Impact of 2019 Novel Coronavirus on Alliance research projects

We recognize the COVID-19 pandemic may impact the progress of Alliance-funded projects. This website provides information for Principal Investigators of Alliance-funded projects as they work to navigate emerging provincial and University directives, and modified access to research stations and facilities.

Please review this information in conjunction with the Office of Research's 2019 Novel Coronovirus Information. All decisions regarding what research is permitted to start or continue is governed by Office of Research policy; Alliance-specific information does not supercede University-wide directives. 

If you have any questions about the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance Research Program, or an individual project please contact Laurie Halfpenny-Mitchell at

Request a project extension

Research activities may be delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers may request a “no-cost” extension of up to and including twelve (12) months to complete an ongoing project. This applies to projects in the Tier I, Tier II, Gryphon’s LAAIR and KTT programs.

Extension requests should be submitted through the Research Management System (RMS) as soon as reasonably possible and before the current end date of the project. Visit the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance page on extension requests for information on how to request an extension. The extension request should include a brief revised work-plan with updated milestone completion dates. Please ensure that you are regularly updating all project team members on the status of the project. If you have any difficulty requesting an extension, please contact for assistance.

Inability to meet ongoing Alliance project objectives or deliverables due to COVID-19

The Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance recognizes that, in some situations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, original project objectives or deliverables may not be achievable within the project design or budget. As each case is unique, Alliance staff will work with the researcher to develop alternative options, which may include revisions to the deliverables, changes to the project design or additional funding, subject to OMAFRA approval. During this process, researchers are encouraged to communicate regular updates to all project team members. Please contact Stacy Favrin at for assistance before requesting the any changes through the amendment process in RMS.

Request to delay report submission

The Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance recognizes that report submission may be delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in situations of illness or changing childcare requirements. The Alliance will approve, on request, extensions to report submission deadlines of up to three (3) months. This provision applies to projects in the Tier I, Tier II, Gryphon’s LAAIR and KTT programs. Requests for extensions to report submission deadlines should be sent to Kathy Zurbrigg at

Start and end date of new Alliance projects

Alliance projects will continue to be awarded per standard program scheduling. Researchers will have the opportunity to adjust, if required, the start and end dates of their new project, by up to twelve (12) months, with the corresponding changes in the milestones and KTT tables. This can be done in the Research Management System (RMS) during the “Offer Subject to Conditions” stage (e.g. prior to the Award Agreement being issued). Please indicate in your “Researcher Response to Conditions for Funding” text box what the changes are and note that you have made them due to COVID-19 so Alliance staff are aware. Changes are limited to timelines only. The scope, objectives and deliverables of the proposed project should not be changed without approval from Alliance staff. Please ensure that you are communicating the proposed timeline changes to all project team members, so they are aware. If your “Response to Conditions” has already been submitted and you now need to change the project’s timelines, please contact for assistance.

Cancellation of Travel

Non-refundable expenses incurred as a result of cancelled travel and/or meetings related to the COVID-19 pandemic are considered eligible expenditures in Alliance projects, provided the expenses would have been eligible had the travel/meeting taken place as planned.

Remuneration of Individuals

Individuals receiving a salary or stipend from Alliance project funds may be recommended or required to self-isolate, and/or may be unable to work or work remotely for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Remuneration of these individuals is considered an eligible expenditure, as long as it remains eligible at the University of Guelph and provided that the expense would have otherwise been eligible to be paid out of the project.

Delay start date

If required, new HQP Scholarship recipients will be able to delay the start date of their award to coincide with the start date of their graduate program. Please reach out if you have any questions or need to request a change to the award start date.