Latest information and updates about COVID-19 (coronavirus) from McMaster University
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In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the websites of the Tri-agencies (Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)) are being updated periodically with information about changes to their deadlines and policies, as applicable.

Please find below summaries of the competition deadline and policy updates that have been posted on the CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC websites. We encourage you to consult the Tri-agency websites for additional information.

COMPETITION DEADLINE UPDATES

Sponsor Program Previous internal deadline New internal deadline Previous agency deadline New agency deadline Contact for more information
NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) Varies by Faculty (please see the USRA funding opportunity) Unchanged May 1, 2020 NSERC will continue to accept applications past May 1, 2020, without penalty Varies by Faculty (please see the USRA funding opportunity)

 

COVID-19 FAQs Related to the NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award

NSERC CREATE Letter of Intent March 18, 2020

(draft for internal selection)

April 13, 2020 (draft for internal selection) May 1, 2020 June 1, 2020 Nathan Coschi
NSERC Synergy N/A N/A April 15, 2020 June 1, 2020 Amber Metham

 

NSERC Call for joint Canada-UK projects on quantum technologies (QT) N/A N/A Expression of Interest May 15, 2020

Full Application July 29, 2020

Expression of Interest June 8, 2020

Full Application Unchanged

Ross Huyskamp
NSERC Science Communication Skills (Pilot) Grant April 17, 2020 May 20, 2020 May 15, 2020 June 15, 2020 Nathan Coschi
NSERC Idea to Innovation N/A N/A March 30, 2020 June 22, 2020 Glen Crossley
NSERC E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship May 1, 2020 (draft for internal selection) May 19, 2020 (draft for internal selection) June 8, 2020 July 7, 2020 Nathan Coschi
NSERC Discovery Grant Notification of Intent July 20, 2020 Unchanged August 1, 2020 Unchanged Nathan Coschi
NSERC Research Tools and Instrument To be announced Unchanged October 25, 2020 Unchanged Sean Kinnear
NSERC Alliance Option 1 N/A N/A Open deadline Unchanged – expect delays in reviews Ross Huyskamp
NSERC Alliance Option 2 N/A N/A Open deadline Unchanged – meeting of 1st review panel delayed to June Ross Huyskamp
SSHRC Connection Grants April 24, 2020 Unchanged May 1, 2020 Unchanged Christina Pellegrini
SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant June 8, 2020 Unchanged June 15, 2020 Unchanged Christina Pellegrini
SSHRC Healthy Cities Research Training Platform – 2nd Stage August 3, 2020 Unchanged August 27, 2020 Unchanged Christina Pellegrini
SSHRC Insight Grants To be announced September 10, 2020

August 12, 2020 (for optional peer review)

October 15, 2020 October 1, 2020 Christina Pellegrini
SSHRC Partnership Development Grants To be announced Unchanged November 15, 2020 Unchanged Christina Pellegrini
New Frontiers in Research Fund International Stream

2020 Horizon Global Platform Competition

Within four weeks of the Horizon 2020 deadline for their call (Registration)

 

Two weeks prior to the deadline (Application)

Unchanged Within two weeks of the Horizon 2020 deadline for their call (Registration)

 

One month after the review results from a Horizon 2020 call are communicated to the project team (Application)

Unchanged Nathan Coschi (For non-FHS researchers)

Health Research Services

CIHR Review of the Spring 2020 Project Grant competition applications will proceed this summer. Spring 2020 applications submitted by Nominated Principal Applicants (NPAs) who did not receive a financial extension (see below) will be reviewed, unless specifically withdrawn by the NPAs.

 

The Fall 2020 Project Grant competition remains on track to be delivered. However, the timelines for this competition may be adjusted slightly to ensure that those individuals who are unsuccessful in the summer 2020 Project Grant competition will have the opportunity to re-submit to the Fall 2020 competition.

CIHR has placed a moratorium on all other existing and any new strategic/institute-driven funding opportunities. The exception is that any funding competitions related to COVID-19 will continue to go forward.

Virginia Viscardi (for non-FHS researchers)

 

Health Research Services

 

 

POLICY UPDATES

 

CIHR NSERC SSHRC Contact for more information
Travel and travel cancellations Non-refundable costs associated with travel or events paid through agency funds and cancelled or postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will be considered as allowable project expenses, provided they align with agency policies. Research Finance (for non-FHS researchers)

 

Faculty of Health Sciences Research Finance

Grant extensions

 

An automatic one-year extension to the authority-to-use-funds date for all active grants has been implemented.

 

For Project Grants:

  • CIHR will financially extend all existing Investigator-Initiated Research grants scheduled to expire between June 30, 2020 and March 30, 2021, for one year.
    • This includes providing an extension to all Nominated Principal Applicants (NPAs) with a grant expiring within the date range who applied to the Spring 2020 competition, as these applicants were applying for a grant to replace one that was expiring.
    • The amount provided will be equivalent to one year of the grant’s average annual value.
    • Those who accept the extension will not be allowed to apply as an NPA to the Fall 2020 competition to help ease some of the pressure on this competition.
  • Additionally, CIHR will financially extend all bridge grants provided to Nominated Principal Investigators (NPIs) in the Fall 2019 Project Grant competition.
    • This extension will be provided to all NPIs who received a bridge grant in the Fall 2019 competition and applied to the Spring 2020 competition.
    • The amount provided will be the equivalent of 6 months of their bridge grant amount.
    • NPIs who are provided this bridge grant extension will be allowed to apply in the role of NPA to the Fall 2020 competition.

 

For 2018 NFRF Exploration Grants:

  • In recognition of the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, grantees will receive approximately 2.2 months’ worth of additional funding. The decision to allocate additional funds is to help ensure continued support of students, fellows and research personnel during the pandemic and, when research resumes, to permit the completion of the project.
  • The terms of all grants have been extended by 12 months as well.
Academic institutions can immediately approve extensions requests up to 12 months for Agency grants with an end date between February 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 inclusively. This provision applies to all grants, regardless of whether they have received a previous time extension of any length for any reason (including, where applicable, automatic extensions).

 

For Discovery Grants:

To lessen the impact due to COVID-19 and to support all researchers and highly qualified personnel, all active Discovery Grants can elect to receive a one-year extension with funds at their current funding level. This includes grants from the recent 2020 competition. Grantees due to apply in competition 2021 can elect not to apply for funding this summer/fall during these tumultuous times.

This one year extension will be granted for the following programs: Discovery Grants, Discovery Grants – Subatomic Physics (Individual, Project and Major Resources), Discovery Grants – Northern Research Supplements and Discovery Development Grants.

In light of these extensions, the 2021 Discovery Grants competition will be for new applicants (those not currently holding a Discovery Grant) and those who choose not to accept the extension.

For Discovery Grant holders who are Early Career Researchers:

NSERC grantees who have received the last installment of their active Discovery Grant or NRS in April, 2020 and who were classified as Early Career Researchers (ECR) at the time of their award may be eligible to extend their grant by one year, with funds. Grantees who take advantage of this option will receive an additional installment at their current level of funding. The objective is to provide additional time and resources to early career researchers to establish their research program and career.

If you accept the ECR extension, you may still accept the COVID-19 extension with funds at a later date for an additional installment in April 2022.  Should you decline the ECR extension, you cannot apply for the COVID-19 extension with funds.

For 2018 NFRF Exploration Grants:

  • In recognition of the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, grantees will receive approximately 2.2 months’ worth of additional funding. The decision to allocate additional funds is to help ensure continued support of students, fellows and research personnel during the pandemic and, when research resumes, to permit the completion of the project.
  • The terms of all grants have been extended by 12 months as well.
Academic institutions can immediately approve extensions requests up to 12 months for Agency grants with an end date between February 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 inclusively. This provision applies to all grants, regardless of whether they have received a previous time extension of any length for any reason (including, where applicable, automatic extensions).

 

For Insight Development Grants:

Academic institutions can immediately approve extensions requests up to 12 months for Agency grants with an end date up to May 31, 2021 (including the one-year automatic extension, where applicable) for IDG only. This provision applies to all grants, regardless of whether they have received a previous time extension of any length for any reason (including, where applicable, automatic extensions).

 

For 2018 NFRF Exploration Grants:

  • In recognition of the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, grantees will receive approximately 2.2 months’ worth of additional funding. The decision to allocate additional funds is to help ensure continued support of students, fellows and research personnel during the pandemic and, when research resumes, to permit the completion of the project.
  • The terms of all grants have been extended by 12 months as well.

 

 

Leanna Fong, Senior Advisor, ROADS (for non-FHS researchers)

 

Health Research Services

Financial reporting 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. Research Finance (for non-FHS researchers)

 

Faculty of Health Sciences Research Finance

Other exceptional expenditures 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).

Research Finance (for non-FHS researchers)

 

Faculty of Health Sciences Research Finance

Support for research personnel
 
To lessen the impact due to COVID-19 on students, trainees, and research support personnel funded through research grants, CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC will provide additional funding to eligible grant recipients.

All three agencies will provide additional funding to research grant holders so that they can continue to support trainees and research support personnel during the crisis. Grant holders will be contacted in the coming weeks by each agency. The funding will be provided before September 30, 2020. The value of the supplement will be commensurate with the average level of support provided to trainees and research support personnel for each agency over a three-month period. Institutions are strongly encouraged to continue to pay trainees and research support personnel paid from these grants during the crisis.

Grant holders will be required to attest that there were indeed interruptions to the work of trainees and research support personnel caused by COVID-19, and that the additional funding will be used to support them. Additionally, the trainees and research support personnel supported by the supplement will need to ensure they are not benefiting from compensation under the Canada Emergency Student Benefit or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. They also cannot be benefitting from other income supports related to COVID-19, including the extensions of tri-agency scholarships and fellowships.

Grant holders who did not pay salaries or stipends from a grant will not be eligible for the supplement. Eligible grants are those that were active on April 1, 2020 and that were not already in a time extension period.

Please see the accompanying frequently asked questions, which provides details on how this additional funding will be implemented and check our websites (CIHRNSERCSSHRC) and social media feeds for updates.

Leanna Fong, Senior Advisor, ROADS (for non-FHS researchers)

 

Health Research Services

The list of CIHR programs to which this supplemental funding applies will be shared shortly. Please monitor CIHR’s Twitter feed and COVID-19 webpage for the latest updates. This additional funding applies to the following NSERC programs:

  • Advancing Climate Change Science in Canada
  • Alliance grants
  • Belmont Forum
  • Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics
  • Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering (project component)
  • Chairs in Design and Engineering (research component)
  • Collaborative and Thematic Resources Support in Mathematics and Statistics program
  • Collaborative Health Research Projects
  • Collaborative Research and Training Experience program
  • Collaborative Research and Development grants (including DND/NSERC Research Partnership grants)
  • Discovery Frontiers
  • Discovery Grants program
  • Discovery Grants – Subatomic Physics (individual, project and major resources)
  • Discovery Grants – Discovery Development Grants
  • Engage and Engage Plus grants
  • Idea to Innovation grants
  • Industrial Research Chairs (research project)
  • Strategic Partnerships Grants – Projects and Networks
  • Whale Science for Tomorrow

Networks of Centres of Excellence

  • Networks of Centres of Excellence
  • Business-led Networks of Centres of Excellence

This additional funding applies to the following SSHRC programs:

  • Aid to Scholarly Journals
  • Connection Grants
  • Insight Grants
  • Insight Development Grants
  • Knowledge Synthesis Grants
  • Partnership Grants
  • Partnership Engage Grants
  • Partnership Development Grants