Notice to researchers about the eligibility of travel fees for disruptions caused by COVID-19

The three federal granting agencies are aware that the rapidly changing situation involving COVID-19 may have an impact on researchers with plans to travel for meetings or other research-related activities. Individuals may decide to cancel trips as a result of various considerations and factors such as cancelled conferences, travel advisories (including those from Health Canada and Global Affairs Canada), or personal choice due to health or other concerns.

The agencies confirm that the reimbursement of non-refundable travel fees from agency funds is acceptable, considering the impacts of COVID-19. This applies to the travel of both principal investigators and research personnel when cancellation occurs as described above.


Given the uncertainty of the situation with COVID-19, the agencies suggest that those travelling for agency-funded research consider purchasing either cancellation insurance or tickets that are at least partially refundable. In this specific situation, some additional cost could still be viewed as economical if it allows for partial or full reimbursement/credit in the event of cancellation.

Dalia Morcos Fraser
Chief Financial Officer
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Patricia Sauvé-McCuan
Chief Financial Officer and Vice-President, Common Administrative Services Directorate
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

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