Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP) planetary science investigation grants -
Announcement of Opportunity
Publication closing date:
Table of contents
- AO objectives
- Eligibility criteria
- Funding agreements
- Privacy notice statement
- Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
- Estimated total amount for the Announcement of Opportunity (AO): $1.8 million
- Eligible recipients: Canadian universities and post-secondary institutions
- Grants or contributions: Grants
- Maximum amount per project: $900,000
- Maximum timeframe of the project: Five (5) years
In , the Government of Canada (GoC) announced the Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP) as part of a new National Space Strategy to "
position Canada's commercial space sector to help grow the economy and create the jobs of the future". The Federal Budget confirmed that the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) can access up to $150 M over five years starting in - for LEAP to support space technology development, in-space demonstration, as well as science missions.
The strategy enables Canada and its space sector to grow the economy and create the jobs of the future by advancing science, developing and demonstrating space technologies and participating in new commercial and science mission opportunities linked to our participation in lunar exploration while generating benefits for Canadians in space and on Earth.
In light of the above, the CSA would like to advance scientific knowledge of the Moon through the development of research programs in planetary science. LEAP is a forward-looking initiative; it is intended to generate technologies and science needed by Canada and its international partners for future international missions, positioning Canada for possible participation in them. By using LEAP to develop key capabilities in niche areas that may be highly sought after for new international missions, Canada can position itself as a partner of choice among international space agencies and can position the space sector for global growth.
The CSA wants to promote the creation of interdisciplinary research teams to advance knowledge of the Moon by working on common scientific questions. The resulting research programs can encompass a variety of activities related to lunar science topics or questions relevant to Canadian planetary science objectives. Amongst others, these activities can include theoretical advancements, modelling, field work, laboratory experiments, analyses of astromaterials, data collection, data processing and analyses, participation on analogue missions, participation on international lunar missions, results dissemination, and capacity building.
This AO is consistent with the terms and conditions of the CSA Class Grant and Contribution (G&C) Program to Support Research, Awareness and Learning in Space Science and Technology – Research Component.
Applicants are asked to read the following AO thoroughly before submitting their applications. This AO was prepared to help applicants complete the application process, and outlines key elements, including mandatory criteria for eligibility, details on eligible projects and the selection process. In the event of any discrepancies between this AO and the individual funding agreements governing a project, the latter document(s) will take precedence.
2. AO objectives
The objective of this AO is to support research activities related to advancing knowledge of the Moon as outlined in the Canadian Space Exploration – Science and Space Health Priorities for Next Decade and Beyond (2017).
A second objective is to develop and strengthen key capabilities in research area sought after for future lunar international missions through collaborations of researchers working on common lunar scientific topics or questions and capacity-building initiatives.
The CSA expectations from selected proposals are:
- advancement of lunar science and technology (S&T) through space research and development;
- increased output of scientific knowledge that will help Canada to position itself for participation in future lunar international planetary exploration missions; and
- increased collaborations amongst scientists and supply of scientists with PhDs in Canada who have experience in lunar planetary science research.
3. Eligibility criteria
3.1 Eligible recipients
For this AO, only Canadian universities and post-secondary institutions are eligible.
3.2 Eligible projects
To be eligible for CSA funding, Projects must consist of:
- Research activities of interest to Canada related to lunar space S&T disciplines and their applications; and
- Various researchers joining under the same research program to answer common lunar scientific topics or questions that will promote collaborative work.
When composing a team, the involvement of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers supporting researchers is actively encouraged. Students or postdoctoral researchers do not need to be named in the proposal or the letter demonstrating science team membership status, but it is the Researchers' responsibility to ensure that work conducted as a result of this funding complies with the proposed research activities. Applicants should consider regional representation (i.e., including co-investigators [Co-Is] from Eastern and Western Canada) and activities to increase representation from the four designated equity groups under the Employment Equity Act: women, persons with disabilities, Aboriginal peoples, and members of visible minorities. International collaboration is also encouraged and is expected to be conducted through no exchange of funds, except as stated in Section 6.2.
In addition, Projects must satisfy each of the following criteria:
3.2.1 Alignment with Canadian scientific priorities
The Project must have lunar science objectives that are aligned with LEAP S&T goals, driven by the 'Canadian Space Exploration: Science and Space Health Priorities for the Next Decade (PDF, 3.57 MB)'.
In particular, the research project must be aligned with the objectives found in Table 3-1.
|Topic||Objective number||Objective title|
|Planetary atmospheres||PAT-04||Understand atmospheric and exospheric aerosols|
|Planetary geology, geophysics and prospecting||PGGP-01||Document the geological record and processes that have shaped the surface of the terrestrial planets, their moons, icy satellites and asteroids|
|PGGP-02||Determine the Resource Potential of the Moon, Mars and asteroids|
|PGGP-03||Understand the origin and distribution of volatiles on the terrestrial planets and their moons, asteroids and comets|
|PGGP-04||Determine the interior structure and properties of the terrestrial planets and their moons, icy satellites and asteroids|
|PGGP-06||Understand surface modification processes on airless bodies|
|Planetary space environment||PSE-01||To understand the role of magnetic fields, plasma and atmosphere-ionosphere dynamics on the history and evolution of planets and other solar-system bodies|
|PSE-02||To understand and characterize the plasma processes that shape the heliosphere and drive planetary and interplanetary space weather and related which create hazards to space exploration|
3.2.2 Research program activities
The Project must comply with the definition below.
For the purposes of this AO, Projects are defined as research programs that are targeting lunar scientific topics, which will allow advancement in scientific knowledge resulting in the production of peer-reviewed scientific publications.
The research programs may include:
- theoretical advancement;
- field work;
- laboratory experiments;
- analyses of astromaterials;
- data collection;
- data processing and analyses;
- participation on analogue missions;
- participation on international lunar missions;
- results dissemination;
- capacity building; and
- other research activities as relevant to the proposed research.
All development phases necessary for a project are eligible. Any logical breakdown or combination of these phases can constitute a funded project. However, breaking down a project into numerous phases to obtain more than the maximum grant or contribution is not allowed. Furthermore, even if the maximum funding for one project is not reached, the completion of a funded phase does not automatically guarantee funding of the remaining phases.
For a list of eligible costs, see Section 6.2.
3.3 Links to CSA priorities
To be eligible, projects supported under this AO must contribute to the following CSA's - Departmental Plan:
- Priority 1: Together, the Government's investment of $2.05 billion over 24 years in a next-generation robotics system for the Lunar Gateway and the LEAP represent the cornerstone of the new Canadian Space Strategy. These investments will contribute to advancements in S&T and ensure Canada remains a leading space faring nation.
- Result 1: Through advancements in S&T resulting from research and development in the space sector, the CSA enables the first steps in the continuum of change that will result in socio-economic benefits for Canadians. By providing access to high-quality scientific data and supporting researchers, the CSA will contribute to science excellence and help maintain Canada's international ranking of 11th place among OECD nations with respect to the average relative citation score of space-related publications.
- Result 2: By taking advantage of Canadians' interest in space and by providing opportunities for youth to acquire the skills to pursue studies and careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), the CSA will support the development of the next generation of space scientists and engineers. It is expected that 500 new people and organizations will enter space-related fields as a result of CSA funding.
3.4 Links to G&C program objectives
To be eligible, projects supported under this AO must contribute to the achievement of the following objectives:
- To support the development of S&T relevant to the priorities of the CSA;
- To foster the continuing development of a critical mass of researchers and highly qualified people in Canada in areas relevant to the priorities of the CSA; and
- To support information gathering, studies, and research related to space.
3.5 R&D definition
Basic R&D is defined as: "
Any pre-commercial S&T activities that are carried out to resolve unknowns regarding the feasibility of (i) space concepts or (ii) applications in the space sector."
Basic R&D activities supported under this AO shall be undertaken in Canada unless it is essential to the success of the project.
4.1 Required documentation
Applicants must submit a completed Application as described below.
The Application must include the following:
- a completed typed original application form digitally signed by the Duly Authorized Representative;
- the proposal;
- the document(s) confirming the legal name of the Applicant;
- letters from the Co-Is acknowledging their roles and responsibilities, as identified in the proposal;
- letters from other funding contributors confirming their contributions (if applicable);
- a complete Declaration on Confidentiality, Access to Information Act and Privacy Act form signed by the duly authorized representative (refer to the Applicant Declaration on Confidentiality, Access to Information Act and Privacy Act section included in the application form); and
- For organizations in Quebec, M-30 Supporting Documentation form completed and signed by the duly authorized representative (refer to the M-30 form for organizations in Quebec included in the application form).
The application must be prepared as a single PDF-formatted file containing all of the above requested documents with all security features disabled. Please order the document with the application form and proposal first. The proposal and supporting documents must be included in the file as searchable PDF-formatted documents (PDF/A-1a or PDF/A-2a formats preferred). If there are any accessibility issues with the submitted PDF file, all consequences reside with the Applicant.
Any missing supporting document or any incoherence between the requested documents and the information provided within the documents may lead to the rejection of the proposal on that sole basis.
It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the application complies with all relevant federal, provincial, and territorial legislation and municipal bylaws.
Applications can be:
Uploaded electronically by first completing an account creation request at the Electronic proposal portal.
Upon receipt, the CSA will send an email with instructions on how to connect to the CSA secure filer system to allow you to upload documents securely. Please note that Google Chrome is the browser of choice for submissions. Supported browsers are Google Chrome and Internet Explorer with some restrictions. Applicants using the electronic portal are encouraged to create their account many days before the submission deadline as technical difficulties may arise. If the technical issues cannot be resolved, applicants can submit their application by mail. Applicants are strongly encouraged to upload their applications well before the submission deadline.
Mailed to the CSA at the following address:
LEAP Planetary Science Investigation Grants AO
c/o Caroline-Emmanuelle Morisset
Space Exploration Development
Canadian Space Agency
6767 Route de l'Aéroport
Saint-Hubert, Quebec J3Y 8Y9
Documents must be received by the CSA electronically (successfully uploaded) or via mail or recognized courier service, no later than 2 p.m. ET on .
It is to be noted that:
- Applications sent by e-mail will not be accepted.
- Incomplete applications will not be considered.
The questions and answers related to this AO will be posted on the CSA website in the "
Frequently asked questions" of this AO (see Section 9). CSA will respond to questions received before 5 p.m. ET .
4.2 Service standards – Complete applications
Applicants will be notified in writing of decisions regarding their application. Selected applications will be announced on the CSA website. The CSA has set the following service standards for processing times, acknowledgement of receipt, funding decisions and payment procedures.
- Acknowledgement: The CSA's goal is to acknowledge receipt of proposals within two (2) weeks of receiving the completed application package.
- Decision: The CSA's goal is to respond to the proposal within sixteen (16) weeks of the AO's closing date and to send a grant agreement for signature within six (6) weeks after formal approval of the proposal.
- Payment: The CSA's goal is to issue payment within six (6) weeks of the successful fulfillment of the requirements outlined in the grant agreement.
Compliance with these service standards is a shared responsibility. Applicants must submit all required documentation in a timely fashion.
5.1 Eligibility criteria
Applications must satisfy the following eligibility criteria:
- Represents an eligible recipient as defined in Section 3.1;
- Represents an eligible project as defined in Section 3.2, 3.3 and 3.4;
- Meets the basic R&D definition in Section 3.5; and
- Meets program funding provisions in Section 6.1.
5.2 Evaluation criteria
The evaluation committee will evaluate eligible applications according to the following criteria. These are further described in Appendix A.
|1. Benefits to Canada||1. 1 Advancement of knowledge relevant to the CSA LEAP S&T goals||15||10||5||0||10 points|
|1.2 Relevance of the project team to the proposed investigation||15||10||5||0||10 points|
|2. Results||2.1 Publication and science dissemination plan||15||10||5||0||20 points|
|2.2 Enhancement of pool of space experts||15||10||5||0|
|3. Resources||3.1 Budget completeness and justification||10||7||3||0||3 points|
|4. Feasibility||4.1 Feasibility of the research methodology||15||10||5||0||17 points|
|4.2 Feasibility of the research plan and schedule||10||7||3||0|
|5. Risk and mitigation strategies||5.1 Project risks (financial, managerial, scientific and/or technical) and mitigation strategies||5||3||2||0||2 points|
- Maximum score 100
- Minimum passing score 62
5.3 Evaluation process
Only applications that have passed the eligibility assessment listed in Section 5.1 will be given further consideration.
Once the eligibility criteria are confirmed, evaluators will assess the screened applications according to the criteria listed in Section 5.2. Evaluators shall be experts in the fields relevant to the applications and may include representatives of Canada and other countries, and representatives of other government and non-government agencies and organizations. If applicable, a multidisciplinary evaluation committee will be formed when applications from several different disciplines are competing in order to provide a uniform final score and ranking of proposals.
Before a final decision is made, the CSA's Program Manager responsible for this AO may seek input and advice from other organizations, including (but not limited to) federal, provincial, territorial and municipal government agencies and organizations.
6.1 Available funding and project duration
The total maximum funding amount given in the form of a grant for each project will be $900,000 in Canadian dollars over a maximum period of five years. Submitted proposals should thus plan to be completed within five (5) years. CSA intends to fund approximately 2 proposals under this AO, with the possibility of more depending on funding availability.
An Applicant may not be funded for more than one (1) Project under this AO. Individual researchers are permitted to be part of as many applications as they wish. However, CSA will not fund two proposals with the exact same team of researchers. It is expected that graduate students or postdoctoral fellow to be involved in these applications will not be the same.
For the purposes of this AO, the term "
Applicant" refers to the Canadian university or post-secondary institution that will submit the application. The term "
Researcher" is the individual employed by the Applicant that would conduct the proposed scientific activities.
The CSA reserves the right to reject any proposals or reduce the amount of the grants at its entire discretion.
Approved proposals will be eligible for a total amount of government assistance (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal) of up to 100% of total project costs in the case of other eligible recipients.
To determine the amount of funding to be allocated, consideration will be given to the availability of CSA funds, the total cost of the project, and the other confirmed sources of funds provided by other stakeholders and the Applicant.
Applicants must identify all sources of funding in their applications and confirm this information in a funding agreement if the project is selected for funding. Upon completion of a project, the recipient must also disclose all sources of funding.
6.2 Eligible costs
Eligible costs are direct expenses that are associated with the delivery of the approved project and that are required to achieve the expected results of the project. Expenses will be covered subject to the applicant signing a funding agreement, in the form of a grant, with the CSA.
Eligible costs for grants under this AO are the following:
- Access fees;
- Accommodation and meal allowances;
- Acquisition, development and printing of materials;
- Acquisition or rental of equipmentFootnote 1;
- Aircraft and watercraft charter services;
- Consultant services;
- Costs for carrying out environmental screening and/or impact studies;
- Costs related to obtaining security clearance;
- Data acquisition;
- Data management;
- Laboratory analysis services;
- License and permit fees;
- Launcher services;
- Marketing and printing services;
- Materials and supplies;
- Overhead (administrative) costs (not to exceed 20% of eligible costs for universities and 15% for other eligible recipients);
- Participation fees at conferences, committees and events;
- PST, HST and GST net of any rebate to which the recipient is entitled 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;
- Publication and communication services;
- Registration fees;
- Salaries and benefitsFootnote 2;
- Translation services;
- TravelFootnote 3; and
- Tuition fees.
7. Funding agreements
The CSA and each successful applicant (the recipient) will sign a funding agreement. This is a condition for any payment made by the CSA with respect to the approved project.
For grant agreements, payments will be made in a lump sum or instalments as described in the signed agreement. Grant funding agreements will include a clause stipulating the recipient's obligation to confirm—once a year in the case of multi-year agreements—their eligibility for the G&C Program – Research Component and inform the CSA in writing of any changes to the conditions used in determining their eligibility for this component.
The recipient of a funding agreement shall keep proper records of all documentation related to the funded project, for the duration of the project and for six (6) years after the completion date of the project, in the event of an audit. This documentation shall be available upon request.
7.3 Conflict of interest
In the funding agreement, the recipient will certify that any current or former public office holder or public servant it employs complies with the provisions of the relevant Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for Public Office Holders and the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector respectively.
7.4 Intellectual property
All intellectual property developed by the recipient in the course of the project shall vest in the recipient.
When applicable, the funding agreement will include a provision granting to the CSA a non‑exclusive, irrevocable, worldwide, free and royalty-free licence in perpetuity to use or sub‑licence the use of any such intellectual property contained in recipient's reports for non‑commercial governmental purposes.
7.5 Organizations in Quebec
An organization in Quebec whose operations are partially or fully funded by the province of Quebec may be subject to the Act Respecting the Ministère du Conseil exécutif, R.S.Q., Chapter M‑30.
Under Sections 3.11 and 3.12 of this Act, certain entities/organizations, as defined in the meaning of the Act, such as municipal bodies, school bodies, or public agencies, must obtain authorization from the Secrétariat du Québec aux relations canadiennes (SQRC), as indicated by the Act, before signing any funding agreement with the GoC, 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 funding agreement with the GoC.
Quebec applicants must complete, sign and include the M-30 Supporting Documentation form with their application.
7.6 Performance measurement
The CSA will ask the recipients to report on certain aspects of their projects such as:
- Knowledge creation
- Knowledge production (including publications)
- Intellectual property (including patents)
- Capacity building
- Project's research team (including highly qualified personnel supported)
- Partners' contributions
7.7 Open access publications
In the event that publications result from the project, the CSA wishes to promote the dissemination of findings that results from the projects it funds as quickly and to the greatest number of people as possible. Improved access to scientific results not only allows scientists to use a broader range of resources and knowledge, but also improves research collaboration and coordination, strengthens citizen engagement and supports the economy.
Thus, the CSA promotes the use of open access publication and archiving by recipients in order to facilitate the widest dissemination of findings that results from its funded projects. Thus, recipients are invited to publish, in a timely matter, their articles by using one of the following methods:
- Accessible online repository (institutional or disciplinary) so that the publication is freely accessible.
- Journal offering open access to articles.
It should be noted that these two methods are not mutually exclusive and that recipients are encouraged to use both.
Finally, the CSA wishes to receive, as a courtesy, a copy of the publications (if not freely accessible) or the hyperlink (if freely accessible) and its digital object identifier (DOI). These will be used to improve accessibility by including them in the CSA publications directory. Also as a courtesy, the CSA would like to be informed in advance of significant press releases or media interest resulting from the work.
8. Privacy notice statement
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 G&C 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 (such as name, contact information and biographical information) will be kept for 6 years and destroyed. 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 GoC.
For additional information regarding this statement, please contact:
9. Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
It is the responsibility of the applicants to obtain clarification of the requirements contained herein, if necessary, before submitting an application.
For any questions related to the AO, applicants shall use the following generic email address email@example.com. Questions and answers related to this AO will be posted on the CSA website in the Frequently asked questions section of this AO. The CSA will respond to questions received before 5 p.m. ET, .
At any point, applicants are welcome to share with the CSA their comments or suggestions regarding the AO, the program or the process. Applicants may either use the generic email address or the generic web-based Comments and suggestions box.
Question 1: Can an extension be granted to the application deadline?
Answer 1: The revised deadline is now at 2 p.m. ET.
Question 2: The application form states a length of 20 pages for the Detailed Project Description within Section 4. Will you please confirm whether this is for the body of the proposal or the entire document (i.e., including cover page and references)?
Answer 2: The 20 pages limit applies to the body of the proposal.
Question 3: Are NSERC Form 100 or Canadian Common CV acceptable forms for the CVs of the investigators?
Answer 3: The NSERC Form 100 and Canadian Common CV are acceptable.
Question 4: There are two Sections 7 in the Application Form. Should the second one be named Section 8 and the next one, which is the last one, Section 9?
Answer 4: The second Section 7 and Section 8 have been renumbered in the Application Form.
Question 5: The AO states that salaries for faculties are not eligible costs. Is it appropriate to include compensation for faculty members for their time allocated to the project under "in-kind contributions" in the budget form?
Réponse 5: Salary for faculty members for their time allocated to the project may be included under "in-kind funding" in the budget form.
Appendix A: Evaluation criteria definition, scale rating, and scores
Scoring and weights
Each criterion will be rated on a letter scale from A to D, with A being the highest score. A numerical weight is associated with each letter.
There is an overall minimum score of 62 to pass, as well as minimum score on criterion or sub-criterion as indicated in the table below. The Applicant is advised to read the Evaluation Criteria carefully when preparing the proposal.
1. Benefits to Canada
1.1 Advancement of knowledge relevant to the CSA LEAP S&T goals
- Maximum: 15 points
- Minimum: 10 points
This criterion evaluates the originality of the research and its potential to advance LEAP S&T goals driven by the "
Canadian Space Exploration: Science and Space Health Priorities for the Next Decade" as listed in
Table 3-1 of the AO.
- Poor. The research does not address LEAP S&T themes and/or is a reapplication of previous work. The project lacks novel concepts and will not contribute to advancement of new knowledge. (Score: D=0)
- Average. The research addresses LEAP S&T themes in a general way and could advance knowledge in the field of planetary exploration. (Score: C=5)
- Good. The probable results are likely to advance knowledge central to LEAP S&T themes. The proposed research involves novel or original concepts or methods, and/or builds on previous work. (Score: B=10)
- Excellent. The probable results are likely to advance knowledge central to LEAP S&T themes. The proposal is distinguished by highly novel or original scientific or technical concepts or methods, and/or builds significantly on previous work. (Score: A=15)
1.2 Relevance of the project team to the proposed investigation
- Maximum: 15 points
- Minimum: 10 points
This element evaluates the quality of the project team (principal investigator [PI], Co-I or others as applicable), its combination of expertise, its ability to carry out the research project by asking the following questions:
- has the project team demonstrated experience in the field of study and the proposed training activities?;
- does the project team have comprehensive skill set required to undertake the proposed project and training activities?;
- are the roles and responsibilities of each member of the project team defined and correspond to their expertise and experience?; and,
- do team members reflect strengths at different Canadian universities or post-secondary institutions?
This criterion does not address the feasibility of achieving research objectives which is addressed under Feasibility criteria.
- Poor. The proposed project team has no experience or expertise in the field of study and/or their role is not appropriate for the work proposed. (Score: D=0)
- Average. The project team has some experience and expertise in the field of study. However, although the PI has a track record in managing and completing similar projects, all team members do not have the appropriate expertise for the roles and responsibilities they would have during the project. (Score: C=5)
- Good. Members of the project team have demonstrated experience and expertise in the field of study. There is a good combination of expertise to undertake the proposed project. The team members have demonstrated their capacity to manage and carry out similar projects. Roles and responsibilities of each member correspond to their expertise and experience. The team is made up of experts from at least three Canadian universities or post-secondary institutions. (Score: B=10)
- Excellent. Members of the project team have extensive experience in the field of study. The combination of expertise needed to undertake the proposed project is excellent. The team members have demonstrated the ability to manage and complete similar projects. Roles and responsibilities of each team member correspond to their expertise and experience. The team is made up of experts from at least three Canadian universities or post-secondary institutions. (Score: A=15)
- Maximum: 30 points
- Minimum: 20 points
2.1 Publication and science dissemination plan
This criterion evaluates the team of Researchers commitment to disseminating results from the Research Program.
- Poor. The proposal does not include plans for publication or science dissemination. (Score: D=0)
- Average The proposal includes one or more scientific publications and conference presentations and these appear feasible. (Score: C=5)
- Good The proposal includes publications and conference presentations and demonstrates a strong commitment to science dissemination. Publications and presentations appear feasible and are likely to raise Canada's profile in the research field. (Score: B=10)
- Excellent. The proposal includes a well thought out and structured scientific publications and dissemination plan that demonstrates a strong commitment to science dissemination. Graduate students are encouraged as authors, thus advancing the careers of the next generation. The scientific publication and dissemination plan appears feasible and is likely to considerably raise Canada's profile in the broader research field. (Score: A=15)
2.2 Enhancement of pool of space experts
This criterion evaluates specifically the opportunity for development of expertise through the proposed research by junior researchers, new collaborative research opportunities within the team of Researchers, and opportunities presented to trained graduate students by the project team. Quality of opportunity rather than quantity is evaluated, as the number of young researchers that can be engaged is funding dependent.
- Poor. The acquisition of new expertise during the course of the project is doubtful. The knowledge and skills to be acquired by the graduate students are not defined. (Score: D=0)
- Average. The acquisition of new needed expertise is credible and will broaden the expertise of the junior researchers. The knowledge and skills to be acquired by the graduate students are defined to some degree. However, it is not clear who would acquire the knowledge and skills, what knowledge or skills would consist of, or what purpose they would serve. (Score: C=5)
- Good. The acquisition of new needed expertise is credible and will broaden the expertise of the junior researchers. The proposed work is a new collaboration between one or more of the Team Member(s), or provides responsibilities to one or more junior researcher(s) that will allow them to develop new core expertise in the methodologies central to the proposed research. The knowledge and skills to be acquired by the graduate students involved in the project are defined. (Score: B=10)
- Excellent. The acquisition of new needed expertise is credible and will allow junior researchers to develop world-leading expertise. The proposed work is a new collaboration between one or more Team Members and provides roles and responsibilities to junior researchers in the Applicant's group that allow them to acquire expertise needed to become future leaders in this field. The knowledge and skills to be acquired by the graduate students involved in the project are clearly defined. (Score: A=15)
- Maximum: 10 points
- Minimum: 3 points
3.1 Budget completeness and justification
This criterion evaluates whether the budget is adequate for the proposed work and whether it is justified. Questions to be asked are whether the work could be done for lower cost, or whether costs are highly underestimated.
- Poor. The budget and justification sections of the form are incomplete and inadequate information is presented to make an assessment, or the budget appears highly overestimated or underestimated for the proposed work and inadequate justification is provided. (Score: D=0)
- Average. Overall, the budget appears adequate for the proposed work and reasonable justification is provided, but questions remain about some cost items. (Score: C=3)
- Good. The budget appears adequate and reasonable for all elements of the proposed work and is well justified. (Score: B=7)
- Excellent. The budget appears adequate and reasonable for all elements of the proposed work and is well justified. The budget leverages other sources of funding or significant in kind contributions. (Score: A=10)
4. Feasibility of the project
- Maximum: 25 points
- Minimum: 17 points
4.1 Feasibility of the research methodology
This criterion evaluates the feasibility of the proposed research methodology to meet the proposed research objectives. This criterion does not evaluate the relevance of the proposed research objectives to the LEAP S&T themes which is evaluated in criterion 1 (Benefits to Canadians) nor the expertise of the team to execute the research which is evaluated in 1.2 (Relevance of the project team to the proposed investigation).
- Poor. The research methodology is poorly defined and/or there is a high likelihood that the research objectives will not be met due to inappropriate methods. (Score: D=0)
- Average. The research methodology is somewhat defined but details are lacking, and/or, better approaches can be found in the literature to achieve the same objectives. There is a reasonable likelihood that the research objectives will be achieved. (Score: C=5)
- Good. The research methodology is well defined. Proposed scientific methods and technical approaches are well understood and have been applied to similar projects as demonstrated by a literature review. There is a high likelihood that the research objectives will be achieved. (Score: B=10)
- Excellent. The research methodology is well defined. Innovative scientific methods and/or technical approaches are needed and described. A thorough literature review justifies the approaches and their feasibility. There is a high likelihood that the research objectives will be achieved. (Score: A=15)
4.2 Feasibility of the research plan and schedule
This criterion evaluates the clarity, completeness and feasibility of the research plan including a clear identification of the roles and responsibilities, contribution and level of involvement of each of the team members. It also evaluates management experience with similar projects and the likelihood that the work will be completed on schedule and within budget.
- Poor. The research plan is poorly defined and/or there is a high likelihood that the objectives will not be met due to inadequate or unavailable resources, and/or the schedule is incomplete and/or highly under- or over-estimated. (Score: D=0)
- Average. The research plan is somewhat defined but details are lacking. The work could be completed on schedule and within budget, but some doubts remain concerning the availability of resources. (Score: C=3)
- Good. The research plan is well defined. The resources required are well described and well suited for the work to be carried out. The applicant has managed previous similar projects and the likelihood that the defined work will be completed on schedule and within budget is high. (Score: B=7)
- Excellent. The research plan is well defined. The resources required are well described and well suited for the work to be carried out. A well thought out management plan is in evidence (e.g., detailed work breakdown and related expenses, scheduled milestones, time allocations for team members, discussion of possible technical/management risks, etc.). The likelihood that the work will be completed within schedule and budget is very high. Experience of some of the Team members with previous projects demonstrates a strong likelihood of active engagement and high productivity throughout the proposed project. (Score: A=10)
5. Risk and mitigation strategies
- Maximum: 5 points
- Minimum: 2 points
5.1 Project risks (financial, managerial, scientific and/or technical) and mitigation strategies
This criterion evaluates the top three risks associated with the project and the mitigation strategies for each risk.
- Poor. The proposal does not identify key risks that are evident, or some key risks are identified but related mitigation strategies are missing. (Score: D=0)
- Average. The proposal defines appropriate risks and their mitigation strategies, but important information is lacking in the proposed mitigation strategies, or significant risk would remain after the proposed mitigation strategy is implemented. (Score: C=2)
- Good. The proposal includes an analysis that identifies few risks due to a well thought out management approach and a conservative technical approach. The analysis is credible, and reasonable mitigation strategies are presented for the risks identified. (Score: B=3)
- Excellent. The proposal includes a thorough and credible risk analysis of all aspects of the project, with an appropriate assessment of probability of occurrence, and detailed and appropriate mitigation strategies. (Score: A=5)
- Total maximum: 100
- Total minimum: 62
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