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Announcement of Opportunity (AO) For Human Analog Studies

On this page

  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. AO OBJECTIVES
  3. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
  4. APPLICATIONS
  5. EVALUATION
  6. FUNDING
  7. FUNDING AGREEMENTS
  8. PRIVACY NOTICE STATEMENT
  9. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
  10. ANNEX 1
  11. ANNEX 2

Publication date:

Applications due

Summary of Key Information

  • Eligible Recipients:
    • Canadian post-secondary institutions, defined as a Canadian university or college (including CEGEPs in Quebec) that has provincial accreditation to grant degrees, diplomas, certificates or other recognized qualifications;
    • Not for profit organizations established and operating in Canada that have research included in their institutional mandate, and that have a standing Research Ethics Board (as defined by the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans), or that delegate this responsibility to another institution's recognized board.
  • Funding Type: Grants
  • Maximum amount per project: up to $200,000
  • Maximum duration of the project: up to two (2) years, beginning no earlier than . The number of grants and the amount awarded will depend on budget requested by each proposal and the availability of funds.

1. INTRODUCTION

In the future, human exploration of space is expected to extend beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to cis-lunar space, the surface of the Moon, and ultimately to distant targets such as Mars. The resulting expeditions will require extended periods of exposure to weightlessness and space radiation, with confinement and isolation in the extreme environment of space, all of which are linked to substantial human health and performance risks.

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is interested in human spaceflight and maintaining a healthy and highly qualified Canadian astronaut corps capable of participating in space exploration missions. Also, in line with the vision and priorities of the recent Space Strategy for Canada, the CSA aims to enable scientific opportunities and global partnerships, and to harness space to solve everyday challenges for Canadians.

To achieve this, the CSA's Health and Life Sciences (HLS) group conducts activities generating knowledge in fields that sustain human space flights, mitigate health risks and develop countermeasures for these missions. Since time and resources on ISS are limited, CSA aims to broaden science opportunities in order to enhance and supplement flight investigations on the International Space Station (ISS) and to optimize utilization of CSA's ISS allocation.

The intent of this Announcement of Opportunity (AO) is to provide financial support to researchers in Canadian Universities, post-secondary institutions, and not for profit organizations to conduct science investigations that will lead to a better understanding of human spaceflight risks while contributing to improve remote medicine and health benefits here on Earth. The focus of research to be funded in this AO will be on human-subject space analogue studies that reproduce the health and performance factors of space environments such as variable gravity, isolation, and confinement. Well-designed ground studies are valuable for improving the understanding of the risks of spaceflight or for initial validation of new countermeasures. The studies targeted in this AO must be precursors of Canadian investigations on the ISS.

Throughout the domestic and international space research community, there is a range of research institutes and installations that are capable of supporting analogue platforms. If Canadian principal investigators (PIs) or Co-Is are selected by the soliciting agency for implementation of the proposal, they can then submit an application for funding to this CSA Announcement of Opportunity. Examples of competitions to be funded through this AO are listed in Table 1 of section 3.1 (other competitions not listed in Table 1 may also be eligible, provided that the principal aim of the analogue study is to better understand the health risks linked to human spaceflight, or to assess the efficacy of novel countermeasures against these risks, and that the partner agency has conducted a peer review of proposals prior to selection).

This AO is consistent with the terms and conditions of the CSA Class Grant and Contribution (G&C) Program to Support Research, Awareness and Learning in Space Science and Technology – Research Component.

Applicants are asked to read the following AO thoroughly before submitting their applications. This AO was prepared to help applicants complete the application process and outlines key elements, including mandatory criteria for eligibility, details on eligible projects and the selection process. In the event of any discrepancies between this AO and the individual funding agreements governing a project, the latter document(s) will take precedence.

2. AO OBJECTIVES

Projects selected from this CSA competition must have as their objective to increase scientific knowledge that will contribute to the efforts toward the understanding, mitigation or elimination of health risks associated with human space exploration, and to generate scientific insights that will contribute to applications on Earth.

More specifically, through this AO, the CSA seeks to:

3. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

In this section

3.1 Eligible recipients

Grants

  • Canadian post-secondary institutions, defined as a Canadian university or college (including CEGEPs in Quebec) that has provincial accreditation to grant degrees, diplomas, certificates or other recognized qualifications;
  • Not for profit organizations established and operating in Canada that have research included in their institutional mandate, and that have a standing Research Ethics Board (as defined by the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans), or that delegate this responsibility to another institution's recognized board.

3.2 Eligible projects

Grants

Projects eligible for funding in this solicitation process are those where Canadian researchers are involved as PI or as Co-I of a proposal that has been selected based on scientific merit through one of the international partner competitions. Examples of accepted competitions can be found in Table 1.

Table 1 – Examples of accepted competitions for this application process
Competitions Proposal due date Canadian participant status Website links
Announcement of Opportunity for Human Research on Concordia, Antarctica (AO--Concordia) (ESA) ESA AO closing date:
PI or Co-I ESA research announcements
Ground-Based Facilities (ESA) Open PI or Co-I ESA Ground-Based Facilities
Parabolic flights (ESA) Open PI or Co-I ESA Parabolic flights
DLR Parabolic flights Open Co-I (in collaboration with a German PI) DLR Parabolic flights (German only)
SIRIUS - Isolation and confinement (NASA) TBD PI or Co-I SIRIUS Analog Missions
HERA - Isolation and confinement (NASA) TBD PI or Co-I HERA Analog Missions

3.3 Links to CSA priorities

To be eligible, projects supported under the G&C program must be aligned with CSA priority outcomes, as stated in the Canadian Space Agency departmental plan -22: Space research and development advances science and technology. In accordance to its mandate, the activities selected must

  1. generate new knowledge and insight into the risks of human space flight to keep astronauts healthy in space (Space Strategy for Canada, ), and
  2. they must clearly be recognizable as direct precursors of future Canadian investigations on the ISS.

The most important health risks associated with human space flights (i.e. future long-duration human spaceflight missions) have been listed in Table 2.

In addition to the risks listed in the table below, the CSA will also evaluate if the activities would contribute to advance understanding of similar health issues or translate to applications on Earth, or that could contribute to improving health care for Canadians.

The following table presents the human space flight risks targeted by the CSA for this application process.

Table 2 – Eligible Human Space Flight Risks
Musculoskeletal Mission risks resulting from reduced muscle strength and aerobic capacity, and increased bone fragility
Sensorimotor Mission risks resulting from sensory changes/dysfunctions
Metabolism Mission risks associated with metabolism and the effects of nutrient composition of diet on health during space missions
Behavioural Health and Performance Mission behavioural health and performance risks, for example, associated with psychological adaptation, stress and fatigue, cognitive deterioration or issues with team dynamics
Radiation Mission risk due to health and performance impairment associated with radiation damage
Variable Gravity and Planetary-Lunar Missions Mission risks associated with physiological adaptation (including Space Associated Neuro-optical Syndrome) during transit (i.e. long duration exposure to microgravity) and sojourn on planetary surfaces. Note that physiological adaptation includes adaptation of human-associated microbial communities. Other risks can be associated with planetary exploration and can include, for instance, exposure to dust.

3.4 Links to the Class G&C Program Objectives

To be eligible, projects supported under the G&C program must contribute to the achievement of at least one of the following objectives:

  • To support the development of science relevant to the priorities of the Canadian Space Agency;
  • To foster the continuing development of a critical mass of researchers and highly qualified people in Canada in areas relevant to the priorities of the Canadian Space Agency.

4. APPLICATIONS

In this section

4.1 Required Documentation

Required documentation can now be uploaded electronically.

The application must include the following:

  • The full proposal, with a completed original application form (Word, 117 KB) signed by the duly authorized representative. For electronic submission, digital signature is required.
  • A copy of the document(s) confirming the legal name of the applicant (must be confirmed by the organization's Office of Research);
  • For Not-for-profit organizations, an original or certified copy of their certificate of constitution, letters patent, or other constitutive documents. Non-original or uncertified copies are accepted for the purposes of the application, but subsequently the original documents will be required at the time of the signing of the agreement;
  • Letters from other funding contributors confirming the level of funding, if applicable;
  • For Canadian Co-Is associated with an international study, a letter from the PI is required, confirming that the proposed work by the Co-I will enhance the study;
  • Letter of support from Co-Is confirming their intent to participate to the study, including information on the potential source of funds, if applicable;
  • Letter of acknowledgement received from the partner agency showing that the project has been selected through one of the competitions. Applicants are also required to provide CSA with the results of the Science Merit Review when they are received. CSA will use this result as science merit score. Applicants must obtain a passing score from the international partner competition to be considered by CSA;
  • Letter of acknowledgement received from a partner agency showing that the project has been selected through one of its competitions. Applicants are also required to provide to CSA the Science Merit assessments when they are received. CSA will use this result as the science merit score. Applicants' proposals must obtain a passing score from the international Partner competition to be considered by CSA;
  • Copy of the complete application submitted to the International Partner, including a complete financial package justifying the total cost of the study, if applicable;
  • The applicant will ensure that ethical certification requirements are met throughout the study. A letter signed by the chairperson of the local Research Ethics Board (REB) regarding approval of the experimental protocol using human subjects will be required to that effect. REB approval letters for any subsequent protocol amendments must also be forwarded to the CSA;
  • A Data Management Plan shall be provided with the proposal and it shall address:
    • Types of data products;
    • Short-term data preservation approach;
    • Long-term data preservation/archiving approach;
    • Formats for data and metadata;
    • Roles and Responsibilities for data management within the team;
  • Declaration on Confidentiality, Access to Information Act and Privacy Act form signed by the duly authorized representative (refer to the Applicant Declaration on Confidentiality, Access to Information Act and Privacy Act section included in the application form); and
  • For organizations in Quebec, M-30 Supporting Documentation form completed and signed by the duly authorized representative (refer to the M-30 form for organizations in Quebec included in the application form).

It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the application complies with all relevant federal, provincial and territorial legislation and municipal bylaws (federal, provincial/territorial and municipal).

The application, uploaded electronically, must be submitted as a single PDF-formatted file containing all of the above requested documents with all security features disabled. Please order the document with the application form and proposal first. The proposal and supporting documents must be included in the file as searchable PDF-formatted documents (PDF/A-1a or PDF/A-2a formats preferred). If there are any accessibility issues with the submitted PDF file, all consequences reside with the applicant.

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.

Process for electronic submission:

  • The applicant must complete an account creation request at the Electronic Proposal Portal. Upon receipt, the CSA will send an email with instructions on how to connect to the CSA secure filer system to allow you to upload documents securely. Please note that Chrome is the browser of choice for submissions. Supported browsers are Google Chrome and, Internet Explorer with some restrictions.
  • Allow up to seventy two (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 . 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;
  • 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.
  • Applications must be submitted (successfully uploaded) by applicants no later than 2:00 PM (EDT), .
  • Incomplete or late applications shall not be considered. A late application is considered to be one that has an electronic timestamp on the CSA system later than the deadline above.

Process for application sent by mail:

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 santespatiale-spacehealth@asc-csa.gc.ca no later than at 2:00 PM (EDT), to obtain instructions on how to submit a paper application by mail.

  • For application sent by mail, one original paper copy of the full proposal, with a completed original application form signed by the duly authorized representative is required. In addition, a copy of the application (identical to the signed paper copy) in a PDF file (on a USB flash drive) is required. If there is any discrepancy between the hard and the soft version, the hard copy takes precedence;

Applications by mail must be received at the CSA no later than at 2:00 PM (EDT). Applications sent by email will not be accepted. Incomplete applications may not be considered. The CSA is not responsible for any delays under any circumstances, and will refuse applications that are received after the stipulated deadline.

Questions and answers related to this AO will be posted on the CSA website in the Frequently Asked Questions (Section 9).

4.2 Service Standards – Complete Applications

CSA has set service standards for the timely delivery of the acknowledgement of receipt, funding decision and payment processes.

Acknowledgement: CSA goal is to acknowledge receipt within two (2) weeks of receiving a completed application package.

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 eight (8) weeks after formal approval of the application.

Payment: CSA goal is to issue payments within four (4) weeks of the successful fulfillment of requirements outlined in the grant agreement.

Compliance with these service standards is a shared responsibility. The applicant must submit all required documentation in a timely fashion.

5. EVALUATION

In this section

5.1 Eligibility criteria

An evaluation committee will screen applications according to the eligibility criteria described in Table 4 in ANNEX 1.

5.2 Evaluation Criteria

Submissions will be evaluated using the following graded criteria. These criteria and ratings are listed in Table 3. A detailed description of these graded criteria can be found in ANNEX 2. The eligible projects to be evaluated in this selection process will have already been evaluated for scientific merit through the international partner competition processes; therefore the CSA will focus its evaluation on the criteria listed in Table 3. To be considered eligible for funding, the total score obtained for these graded criteria must be greater than 120/200.

Table 3. Summary Table of Evaluation Criteria
Criteria Maximum points for evaluation Minimum points to pass
1. Benefits to Canada 55 27
1.1 Alignment with the priorities of the CSA and its Space Health & Life Sciences Program, and link to future space studies. 25 15
1.2 Benefits on Earth 20 10
1.3 HQP development 5 1
1.4 Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) 5 1
2. Project Feasibility, Resources, and Risk Assessment 40 20
2.1 Budget, Resources Allocation and schedule 20 10
2.2 Risk Management 20 10
3. Results 105 72
3.1 Results of the Scientific Merit Review (External peer review led by partners) 100 Minimum score required is a passing score on the International Partner Scientific Merit Review.
3.2 Science dissemination plan 5 1
Total 200 120Footnote 1

5.3 Evaluation process

Only applications that have passed the eligibility assessment listed in Section 5.1 will be given further consideration.

Once the eligibility criteria are confirmed, evaluators will assess the screened applications according to the criteria listed in Section 5.2. Evaluators shall be experts in the fields relevant to the applications and may include representatives of Canada and other countries, and representatives of other government and non-government agencies and organizations. If applicable, a multidisciplinary evaluation committee will be formed when applications from several different disciplines are competing in order to provide a uniform final score and ranking of proposals.

Before a final decision is made, the CSA's Program Manager responsible may seek input and advice from other organizations, including (but not limited to) federal, provincial, territorial and municipal government agencies and organizations. Grant agreements will be offered to the applicants in the rank order of the proposals while allowing considerations to maximize the use of available funding.

The results obtained in this selection process could take into account certain factors in the final decision to grant funding, such as, but not limited to, the representativeness of the four (4) designated groups (women, Aboriginal persons, disabled persons or members of a visible minority), regional distribution, academic level, distribution between universities and post-secondary educational institutions, etc.

6. FUNDING

In this section

6.1 Available Funding and Duration

The total maximum funding amount given in grant for each project and the maximum duration depends on the initiative being targeted by the proposal. In all cases, the maximum funding includes overhead costs.

Maximum amount per grant:

  • Proposals from PI, maximum grant of $200,000 for a maximum duration of two (2) years;
  • Proposals from Co-I, maximum grant of $100,000 for a maximum duration of two (2) years;

For each submitted proposals, justification for the requested funds needs to be complete and detailed. CSA reserves the right to adjust the maximum amount requested if CSA considers the justifications not sufficient or adequate.

The overall number of grants awarded and their level will depend on budget requested by each proposal and the availability of funds. CSA may prioritize PI proposals over Co-I proposals for funding.

There is no limit on the number of proposals presented per investigator. However, because of the limited funding available, the CSA will only fund one (1) project for a researcher as a PI in this application process.

In the event a Canadian-led proposal has one (1) or more Canadian Co-Is, only the PI can apply for funding. If a European-led proposal has more than one (1) Canadian Co-I, the Canadian Co-Is can only submit one (1) application for funding to the CSA. The CSA reserves the right to reject any proposals or reduce the amount of the grants at its entire discretion.

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

To determine the amount of funding to be allocated, consideration will be given to the availability of CSA funds, the total cost of the project, and the other confirmed sources of funds provided by other stakeholders and the applicant. CSA reserves the right to readjust the maximum amount requested if CSA considers the justifications not sufficient or adequate.

Applicants must identify all sources of funding in their applications and confirm this information in a funding agreement if the project is selected for funding. Upon completion of a project, the recipient must also disclose all sources of funding.

6.2 Eligible Costs

Eligible costs are direct expenses that are associated with the delivery of the approved project and that are required to achieve the expected results of the project. Expenses will be covered, subject to the applicant signing a funding agreement with the CSA.

Applicants to this CSA process cannot include as eligible costs any costs related to non-Canadian Co-Is or non-Canadian PIs or their work within the proposal. These costs should be submitted to the appropriate national agency for funding.

Grants

Eligible costs for grants in this application process are the following:

  • Accommodation and meal allowances;
  • Acquisition, development and printing of materials;
  • Acquisition or rental of equipment;
  • Bursaries, such as stipends for students involved in the project;
  • Consultant services;
  • Costs related to obtaining security clearance;
  • Data acquisition;
  • Data management;
  • Laboratory analysis services;
  • License and permit fees;
  • Marketing and printing services;
  • Materials and supplies;
  • Overhead (administrative) costs (not to exceed 20% of eligible costs for universities and 15% for other eligible recipients);
  • Participation fees at conferences, committees and events;
  • PST, HST and GST net of any rebate to which the recipient is entitled and the reimbursement of any taxes for goods and services acquired in a foreign country net of any rebate or reimbursement received in the foreign country;
  • Publication and communication services;
  • Registration fees;
  • Salaries and benefits;
  • Training;
  • Translation services;
  • Travel.

7. FUNDING AGREEMENTS

In this section

7.1 Payments

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

For grant agreements, payments will be made in a lump sum or instalments as described in the signed agreement. Grant funding agreements will include a clause stipulating the recipient's obligation to confirm—once a year in the case of multi-year agreements—their eligibility for the G&C Program – Research Component and inform the CSA in writing of any changes to the conditions used in determining their eligibility for this component.

7.2 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.

7.3 Conflict of Interest

In the funding agreement, the recipient will certify that any current or former public office holder or public servant it employs complies with the provisions of the relevant Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for Public Office Holders and the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector respectively.

7.4 Intellectual Property

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

7.5 Organizations in Quebec

An organization in Quebec whose operations are partially or fully funded by the province of Quebec may be subject to the Act Respecting the Ministère du Conseil exécutif, R.S.Q., Chapter M-30.

Under Sections 3.11 and 3.12 of this Act, certain entities/organizations, as defined in the meaning of the Act, such as municipal bodies, school bodies, or public agencies, must obtain authorization from the Secrétariat du Québec aux relations canadiennes (SQRC), as indicated by the Act, before signing any funding agreement with the 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.

7.6 Performance Measurement

The CSA will ask the recipients to report on certain aspects of their projects such as:

Knowledge Creation

  • Knowledge production (including publications)
  • Presentations
  • Intellectual property (including patents)

Capacity Building

  • Project's research team (including highly qualified personnel supported)

Collaboration

  • Partners' contributions
  • Partnerships
  • Multidisciplinarity

7.7 Open Access Publications

In the event that publications result from the project, the CSA wishes to promote the dissemination of findings that results from the projects it funds as quickly and to the greatest number of people as possible. Improved access to scientific results not only allows scientists to use a broader range of resources and knowledge, but also improves research collaboration and coordination, strengthens citizen engagement and supports the economy.

The CSA therefore promotes the use of open access publication and archiving by recipients in order to facilitate the widest dissemination of findings that results from its funded projects. Thus, recipients are invited to publish, in a timely manner, their articles by using at least one (1) of the following methods:

  1. Accessible online repository (institutional or disciplinary) so that the publication is freely accessible.
  2. Journal offering open access to articles.

It should be noted that these two (2) methods are not mutually exclusive and that recipients are encouraged to use both.

Finally, the CSA wishes to receive, as a courtesy, a copy of the publications (if not freely accessible) or the hyperlink (if freely accessible) and its digital object identifier (DOI). These will be use to improve accessibility by including them in the CSA publications directory.

8. PRIVACY NOTICE STATEMENT

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

The information is collected under the CSA Class Grants and Contributions Program in Support of Awareness, Research and Learning - Research Component (ASC PPU 045) and Awareness and Learning Component (ASC PPU 040) . This information will be used for administration and application evaluation purposes. Personal information (such as name, contact information and biographical information) will be kept for six (6) years and destroyed. According to the Privacy Act, any individual may, upon request,

  1. have access to his or her personal data and
  2. request correction of the incorrect information.

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

For additional information regarding this statement, please contact:

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

9. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

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

For any questions related to the AO, applicants shall use the following generic email address (santespatiale-spacehealth@asc-csa.gc.ca). Questions and answers related to this AO will be posted on the CSA website in the Frequently Asked Questions section of this AO. The CSA will respond to questions received before 2:00 PM (EDT), .

At any point, applicants are welcome to share with the CSA their comments or suggestions regarding the program or the process. Applicants may either use the generic email address lecedessetc-thegandccoe@asc-csa.gc.ca or the generic web-based Comments and Suggestions Box available at www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/resources/gc/comments-form.asp.

10. ANNEX 1

Table 4 – Summary of eligibility criteria
Criteria Description Scoring
Eligibility of the applicant This criterion evaluates whether the application has been submitted from an eligible recipient as defined in Section 3.1. Pass
Definition: The organization is an eligible recipient for a grant as described in Section 3.1 of this AO.
Fail
Definition: The organization is not an eligible recipient for a grant as described in Section 3.1 of this AO.
Eligibility of the project This criterion evaluates whether the application is an eligible project for this AO as defined in Section 3.2. Pass
Definition: The project is eligible for a grant as described in Section 3.2 of this AO.
Fail
Definition: The project is not eligible for a grant as described in Section 3.2 of this AO.
Alignment with CSA priorities This criterion evaluates how the project will contribute to the CSA priorities as defined in Section 3.3. Pass
Definition: The proposal clearly demonstrates that the research objectives directly address one or more risks of human space flight as described in Table 2.
Fail
Definition: The research does not address a risk of human space flight as described in Table 2 or only indirectly addresses a risk.
Alignment with G&C Program priorities This criterion evaluates how the project will contribute to the G&C Program objectives, as defined in Section 3.4. Pass
Definition: The proposal clearly demonstrates how the project will contribute to support the development of science and technology relevant to the priorities of the CSA, and that it will foster the continuing development of a critical mass of researchers and highly qualified people in Canada in areas relevant to the priorities of the Canadian Space Agency.
Fail
Definition: The proposal does not demonstrate how the project will contribute to support the development of science and technology relevant to the priorities of the CSA or that it will foster the continuing development of a critical mass of researchers and highly qualified people in Canada in areas relevant to the priorities of the Canadian Space Agency.
Meets program funding provisions in Section 6.1 This criterion evaluates whether the proposal meets program funding provisions described in Section 6.1 Pass
Definition: The proposal meets program funding provisions described in Section 6.1.
Fail
Definition: The proposal does not meets program funding provisions described in Section 6.1.

11. ANNEX 2

Description of Evaluation Criteria

1. Benefits to Canada:

1.1 Alignment with the priorities of the CSA and its Space Health & Life Sciences Program, and link to future space studies.

Description: This criterion evaluates whether the proposed research objectives are aligned with the priorities of the CSA and its Space Health & Life science program, and whether they are direct precursors of future Canadian research projects on the ISS. Provide a detailed explanation of the investigation(s) that would logically follow from the proposed research, that would require the ISS.

  • Do the research objectives address health risks associated with human space flights (per Table 2)?
  • Does the proposed research clearly lead to a future investigation on the ISS?
  • Does the research proposal have the potential the lead to novel operational countermeasure strategies against the risk of human spaceflight? Countermeasures could include preventative measures, interventions, treatments, etc.

Minimum score required = 15

Poor: The research objectives in the proposal do not address a risk of human space flight as listed in Table 2 and are not direct precursors of future Canadian research projects on the ISS. (Score: 0)

Below average: One (1) research objective in the proposal addresses a risk of human space flight as described in Table 2, but overall, the proposal only indirectly addresses this risk, or does not clearly demonstrate how the risk is addressed, or the proposal does not clearly demonstrate how the research objectives will lead to a future space research project. (Score: 10)

Average: One (1) research objective in the proposal addresses one (1) risk of human space flight as described in Table 2 and describes how the risk is addressed, but the description is superficial or incomplete. The proposal also demonstrates how the research objectives will lead to a future space research project, but this is not well justified. (Score 15)

Good: Some of the research objectives in the proposal directly address one (1) or more risks of human space flight as described in Table 2 and the proposal clearly describes how the risk is addressed. The proposal explain in details how the research objectives will lead to a future space research projects and the description is justified. (Score: 20)

Excellent: All research objectives in the proposal directly and clearly address one (1) or more risks of human space flight as described in Table 2. The proposal also clearly demonstrates how the research objectives will lead to a future space research project and this explanation is well justified, thorough, and provides a step-by-step plan to implement a follow-up investigation in space. (Score: 25)

1.2 Benefits on Earth:

Description: This criterion evaluates whether the proposal demonstrates that the proposed research may contribute to the advancement of understanding of similar health issues or applications on Earth, or that could contribute to improving health care for Canadians. Provide a clear explanation of how specifically this research can bring benefits on Earth (e.g. which specific population, how it will benefit that population, etc.).

Minimum score required = 10

Poor: The proposal does not address benefits on Earth, or the case for benefits is not clear or logical. (Score: 0)

Below average: Below average: The proposal indicates some benefits on Earth, but the justification for benefits is not well described and nor clear enough. (Score 5)

Average: The proposal indicates benefits on Earth, and the justification is included but it is general, or lacks precision. (Score: 10)

Good: One (1) or more of the research objectives has direct Earth benefits. A specific justification is provided and adequate. (Score: 15)

Excellent: Justification on how the proposed research as a whole will directly contribute to the advancement of understanding of similar health issues or to improve health care for Canadians is clear, thorough and persuasive. (Score: 20)

1.3 HQP development:

Description: This criterion evaluates how the project will foster the development of HQPs, through recruitment of qualified students/postdoctoral fellows/trainees and provide them with an integrated and meaningful role in the project research team. The proposal must include both the role and responsibilities of students/HQPs, and a plan for their development.

Minimum score required = 1

Poor: The proposal does not include a plan to foster the development of students/postdoctoral fellows/trainees. (Score: 0)

Average: The proposal contains a development plan. Role of students/postdoctoral fellows/trainee candidates is stated but lacks details. (Score: 1)

Good: The proposal contains a detailed plan to develop students/postdoctoral fellows/trainees, and provides realistic assurance on its feasibility. Their role in the team is well defined. (Score: 3)

Excellent: The proposal contains a well thought-out plan to develop students/postdoctoral fellows/trainees. Description on how this plan will be achieved is complete. The proposal demonstrates that HQP will be assigned leadership roles appropriate for their educational status. (Score: 5)

1.4 Equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI)

Description: The research project must meaningfully engage members of underrepresented groups within the research team as students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty and partners. Underrepresented groups include, but are not limited to, the four (4) 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.

This criterion evaluates whether the proposal describes the specific means that will be taken to foster recruitment and engagement of members from these underrepresented groups within the research team. It also evaluates the different means proposed by the investigators or the research team to conduct outreach activities with underrepresented groups (e.g. member of advisory committees and boards, participation in conferences/colloquiums, workshops, and public dialogues), inside or outside of the research laboratories or universities/institutions. Referencing the university policy is not considered a sufficient demonstration.

Minimum score required = 1

Poor: The proposal does not describe any particular measure to facilitate the diversity of the team and does not mention any outreach activities. (Score: 0)

Average: The proposal contains a diversity inclusion plan or mentions only one (1) outreach activity. The explanation of how this plan or this activity will be achieved lacks details. (Score: 1)

Good: The proposal contains a diversity inclusion plan that describes specific means to foster recruitment and engagement of members from underrepresented groups or mention at least two (2) outreach activities. The explanation of how this plan or these activities will be achieved is mainly complete and the approach appears feasible. (Score: 3)

Excellent: The proposal contains a diversity inclusion plan that is fully described, with detailed information on the specific means that will be used to implement the plan (e.g.: underrepresented groups that are not included currently in the team and that are targeted) and contains at least three (3) outreach activities that are well detailed and described. (Score: 5)

2. Project Feasibility, Resources and Risk Assessment

2.1 Budget, Resources Allocation and Schedule

Description: This criterion evaluates the adequacy of the budget, resource allocation to tasks, level of effort and material resources, as well as project schedule. Applicants must present in their application an itemized budget that clearly describes project expenditures and sources of funding. Justification for the requested funds needs to be complete and detailed. The application must also show resource (human & funds) allocation to tasks, and level of effort for each individuals involved in the project (description and/or percentage), as well as project schedule. Applicants are encouraged to seek co-funding and should clearly indicate co-funding in their budget.

Minimum score required = 10

Poor: The proposal presents an incomplete or inadequate description of budget, resource allocation, and schedule, and/or inadequate justification of project expenditures. (Score: 0)

Below average: The budget, resource allocation and schedule are presented, however, information is missing, or the justification of expenditure is incomplete, or some expenditures are misevaluated or unrealistic/exaggerated. (Score: 5)

Average: The budget, resource allocation and schedule are presented, however, some information may be missing, or the justification of expenditure may sometimes be incomplete, or some expenditures are not defined well enough. (Score: 10)

Good: Appropriate budget and allocation of resources are presented. Level of effort is included and appears adequate. Schedule planning is feasible and realistic. Justification of project expenditures is appropriate, with no major omissions. (Score: 15)

Excellent: The budget, resource allocation and schedule are presented in a detailed and clear manner. Justification of resources is clear and comprehensive. The allocation of resources and level of efforts, with clear and comprehensive justification are provided. (Score: 20)

2.2 Risk Management

Description: This criterion evaluates the knowledge of potential pitfalls and obstacles that may occur during the course of the project, as well as the adequacy of proposed preventive/remedial measures. The proposal shall address key risks associated with the project and the mitigation strategies for each. Information should be provided on resource availability, risks associated with their non-availability and, the risk and mitigation strategies associated with those risks. The following points are particularly important:

  • Has the applicant identified and described in detail the risks associated with the project, including, but not limited to, financial, technical (e.g.: execution of research protocols, Research Ethics Boards approval), and managerial (e.g.: human resource back-up plans in case of departure of an HQP)?
  • Are the resources available to the research team, or was an agreement made to ensure implementation of the project?
  • Are the mitigation strategies for each risk correctly addressed and realistic? What is the probability that such risks would occur and what would be the impact on the project if a risk was to materialize?

Minimum score required = 10

Poor: The proposal does not identify any key risks or mitigation strategies, or some risks may be identified but related mitigation strategies are missing. (Score: 0)

Below average: The proposal identifies some risks or mitigation strategies but the related mitigation strategies proposed appear inadequate (Score 5).

Average: The proposal identifies some, but not all key risks; mitigation strategies are defined. However, the information provided is not sufficient and some details are missing. (Score: 10)

Good: The proposal demonstrates general understanding of key risks and potential pitfalls for this type of project and proposes elements of preventive/remedial measures to ensure feasibility of the study and their justification is well developed. (Score: 15)

Excellent: The proposal demonstrates clear understanding of key risks and obstacles/pitfalls accompanied by a thorough and adequate discussion of preventive/remedial measures to ascertain completing the study and achieving quality results. Key risks and their mitigation strategies are well described and the risk assessment is realistic. (Score: 20)

3. Results

3.1 Results of Scientific Merit Review:

Description: For this criterion, the Scientific Merit Review score from international partners will be used as a measure of science merit (peer-review). Applicants must have obtained a passing score from the international partner selection process to be considered in the CSA evaluation process.

3.2 Science dissemination plan

Description: This criterion evaluates the science dissemination plan describing how results from the investigations will be disseminated (e.g.: conferences, publications, etc.). Per Section 7.7, the CSA promotes the use of open access publication and archiving by recipients, and applicants are encouraged to use open access publications in order to facilitate dissemination of results from the investigation.

Minimum score required = 1

Poor. The proposal does not include a science dissemination plan. (Score: 0)

Average. The proposal indicates some provisions for science dissemination, but few details are provided about this plan and the proposal does not clearly establish if open access publications will be used, and whether there will be presentation at conferences. (Score: 1)

Good. The proposal includes a realistic plan to disseminate scientific results to the scientific community, the use of open access publications and participation to conferences are also indicated. (Score: 3)

Excellent. The proposal includes an explicit, well thought-out and structured scientific publication plan to disseminate scientific results using open access publications and presentation at conferences, and the plan is likely to raise Canada's profile in Space Life Science considerably. (Score: 5)

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