NSERC/SSHRC – COVID-19 – Grant Extensions after March 31, 2021

In March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NSERC and SSHRC provided an opportunity to researchers with grants ending on or before March 31, 2021, to request an extension of the grant’s tenure period beyond the automatic one-year extension prescribed in the Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration. For most funding opportunities, the period for this initial pandemic-related provision will end on March 31, 2021.

Given the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, NSERC and SSHRC recognize that research activities may have been delayed considerably over the past year. Therefore, NSERC and SSHRC will allow, on request, a one-year extension to grants ending between April 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022 (including automatic extension year), regardless of whether they have received a previous time extension of any length for any reason. Please note that this extension does not apply to funds awarded as part of the three-month supplement for the support of trainees (students, postdoctoral fellows) and research support personnel. 

These grant extensions should be based on need only and should not be requested prior to the final year of the grant including the automatic extension year, if applicable. 

Examples of Eligible Requests: 

  1. If Grant ABC has an end date of March 31, 2021, and an automatic extension period of April 1, 2021- March 31, 2022, the grant holder may request this in-time extension due to COVID delays after April 1, 2021.

  2. If Grant DEF has an end date of March 31, 2022, with no automatic extension period, the grant holder may request this in-time extension due to COVID delays after April 1, 2021.

Refer to the Attachments section for additional guidance.

This latest one-year COVID-19 extension applies only to grants awarded under the following funding opportunities:


  • Connection Grants
  • Partnership Development Grants
  • Partnership Grants
  • Partnership Engage Grants
  • Insight Development Grants
  • Insight Grants
  • University programs (with the exception of Advancing Climate Change Science in Canada; Canada-UK Artificial Intelligence Initiative; Joint Canada-Germany 2+2 call on Advanced Manufacturing-Industry 4.0; Joint Canada-UK projects on Quantum Technologies; Whale Science for Tomorrow; WaterWorks Joint Call; Ship Time Program; Belmont Forum; Emerging Infectious Disease Modelling Initiative, DND/NSERC Discovery Grant Supplements)
  • College and Community Innovation program
  • Networks of Centres of Excellence

For all funding opportunities not listed above, the administering institution must continue to request an extension from NSERC or SSHRC by submitting the Grant Amendment Form with a justification from the grant holder. Such extension requests, whether related to COVID-19 or not, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Institutions are required to keep complete and accurate records on the grants being extended; therefore, requests for no-cost extensions must be sent to the Office of Research Services according to the detailed instructions below.

  1. Please email your request to resserv@uoguelph.ca, with the subject line: Tri-Agency Extension Request_Agency-Program <specify SSHRC or NSERC- specific program)_Trust Fund #_PI Last Name, First Name
  2. Please confirm the current end date and the new end date that you are requesting (up to a maximum of 12 months from the current end date)
  3. Please note that certifications must be in an approved state prior to the account change. Therefore, please indicate the certification needs for the project, such as:
  4. If you have an active certification for this project (e.g. Animal Utilization Protocol, Research Ethic Boards Certificate, or Biohazards Protocol) that will cover the research activities in the coming year;
  5. If your certification needs have changed whereby the research activities in the coming year will not involve human participants, animals or use of biohazardous materials;
  6. You anticipate the need for an amendment to the existing certifications (due to COVID-19 events or otherwise) in order to complete the research activities.

Grant holders, as well as the Department and College, will be notified of the approved extension request when it is approved and the corresponding account change is completed.

Requests for extensions will be processed on a priority-basis based on current end date. Thank you for your patience in advance.

Please note that research activities carried out in the context of COVID-19 must adhere to the Guidance note for research continuity, scale back, and shut down. These guidelines also outline the process to follow to obtain additional approvals, including from your Department Chair and Associate Dean Research, and other institutional authorities as applicable, using this form.

For further information, please consult the Tri-Agency message on COVID-19 on NSERC and SSHRC’s website.

File Attachments:

NSERC/SSHRC PHASE 2 COVID-19 2021 - In-Time Extensions Guidance (PDF)

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