D for a list of eligible expenses for incoming international students, based on the length of their program and host city.

If the overseas host organization for the interns pays a stipend over and above the allowance paid by the project (even if it’s above the C$6,000 or $8,000 limit) or provides their housing free of charge, does that count as institutional contribution?

Yes that would count as university/partner contribution. Please remember that in case of an audit, the Canadian university will be required to provide proof of all contributions, cash or in-kind.

Are costs that may be included in institutional contributions limited to costs that would be eligible to be covered by the program funds? For example, if the university paid the travel and living costs of a professor to travel to the partner institution/organization to supervise students or carry out research related to the project, could that count as an institutional contribution?

The costs included in the university contribution are not limited to the costs covered by the program funds; however, they must be directly related to the project and be documented and verifiable in case of an audit.

You say that the university contribution can include “financial contributions from other sources, including foundations, community partners, and other funding agencies”. Are there any limitations as to the source of external financial contributions?

There is no limit to the source of external financial contributions.

Given a set of 4 month internships does all money have to be broken down into $6,000 increments? Hypothetically, if a university asks for $120,000 for a project does that mean they must have 20 interns or are they able to have fewer interns and use the balance of the money they receive to cover other costs related to the program (e.g. admin, flights etc.)?

Internships are for a minimum of three consecutive months (90 days) and a maximum of one year. The interns will be eligible to receive up to $6,000 for three to six month internships and up to $8,000 for seven to twelve month internships. These funds are for the scholar/intern. For the university there is an activity fund of $ 1,000 per student per year to support community engagement activities in Canada and other project administration requirements.

Is there a breakdown of what the $6,000 or $8,000 provided to each Canadian student going on internship can be spent on? What documents do we need to keep?

$6,000 is the maximum QES contribution for three to six month awards to Canadians and $8,000 is the maximum QES contribution for seven to twelve month awards to Canadians. Universities are to keep a copy of the transaction of giving the funds to the student as well as copies of air tickets and boarding passes for each student.  The students are not required to submit any other financial documents.

We are working on our proposal, and I had a question about the activity fund of $1,000 per student. Is this above and beyond what we would be asking for in the proposal? And/or a separate request? For example, if we request $300,000 for 50 internships, would we be requesting an additional $50,000 ($1,000 x 50) on top of that for project administration and community engagement activities? Or should we be building that $50,000 into the overall $300,000 request?

Each project proposal may seek funding of up to $300,000 CAD. The activity fund of $1,000 per student per year is included in this amount.

In the past, we have hired a resource person in the host country to receive our students, (orientation, support and ensure local organizations are ready for hosting the interns). We pay the resource person a small stipend for this service, would this cost be allowable within the budget expenses. If yes, would it be allowable to come from the allotment that is allocated to interns ($6,000 for 3 to 6 months).

That is an allowable expense and funds for such activities would come from the $ 1,000 per student per year paid to the university for community engagement activities in Canada and other project administration requirements and not from the allotment allocated to students.

Reporting requirements

What are the reporting requirements for universities and students?

Universities Canada will require that Canadian universities submit annual narrative reports and quarterly financial reports. Queen Elizabeth Scholars will be required to complete a pre-departure form as well as a scholar narrative report which will be due no later than 2 weeks prior to the end of their award. Universities will be encouraged to participate in program evaluation processes which may involve surveys, interviews and both summative and formative evaluations. The program will also collect data from alumni regarding the impact their participation in this program has had on their career and study paths.

Universities Canada