COVID-19: Impact on SSHRC programs, experts database and perspectives from our community.
Extension of the period for use of SSHRC grants due to pandemic-related delays—2023
SSHRC and NSERC (the agencies) continue to recognize that some research activities funded by grants may still be delayed due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In such cases, grant recipients, regardless of whether they have received a previous extension in time to use funds, can request a 12-month extension without funds due to pandemic-related delays by submitting a grant amendment form with a brief but explicit justification to the agency. Provided the eligibility criteria are satisfied and the important considerations are understood (see below), the agencies will show greater flexibility towards approving these COVID-19 time extension requests.
Please note that this extension in time is unique and separate from all other pandemic-related extensions/initiative such as the 2020 three-month supplement for the support of trainees (students, postdoctoral fellows) and research support personnel, as well as any scholarships and fellowships extension provisions due to the pandemic.
- Extension requests may only be submitted for grants in their final year (including the automatic one-year extension and any other extensions, where applicable).
- The grant holder must continue to maintain an eligible position at the administering institution for the duration of the grant, including any awarded extension(s).
- A Tri-agency Guide on Financial Administration (TAGFA) grant amendment form must be completed, with a brief but explicit justification that this extension request is due to delays to research activities as a result of the pandemic.
- The grant’s annual statement of account (form 300) must be up-to-date in the agency databases. For College and Community Innovation Program (CCI) grants, the annual statement of accounts (Form 301), must have been completed and submitted to the agency. Requests for an extension in time will not be reviewed/approved if there are outstanding annual statements of account.
- If the grant account has $501-$2,000 remaining in funds, subject to agency approval, the COVID-19 extension in time will be the final extension for the period of use approved for this grant.
- For grant accounts with less that $500, grant holders are not eligible for another extension for the period for the authority to use grant funds.
- If the agency has already approved a transfer to the General Research Fund (GRF) or requested the return of residual funds for a given grant, an extension request will not be accepted.
- Administering institutions must validate the request, however all requests will be subject to agency approval.
- Requests should be based on need, with the intention of continuing/resuming research activities and using up unspent grant funds without further delay.
- If the grant holder is requesting an extension after being prompted by the relevant agency program contact to submit a final report, achievement report or equivalent, the program contact must be CC’d on the request for the COVID-19 time extension, for their information.
- Grant holders are responsible for and should be aware of any potential impact to receiving an extension on their grant if they are planning to apply for new agency funding. In some cases, the grant holder may be ineligible to apply for new agency funds until their current grant is formally concluded.
- Requests for longer than 12 months will not be accommodated. The agency will automatically adjust the duration to 12 months for requests that indicate a duration that exceeds 12 months.
- Grants with scheduled installments remaining are not eligible for this extension. However, if the grant holder has a build-up of funds in their grant account and they determine that the scheduled instalment for the next financial year will not be needed at that time, they are responsible for informing their administering institution that a deferral of the next instalment is necessary, which will enable them to extend the authority to use the grant funds.
- Grants continue to be subject to the terms and conditions of the award and to follow TAGFA policies and regulations, as applicable. The agencies also reserve the right to modify or end this grant extension provision at any time.
Eligible programs and funding opportunities
This extension applies to the following SSHRC programs:
- Connection Grants
- Partnership Development Grants
- Partnership Grants
- Partnership Engage Grants
- Insight Grants
- Insight Development Grants
Note: Requests for grants that are a part of a SSHRC joint initiative may be subject to a longer review and approval by the agency due to partner implications.
For all funding opportunities not listed and requests that do not satisfy the requirements outlined above, grant holders may still submit a grant amendment form for review and approval by the agency, however the request may be subject to a longer review period by the agency. It is recommended that more detail be provided in the comments section of the form. For more information, review section Extension period for the authority to use grant funds in TAGFA.
The first point of contact for the grant holder should be the institution’s research office or equivalent, prior to contacting the agency. The administering institution is responsible for submitting the extension request to the relevant agency via a grant amendment form. Completed forms and questions should be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate “COVID-19 Time Extensions” in the subject line.
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