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Date published: March 20, 2020

Service Standards for SSHRC’s and NSERC’s Online Application Systems

Sustained Interruptions

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) (the agencies) define a sustained interruption as a prolonged period of time  when all users are unable to log in to an online application system or have access to a majority of its functions.

Very high volume of users in the online application systems may create system processing delays. The agencies strongly encourage applicants to submit applications in advance of the deadline date as extensions will not be granted for such delays.

The agencies will provide advance notification regarding any planned system outage and adjust competition deadlines as appropriate.

The agencies will apply the following standards when making decisions on extending deadlines in response to sustained interruptions to their online application systems.

Note: The Canadian Institutes of Health Research will also apply these standards.

Duration of Sustained Interruption Proximity to Agency Deadline
≤30 mins before deadline on deadline date 31 mins-2 hrs before deadline on deadline date 2:01 hrs-24 hrs before deadline on deadline date 24:01 hrs-72 hrs before deadline 72:01 hrs-7 days before deadline
1 min-30 mins 24 hr extension 24 hr extension No extension No extension No extension
31 mins-2 hrs N/A 24 hr extension 24 hr extension No extension No extension
2:01 hrs-6 hrs N/A N/A 24 hr extension No extension No extension
6:01 hrs-24 hrs N/A N/A 48 hr extension 24 hr extension No extension
24:01 hrs + N/A N/A 48 hr extension 24 hr extension 24 hr extension

Extensions will not be granted for sustained interruptions taking place eight calendar days or more before the deadline.

Communication of Deadline Extensions

Should an extension be warranted based on the criteria noted above, a notice will be posted on the online application system home page.

The agencies may also communicate the extension through various methods, such as:

  • a notice on the agencies’ respective websites;
  • a notice through social media; and
  • an email to applicants with an application in progress.

Should a service interruption take place outside of regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. eastern), the agencies will evaluate the interruption and communicate on the next regular business day whether an extension is required.

Questions or Comments?

NSERC: Online Support

SSHRC: Online Application Form Support