Why Become a Member of a Research Group? - By : Substance,

Why Become a Member of a Research Group?

Research Group

Research Group – Introduction

In Quebec, several researchers form groups in order to apply for funding from the Research Fund. To know why, it is important to understand how the Quebec government supports research in this province. On July 1, 2011, Bill 130 came into force in Quebec to restructure, among other things, three Quebec research funding agencies under one entity: “Fonds de recherche du Québec” (FRQ).

RemiQuirionWith this bill, the administrative services of the three research funds (Nature and Technologies, Health, and Society and Culture) were merged and positions created for Scientific Directors of the funds, as well as a Chief Scientist position (held by Rémi Quirion). The Chief Scientist has important responsibilities, such as:

  • “To chair the Board of Directors of each of the three research funds”;
  • “To ensure the consolidation and integration of the three research funds’ administrative activities”;
  • “To coordinate issues of common concern to the three funds and cross-sectoral research activities”[1];

The Research Funds

Each Quebec research fund financially supports thousands of research students, hundreds of research projects and dozens of research groups with scholarships and grants awarded by the FRQ.

The scholarships and grants meet the excellence and ethics standards in research at the end of a rigorous evaluation process by peer review committees.

As the fund’s name suggests, each research fund is applicable to specific research areas.

Groups of Researchers

Large research communities are represented by groups of researchers who are considered to be privileged and instrumental in structuring research within the sectors covered by the FRQ. Each research fund consists of several groups of researchers as indicated in the table below:

Table 1: Number of Research’ Groups per FRQ


Here is one example of a research group in the Nature and Technologies Fund: the Optics, Photonics & Laser Centre (Centre d’optique, photonique et laser – COPL). This group is made up of 43 professors and 246 students and postdoctoral fellows. Their works cover six research areas.

Table 2: Research Areas at the COPL.

copl-research-axesÉTS Professors François Blanchard, Sylvain G. Cloutier, Christine Tremblay and Bora Ung are members of this research group (photos below).


Why Become a Member of a Research Group?

Professors and researchers are well advised to apply for membership in one or several FRQ groups of researchers.

Belonging to these research groups provides many advantages. It facilitates:

  • Obtaining scholarships and subsidies for research projects;
  • Developing of new research partnerships with professors and researchers from other universities in a specific field of research and related research areas; the technical expertise of the professors and their research team can be valuable to a group of researchers who lack the same expertise to complete their own research;
  • Raising a professor’s recognition and citation index rankings as well as those of the research team members.

At the École de technologie supérieure (ETS) of Montréal, few professors are currently part of an FRQ  research group. For more information, please visit the Fonds de recherche du Québec website.

Presentation of Research Groups

In a series of articles to be produced soon in Substance ETS, we will present the main groups of researchers that would be of interest to students, researchers, and Engineering Faculty professors seeking funding for their work.


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