Competitions and financial support

Competitions and financial support

Speech contest: Showcase Your Research Project in 5 Minutes

The Virtual Student Symposium will take place on Tuesday, March 19th, from 12:00 PM to 1:45 PM

You have until Sunday March 10th to register.


The speech contest organized by COPL aims to provide a platform for student members to present their research projects developed during their graduate studies.

In the form of a friendly competition, speakers are invited to present the context of their research, objectives, methodology, results, and next steps within a 5-minute timeframe. It’s suggested to use visual support and to highlight the fields of application of the research object.

Following the presentation, 2 minutes will be dedicated to audience questions.

The 2 speakers who stand out for the quality, content and relevance of their presentation will receive a prize awarded by industrial collaborators, EXFO company and Institut national d’optique (INO).

1st place – $500 (EXFO)
2nd place – $300 (INO)

Award recipients will benefit from visibility on the COPL website and LinkedIn page (announcement of finalists and possible rebroadcast of the presentation).


  • Be a full-time master’s or doctoral student
  • Present in either French or English (both languages accepted for the presentation)
  • Belo Be part of one of the 8 institutions and be under the supervision of a professor who is a member of the COPL (Concordia U, ÉTS Montréal, INRS, McGill U, Polytechnique Montréal, U.Laval, UQTR, U. Sherbrooke).

Composition of the jury

  • 2 members of the COPL among research professionals and postdoctoral researchers
  • 2 industry members from the organizations that will present the awards

Evaluation criteria

Quality of presentation (25 points) Content and relevance (25 points)
Understanding the topic (10)
Ability to captivate the audience (5)
Quality and relevance of visual supports (5)
Respect for time (5)
Clarity and structure of speech (10)
Research objectives and impact (10)
Answers to questions (5)


Understanding the topic: Judges will assess your understanding of the subject. Make sure you master the concepts you present.

Ability to captivate the audience: The jury will observe your ability to maintain the audience’s attention and your enthusiasm to present.

Quality and relevance of visual supports: Reviewers will be influenced by the quality and design of the visual materials.

Respect for Time: Respect for associated time is important. The jury will analyze the balance of time devoted to each point presented.

Clarity and structure of the speech: The logical organization and clarity of the speech will be effective. Make sure your presentation has an introduction, development and conclusion.

Research objectives and impact: Make sure you clearly define the objective of your research and illustrate what its impact will be. Highlight the most important aspects that distinguish your research proposal and its impact for the advancement of knowledge or the development of innovative technologies.

Answers to Questions: How you answer questions from the audience or judges can also influence your evaluation. Be prepared to answer concisely and clearly.


Support for inter-group projects

Support for inter-group projects
Amount: $10,000 ($5,000 per cluster/2 minimum) – Enhanced according to the number of clusters involved
Deadline: October 2, 2023

COPL is joining forces with CQMF, INTRIQ, ReSMiQ, RQMP and STARacom to launch a financial support program designed to stimulate projects involving several strategic clusters.

Two categories of projects can be supported by this program: 1) Application-oriented projects; 2) Fundamental research projects.

Co-Principal Investigators must indicate to which category their project belongs in the application form. The evaluators will take this into account by applying different criteria according to the type of project (see list of evaluation criteria).

Project eligibility criteria

  • The principal applicant must be a co-investigator affiliated with one of the strategic cluster participating in this program.
  • The official composition of the team presented in the funding application must include at least two (2) co-investigators belonging to distinct strategic cluster, including the principal applicant of one or other of the cluster involved.
  • The minimum number of groups represented by the affiliations of the co-investigators working on the project must be two (2).
  • Team members may also include collaborators. However, their affiliation cannot be used to calculate the number of strategic cluster represented in the application.
  • Co-investigators may only be included in the official composition of a single application.
  • Teams receiving funding must submit a detailed breakdown of the amount received, in accordance with FRQNT rules.
  • Researchers belonging to several clusters must participate by choosing a single affiliation (the most relevant to the project presented).

Evaluation criteria

1. Project work plan (10/50): the project must have a clear and coherent work plan demonstrating a high probability of achieving the objectives within the proposed timeframe.

2. Team composition and scientific merit (10/50): the composition of the team must include researchers whose affiliation favors the greatest possible diversity in terms of participating group and competence. The project must be scientifically sound and generate new knowledge or apply existing knowledge in an innovative way.

3. Research competence (10/50): the research team must have the necessary expertise to meet the defined objectives and bring the project to fruition. Academic expertise can be complemented by the know-how of potential industrial partners.

4a. Expected spin-offs and impacts (10/50): the proposal should indicate how the research work will benefit the economy, health, the environment or other users within a reasonable timeframe. A tangible impact must be demonstrated, as well as the benefits in terms of the outreach of the participating groups. The participation of industrial partners will be taken into account. The proposal must explain how the support obtained from the clusters will make it possible to apply for an appropriate grant from NSERC, FRQNT or any other funding agency.

4b. Scientific challenge (10/50): the proposal must highlight the fundamental aspect of the research or proof of concept, the scientific advances the project is expected to make and their impact.

5. Contribution to the training of highly qualified personnel (10/50): the proposal should highlight the research training of the students who will be involved in the project.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Applied research projects (category 1) will be evaluated according to criteria 1, 2, 3, 4a, and 5; Fundamental research projects (category 2) will be evaluated according to criteria 1, 2, 3, 4b, and 5.

For more information on this support program and to find the application form, visit the official ReSMiQ competition page and contact Eric Legua(


Student co-supervision scholarships

Student co-supervision scholarships
Amount: $5000

Deadline: No calls for the moment 

Mobility between member institutions of the cluster stimulates interdisciplinary knowledge and cross-disciplinary applications. Co-direction grants are the means favoured by COPL to encourage this complementarity of expertise.

For the 2023-2024 fiscal year, two $5000 scholarships are available.

COPL faculty members have until June 1, 2023 to nominate a student.

How to apply?

To be eligible, the student must be co-supervised by two COPL members from two different academic institutions.

The application must consist of a project description of no more than one page, a CV of no more than two pages and a letter from the principal supervisor.

Evaluation criteria:

  • Student excellence: publication record, accomplishments, scholarship
  • Leadership, social involvement, professional development activities
  • Structuring character of the co-direction within the COPL

To submit your application or if you have any questions, please write to us at

Support for online training activities

Support for online training activities
Amount: Up to $5,000

Deadline: No calls for the moment 

The COPL wishes to encourage the development of online training tools and distance learning courses in order to share knowledge and best practices with stakeholders. To this end, COPL members (students, post-doctoral researchers, research professionals or professors) are invited to apply for funding for such training projects. The COPL offers support up to $5000 per project.

2 awards are available for the 2023-2024 fiscal year.

How to apply?

The application for support must include a description of the project’s objectives, the pedagogical tools to be developed (deliverables), the target clientele, the team involved, a timeline and a budget. The request can be written in free format in a document not exceeding 5 pages.

Evaluation criteria:

Are the objectives clearly stated? Are they compatible with the development of online learning tools and distance education courses?

Does the project bring a new, original and sustainable contribution?

Can the project’s scope be quantified? Will the learning tools benefit a large number of COPL students?

Does the team have the resources to complete the project?

Is the timetable realistic?

Is the intended use of the COPL contribution clearly explained?

To submit your application or if you have any questions, please write to us at

Grant to strengthen international collaborations

Grant to strengthen international collaborations
Amount: Up to $5,000
Deadline: No calls for the moment

International initiatives aimed at strengthening collaborations are part of COPL’s development priorities. By supporting the networking of its members in international research communities, it contributes to the deployment and consolidation of Quebec’s expertise in optics-photonics beyond its borders.

For the 2023-2024 fiscal year, two scholarships, each of up to $5,000, are available to its members.

To take advantage of the financial support, we invite regular member professors to submit an application for support by June 1, 2023.

Two main evaluation criteria:

  • The overall objective and expected impact
  • Planned co-publications or participation in conferences or workshops

How to apply?

The application is free-form, but must include the following information:

  • First name, last name and home university of the principal applicant
  • The first and last name of the student or researcher involved in the application
  • The contact information of the international contact person at the institution
  • The general objective and expected impact of the international collaboration project
    • Details on planned co-publications or participation in conferences or workshops, if any
    • Information on authors’ names, journals or conference titles, if applicable
  • Assessment of expenses, i.e., use of budget (maximum amount awarded is $5,000)

To submit your application or if you have any questions, please write to us at

Tribute Award 

2023 Tribute Award 
Deadline for nominations: April 5, 2024

• The former student must have completed a master’s, PhD, or postdoctoral program under the direction of a COPL research professor.

Selection criteria
• The former student must have made an outstanding contribution to the development of the field of optics and photonics, either in the research community outside COPL or in the industry.

Submission of an application
• One page presentation of the application by a faculty member
• CV of the candidate
• Deadline: April 5, 2024
• Send to:

• By the Executive Committee

Honour awarded
• Invitation to the Annual Conference
• Visibility within the network’s media
• Presentation of the honoree’s career
• 5-minute speech by the honoree
• Awarding of a plaque

COPL scholarship recipients

Co-supervision scholarship recipients

Antsar Rih Hlil, PhD student
2020 recipient of a $5,000 scholarship

Director: Younès Messaddeq, Université Laval
Co-director: Raman Kashyap, Polytechnique Montréal

Project: Experimental methodology for the fabrication of novel photosensitive materials in the form of PDMS.

Cheng Jiang, PhD student
2020 recipient of a $5,000 scholarship

Director: Jinyang Liang, INRS
Co-director: Frédéric Leblond, Polytechnique Montréal

Project: High-Speed Spatial-Frequency Domain Imaging using Band-Limited Image Projection.

Joël Edouard Nkeck, PhD student
2020 recipient of a $5,000 scholarship

Director: François Blanchard, École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS)
Co-director: Denis Morris, Université de Sherbrooke

Xianglei LIU, PhD student
2020 recipient of a $5,000 scholarship

Director: Jinyang LIANG, INRS
Co-director: Daniel Côté, Université Laval

Project: Single-shot Wide-field Mapping of Partial Oxygen Saturation.

Asma Mimouni, PhD student
Recipient of a $5,000 scholarship in 2022

Director: Bora Ung, École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS)
Co-director: Younès Messaddeq, Université Laval

Mohamad Taherian, PhD student
2022 recipient of a $5,000 scholarship

Director: Martin Bolduc
Co-director: Sylvain Cloutier

Project: Ultra-rapid annealing processes and non-contact in-line characterization tools for localized control during the print fabrication of flexible materials and sensors.

Hugo Le Moel, PhD student
2023 recipient of a $5,000 scholarship

Director: Frédéric Leblond, Polytechnique Montréal
Co-director: Daniel Côté, Université Laval

Project: Raman spectroscopy system for real-time detection tissues responsible for focal cortical dysplasia (FCD).

Fariha Mehjabin, PhD student
2023 recipient of a $5,000 scholarship

Director: Martin Rochette, McGill University
Co-director: Younes Messaddeq, Université Laval

Project: BGG fiber optic couplers

Recipients of international collaboration grants

Pablo Bianucci, Professor, Concordia University
International Collaboration Grant 2022

Objectives: Visit of two research groups to strengthen collaborations.
– Institute of Applied Physics “Nello Carrara” (IFAC) in Florence, Italy
– Politecnico de Bari in Bari, Italy

Christine Tremblay, Professor, École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS)
International Collaboration Grant 2022

Objectives: Strengthen international collaborations and multidisciplinary and complementary activities between École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) and Institut Polytechnique de Paris/Télécom SudParis (TSP)

Jinyang Liang, Professor, INRS
for Yingming Lai and Miguel Marquez, PhD students
International Collaboration Grant 2022

Objectives: This grant inaugurates the collaboration between the research teams of prof. Jinyanf Liang’s from INRS and prof. Henry Arguello from the Universidad Industrial de Santander (UIS). It will enable the integration of advanced deep-learning algorithms into novel computational imaging systems

Jérôme Genest, Professor, Université Laval
for Mathieu Walsh, PhD student
International Collaboration Grant 2022

Objectives: To strengthen collaborations with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A.

“COPL’s support will therefore have helped to firm up our collaborations with NIST, but also to initiate fruitful collaborations with 3 separate groups at the University of Colorado. At least 3 conference presentations have already been accepted, and 3 scientific papers will be produced by the end of 2023.”

Martin Bernier, Professor, Université Laval
for Lauris Talbot, PhD student
International Collaboration Grant 2023

Objectives: Collaboration with Stanford University to conceptualize and demonstrate the first athermal Volumetric Bragg Grating (VBG).

François Blanchard, Professor, École de technologie supérieur (ÉTS)
for Rejeena R. Sebastian, PhD student
International Collaboration Grant 2023

Objectives: Collaboration with Nagoya University in Japan to develop a broadband terahertz (THz) pulse detection method using frequency difference and parametric amplification.

Daniel Côté, Professor, Université Laval
for Shadi Masoumi, PhD student
International Collaboration Grant 2023

Objectives: Intensify collaborations with the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University, Boston, USA.

The research aims to develop and test a technique incorporating a catheter in a DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation) electrode that could be used to map white matter architecture in ex vivo brain tissue for guidance during surgical interventions to treat movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.

Recipients of financial support for online training projects

To come

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