Webinar on the youth STEM initiatives grants and contributions program
Category: Not for profit organizations, universities, schools.
- Janice Cudlip, Lead, Youth STEM Initiatives at the Canadian Space Agency
- Iulian Martin, Program Officer at the Canadian Space Agency
Webinar on the financing awarded by the Canadian Space Agency for the development, promotion and delivery of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) initiatives for youth. The topics covered include:
- CSA's Youth STEM and Grants and Contribution Program;
- Announcements of ppportunity (AO) and the application process;
- Evaluation of proposal and the awarding of grants and contributions;
- Management of grant and contribution agreements.
About the program
1. When will the next Announcement of Opportunity (AO) be posted? What is the application deadline?
The CSA published its second AO in . The deadline to apply to this specific AO is .
2. What is the difference between the two elements of the Grant and Contribution Program (i.e. space awareness and space learning)?
The official definitions of space awareness and space learning can be found on the Grants and contributions page. Generally, space awareness relates more to space STEM activities for K-12 youth while space learning relates to postsecondary initiatives.
3. Does your financing support STEM programs in general or just those that focus on space?
To be eligible, projects must be related to space STEM and meet the objectives and criteria listed in a given AO.
4. Are for-profit organizations eligible recipients for grants and contributions?
For-profit organizations are not eligible to apply.
5. If a proposal is rejected because it does not meet eligibility criteria, would the applicant be notified right away or only at the end of the evaluation process when all notifications are sent out?
Ineligible applicants are notified in writing once the final decision regarding their application is made and within the timeframe mentioned in the AO service standards.
6. Does the CSA expect projects to be national in scope in terms of impact or could they be regional (provincial, city)?
Projects with a regional impact are eligible. Each proposal is evaluated based on the evaluation criteria indicated in the AO.
Funding and duration
7. Is there a minimum/maximum requested amount per project?
The amounts are specific to each AO. Generally, there is a maximum amount per project indicated in AOs, but no minimum.
8. Are grants for one year?
The project period may differ and is indicated in each AO. Generally, grants can be requested for a maximum of two years.
9. What is the percentage of the eligible costs that may be funded by the CSA?
Approved initiatives will be eligible for total government assistance of up to 100%.
10. When receiving a contribution, recipients are expected to incur the expenses first and get them reimbursed later. This model is not favourable for charitable organizations, as most don't have enough funding to spend first and recover later. The majority of already secured funding is designated for various purposes. Is there an option to receive advances for a period of time, to support our cash flow? Some other federal agencies and departments provide advances and it is hugely helpful.
The payment schedule for contributions is established based on several criteria, such as but not limited to risk assessment, cash flow forecast requirements and availability of funds, and it will be integrated into the contribution agreements signed by the two parties.
11. In the AO, the budget was $1.6 million and a maximum amount per proposal was $400,000. Does that mean that only up to four projects will be selected for a contribution?
The number of projects funded depends on the amounts per project requested. In this case, four projects were selected. The requirements for the projects funded under this AO were different from the requirements for the projects funded under the grants AOs.
12. Will there be any funding opportunities for other significant space events that do not relate to Moon exploration, such as the solar eclipse that will track through Canada?
Currently, the CSA has no plan to offer funding for youth space STEM activities that are not related to the Gateway program or Moon exploration. Should any new initiative be approved, the CSA will inform the community through the usual channels.
13. If a grant deadline is at the end of January/beginning of February, when will successful grant applicants be notified?
According to service standards included in each AO, successful applicants would be notified in May.
14. Can you tell us how many applications you have received for each AO published so far? Also, how many recipients were you able to award the funding to in the first call ()?
For the first AO (grants), the CSA received 33 proposals and funded nine projects. For the second AO (contributions), 11 proposals were received and four were selected.
15. What categories will next AOs be in (e.g., Space Brain Hack, Healthy Mind and Body, etc.)?
For grants AOs, the proposals should focus on topics related to Moon exploration: robotics and artificial intelligence, health and nutrition, science on rovers, etc. Details are provided in each AO.
16. Is the CSA in a position to test technical aspects of a project, for example through the STRATOS high-altitude flights?
The CSA may be involved in some of the project's activities such as testing. However, there may be other requirements, such as development of an additional collaboration agreement, definition of a new project value, and confirmation of availability of CSA resources.
17. How many more AOs do you expect to publish in – and –?
The CSA intends to publish three or four more AOs in the next two years.
18. Are the evaluators volunteers from outside the CSA, employees or both?
For previous AOs, the CSA used internal evaluators only. Support from external evaluators could be requested to evaluate future applications.
19. Where or when can we see the recipients of previous AOs?
All the grants and contributions awarded by the CSA are published on a quarterly basis on the Open Government website.
20. As an astronomy educator, do I have to wait for a specific AO or can I submit my proposal at any time?
The funding is primarily allocated through AOs. On an exceptional basis and based on strict conditions, unsolicited proposals that are in line with CSA priorities could be submitted at any time. Please consult the Grants and contributions page for more information.
Contact information and updates
21. How can organizations receive updates about AO postings?
All the grants and contributions funding opportunities are published on the CSA website and are announced on our social media platforms.
22. Who should we contact if we have questions about the CSA's grants and contributions or youth STEM initiatives?
You can contact us about youth STEM initiatives by using this email: email@example.com.
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