COVID-19 Update

COVID-19: Impact on SSHRC programs, experts database and perspectives from our community.


COVID-19: Impacts on SSHRC's policies and programs

Check back regularly for updates to this page.

Important information


General information

Support for students, trainees and research support personnel funded through SSHRC research grants
updated: July 30, 2020

As a follow up to the notice on June 4 that announced additional funding to support trainees (students and postdoctoral fellows) and research support personnel, please read the update for additional information on the supplements.

COVID-19 related exceptions to tri-agency post-award regulations for research training award holders
updated: June 9, 2020

Training award recipients (master's, doctoral, and postdoctoral) may defer the start date of their award, or request an unpaid interruption of up to four-months for reasons related to the COVID-19 situation. For master’s and doctoral award holders, this can be adjusted to align with the next available start date (May 1, 2020; September 1, 2020; or January 1, 2021).

The agencies will continue to support training award holders who, given the challenges posed by the COVID-19 situation, can only devote part-time hours to their research. They may continue to hold their awards, and SSHRC will pay the full amount of the award. The amount will not be prorated, and the end date of the award will remain unchanged.

For the period where travel is significantly limited due to the COVID pandemic, training award recipients may choose to hold their award remotely while pursuing their research training, so long as the following conditions are met:

  • Students must be registered at the host institution during the period when travel restrictions / institution closures are in place. Postdoctoral fellows must be actively engaged in research.
  • This arrangement must have the support of the supervisor.
SSHRC Extranet for Applicants
updated: April 29, 2020

Due to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, SSHRC has put in place a new process to communicate results to applicants. This includes a new platform: the SSHRC Extranet for Applicants. This secure site will allow applicants to access the results of their SSHRC funding applications. Applicants will receive, via email, information on how to activate their account on the site. Once the result documents have been uploaded, applicants will receive a subsequent email inviting them to view the results.

Funding ongoing and incremental costs of research activities during the COVID-19 pandemic updated: April 21, 2020

Given the ever-evolving circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC recognize that grant recipients and/or research team members may continue to incur ongoing research costs, as well as incremental costs that would not normally be incurred (for example, compensation and travel) related to agency-funded research activities. The agencies would like to remain as flexible as possible to support grant recipients during this time and acknowledge that some of these costs may be eligible to be paid from agency grant funds. The agencies will therefore defer to administering institutions to determine if incremental costs are consistent with the principles and directives set out in the Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration (and if they are, then those expenses will still be eligible to be paid from grant funds).

The agencies also understand that not all planned research activities are possible as research institutions are closed requiring that the majority of people work remotely, if they are able to work at all. The agencies consider that continuing to pay any members of the research team, eligible to be paid from an agency grant, is an eligible expense in the context of COVID-19 (and that these individuals should continue to be paid).

Grant extensions updated: July 8, 2020

SSHRC recognizes that agency-funded research activities may be delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Academic institutions can immediately approve extension requests of up to 12 months to agency grants with an end date between February 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, inclusively. Researchers should contact their institutions to request an extension. This provision applies to all grants, regardless of whether they previously extended for any length for any reason (including, where applicable, automatic extensions). It will have no impact for applications awarded in the fall 2020 competitions.This provision will allow grantees to continue spending grant funds, and institutions to delay the processing of residual grant funds (as per the Guidelines for the General Research Fund). Institutions are to keep complete and accurate records on the grants being extended. Information will soon be available on how institutions can notify SSHRC of the details of these extensions.

For Insight Development Grants

Update: July 8, 2020 As the end date for Insight Development Grants (IDG) is May 31, effective immediately, the eligibility window for this grant extension has been expanded to include IDG grants ending on May 31, 2021 (including the one-year automatic extension, where applicable). This additional extension is for IDG recipients only.

Financial reporting
updated: March 27, 2020

The deadline for submitting financial reporting (Forms 300 and 301) for the 2019-20 (April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020) Annual Reconciliation of Active Awards has been postponed until September 30, 2020. This applies for SSHRC and the Canada Research Chairs Program.

Travel and travel cancellations

SSHRC recognizes that in addition to the costs of cancelled travel plans as described in an earlier tri-agency statement, researchers and/or members of their teams may incur other non-refundable expenses due to cancelled travel and/or meetings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Provided the expenses would have been eligible had the travel/meeting taken place as planned, these non-refundable costs can be reimbursed out of existing grant funds.

Other exceptional expenditures

SSHRC recognizes that in some cases, other costs may be incurred related to ongoing financial commitments, such as salaries or stipends of individuals paid out of agency grants. For example, one of these individuals may be required to self-isolate and/or unable to work or telework due to the COVID-19 pandemic. SSHRC confirms these costs can be paid from existing grant funds, provided they are not covered by other sources of funds from within the institution and these expenses would have otherwise been eligible to be paid out of the grant.

SSHRC programs

Aid to Scholarly Journals

There are no changes to program deadlines at this time.

Connection Grants
updated: June 30, 2020

The May 2020 competition was completed as planned. Institutions will receive the Notices of Decision in early July 2020, and funds will be disbursed shortly afterward. There may be some delays in providing results packages to individual applicants.

CMHCSSHRC Collaborative Housing Research Network

The final adjudication committee meeting was successfully held on March 11, 2020. While no delays are expected in communicating results to postsecondary institutions, there may be some delays in providing results packages, including assessment forms, to individual applicants.

Knowledge Synthesis Grants: Skills and Work in the Digital Economy
updated: July 15, 2020

The deadline for applications is September 3, 2020. Application and adjudication processes will proceed as planned.

Healthy Cities Research Training Platform—2nd Stage
updated: April 20, 2020

The strengthening webinar, planned for March 30 and 31, 2020, has been postponed until further notice.

Horizon 2020 Migration Call
updated: July 20, 2020

There are no changes to funding opportunity deadlines at this time.

Insight Development Grants
updated: July 17, 2020

Insight Development Grant results were announced to institutions on July 3, 2020. We anticipate that individual results will be available by the end of July on the research portal. Applicants will receive an email verification request for their accounts once results are posted.

Insight Grants
updated: July 17, 2020

Insight Grant results were announced to institutions on April 9, 2020. Individual results were made available on the new SSHRC extranet for applicants by June 11, 2020. All applicants should now be able to view their results, including committee evaluation forms and external reviews, where applicable. For more information on the extranet site, please see the message dated April 29, 2020, under General Information on this web page.

International Policy Ideas Challenge 2020
updated: April 7, 2020

The application deadline has been extended to May 15, 2020.

Joint initiatives and supplements for the Talent Program

Application and adjudication processes will proceed as planned.

Knowledge Synthesis Grants: Living Within the Earth's Carrying Capacity

The adjudication process is proceeding as planned and results will be announced to institutions by the end of March 2020. There may be some delays in providing results packages, including assessment forms, to individual applicants.

Open Research Area 6
updated: April 20, 2020

There are no changes to program timelines at this time. The adjudication process will proceed as a virtual merit review meeting.

Partnership Engage Grants
updated: June 4, 2020

The release of the results of the Partnership Engage Grants has been delayed. The results will be posted on the Grants and Scholarships Administrative Portal (GSAP) by June 9, 2020.

Partnership Development Grants
updated: May 7, 2020

The November 2019 competition was finalized as planned. Institutions received Notices of Decision on March 24, 2020, and funds were disbursed shortly thereafter. There may be some delays in providing results packages to individual applicants.

Partnership Grants—Stage 1

The adjudication process is proceeding as planned and results will be announced to institutions in June 2020. There may be some delays in providing results packages, including assessment forms, to individual applicants.

SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships 2020 Competition
updated: May 5, 2020

The 2020 competition will be launched on July 29, 2020.

There are no changes to the 2020 application deadlines at this time (October 17 for direct applications and November 21 for institution applications)

SSHRC Impact Awards
updated: March 27, 2020

The deadline for nominations has been extended to Friday, May 1, 2020. We expect a minor delay to the adjudication process and the release of results.

SSHRC Institutional Grants

Small institutions due to submit an activity report by April 30, 2020, may contact SSHRC if an extension is required.

SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships 2020 Competition

Application and adjudication processes will proceed as planned.

Tri-agency programs

Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships
updated: May 4, 2020

The launch of the 2020 competition is postponed until June 1, 2020Footnote *.

The application deadline is set for October 1, 2020.

Canada 150 Research Chairs Program

The deadline for the submission of annual reports is moved to September 30, 2020.

Canada Excellence Research Chairs Program

The deadline for the submission of annual reports is moved to September 30, 2020.

Canada First Research Excellence Fund

The deadline for the submission of annual reports is moved to September 30, 2020.

Canada Graduate Scholarships—Doctoral Program
updated: May 4, 2020

The 2020 competition will be launched on July 29, 2020.

There are no changes to the 2020 application deadlines at this time (October 17 for direct applications and November 21 for institution applications)

Canada Graduate Scholarships—Master’s Program
updated: March 26, 2020

The release of results in the Research Portal is postponed from April 1 to April 15, 2020. Applicants requiring an extension to the 21-day window to accept or decline their award should contact the relevant agency.

Canada Graduate Scholarships—Master’s award allocations by institution are extended to the next competition cycle. There is no change to the December 1, 2020, application deadline at this time.

Canada Graduate Scholarships Program—Michael Smith Foreign Studies Supplements
updated: June 15, 2020

For reasons related to COVID-19, recipients of the Canada Graduate Scholarships – Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements (CGS-MSFSS) can defer their travel abroad beyond the one-year deadline from receiving the notice of award, provided they still hold an active CGS. If they no longer hold an active CGS, they can defer their travel abroad, provided they are still registered at the same Canadian institution.

Canada Research Chairs Program (CRCP)

The release of results for the October 2019 cycle (2019-2) is delayed until June, 2020. Start dates for renewals and new nominations will be backdated to April 1, 2020, where applicable.  

The CRCP is temporarily reverting back to a two-cycle model. The nomination deadline for the April intake has been postponed to June  8, 2020, and results will be available in December, 2020. The September and December intake cycles will be combined and will have a deadline of November 9, 2020, with results available in April, 2021.

The program continues to accept off-cycle nominations for foreign nominees, as well as nominations that will assist institutions in meeting their equity targets.

The deadline for Chairholder Annual Reports and Institutional Reports has been postponed to September 30, 2020.

New Frontiers in Research Fund—Exploration
updated: April 20, 2020

Recipients of awards in the 2018 Exploration competition, now midway through their two-year grants, face interruptions to their research due to closures resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. For early career researchers, a group targeted in the inaugural competition, these interruptions are particularly challenging as researchers launch and develop their careers. The decision has been made, therefore, to allocate top-up funds to 2018 Exploration award recipients, to help ensure continued support for students, fellows and research personnel during the pandemic, and, when research resumes, to complete the project.

The 2019 Exploration competition was finalized as planned. Applicants received Notices of Decision on March 31, 2020, and funds were disbursed shortly thereafter. The posting of the evaluation results for applicants (including ratings by criteria and messages to applicants, where applicable) may be delayed.

New Frontiers in Research Fund—International
updated: April 3, 2020

Some of the deadlines for the 2020 Horizon Global Platform competition have been extended in response to the European Union’s changes to deadlines. The deadlines listed in the table on the competition page are the current deadlines. Note that these are the deadlines for submission to the agency by the research administrators; institutions may have earlier internal deadlines. Check the 2020 Horizon Global Platform competition page regularly for updates.

New Frontiers in Research Fund—Transformation

While we finalize the review of the competition timeline, the Letter of Intent (LOI) deadline for the 2020 Transformation Competition has been extended to July 15, 2020, at 8 p.m. (eastern). This is the deadline for submission to the agency by the research administrators; institutions may have earlier internal deadline.

Research Support Fund

The notional grant amount for the 2020-21 cycle will be communicated to institutional contacts on April 23, 2020.

The deadline to submit applications is postponed to June 19, 2020.

The annual reporting of the Statement of Account (SOA) and the Outcomes Reports for 2019-20 is postponed until September 30, 2020.

The formula used to calculate the RSF grant amounts remains unchanged. The RSF’s budget remains unchanged, so any variance to the grant amount is related to the amount of funding the institution’s researchers received from the agencies in the three most recent years for which data is available. The budget for the Incremental Project Grants has increased to $46.3 million for 2020-21, as initially planned in Budget 2018.

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships
updated: March 31, 2020

Results of the 2019 competition will be released as planned in April 2020.



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