Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund


Grants awarded

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

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Updated July 28, 2020

The program includes three funding stages. The application instructions for Stage 2 are now available.

Instructions for Stage 3 are still in development. Check this page for the finalized program description and instructions before submitting applications to that stage.

The deadline for Stage 2 applications has been extended to August 6, 2020 (8 p.m. eastern)

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 “recipient” refers to the institution that receives funding. The term “affiliate” is used in this program description to refer to affiliated health research institutions that receive funding through the universities.

Program description

The program includes three funding stages. Institutions must apply at each stage to access funding. The first two stages exclusively provide wage support for eligible research personnel. The third stage will support incurred costs associated with maintenance and ramp-up of research activities. For all stages, institutions must demontrate the need to access the emergency funds.

Institutions must use funds in Stages 1 and 2 exclusively for wage support for research 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 personnel. Applicants must ensure that individuals for which 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)

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)

Further information will be provided at a later date.

Eligible applicants:

  • universities eligible to the RSF; and
  • non-affiliated health research institutions eligible for funding from the three federal research funding agencies.

Funding in Stage 3 will be awarded to support direct costs associated with maintenance and ramp-up of research activities. An initial maximum payable allocation per applicant will be established based on the applicant’s proportionate share of total sponsored research income (including governmental research income). This allocation will be based on the 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. See Grant allocation formula for more information.

Applicants must justify need for the funds based on actual costs incurred. If some applicants do not establish need or do not request Stage 3 funding up to their maximum allocation, funds will be reallocated on a prorated basis to those applicants demonstrating need in excess of their maximum Stage 3 allocation. Application forms will allow for the submission of incurred expenses that exceed the maximum allocation.

Unused Stage 1 funds held in reserve by recipients will be applied against their approved allocation for Stage 3. 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.

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 maximum payable allocation will be calculated according to the following formula. For each applicant, the distribution will be prorated and based on:

Eligible expenses

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

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

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

Eligible expenses include the following:

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

Further information will be made available at a later date.

Eligible expenses include costs incurred by November 15, 2020, and associated with the following:

Grant payment

Payments will be issued through a grant to recipients in up to three installments, to align with the three funding stages, as described below:

Those applying directly in Stage 2 will receive two 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) extended

End of August 2020

Stage 3

 

Ramp-up and maintenance costs

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

September 1 to November 15, 2020

By January 31, 2021

How to apply

Applicants must complete and submit the application form in each of the three stages (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

Further information will be provided at a later date.

Meeting the reporting requirements of Stage 1 and 2 is an eligibility requirement for an application in Stage 3 (see Reporting for more information).

The application process will be based on incurred expenses. Applications will be accepted between September 1 and November 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.

Institutions must implement an open and transparent process for internal distribution of Stage 3 funds that follows the equity, diversity and inclusion requirements.

The application requirements will include, but are not necessarily limited to:

Additional details on application requirements will be provided at a later date.

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:

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 and transparency

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:

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 Stage 3. 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), 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, read the frequently asked questions or contact crcef-fucrc@chairs-chaires.gc.ca.



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