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Canadian Student Participation in the International Astronautical Congress (IAC)

Announcement of Opportunity

Publication date:

Application deadline:

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) only receives applications when the selection process is open. This Announcement of Opportunity (AO) is currently closed for applications.

COVID-19 - Notice

Due to the continued uncertainty associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, please be advised that the CSA reserves the right to modify or cancel this AO at any point. Interested candidates are encouraged to visit this webpage on a regular basis to be kept aware of any potential developments.

Key dates:

1. Introduction

This year, the CSA will once again award grants to students who are interested in participating in the International Astronautical Congress (IAC ) and in the activities organized by the International Space Education Board (ISEB), both to be hosted in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) from to .

IAC is the International Astronautical Federation's (IAF) world premier global space event representing an excellent gathering venue for all specialists within the space sector. For students, it is an opportunity to learn more about the future of the space industry, to develop their international networks and to present their research at the highest professional level.

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

In addition to attending IAC and participating in ISEB-coordinated activities, some of the selected applicants may also be invited to participate in the Space Generation Congress (SGC ) which will also be hosted in Dubai from to . This congress is organized by the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC), a non-profit organization developing networks amongst university students and young space professionals in support of the United Nations Program on Space Applications. The number of students who will be offered the opportunity to participate in the SGC is subject to the number of seats allocated by the SGAC to students supported financially by the CSA.

Applicants who are selected to receive a grant under this AO may also be offered internships or short-term employment opportunities within the CSA following their participation in the congress.

2. Eligibility criteria

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

  1. Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada;
  2. Be enrolled in a Canadian university as a full-time student (undergraduate, master's or doctoral) for the winter semester ( – ); and
  3. Have submitted an abstract to IAF for a technical or poster presentation during IAC .

For more information on IAC and how to submit an abstract, consult the following website: IAC - Call for Abstracts.

Please note that the candidate's presentation during IAC (subject to IAF acceptance) as well as the participation in all activities organized by ISEB will be mandatory for all students who will be selected by the CSA for a grant under this AO.

3. How to apply

Candidates must read the following section carefully and follow all of the steps that are indicated below in order to ensure their applications are completed and submitted successfully.

Candidates have the option to submit their applications either electronically (section 3.1) or by mail (section 3.2), although it is recommended to submit the application electronically.

3.1 How to submit an application electronically (recommended)

  1. Download and complete the grant application form (Word, 166 KB);
  2. Combine the following documents into a single PDF-formatted file, in the same order as is presented below. A complete application must contain the following:
    • A completed original application form signed by the applicant. Electronic, scanned or typed signatures will be accepted for the time being, however applicants must keep a hard copy of the original application form signed by hand (in ink), as the CSA may require the documents with the original signature later in the process;
    • A copy of the applicant's proof of citizenship (such as a Canadian passport) or Canadian permanent resident card;
    • A proof of the student's enrolment in a Canadian university as a full-time student (undergraduate, master's or doctoral) for the winter semester () (e.g. Letter of Attestation from the university);
    • A reference letter (maximum of 1,000 words) from a professor that holds a faculty position at the applicant's university (refer to section 4.2 of the AO and section G of the application form for the elements that should be covered in the reference letter). The reference letter must either be included in the PDF file submitted by the applicant, or be sent electronically by the professor to the CSA at asc.stim-stem.csa@canada.ca (the email subject must respect the following formatting standard: "IAC 2021 -_APPLICANT LAST NAME, APPLICANT FIRST NAME");
    • A copy of the applicant's abstract submitted to IAF for IAC (for more information regarding how to submit an abstract, please visit IAC  – Call for Abstracts);
    • A copy of IAF's response confirming the acceptance or refusal of the applicant's abstract; and,
    • The applicant's curriculum vitae.
  3. The documents requested must be combined into a single PDF-formatted file, in the same order in which they were presented above (with the only exception being the reference letter, which may be e-mailed separately by the professor at his or her discretion).

    The applicant must keep one hard copy of all the original documents above with the only exception being the reference letter. The CSA may require candidates who successfully passed the evaluation stage described in section 4 to send a hard copy of their complete application with the original documents.

  4. Submit your completed application electronically:

Important notes:

3.2 How to submit an application by mail or using a recognized courier service

  1. Download and complete the grant application form (Word, 166 KB);
  2. Assemble the application package. A complete application must contain the following:
    • A completed original application form signed by hand (in ink) by the applicant (electronic, scanned and typed signatures will not be accepted);
    • A copy of the applicant's proof of citizenship (such as a Canadian passport) or Canadian permanent resident card;
    • A proof of the student's enrolment in a Canadian university as a full-time student (undergraduate, master's or doctoral) for the winter semester ();
    • A reference letter (maximum of 1,000 words) from a professor that holds a faculty position at the applicant's university (refer to section 4.2 of the AO and section G of the application form for the elements that should be covered in the reference letter). The reference letter must either be submitted with the application package (in a sealed envelope or not, at the discretion of the professor), OR be sent electronically by the professor to the CSA at asc.stim-stem.csa@canada.ca (the email subject must respect the following formatting standard: "IAC 2021 -_APPLICANT LAST NAME, APPLICANT FIRST NAME");
    • A copy of the applicant's abstract submitted to IAF for IAC (for more information regarding how to submit an abstract, please visit IAC  – Call for Abstracts);
    • A copy of IAF's response confirming the acceptance or refusal of the applicant's abstract; and,
    • The applicant's curriculum vitae.
  3. Send your application, by mail or using a recognized courier service, to the following address:

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

Important notes:

4. Evaluation process

4.1 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.

4.2 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 in %)
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 application form, section D
  • 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 IAC 2021 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 application form, section E;
  • Factual examples provided in reference letter in clearly identified sections.
Personal characteristics and interpersonal skills
(20%)
  • Professional, academic and/or other relevant extracurricular activities that demonstrate the applicant's personal characteristics and interpersonal skills;
  • Description of how the candidate's work as a student stands out.
  • Factual examples provided in application form, section F;
  • Factual examples provided in reference letter in clearly identified sections.
Abstract
(20%)
  • Relevance of abstract to IAC Technical Programme (refer to IAC  – Call for Abstracts 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 IAF.
  • Copy of abstract submitted to IAF for IAC ;
  • Confirmation of abstract acceptance or refusal by IAF for IAC .

Notes:

4.3 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 IAC 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 IAC 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 IAC 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 this site for a complete definition of each group.

Some of the selected students will have the opportunity to participate in the SGC . The selection of these students will be based on the number of seats offered to the CSA by SGAC and the highest ranking score among selected and interested applicants.

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

5. Service standards

Applicants will be notified by e-mail 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 the decision.

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 $3,600 for participation in IAC and in the activities organized by ISEB, and a possibility of an additional $840 for those who will also be selected to participate in SGC . The total budget for this AO should be sufficient to support the participation of approximately twelve (12) students. The CSA reserves the right to reject applications or to reduce the amount of a grant at its sole discretion.

Although applicants are not obligated to indicate an interest in participating in SGC , it is deemed a prime opportunity for students to develop their networks amongst other students and young professionals. Applicants who are interested in participating in SGC must indicate so on their application form (section C, question 8).

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

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

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. This agreement will include conditions that the recipient must attend IAC in its entirety and participate in all the mandatory activities organized by ISEB between to (inclusively). If applicable, a condition that the recipient participate in SGC from to (inclusively) will also be included in the agreement.

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 IAC using a template the CSA will make available in advance. Students who fail to submit their report in a timely manner may no longer be offered the possibility of obtaining an internship at the CSA.

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 Office
Canadian Space Agency
Telephone: 450-926-4866
Email: asc.aiprp-atip.csa@canada.ca

9. Symposium E2

Symposium E2 is an international student competition hosted at IAC in which undergraduate and graduate level students (no more than 28 years of age at the time of the competition) present technical papers on any project in space sciences, industry or technology.

Two students who have been financially supported by the CSA will be invited to participate in this competition. Applicants may, on a voluntary basis, indicate in their applications (section I) if they are interested in participating in this competition. Should the level of interest exceed the number of available presentation slots, students will be asked to submit a short YouTube video to the CSA explaining their research and why they believe they should be selected to compete. This informal selection process will take place in .

Important notes:

10. Outreach activities

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

Important note:

11. 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 IAC . 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 UAE, and that their documents meet the country's entry/exit requirements. For more details, go to the Government of Canada Travel website.
  3. IAC , SGC , and the activities organized by ISEB will mostly take place at or near the Dubai World Trade Center (DWTC).
  4. It is the sole responsibility of the recipient to plan and book their travel arrangements, both internationally and locally.
  5. Recipients are also responsible for booking their lodging; however the CSA will provide a recommendation for a hotel where a number of rooms has been blocked for a limited time for students supported financially by the CSA.
  6. Please go to the IAC official website for more information on the IAC technical program.

12. Frequently asked questions

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: asc.stim-stem.csa@canada.ca. Questions and their answers will be posted on the CSA website under the "Frequently Asked Questions" section of this AO. The CSA will not answer questions received after 5:00PM (ET) on .

Question 1: Am I eligible to receive a grant under the IAC initiative if my abstract was prepared in collaboration with an organization?

Answer 1: Yes, your application is eligible and you may receive a grant under the IAC  initiative if your abstract was prepared in collaboration with an organization. However, you must be the author or co-author of the paper, and your name must appear on the IAF's letter of acceptance or refusal. You must also ensure that you meet all of the eligibility criteria outlined in section 2 of the AO and that you are successful in the CSA's selection process.

Question 2: The IAF has not provided me with a letter of acceptance or refusal regarding my abstract. Am I eligible to receive a grant under the IAC  initiative if I do not submit a copy of the letter from the IAF?

Answer 2: No. As outlined in section 3 of the AO, you must provide a copy of IAF's response confirming the acceptance or refusal of your abstract in order to be deemed eligible under the IAC  initiative. The IAF does not typically send their response before the end of , and the application deadline under this AO is . We therefore recommend that you wait to receive a response from the IAF before submitting an application under the IAC  initiative.

Question 3: Am I eligible to receive a grant under the IAC  initiative if I missed the IAF's abstract submission deadline on and was therefore unable to submit my abstract for IAC ?

Answer 3: No, you are not eligible to receive a grant. As outlined in section 2 of the AO, candidates must have submitted an abstract to IAF for a technical or poster presentation during IAC . It is the candidate's responsibility to ensure that they have complied with this eligibility criterion, and no exceptions can be made.

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