Through its excellence awards program, the QCBS recognizes, supports, and encourages the research and development of outstanding and promising students in biodiversity science. 

We are currently at the 25th edition of excellence awards, and between spring 2010 and spring 2018 the QCBS has provided $1,060,195 to support over 740 QCBS students and post-docs. The awards, averaging $1400 per student, have helped them to participate in conferences, workshops, and internships worldwide.

Applications for an excellence award should fall within one of the following five categories:

  1. Applications to participate in non-QCBS workshops and intensive courses (QCBS workshops are either free or heavily subsidized). The maximum amount will be $2000 and the budget should include a minimum of 20% co-funding (e.g. supervisor or department).
  2. Applications for training in the field or laboratory (the training component must be clearly identified), the maximum amount will be $1500 and it will require a minimum of 25% co-funding (e.g. supervisor).
  3. Applications to attend conferences to give an oral presentation of your research. The maximum amount will be $1500 and it will require a minimum of 50% co-funding (e.g. supervisor or department). 
  4. Applications to participate in working groups that involve travelling (for PhD candidates and post-docs). The maximum amount will be $1750 and it will require a minimum of 25% co-funding (e.g. supervisor).
  5. Application to support the development of a scientific collaboration with a specific project in another QCBS member’s lab (for PhD candidates in their last years) . The maximum amount will be 1250$ with a 25% co-funding (e.g. supervisor or host lab) of the all cost of the exchange.

Depending on the program they are in, students are eligible for the following number of awards:

  1. Master (2 awards, 1 conference max)
  2. Ph.D. (3 awards, 2 conferences max)
  3. Postdoctoral researchers (2 awards, 1 conference max)

Note: This only applies if we receive too many fund requests and have to select between applicants with similar merit.

 Call for applications

General rules:

  • Applications received outside deadlines will not be considered
  • Awards can be combined with other awards if declared and allowed by the different funding sources.

Amount of funding available: Between $500 and $2,000 CAD.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Active and full time student (Ph.D. or M.Sc.) and postdoctoral fellow of one of the QCBS partner universities
  • Supervised or co-supervised by a member of the QCBS
  • Registered in the QCBS database

Application contents – The application must contain the following:

  • Application type
  • Cover letter with applicant’s contact information
  • Transcript(s)
  • Student profile number (a profile must have been created, click here to create one)
  • Recommendation letter written by the student’s supervisor
  • Project description 
  • Relation to QCBS research axes and themes
  • List of previous QCBS awards received
  • General budget description
  • Detailed budget indicating proportion of total budget requested as QCBS award
  • Location of project 

For more details, please refer to the guidelines for application, found below.

Evaluation criteria: A multi-institution QCBS committee will evaluate applications using the following criteria (assuming application completeness and eligibility):

  • Support letter from supervisor
  • Excellence of university transcript(s)
  • Relevance of academic project to the QCBS research program
  • Adequacy of activity and request for funds
  • Importance of the research to the visibility of the QCBS
  • Importance of activity to the student development

Indicative award timelines: 

Session Period covered Application deadline Decisions
Fall December to April September 30th October 30th
Winter May to August January 31st February 28th
Spring September to November April 30th May 30th


Note: August activities will be covered for the April 30th call.   


Award obligations: Award recipients need to comply with the following rules:

  • Produce a short financial report and send the report to QCBS within 2 months of the completed activity
  • Post a summary of your research on the QCBS blog and share your experience with the excellence award program (what the awards brought you and allow you to do) using the following guidelines
  • Present their research at the annual QCBS symposium  
  • Make their association with the QCBS visible on documents and presentations resulting from the project

Award transfer  

Award amounts are sent directly to the student’s supervisor. Students are reimbursed by their supervisor at their academic institution.

Questions about application process: Questions regarding the application process should be directed to


Guidelines for application

Student excellence award applications must contain the following items:

1) Contact section including your academic institution logo, the name of your supervisor and your student profile information.

2) The type of award applied for (chosen from the 5 categories previously stated)

3) Cover letter, which should be short and provide a summary of the accompanying documentation.

4) University transcripts. These are scanned or electronic versions of up to date non-official transcript(s) of university grades

5) A support letter from your supervisor. The letter does not need to be long, but the selection jury needs to verify that your supervisor strongly supports the proposed project.

6) Project Description, which includes the title of your graduate research project (even if preliminary), a description of how the award will help you achieve your research goals and contribute to your professional development.

7) A description of how your work links with the QCBS research framework

8) A budget description, detailing the use of funds. It should include the following:

Award for a meeting

  • Meeting title
  • Name of the society organizing the meeting
  • Scope of meeting (national or international)
  • Meeting location
  • Meeting date and duration
  • Abstract: title, short summary of presentation, authors, affiliations (including QCBS membership)

Award to participate in a training/internship program

  • Name of institution offering training/internship
  • Location of training/internship
  • Date and duration of training/internship
  • For training workshop, provide overview of course material
  • For internship, provide details about lab and supervisor, including contact information (when relevant)

Award to support a training experience within an inter-institution field or lab project

  • Project title
  • The training component and the scientific support you will benefit from in a lab and/or from a field research project
  • Details about lab and supervisor, including contact information
  • Description of why this project is being conducted among multiple institutions 

9) An estimated budget, using the following as a template:

Item  Cost per unit Number of units Total cost Amount requested from QCBS Other funding sources (one column per funding source)

 Please note that we cannot fund membership fees.

10) Latitude/longitude coordinates (6 decimal degrees) for the place the award will be used.