Competition year : 

Deadline (Form of Interest)
September 26th, 2023 at 16:00 (EST)

Deadline (application) : 
January 30th, 2024 at 16:00 (EST)

Announcement of results : 
March 2024

Amount : 
Total envelope of 120 000 € and $ 300 000 CAD

Duration : 
3 years, non-renewable


Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale - France

Personnes contacts :

Inserm – Département des Partenariats et des Relations Extérieures (DPRE)

Agnès Kergus

Réseau québécois de recherche sur le vieillissement (RQRV)

Joanne Auclair



In addition to these program rules, it is the responsibility of individuals applying for financial opportunity to become aware of the Common General Rules (CGR) of the Fonds de recherche du Québec, which apply to all programming of the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ). If any special conditions apply to this program, they are described below and take precedence over the CGR.

All documents marked in blue are available on the internet (hyperlink) or in the toolbox, located on the program page of the FRQS website.


At a time when science is becoming increasingly global and complex, many research problems cannot be studied without international and multisectoral collaboration between researchers. This is why the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS) and the Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (Inserm), long-time partners, have renewed their cooperation agreement in March 2022 to support, through calls for proposals, projects in priority research areas for Quebec and France.

The FRQS and Inserm have therefore developed a bilateral program whose objective is to provide a space conducive to scientific excellence and thus encourage scientists from France and Quebec to develop innovative joint research projects. These collaborations should lead to major scientific breakthroughs, in the short and medium term, by promoting the training of highly qualified personnel and the transfer of cutting-edge knowledge, and by combining and leveraging the strengths, expertise and structural levers of both countries.

This call for proposals is jointly led and developed by:

  • the Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (Inserm)
  • the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS), fund manager

in collaboration with the Réseau québécois de recherche sur le vieillissement (RQRV) and Inserm’s thematic institutes.

Healthy aging is a major health and social concern: in 2040, the over-sixties will represent one third of the French population. The over seventy-five-year-olds alone will represent over 14% of the population. In Quebec, people over 65 will represent 25.6% of the population in 2040 (source: Cirano). This public concern for longevity and healthy aging is also present on a global scale: by 2050, the over-sixties will represent 22% of the world’s population, or nearly 2 billion people (source: WHO). Age-related diseases are therefore emerging as a global health issue.

The aging of the population leads to an increase in the prevalence of neurocognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease and other related diseases, including neuroendocrine diseases.


Priority themes

The following research themes are priorities for this call :

  • Neurocognitive aging (including neuroendocrinology): from basic research to clinical pathophysiology.


This call for proposals focuses on the theme of aging, more specifically on neurocognitive and neuroendocrine aging, and aims to improve the understanding of changes in cognition and associated brain mechanisms that accompany aging.

The main objective of the call is to establish new collaborations or to strengthen existing collaborations in order to advance knowledge in the field of neurocognitive aging. It aims to support two (2) innovative projects for 3 years, having the potential to federate other research teams around the project(s) initially supported.

Ultimately, the collaboration between the Inserm and the FRQS should allow the development of a critical mass in the field of neurocognitive and neuroendocrine aging as well as transversal skills.

In addition to advances in knowledge in the field of research, this collaboration will allow :

  • To increase exchanges between researchers from Quebec and France
  • To promote collaboration between francophone regions
  • To enable research where open science is put forward
  • To coordinate joint research efforts focused on priority areas

The projects must be structured in such a way as to create original added value that the researchers, funded by each participating region, could not have achieved on their own.




   Status 1, 2 et 3 des RGC*


   Équipes labelled Inserm

*Note that for Quebec researchers, it is not mandatory to be a member of the RQRV at this stage to submit an interest form. 

The administrative eligibility of the team members will be verified jointly by the FRQS and Inserm.


Joint teams must be composed of at least :

  1. a principal investigator from France (Inserm)
  2. a principal investigator from Quebec

Co-investigators1 and collaborators2 may be added to the team, with no minimum or maximum. Teams with existing collaborations are eligible for this call for proposals if they submit a new project. Continued collaboration on an existing project is not eligible.

Multiple proposals
A researcher may submit only one (1) project in this call for proposals as principal investigator but may participate in up to two (2) projects as co-investigator.

1 Co-investigator: An individual participating in a funding application, whose CV or elements of their CV are required and taken into account in the scientific evaluation. This person contributes significantly or brings specific expertise to the project. This person may be delegated to manage a portion of the funds.

2 Person declared by the principal investigator as bringing specific expertise to the project. This person does not provide a CV and cannot be delegated to manage a portion of the funds.


  1. First contact with the RQRV from the investigators and sharing the list of people interested in participating in this program with Inserm’s thematic institutes; training of teams.
  2. Submission of an interest form (pre-proposal) to the RQRV and Inserm’s thematic institutes
  3. Submission of the application on the FRQS platform for the Franco-Quebec teams selected during the 1st stage (by invitation). The complete program rules related to this call for proposals will be communicated to the pre-selected teams.


Quebec researchers interested in this call should contact the RQRV ( to indicate their interest in participating in this program. Their contact information and research interests will be shared with the Inserm thematic institutes concerned by this call. Inserm researchers will then be able to contact Quebec researchers with the same research interests to develop and submit a collaboration proposal, using an interest form.


Proposals must be submitted to the RQRV and Inserm, based on the thematic institutes, which will analyze the files and jointly select a maximum of 8 proposals.

Please note : The FRQS will not be involved in the proposal selection process at this stage.


Principal investigators from France and Quebec must submit an identical copy of the same documents in PDF format by email to Agnès Kergus AND by email to Joanne Auclair :

  • the completed interest form in PDF format.
  • Abbreviated CV (2 pages) of the French project leader (Inserm)
  • Short CV (2 pages) of the Quebec project leader (principal investigator)

The interest form and the CV template for France are available by contacting Ms. Kergus at the following address :

The interest form and the CV template for Quebec are available by contacting Ms. Auclair at

The interest form is mandatory for proposals to be eligible. Only teams selected at this stage will be invited to complete a full application form on the Quebec researcher’s FRQnet portal. A maximum of 8 teams will be selected at this stage. They will be contacted by the FRQS to open an application form. The complete applications will be evaluated by a committee of peers, selected jointly by Inserm and the FRQS. The FRQS will manage the call from the full application stage on behalf of the partners.


Details will be made available to selected teams after evaluation of the interest form.


  • Excellence and innovative nature of the project
  • Feasibility of the project
  • Complementarity of the teams and added value of the collaboration
  • Impacts and potential benefits of the project for the teams and their communities


Équipe France
*Équipe Québec
Total budget per year20 000 €
+ Salary of a postdoctoral student in the Inserm team
$50 000 CAD
Duration of the grant3 years for the grant
2 years for the postdoctoral fellow
3 years for the grant
Total budget for the team60 000 €
+ Salary of a postdoctoral student for 2 years
$150 000 CAD
Projects fundedA maximum of two (2) joint Quebec-France projects
Funding start dateFebruary 2024

* Quebec: An additional amount will be paid separately to cover Overhead costs (FIR) that are eligible for the Quebec team and represent 27% of total funding.

Each Party will provide its share of funding to its own teams.

À noter : Quebec researchers who are not members of the Réseau québécois de recherche sur le vieillissement (RQRV) will be required to become members if they receive funding under this program.


By accepting this funding, the grant holders agree to provide :

  • A mid-term and a final joint scientific report; the format will be communicated to funded teams at a later date.
  • Financial reports by the deadlines indicated by the FRQS and Inserm, according to their requirements.


STEPSInserm-FRQS program: neurocognitive agingDates
1Contact the RQRV to express your interest in participating in this callBefore May 22 2023
2Transmission by the RQRV to Inserm of the list of names of persons interested in the collaborationWeek of May 22 2023
3Dissemination of the call for proposals by Inserm
Period of contacts/networking between researchers from QC and France
No later than May 31 2023
4Deadline for submission of the “Interest Form” to Inserm and the RQRVAugust 28 2023
5Announcement to the teams: Response to Interest Form (email)
Opening forms for full application (by invitation)                       
Week of October 9 2023
6Deadline for submission of « Full Application »November 27 2023
7Announcement of results / FinancingFebruary 2024