NSERC Funded Extensions
NSERC has announced that all active Discovery Grants can elect to receive a one-year extension with funds at their current funding level. This includes new grants from the recent 2020 competition. Grantees due to apply in competition 2021 can elect not to apply for funding this summer/fall. 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. NSERC will contact grantees and universities with details on how to confirm or decline a grant extension with funds, which are outside of the no-cost extensions described below.
SSHRC Funded Extensions (To Be Confirmed)
SSHRC has also announced that they are assessing additional measures that may be needed to support SSHRC-funded students, postdoctoral fellows and research personnel. In recognition of the urgency of the situation, SSHRC expects to provide further information shortly on additional measures to address major disruptions in projects, including financial support to grant holders, to ensure continuity of research over the next few weeks and months. The Office of Research Services will communicate updates from SSHRC as they become available.
NSERC, SSHRC and TIPS COVID-19 No-Cost Extensions Process
NSERC and SSHRC have authorized institutions to approve no-cost extensions upon request for 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 NSERC, SSHRC and TIPS grants and awards* (please see exceptions below) regardless of whether they have received a previous time extension of any length for any reason (including, where applicable, automatic extensions). The intent of this provision is to allow grantees and awardees to continue spending grant funds, and institutions to delay the processing of residual grant funds (per the NSERC/SSHRC Guidelines for the General Research Fund).
Given that NSERC Discovery Grant and potentially some SSHRC Grant award holders will be eligible for a one-year extension with funds depending on individual circumstances and forthcoming details from SSHRC and NSERC, at this time, the Office of Research Services will only process no-cost extensions upon request for grants with an end date between February 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021, accordingly:
- SSHRC Institutional Grants (SIG)
- NSERC/SSHRC General Research Fund (GRF)
- NSERC Collaborative Research and Development (CRD)
- TIPS Grants (New Frontiers in Research Fund in Exploration (NFRF-E)
- NSERC Discovery or SSHRC Insight, Insight Development, Connection, Partnership Engage, Partnership Development, or Partnership Grants that have an end date of April or May 2020 (i.e. time-sensitive).
This will avoid multiple amendments on the same account (i.e., amending the account for additional time under a no-cost extension and then, potentially shortly thereafter, amending the account again for an extension with funds). We will work with all affected grant holders to secure appropriate extensions once further direction is received from the Agencies.
In order to avoid interruptions in funding, Research Financial Services will not close potentially affected accounts until further details have been released and appropriate consultations with those grant holders are concluded.
For the eligible grants listed above, there is no requirement to complete the Grant Amendment Form for this initiative. Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions below for more information.
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.
- Please email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line: Tri-Agency Extension Request_Agency-Program <specify SSHRC or NSERC or TIPS - specific program)_Trust Fund #_PI Last Name, First Name
- 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)
- 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:
- 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;
- 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;
- 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.
Special Note: Requests for extensions will be processed on a priority-basis based on current end date. Thank you for your patience in advance.
Finally, 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 the form available at this link.
Frequently Asked Questions (check the NSERC and SSHRC websites for regular updates):
Q: Where can I find a published list of grants with automatic extensions as indicated above?
Go to “PART 3: Financial Matters” (see Table 1) Note: this is not an exhaustive list of all grants eligible for extensions under the COVID 19 exercise but a list of grants that are always subject to automatic extensions and how these specific programs are impacted in relation to automatic extensions.
Q: How do I calculate the new end date for a grant with an automatic extension AND the COVID19 extension
A: Grant end date + automatic extension year + approved COVID-19 extension (max. 12 months)
Example: A SSHRC Insight Grant ends March 31, 2020. Insight Grants include a one-year automatic extension as per the table above for a final grant end date of March 31, 2021.
Due to COVID-19, the grant holder has requested an extension of 6 months to use their funds and complete their research, for a revised grant end date of September 30, 2021.
Q: Will this extension prevent a researcher from applying in a fall 2020 or future competition?
A: For NSERC funding opportunities, these extensions will not have an impact on eligibility. However, in light of the Discovery Grant 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. Please refer to the NSERC Discovery-specific Frequently Asked Questions for more information as additional details are determined and communicated accordingly.
For SSHRC, grantees who will receive these extensions will remain eligible to apply for funding opportunities for deadlines coming up in 2020 and / or 2021. However, there may be unique situations in which the extension will have an impact on a grantee's eligibility. Before finalizing an extension, grantees should review the SSHRC policy on Multiple Applications - Grants, Fellowships and Scholarships and contact the relevant SSHRC program with questions.
Q: Do researchers need to submit a Grant Amendment Form?
A: For eligible COVID-19 extensions only, the requirement of a grant amendment form is waived. For any other grant extension request, the standard process for extension requests apply (complete the Grant Amendment Form and submit to the relevant agency for approval).
Q: Is CIHR a part of this initiative?
It has recently been brought toattention that some Insight Development Grant ( ) recipients had been unintentionally excluded from the COVID-19 Grant Extensions Process. As you may know, institutions have been authorized to approve extension requests of up to 12 months to grants with an end date between February 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, inclusively. As the end date for the majority of recipients in this same cohort will be May 31, 2021, they would not be eligible for the extension. recognizes that this gap unnecessarily impacts recipients and is amending the process to address it.
Effective immediately, the eligibility window for the unfunded COVID-19 grant extension has been expanded to include grants ending up to May 31, 2021 (including the one-year automatic extension where applicable) foronly. Researchers should contact the Office of Research Services according to the process outlined above to seek an extension.
Information on this addendum to the process and other COVID-19 updates can be found on the https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/news_room-salle_de_presse/covid-19-eng.aspxwebsite: