Announcement of Opportunity for Field Investigation

Announcement of Opportunity

Closing date: May 28, 2010

1. Introduction

1.1 Field Investigation

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has a mandate to increase knowledge of space through science and technology development. Field investigations are an important element of that mandate as it applies to the development of expertise, capacity, and techniques, the exploration of other planets and the Moon. Field studies help develop science questions, requirements, and expertise for future planetary exploration missions, and can be essential in developing knowledge of planetary processes from data returned by current and past missions.

This Announcement of Opportunities (AO) aims at providing grant funding to R&D projects directly related to current CSA programmatic priorities. Under this AO, the CSA will be concentrating on providing grants for activities related to scientific and technical field investigations at sites on Earth that have geological and geomorphological similarities with those found on Mars, moon and other planetary bodies. This AO targets specifically activities contributing to further developing knowledge acquired through peer-reviewed projects in the fields of astrobiology, planetary sciences, space medicine, crew health and/or space flight operations processes.

More specifically, the objectives of this AO are:

  • To advance current knowledge through field research relevant to CSA priorities;
  • Provide a training ground for both the current and next generation of scientists and engineers;
  • Provide opportunities to test in relevant terrestrial environment new techniques that one day maybe used for planetary space mission and,
  • Get students and researchers familiar with the use of such techniques.

2. Mandatory Criteria for Eligibility

2.1 Eligible Projects

Eligible projects submitted in response to this AO must have been awarded funding through a CSA Canadian Analogue Research Network grant in the past 3 years. The reference date will be the date at which the previous grant agreement was signed. That is to say that the grant agreement of the previous award must have been signed no earlier than May 1, 2007. This measure is being employed in this exceptional situation in order to expedite the evaluation process. CSA will judge if the project being proposed is the same as the project funded earlier. In such cases, the peer review of the previous evaluation will be used to generate the evaluation of scientific and technical merit. If CSA does not judge the proposal in response to this AO as the same project funded earlier, the proposal will not be considered for funding under this AO.

Eligible projects submitted in response to this AO must relate to the Canadian Space Strategy (CSS) and/or Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage. Eligible projects must be directly related to science and technology field investigations and address the objectives defined in Section 1.1.

2.2 Eligible Recipients

Eligible recipients will include Canadian universities and post-secondary institutions, not-profit organizations established and operating in Canada or a cluster formed by the combination of the above.

3. Funding

3.1 Eligible Field Activities

  • Science investigation in support of potential and/or planned future planetary missions
  • Science investigation involving human physiology/psychological studies with exploration/isolation goal
  • Science instrument deployment and validation
  • Science investigation and technology testing and validation
  • Science mission operations and control simulation
  • Science investigations on remote medical care

3.2 Available Funding

The maximum level of funding per grant agreement to an eligible recipient is $50,000 per year (including overhead). The overall number of grants awarded and their level will depend on the availability of funds. Total Canadian government assistance (federal, provincial/territorial and municipal governments) will not exceed 100% of total project costs. Recipients are required to identify all sources of funding in their application and to confirm this information in a grant agreement if the project is selected for funding.

3.3 Eligible Costs

Eligible costs will be direct expenses associated with the delivery of the approved project that is required to achieve the results to which it relates.

Eligible costs for projects are:

  1. Salary:
    • Funding is only available to support full-time undergraduate and/or graduate students and/or post-doctoral researchers currently at Canadian universities. Total student stipends must not exceed 25% of the requested funds from the CSA.
  2. Acquisition and/or rental equipment
    • Total equipment acquisition or rental costs must not exceed 30% of the requested funds from the CSA. It includes freight and shipping costs associated with such acquired and/or rented equipment.
  3. Material and supplies
    • It includes but is not limited to:
      • Consumables for use at the field site:
        • Fuel for heating, cooking, running generators, field vehicles;
      • Contribution to maintenance and upkeep of a field site infrastructure;
      • Maps, remotely sensed data, aerial photos;
      • Communication network support
      • Charges associated with transporting material and supplies to and from the field site, shipment of samples from field site to home institution, shipment charges from and to Technical Field Support Services (TFSS) plant in Ottawa (these charges will be paid by the CSA directly to TFSS)Footnote *.
  4. Aircraft and watercraft charter services
  5. TravelFootnote **
    • It includes:
      • Transport to, from, and at the field site;
      • Travel for collaborator from foreign institution.
      • Travel to attend CSA events and, for Canadian participants only, to participate in conferences and workshops to present results generated through the CSA funded field investigation.
  6. Accommodation and meals allowancesFootnote **
    • It includes:
      • Accommodation and meals during travel to the field site;
      • Accommodation and meals at the field site
      • Accommodation related to a CSA event or workshop and conference when the recipient have to present results generated through the CSA funded field investigation.
  7. Access fees
  8. Licenses and permits fees
  9. Publication and communication services
    • Total Publication costs must not exceed 10% of requested funds from the CSA. They include costs associated with publishing (e.g., colour figure charges, etc.)
  10. Laboratory analysis services
    • This applies to samples collected in the field as part of the proposed research and includes sample preparation for such analyses. Total cost of laboratory analyses must not exceed 25% of the requested funds from the CSA.
  11. PST, HST and GST net of any rebate to which the recipient is entitled to and the reimbursement of any taxes for goods and services acquired in a foreign country net of any rebate or reimbursement received in the foreign country.
  12. Overhead (maximum 15%).

Travel and accommodation expenses for team members who are associated with foreign institutions will be eligible for work conducted in Canada only and up to a maximum value of 15% of the requested funds from the CSA. Travel and accommodation expenses for students and postdoctoral fellows from foreign institutions are not eligible.

3.4 Costs Not Eligible

  1. Firearms.
  2. Laboratory equipment or other equipment not required and/or used for fieldwork.

3.5 Co-Investigator

Any co-investigator mentioned in the application must provide a letter (an email is sufficient) to be included in the submitted application stating that they are aware that they are mentioned in the proposal.

Canadian government agencies, for-profit institutions, and foreign institutions are not eligible to hold CSA grants. However, individuals from such organizations may be co-investigators in a research team that is applying for a grant. These co-investigators will be expected to contribute to the overall intellectual direction of the research project and/or bring their own resources to the project.

3.6 Permits and Licenses

It is the responsibility of the individual applicant(s) to ensure that they have all the necessary land access and research licenses and permits.

3.7 Proof of approval for research involving human or animal subjects

Proposed projects involving human subjects are required to include the approval of the review board of the researcher's institution. All such proposals should be in accordance with the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans. If approval cannot be obtained from the review board by the submission deadline then a letter from the review board must accompany the proposal, confirming receipt of the proposal and their intent to review.

No application will be funded until all research reviews have been successfully completed and formal notification has been received by CSA.

4. Selection Process

4.1 Screening Criteria

Applications must meet the screening criteria. The screening process will determine if the application:

  • Represents an eligible applicant as defined in Section 2;
  • Represents an eligible project as defined in Section 2;
  • Meets program funding provisions related to the budget;
  • Includes the required documentation and declarations;
  • Has been duly completed and signed by an authorized signatory to apply for funding on behalf of the applicant;
  • Is linked to the objectives of this AO described in Section 1.1.

Only applications that have passed the screening criteria (Section 4.1) will be considered further.

4.2 Evaluation Process

An evaluation committee will assess screened-in applications according to the following criteria:

Benefits to Canada
  • The relation to the CSS and/or Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage and/or CSEW6 recommendations
  • The extent to which the proposal builds on Canadian strengths and capabilities and complements other Canadian and foreign initiatives;
  • The involvement and advancement of High Qualified Personnel.
Scientific/Technology Merit
  • The quality of the proposed research including the clarity of the science and/or technical objectives;
  • The originality and impact of the research;
  • The advancement of knowledge in the field of planetary exploration;
  • The link to a future mission in which Canada may participate;
  • The suitability of the selected field site with respect to the proposed project.
Feasibility of the Project
  • The likelihood that the defined work will be completed within available budget and on schedule.
Resources: Management Capabilities and Budgeting
  • The quality and experience of the team;
  • The clarity, completeness and suitability of the workplan
Risk and Mitigation Measures
  • The key risks associated with the project and the mitigation strategies

Members of the evaluation committee may include representatives of Canada, other Government and non-Government agencies and organizations. Among the applications that will achieve a minimum score, the highest ranked applications will be considered for funding up to the available budget for this program.

Before a final decision is made, clarification or additional information may be asked from applicants or input and advice seek from others, including, but not limited to federal, provincial/territorial and municipal government agencies, etc. The CSA will also consider results from previous peer-review processes when proposed projects are in a continuity of previous CSA funded projects. The CSA reserves the right to decline funding for any application.

The determination of the amount of support will take into consideration the total cost of the project as well as the other sources of funds invested by other stakeholders and the applicant.

4.3 Notification and Announcement

Applicants will be notified in writing regarding the decisions related to their application. Successful applications will be announced and posted on the CSA website.

4.4 Application Submission and Deadline

Applications must include the following:

  • A completed typed original Application Form signed by the Duly Authorized Signatory
  • An acceptable electronic device (memory stick, USB key, CD, memory card etc.) containing the proposal (identical to the signed paper copy)
  • Curriculum vitae for the Principal Investigator (4 pages maximum) and all Co-Investigators and Collaborators (2 pages maximum) listed in the proposal.
  • Letters from other funding contributors confirming their support (if applicable)

Three hard copies of the Application Form and curriculum vita must be received at the address below by 16:00 EDT on May 28, 2010. Original signatures are required on at least one Application Form. A CD-ROM with the electronic versions of the Application Form and all CV's must be submitted with the hard copies. Any extra material on the CD-ROM that is not included in the hard copy will not be considered. Late proposals will NOT be considered.

Applications must be post-mailed to the CSA at the address below:

Martin Lebeuf
Field Investigation AO
Space Science and Technology,
Canadian Space Agency
6767 Route de l'Aéroport
Saint-Hubert, Quebec J3Y 8Y9
Telephone: 450-926-6677
E-mail: Martin.Lebeuf@asc-csa.gc.ca

5. General

5.1 Grant Agreement

If a proposal is approved for funding, a formal agreement, in the form of a Grant Agreement will be negotiated and signed by the appropriate signing authorities at the CSA and the recipient organization. This represents a condition for any payment made by the CSA in respect of the approved project. Payments will be made in a lump sum as described in the Grant Agreement.

Upon notice of a successful application, the CSA will have no liability until a Grant Agreement is signed by both parties.

The duration of each Grant Agreement is one (1) year but it may be renewed under similar conditions upon approval by both parties and availability of funds.

5.2 Confidentiality

Applicants may wish to include information that they consider confidential in their application. Applicants should clearly identify any such information as confidential at the time of submission.

Notwithstanding the above paragraph, information on selected projects will be posted on the CSA Website. Public dissemination of projects results are encouraged through CSA-sponsored workshops, conference sessions and/or publication.

The CSA is subject to the federal Access to Information Act and Privacy Act vis-à-vis applications received under this Initiative

Applicants should note that for all agreements over $25,000 information related to amounts of funding disbursed to recipients through this Initiative, and the purpose of the funding, will be made available to the public on the CSA website

5.3 Intellectual Property

All Intellectual Property that arises in the course of the project shall vest in the recipient.

When applicable, the Grant Agreement will include a provision granting to Canada a non-exclusive, irrevocable, world-wide, free and royalty-free license in perpetuity to use or sub-license the use of any such Intellectual Property contained in recipient reports for non-commercial governmental purposes.

5.4 Reports

All grants resulting from this Request for Proposals must include at least the following reports:

  • A completed Results Indicator Form (to be supplied to Grant recipients).
  • A report describing the field activities and any results available at the time of submission of the deliverables. The report will present the results generated from the project and compare them with the objectives stated in the proposal. This will mainly be used for educational and public outreach purposes. A plain language suitable for the general public information is required. Submission of photographs and video is encouraged.

5.5 Canadian Environment Assessment Act

All applications will include information to enable the CSA to assess whether a payment under this Initiative would trigger any information under the Canadian Environment Assessment Act (CEAA). When applicable, the grant agreement will include a provision certifying that no payment will be made before the reception of the clearance certificate required under the CEAA.

5.6 Organizations in Quebec

An organization in Quebec whose operations are partially or fully funded by the

Province of Quebec may be subject to An Act Respecting the Conseil exécutif (L.R.Q., chapter M-30).

Under sections 3.11 and 3.12 of An Act respecting the Ministère du Conseil exécutif (hereinafter referred to as Act) certain entities, as defined in the meaning of the Act, such municipal bodies, school bodies or public agencies, must obtain an authorization, indicated by the Act, before signing any agreement with the Government of Canada, its departments or agencies, or a federal public agency

Consequently, any entity that is subject to the Act is responsible for obtaining such authorization before signing any agreement with the Government of Canada

Applicants from Quebec must complete and include the M-30 Supporting Documentation Form with their application

5.7 Contact Information

To obtain further information, please contact:

Martin Lebeuf
Space Science and Technology
Canadian Space Agency
6767 Route de l'Aéroport
Saint-Hubert, Quebec J3Y 8Y9
Telephone: 450-926-6766
E-mail: Martin.Lebeuf@asc-csa.gc.ca

Footnotes

Footnote *

The CSA has negotiated an agreement with Natural Resources Canada TFSS allowing CSA grantees to borrow free-of-charge from TFSS, field gear and equipment required to conduct field investigations. By doing this, a grantee will not have to purchase field equipment, giving them the opportunity to reallocate parts of the CSA grant to more strategic resources such as for HQP. It is therefore strongly encouraged to use TFSS gear and equipment. A list of gear and equipment dedicated to CSA grantees is available. Shipping of TFSS gear from TFSS warehouse to the required site will be managed by TFSS. Shipping costs will be covered by the CSA, which will reduce the awarded grant by the same amount. It is the Bidder's responsibility to add in the project budget the amount associated with such TFSS shipping costs.

Return to footnote * referrer

Footnote **

Travel and accommodation expenses must comply with Treasury Board (TB) directives. For more details, consult the TB Travel Directive Website: www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/pubs_pol/hrpubs/tbm_113/menu-travel-voyage-eng.asp.

Return to first footnote ** referrer