Lafreniere_DavidThe Centre for Research in Astrophysics of Quebec (CRAQ) brings together all the astrophysicists in Quebec. Nearly 150 people, including some fifty researchers and their students from Université de Montréal, McGill University, Université Laval, Bishop’s University, Cégep de Sherbrooke, Collège de Bois-de-Boulogne and a number of other collaborating institutions are part of the cluster. The CRAQ is under the direction of Davif Lafrenière of the Université de Montréal. The CRAQ is one of the strategic clusters funded by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature and Technologies (FRQNT).

The objectives of the CRAQ are to ensure the excellence of astrophysical research in Quebec and to stimulate its impact at the national, international and industrial level as well as in Quebec’s society. To this end, the CRAQ supervises the allocation of material and financial resources for its members, promotes scientific and technological collaborations, dispenses higher education and advanced training to students, and contributes to the implementation of this field of knowledge in Quebec’s culture.

Quebec astrophysicists are leaders in several fields of theoretical and experimental research. The CRAQ is a unique center in Quebec for astrophysical researchers whose varied and complementary expertise, based on excellence, enables them to be innovative, creative and competitive in several scientific fields, thus offering graduate students a large range of topics in basic and applied research.

The activities of the CRAQ are developed around the following four main axes:

  • basic and applied research in astrophysics,
  • the design of instruments for national, international and space observatories thanks to its experimental astrophysics laboratories,
  • the Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic (OMM),
  • astronomy and astrophysics public outreach.

Astronomy is an important contribution to Quebec’s popular scientific culture, and the contribution of Quebec researchers to this world heritage of knowledge is significant. This leading cluster in the fields of theoretical and experimental astrophysics is absolutely unique in Quebec and even in Canada.