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Student Participation Initiative - Earth Observation Summit (EOS)

Announcement of Opportunity

Publication date:

Application deadline:

Table of Contents

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

1. Introduction

This year, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) will be awarding grants to students wanting to attend the Earth Observation Summit (EOS) .

The EOS brings together in one exceptional event the 38th Canadian Symposium on Remote Sensing (CSRS), the 17th Conference of the Association Québécoise de Télédétection (AQT), the 11th Advanced SAR (ASAR) Workshop and the 51st Workshop of the Association de Géomatique Municipale du Québec (AGMQ). This EOS is an international event to be held in Montreal from to . It aims to gather several communities interested in Earth Observation (EO), its technologies, its applications and its benefits to society.

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

The EOS draws mainly students specializing in EO related disciplines. For many students, the EOS is a motivating event inspiring them to pursue their studies in space-related disciplines and set their career goals accordingly.

The CSA intends to support a group of students to give them the opportunity afforded by the Congress to learn more about the future of EO and participate during the EOS in specific activities organized by the CSA.

Two optional workshops will also be offered before and after the Congress, the Summer School on and the SAR Training on . A cocktail will be held on the evening of while a dinner banquet is offered on .

As part of its commitment to helping train the rising generation of space professionals, the CSA is inviting post-secondary level students to apply. We are pleased to welcome you at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) science centre (Coeur des sciences) nearby the lively Quartier des spectacles, a popular cultural and entertainment destination in Montreal. Do not miss this opportunity to take part in Montreal's 375th anniversary celebrations.

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

We hope to see many of you in Montreal in !

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 program in a Canadian post-secondary institution in the winter semester;

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;
  2. Applications must contain the following:
    • Duly completed application form;
    • A copy of your proof of citizenship (such as a Canadian passport) or permanent resident card;
    • An attestation of student enrolment in winter semester;
    • A copy of your abstract/paper as submitted to EOS , if applicable;
    • A motivation letter with a maximum of 1000 words on what you expect to gain from attending the Congress (can be part of the application form or a separate document);
    • A reference letter from a professor (must be a separate document);
    • The printout of quote estimates for an economy class air fare, if applicable and/or other transportation fees;
    • A budget breakdown.
  3. Applications must be mailed to the CSA at this address:

Earth Observation Summit (EOS)
Student Participation Initiative
c/o Isabelle Lamoureux
Senior Program Officer, Academic Development
Canadian Space Agency
6767 Route de l'Aéroport
Saint-Hubert, Quebec J3Y 8Y9

  • Applications must be received by the CSA no later than EDT), on ;
  • Applications sent by e-mail will not be accepted;
  • Incomplete applications will be rejected.

For more information on EOS and how to submit an abstract, consult the EOS website.

4. Selection process and criteria

This section is aimed at evaluating the students' interest and experience in space-related disciplines, his/her expectations towards participating to the EOS and his/her interests and prospective career goals in space related discipline. It should be clearly demonstrated and detailed within the submitted documents.

The eligible proposals will be scored by members of an evaluation committee according to the criteria described in Table 1 and will be selected in decreasing order based on the average scores

Table 1: Evaluation matrix
Evaluated criteria None/Poor Good Exceptional Max score Min score
Quality of the motivation letter 0 3 6 6 3
Reference letter 0 4 8 8 4
Quality of the abstract 0 1 2 2 0
Realism of the budget 0 2 4 4 2

Minimum score required: 12/20

All the evaluated criteria will be given a poor, good or exceptional score as described below:

Poor: Some key information required to be presented is missing and/or the information provided is ambiguous, not clear and/or not adequately supported by examples or facts.

Good: Notwithstanding some minor limitations in the completeness and validity of the information, the description of the element is well structured and convincing. Key messages are summarised and highlighted. Relevant examples and facts supporting the arguments are provided.

Exceptional: There is no missing relevant information. The arguments are explicitly presented and strongly convincing. All requested information is provided in a well-structured manner.

Description of the evaluated criteria

Quality of the motivation letter:

The motivation letter should describe in enough details

  1. your experience in EO-related disciplines,
  2. what you expect to gain from attending the Congress,
  3. how you consider yourself as a good candidate
  4. how the information you are providing outlines your interests and prospective career goals in a space-related discipline.
Reference letter:

The reference letter from a professor should describe in enough details how your work as a student stands out. It should be supported by specific examples and facts that confirm your interest and experience in an EO related discipline.

Quality of the abstract:

The abstract should be well structured, balanced, written in an understandable manner and related to the EOS topics.

Realism of the budget:

The budget should describe relevant expenses and cost saving approaches.

A review panel may proceed with a global selection that would reflect the priorities of the Government of Canada and the CSA.

Please note that the results from the Student Participation Initiative evaluation committee are final.

5. Service standards

Applicants will be informed by e-mail concerning their grant application. Successful applicants will be notified by e-mail and their names could 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 (see key dates).

Acknowledgement: the CSA's objective is to acknowledge applications within five (5) working days following the application deadline.

Decisions: the CSA's objective is to e-mail replies within ten (10) working days following the reception of applications deadline and, to send the grant agreements for signature within five (5) working days following such replies.

Payment: the CSA's objective is to issue payments within ten (10) working days 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.

Key dates:

  • : Deadline for reception at the CSA of funding applications
  • : Deadline for acknowledgement of applications
  • : Date of disclosure of applicants selected for funding by CSA
  • : Date of mailing of funding agreements

6. Financing available and eligible costs

6.1 Participation in EOS

The maximum amount for each grant is $4,000. The total budget for this Announcement of opportunity (AO) should be sufficient to support at least ten (10) students. The CSA reserves the right to reject applications or to reduce the amount of a grant at its sole discretion.

The funds granted are subject specific limitations as described in Table 2. These funds should be used to cover part of or the main costs of travelling to and from Montreal, the registration fees at the EOS, the lodging and subsistence expenses from to . All costs over and above the CSA maximum grant of $4,000 will have to be assumed by the student.

Per diem for meals, incidentals and lodging (hotel) is for a maximum of six (6) days and six (6) nights since you will be invited to participate in two workshops before and after the Congress. Your budget will be evaluated as part of your application, please describe/justify adequately the amounts you are requesting.

Table 2: Expenses description
Expense type Maximum CAD
Air fare and/or other transportation feesTable note 1 -
Lodging (hotel)
($156/nightTable note 2, maximum of 6 nights)
Per diem and incidentals
($98/dayTable note 2, maximum of 6 days)
Congress fees $375
Summer School () $50
SAR Training () $50

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. Such agreement may include conditions to participate in specific networking activities during and after EOS.


Payment will be made in the form of a unique payment, 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.

Final report

The CSA will require beneficiaries to produce a report upon their return from the EOS , using the template to be provided by the CSA.

A budget section should also be included within the report in order to provide details about the paid fees related to eligible costs. This information will provide the CSA with valuable information to determine the maximum amount and number of grants for future AOs.

8. Confidentiality

The collected information will be used to evaluate and select applications. 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 will be 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 (PPU040). Personal information will be kept in a CSA personal information bank for five years according to the retention schedule.

For more information on the Privacy Act or to access your personal information, contact:

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 travel and participation in the Congress. The CSA provides no protection in this regard.
  2. You should plan your own local travel once there.
  3. You are also responsible for your lodging.
  4. Please go to the EOS official website for more information on the EOS 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 e-mail address: Questions and their answers will be posted on the CSA website under "Frequently Asked Questions". The CSA will answer questions received no later than (EDT) on .

Applicants are invited to apprise the CSA at any time of their comments or suggestions on this funding opportunity, the initiative or the process. Applicants may either use for their comments the generic email address or the generic web-based comments and suggestions box.

Question 1: In the requirement for "an attestation of student enrolment in winter semester", which specific time period is "winter semester" referred to?

Response 1: Winter semester is from January to April.

Question 2: I would like to attend the Earth Observation Summit but I was not registered as a full time student during the Winter semester. Can I still register?

Response 2: You may register to the EOS but you are not eligible to receive a grant since you do not meet the eligibility requirement.

Question 3: I am a Canadian citizen and I am enrolled in a full-time Ph.D. program in the winter semester. However, I started working as a postdoctoral researcher during the autumn while I am still registered as a full-time student.

If I am eligible, should I ask my Ph.D. supervisor or postdoc supervisor for a reference letter?

Response 3: If you are a Canadian citizen and are registered as a full time student in a Ph.D. program in the winter semester, you are eligible for a grant; however you must submit an attestation of student enrolment for the winter semester.

The reference letter can be provided by the professor of your choice.

Question 4: My hometown is different from my postsecondary institution location and I will be travelling from my hometown to Montreal for the conference. However, budget footnote 1 states that transport must be from the nearest airport to the post-secondary institution. Will the flight budget cover costs from cities other than the one nearest my post-secondary institution?

Response 4: The Eligible transport fees are for expenses incurred from an airport near to your postsecondary institution. If you are traveling from another location, you will need to demonstrate that the travel expenses incurred are less or equal to the amount for Eligible transport fees by providing the appropriate printouts of quotes estimates. If the amount is higher, you will have to assume the amount that exceeds the Eligible transport fees.

Question 5: To aid in cost estimation, are there meals provided as part of the conference, aside from the mentioned dinner banquet on ? For instance, if a luncheon is provided every day, that significantly lessens the per diem amount required.

Response 5: The lunches during the conference are included in the conference fee. You should not claim them in your budget. The fees for the dinner banquet are not included and should not be claimed. However, you can include the amount for a meal, as per National Joint Council Travel Directive.

Question 6: In our motivation letter, will hyperlinks to online documents we were involved in producing be considered? For instance, will you look at a paper where we have author credit are acknowledged for supporting the author, or a relevant school assignment/project document that is hosted online?

Response 6: You must print your motivation letter and provide a hardcopy. You must also ensure that all the information is included within your application. Hyperlinks will not be accessible during the evaluation process.

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