Tri-Agencies - CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC
Canada’s three federal research granting agencies—the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)—recognize the vital role that highly qualified talent plays in the research enterprise and the need to sustain the talent pipeline during the major disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
To lessen the impact due to COVID-19 on students, trainees and research support personnel funded through research grants, NSERC will provide additional funding to eligible grant recipients. This additional funding to support trainees (students, postdoctoral fellows) and research support personnel paid through grants recognizes the need to continue supporting their salaries and stipends. This represents an additional investment through NSERC of up to $140 million by the Government of Canada to address income challenges related to delays in research created by the COVID-19 pandemic. This additional funding will play a critical role in ensuring continuity in research projects and programs.
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 benefiting 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.
- Research grant offices (RGOs) will be contacted in the coming weeks to be made aware of which grants will be considered for the supplement. Once the supplements have been approved, they will also receive confirmation of payments.
- On July 22, 2020, NSERC began contacting eligible grant holders directly to offer a supplement for each eligible grant that they hold. To accept a supplement, the recipient will need to confirm the following for each grant:
- the research and work of trainees and research support personnel was disrupted by COVID-19 from April 1 to June 30, 2020, and
- the grant was used to pay the salaries and stipends of trainees and research support personnel during this period of disruption.
- If the above-mentioned conditions are not met, grant holders would indicate this and a supplement would not be provided.
- An example of this might be for a new project where trainees and research support personnel haven’t yet been recruited/hired onto the research team or haven’t been paid from agency grant funds.
- Once confirmation has been received, a supplement and accompanying documentation will be provided for each grant. The supplement value is based on the average amount typically used to support trainees and research support personnel over a three-month period.
- Trainees and research support personnel who are paid by the supplement will need to ensure they did not benefit from compensation under the Canada Emergency Student Benefit or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit between April 1 and June 30, 2020. They also cannot have benefited from other income supports related to COVID-19, including the extensions of tri-agency scholarships and fellowships during this same period.
- Note that the supplement cannot be used for the remuneration for work directly associated with a program of study for trainees who graduated in the spring of 2020.
- Eligible grants are those that were active on April 1, 2020 and that were not already in a time extension period.
- We realize that the impacts of COVID-19 are broad, and that no one initiative will address them all; however CIHR is committed to taking a flexible approach and continuing to monitor opportunities to support the research community over time.
- If you are a co-applicant on a grant, the supplement will be administered in the same manner as the grant to which it is associated.
- Please visit the links below for more information on this supplement, including eligible grants, terms and conditions, and approval process for the awards.
If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.
Recipients of eligible NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR grants contacted by the respective Agency must submit their response (accept or decline) to the supplement by the deadline.
How to Apply
Eligible grantees (and their institutions) will be contacted directly. You will be required to attest that the work of trainees and research support personnel was interrupted due to COVID-19 during the period from April 1 to June 30, 2020.
To ensure that the funds benefit the greatest number of eligible recipients, the agencies have extended the deadline to August 24, 2020.