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Planetary and Astronomy Missions Co-Investigator -

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  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. APPENDIX A Evaluation Criteria Definition, Scale Rating, and Scores

Announcement of Opportunity (AO)

Publication date:

Submission closing date:

Summary of key information

  • Eligible Recipients: Canadian universities and post-secondary institutions
  • Grants or Contributions: Grants
  • Maximum Amount per Project: $150,000 total, maximum $50,000 per year
  • Estimated Total Amount of the AO: $300,000
  • Maximum Timeframe of the Project: Three (3) years, with possibility of extension of one (1) to two (2) years subject to funding availability
  • Estimated Project Start Date: no earlier than

1. INTRODUCTION

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) would like to advance scientific knowledge of the Solar System and the Universe through enhancing the participation of Co-Investigators on international planetary exploration and space astronomy missions.

A Co-Investigator (Co-I) is a member of the mission team who is critical for the conduct of the mission by contributing unique expertise and/or capabilities needed for its successful completion. A Co-I must have a well-defined role in the mission investigation, science team, or consortium, and serve under the direction of a mission or instrument Principal Investigator (PI). For the purposes of this AO, it is understood that eligible astronomy missions may not use the term "Co-I", but the term will be used throughout.

Typical mission Co-I responsibilities may include a role in instrument calibration, data product generation, science requirements validation, science model development, strategic science planning or science operations planning. In return for their commitment to these roles, Co-Is also participate in science analysis activities within the science team as agreed with the mission / instrument Principal Investigator and according to mission Rules of the Road that define authorship of mission publications and data sharing.

This AO is consistent with the terms and conditions of the Canadian Space Agency Class Grant and Contribution Program to the support Research, Awareness and Learning in Space Science and Technology – Research Component.

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

2. AO OBJECTIVES

The objective of this AO is to support Co-I activities and investigations related to missions in planetary science and space astronomy.

The key results for CSA expected from selected proposals are:

The CSA will prioritize selection of missions that are currently in or will soon enter their primary science operations phases. This solicitation is anticipated to be repeated as is annually in the Fall for the next five (5) years with an updated list of Eligible Projects as described in Section 3.2.

3. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

In this section

3.1 Eligible recipients

For this AO, only Canadian universities and post-secondary institutions are eligible.

For the purposes of this AO, the term "Applicant" refers to the Canadian university or post-secondary institution that will submit the application. The term "Co-I" is the individual employed by the Applicant that would conduct the proposed scientific activities.

The Co-I must be an approved member of the mission science team with a formally defined role of an eligible mission (see Section 3.2). For planetary exploration missions, the Co-I must be named specifically in the support letter as a Co-Investigator (i.e. not a Collaborator or other title).

For both planetary exploration and space astronomy missions, a letter from the Mission or Instrument PI or from the relevant international Space Agency representative is required as demonstration of the Co-I's status on this science team. The letter must identify the mission and science investigation as appropriate, and include confirmation of status and summary of the role and responsibilities of the Co-I.

An individual having Co-I status on different missions and/or instruments can submit more than one application for different projects. However a maximum of one grant can be awarded to a given Co-I. Additionally, any individual already awarded a Co-I grant under a previous AO is ineligible to apply. Due to the nature of this AO, proposals from teams will not be accepted.

The involvement of graduate students supporting a Co-I in the proposed research activities and science operations is actively encouraged. Students do not need to be named in the letter demonstrating science team membership status, but it is the Co-I's responsibility to ensure that work conducted as a result of this funding complies with relevant mission agreements such as Rules of the Road for data sharing.

International collaboration is also actively encouraged and is expected to be conducted through no exchange of funds, except as stated in Section 6.2.

3.2 Eligible Projects

To be eligible for CSA funding, Projects must consist of:

  • Research activities of interest to Canada related to space science and technology disciplines and their applications;

In addition, Projects must satisfy each of the following criteria.

3.2.1 Mission Status

The Project must be associated with an international planetary exploration or space astronomy mission that has been selected by its lead agency (i.e. is beyond conceptual development) and for which CSA does not have an existing agreement for science team participation.

The following missions are thus ineligible under this Announcement of Opportunity (AO):

  • Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)
  • Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx)
  • James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)
  • Astrosat
  • X-Ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM)
  • BRight Target Explorer (BRITE)

3.2.2 Alignment with Canadian Scientific Priorities

The Project must have planetary science or space astronomy knowledge objectives that are aligned with CSA Exploration Priorities, Goals and Objectives.

The relevant CSA Space Exploration goal is to 'Gain knowledge about the solar system and the Universe', particularly:

  • The origin and evolution of the solar system: Identifying the characteristics of the asteroids and comets that form the building blocks of the solar system, and discover the evolutionary history of the planets, their moons, and their atmospheres.
  • Habitability and life detection: Determining if life is, or ever was, present beyond Earth, focusing on astrobiological investigations of environments that support (or supported) life, identifying exoplanets and characterizing their atmospheres, and searching for possible biosignatures.
  • Origin and evolution of the Universe: Explain the properties of the observable Universe, of its hidden dark matter and energy components, and how the Universe evolved to its current state.
  • Stars, galaxies and planets: Study the processes of formation and evolution of galaxies, stars and planets and of the baryonic matter.
  • Physics in extreme conditions: Investigate phenomena in extreme physical conditions observations such as in the environments of black holes and neutron stars.

Detail on current Canadian planetary science and space astronomy objectives can be found in the document 'Canadian Space Exploration: Science and Space Health Priorities for the Next Decade (PDF, 3.66 MB)'.

3.2.3 Mission Science Team Activities

The Project must comply with the definition below.

For the purposes of this AO, Projects are defined as a scientific investigation using mission data:

  1. for which a formal mission role is necessary to influence instrument development or science operations planning and decision making, and;
  2. through which an advance in scientific knowledge can be expected through the production of peer-reviewed scientific publications.

The investigation may be based on data analysis, laboratory experiments and instruments, theory, modelling, simulation, and/or analogue activities and field instruments. In addition, financial support may be included for relevant mission activities, including but not limited to, the following:

  • Calibration and characterisation of mission instrument(s)
  • Data product development
  • Development of research tools for data analysis
  • Development of tools to enable public participation in the mission
  • Science operations and training

For activities that will take place during the mission development phase, please ensure that research activities are written in such a way as to continue meaningfully in the event of a launch delay.

All development phases necessary for a project are eligible. Any logical breakdown or combination of these phases can constitute a funded project. However, breaking down a project into numerous phases to obtain more than the maximum grant or contribution is not allowed. Furthermore, even if the maximum funding for one project is not reached, the completion of a funded phase does not automatically guarantee funding of the remaining phases.

For a list of eligible costs, see Section 6.2.

3.3 Links to CSA priorities

To be eligible, projects supported under this AO must contribute to investigations addressing the following CSA planetary exploration and space astronomy science objective:

  • Increase knowledge from research projects in priority space science and technology areas as defined in Section 3.2.2

3.4 Links to G&C Program objectives

To be eligible, projects supported under this AO must contribute to the achievement of the following objectives:

  • To support the development of science and technology relevant to the priorities of the Canadian Space Agency
  • To support information gathering, studies, and research related to space

4. APPLICATIONS

In this section

4.1 Required documentation

Applicants must submit a completed Application as described below.

The Application must include the following:

  • A completed typed original application form signed by the Duly Authorized Representative;
  • One (1) printed copy of the application proposal if submitted by mail;
  • A copy of the document(s) confirming the legal name of the Applicant;
  • A copy of the application (identical to the signed paper copy) on a standard electronic media (e.g. USB flash drive) if mailed;
  • Letters from other funding contributors confirming their contributions (if applicable);
  • 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).
  • Letter of support from Mission or Instrument PI or appropriate space agency representative confirming status of the Co-I on the mission science team (see Section 3.1).

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

Any missing supporting document or any incoherence between the requested documents and the information provided within the documents may lead to the rejection of the proposal on that sole basis.

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

Applications must be submitted electronically:

Electronic submission is done by first completing an account creation request at the electronic proposal portal. Please note that Google Chrome is the browser of choice for submissions; Internet Explorer is also supported with some restrictions. Applicants using the electronic portal are encouraged to create their account several days before the submission deadline, in order to address any technical difficulties that could arise. If the technical issues cannot be resolved, please contact explorationscience@asc-csa.gc.ca

Upon account creation, 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. Applicants are strongly encouraged to upload their applications well before the submission deadline.

  • Proposals must be received at CSA no later than the closing date and time indicated at the top of this AO page.
  • Applications sent by e-mail or as e-mail attachments will not be accepted.
  • Incomplete applications shall not be considered.

The questions and answers related to this AO will be posted on the CSA website in the "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQ) of this AO (see Section 9). CSA will respond to questions received before 5:00PM EST, 10 days prior to the closing date.

4.2 Service Standards – Complete Applications

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

  • Acknowledgement: The CSA's goal is to acknowledge receipt of proposals within two (2) weeks of receiving the completed application package.
  • Decision: The CSA's goal is to respond to the proposal within eight (8) weeks of the AO's closing date and to send a grant agreement for signature within four (4) weeks after formal approval of the proposal.
  • 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 fashion. Service standards may vary by Announcement of Opportunity.

The Applicant should plan for a nominal award start not sooner than .

5. EVALUATION

In this section

5.1 Eligibility Criteria

Applications must satisfy the following eligibility criteria:

  • Represents an eligible recipient as defined in Section 3.1
  • Represents an eligible project as defined in Section 3.2, 3.3 and 3.4
  • Meets program funding provisions Section 6.1

5.2 Evaluation Criteria

The evaluation committee will evaluate eligible applications according to the following criteria. These are further described in Appendix A.

Criteria Description D C B A Minimum Score
Benefits to Canada Relevance of research investigation and Co-Investigator role to mission objectives 0 5 10 15 20 pts
Advancement of knowledge relevant to the CSA Exploration Program. 0 5 10 15
Results Publication and science dissemination plan 0 3 7 10 20 pts
Enhancement of pool of space experts 0 3 7 10
Timeline of anticipated results 0 5 10 15
Resources Budget completeness and justification and other funding sources 0 3 7 10 pts
Feasibility Feasibility of the research methodology 0 3 7 10 13 pts
Feasibility of the research plan and schedule 0 3 7 10
Risk and mitigation strategies Project risks (financial, managerial, scientific and/or technical) and mitigation strategies 0 2 3 5 pts

The minimum overall score required to be considered for funding is 60 points.

5.3 Evaluation Process

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

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

Before a final decision is made, the CSA's Program Manager responsible for this AO may seek input and advice from other organizations, including (but not limited to) federal, provincial, territorial and municipal government agencies and organizations.

6. FUNDING

In this section

6.1 Available Funding and Project Duration

The total maximum funding amount given in the form of a grant for each project will be $150,000 in Canadian dollars over a maximum period of three (3) years.

The number of projects under this AO will depend on funding availability. Subject to available funding, it is anticipated that the projects could be extended for an additional one (1) to two (2) years. However, submitted proposals should plan to be completed within three (3) years.

An Applicant may be funded for more than one (1) Project under this AO provided each Project has a different Co-I. The CSA would only support one (1) Project for a given Co-I.

The CSA reserves the right to reject any proposals or reduce the amount of the grants at its entire discretion.

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

To determine the amount of funding to be allocated, consideration will be given to the availability of CSA funds, the total cost of the project, and the other confirmed sources of funds provided by other stakeholders and the Applicant.

Respecting budget availability, the intent is to award a balanced number of grants in each discipline or at least one in each discipline. However, should there be fewer or no qualified application in one discipline, than more could be awarded to the other discipline.

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

6.2 Eligible Costs

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

Eligible costs for grants under this AO are the following:

  • Access fees;
  • Accommodation and meal allowances;
  • Acquisition, development and printing of materials;
  • Acquisition or rental of equipment Footnote 1;
  • Bursaries;
  • 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);
  • 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 Footnote 2; and
  • Tuition fees.

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 Québec

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.

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

  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 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 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 explorationscience@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. CSA will respond to questions received before 5:00PM EST, 10 days prior to the closing date.

Question 1: The Announcement of Opportunity states that "proposals from teams will not be accepted". However, the proposal form asks for team members to be listed. Please clarify.

Answer 1: The AO intent is such that: a proposal from a team (consortium) comprising multiple faculty members will not be accepted unless each faculty member is endorsed by name in the letter demonstrating official affiliation with the mission / instrument. Research teams led by single faculty member with supporting students or post-doctoral fellows will also be accepted.

Question 2: Is there a specific format in which the CVs must be prepared?

Answer 2: CVs for team members may be submitted in the format of their choice.

Question 3: Must the researcher already be officially listed as a mission Co-I at the time of submission of the proposal or can the status as Co-I be made contingent on receiving CSA funds?

Answer 3: The researcher's official status on the mission can be contingent on the receipt of CSA funds provided that the commitment to that status is clearly expressed in the support letter provided by the mission's or its Agency's official.

Question 4: Please clarify the eligibility of missions. If the researcher is listed as a Co-I on a payload proposal under review with a foreign space agency for a mission that is expected to be confirmed and launched within 2 years, would the Applicant's proposal be eligible under this AO?

Answer 4: To be eligible, the mission must already have been selected by the lead agency for development. Missions still in the concept / proposal stage are ineligible.

Question 5: Are Co-I support letters from the Instrument PI from a previous calendar year(s) adequate? Do they need to be updated?

Answer 5: Support letters from instrument or mission Co-Is should demonstrate that the Co-I (or equivalent) status is current and thus applicable to the present AO.

Question 6: Besides the PI, is a 1-page CV acceptable for all Team Members?

Answer 6: There is no specific length requirement for the CV. The CVs should be capable of demonstrating that the person has sufficient expertise to adequately perform his or her role on the project.

Question 7: Should PDFs and students be included in Section 6, or in Section 7 only? If Section 6, are CVs required from each of them?

Answer 7: All team members that will actively contribute to the proposed project should be listed in Section 6. CVs must be provided for all team members in Section 6. Listing of PDFs and students in Section 6 is not mandatory. PDFs and students can be listed as team members in Section 6 if they are expected to play a major role in the work; in this case, a CV would need to be provided. If salaries for PDFs and students are requested in Section 7, an explanation of their role should be included in the proposal.

Question 8: It is stated in Section 7.6 of the AO: "As a courtesy, the CSA would like to receive a copy of publications arising from the work, and to be informed in advance of significant press releases or media interest resulting from the work." However, no details on what form or where these copies should be delivered to are provided or whom to inform in the event of a pending press release resulting from the work.

Answer 8: Information regarding publications and communications efforts will be provided to successful Applicants in the grant agreement documentation.

Question 9: Is a PI or Co-I of a guest observer program, but who is not officially a Co-I on the mission, eligible for funding under this AO?

Answer 9: No, guest observer status is not sufficient. As defined in Section 3.1 of the AO, the Co-I must be an approved member of an eligible mission's science team with a formally defined role.

Question 10: Can a researcher who is a member of a consortium for an ESA mission qualify for this AO and if so how?

Answer 10: To be eligible, a researcher must be endorsed by name in a letter demonstrating official affiliation with the mission / instrument by the consortium Lead or PI. See also question 1.

Question 11: What are best practices in research for promoting EDI?

Answer 11: EDI are Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. A definition and background information are provided here: https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/funding-financement/nfrf-fnfr/edi-eng.aspx

Question 12: Are missions that launch more than three years from now eligible?

Answer 12: Yes, missions launching in more than three years from now are eligible, but will score lower than those launching earlier. Please see Criterion 2.3 in Appendix A.

Question 13: Evaluation criterion 2.1 states that a scores of "Excellent" and "Good" include project outputs targeted at launch or pre-launch and first results special issues. For missions that will have already launched and begun science operations by the estimated project start date, how should we structure our dissemination plan?

Answer 13: The publication and science dissemination plan should describe the timeline of proposed outputs of the project (e.g. publications, presentations, public engagement activities) according to the schedule that they are expected to be produced.

Question 14: Section 6 requests information about "TEAM MEMBERS (PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR AND CO-INVESTIGATORS)". In this case, does Principal Investigator (PI) refer to the PI of the instrument for which we are applying to as Co-I? Do we need to supply the CV of the PI of the mission we are proposing?

Answer 14: In Section 6 of the application form, the term "Principal Investigator" refers to the Principal Investigator of the proposed project (i.e. the mission Co-Investigator). Team members of the proposed project listed should include Canadian and/or international collaborators, graduate students, or other highly qualified personnel that will make substantive contributions to the project. The CV of the mission PI is not requested.

Question 15: Can a proposal application be submitted by regular mail or courier service?

Answer 15: 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 explorationscience@asc-csa.gc.ca no later than 5 days prior to closing date, 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 closing date at 1:00 p.m. (EST).

Question 16: Can you clarify the statement in Section 3.1: "Additionally, any individual already awarded a Co-I grant under a previous AO is ineligible to apply."

Answer 16: The intent is that no one can hold two or more grants concurrently. If the existing project is ending before the start of the next project, the Co-I is eligible to apply.

Question 17: The development of code or software that greatly facilitates the use of the instrument data would fall under "development of research tools for data analysis" or "development of tools to enable public participation in the mission" or does it fit in both (section 3.2.3)?

Answer 17: Development of software that facilitates broader use of instrument data applies to "development of research tools for data analysis". It may apply to "development of tools to enable public participation" if the software is publicly accessible or is used to develop products that are publicly accessible.

Question 18: Can you provide clarification on what is meant by "public participation in the mission". Does "public" in this context mean the general public or a member of the science community who is not a member of the mission/instrument team?

Answer 18: "Public participation" can refer to both members of the general public and members of the science community who are not members of the mission/instrument team.

Question 19: In Section 3.1 the AO states: "International collaboration is also actively encouraged and is expected to be conducted through no exchange of funds, except as stated in Section 6.2." Does this apply to "consultant services"?

Answer 19: It is not possible to use funds from this AO to support (pay for) work done by international collaborators. The only exception is for travel support (as stated in Footnote 2: Up to $5000 over the term of the grant may be used for travel to Canada of an international collaborator for the purpose of the proposed work.)

Question 20: As a Co-I on multiple missions/instruments, can both instruments be subjects in a single application, especially if there are clear synergies between the two instruments and their missions?

Answer 20: Applications under this AO are intended to support participation on a single mission/instrument.

Question 21: How do project activities (start and end) align with grant payments?

Answer 21: The project must start between and . For a 3-year grant agreement, the payment installments will be:

  • First year: On the effective date of the grant agreement (signature by both parties) between and (fiscal year /) for activities that will begin on the date of signing the agreement and continue for 12 months.
  • Second year: 12 months following the effective date of the agreement, i.e. between and (fiscal year /) for activities that will begin on the anniversary date of the signing of the agrement (12 months following the effective date of the agreement) and will continue for 12 months.
  • Third year: 24 months following the coming into force of the agreement, i.e. between and (fiscal year /) for activities that will begin on the anniversary date of the signing of the agreement (24 months following the agreement signatures) and will continue for 12 months.

10. APPENDIX A Evaluation Criteria Definition, Scale Rating, and Scores

Scoring and weights

Each criterion will be rated on a letter scale from A to D, with A being the highest score. A numerical weight is associated with each letter.

There is an overall minimum score of 60 to pass, as well an individual minimum requirements on all criteria individually. The Applicant is advised to read Evaluation Criteria carefully when preparing the proposal.

1. BENEFITS TO CANADA

Scoring:

  • Maximum: 30
  • Minimum: 20

1.1 Relevance of research investigation and Co-Investigator role to mission objectives

This element evaluates the relationship between the proposed research objectives and Co-I role and associated mission objectives, and asks the question 'if the research objectives are achieved, how significant a contribution is this to mission objectives?'. The intent is to prioritize research that requires membership of the mission science team, and that will have most impact through direct alignment with mission objectives. This criterion does not address the feasibility of achieving research objectives which is addressed under Feasibility criteria.

Poor. The proposed research objectives are weakly related to the associated mission objectives and/or are weakly-defined so that likely advances are difficult to assess, and/or do not require membership Co-I role to advance. (Score: D = 0)

Average. The proposed research objectives are reasonably well defined and are related to one or more of the associated mission objectives. Planned results would advance knowledge relevant to the mission objective(s). There is a clear relationship between the Co-I role and responsibilities and proposed research investigation. (Score: C = 5)

Good. The proposed research objectives are well-defined, with a clear relationship to one or more of the associated mission objectives, and are in line with the Co-I's role and responsibilities which are important to the mission. Planned results would advance knowledge relevant to the central theme(s) of the approved mission objective(s). (Score: B = 10)

Excellent. The proposed research objectives are well-defined, and present evidence of a well-thought out strategy to address the central themes of one or more of the associated mission objectives, in line with the Co-I's role and responsibilities which are essential to the mission. Planned results would advance knowledge relevant to the central theme(s) of the approved mission objective(s) significantly, with a high probability of providing a definitive answer to the inherent questions. The proposed research is planned at a critical time within the mission timeline to obtain science returns. (Score: A = 15)

1.2 Advancement of knowledge relevant to the CSA Exploration Program.

This criterion evaluates the originality of the research and its potential to advance CSA Space Exploration goals as listed in the AO, and community objectives as described in the document "Canadian Space Exploration: Science and Space Health Priorities for the next Decade".

Poor. The research does not address CSA Space Exploration goals and community objectives and/or is a reapplication of previous work. The project lacks novel concepts and will not contribute to advancement of new knowledge. (Score: D = 0)

Average. The research addresses CSA Space Exploration goals and community objectives in a general way and could advance knowledge in the field of planetary exploration. (Score: C = 5)

Good. The probable results are likely to advance knowledge central to CSA Space Exploration goals and community objectives. The proposed research involves novel or original concepts or methods, and/or builds on previous work. (Score: B = 10)

Excellent. The probable results are likely to advance knowledge about central to CSA Space Exploration goals and community objectives. The proposal is distinguished by highly novel or original scientific or technical concepts or methods, and/or builds significantly on previous work. (Score: A = 15)

2. RESULTS

Scoring:

  • Maximum: 35
  • Minimum: 20

2.1 Publication and science dissemination plan

This criterion evaluates the co-I's commitment to disseminating results from the mission. It is anticipated that initial publications will be collected for launch and first results special issues, typically around launch, and 3 to 9 months after the start of science operations.

Poor. The proposal does not include plans for publication or science dissemination. (Score: D = 0)

Average The proposal includes one or more scientific publications and conference presentations and these appear feasible (Score: C = 3)

Good The proposal includes publications and conference presentations with one or more targeted at launch and first results special issues, and demonstrates a strong commitment to science dissemination. Publications and presentations appear feasible and are likely to raise Canada's profile in the research field. (Score: B = 7)

Excellent. The proposal includes a well-thought out and structured scientific publications and dissemination plan that includes publications, (and may include software simulations, modelling, analysis tools), targeted at launch or pre-launch and first results special issues and demonstrates a strong commitment to science dissemination. HQP are encouraged as authors, thus advancing the careers of the next generation. The scientific publication and dissemination plan appears feasible and is likely to raise Canada's profile in the broader research field, considerably. Data products produced as a result of this work (where relevant) will be delivered to a public database in a timely manner. (Score: A = 10)

2.2 Enhancement of pool of space experts

All approved Science Team members have been evaluated as experts in a relevant field of study as part of the mission selection process. This criterion evaluates specifically the opportunity for development of Applicant's expertise through the proposed research, new collaborative research opportunities with other Science Team Members, and opportunities presented to junior researchers in the Applicant's group. Quality of opportunity rather than quantity is evaluated, as the number of young researchers that can be engaged is funding-dependent.

Poor. The Applicant has limited or no experience in the scientific methods and technical approaches needed to complete the proposed work, and the acquisition of new needed expertise during the course of the project is doubtful. (Score: D = 0)

Average. The Applicant has demonstrated experience in most of the scientific methods and technical approaches needed to complete the proposed work, and the acquisition of new needed expertise is credible and will broaden his or her expertise. (Score: C = 3)

Good. The Applicant has demonstrated experience in most of the scientific methods and technical approaches needed to complete the proposed work, and the acquisition of new needed expertise is credible and will broaden his or her expertise. The proposed work is a new collaboration with one or more international Science Team Member(s), or provides responsibilities to one or more junior researcher(s) in the Applicant's group that will allow them to develop new core expertise in the methodologies central to the proposed research and provides them with experience of mission science operations. (Score: B = 7)

Excellent. The Applicant is world-leading in the proposed science methods and technical approaches and the proposed work includes novel applications that will enhance international recognition of the Applicant's group. The proposed work is a new collaboration with one or more international Science Team Members and provides roles and responsibilities to junior researchers in the Applicant's group that allow them to acquire expertise needed to become future leaders in this field, and provides them with experience of mission science operations. The proposal presents an approach that explicitly supports the goals of EDI (equity, diversity and inclusion-related). (Score: A = 10)

2.3 Timeline of Anticipated Results

This criterion evaluates the time between grant award and production of high impact science results. It is anticipated that the greatest number and highest profile publications will be produced after operational mission data become available.

Poor. The proposed mission will enter its primary science phase more than one year after the grant award's completion. (Score: D = 0)

Average. The proposed mission will enter its primary science phase within one year of the grant award's completion. (Score: C = 5)

Good. The proposed mission will enter its primary science phase within two to three years of the grant award, or the mission is currently in an extended science phase. (Score: B = 10)

Excellent. The proposed mission is currently in its primary science phase or will enter its primary science phase within the first year of the grant award. (Score: A = 15)

3. RESOURCES

Scoring:

  • Maximum: 10
  • Minimum: 3

Budget completeness and justification

This criterion evaluates whether the budget is adequate for the proposed work and whether it is justified. Questions to be asked are whether the work could be done for lower cost, or whether costs are highly underestimated.

Poor. The budget and justification sections of the form are incomplete and inadequate information is presented to make an assessment, or the budget appears highly over-estimated or under-estimated for the proposed work and inadequate justification is provided. (Score: D = 0)

Average. Overall, the budget appears adequate for the proposed work and reasonable justification is provided, but questions remain about some cost items. (Score: C = 3)

Good. The budget appears adequate and reasonable for all elements of the proposed work and is well justified. (Score: B = 7)

Excellent. The budget appears adequate and reasonable for all elements of the proposed work and is well justified. The budget leverages other sources of funding or significant in kind contributions. (Score: A = 10)

4. FEASIBILITY OF THE PROJECT

Scoring:

  • Maximum: 20
  • Minimum: 13

4.1 Feasibility of the research methodology

This criterion evaluates the feasibility of the proposed research methodology to meet the proposed research objectives. This criterion does not evaluate the relevance of the proposed research objectives to the mission which is evaluated in criterion 1: Benefits to Canadians or the expertise of the team to execute the research which is evaluated in 2.2 Enhancement of pool of space experts.

Poor. The research methodology is poorly defined and/or there is a high likelihood that the research objectives will not be met due to inappropriate methods. (Score: D = 0)

Average. The research methodology is somewhat defined but details are lacking, and/or, better approaches can be found in the literature to achieve the same objectives. There is a reasonable likelihood that the research objectives will be achieved. (Score: C = 3)

Good. The research methodology is well defined. Proposed scientific methods and technical approaches are well-understood and have been applied to similar projects as demonstrated by a literature review. There is a high likelihood that the research objectives will be achieved. (Score: B = 7)

Excellent. The research methodology is well defined. Innovative scientific methods and/or technical approaches are needed and described. A thorough literature review justifies the approaches and their feasibility. There is a high likelihood that the research objectives will be achieved. (Score: A = 10)

4.2 Feasibility of the research plan and schedule

This criterion evaluates the clarity, completeness and feasibility of the research plan including a clear identification of the roles and responsibilities, contribution and level of involvement of each of the team members. It also evaluates management experience with similar projects and the likelihood that the work will be completed on schedule and within budget. This is also an especially important criterion for missions that have not yet launched. The applicant needs to demonstrate a proposed research schedule that is robust to launch delays – eg no immediate dependence on data.

Poor. The research plan is poorly defined and/or there is a high likelihood that the objectives will not be met due to inadequate or unavailable resources, and/or the schedule is incomplete and/or highly under- or over-estimated, or strongly dependent on a launch date which may slip. (Score: D = 0)

Average. The workplan is somewhat defined but details are lacking. The work could be completed on schedule and within budget, but some doubts remain concerning the availability of resources, or dependencies on a mission launch date which may slip. (Score: C = 3)

Good. The workplan is well defined. The resources required are well described and well suited for the work to be carried out. The applicant has managed previous similar projects and the likelihood that the defined work will be completed on schedule and within budget is high, as the workplan is robust to launch delays where relevant. (Score: B = 7)

Excellent. The workplan is well defined. The resources required are well described and well suited for the work to be carried out. A well thought out management plan is in evidence (e.g., detailed work breakdown and related expenses, scheduled milestones, time allocations for team members, discussion of possible technical/management risks, etc). The likelihood that the work will be completed within schedule and budget is very high, and the workplan is robust to launch delays where relevant. Experience as a Science Team Member on previous missions demonstrates a strong likelihood of active engagement and high productivity throughout mission operations. (Score: A = 10)

5. Risk and mitigation strategies - Project risks (financial, managerial, scientific and/or technical) and mitigation strategies.

Scoring:

  • Maximum: 5
  • Minimum: 2

This criterion evaluates the top three risks associated with the proposed project and the mitigation strategies for each risk. (The risks relate to the project, not the mission per se, for example, consequences to the proposed project such as launch delays should be addressed.)

Poor. The proposal does not identify key risks that are evident, or some key risks are identified but related mitigations strategies are missing. (Score: D = 0)

Average. The proposal defines appropriate risks and their mitigation strategies, but important information is lacking in the proposed mitigation strategies, or significant risk would remain after the proposed mitigation strategy is implemented. (Score: C = 2)

Good. The proposal includes an analysis that identifies few risks due to a well thought out management approach, and a conservative technical approach. The analysis is credible, and reasonable mitigation strategies are presented for the risks identified. (Score: B = 3)

Excellent. The proposal includes a thorough and credible risk analysis of all aspects of the project, with an appropriate assessment of probability of occurrence, and detailed and appropriate mitigation strategies. (Score: A = 5)

Total

Scoring:

  • Maximum: 100
  • Minimum: 60
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