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

Up to the 15th edition of excellence awards, between spring 2010 and spring 2015, the QCBS provided $659 514 to support over 400 QCBS students and post-docs. The awards helped them to participate in conferences, workshops, and internships worldwide.

In order to address this growing demand, we have made the following adjustments to the Excellence awards program. We have increased the total budget for this program by 50% ($50K). We have decreased the maximum award value in order to increase the total number of awards we can offer. We have also placed an emphasis on matching funds, especially for applications to attend conferences.

Applications for an excellence award should fall within one of the following four 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 of studies, 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)

Call for applications

General rules:

  • Applications received outside deadlines will not be considered
  • Awards can be combined with other awards if allowed by the other 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 by a member of the QCBS
  • Registered in the QCBS database

Application contents: The application must contain the following:

  • Cover letter with applicant’s contact information
  • Up to date transcript(s)
  • Applicant’s CV (recipients’ CVs will be posted on the QCBS website)
  • Description of student research and relation to QCBS research axes and themes
  • Use of funds
  • Detailed budget indicating proportion of total budget requested as QCBS award
  • List of previous QCBS awards received (if applicable)
  • Recommendation letter written by the student’s supervisor
  • Photo

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

Evaluation criteria: A multi-institution QCBS committee will evaluate applications using the following criteria:

  • Application completeness
  • Student’s eligibility for QCBS student awards
  • University transcript(s)
  • Relevance of academic project to the QCBS research program
  • Feasibility of proposed activity
  • Innovative and collaborative nature of the project
  • Adequacy of activity and request for funds

Award timelines: 

Session Period covered Application deadline Decisions
Fall December to March September 30th November 30th
Winter April to July January 31st March 31st
Spring August to November April 30th June 30th


Make their association with the QCBS visible on their documents and presentations 

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

  • Report upon the use of the award and allow the QCBS to post information about  his/her work, on the QCBS website, in accordance with publication regulations and policies
  • 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  

Award transfer  

Award amounts are sent directly to the student’s supervisor. Students must produce a short financial report for the QCBS and are then reimbursed by their supervisor.

Questions about application process: Questions regarding the application process should be directed to Philippe Auzel.


Guidelines for application

Student excellence award applications must contain the following items:

Cover letter (maximum 1 page)
Make sure your cover letter includes the following information: First and last name, academic institution, Personal Identification number (PIN), email address, name of your graduate program. Your letter should be short and provide a summary of the accompanying documentation.

University transcripts
Applicants should provide scanned or electronic versions of up to date transcript(s) of university grades. Transcripts can be included as part of the PDF file.

CV (1-3 pages)
Note that CVs of award recipients will be posted on the QCBS website. Your CV should follow the following format:

  • A contact section including your academic institution logo, a photo of yourself, and the name of your supervisor
  • An education section including your past and present education programs with dates attended
  • A research section briefly describing your research project
  • A publication section (if applicable)

Description of research (maximum ½ page)
Please indicate the title of your graduate research project even if preliminary.  Briefly describe how the award will help you achieve your research goals and contribute to you professional development. Please include latitude/longitude coordinates (6 decimal degrees) for the place the award will be used.

Relevance to QCBS research program (maximum ½ page)
Briefly describe how your work relates to the QCBS research structure (axes and themes).

Use of funds (maximum 1 page)
Briefly explain why you are you requesting an award.
If you are requesting an award to attend a meeting, provide the following information:

  • 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 (please remember to include QCBS membership among affiliations)

If you are requesting an award to participate in a training/internship program, provide the following information:

  • 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)

If you are requesting an award to support a training experience within an inter-institution field or lab project, provide the following information:

  • 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

Estimated budget (maximum 1 page)
The budget should be a table showing all the costs of the project for which you are applying for funding.  Please use the following table as a template.


Cost per unit

Number of units

Total cost

Amount requested from QCBS

Other funding sources (one column per funding source)


List of previous QCBS awards received
Please list any QCBS award you have received in the past, including the amount received, purpose of the award, and date of the award.

Support letter from your supervisor
The letter of support from your supervisor is a very important part of the application. The letter does not need to be long, but the selection jury needs to verify that your supervisor strongly supports the proposed project.

Please include a photograph of yourself for the QCBS website as a separate file (.jpg or .bmp preferred).