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Student Participation Initiative - IAC 2016

Announcement of Opportunity

Publication date: July 28, 2016

Application deadline: August 25, 2016

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Eligibility criteria
  3. How to apply
  4. Criteria and selection process
  5. Service standards
  6. Funding available and eligible costs
  7. Grant agreements
  8. Confidentiality
  9. Additional information
  10. Frequently asked questions

1. Introduction

Once again this year, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) will be awarding grants to students wanting to attend the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF).

This international assembly is billed as an excellent gathering point for all specialists in the space sector. For students, it is an opportunity to forge valuable ties with professionals and other students from all over the world who share their interests. Throughout the Congress, students will have a chance to talk to professionals, learn from their expertise and listen to their vision of the future of space exploration. Students are full participants in the Congress, lending its workshops and plenary sessions a new energy and outlook that are greatly appreciated.

The IAC mainly draws students specializing in space-related disciplines. In recent years, however, many students from outside these disciplines, though in associated fields (e.g. engineering, law, medicine), have taken part. For many students, the IAC is an event that motivates and inspires them to pursue their studies and set their career goals.

The 2016 IAC will be held in Guadalajara, Mexico, from September 26 to 30. Once again, an entirely new group of students will enjoy the opportunity afforded by the Congress to learn more about the future of the great adventure of space exploration.

As part of its commitment to helping train the rising generation of space professionals, the CSA is inviting university students (bachelor's, master's, doctoral and post-doctoral) to apply. If your summary (abstract) has been accepted for presentation at the 2016 IAC or if you simply want to develop your knowledge, the CSA will consider awarding you a grant. These awards will be allocated in accordance with the priority criteria outlined hereinafter.

It is therefore our great pleasure to invite you, on behalf of the CSA and the IAF, to the 67th IAC on the theme of "Making space accessible and affordable to all countries."

The eligibility criteria, the application process and the selection criteria are outlined below.

We hope to see many of you in Guadalajara in September!

2. Eligibility criteria

To apply for the Student Participation Initiative, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  1. You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
  2. You must be enrolled in a full-time university program of studies (bachelor's, master's, doctoral or post-doctoral) at the time of the IAC.

3. How to apply

Follow these steps to submit your application for funding to the CSA's Student Participation Initiative.

  1. Download and complete the grant application form (PDF document).
  2. Applications must contain the following:
    • duly completed application form;
    • proof of your graduate student status;
    • proof of Canadian citizenship or permanent residency;
    • a copy of your summary (abstract), as submitted to IAC 2016;
    • a reference letter from a professor.
  3. Applications must be mailed to the CSA at this address:

IAC 2016
Student Participation Initiative
c/o Bernard Mathieu, Coordinator
Canadian Space Agency
6767 Route de l'Aéroport
Saint-Hubert, Quebec J3Y 8Y9

For more information, consult the IAC 2016 Prospectus.

4. Criteria and selection process

Because of the limited funding available, grants will be awarded in the following order:

  1. Students selected for presentation who have not participated in previous IACs;
  2. Students selected for presentation who have taken part in previous IACs;
  3. Students not selected for presentation, or did not submit an abstract, and who have not attended previous IACs;
  4. Students not selected for presentation, or did not submit an abstract, and who have taken part in previous IACs.

In case of a tie, the Student Participation Initiative selection panel will apply the following criteria to resolve the issue:

  1. Evaluation of the summary (abstract), as submitted to IAC 2016: quality of the document and of its scientific or technical exposition (10 points);
  2. Evaluation of the application form: work or research experience in space-related disciplines (10 points);
  3. Evaluation of the application form: interests and prospective career goals in space-related disciplines (5 points).
Please note that the decisions of the Student Participation Initiative selection panel regarding grant applications are final.

5. Service standards

Applicants will be informed by email concerning their grant application. The names of successful applicants will be posted on the CSA website. The CSA has drawn up service standards regarding deadlines for processing applications, in particular for acknowledgement, funding decisions and payment arrangements.

Acknowledgement: The CSA's objective is to acknowledge applications within three days of the initiative closing date.

Decisions: The CSA's objective is to email replies within five days of the application deadline and to email funding agreements for signing.

Payment: The CSA's objective is to issue payments within one week of receiving the funding agreement signed by the student.

Adherence to these service standards is a shared responsibility. Applicants must provide all the required documents at the right time. The service standards may be affected by the volume of applications.

Key dates:

6. Funding available and eligible costs

The total grant for each student is CAN$2,650.

The funding currently available should enable about 10 applicants to benefit.

The CSA reserves the right to reject applications or to reduce the amount of a grant at its sole discretion.

The funds granted should be used to cover the cost of travelling to and from Guadalajara, registration at the Congress, lodging and subsistence. All costs over and above the amount granted by the CSA must be assumed by the student.

7. Grant agreements

The CSA and the successful applicants (beneficiaries) will sign a grant agreement. This condition must be met for the CSA to issue payment.


Payment will be made as indicated in the signed grant agreement. Beneficiaries undertake to inform the CSA in writing of any change in the conditions used to establish their eligibility for the grant (i.e. student status).

Final report

The CSA will require beneficiaries to produce a report on their return from the Congress, using the template provided by the Agency. This report must include a budget section, in order to provide details about paid fees related to eligible costs.

8. Confidentiality

The CSA will comply with the federal government's Access to Information Act and Privacy Act in processing applications received. By submitting your personal information, you consent to its collection, use and disclosure in accordance with the following Confidentiality Statement, which explains how information on applicants is handled.

All necessary measures have been taken to protect the confidentiality of information provided by applicants. This information is gathered under the terms of the CSA's Class Grant and Contribution Program to Support Research, Awareness and Learning in Space Science and Technology and will be used to evaluate and select applications. Personal information (such as addresses and biographical details) included in rejected applications will be kept in a CSA personal information bank for five years, then destroyed (personal information in CSA file PPU040). Personal information in successful applications and the results of applications will be stored for historical purposes. These data are protected under the Privacy Act. Under this Act, data relating to an individual and included for evaluation in an application may be consulted by the person concerned, who has rights over this information. On demand, this individual may

  1. have access to the data and
  2. correct any erroneous information or have notes added.

Applicants must acknowledge that for any agreement exceeding $25,000, details of the funding agreement (amount, whether grant or contribution, name of beneficiary and site of project) will be publicly accessible on the CSA's Internet site.

For more information on confidentiality, contact, before applying:

Access to Information and Privacy
Canadian Space Agency
Telephone: 450-926-4866

9. Additional information

  1. We advise you to contact your insurer to check whether you are covered for foreign travel and participation in this program. The CSA provides no protection in this regard.
  2. You will need to have in your possession all the documents required (valid passport and tourist card) to enter Mexico, and they must meet that country's conditions for admission. For more details, go to the website of the Canadian embassy in Mexico.
  3. The Congress, its activities and its workshops will mostly take place at Expo Guadalajara (Spanish only), a downtown conference centre.
  4. You should plan your own return trip to Guadalajara and your local travel once there.
  5. You are also responsible for your lodging. Many hotels are located near the city centre and the location of activities.
  6. Please go to the IAC 2016 official website for more information on the technical program.

10. Frequently asked questions

Should the need arise, it is up to applicants to obtain clarification of the requirements contained in this initiative before applying.

For all questions, applicants must use this generic email address: Questions and their answers will be posted on the CSA website under "Frequently asked questions." The CSA will answer questions received by 5 pm (EDT) on August 12, 2016.

Applicants are invited to submit comments or suggestions to the CSA on this funding opportunity, the initiative or the process. Applicants can use this generic email address for their comments: generic email address or the generic comments and suggestions box.

Question 1: Is it acceptable to have a photocopy of the attestation of student enrolment, rather than the original document?

Response 1: Yes, a photocopy is acceptable.

Question 2: Although I haven't sent any abstract to the congress, could I still apply for the grant in order to improve my knowledge?

Response 2: Yes, you can apply.

Question 3: Can an applicant currently in a specialised second degree science program apply?

Response 3: To apply, you must be enrolled to a second degree program for the fall term 2016. Short and Specialized programs are accepted.

Question 4: Is it acceptable to send you the reference letter from Professor under separate cover, apart from the rest of the application?

Response 4: Yes. The applications will be reviewed only if they are complete. However, you can provide the documents using multiple shipments, as long as all documents are received within the delays.

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