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Flights and Fieldwork for the Advancement of Science and Technology (FAST )

On this page

  1. Introduction
  2. AO objectives
  3. Eligibility criteria
  4. Submitting an application
  5. Evaluation
  6. Funding
  7. Funding agreements
  8. Confidentiality
  9. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
  10. Appendix A – Additional information on projects
  11. Appendix B - Access to research platforms
  12. Appendix C – Scoring

Announcement of Opportunity

Publication date:

Application deadline:

Summary of Key Information

  • Expected budget for this Announcement of Opportunity (AO): $5.28 million
  • Eligible recipients: Canadian universities and post-secondary institutions
  • Type of transfer payments: Grants
  • Maximum amount per grant (3 funding categories):
    • Category A: $300,000
    • Category B: $100,000
    • Category C: $40,000
  • Maximum duration of a project per grant:
    • Category A and B: up to three years
    • Category C: up to one year
  • Estimated project start date: onwards
  • Application deadline:

Important notice

Several changes have been applied to the FAST  AO since the FAST  AO. The key changes are as follows:

  • Inclusion of Funding Category C: Applicants can now submit an application for funding under Category C (up to $40,000 for a one-year project involving at least 2 students);
  • Project eligibility (exclusions): Certain types of projects are not eligible for funding. These exclusions are listed in Section 3.2 of the AO;
  • Electronic submissions: FAST applications can now be submitted electronically. Instructions on how to submit an application electronically are provided in Section 4.1 of the AO;
  • Research priorities: The research priorities for each research discipline have been updated, and applicants will be required to select only one (1) research discipline under which their project will be evaluated. Details regarding the research priorities are provided in Section 3.3 of the AO;
  • Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI): An EDI plan will be required as part of the evaluation criteria for this AO. Details regarding this criteria are provided in Section 5.2 and in Appendix C of the AO.

Additional minor changes have been applied throughout the AO and application form. Applicants are asked to read the AO thoroughly before submitting their applications, including the Frequently asked questions (FAQ) section, which is updated on a regular basis.

1. Introduction

The objective of this Flights and Fieldwork for the Advancement of Science and Technology (FAST) AO is to support the research projects of Canadian universities and post-secondary institutions that will contribute to the development of new scientific knowledge and space technologies, while making it possible for students to acquire hands-on experience in space-like missions.

Building Canadian capacity in space science and technology is a priority for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). In addition to the development of space science technologies and knowledge, Canada must develop and maintain a robust and experienced workforce within industry, academia, and government in order to continue playing an active role in future space missions and contributing to the economic growth of the country. Opportunities to participate in a space mission, including developing and using scientific instruments for satellites, the International Space Station (ISS) or other space-based platforms, are infrequent, but when a space mission activity is approved, a team with expertise and experience must be quickly formed to meet challenging schedule constraints driven by launch or business opportunities.

"Space-like missions" are projects that allow space experts in academia to propose interesting research suitable to maintain their expertise, in addition to attracting and training the next generation of space professionals, and preparing future missions. These projects generally consist of the following:

"Space-like missions" attempt to faithfully reproduce the requirements, operations or constraints of actual space missions. Through space-like missions, the value of the training experience is increased for students and postdoctoral fellows (PDFs); these activities will therefore contribute more directly to Canada's priorities regarding research.

A "simulated space environment" includes ground-based infrastructure, suborbital platforms and instruments simulating a microgravity or spacecraft environment; test chambers simulating the space environment; remote sensing infrastructure located in a remote environment, or simulating the remoteness and isolation of spaceflight; and fieldwork conducted at terrestrial analogue sites that replicate some features and/or processes that could be found on other planetary bodies and asteroids, or that replicate some operational constraints encountered in space missions.

A simulated space environment is an ideal environment to conduct space-like missions, and to provide students and PDFs with learning opportunities allowing them to obtain practical experience in projects related to all aspects of space missions. Since these projects are consistent with the length of time required to complete a master's and doctorate program, they present students with an excellent opportunity to acquire hands-on experience prior to entering the Canadian job market.

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 eligibility criteria, 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

In accordance with the Space Strategy for Canada, the main objectives of the FAST AO  are to:

3. Eligibility criteria

In this section

3.1 Eligible recipients

  • Canadian universities and post-secondary institutions.

3.2 Eligible projects

To be eligible, all research projects must include the following elements:

  • Activities related to at one (1) of the research disciplines and one (1) of its associated research priorities identified for this FAST AO (see Section 3.3);
  • A funding request that falls under one of the three identified funding categories below (see Section 6.1 for further details):
    • Category A: up to $300,000 for a project of up to three years;
    • Category B: up to $100,000 for a project of up to three years;
    • Category C: up to $40,000 for a one year project;
  • The participation of Canadian students as follows:
    • At least five (5) Canadian students in a project funded under Funding Category A;
    • At least three (3) Canadian students in a project funded under Funding Category B; or
    • At least two (2) Canadian students in a project funded under Funding Category C;
  • A training plan;

In addition, a research project proposed under Funding Category A must be an end-to-end space-like mission project that includes:

  • The development or improvement of a technology; and,
  • Use of the technology during a flight or field deployment; and,
  • Data collection and analysis.

Appendix A provides additional important information to complete the application:

  • Section 1: Canadian students
  • Section 2: Training plan
  • Section 3: Additional information on end-to-end space-like mission projects (for funding under Category A)
  • Section 4: Eligible suborbital/orbital platforms, research sites and ground-based infrastructure (for funding under Category A)
  • Section 5: Examples of sites, infrastructure and instruments for projects pertaining to life sciences and space health (for funding under Category A)
  • Section 6: CSA-facilitated access to research platforms (for funding under Category A)

Please note:

  • Projects whose primary objectives are to analyze data of an existing space mission (satellite currently in orbit) or to develop applications using data from an existing space mission are not eligible under the AO. Note that the project objectives must be identified in Section 7 of the application form;
  • Projects that propose using the ISS as their research platform are not eligible under the AO (with the exception of those proceeding through a commercial route that will not require the use of Canada's ISS utilization rights, such as those using Nanoracks' external platforms or Space Tango platforms);
  • A project may not be eligible for funding if the applicant was previously awarded funding by the CSA for a similar project that is ongoing. If the proposed project is directly or indirectly related to a project that was previously funded through a CSA AO or Request for Proposal (RFP), the applicant may still be eligible for funding as long as the proposed project activities are complementary in nature and do not overlap with those of the previously-funded project that is ongoing (see Section 4 of the application form).

Note that an application must be submitted by only one eligible applicant (institution), who would be the only signatory of a grant agreement (a proposal submitted by two or more co-applicants will not be accepted). Different universities and post-secondary institutions may submit separate applications for different elements of the same project. In such cases, each application must include separate research or scientific activities requiring the participation of different Canadian students and PDFs, and the applicant must demonstrate that their project can achieve success regardless of the acceptance or refusal of the other post-secondary institution's application.

Applicants are not allowed to break down a project into numerous phases in order to obtain more than the maximum grant under this AO.

3.3 Links to CSA priorities

To be eligible, projects supported for the purposes of this AO must focus on one (1) of the research disciplines and one (1) of its associated research priorities indicated in the following table:

Table 1: Eligible research disciplines and priorities
Research disciplines Funding categories
(see Section 6.1)
Research priorities
Innovative Space Technology All

Projects related to the development (including prototyping, testing and/or demonstration) of innovative technologies for satellites. Projects that build on existing technologies are acceptable provided they include new methodologies or significant improvement to existing technologies. Example technologies include:

  • Sensors and actuators for the determination and control of spacecraft attitude and orbit;
  • Antennas, transmitters and receivers for satellite communications;
  • On-board power generation, transmission and storage;
  • Rocket propulsion and rocket related components;
  • On-board computing and artificial intelligence system;
  • Deployment mechanisms and actuators for arrays and appendages;

Other technologies linked to a space instrument or platform that are not listed here and that do not respond to one of the other research priorities below may also be eligible.

Space Health and Life Science All Projects that use simulated/analog space environments to better understand health on Earth or to develop better ways to monitor or maintain health on Earth, or to prevent or to treat diseases relevant to the Canadian population. Although the primary objectives of the proposed project should focus on health on Earth, the applicant shall also explain how the knowledge acquired through the proposed project could also be applied to address health risks associated with human spaceflight. Applicants can also apply for funding if the PI is a Co-I of an international space-related research project that has been funded by another space agency, as long as the principal research objective of the project submitted under the FAST AO is to use space to improve health on Earth.
Space Astronomy All

Projects that address space astronomy objectives identified in the Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA) Long Range Plan and the Mid-Term Review or the Canadian Space Exploration: Science and Space Health Priorities report (PDF, 3.656 MB). Projects may include the development of prototypes of astronomical instruments for which testing requires the use of balloons or nanosatellites; and/or data analysis and preliminary studies related to creation of new instruments and the defining of new missions and scientific research.

Projects related to the following CSA-supported missions will not be eligible for funding under this AO:

  • James Webb Space Telescope (JWST);
  • Astrosat;
  • BRIght-star Target Explorer (BRITE);
  • Near-Earth Object Surveillance Satellite (NEOSSat);
  • X-Ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM).
Planetary Exploration All

Projects that address planetary exploration objectives identified in the Canadian Space Exploration: Science and Space Health Priorities report (PDF, 3.656 MB). Projects may include the development of prototypes of planetary exploration instruments for which testing requires the use of analogue sites, balloons or nanosatellites; and/or data analysis and preliminary studies related to creation of new instruments and the defining of new missions and scientific research.

Projects related to the following CSA-supported missions/programs will not be eligible for funding under this AO:

  • Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP);
  • OSIRIS-REx;
  • Mars Science Laboratory (MSL).
Atmospheric Sciences All

Projects related to remote sensing of the composition and dynamics of the atmosphere, of clouds and of precipitation, primarily in Canada. Eligible projects may include the following activities:

  • Measurements using existing instruments with proven capabilities, for the purpose of measuring new physical or chemical atmospheric processes; and
  • Measurements using innovative instruments that show promise for future satellite missions, for the purpose of demonstrating the capabilities of the instrument(s) and the scientific value of the observations.
Earth System Science All

Projects related to remote sensing of soil moisture and freeze/thaw state, land cover, biomass fires, permafrost and thermokarst, snow and ice, surface water colour, storage and flow, coastal waters and oceans, primarily in Canada. Eligible projects may include the following activities:

  • Measurements using existing instruments with proven capabilities, for the purpose of measuring new physical or chemical Earth surface processes; and,
  • Measurements using innovative instruments that show promise for future satellite missions, for the purpose of demonstrating the capabilities of the instrument(s) and the scientific value of the observations.
Solar-Terrestrial Science All

Projects related to in situ measurements or remote sensing of energetic particles, magnetic fields, electric fields, and geospatial interactions with the neutral atmosphere. Eligible projects may include the following activities:

  • Deployment and measurements of existing instruments with proven capabilities, to support an innovative research project; and
  • Measurements, using innovative instruments that show promise for future satellite missions, for the purpose of demonstrating the capabilities of the instrument(s) and the scientific value of the observations.

Note that applicants proposing projects that respond to more than one of the above-mentioned research disciplines must indicate one primary research discipline in the application form (Section 4, questions 5 and 6). All other research disciplines will be considered as secondary. Evaluations will be completed based on the applicant's selection of primary research discipline.

4. Submitting an application

In this section

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

4.1 How to submit an application electronically

  1. Download and complete the grant application form (Word, 556 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 application form signed (with handwritten or digital signature) by the duly authorized representative;
    • A proposal that complies with the guidelines outlined in Section 8 of the application form;
    • The curriculum vitae or the CSA form (PDF, 690 KB) for each member of the team (PI, Co-investigators and PDFs who are members of the project team);
    • A detailed implementation schedule for the project;
    • A letter of support from each co-investigator;
    • 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);
    • For organizations in Quebec, M-30 Supporting Documentation form completed and signed by the duly authorized representative (refer to the M-30 form included in the application form).

    The following documents may be required upon request:

    • A copy of the document(s) confirming the legal name of the applicant;
    • Letters from other funding contributors confirming their contributions (if applicable).

    The application must be prepared as a single PDF-formatted file containing all of the above requested documents with all security features disabled. 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.

    It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the application complies with all relevant federal, provincial/territorial and municipal laws and regulations.

    The applicant must keep one hard copy of all the original documents above. The CSA may require applicants who successfully passed the evaluation stage described in Section 5 of the AO to send a hard copy of their complete application with the original documents.

  3. Submit the completed application electronically:
    • Submit an account creation request using the Electronic Proposal Portal. Please note that Google Chrome is the browser of choice for submissions. Supported browsers are Google Chrome and Internet Explorer with some restrictions.
    • In the "Proposal title" field of the Electronic Proposal Portal, please use the following formatting standard: FAST 2021_Funding Category(A, B or C)_Name Of Institution_Last name of PI (e.g. FAST 2021_A_McGill_Smith).
    • In the "Organization" section, under "Type", please select "Canadian university or post-secondary institution".
    • The "Applicant" section should contain the contact information for the PI.
    • Allow up to 72 hours for the CSA to send an email confirming the account creation as well as instructions (user guide) on how to access the platform. It is strongly recommended that the account creation request be submitted no later than .
    • Using the temporary password assigned by the CSA, login to the secured portal to upload protected documents.
    • Please refer to the user guide for instructions on how to securely upload documents.

Please note:

  • Applicants using the electronic portal are encouraged to create their account no later than , as technical difficulties may arise. If technical issues cannot be resolved, applicants must submit their application by mail. Applicants are strongly encouraged to upload their complete application well before the submission deadline;
  • Applications must be submitted (successfully uploaded) by the applicants no later than at 1:00 p.m. (ET).
  • The onus is on the applicant to ensure that their application is complete and that all documents are uploaded on the Electronic Proposal Portal within the prescribed deadline;
  • The CSA is not responsible for any delays under any circumstances, and will refuse applications that are received after the stipulated deadline;
  • Hand-delivered applications will not be accepted;
  • Applications sent by e-mail will not be accepted;
  • Applicants are asked to not send their application both electronically and by mail or courier service. If multiple applications are submitted, only the latest valid version received will be considered;
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Questions and answers related to this AO will be posted on the CSA website in the FAQ Section of this AO (see Section 9). The CSA will not answer questions received after .

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

The applicant is encouraged to submit their application electronically following the instructions provided in Section 4.1 of the AO. However, if the applicant is unable to submit their application electronically, please communicate with asc.stedia-dstemu.csa@canada.ca no later than at 1:00 p.m. (ET) to obtain instructions on how to submit a paper application by mail or using a recognized courier service.

Applications by mail or using a recognized courier service must be received at the CSA no later than at 1:00 p.m. (ET).

The onus is on the applicant to ensure that their application is complete and that all documents are received by the CSA within the prescribed deadline. The CSA is not responsible for any delays under any circumstances, and will refuse applications that are received after the stipulated deadline.

4.3 Service standards for this AO – Complete applications

Applicants will be notified in writing of decisions regarding their application. Selected applications will be proactively divulged on the Open Government website. The CSA has set the following service standards for application processing times, acknowledgements of receipt, funding decisions and payment procedures.

  • Acknowledgement of receipt: The CSA's goal is to acknowledge receipt of applications within two (2) weeks following the AO's closing date.
  • Decision: The CSA's goal is to respond to the application within twenty-eight (28) weeks following the AO's closing date and to send a grant agreement for signature within four (4) weeks after formal approval of the application.
  • Payment: The CSA's goal is to issue payment within four (4) 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 manner.

5. Evaluation

In this section

5.1 Eligibility criteria

Applications will first be submitted for an eligibility assessment to verify whether they comply with the following criteria:

  • The applicant is an eligible recipient as defined in Section 3.1.
  • The proposed project is an eligible project as defined in Sections 3.2, 3.3, and Appendix A;
  • The application complies with the funding provisions of the program stated in Section 6.1.

5.2 Evaluation criteria

Once the eligibility assessment is completed, applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Benefits to Canada and outcomes;
  • Feasibility and risks;
  • Resources;

Table 2 below shows the criteria, sub-criteria and associated thresholds, while Table 3 shows a brief description of the graded criteria. A detailed breakdown of all of the evaluation criteria is described in Appendix C. To be considered eligible for funding, the total score obtained for these graded criteria must be 70/100 or greater.

Table 2: Summary table of evaluation criteria
Criteria Maximum points
for evaluation
Minimum points
to pass
Poor Average Good Excellent
1. Benefits to Canada and outcomes 45 33 - - - -
1.1 Proposed research 20 - 0 10 15 20
1.2 Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) 5 - 0 1 3 5
1.3 Training plan 20 - 0 10 15 20
2. Feasibility and risks 25 17 - - - -
2.1 Research plan and schedule 15 - 0 5 10 15
2.2 Project-related risks and mitigation strategies 10 - 0 4 7 10
3. Resources 30 20 - - - -
3.1 Project team 15 - 0 5 10 15
3.2 Budget, funding, physical resources and infrastructure 15 - 0 5 10 15
TOTAL 100 70 - - - -

Table 3: Definition and breakdown of selection criteria

1. Benefits to Canada and outcomes
  • Max. score: 45
  • Min. score: 33
1.1 Proposed research

Max. score: 20
This criterion is used to evaluate the originality of the research and its probable impact and potential to advance knowledge in the field of space science and/or technology, directly or indirectly. This criterion is also used to evaluate whether the research is aligned with the research priorities outlined in Section 3.3 of the AO.

1.2 Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI)
Max. score: 5
This criterion evaluates whether the proposal includes a meaningful plan to foster recruitment and engagement of members from underrepresented groups within the research team.
1.3 Training plan
Max. score: 20
This criterion is used to evaluate the quality, relevance and clarity of the training plan, as well as the impact of the knowledge and experience that the students will acquire.
2. Feasibility and risks
  • Max. score: 25
  • Min. score: 17
2.1 Research plan and schedule
Max. score: 15
This criterion is used to evaluate the clarity, completeness and feasibility of the research plan, with the duties and responsibilities, contributions and level of involvement of each team member clearly identified. The criterion is also used to evaluate the likelihood that the work will be completed on schedule.
2.2 Project-related risks and mitigation strategies
Max. score: 10
This criterion is used to evaluate the applicant's analysis of the main risks associated with the project, as well as the mitigation strategies for each risk.
3. Resources
  • Max. score: 30
  • Min. score: 20
3.1 Project team
Max. score: 15
This criterion is used to evaluate the quality of the project team (PIs, co-investigators or PDFs, as applicable), its combination of expertise, its capacity to carry out the research project, the skills of team members, and the past achievements of team members.
3.2 Budget, funding, physical resources and infrastructure
Max. score: 15
This criterion is used to evaluate whether the planned budget is adequate to achieve the project's objectives. It also takes the project's various sources of funding into consideration. It is also used to evaluate the timely availability of physical resources (equipment, instruments and/or scientific data) and infrastructure (ground-based infrastructure, suborbital/orbital platform, analogue site).

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. The evaluators will be experts in the fields relevant to the applications. Evaluators may include representatives of the Government of Canada and of other countries, as well as representatives of other governmental and non-governmental agencies and organizations. If applicable, a multidisciplinary evaluation committee will be formed to evaluate interdisciplinary applications.

An application must receive an overall minimum score of 70% as well as achieve the minimum thresholds specified in Table 2 in order to be deemed eligible for funding.

Before a final decision is made, the CSA's program manager responsible for this AO may seek input and advice from other organizations, including municipal, provincial, territorial and federal governmental agencies and organizations.

A selection committee made up of CSA executive management members will carry out a strategic overall selection based on Government of Canada and CSA priorities, such as:

  • Alignment with the identified research priorities;
  • Balance between the seven research disciplines mentioned in the AO;
  • Regional distribution;
  • Diversity among universities and post-secondary institutions;
  • Representation of PI who belong to the two following underrepresented groups: women and Indigenous peoples;
  • Support for early career researchers acting as PI (an early career researcher is defined as an individual who has held an independent university position for a maximum of five years).

6. Funding

In this section

6.1 Available funding

Transfer payments will be made through grant agreements. The total funding available under this AO is currently expected to be approximately $5.28 million. The three funding categories are:

  • Category A: Maximum grant of $300,000 for a maximum duration of three years for an end-to-end space-like mission project that includes the development or improvement of a technology, use of the technology during a flight, a field deployment or a research site deployment, and data collection and analysis; the maximum amount available per year is $150,000;
  • Category B: Maximum grant of $100,000 for a maximum duration of three years, for a space-related research project; the maximum amount available per year is $50,000;
  • Category C: Maximum grant of $40,000 for one year, for a space-related research project; the maximum amount available is $40,000 issued as one payment.

The CSA intends to fund at least one project per research discipline defined in Section 3.3. The overall number of grants awarded and their value will depend on the availability of funds and the results of the evaluation process.

Prior to each instalment, the CSA program manager will reassess the recipient's eligibility and review the recipient's progress report (not applicable for projects funded under Category C).

A recipient's grant agreement may be amended, for instance, to allow a recipient to fly or use its payload or technology a second time during an additional flight mission or fieldwork campaign. In order for this to take place, the recipient must provide an adequate justification demonstrating that the re-flight or re-use will result in an increase to the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) or Scientific Readiness Level (SRL) of the payload or technology. In such a case, the grant agreement would be amended under the same terms and conditions as those set out in the original grant agreement. Under such an amendment, additional funding to support travel and living expenses and related overhead costs may be awarded to a recipient, subject to the availability of funds, the justification provided by the recipient, and at the entire discretion of the CSA.

Given the objectives of this AO and the limited available budget, an eligible recipient (institution) may submit several applications; however if two or more applications are submitted with the same designated PI, the CSA reserves the right to select only one of these projects. An eligible recipient may submit only one application for the same project. However, two or more distinct applicants (institutions) may submit separate applications for the same project if their applications concern the development of distinct technologies or scientific research. It is then expected that the students and PDFs involved in these different projects will not be the same.

Approved applications will be eligible for a total amount of government assistance (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal) of up to 100% of total project costs.

To determine the amount of funding that it will allocate, the CSA will take into account the availability of CSA funds, the total cost of the project, and other confirmed sources of funds provided by other stakeholders and the applicant. The CSA reserves the right to reject any application or reduce the amount of the grants at its entire discretion.

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 grant agreement with the CSA.

Eligible costs for a grant under this AO are the following:

  • Access fees;
  • Accommodation and meal allowances;
  • Acquisition, development and printing of materials;
  • Acquisition or rental of equipment (a maximum of 30% of the CSA grant could be used for laboratory instruments);
  • Aircraft and watercraft charter services;
  • Bursaries;
  • Consultant services (not to exceed 30% of the CSA grant);
  • 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;
  • 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 benefits paid to eligible students;
  • Salaries and benefits paid to persons other than eligible students (not to exceed 60% of total CSA grant value);
  • Training;
  • Translation services;
  • Travel expenses;
  • Overhead (administrative) costs (not to exceed 10% of eligible costs).

6.3 Other funding sources

The CSA encourages applicants to apply for funding from other sources to support student training. For projects with an industrial partner, Mitacs may be an appropriate organization for obtaining funding to support student internships. Applicants are encouraged to consult the Mitacs website for further information regarding these programs and to apply for funding should they qualify.

7. Funding agreements

In this section

7.1 Payments

The CSA and each successful applicant (the recipient) will sign a grant funding agreement. This is a condition for any payment made by the CSA with respect to the approved project.

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.

7.2 Unconfirmed research platform(s)

Prior to issuing a grant agreement, the successful applicant must confirm that access to the research platform has been secured (if applicable, but mandatory for projects funded under Category A). The issuance of a grant agreement is conditional upon the applicant having secured this access (or an equivalent alternative) as outlined in their application. If this confirmation is not received within the timeframe set by the CSA, the CSA reserves the right to reject the application at its entire discretion.

7.3 Audit

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.

7.4 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.

7.5 Intellectual property

All intellectual property developed by the recipient in the course of the project shall vest in the recipient.

7.6 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 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 stipulated in the Act, before signing any funding agreement with the Government of Canada, 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 Government of Canada.

Quebec applicants must complete, sign and include the M-30 Supporting Documentation form with their application.

7.7 Performance measurement

The CSA will require recipients to report on certain elements in their projects, such as the following:

  • Creation of knowledge:
    • Advancement of knowledge (including technological breakthroughs, technologies led to a higher level);
    • Production of knowledge (including publications, research reports) (refer to Section 7.8 for expectations regarding open publications);
    • Presentations (including conferences, seminars, workshops);
    • Intellectual property (including patents) generated by the project.
  • Increased capacity:
    • Project research team (including students and PDFs involved). Note that the grant recipient may be asked to provide the names of the research team members, including the students and PDFs.
  • Collaboration:
    • Partnerships;
    • Contribution of partners;
    • Multidisciplinarity.

The CSA will also require recipients to be informed in advance of important press releases or news releases of interest to the media resulting from work related to this AO.

7.8 Open science

The CSA wishes to promote the dissemination of the results of funded projects to the widest possible audience and at the earliest possible opportunity. Greater access to science findings not only allows scientists to use a broader range of resources and knowledge, but also to increase research collaboration and coordination, increase public involvement and support the economy.

The CSA thus encourages recipients to practice open-access publishing and archiving to facilitate the widespread dissemination of the results of projects for which it provides funding. Recipients are therefore invited to publish their articles in a timely manner using one of the following methods:

  1. A freely accessible online repository (institution or discipline-based) so that publications are freely accessible;
  2. A journal offering free access to articles.

Publication costs are eligible expenses, as defined in Section 6.2. Note that these two methods are not mutually exclusive and that recipients are invited to use both.

Lastly, the CSA wishes to receive complementary copies of publications generated as a result of the allocated funding (if not freely accessible) or the hyperlink (if freely accessible) and its digital object identifier (DOI). The hyperlink and the DOI will be incorporated into the directory of CSA publications generated as a result of allocated funding, and will be made available to the public.

Recipients are also encouraged to report on additional research outputs (such as databases and software) that create value that were generated as a result of their project.

8. Confidentiality

The CSA will manage and protect information provided by applicants under the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act. By submitting personal information, the applicant consents to its collection, use and disclosure in accordance with the following Confidentiality Statement, which explains how information on applicants is handled.

This information is collected under the authority of the CSA Class G&C Program to Support Research, Awareness and Learning in Space Science and Technology – Research Component (ASC PPU 045) and Awareness and Learning Component (ASC PPU 040). This information will be used for administrative purposes and for the evaluation of applications. Personal information (such as name, contact information and biographical information) will be stored for six years, then destroyed. Under the Privacy Act, any individual, upon request, may

  1. be given access to his/her data, and
  2. have incorrect information corrected or add a note.

Applicants shall also note that information relative to the funding agreement will be publicly disclosed under Government of Canada legislation, policies and directives.

For additional information on privacy matters prior to submitting an application, please contact:

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

9. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

It is the responsibility of applicants to obtain clarification of the requirements contained herein, if necessary, before submitting an application.

For any questions related to this AO, applicants shall use the following generic email address: asc.stedia-dstemu.csa@canada.ca.Questions and answers related to this AO will be posted on the CSA website in the FAQ Section of this AO. The CSA will not reply to questions received after .

At any point, applicants are welcome to share with the CSA their comments or suggestions regarding the program. Applicants may either use the generic email address or the generic web-based Comments and suggestions box.

Question 1: Are travel expenses an eligible cost if allocated to a non-Canadian member of the project team?

Answer 1: Expenses related to travel, accommodations, meals and conferences fees are only eligible if allocated towards Canadian students (including international students) that are registered in a Canadian university or post-secondary institution (as defined in Annex A, Section 1 of the AO), or to Canadian members of the project team (PIs and Co-Is who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents).

Question 2: Are the salaries of university faculty or college professors/teachers eligible expenses?

Answer 2: The salaries of university faculty or college professors/teachers are not eligible expenses under this AO, however the salaries of non-faculty co-investigators (e.g. technicians, program managers, etc.) are eligible expenses (falling under the "Salaries and benefits paid to persons other than eligible students" category).

Question 3: Can a grant recipient transfer funds to another organization through a sub-agreement?

Answer 3: Grants awarded by the CSA cannot be redistributed to another organization; however, goods or services from an organization that are normally offered on a fee basis may be considered as an eligible expense under a category such as "Consulting services," "Acquisition or rental of equipment," or "Materials and supplies."

Question 4: Is the PI of the proposed project required to hold an independent academic position (university faculty appointment)? Can an Adjunct at a university apply as a PI?

Answer 4: It is the responsibility of the applicant (i.e. the Canadian university or post-secondary institution) to decide who could be appointed as the PI, since the grant is awarded to the applicant and not the PI.

Question 5: The AO states that the successful applicant must confirm that access to the research platform has been secured (if applicable, but mandatory for projects funded under Category A). What type of confirmation must be provided, and what details must be included in the confirmation?

Answer 5: Prior to the signature of the grant agreement, a successful applicant must provide a document from the research platform provider (e.g. letter on the organization's letterhead) that includes a confirmation that access to the platform will be provided to the applicant as per the timeline and cost indicated in the applicant's proposal. As stated in Section 7.2 of the AO, if this confirmation is not received within the timeframe set by the CSA, the CSA reserves the right to reject the application at its entire discretion.

Please note that any costs associated with obtaining the letter of intent or launch service agreement are not eligible expenses under the AO, if incurred prior to signing a grant agreement with the CSA.

Question 6: We are a student-run engineering group that would like to apply for funding under the FAST AO. Our project focuses on rocket propulsion and rocket-related components. Would we be eligible for funding under the Innovative Space Technology research discipline?

Answer 6: At this stage in the process, CSA cannot comment on the eligibility of a project. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that their project is eligible according to the criteria mentioned in Section 3.2 of the AO.

Please note that an application submitted under the FAST AO must be from a Canadian university or post-secondary institution. It cannot come from a student-run group. We suggest that your student-run group contact the institution's research office for more details on the process for applying for funding and who should be involved.

Question 7: What information should be included in each co-investigator's letter of support? Can you provide a template?

Answer 7: The CSA does not have a template for a letter of support. However, the letter of support from each co-investigator must be on the letterhead of the co-investigator's organization. The letter must include at least the following:

  • the co-investigator's support for and agreement with the proposal submitted under the FAST AO; and,
  • the anticipated interaction of the co-investigator with researchers from postsecondary institutions, including the interaction with students.
Question 8: Is my project eligible for funding if it focuses on aircraft measurements within clouds during winter storms, but does not involve or advance space science or technology?

Answer 8: At this stage in the process, CSA cannot comment on the eligibility of a project. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that their project is eligible according to the criteria mentioned in Section 3.2 of the AO.

Question 9: Does the PI's salary and time have to be reflected in actual dollars in the budget table? If the PI were to quantify their time in the budget table, the total costs of the project would exceed the $100,000 allowable under Funding Category B.

Answer 9: The PI's salary is not an eligible expense under the AO and should not be included in the budget table.

Question 10: If equipment is provided by an external source, can this simply be described in the proposal or does the dollar value need to be quantified?

Answer 10: Equipment provided by an external source would be considered as an in-kind contribution, and must be described in Section 3.2 of the proposal. The in-kind contribution must also be added into Section 14 of the application form.

Question 11: How do I calculate and report overhead costs?

Answer 11: Overhead cannot exceed 10% of the total eligible costs requested from the CSA. The applicant should not include the expenses requested from other sources when calculating overhead.

Question 12: If the project involves the design of a payload that will be deployed during a flight campaign, field test or at a research site, must it mandatorily be submitted under Funding Category A, even if the total value of funding requested from the CSA and the project duration would qualify under Funding Categories B or C?

Answer 12: No, the project does not need to be submitted under Category A. It can be submitted under Funding Categories B or C if the project respects the funding and project duration parameters of these respective categories.

Question 13: Our project relates to a desire to improve the quality and availability of spatially distributed estimates of snow (cover, depth and water equivalent). Can we meet with the CSA to discuss our project's alignment with the FAST AO?

Answer 13: At this stage in the process, CSA cannot comment on the eligibility of a project. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that their project is eligible according to the criteria mentioned in Section 3.2 of the AO.

Because this is a competitive process, a meeting with the CSA to discuss project eligibility cannot be accommodated.

Question 14: Should the Detailed Implementation Schedule requested in Section 12 of the application form include work package definitions in order to adequately respond to evaluation criterion 2.1 (Research plan and schedule)?

Answer 14: The instructions provided in Section 12 of the application form are recommendations only, and it is the responsibility of each applicant to choose how best to present their Detailed Implementation Schedule such that it includes sufficient information to evaluate criterion 2.1.

Question 15: I am a Canadian undergraduate student at an American college. Is my independent undergraduate research project eligible for funding under the FAST AO or other CSA funding programs?

Answer 15: Applications submitted under the FAST AO must be from a Canadian university or post-secondary institution. It cannot come from a student.

Students are encouraged to regularly visit the CSA's funding opportunities webpage to be kept informed of any opportunities for which they may be eligible.

Question 16: For projects that which to take advantage of CSA-facilitated access to the CNES stratospheric balloons, are there costs associated with the gondola that need to be included in the FAST budget?

Answer 16: Expenses associated with the STRATOS balloon launch, flight operations and payload recovery will be supported by the CSA and do not need to be included in the budget. Any other expenses related to the use of the balloons, including travel and living expenses, must be included in the budget.

Question 17: Are applicants required to provide quotes for components that cost over a certain amount? If so, are the quotes to be attached in an appendix?

Answer 17: Applicants are not obligated to provide quotes for costly components, however they can include this information if they wish to do so. It is the responsibility of each applicant to choose how best to present their resources such that it includes sufficient information to evaluate the proposal according to the criteria provided in Appendix C of the AO.

Question 18: Are applicants eligible for funding under the FAST AO if the project involves students from multiple universities?

Answer 18: Yes, an applicant is eligible for funding under the FAST AO if the project involves students from multiple universities. However, expenses related to student salaries are only eligible if paid to Canadian students, as defined in Appendix A of the AO.

Question 19: Projects funded under Category B can receive up to $50,000 a year for a total of two years. Do the two years pertain to calendar years (i.e. $50,000 per year for and )?

Answer 19: It is the applicant's responsibility to indicate the start date of the project, which will determine the beginning of Year 1 of the project (it does not necessarily have to be the beginning of a calendar year). For projects that are successful, the CSA will make every effort to ensure that the first payment is issued in accordance with the project schedule, however please note that the first payment for most projects are expected to be issued in or .

Question 20: Can goods and services be purchased in the first year of the project but only used in the second year? For a two-year project, must both years involve a fieldwork component?

Answer 20: Yes, goods and services can be purchased during the first year of the project but only used in the second year, as long as the need for doing so can be adequately justified in the applicant's proposal. Projects funded under Categories B and C are not required to have a fieldwork component. As stated in Section 6.1 of the AO, projects funded under Category A must include the development or improvement of a technology, use of the technology during a flight, a field deployment or a research site deployment, and data collection and analysis; however there is no obligation to have a fieldwork component in every year of the project.

Question 21: Will the CSA publish another FAST AO in ?

Answer 21: While it is unlikely that the CSA will publish another FAST AO in , this cannot be confirmed at this time.

Question 22: Are there specific constraints (e.g. payload dimensions, pointing accuracy) that need to be taken into account when designing primary payloads for CNES stratospheric balloons?

Answer 22: There are two generic gondolas : CARMENCITA and CARMEN. However please note that access to the CARMEN gondola is not always possible for Canadian payloads. The constraints of each gondola are summarized below:

  • CARMENCITA: Maximum mass of 620 kg and payload volume of 1.2 m x 1.2 m x 2 m
  • CARMEN: Maximum mass of 800 kg and payload volume of 1.2 m x 1.2 m x 3 m

The maximum gondola mass includes the mass of the gondola itself and of all onboard payloads and all supporting equipment – i.e. power, communication, command & control and pointing modules (for pointed flights), thermal protection, cables/harnesses, etc. The maximum mass available for the payloads on each type of gondola is dependent on the supporting equipment needed for the flight – i.e. number of batteries required (based on payload power requirements), pointed or non-pointed flight, etc.

The payload volume represents the volume available for all payloads within the gondola deck. Additional room may be available for small payloads/payload modules within the gondola walls.

Both gondolas can be used for pointed flights offering azimuth pointing with the following accuracy: the azimuth stability can be down to 1 arc min if there are no moving parts on the gondola.

Question 23: Section 4 of the AO requires that a curriculum vitae be submitted for each member of the team (PI, Co-investigators and PDFs who are members of the project team). Is the NSERC Curriculum Vitae format acceptable?

Answer 23: Any curriculum vitae format is acceptable, however it is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the curricula vitae of the project team members include sufficient information to evaluate criterion 3.1 (Project Team), as outlined in Appendix C of the AO.

Question 24: Is the PI required to provide a letter of support if they are contributing cash from their start-up funds?

Answer 24: As stipulated in Section 4 of the AO, letters from other funding contributors confirming their contributions may be required upon request, however this will be at a later stage in the AO process. This will be applicable to all funding contributors, whether the funding comes from a project team member's company or not. It is however not mandatory for an applicant to include this information in their submission at this stage.

Question 25: The project that will be submitted under the FAST AO is part of an international collaboration involving several institutions. In such a situation, is the applicant required to provide a curriculum vitae and a letter of support from each of the PIs representing each individual institution?

Answer 25: The applicant should only include a curriculum vitae and a letter of support from the co-investigators who will be directly involved in the project (i.e. those who will contribute to the students' training, to the advancement of scientific knowledge and/or to the development of technology). It is the responsibility of the applicant to determine which of the PIs from other institutions would be considered as co-investigators, bearing in mind that the co-investigators should be contributing to project activities that have been funded by the CSA through the AO.

Question 26: The project that will be submitted under the FAST AO is part of an international collaboration involving several institutions. Another institution has already been awarded funding through a previous FAST AO for their research activities conducted as part of this collaboration. My institution will be submitting an application under the FAST AO for a project with research objectives that are independent of the other institution's FAST-funded project. Should our submission explain this distinction, and if so, where should the explanation be included?

Answer 26: As stipulated in Section 3.2 of the AO, different universities and post-secondary institutions may submit separate applications for different elements of the same project. In such cases, each application must include separate research or scientific activities requiring the participation of different Canadian students and PDFs, and the applicant must demonstrate that their project can achieve success regardless of the acceptance or refusal of the other post-secondary institution's application.

It is recommended to include this information in the proposal, under the heading 1.1 (Proposed research).

Question 27: Is there a deadline to submit an application under the FAST AO?

Answer 27: Yes. As stipulated in Section 4 of the AO, the application deadline is at 1:00PM (ET).

Question 28: Section 3.2 of the AO states that a research project proposed under Funding Category A must include "the development or improvement of a technology." Can this improvement include raising the scientific readiness level (SRL) of the instrument?

Answer 28: It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that their project is eligible according to the criteria outlined in Section 3.2 of the AO.

For projects submitted under Category A, the onus is on the applicant to demonstrate how their project will include the development or improvement of a technology, whether the project raises the SRL of the instrument or not.

Question 29: For projects that wish to take advantage of CSA-facilitated access to the NRC's Falcon 20 aircraft, should the costs associated with the flight be included in the $300K budget (for a project submitted under Category A)? If so, what is the estimated cost for a flight? If the proposal is selected, will a separate agreement be signed to stipulate that flight costs will be covered by the CSA (if applicable)?

Answer 29: Expenses associated with the flight and the engineering support required from the CSA and the NRC for payload integration and certification will be supported by the NRC and/or the CSA, and do not need to be included in the budget. Any other expenses related to the flight, including travel and living expenses and the development of the payload are the responsibility of the applicant and must be included in the budget.

As stated in Appendix B of the AO, an additional agreement might have to be signed between the CSA and the recipient, provided that the proposal has been selected for funding. Such an agreement would include details regarding the support that would be provided by the CSA.

Question 30: Is the purchase of a computer considered an eligible expense, if it will be used for data analysis and data management resulting from the project?

Answer 30: Yes. The purchase of a computer for data analysis and data management should be included under the "acquisition or rental of equipment" budget category.

Question 31: Section 3.3 of the AO states that projects related to the Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP) will not be eligible for funding under the AO. Does this mean that projects that support planetary exploration activities related to future lunar missions would be eligible, whereas projects related to contracts supported by the three LEAP Requests for Proposal (RFP) would not be eligible? In addition, would a project be eligible for funding for analogue activities under FAST if it concerns an instrument funded through a LEAP RFP for which funding will end before the funding for FAST would come into effect?

Answer 31: Any project related to LEAP will not be eligible for funding under the AO. This includes projects related to contracts supported by the three previous LEAP RFPs, regardless of whether the funding under that RFP will end before the FAST funding would come into effect.

For projects that support planetary exploration activities related to future lunar missions, the CSA cannot comment on the eligibility at this stage in the process. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that their project is eligible according to the criteria mentioned in Section 3.2 of the AO.

Question 32: The AO states that the salaries of university faculty or college professors/teachers are not eligible expenses under the AO, however the salaries of non-faculty co-investigators (e.g. technicians, program managers, etc.) are eligible expenses (falling under the "Salaries and benefits paid to persons other than eligible students" category). Is the salary of a PI an eligible expense if the PI is a non-faculty research scientist?

Answer 32: The salary of the PI is not an eligible expense under this AO, regardless of whether or not they are faculty members.

Question 33: Section 13 of the application form (Detailed budget) contains a budget category called "PST, HST, and GST, and taxes for goods and services acquired in a foreign country." Do the taxes for goods and services sourced from Canadian companies need to be included in the budget? If so, should they be added in each individual budget category (e.g. materials and supplies)?

Answer 33: The PST, HST, GST and taxes for goods and services purchased from Canadian sources must be included in the budget table. These amounts should be added within the individual budget categories where the expenses will be incurred. For example, if equipment is purchased for $1,150 ($1,000 + $150 of taxes), the total value of the purchase including taxes should be included in the "acquisition or rental of equipment" budget category.

Question 34: If a project will involve a student who begins working as a Masters student but then continues on the project for their PhD research, should they be included in the count for both Masters and Doctoral students? How should these students be reported in the application form, specifically in Section 4 (question 2) and in Section 6?

Answer 34: A student who will begin their work on the project as a Masters student and then continue the project as a PhD student should not be double counted in the application form.

For Section 4, question 2 of the application form: the student should be counted only once. Include them in the count for Masters students, since this is the level at which they will begin the project.

For Section 6: under a given year, the student should be counted where they will spend the majority of their year. For instance, if the student will transition from Masters to PhD in Year 2 of the project but will spend 7 months of the year as a Masters student, they should be counted once on the "Graduate students (Masters)" row.

Further details regarding the student's transition can be included in Section 1.3 of the proposal (under the heading "Training plan").

Question 35: For suborbital flights, would purchasing carbon offsets be considered an eligible expense?

Answer 35: No, the purchase of carbon offsets is not an eligible expense under the AO.

10. Appendix A – Additional information on projects

In this section
  1. Canadian students
  2. Training plan
  3. Additional information on end-to-end space-like mission projects (for Funding under Category A – see Section 6.1)
  4. Eligible suborbital/orbital platforms, research sites and ground-based infrastructure (for Funding under Category A - see Section 6.1)
  5. Examples of sites, infrastructure and instruments for research projects pertaining to life sciences and space health (for Funding under Category A - see Section 6.1)
  6. CSA-facilitated access to research platforms

1. Canadian students

For this AO, Canadian students include:

  • College students;
  • Undergraduate university students;
  • Graduate students (master's and doctorate levels);
  • PDFs.

For the purpose of this AO, the term "Canadian students" refers to all students (including international students) that are registered in a Canadian university or post-secondary institution.

Applicants are encouraged to propose projects that increase the representation and advancement of women in space sciences and engineering as one means to foster excellence in research and training. Applicants should strive for a balanced gender representation in the group of students and amongst their supervisors, role models and mentors. If in the research discipline of the proposed project there is a gender imbalance in the student population, applicants are required to demonstrate in their EDI plan that this imbalance has been taken into consideration in their plan for recruitment of students implicated in their project.

2. Training plan

Applications must include a training plan consisting of the following:

  • Detailed information on project activities in which the students will participate and information on the breakdown of tasks. These activities must suit the academic level of the students involved in the research project;
  • Information on the method or methods that will be used to supervise the students and which will be adapted to the work to be carried out;
  • Information on the knowledge and skills that the students will acquire in some or all of the following fields:
    • Project management (allocation of resources, planning, compliance with budgets);
    • Industrial design;
    • Mechanical, optical or electrical systems engineering;
    • Payload assembly, integration, testing and operation;
    • Software development;
    • Data collection and analysis;
    • Interpersonal communications and leadership skills;
    • Problem-solving;
    • Design and implementation of scientific research;
    • Other skills not listed above.

The training level and content should be tailored to the research discipline, whether science- or engineering-related, and include opportunities to interact and collaborate with other researchers within or outside the educational institution, as applicable.

As outlined in one of the application evaluation criteria, the CSA strongly encourages collaborative research activities involving academia, industry, and foreign researchers. In collaborative research activities involving industry, HQP training may be enhanced by exposing them to an industrial work environment. Similarly, industry personnel may benefit from being involved in academic research. Applicants are encouraged to investigate Mitacs as a potential additional source of support in these cases.

3. Additional information on end-to-end space-like mission projects (for Funding under Category A – see Section 6.1)

It is mandatory to submit an end-to-end space-like mission project proposal under Funding Category A. An end-to-end space-like mission project includes the following activities:

  • Planning, management and operation of a project or mission;
  • Feasibility assessment;
  • Technical requirements definition, design, assembly, integration and testing of innovative technologies or instruments that show promise for future space missions;
  • Commissioning, calibration and validation of the technology;
  • At least one airborne, space-based or ground-based campaign aimed at at least one of the following:
    • Demonstrating the technical capabilities of the instruments;
    • Demonstrating the scientific or operational value of the new observations;
    • Enhancing the scientific understanding of the observed processes;
  • Flight operations and technology recovery, or field deployment or research site management;
  • Activities related to data collection and analysis.

4. Eligible suborbital/orbital platforms, research sites and ground-based infrastructure (for Funding under Category A - see Section 6.1)

The following suborbital/orbital platforms, research sites or ground-based infrastructure will be considered for the implementation of projects in Canada or abroad:

4.1 Suborbital/orbital platforms

  • Stratospheric and/or high-altitude balloons;
  • Airplanes, helicopters and/or drones;
  • Aircraft conducting parabolic flights;
  • Rockets;
  • Sounding rockets;
  • Nanosatellites or CubeSats;
  • Suborbital Reusable Launch Vehicles (SRLV) (e.g., commercially developed reusable space vehicles that may carry humans or cargo).

4.2 Research sites

  • Analogue sites that replicate some features and/or conditions that could be found on Mars, the Moon, or on other planetary bodies and asteroids;
  • Laboratories or institutions that are suitable for research relevant to human spaceflight.

4.3 Ground-based infrastructure

  • Terrestrial prototypes of stationary or mobile surface structures for planetary exploration (e.g., planetary rovers, landers);
  • Astronomical observatory infrastructure;
  • Remote sensing infrastructure located in a remote environment;
  • Microgravity simulation infrastructure;
  • Scientific instruments similar to those on board a spacecraft;
  • Environmental test chambers, including those simulating the pressure, temperature, humidity, wind, atmospheric composition and/or regolith of planetary bodies;
  • Health monitoring instruments or infrastructure that simulate certain components or conditions of human spaceflight (e.g., isolation and confinement, extra-vehicular activity (EVA), operational environment, living and working conditions);
  • Radiation facilities.

Other ground-based infrastructure will be considered, as long as they are used in the context of an eligible project that is in line with the CSA priorities outlined in Section 3.3 of this AO.

If the project includes the use of a flight, of fieldwork, of infrastructure, or of scientific or data analysis instruments, the project description should describe any mitigation measures that will be undertaken to address the risk associated with the non-availability of those elements, as well as the impact on the achievement of the project.

5. Examples of sites, infrastructure and instruments for research projects pertaining to life sciences and space health (for Funding under Category A - see Section 6.1)

Examples of sites, infrastructure and instruments for research projects pertaining to the use of space to address health problems on Earth:

  • Suborbital platforms and instruments:
    • Studies using small animalsFootnote 1 (such as nematodes), cells or microorganisms;
  • Ground-based infrastructure and instruments simulating a microgravity environment:
    • Drop-towers, human or animal centrifuges;
    • Microgravity simulation using rotating wall bioreactors (RWBs) or clinostats:
      • Relevant microbial, cellular or whole-animal based research;
    • Animal models of unloading:
  • Isolated, remote field stations or similar environments that are analogs of spaceflight, and that can be used to study Earth Health topics

For Co-Is of international proposals (proposals submitted to non-Canadian space agencies and organizations), the allowed platforms are the same as above, with the addition of the ISS, with the understanding that CSA resources on the ISS cannot be used.

6.  CSA-facilitated access to research platforms

Through this AO, the CSA is soliciting applications that may require the use of suborbital or other research platforms. Applicants may request CSA-facilitated access to the following research platforms:

  1. Access through the CSA to the Centre national d'études spatiales (CNES) stratospheric balloons;
  2. Access through the CSA to the National Research Council Canada (NRC)'s Falcon 20 aircraft for reduced gravity flights;
  3. Access to some CSA infrastructure and facilities, pending availability, at the CSA in St-Hubert for field investigations.

Additional information regarding these opportunities are described in Appendix B.

Please note:

  • If a proponent requests, as part of the proposal, access to and/ or use of the resources above (including facilities, equipment, technical expertise), an additional agreement might have to be signed between the CSA and the recipient, provided that the proposal has been selected for funding.
  • Applicants are encouraged to collaborate with other government departments in order to carry out their projects.

11. Appendix B - Access to research platforms

In this section
  1. Access through the CSA to the CNES stratospheric balloons
  2. Access, through the CSA, to NRC Falcon 20 aircraft for reduced gravity flights
  3. Access to CSA infrastructure and facilities in Saint-Hubert, Quebec for field investigations

1. Access through the CSA to the CNES stratospheric balloons

A 10-year collaborative agreement between CSA and Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES) was signed in to jointly conduct stratospheric balloon flights from Canada. The CSA has invested in the construction of a launch base in Timmins, Ontario allowing CNES to launch its balloons from Canada. In exchange, CNES provides annual flight opportunities for Canada, from the domestic base of Timmins and abroad. Selected grant recipients will be allowed to launch their instruments on these balloons as part of the CSA's STRATOS program.

The altitude of stratospheric balloons typically ranges between 18 and 42 km, depending on mission objectives, payload specifications and weather conditions. Possible balloon launch sites include the following: Timmins, Ontario (mid-latitude); Kiruna, Sweden (Arctic); Alice Springs, and Australia (South Hemisphere mid-latitude). CNES has started investigating the possibility of developing a new launch site in Teresina, Brazil (equatorial latitude) beyond . The CNES balloon launch site for is expected to be Kiruna, Sweden, and is still to be confirmed for subsequent years.

CNES Zero-Pressure Balloon

Balloon launched during the Strato Science 2014 Campaign

Stratospheric balloon launched from the base in Timmins, Ontario. (Credit: CSA)

During a launch campaign, multiple balloons are launched. All launches can accommodate either a single primary payload, multiple secondary payloads or both. Consequently, applicants will be considered for either a primary slot or a secondary slot, depending on their payload's mass and volume. Typically, a primary payload can weigh up to 1 ton, and a secondary payload can weigh up to 100 kg.

For primary payloads greater than 500 kg, grant recipients may be required to provide their own gondola to accommodate their own payload. If that is the case, neither the CNES nor the CSA will be responsible for providing such a gondola, including the structure and pointing systems. However, the CSA and the CNES can provide the telemetry and telecommunications systems (CNES-PASTIS and/or CSA PRISM) that will allow the payload communications system to send data to the ground. In some cases, the CSA can also provide a power subsystem, including battery packs and a power distribution capacity.

In the case of secondary payloads, the recipient must provide a self-contained payload that will not interfere with the primary payload. Secondary payloads will be accepted depending on the volume, mass and power available on board the gondola. Although power will be provided by the gondola, there may be special cases where payloads would need to supply their own power. These will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

All primary and secondary payloads flying with the CSA/CNES balloons can use the provided CNES-PASTIS and/or CSA PRISM telecommunication and telemetry system for position and attitude knowledge. For secondary payloads, the total bandwidth allocation will be shared by all of the instruments onboard.

Once a grant is obtained for any STRATOS balloon flights, the recipient must fill out a questionnaire providing additional information on its payload and the flight requirements. The recipient will subsequently be responsible for ensuring that its payload and its gondola (if appropriate) will be ready on time and requested to provide Hazard sheets, an Experiment Safety Data Package and a recovery procedure in order to get its flight certification and approval. Safety and interface requirements, which are outlined in user manuals and are available upon request. The CSA will carry out an internal technology assessment several months before a balloon campaign to confirm whether or not a proposed payload is ready. The CSA will do its utmost to fly all FAST grant recipient payloads that meet the CSA Safety and Mission Assurance (S&MA), interface and schedule requirements, and that are compatible with STRATOS balloon campaign plans and schedule.

Applicants interested in utilizing a STRATOS balloon flight must clearly state so in their application and provide information on their payload as well as their flight preferences (such as period of the year for a flight, launch site and the expected support required by the CNES and the CSA). However, the CSA cannot guarantee a flight at the location, period of the year or time of day stated in a recipient's application.

Expenses associated with a STRATOS balloon launch, flight operations and payload recovery will be supported by the CSA. An additional agreement might have to be signed between the CSA and the recipient, provided that the proposal has been selected for funding.

For general information on the CSA's balloon program, please refer to the Stratospheric balloons Web page.

To obtain a copy of the Stratospheric Balloon User Manual, please send a request to: asc.stedia-dstemu.csa@canada.ca. This document is subject to change at any time. Notice of such changes will be sent only to organizations that would have officially requested a copy of the document.

2. Access, through the CSA, to NRC Falcon 20 aircraft for reduced gravity flights

As a result of collaboration with the NRC, the CSA has access to the NRC's Falcon 20 aircraft in Ottawa. Consequently, selected grant recipients will also be given access to a reduced gravity environment for experimentation. The Falcon 20 will be able to produce multiple short periods of near zero-g acceleration force. Lunar-g and Martian g can also be simulated using this aircraft.

Depending on the physical properties of the experiment, the Falcon 20 can accommodate multiple payloads and experimenters on board. The Falcon 20 aircraft is also equipped to provide electrical power and a data acquisition system for the payloads. In addition, work space is available on the ground for build-up and checkout of test equipment prior to installation in the aircraft.

It is the grant recipient's responsibility to comply with all safety procedures, and to ensure that the payload will be ready on time and meets safety and interface requirements, which are outlined in the Falcon 20 user manual available upon request. The CSA and the NRC will do their utmost to accommodate all of the experiments to be selected following the NRC's multi stage approval and review procedure.

Expenses associated with the flight and the engineering support required from the CSA and the NRC for payload integration and certification will be supported by the NRC and/or the CSA. An additional agreement might have to be signed between the CSA and the recipient, provided that the proposal has been selected for funding.

Applicants interested in utilizing the NRC Falcon 20 aircraft must clearly state so in their application.

To obtain a copy of the Falcon 20 User Manual, please send a request to asc.stedia-dstemu.csa@canada.ca.

3. Access to CSA infrastructure and facilities in Saint-Hubert, Quebec for field investigations

In order to facilitate the ground testing and demonstration of planetary exploration technologies, and to support field investigations to prepare Canada for future planetary exploration missions, the CSA has developed infrastructure and facilities for testing, integrating and operating planetary exploration systems and equipment, such as rovers and scientific instruments, in a "mission-like" planetary environment. The facilities include integration labs, test facilities, a planetary analogue site (located at the CSA), a control center and the communications infrastructure necessary to connect various on-site facilities.

The CSA is making available to grant recipients, subject to availability, its outdoor facilities and infrastructure to support the testing, integration and operation of planetary exploration systems and equipment (e.g. rovers, instruments, payloads).

Applicants interested in using CSA facilities must clearly state so in their application and provide information on their rover, instrument or payload as well as their schedule. However, the CSA cannot guarantee that a specific facility will be available at the location, period of the year or time of day stated in a recipient's application. The application must also mention the risks and mitigation measures if the requested CSA facilities and resources cannot be made available.

3.1 Use of CSA infrastructure or facilities on site in Saint-Hubert, Quebec

The CSA will provide, subject to availability, expert engineering and technical staff resources to operate the CSA-provided facilities and infrastructure, and support the recipients while on site at the CSA.

The CSA will provide information that grant recipients will need to ensure that the CSA facility interfaces (e.g. WiFi communications infrastructure, power outlets) are well understood in order to accommodate the grant recipient's rovers, instruments or payloads.

3.1.1 Process

Once a project has been selected, the CSA organizes a technical meeting (teleconference) during which the applicant will have to provide additional technical information on its rover, instrument or payload and the field investigation requirements relative to its use of CSA facilities and infrastructure. The applicant will subsequently be responsible for ensuring that its equipment will be ready on time and meets CSA safety and interface requirements, which will be provided by the CSA upon request.

The preliminary schedule provided in the application must include target dates for the demonstration of capacities (deployment) and a preparedness review, to have been carried out four weeks prior to the deployment. The CSA will do its utmost to accommodate all FAST selected applicant requests that meet CSA health and safety (H&S), security and interface requirements, and that are compatible with ongoing CSA plans and schedule for use of its facilities and infrastructure and technical support resources.

Users of CSA facilities (e.g. Analogue Terrain) will be sent facility-specific H&S plan(s) prior to their arrival. All participants will be asked to respond with an email stating that they have read, understood and will comply with the H&S requirements.

CSA badging will be arranged prior to arrival. Depending on the length of visit and frequency of trips to the CSA, either a visitor's badge (escort required) or a CSA access badge (no escort required) will be issued upon arrival. For CSA Visitor Badges, Canadians must show ID (e.g. driver's license) and non-Canadians must show ID + a student/work visa + a passport). For CSA access badges, a government security check will be done, including fingerprinting and a form to be filled out and submitted approximately two weeks prior to the visit.

3.1.2 Agreement

An agreement must be signed between the CSA and the recipient in order to have access to CSA infrastructure and facilities. This agreement will include, among other things, clauses relating to the following:

  • Location (infrastructure and facilities to be used) and supervision of the recipient's participants;
  • Access to CSA facilities (H&S, security);
  • Confidential information (information handling);
  • Intellectual property (background and foreground);
  • Indemnification and liability; and
  • Other clauses as applicable.
3.1.3 Expenses

All expenses associated with the recipient's rover, instrument or payload development, testing, integration and shipping, as well as travel and accommodation before, during and after the field investigation activity, are the grant recipient's responsibility.

3.2 CSA facilities overview descriptions

The following Sections (3.2.1, 3.2.2 and 3.2.3) provide a summary description of the CSA's facilities.

In order to provide as much information as possible for the AO release date, the following CSA documents are also being made available on a per-request basis and in an "as-is" state. In some cases, the information contained does not reflect with 100% accuracy the current configuration of the facilities, as some upgrades may have occurred since the documents were prepared. However, the information supplied should be sufficient to provide the applicant with an understanding of the available functionality, capability and general interfaces. Available documentation is listed below:

  • CSA Facility Overview Sheets:
    • Analogue Terrain (AT);
    • Portable Command and Control Shelter (PCCS);
    • Exploration Storage Facility (ESF);
  • CSA AT User Guide/Manual; and
  • CSA Facility H&S Plans:
    • AT;
    • PCCS;
    • ESF;

To obtain copies of these documents, please send a request to asc.stedia-dstemu.csa@canada.ca.

3.2.1 Analogue terrain (AT)

The CSA-located AT is a 60- x 120-metre outdoor facility offering various surface features and topographies to simulate the planetary surface, such as rock bed, crater, summit, and flag stone patch. This facility is also equipped with situation awareness cameras and WIFI network for the needs of rover and instrument or payload testing and deployment.

Credit: CSA

3.2.2 Portable Command and Control Shelter (PCCS)

This infrastructure provides a controlled and secure environment for conducting remote analogue site deployments, i.e., a portable "ExDOC", and can be quickly deployed and set up.

It measures approximately 10 m long (including hitch) by 3 m wide by 3 m high.

It is equipped with multiple workstations and satellite and wireless communications equipment.

Credit: CSA

3.2.3  Exploration Storage Facility (ESF)

Co-located with the AT, the ESF provides a sheltered and secure environment in which to store a variety of rovers and science and technology instruments.

The ESF's dimensions are 10.4 m by 7 m with 3.2-m ceiling height, providing over 70 m2 of storage area. It can provide storage for up to 20 rovers.

Credit: CSA

12. Appendix C – Scoring

In this section
  1. Benefits to Canada and outcomes
  2. Feasibility and risks
  3. Resources
  4. Evaluation score

A numerical score is associated with each criterion. It is strongly recommended that applicants include in their applications information related to each highest score.

1. Benefits to Canada and outcomes

  • Maximum: 45
  • Minimum: 33

1.1. Proposed research

This criterion is used to evaluate the originality of the research and its probable impact and potential to advance knowledge in the field of space science and/or technology, directly or indirectly. This criterion is also used to evaluate whether the research is aligned with the research priorities outlined in Section 3.3 of the AO.

  • Does the research clearly respond to one of the research priorities outlined in Section 3.3 of the FAST AO?
  • Is the research original and of high intrinsic merit?
  • Is the proposed research likely to result in long-term innovations in the field of space science and/or technology? Will the research have broad impact and applications to other fields of study?
  • How new are the current stated objectives of the proposed project, and to what degree will they impact our knowledge of space science and/or technology?

Evaluation Source: Proposal

  • Poor: The research project does not present new concepts and will not contribute to advancement of new knowledge in space science and/or technology. It will not help to achieve one of the research priorities of the FAST AO. (Score: 0)
  • Average: The probable research project findings could advance knowledge in the field of space science and/or technology. The relationship between the research work and one of the research priorities of the FAST AO is weak. The work is derivative of previous work. (Score: 10)
  • Good: The probable research project findings will advance knowledge in the field of space science and/or technology, and could produce benefits in the short and long terms. The research work will help to achieve one of the research priorities of the FAST AO, , it will make use of new or original methods or concepts, and is based on previous work. (Score: 15)
  • Excellent: The probable research project findings will significantly advance knowledge in the field of space science and/or technology, and will produce substantial long-term benefits beyond the immediate field of study. The research work will help considerably to achieve the research priorities of the FAST AO. The research work is outstanding because of its highly innovative or original scientific or technical concepts or methods, and/or builds significantly on previous work. (Score: 20)

1.2. EDI

This criterion evaluates whether the proposal includes a meaningful plan to foster recruitment and engagement of members from underrepresented groups within the research team.

  • Does the research project meaningfully engage members of underrepresented groups within the research team through the engagement of students, PDFs, faculty and partners? Underrepresented groups include, but are not limited to, the four designated groups (women, Indigenous peoples, members of visible minorities, and persons with disabilities). Applicants can consult the Employment equity website for definitions of each group.

Evaluation Source: Proposal

  • Poor: The proposal does not describe any particular measure to facilitate the diversity of the team. (Score: 0)
  • Average: The proposal contains a diversity inclusion plan. The description of how this plan will be achieved lacks details. (Score: 1)
  • Good: The proposal contains a diversity inclusion plan. The description of how this plan will be achieved is mostly complete and the approach appears feasible. (Score: 3)
  • Excellent: The proposal contains a diversity inclusion plan that is fully described, with detailed information on how it will be achieved. The proposal demonstrates that efforts were already made to integrate members from underrepresented groups in the research team. (Score: 5)

1.3. Training plan

This criterion is used to evaluate the quality, relevance and clarity of the training plan, as well as the impact of the knowledge and experience that the students will acquire.

  • Does the training plan specify the activities or projects in which the students will participate during the research project?
  • Do the training activities suit the academic level of the students involved in the project?
  • Is information provided on the method or methods that will be used to supervise the students?
  • Will the students gain knowledge and experience that is relevant to the development of their professional careers (e.g. benefit from industry participation in the project, internships in industry, etc.)?

Evaluation source: Proposal

  • Poor: The training plan is poorly defined and contains few details on the activities or projects in which the students will participate, and on the distribution of tasks. (Score: 0)
  • Average: The training plan is partially defined and details are missing on the activities or projects in which the students will participate, and on the distribution of tasks. Overall, the activities or projects suit the academic level of the students involved in the project (undergraduate, Master's, PhD, etc.). There is little information provided on the method that will be used to supervise the students. (Score: 10)
  • Good: The training plan is well-designed and provides detailed information on the activities or projects in which the students will participate, and on the distribution of tasks. The activities or projects suit the academic level of the students involved in the project (undergraduate, Master's, PPhDhD, etc.). The methods for supervising the students are described and suited to the work to be carried out. Detailed information is provided on the knowledge and skills that the students may acquire. (Score: 15)
  • Excellent: The training plan is well-designed and describes in great detail the activities or projects in which the students will participate, and on the distribution of tasks. The activities or projects suit the academic level of the students involved in the project (undergraduate, Master's, PhD, etc.). The methods for supervising the students are clearly described and well-suited to the work to be carried out. A lot of detailed information is provided on the knowledge and skills that the students will acquire and the impact on the students. The students will gain knowledge and experience that is relevant to the development of their professional careers (e.g. benefit from industry participation in the project, internships in industry, etc.). (Score: 20)

2. Feasibility and risks

  • Maximum: 25
  • Minimum: 17

2.1. Research plan and schedule

This criterion is used to evaluate the clarity, completeness and feasibility of the research plan, with the duties and responsibilities, contributions and level of involvement of each team member clearly identified. The criterion is also used to evaluate the likelihood that the work will be completed on schedule.

  • Is the project methodology clearly described, including specifically the project schedule?
  • In light of the proposed research plan, are the objectives realistic? Is there a good probability that the work will be carried out on schedule and within budget?
  • Are the duties and responsibilities of each team member clearly outlined? Is each team member's contribution towards achievement of the project objectives clearly defined and justified?
  • Are the project management structure and decision-making process described?

Evaluation source: Proposal, Detailed implementation schedule

  • Poor: The research plan is poorly defined and/or there is a high likelihood that the objectives will not be met because of any or a combination of the following: inappropriate methods; duties and responsibilities of team members poorly defined; incomplete and/or highly underestimated or overestimated schedule. (Score: 0)
  • Average: The research plan is partially defined and contains shortcomings. The project team's work may comply with the planned schedule, but there are still doubts as to the relevance of the methodology, and the duties and responsibilities of some team members. (Score: 5)
  • Good: The research plan is well-defined. The method is well-described and suited to the work to be carried out. There is a high probability that the work described will be completed on schedule. (Score: 10)
  • Excellent: The research plan is very well-defined. The method is clearly described and well-suited to the work to be carried out. Many details are provided regarding, in particular, the breakdown of the work, scheduled milestones, and the organization of team members' time to carry out the project. There is an excellent probability that the work described will be carried out on schedule and within budget. (Score: 15)

2.2. Project-related risks and mitigation strategies

This criterion is used to evaluate the applicant's analysis of the main risks associated with the project, as well as the mitigation strategies for each risk.

The applicant must carry out an in-depth risk analysis (financial, managerial, environmental, scientific and technical risks). Detailed information must be provided on the availability of resources and risks associated with their non-availability and on mitigation strategies for these risks (degree of uncertainty, particularly with respect to the launch date, access to infrastructure, the launch site, instruments or scientific data, the agreement with the launch services supplier, and collaboration with the industry and foreign research partners).

A risk analysis table must be included in the proposal or in Section 9 of the application form.

  • Has the applicant identified and described in detail the risks associated with the project, including but not limited to, financial, managerial, environmental, scientific and technical risks (particularly access to financial, human and physical resources) and compliance with the project schedule?
  • Are the proposed mitigation strategies for each risk well thought out and realistic?
  • What is the probability of the risks materializing?
  • If applicable, have appropriate mitigation strategies been provided with regards to any unconfirmed sources of funding and/or in-kind contributions?
  • If applicable, have appropriate mitigation strategies been provided with regards to potential delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Note that the evaluation of the risk criterion will be based on whether all risks were identified, whether the impact and probability assessment is realistic, and whether mitigation strategies are appropriate. The project will not be penalized for having high risks or unconfirmed sources of funding, as long as the risks have been identified and mitigation strategies provided are appropriate.

Evaluation source: Proposal and Section 9 of the application form (if applicable)

  • Poor: The application does not mention any of the main risks associated with the project, and does not contain any mitigation strategy, or includes some risks, but the associated mitigation strategies are missing. (Score: 0)
  • Average: The application mentions a few of the main risks and contains mitigation strategies for these risks. The risks are high that the flight, work on the ground, use of the infrastructure or scientific instruments, or the data analysis will not take place as planned. (Score: 4)
  • Good: The main risks (financial, managerial, environmental, scientific and technical risks) and the associated mitigation strategies are described and relevant. Some information is provided to assess the probability of the risks materializing. It is possible to believe in good faith that everything will take place as planned during the period covered by this grant, or that in the case of unforeseen circumstances, the mitigation strategies considered will allow the project to be carried out with respect to flight, fieldwork, use of infrastructure or scientific instruments, or data analysis. (Score: 7)
  • Excellent: The main risks (financial, managerial, environmental, scientific and technical risks) are well-described, and relevant mitigation strategies are proposed for each risk. The information provided to assess the probability of the risks materializing are deemed to be realistic. It is possible to believe in good faith that the flight, fieldwork, use of the infrastructure or scientific instruments, and the data analysis will take place as planned during the period covered by the grant, or in the case of unforeseen circumstances, the mitigation strategies considered will allow the project to be carried out. (Score: 10)

3. Resources

  • Maximum: 30
  • Minimum: 20

3.1. Project team

This criterion is used to evaluate the quality of the project team (PIs, co-investigators or PDFs, as applicable), its combination of expertise, its capacity to carry out the research project, the skills of team members, and the past achievements of team members.

  • Does the project team have demonstrated experience in the field of study concerned?
  • Does the project team have all of the expertise required to undertake the project?
  • Has the project team demonstrated its capacity to manage and carry out similar projects?
  • Are the duties and responsibilities assigned to each project team member consistent with each member's experience and expertise?
  • Is the team made up of experts from various disciplines and educational institutions?

Please note that in evaluating the project team, the CSA reserves the right to take into consideration how the PI managed CSA-funded projects in the past, if applicable (including reporting accuracy and reliability).

Evaluation source: Proposal, Curricula vitae, CSA evaluations of the PI's previous progress and final reports (if applicable)

  • Poor: The project team members do not have experience and/or expertise in the field of study. (Score: 0)
  • Average: The project team members have some experience and some expertise in the field of study. The team members may not have all of the appropriate expertise for the duties and responsibilities that may be assigned to them during the project. (Score: 5)
  • Good: The project team members have demonstrated experience in the field of study. The team is made up of experts from various educational institutions. They have a variety of expertise that will enable them to undertake the proposed project. The team members have demonstrated their capacity to manage and carry out similar projects. The duties and responsibilities assigned to each team member are consistent with each team member's experience and expertise. (Score: 10)
  • Excellent: The project team members have considerable demonstrated experience in the field of study. The team is made up of experts from various educational institutions. They have an excellent variety of multidisciplinary expertise that will enable them to undertake the proposed project. The team members have demonstrated their capacity to manage and complete similar projects. The duties and responsibilities assigned to each team member are consistent with each team member's experience and expertise. (Score: 15)

3.2. Budget, source of funding, physical resources and infrastructure

This criterion is used to evaluate whether the planned budget is adequate to achieve the project's objectives. It also takes the project's various sources of funding into consideration. It is also used to evaluate the timely availability of physical resources (equipment, instruments and/or scientific data) and infrastructure (ground-based infrastructure, suborbital/orbital platform, analogue site).

  • Is the budget realistic and justified in relation to the proposed activities?
  • Will the applicant make a financial contribution or a contribution in kind to the project other than the PI's salary?
  • Will other organizations participate in the project by making a financial contribution or a contribution in kind? Are the contributions described in the proposal and in Sections 13 and 14 of the application form clearly linked to the proposed project activities?
  • Will the physical resources planned for the project and the infrastructure be available in a timely manner?
  • If applicable: Has sufficient information been provided regarding how the proper licenses will be obtained in order to use the research platform?
  • If applicable, have details been provided regarding the access to the ground-based infrastructure, suborbital/orbital platform or research site that will be used, including how the access will be granted and guaranteed?

Note that for the purpose of the FAST AO, "other sources of funding" refers to resources that will be used specifically for the proposed project activities.

Evaluation source: Proposal, Sections 13 and 14 of the application form

  • Poor: There is a clear mismatch between the planned budget and the work associated with the project. The main physical resources or infrastructure that should be required for the project are absent, and nothing indicates that the applicant has a plan for obtaining them. There is no contribution from the applicant (other than the PI's salary) or from other organizations. (Score: 0)
  • Average: Overall, the budget appears to be adequate for the proposed work and a reasonable rationale is provided, but there are still questions about some cost items. There are missing specifications concerning access to some physical resources and infrastructure. There is no contribution from the applicant other than the PI's salary. Other organizations participating in the project plan to make a financial contribution and/or a contribution in kind. (Score: 5)
  • Good: The budget appears to be adequate and reasonable for all components of the proposed work and a good rationale is provided. The physical resources and infrastructure required to achieve the project's goals and objectives are identified and supported by rationales, and their use is properly planned. However, there are still some uncertainties as to their timely availability. The applicant will make a financial or in-kind contribution in addition to the PI's salary. Other organizations participating in the project plan will make a financial or in-kind contribution. Only a few resources (including financial contributions, in-kind contributions, and/or access to research platforms) have been obtained or confirmed to date. (Score: 10)
  • Excellent: The budget appears to be adequate and reasonable for all components of the proposed work and a good rationale is provided. The physical resources and infrastructure required to achieve the project's goals and objectives are identified in detail, supported by rationales, and planned in order to be used efficiently and effectively. The confirmed resources will be available in a timely manner. The applicant will make a financial or in-kind contribution in addition to the PI's salary.. Other organizations participating in the project will make substantial financial or in-kind contributions. Most resources (including financial contributions, in-kind contributions, and/or access to research platforms) have been obtained or confirmed. (Score: 15)

4. Evaluation score

  • Maximum total: 100
  • Minimum total: 70
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