The Learning Development Award is available to graduates student and post-doctoral QCBS members, who propose substantial contributions towards the training and learning experience of graduate students and faculty beyond established academic courses within the QCBS network.

It is the experience of McGill students establishing a Montreal user group R that served as inspiration for the development of the Learning Development Award.

Graduate student led efforts can provide a new learning environment, in the form of learning clubs and user groups, for graduate students, post-doctoral, faculty and nonacademic partners within the context of the QCBS network.



This award has been put together to allow grad students and postdoctoral fellows to get involved in the development of learning clubs and “user groups” in order to transfer acquired scientific and technical knowledge  necessary to conduct research in biodiversity science within and between student cohorts.

General rules

  • Applicants (or group of applicants) are limited to two Learning Development Award per semester
  • Awards can be combined with other awards if allowed by the other funding sources including QCBS.

Amounts of funding: $180 award per student according to the importance of their involvement. Applicants can apply as a group, requesting several individual awards.

Eligibility requirements

  • Active and full time graduate student status;
  • Enrolled in one of the QCBS partner universities;
  • Supervised by a QCBS member.

Preparing an application

Learning club and user group development award (LeaDA) application must contain the following items:

  • Cover letter with the applicant’s contact information;
  • Applicant’s CV (recipients’ CVs can be posted on the QCBS website);
  • Brief explanation of the relation between the proposed LeaDA and the QCBS research axes and themes (maximum of one page, or ~400 words);
  • Detailed work plan and schedule for the proposed LeaDA;
  • Detailed budget (including operational budget if needed);
  • Two letters of recommendation: one from your advisor and another from a past or potential trainee attesting to the need for the training/improvement and the capacity of the applicant to answer that need

Evaluation process

The QCBS scientific committee will evaluate applications using the following criteria:

  • Application completeness (includes the following six documents: cover letter, CV, brief justification for the LeaDA, detailed plan and schedule, detailed budget, recommendation letters);
  • Student’s eligibility/compatibility with their academic duties;
  • Feasibility of proposed activity;
  • Innovative and collaborative nature of the LeaDA;

Award timeline

Three application deadlines per year :

Period covered Deadline to submit an application
January to March November 15th
April to August February 15th
September to December June 30th


Obligations of awards recipients

  • Award recipients will make their association with the QCBS visible on their documents and presentations;
  • Award recipients will allow QCBS to post information about his/her contribution to LeaDA on the QCBS website, in accordance with publication regulations and policies;
  • Award recipients will produce a short technical report for QCBS within 2 weeks of the completed activity (attendee info, evaluation comments, photos etc.). 

 Award transfer

  • McGill Students*     

Students of McGill University will receive their award by direct deposit.  

*Different procedure for Postdoctoral fellows, contact the QCBS for further details

  • Non-McGill Students

Students of all other universities are reimbursed by their supervisor, as the award amount is transferred directly to them.  


Questions regarding the application process should be directed to

Guidelines for Applications


Please send your application into a single ZIP file containing all the sections of the application, by email to

Application content

Learning Development Award (LeaDA) application for learning 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, to be obtained from;
  • Email address;
  • Name of your graduate program;
  • Supervisor(s) name(s).
  • The objectives of the proposed LeaDA and of the list of students involved

CV (1 to 3 pages)

Note that CVs of award recipients can 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 the supervisor along with your contact information;
  • An education section including your past and present education programs with dates;
  • A research section briefly describing your research project;
  • A publication section (if applicable) allows you to list your publications.

Description of proposed project and relevance to QCBS (maximum 1 page)

Please indicate the title of the proposed LeaDA.

Briefly describe how the proposed LeaDA project will benefit the sharing and acquisition of knowledge by graduate, post-doctoral and faculty within the QCBS network.

Briefly describe how the proposed LeaDA project relates to the QCBS program and need as identified by the QCBS scientific committee.

The QCBS scientific committee will evaluate whether the proposal is aligned with the mission, vision, and values of QCBS, reflects the QCBS’s themes and axes, is suitable for our network, and will engage a significant audience.

Detailed work plan for the proposed LeaDA (maximum 1 page)

Provide a work plan showing the implication of student and postdoctoral researchers in the learning clubs and user group development as well as a schedule.

Estimated budget (maximum 1 page)

Provide a budget according to your work plan and according to the implication of student and postdoctoral researchers in the learning clubs and user group development.

Briefly explain why you are you requesting additional fund with your LeaDA.

The budget should be a table showing all the costs of the project for which you are applying for funding.