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Canadian Student Participation in the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) Scientific Assembly

Announcement of Opportunity

Publication date:

Application deadline:

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Eligibility criteria
  3. How to apply
  4. Evaluation process
  5. Service standards
  6. Financing and eligible costs
  7. Grants agreement
  8. Confidentiality
  9. Outreach activities
  10. Additional information
  11. Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

1. Introduction

This year, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) will award grants to students who are interested in participating in the 43rd Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) Scientific Assembly (COSPAR ) to be hosted in Sydney, Australia from to .

COSPAR's objective is to promote scientific research in space on an international level, with emphasis on the exchange of results, information and opinions. In addition, COSPAR aims to provide a forum, open to all scientists, for the discussion of problems that may affect scientific space research. COSPAR will provide students with a unique opportunity to deepen their knowledge of space science, develop their international networks, and present their research at a well-established and prestigious forum to a respected audience.

As part of its commitment to support the development of the next generation of space professionals in Canada, the CSA invites university students (master's and doctoral levels) to apply for a grant to participate in this assembly.

2. Eligibility criteria

To apply for a grant under the Student Participation in COSPAR initiative, candidates must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  1. Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
  2. Be enrolled in a Canadian university as a full-time student in a graduate program (master's or doctoral) for the Winter semester ( – ); and
  3. Have submitted an abstract to COSPAR for a Scientific Commission event at COSPAR .

3. How to apply

Candidates must complete the following three steps to submit their application for funding under the Student Participation in COSPAR initiative:

  1. Download and complete the application form;
  2. A complete application must contain the following:
    • A completed original application form signed by the applicant;
    • A copy of the applicant's proof of citizenship (such as a Canadian passport) or permanent resident card;
    • A proof of the student's full-time enrolment in a graduate program at a Canadian university for the Winter semester (e.g. letter of attestation from the university);
    • A motivation letter (maximum of 1,000 words) written by the applicant (refer to section 4.3 of the Announcement of Opportunity [AO] or Annex 1 of the application form for the elements that should be covered in the motivation letter);
    • A reference letter (maximum of 1,000 words) from a professor that holds a faculty position at the applicant's university (refer to section 4.3 of the AO or Annex 1 of the application form for the elements that should be covered in the reference letter). The reference letter must be a separate document and it may be submitted in a sealed envelope (at the professor's discretion); however it must be included in the candidate's application package;
    • A copy of the applicant's abstract submitted to COSPAR for COSPAR (for more information regarding how to submit an abstract, please visit COSPAR Abstract Submission); and,
    • The applicant's curriculum vitae.
  3. Mail the application to the CSA at the address below:

    Student Participation in COSPAR
    c/o Natasha Isloor
    Program Officer, Academic Development
    Canadian Space Agency
    6767 Route de l'Aéroport
    Saint-Hubert, Quebec J3Y 8Y9

Important notes:

4. Evaluation process

4.1 Abstract acceptance or refusal by COSPAR

In order to be eligible for a grant under the Student Participation in COSPAR initiative, the applicant must have submitted an abstract to COSPAR for a Scientific Commission event. The COSPAR Assembly Secretariat will directly provide the CSA with a confirmation on of which candidates' abstracts were accepted and which were refused. This information is required in order for the CSA to complete the evaluation process (refer to section 4.3 of the AO and Annex 1 of the application form).

4.2 Eligibility

Applications will first be submitted to an eligibility assessment by the CSA to verify whether they comply with the eligibility criteria listed in section 2 of the AO. Only applications that have passed the eligibility assessment will be given further consideration.

4.3 Evaluation by the CSA

Once the eligibility criteria are confirmed, the CSA's evaluators will assess the screened applications according to the criteria presented in Table 1 below. Candidates shall provide the appropriate documents, as indicated in the "Evidence" column and requested in section 3 of the AO, to demonstrate how each evaluation criterion is met. Only applications that obtain a total minimum score of 70% will be given further consideration.

Table 1. Definition and breakdown of evaluation criteria
Criteria
(weighting %)
Indicators Evidence
Relevance of the candidate's experience to the Canadian space sector
(30%)
  • Professional and academic background of the candidate as well as achievements and other extracurricular activities that bear relevance to the Canadian space sector;
  • Initiative and autonomy;
  • Research experience and participation in publication writing.
  • Factual examples provided in motivation letter in clearly identified sections;
  • Factual examples provided in reference letter in clearly identified sections;
  • Curriculum vitae.
Motivation to contribute to the Canadian space sector
(30%)
  • Candidate's expectations for participating in COSPAR and how their participation will positively impact his or her future contribution to the Canadian space sector;
  • Candidate's motivation in pursuing studies or a career in Canada in a space-related discipline or in a discipline the space sector could benefit from in the future.
  • Factual examples provided in motivation letter in clearly identified sections;
  • Factual examples provided in reference letter in clearly identified sections.
Personal characteristics and interpersonal skills
(20%)
  • Professional, academic and/or other relevant extracurricular interactions and collaborations with supervisors, colleagues, peers, students and members of the community that demonstrate the applicant's positive personal qualities and interpersonal skills;
  • Description of how the candidate's work as a student stands out.
  • Factual examples provided in motivation letter in clearly identified sections;
  • Factual examples provided in reference letter in clearly identified sections.
Abstract
(20%)
  • Relevance of abstract to COSPAR scientific program (refer to COSPAR Abstract Submission for more information);
  • Clarity, brevity and structure of the abstract and its contents, which include the problem, the objectives, the research methods, and the expected results or the outcomes of the work;
  • Acceptance or refusal of abstract by COSPAR.
  • Copy of abstract submitted to COSPAR for COSPAR ;
  • Confirmation of abstract acceptance or refusal by COSPAR (to be provided directly to the CSA by COSPAR Assembly Secretariat)

Notes:

4.4 Final selection

For the final selection, the CSA will first consider the applicants having the highest final scores. Because of limited funding, priority will be given to:

  1. Students whose abstract has been selected by COSPAR and who have not previously been funded directly by the CSA to attend a conference. If an insufficient number of applications meet this prerequisite, then the CSA will also consider:
  2. Students whose abstract has been selected by COSPAR and who have previously been funded directly by the CSA to attend a conference. If an insufficient number of applications meet this prerequisite, then the CSA will also consider:
  3. Students whose abstract has not been selected by COSPAR and who have not previously been funded directly by the CSA to attend a conference.

Students may submit co-authored abstracts to receive a grant; however the CSA will offer just one grant per abstract.

The CSA could also take into consideration factors such as a balanced grants distribution across Canada as well as a diversified representativeness among the four designated groups. The CSA encourages applicants to indicate on a voluntary basis if they belong to one or more of the four following groups: women, Aboriginal People, persons with disabilities and member of visibility minority. Please visit Employment equity for a complete definition of each group.

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

5. Service standards

Applicants will be notified by email of decisions regarding their application. The CSA has set the following service standards for application processing times, including acknowledgements of receipt, funding decisions and payment procedures (see key dates):

Acknowledgement: the CSA's objective is to acknowledge the receipt of the applications within two (2) weeks following the AO's closing date.

Decisions: the CSA's objective is to respond within ten (10) weeks following the AO's closing date and, to send to selected students the grant agreements for signature within three (3) weeks following such replies.

Payment: the CSA's objective is to issue the payment within four (4) weeks from the date of the receipt of the funding agreement signed by the student.

Meeting these service standards is a shared responsibility. Applicants must provide all the required documents at the right time.

Key dates:

6. Financing and eligible costs

The maximum amount for each grant is $4,510. The total budget for this AO should be sufficient to support a maximum of eleven (11) students. The CSA reserves the right to reject applications or to reduce the amount of a grant at its sole discretion.

The recipient will have to accept to use the awarded grant to cover (partially or totally) the costs associated with his/her participation in COSPAR . The funding should be used to cover the following expenses:

All other costs exceeding the CSA grant amount are entirely the recipient's responsibility.

Each recipient will receive:

7. Grants agreement

The CSA and each successful applicant will sign a grant agreement. This condition must be met for the CSA to issue a payment. Such an agreement will include a condition that the recipient must attend all of the events scheduled within the Scientific Commission in which their research will be presented at COSPAR , unless an adequate justification is provided to the CSA in advance.

7.1 Payment

Payment will be made in the form of a single payment, as indicated in the signed grant agreement. Recipients undertake to inform the CSA in writing of any change in the conditions used to establish their eligibility for the grant.

7.2 Final report

The CSA will require that each recipient submit a report within 30 days following the end of COSPAR using a template the CSA will make available in advance.

8. Confidentiality

The CSA manages and protects the information provided by the applicant under the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act. By submitting your personal information, you consent to its collection, use and disclosure in accordance with the following Privacy Statement, which explains how the information about the applicant will be processed.

The information is collected under the CSA Class Grants and Contributions Program in Support of Awareness, Research and Learning - Research Component (ASC PPU 045) and Awareness and Learning Component (ASC PPU 040). This information will be used for administration and application evaluation purposes. Personal information will be kept accordingly to the retention schedule. You may also refer to Info Source for additional information about the functions, programs, activities and related information holdings of government institutions subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. According to the Privacy Act, any individual may, upon request, have access to his or her personal data and request correction of the incorrect information.

Applicants should also note that information relating to the Funding Agreement could be disclosed publicly in accordance with the laws, policies and directives of the Government of Canada.

For additional information regarding this statement, please contact:

Access to Information and Privacy
Canadian Space Agency
Telephone: 450-926-4866
Email: aiprp-atip@asc-csa.gc.ca

9. Outreach activities

 Applicants that are selected to participate in COSPAR are encouraged, upon their return, to take part in outreach activities to share their experience with other students. Applicants may refer to Section J of the Application Form to indicate their interest, if they are selected, to participate in outreach activities upon their return.

Important note:

10. Additional information

  1. Recipients are advised to contact their insurers (travel, medical, and others) in order to verify their coverage with respect to foreign travel and participation in COSPAR . The CSA provides no protection in this regard.
  2. Recipients are also advised to ensure that they have in their possession all the documents needed (valid passport or visa, if applicable) to enter Australia, and that their documents meet the country's entry/exit requirements. For more details, please refer to the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs Canada.
  3. COSPAR will be hosted at the International Convention Centre in Sydney, Australia.
  4. It is the sole responsibility of the recipient to plan and book their travel arrangements, both internationally and locally. For lodging, recipients may refer to the COSPAR website for discounted options.
  5. Please go to the COSPAR official website for additional information on the COSPAR scientific program.

11. Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

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

For all questions, applicants must use this generic e-mail address: stedia-dstemu@asc-csa.gc.ca. Questions and their answers will be posted on the CSA website under the "Frequently asked questions" section of this AO. The CSA will answer questions received no later than 5 p.m. (ET) on .

Question 1: Am I eligible to apply for a grant under the COSPAR  initiative if I already received a grant from the CSA to attend a previous conference, such as IAC?

Answer 1: Yes, you are still eligible to apply for a grant under the COSPAR  initiative, even if you have already received a grant from the CSA to attend a previous conference.

However, as stipulated in section 4.4 of the AO, first priority will be given to students who have not previously been funded directly by the CSA to attend a conference and whose abstracts have been selected by COSPAR .

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