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Sun-Earth System Sciences Mission Co-Investigator -

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

Publication date:

Submission closing date: , 24h00 PST

Summary of key information

  • Eligible Recipients: Canadian universities
  • Grants or Contributions: Grants
  • Maximum Amount per Project: $25,000 and up to $75,000
  • Estimated Total Amount of the AO: $200,000
  • Maximum Timeframe of the Project: One (1) or 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) wishes to advance scientific knowledge of the Sun-Earth system by enhancing the participation of Co-Investigators (Co-Is) on relevant international science missions.

For the purpose of this AO, a Co-I is considered to be a member of the mission science team who is critical to the conduct of the mission by virtue of their unique expertise and/or the capabilities they bring to the mission. 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). It is understood that certain eligible missions may not use the term "Co-I", but the term will be used throughout this AO.

Co-I responsibilities may include both pre- and post-launch activities. Before launch, typical activites include strategic science planning, science requirements validation, science model development, instrument design and development, as well as assembly, integration, and testing. After launch, and until the end of comissioning or beginning of the operations phase, Co-Is may participate in instrument calibration and validation, science operations planning, and data product generation. Activities during the operations phase are not eligible under the current AO because the CSA issues regular AOs for analyses and modelling of data being acquired by certain Sun-Earth system science missions during their operations phaseFootnote 1. The criteria for eligible projects to be eligible are given in Section 3.2.

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 the Sun-Earth system sciences: atmospheric science, Earth surface science, and solar-terrestrial science.

The key results expected from the selected proposals are:

Pending future approvals, the CSA anticipates repeating this solicitation annually.

3. Eligibility criteria

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3.1 Eligible recipients

For this AO, only Canadian universities are eligible.

For the purposes of this AO, the term "Applicant" refers to the Canadian university that will submit the application. The term "Co-Investigator or Co-I" refers to the individual employed by the Applicant who would lead the proposed scientific activities (i.e. they would be the Principal Investigator on the CSA grant). The Mission Co-I must:

  • hold a PhD obtained from a recognized institution;
  • hold a permanent, term, or contract position at the Applicant institution for the duration of the funding agreement. The position may be paid or unpaid. This includes Adjunct Faculty that may be employed by industry; and
  • may not be paid from the grant.

These conditions must be satisfied at the time of application.

The Mission Co-I must be an approved member of the mission science team with a formally defined role on an eligible mission (see Section 3.2). The official status of the Mission Co-I can also be contingent on the receipt of CSA funds, provided that the commitment to that status is clearly expressed in a support letter provided by the mission's or its Agency's official. For all missions, a recent 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, science working group, science consortium, science development team, or instrument development team. The letter must identify the mission and science investigation as appropriate, the anticipated dates of launch and beginning of operations, and must include a confirmation of the status (or invited status) and a summary of the role and responsibilities of the proposed Mission Co-I.

The involvement of graduate students supporting a Co-I in the proposed activities 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 and similar mission agreement documents.

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 atmospheric science, Earth surface science, or solar-terrestrial science mission that has been selected for development and funded by its lead agency (i.e. is beyond conceptual development) and for which CSA does not have an existing agreement for mission science team participation.

The following missions are thus ineligible under this AO:

  • Currently active, operational Canadian missions (e.g. RCM, SCISAT/ACE, MOPITT on Terra, OSIRIS on Odin);
  • Currently active, operational American missions (e.g. CALIPSO, OMPS-LP, OCO-2, OCO-3, Terra, Aqua, Aura, CloudSat, SMAP, etc.);
  • Currently active, operational European missions (e.g. Sentinel family, ADM-Aeolus, Odin, SMOS, etc.);
  • Currently active, operational Japanese missions (e.g. ALOS family, GOSAT family, etc.)
  • Current missions for which the CSA has an existing agreement for mission science team participation (e.g. SWOT, EarthCare);
  • RADiation Impacts on Climate and Atmospheric Loss Satellite (RADICALS) mission
  • Canadian Cascade, SmallSat, and Ionospheric Polar Explorer (CASSIOPE) mission
  • ESA and CAS's Solar wind Magnetosphere Ionosphere Link Explorer (SMILE)
  • ESA's Swarm mission
  • NASA's Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) mission

Note: Subject to the previous conditions, scientific instruments planned for the Lunar Gateway for which CSA does not have an existing agreement are eligible under this AO.

3.2.2 Alignment with Canadian Scientific Priorities

The project must have research objectives that are aligned with CSA and Canadian space science priorities and goals. For this AO, the relevant goals are associated with the scientific disciplines:

  • Atmospheric science: to improve understanding of the physical and chemical processes within the Earth's atmosphere and the effects that the Sun has on our atmosphere.
  • Earth surface science: to improve understanding of the physical and chemical processes related to the Earth's surface (hydrosphere, cryosphere, biosphere, and geosphere) and the effects that the Sun and other Earth surface processes have on our atmosphere.
  • Solar-terrestrial science: to advance understanding of the physical processes that generate space weather.

Detail on current Canadian atmospheric science and solar-terrestrial science objectives and priorities can be found in the following documents: the Canadian Atmospheric Science Roadmap and the Canadian Solar-Terrestrial Science Roadmap.

3.2.3 Mission Science Team Activities

The project must comply with the definition below.

For the purposes of this AO, a project is defined as a scientific investigation using mission requirements and/or 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 analyses, laboratory experiments and instruments, theory, numerical modeling, and simulation. Analyses of data acquired by instruments launched on sounding rockets, airborne instruments, and ground-based instruments are also eligible. In addition, financial support may be included for relevant mission activities, including but not limited to, the following:

  • Design, development, calibration, and characterisation of mission instrument(s);
  • Assembly, integration, test, launch, and commissioning of mission instruments or the satellite;
  • Data product development;
  • Development of research tools for data analyses;
  • 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.

Because the CSA already issues regular AOs for analyses and modelling of data being acquired by certain missions, such activities are not eligible under the current AO. As a result, Phase E (Operations) activities associated with any atmospheric science, Earth surface science, and solar-terrestrial science missions are not eligible under the current AO.

All project 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 space 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 CSA and;
  • to support information gathering, studies, and research related to space.

4. Applications

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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) signed copy of the application proposal;
  • A copy of the document(s) confirming the legal name of the Applicant;
  • 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 the 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; MS Edge is also supported, with some restrictions when using Internet Explorer. Applicants are encouraged to create their account several days before the submission deadline, in order to address any technical difficulties that could arise.

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" of this AO (see Section 9). CSA will respond to questions received before 5:00 PM 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 eleven (11) 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

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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.

Tableau 1. Tableau récapitulatif des critères d'évaluation
Criteria Description A B C D Minimum Score
Benefits to Canada Relevance of research investigation and Co-Investigator role to mission objectives 15 10 5 0 20 pts
Advancement of knowledge relevant to CSA Sun-Earth System Science. 15 10 5 0
Results Publication and science dissemination plan 10 7 3 0 19 pts
Enhancement of pool of space experts 10 7 3 0
Timeline of anticipated results 15 10 5 0
Resources Budget completeness and justification and other funding sources 10 7 3 0 3 pts
Feasibility Feasibility of the research methodology 10 7 3 0 13 pts
Feasibility of the research plan and schedule 10 7 3 0
Risk and mitigation strategiess Project risks (financial, managerial, scientific and/or technical) and mitigation strategies 5 3 2 0 2 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 Managers 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

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6.1 Available Funding and Project Duration

The total maximum funding amount given in the form of a grant for each project will be $75,000 in Canadian dollars over a maximum period of three (3) years. One year agreements are also encouraged for certain international missions in atmospheric sciences that will launch in and therefore would be a maximum of $25,000 in Canadian dollars over a maximum period of one (1) year, depending on which option is selected by the applicant. The maximum amount that may be requested from the CSA per government fiscal year ( to ) is $25,000.

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 the maximum period given above.

An Applicant may be funded for more than one (1) project under this AO provided each project has a different Mission Co-I. The CSA will award at most one (1) grant per Mission 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 (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 10% 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; and
  • Travel (2).;
  1. Laboratory or field instrumentation (including computers) is an eligible cost under the category equipment purchase or rental.
  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.

7. Funding agreements

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7.1 Payments

The CSA and each successful Applicant (the funding 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
Courriel: 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 following generic email address: asc.systemesoleilterre-sunearthsystem.csa@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 5:00 PM EST, 10 days prior to the closing date.

Question 1: What are best practices in research for promoting EDI?

Answer 1: 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 2: Can the deadline be extended?

Answer 2: The new deadline is .

Question 3: Can you recommend eligible research opportunities in which to participate for this AO?

Answer 3: No, it is the responsibility of the applicant to identify and describe the mission in which they wish to participate. Because of the many eligible missions spanning multiple scientific disciplines, it has been decided not to identify specific missions. Please refer to Section 3.2.1 for eligibility criteria.

Appendix A Evaluation Criteria Definition, Scale Rating, and Scores

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  1. Benefits to Canada
  2. Results
  3. Resources
  4. Feasibility of the project
  5. Risk and mitigation strategies - Project risks (financial, managerial, scientific and/or technical) and mitigation strategies.

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 the associated mission objectives, and asks the question ‘if the research objectives are achieved, how significant will this contribution be to the mission objectives'. The intent is to prioritize research that requires membership in 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 the 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 a 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 capabilities and/or knowledge relevant to the mission objective(s). There is a clear relationship between the Co-I role and responsibilities and the 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 capabilities and/or 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, and are in line with the Co-I's role and responsibilities which are essential to the mission. Planned results would significantly advance capabilities and/or knowledge relevant to the central theme(s) of the approved mission objective(s), with a high probability of providing a definitive answer to one or more of the mission science 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 CSA Sun-Earth System Sciences

This criterion evaluates the originality of the research and its potential to advance CSA and Canadian space science priorities as identified in Section 3.2.2 Alignment with Canadian Scientific Priorities.

Poor. The proposed research does not address any of the identified space science priorities and/or is a reapplication of previous work. The project lacks novel concepts and will not contribute to advancement of knowledge. (Score: D = 0)

Average. The proposed research addresses an identified space science priority in a general way and could advance knowledge in the corresponding scientific discipline. (Score: C = 5)

Good. The proposed research is likely to advance knowledge central to an identified space science priority. The proposal involves novel or original concepts or methods, and/or builds on previous work. (Score: B = 10)

Excellent. The proposed research is likely to advance knowledge central to an identified space science priority. The proposal is distinguished by highly novel or original scientific or technical concepts or methods, pursues quantiative comparison between experimental measurement and either numerical modeling or theoretical model advancement, and builds significantly on previous work. (Score: A = 15)

2. Results

Scoring:

  • Maximum: 35
  • Minimum: 19

2.1 Publication and science dissemination plan

This criterion evaluates the Mission 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/or 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 theoretical and/or hardware development, 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

The proposed Mission Co-I has been evaluated as an expert in a relevant field of study as part of the mission selection process. This criterion specifically evaluates the opportunity for development of the Mission Co-I's expertise through the proposed research, new collaborative research opportunities with established international mission science team members, and opportunities presented to junior researchers in the Co-I'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 Mission Co-I 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 Co-I 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 Co-I 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 mission science team member(s), or provides responsibilities to one or more HQPs in the Co-I's group that will allow them to develop new core expertise in the methodologies central to the proposed research and provides them with experience in mission science development and/or operations. (Score: B = 7)

Excellent. The Co-I 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 Co-I's group. The proposed work is a new collaboration with one or more international mission science team members and provides roles and responsibilities to HQPs in the Co-I's group that allow them to acquire expertise needed to become future leaders in this field, and provides them with experience of mission science during launch and commissioning phases. The proposal presents an approach that explicitly supports EDI (equity, diversity and inclusion) goals. (Score: A = 10)

2.3 Timeline of Anticipated Results

This criterion evaluates the time between grant award and production of high impact science results.

Poor. The proposed mission is planned to enter its primary science phase (i.e. after launch and commissioning activities) two or more years after the grant award's completion. (Score: D = 0)

Average. The proposed mission is planned to enter its primary science phase (i.e. after launch and commissioning activities) within two years of the grant award's completion. (Score: C = 5)

Good. The proposed mission is planned to enter its primary science phase (i.e. after launch and commissioning activities) within one year of the grant award's completion. (Score: B = 10)

Excellent. The proposed mission is planned to enter its primary science phase (i.e. after launch and commissioning activities) prior to the grant award's completion. (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 evaluates neither the relevance of the proposed research objectives to the mission which is evaluated in criterion 1: Benefits to Canadians, nor 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 the the proposed Mission Co-Investigator. 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 – e.g. 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 Co-I 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 the Co-I and HQP, 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 development and/or 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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