Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund


Grants awarded

Funds are being allocated in four stages. Results are posted once the payments have been made.

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Updates
  • October 19, 2020 Application deadlines for Stages 3 and 4 have been updated.
    Stage 3: extended to December 15, 2020.
    Stage 4: extended to November 30, 2020.
  • October 15, 2020 The application instructions for Stage 4 are now available.
  • September 30, 2020 The CRCEF has increased the maximum eligibility period for wage subsidy from 12 to 24 weeks. This will provide up to $84 million in extended support for research-related personnel affected by the COVID-19 pandemic at universities and health research institutions. This increase will be delivered in Stage 4 of the program.

The Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF) was announced on May 15, 2020, as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. The temporary program has been established to help sustain the research enterprise at Canadian universities and health research institutions that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is expected that the program will help reduce negative impacts of the pandemic and ensure that the benefits of significant investments to date in universities and health research institutions are protected. This will maintain Canada’s international competitiveness in the global, knowledge-based economy, and contribute to Canadians’ health and social and cultural life, as well as the health of Canada’s natural environment.

CRCEF is a tri-agency program and is administered by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) on behalf of the three federal research funding agencies: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and SSHRC. The Canada Research Coordinating Committee (CRCC) provides strategic oversight for the program and approves awards. The Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat (TIPS) provides administration.

Program objectives

The program, which has a total budget of $450 million, has two objectives:

Only eligible institutions that confirm the need for emergency funds will have access to funding from the program.

  1. Universities eligible to the Research Support Fund (RSF) are eligible to apply to CRCEF directly. Health research institutions will receive funding through the universities with which they are affiliated.
  2. Non-affiliated health research institutions that are already eligible for agency funding will be eligible to apply directly to the program. CIHR’s list of eligible health institutions will be used to identify non-affiliated health institutions that could potentially apply to the program. A public call will be put in place in mid-July to ensure these additional institutions can access the program.

The terms “applicant” and “recipient” are used in this program description to refer to eligible institutions described in the two categories above (a and b). The “applicant” refers to the institution that applies for funding. The term “recipient” refers to the institution that receives funding. The term “affiliate” is used to refer to affiliated health research institutions that receive funding through the universities.

Program description

The program includes four funding stages. Institutions must apply at each stage to access funding. Three of the stages (Stages 1, 2 and 4) exclusively provide wage support for eligible research-related personnel. The remaining stage (Stage 3) supports incurred costs associated with maintenance and ramp-up of research activities. For all stages, institutions must demonstrate the need to access the emergency funds.

Institutions must use funds in Stages 1, 2 and 4 exclusively for wage support for research-related personnel whose salaries were adversely affected by COVID-19 and who are paid in part or in whole by non-governmental sources. All reasonable efforts must be made to avert or reverse layoffs of eligible research-related personnel. Applicants must ensure that individuals for whom they are requesting wage support from this program are not claiming other wage support (e.g., Canada Emergency Response Benefit). See Eligible expenses for further information.

Universities are responsible for distributing funding to their affiliates. Universities must account for their method of distribution to their affiliates at each stage of the program. They must also post their method on their public-facing websites. Universities are not permitted to hold back any portion of funds that are intended for affiliates. Recipients and affiliates are not permitted to hold back any portion of the grant for administrative purposes or indirect costs.

Stage 1 – Wage support for research-related personnel ($225 million)

Application period closed

Eligible applicants:

Initial funding for wage support in Stage 1 will be immediately distributed using an allocation based on research incomes as a proxy to estimate needs. This is to help address urgent needs.

The allocation formula is based on the applicant’s proportionate share of non-governmental-sponsored research income and is used as a proxy for institutional needs. The data is taken from the publicly available FIUC from CAUBO. See Grant allocation formula for more information.

Funding for affiliates will flow through the principal university with which they are affiliated in the CAUBO dataset. Universities are required to implement a process to distribute funds to their affiliates that is based on a dataset and an allocation formula with the same methodology used by the program. This process must be agreed upon by the affiliates.

Any portion of the funds provided in Stage 1 that exceeds the need for wage support must be held in reserve by recipients, pending the funding decisions of Stage 3.

Stage 2 – Supplemental wage support for research-related personnel (up to $100 million)

Application period closed

Eligible applicants:

  • universities not included in the CAUBO dataset, eligible to the RSF;
  • non-affiliated health research institutions eligible to receive funding from the three federal research funding agencies; and
  • recipients of Stage 1 funding that have residual needs for wage support.

Non-eligible applicants:

  • Stage 1 recipients with unspent funds held in reserve.

Applicants from categories one and two listed above must apply directly to the program. They will need to submit equivalent information as is found in the publicly available FIUC from CAUBO, from an audited source.

The program will proactively contact potential non-affiliated health institutions identified from CIHR’s list of eligible health institutions. As there could be additional non-affiliated health research institutions not included in that list, a public call will be put in place to ensure eligible institutions can access the program.

To ensure equitable access to the funding in Stage 2, funds will first be allocated to applicants who did not receive funds in Stage 1. See Grant allocation formula for more information.

Remaining Stage 2 funding will then be awarded to the applicants who can demonstrate a need for additional wage support beyond what they have already received. Funding amounts will be prorated if the applicants’ total demonstrated needs for supplemental funding exceed the funding available for Stage 2.

The combined final wage support in Stage 1 and 2 will be entirely based on needs (i.e., total personnel supported and total costs incurred).

Stage 3 – Research maintenance/ramp-up costs ($125 million—notional allocation)

Updated on September 4, 2020, with program information.

Stage 3 is to support direct costs of research that have been incurred to: 1) maintain essential research-related commitments during the COVID-19 pandemic; and 2) support ramping-up to full research activities as physical distancing measures are eased and research activities can resume. Only direct costs of research that are extraordinary and incremental to those already covered by existing sources of funds and have been incurred between March 15 and November 15, 2020 will be reimbursed, at up to 75%.

Extraordinary incremental costs incurred for research projects funded by either governmental or non-governmental sources are eligible for Stage 3 support. Extraordinary incremental costs are defined as unanticipated additional costs that would not normally have been incurred in the absence of the COVID-19 pandemic and cannot be funded by existing sources of funds.

Eligible applicants:

  • universities eligible to the RSF that received a Stage 1 allocation based on the CAUBO dataset;
  • universities not included in the CAUBO dataset, are eligible to the RSF and have submitted their total research income data (2015-16 to 2017-18) from an audited source at Stage 2; and
  • non-affiliated health research institutions that are eligible for funding from the three federal research funding agencies and have submitted their total research income data (2015-16 to 2017-18) from an audited source at Stage 2.

Notional allocation

An initial notional allocation per applicant is established based on the applicant’s proportionate share of total sponsored research income (including both governmental and non-governmental research income). This allocation uses publicly available FIUC data from CAUBO and the supplemental data provided by universities and non-affiliated health research institutions not included in the CAUBO dataset at Stage 2. See Grant allocation formula for more information. The notional allocation is the maximum amount the applicant can receive at Stage 3 and up to which they can receive a payment based on justification of need and actual eligible costs incurred.

Funding for affiliates will flow through the principal university with which they are affiliated, as established in Stage 1. Universities must implement a process to distribute funds to their affiliates that is based on a dataset and an allocation formula that applies the same methodology used by the program. This process must be agreed upon by the affiliates.

Unused Stage 1 funds held in reserve by recipients will be applied against their notional Stage 3 allocation. Should the reserved funds exceed the approved allocation for Stage 3, the recipient will be required to return to the Receiver General of Canada the excess portion of funds.

Supplemental allocation

If any applicants do not establish need or do not request Stage 3 funding up to their notional allocation, funds will be subject to a final reallocation on a prorated basis to those applicants demonstrating need in excess of their maximum Stage 3 notional allocation.

The envelope of this supplemental allocation will include:

For this purpose, Stage 3 application forms will allow for submission of incurred expenses that exceed the notional allocation. Funds from the supplemental allocation envelope will be redistributed across institutions with outstanding need on a prorated basis.

Stage 4 – Extension period for wage support for research-related personnel (up to $84 million)

Updated on October 15, 2020, with program information.

Eligible applicants:

  • universities eligible to the RSF, whether in the CAUBO dataset or not; and
  • non-affiliated health research institutions eligible to receive funding from the three federal research funding agencies.

Applicants from the two categories listed above must apply directly to the program.

The funds available for the extended wage support period in Stage 4 are coming from the unspent Stage 2 funds. Stage 4 will provide additional wage support for eligible research-related personnel by increasing the maximum duration of support from 12 to 24 weeks. Funding will be allocated to eligible institutions that demonstrate need for wage support up to a maximum of 24 weeks. Should the total of all applicants’ demonstrated residual need exceed the funding available in Stage 4, payments to institutions will be prorated.

Any unspent funds at the end of Stage 4 will be pooled with unspent funds from Stage 3 and subject to a final reallocation on a prorated basis to those applicants demonstrating need in excess of their maximum Stage 3 allocation.

Grant allocation formula

For Stage 1, the funding is allocated according to the following formula.

For each applicant, the distribution will be prorated and:

For Stage 2, for other universities and non-affiliated health research institutions, the funding is allocated according to the same formula used for Stage 1. Distribution will be prorated as if the data had been available in Stage 1 with the CAUBO dataset and:

For additional wage support, funding will be allocated based on demonstrated needs. Funding amounts will be prorated if the applicants’ total demonstrated needs for supplemental funding exceed the funding available for Stage 2.

For Stage 3, the notional allocation will be calculated according to the following formula. For each applicant, the distribution is prorated and based on:

For Stage 4, funding will be allocated based on demonstrated need for additional wage support. Funding amounts will be prorated if the applicants’ total demonstrated needs exceed the funding available for Stage 4.

Eligible expenses

Only direct costs of research as outlined below are eligible. Expenses for wage support must be incurred between March 15 and August 29, 2020. Expenses for maintenance and ramp-up costs must be incurred between March 15 and November 15, 2020.

Administrative costs, such as indirect costs, overhead or transaction costs are not eligible expenses of CRCEF.

Stage 1,2 and 4 – Wages (or wage portions) of research-related personnel

Eligible expenses include the following:

Personnel who have been laid off or furloughed as a result of COVID-19 within the eligibility period can become eligible retroactively, as long as they are rehired and their retroactive pay and status meet the eligibility criteria for the claim period.

Research-related personnel are those employed by universities or health research institutions who are working for faculty members conducting research, or who are working in scientific and engineering facilities/laboratories supporting broad research objectives (e.g., graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and other personnel associated with research projects). Principal investigators are excluded from the research-related personnel definition.

Applicants cannot claim benefits, salary/wages or portions of these, and expenses covered through:

Individuals who will have their wages funded by CRCEF cannot receive support from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

Stage 3 – Research maintenance and ramp-up costs

Updated on September 4, 2020, with program information.

Stage 3 funding will be awarded to support direct costs associated with maintenance and ramp-up of research activities. Applicants must justify the need for the funds based on actual costs incurred between March 15 and November 15, 2020. Eligible expenses include costs associated with the following categories:

a) Maintenance costs:

b) Ramp-up costs:

Grant payment

Payments will be issued through a grant to recipients in up to five installments, as described below:

Those applying directly in Stage 2 will receive up to four installments.

The table below summarizes the stages and application deadlines.

  Purpose Eligibility Deadline Expected payment date

Stage 1

 

Wage support

Universities included in the CAUBO database and eligible to the RSF

July 7, 2020

July 20, 2020

Stage 2

Wage support

  • Universities not included in the CAUBO database, eligible to the RSF and not eligible to apply in Stage 1
  • Non-affiliated health research institutions eligible to receive funding from the three federal research funding agencies
  • All Stage 1 recipients with residual need

August 6, 2020 (8 p.m. eastern)

End of August 2020

Stage 3

 

Research maintenance and ramp-up costs

  • Universities eligible to the RSF
  • Non-affiliated health research institutions eligible for funding from the three federal research funding agencies

September 15 to December 15, 2020 extended

By January 31, 2021

Stage 4

 

Extended wage support

  • Universities eligible to the RSF
  • Non-affiliated health research institutions eligible for funding from the three federal research funding agencies

November 30, 2020 extended

By December 31, 2020

How to apply

Applicants must complete and submit the application form for each stage (as applicable) by the deadlines indicated above.

The applicant must identify a senior-level university official as the institutional authority representative (i.e., vice-president level) who will attest that:

Stage 1

TIPS will send an email invitation to the identified university contact. They must complete the application form and refer to the instructions included in the application form.

In Stage 1, applicants will be required to provide:

Stage 2

Applicants for which data were unavailable and did not receive an allocation in Stage 1 will be required to provide:

To apply for additional wage support in Stage 2, all applicants must demonstrate the residual need for wage support by providing information that includes, but is not necessarily limited to:

Meeting the reporting requirements for recipients in Stage 1 is an eligibility requirement for an application for additional wage support in Stage 2 (see Reporting for more information).

Stage 3

Updated on September 4, 2020.

Meeting the reporting requirements of Stage 1 and Stage 2, and having published the required information on their public-facing website, are eligibility requirements to apply in Stage 3 (see the Public accountability, transparency, and equity, diversity and inclusion section; and the Reporting section for more information).

Applications will be accepted between September 15 and December 15, 2020, on a continuous intake basis, with a limit of one application per eligible applicant. Universities must submit a consolidated application that includes all affiliates’ costs.

Equity, diversity and inclusion requirements

As an application requirement, institutions (and their affiliates as applicable) must implement an open and transparent process for the internal allocation of Stage 3 funds to their researchers, following the CRCEF equity, diversity and inclusion requirements. On their public-facing web page dedicated to the CRCEF, institutions must post an open call to their research community that invites applications from research leads (principal investigators and scientific directors of research platforms), and communicate the details of the call (as well as doing so, e.g., by email), to ensure all research leads are provided equal opportunity to apply for this funding. Information provided must include the eligibility criteria, application information, and the evaluation criteria to be used by the institution to allocate the funding.

To be deemed eligible to Stage 3, institutions must meet the following equity, diversity and inclusion requirements, in addition to those outlined in the Public accountability, transparency, and equity, diversity and inclusion section:

Assessment criteria

Provided the research has been materially compromised by the pandemic, the following criteria could be used by institutions as part of their eligibility criteria for determining which research projects should receive CRCEF funding. The program recognizes the different impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic across institutions and regions, so these criteria are provided as examples only. Institutions may use these or other criteria, as deemed appropriate by the institution, given its context.

Establish criteria to assess the materiality of the expenses, such as:

Institutions are encouraged to also consider fair access to funding criteria, such as:

Stage 3 application required information

In reporting on Stage 2 use of funds, include:

In requesting Stage 3 funding, provide:

The institutional authority representative, on behalf of the applicant institution and all its affiliates, must submit the Stage 3 application in the Convergence portal, with the following:

Stage 4

Updated on October 15, 2020.

Applicants must complete the application form online and refer to the instructions included in the application form. The information requested includes:

For Stage 1, applications will be administratively assessed by the agencies (through TIPS) for eligibility and completeness against the program criteria.

For Stage 2, applications will be reviewed by the agencies (through TIPS) to ensure:

Eligibility of non-affiliated health research institutions applying in this stage will be verified.

For Stage 3, applications will be reviewed by the agencies (through TIPS) to ensure:

For Stage 4, applications will be administratively assessed by the agencies (through TIPS) for eligibility and completeness against the program criteria.

The CRCC provides strategic oversight of the program and approves the review process and awards.

Tri-agency commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion

The federal research funding agencies are committed to excellence in research and research training. Achieving a more equitable, diverse and inclusive Canadian research enterprise is essential to creating the excellent, innovative and impactful research necessary to advance knowledge and understanding, and to respond to local, national and global challenges.

In managing CRCEF funding, the recipients and affiliates must take active measures to prevent systemic barriers that result in individuals from equity-seeking groups receiving unequal access to, or being excluded from participating in, employment, services, or programs in Canada’s research ecosystem. Equity-seeking groups include, but are not limited to, women, racialized minorities, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and persons from LGBTQ2+ communities. These barriers, defined as policies and practices, are systemic in nature. This means they result from institutional level practices and policies that may be “unintended” or “unseen,” but that have serious and long-lasting impacts on the lives of those affected (e.g., on their career trajectories).

These measures are especially important in a crisis situation such as a pandemic, as unconscious biases are more likely to influence decision-making that must be done rapidly and in stressful circumstances. There is also evidence that points to a disproportionate impact of the pandemic on individuals from equity-seeking groups, for example, individuals with disabilities being unable to access necessary health care, women disproportionately shouldering childcare and homeschooling responsibilities, etc.

Public accountability, transparency, and equity, diversity and inclusion

Recipients are required to manage all program funds by using a robust and transparent process. The principles of responsible stewardship, public accountability, and equity, diversity, and inclusion should be respected in all stages of the process. All recipients and affiliates must comply with the program’s equity, diversity and inclusion decision-making requirements and allocate funds accordingly, including for managing needs exceeding funds provided. In addition, all recipients must publish on their public-facing websites their strategy for equity, diversity and inclusion decision-making (see requirements below). This information must be published by August 31, 2020, and remain publicly available on the recipient’s public-facing website for a minimum of three years.

Before beginning any decision-making process for funding distribution, the recipient must identify a senior-level university official (i.e., vice-president level), who will be responsible for ensuring that the requirements of the program are followed.

Recipients must ensure the following requirements are in place:

See also the additional equity, diversity and inclusion requirements outlined above in the Stage 3 program details.

In addition to the information outlined above, recipients must post the following information on their public-facing websites by August 31, 2020:

Use of grant funds

Roles and responsibilities

The administration of funds granted by an agency is a joint responsibility between the recipient and the agency. Refer to the Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research for the applicant’s responsibilities when applying for, or receiving funds, and the Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions (“the Agreement’’) for more details on administering funds. Applicants who do not have a signed agreement in place must contact TIPS prior to applying to the program.

TIPS verifies the applicant’s eligibility for and entitlement to grants according to the federal laws and policies regarding grants.

Each applicant establishes appropriate procedures, systems and controls to ensure that agency and program policies and requirements are followed. Administrative and accounting procedures must conform to the applicant’s standards, practices and policies.

The recipient, normally the institutional authority representative or authorized delegate, authorizes expenditures from the grant account according to program guidelines. The recipient may delegate the authorization of expenditures to a small number of individuals.

The recipient must not disburse any funds until all specified certification requirements—including those with respect to animal care, human ethics and any other requirements—have been met, and any other special permits or licenses have been delivered.

All subsequent instalments are subject to parliamentary appropriations and the conditions that may be attached to them. TIPS reserves the right to defer or suspend subsequent instalments if the parliamentary appropriations are reduced or cancelled, or if the need for funds is not demonstrated.

Reporting

A report on the use of funds received from each stage of the program will be required.

Stage 1 recipients are required to report on the use of Stage 1 funds to access Stage 2 and 3 funding. The reporting requirements include:

Reporting requirements for Stage 2 will include, but not necessarily be limited to:

Due to the nature of the funding in Stage 3, which is based on incurred costs, the application and reporting is done simultaneously.

Recipients will be required to provide a final grant report confirming previously reported data in Stages 1 and 2 and final use of funds in Stages 3 and 4. Self-identification data at the institutional level will also be required, as available.

Grant recipients are required to maintain detailed information on individuals supported by the program’s wage subsidy stages (e.g., full name, contact information, amount received per stage), and specific accounting data for projects supported by the maintenance and ramp-up stage (e.g., breakdown of amounts spent for each type of expenses, by project). Grant recipients will have to maintain this information on record for a period of at least five years (until 2025-26), for financial monitoring and auditing purposes.

Returning unspent funds

Funds must be spent before March 31, 2021. Unspent balances cannot be transferred to the recipient’s general research fund or carried forward to the next fiscal year, but must be returned to SSHRC’s finance division by way of cheque payable to the Receiver General for Canada, with the final statement of account. Contact program staff for additional details.

For help with the application process, refer to the following resources:

You can also contact crcef-fucrc@chairs-chaires.gc.ca.



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