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 32nd edition of excellence awards, and between winter 2010 and Summer 2023 the QCBS has provided $1,128,046 to support over 794 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 all cost of the exchange.

Students/post-docs qualify for the following number of awards throughout their academic career:

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

Note : Students/post-docs are not allowed to submit more than one application within one award session.

Questions regarding the application process should be directed to



Indicative award timelines

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

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

 General rules

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

 Eligibility requirements

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


Amount of funding available

Between $500 and $2,000 CAD, according to needs and according to availability.

Award transfer

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



Student excellence award applications must contain the following items:

1) Personal information, including: First and last name, logo of your academic institution, email address, title of study program.

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 – 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 paragraph on the relevance of the research project for the QCBS program, describing how your project fits into the QCBS research structure (axes and themes).

8) A budget description detailing the use of funds:

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.



    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




    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