Federal fund supports U of G research activities affected by COVID-19 pandemic

Johnson Green building at the University of Guelph.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous U of G research projects continued during the past 18 months thanks to federal funding support and a cross-campus team of University of Guelph experts. 

Almost 1,000 researchers and 425 research projects have received support from the Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF), created to mitigate COVID-19 impacts on research initiatives and to protect research investments during the pandemic.

U of G received almost $6.5 million to pay wages and incremental costs for essential research-related activities during the pandemic.

This temporary fund, announced in May 2020 as part of the federal government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, was rolled out in several stages. Each stage required a variety of administrative tasks to be performed, including interpretation; equity, diversity and inclusion considerations; communications; data collection; implementation; and reporting. 

Those tasks fell to a working group established by U of G that met almost 20 times between July and December 2020. The group developed a strategy and devised a plan to implement CRCEF data collection, internal communications and decision-making. 

Group members included chairs, associate deans and directors from all seven colleges on campus and was led by Karina McInnis, associate vice-president, research.

“This dedicated group of employees from across the University have made this program a success for U of G,” says McInnis. “Everyone worked really hard to ensure we integrated equity, diversity and inclusion considerations in our communications, data gathering and distribution of this much-needed funding from the federal government.” 

Other working group members included:

  • Jill Rogers, managing director, research operations, Office of Research Services
  • Amanda Sawlor, director, Research Financial Services
  • Joseph Pazzano, training, education and inclusion Officer, Diversity and Human Rights
  • Lauren Grant, research manager, Ontario Veterinary College 
  • Rebecca Hallett, associate dean (research and graduate studies), Ontario Agricultural College 
  • Tina Goebel, associate director, finance and operations, Ontario Agricultural College
  • Laurie Halfpenny-Mitchell, director, OMAFRA-U of G Agreement and Research Programs

This work was also supported partly by the Government of Canada’s Research Support Fund.

For more information, see: Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund.