COVID-19 Updates from funders

This page contains updates from funding agencies about changes to programs and deadlines during the COVID-19 situation.

Please refer to the COVID-19 Response: Guidelines for Researchers webpage for all other Research updates. 

Last updated: July 2, 2020 11:00 a.m.

This page will be updated with announcements from funding agencies.

Tri-Council Notices

The three federal granting agencies are aware that the rapidly changing situation involving COVID-19 may have an impact on researchers with plans to travel for meetings or other research-related activities. Individuals may decide to cancel trips as a result of various considerations and factors such as cancelled conferences, travel advisories (including those from Health Canada and Global Affairs Canada), or personal choice due to health or other concerns.

The agencies confirm that the reimbursement of non-refundable travel fees from agency funds is acceptable considering the impacts of COVID-19. This applies to the travel of both principal investigators and research personnel, when cancellation occurs as described above.

Note: given the uncertainty of the situation with COVID-19, the agencies suggest that those travelling for agency-funded research consider purchasing either cancellation insurance, or tickets that are at least partially refundable. In this specific situation, some additional cost could still be viewed as economical if it allows for partial or full reimbursement/credit in the event of cancellation.

As a result of COVID-19’s impact on priorities and capacity, the launch of the 2020 competition is postponed until June 01, 2020. The application deadline is to be confirmed.

Please note that although the Banting secretariat has delayed the launch of the national competition, we are proceeding with the original timeline for our LOI process of April 15, 2020.

More information is available in the Funding Opportunities Calendar.

Visit the Banting website

The release of results for the October 2019 cycle (2019-2) is delayed until June, 2020.  

The CRCP is temporarily reverting back to a two-cycle model. The nomination deadline for the April intake has been postponed to June  8, 2020, and results will be available in December, 2020. The September and December intake cycles will be combined and will have a deadline of November 9, 2020, with results available in April, 2021.

The program continues to accept off-cycle nominations for foreign nominees, as well as nominations that will assist institutions in meeting their equity targets.

The deadline for Chairholder Annual Reports and Institutional Reports has been postponed to September 30, 2020.

Contact Ovo Adagha at osadagha@ucalgary.ca with questions.

From the CIHR COVID-19 FAQ:

"Given the ever-evolving circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC recognize that grant recipients and/or research team members may continue to incur ongoing research costs, as well as incremental costs that would not normally be incurred (for example, compensation and travel) related to agency- funded research activities. The agencies would like to remain as flexible as possible to support grant recipients during this time and acknowledge that some of these costs may be eligible to be paid from agency grant funds. The agencies will therefore defer to administering institutions to determine if incremental costs are consistent with the principles and directives set out in the Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration (and if they are, then those expenses will still be eligible to be paid from grant funds).

The agencies also understand that not all planned research activities are possible as research institutions are closed requiring that the majority of people work remotely, if they are able to work at all. The agencies consider that continuing to pay any members of the research team, eligible to be paid from an agency grant, is an eligible expense in the context of COVID-19 (and that these individuals should continue to be paid)."

More information on TAGFA at UCalgary

As a follow up to the notice on June 4 that announced additional funding to support trainees (students and postdoctoral fellows) and research support personnel, the tri-agencies have released more information.

Eligible grant holders will be contacted directly in the coming weeks for each eligible grant that they hold. For each grant, they will need to confirm that the research and work of trainees and research support personnel was disrupted by COVID-19 from April 1 to June 30, 2020, and that that 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. Research grant offices will be notified of which grants will be considered for the supplement.

Please visit the links below for more information on this supplement, including eligible grants, terms and conditions, and approval process for the awards. 

NSERC’s announcement ($140M) can be found here. 

SSHRC’s announcement ($32.3M) can be found here. 

CIHR’s announcement ($79.3M) can be found here. 

 

CIHR

CIHR is continuing to closely monitor the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic and is taking the necessary actions to support and address impacts on their operations. In response to the three-month moratorium on strategic funding opportunities, all posted deadlines are on hold until further notice. Over the coming weeks/months, updates will be made to each funding opportunity once new timelines are confirmed. Potential applicants are therefore asked to stand by and refrain from applying to posted opportunities.

Details on all CIHR updates for their COVID-19 response can be found on the CIHR website. 

Contact

Anna LeMarquand | Senior Research Grants Officer

Grants and Awards Division | Research Services

403.220.2715

asamuels@ucalgary.ca  

Update: May 28, 2020 11:45 a.m.

Dr. Michael Strong, President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), has announced that the review of Spring 2020 competition applications will proceed this summer. With the exception of those funds used to provide bridge funding or extensions, CIHR has preserved the funding envelope designated for the Spring 2020 competition which amounts to approx. $245M. 

  • Spring 2020 applications submitted by Nominated Principal Applicants (NPAs) who did not receive a financial extension will be reviewed, unless specifically withdrawn by the NPAs.
  • Please note that NPAs who were offered a financial extension linked to the decision we took around the Spring 2020 competition will be contacted by CIHR to discuss options.

CIHR has advised that the Fall 2020 Project Grant competition remains on track to be delivered. However, the timelines for this competition may be adjusted slightly to ensure that those individuals who are unsuccessful in the summer 2020 Project Grant competition will have the opportunity to re-submit to the Fall 2020 competition. They plan for details regarding the timelines for the review of the applications to be announced shortly.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to Anna LeMarquand, Senior Research Grants Officer in Research Services at asamuels@ucalgary.ca.

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More broadly, CIHR is considering measures to help the health research community weather the storm of the COVID-19 pandemic. The following measures will be implemented immediately:

  • An automatic one-year extension to the authority-to-use-funds date for all active grants. This will give researchers an additional full year to use any residual funds not yet spent to compensate for disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • CIHR will place a moratorium on all existing and any new strategic/institute-driven funding opportunities during the next three months. The exception is that any funding competitions related to COVID-19 will continue to go forward.

CIHR will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves, and stands ready to take more action as needed to help mitigate any impacts and delays caused by COVID-19.

Read the full FAQ on the CIHR website

CIHR recognizes that all aspects of the health research ecosystem are under tremendous stress and is working to determine a time frame for these strategic Funding Opportunities (FOs) to move forward. The FO delivery timelines will be staggered, as they depend on financial and human resources.

CIHR would like to share the following information:

  • Delayed FOs will remain available on ResearchNet, including all applications that were in progress and submitted, but with a new placeholder date of December 31, 2021. Please note that CIHR has selected a date well into the future so that it does not have to be revised until the actual date (which is expected to be earlier) are determined.
  • As competition timelines are confirmed, applicants will be provided with at least two months advance notice to allow them to prepare their applications. Applicants will be able to:
    • work on a previously started application(s);
    • review and edit their previously submitted application(s) prior to resubmitting;
    • withdraw their previously submitted application(s); and
    • start a new application(s).
  • Please note that FOs that do not have a placeholder date of December 31, 2021 will move forward according to posted timelines. New FOs will also be launched (e.g., the Fall 2020 Project Grant competition).

CIHR will contact all those with an open application in ResearchNet to inform them of these delays. The full message is available on CIHR's website.

The following competitions have had their placeholder dates revised to December 31, 2021:

 

Please note that due to their delayed application deadlines with our transition to the Research Management System (RMS), these above competitions will now run through RMS. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact Anna LeMarquand, Senior Research Grants Officer in Research Services at asamuels@ucalgary.ca

NSERC

Details on all NSERC updates for their COVID-19 response can be found on the NSERC website.

Contact

Danielle Demiantschuk, Research Grants and Partnerships Officer 

Grants and Awards Division | Research Services

403.210.5459

danielle.demiantschu@ucalgary.ca

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) have announced that due to the current COVID-19 situation, academic institutions can immediately approve grant extension requests of up to 12 months. This applies to Agency grants with end dates between February 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 inclusive. This applies to all grants, regardless of whether they have received a previous time extension of any length, for any reason and includes grants that have an automatic one-year extension.


Research Services will facilitate these requests and will initially prioritize grants with an end date or expiry date of March 31, 2020. All other requests will be processed thereafter.


If you wish to proceed with a request to extend an NSERC or SSHRC grant with an end date in this window, please email rsogrants@ucalgary.ca with the following information, and an email subject heading of “COVID-19 grant extension”:

  • PI name
  • Internal project number
  • Agency reference number (if available) – located on notice of award or in eFin record
  • Type of grant (e.g. NSERC Discovery Grant, SSHRC Insight Grant, etc)
  • Brief statement with reason for extension (e.g. trip cancellations and/or research delays due to COVID-19)

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) has amended the deadline for the I2I March competition (for more on this announcement, please visit the NSERC website).

As of today (March 17, 2020) the March 30, 2020 I2I application deadline has been postponed to June 22, 2020. Please note that the evaluation of I2I applications submitted in January 2020 will not be affected by these changes

The internal deadlines have been updated accordingly. The RSO internal deadline is now June 18, 2020 by 9 am. Please consult the funding calendar for more information.

The release of results from the 2020 Discovery Grants competition is proceeding as planned.  Results are expected to be posted on the Research Portal by mid-April. Should delays be experienced, they will be communicated as soon as possible. 

Results posted include Discovery Grants – Individual, Discovery Grants – Subatomic Physics, Discovery Grants – Northern Research Supplements, Discovery Launch Supplements, Discovery Accelerator Supplements and the Discovery Development Grants.

Discovery Grants appeals process
The deadline to submit an appeal has been extended till June 30, 2020.

To lessen the impact due to COVID-19 and to support researchers and highly qualified personnel, 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 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
  • Discovery Development Grants

NSERC will follow up with grantees holding a Discovery Grant ending March 31, 2021 through targeted communications to help you navigate next steps and walk you through your options. Researchers can also continue to contact NSERC Research Grants at resgrant@nserc-crsng.gc.ca

Impact on 2021 Discovery competition

The 2021 Discovery competition will continue as planned. Returning grantees due to apply this year for competition 2021 will receive a one-year extension with funds at their present funding level.

The 2021 Discovery Grants competition will be for new applicants (those not currently holding a Discovery Grant or a Discovery Grant – Subatomic Physics) and those who choose not to accept the extension. Researchers will also be able to apply for Northern Research Supplements, Research Tools and Instruments and Ship Time, as usual.

The Research Portal is expected to be open for applicants to submit their Notice of Intent (NOI) at the beginning of May 2020. Should delays be experienced, they will be communicated as soon as possible.

As NSERC develops the necessary mechanisms to support this initiative, additional details will be communicated.

What does NSERC mean by “all active Discovery Grants”? 
In the context of the Discovery Grants one-year extension with funds due to COVID-19, active grants are those with a payment planned in the 2020-2021 fiscal year or later, including the Discovery Grants awarded in the recent 2020 competition.
As such, unsuccessful applicants from the 2020 competition, or past grantees who are in their automatic one-year extension to use unspent funds, or in the additional one-year extension without funds due to COVID-19 announced recently, are not eligible for the Discovery Grants one-year extension with funds due to COVID-19.

How do I accept/decline the one-year extension with funds due to COVID-19? 
At this time, no action is necessary from grantees. NSERC is developing the mechanism to implement this measure and more details will follow.

Read the full FAQ on the NSERC website

The Office of the Vice-President (Research) and Research Services are in frequent contact with NSERC, and will continue to update our researchers as announcements are made. 

Alliance grants (option 1)
NSERC continues to accept applications. Applicants can expect delays in processing times, depending on the capacity of peer reviewers and of NSERC personnel.

Applications for which external reviews were received by March 12, 2020, should receive answers from NSERC in April.

Alliance grants (option 2)
The first meeting of the review panel is postponed until June 2020.

Call for joint Canada-UK projects on quantum technologies (QT)
The expression of interest deadline has been extended to June 8, 2020. The two funding agencies will respond jointly to expressions of interest by June 12, 2020.

Science Communication Skills grant (pilot)
The application deadline has been extended to June 15, 2020.

Research Tools and Instruments (RTI)
The release of results from the 2020 RTI competition is proceeding as planned. Results are expected to be posted on the Research Portal by mid-April. Should delays be experienced, they will be communicated as soon as possible. 

Collaborative Research and Development grants
All grant applications: Results will be communicated shortly, only minor delays are expected.

Institutional NSERC Programs

Please contact the Institutional Programs Division at ipd@ucalgary.ca for more information.

The Letter of Intent submission deadline has been extended to June 1, 2020, with a mandatory internal deadline for review of May 25, 2020 by 9:00 am. Contact ipd@ucalgary.ca with questions.

SSHRC

Details on all SSHRC updates for their COVID-19 response can be found on the SSHRC website. 

Contact

Jonathan Jucker│Research Grants Officer

Grants and Awards Division | Research Services

403.210.9815

jonathan.jucker@ucalgary.ca 

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) have announced that due to the current COVID-19 situation, academic institutions can immediately approve grant extension requests of up to 12 months. This applies to Agency grants with end dates between February 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 inclusive. This applies to all grants, regardless of whether they have received a previous time extension of any length, for any reason and includes grants that have an automatic one-year extension.


Research Services will facilitate these requests and will initially prioritize grants with an end date or expiry date of March 31, 2020. All other requests will be processed thereafter.


If you wish to proceed with a request to extend an NSERC or SSHRC grant with an end date in this window, please email rsogrants@ucalgary.ca with the following information, and an email subject heading of “COVID-19 grant extension”:

  • PI name
  • Internal project number
  • Agency reference number (if available) – located on notice of award or in eFin record
  • Type of grant (e.g. NSERC Discovery Grant, SSHRC Insight Grant, etc)
  • Brief statement with reason for extension (e.g. trip cancellations and/or research delays due to COVID-19)

The release of the 2019-20 competition results is delayed; results will be announced to institutions by mid-April. There may also be delays in providing results packages to individual applicants (including committee evaluation forms and external reviews, where applicable) given that these are sent by mail.

Additional external funding agency notices

Transformation

The Canada Research Coordinating Committee (CRCC) has announced that New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) Transformation competition Letters of Intent (LOIs) will be due on July 15, 2020. 

Internal deadlines have been updated accordingly.  The RSO internal deadline is now June 29, 2020 by 9:00 am. Contact ipd@ucalgary.ca with questions.

International

NFRF’s 2020 Horizon Global Platform Competition deadlines are based on associated deadlines for eligible European Union Horizon 2020 calls.  Some of these EU deadlines have changed.

Registrations associated with NFRF applications for funding remain due two weeks following the associated EU deadline, and must be submitted to Research Services via the Convergence Portal, with a completed RFAA form, a minimum of two days prior to the NFRF registration deadline.

Contact ipd@ucalgary.ca with questions.

Update: April 27, 2020

 

The CFI has released new guidance regarding the management of ongoing projects during the current COVID-19 situation. Details can be found on the CFI COVID-19 FAQ page.

Project-related expenses – salaries

  • Where CFI-eligible activities can be conducted remotely, or for UCalgary research that has been granted a critical research designation to continue operations, salaries may continue to be charged to CFI projects. Where activity has been suspended, the decision as to whether salaries can be charged to CFI projects depends on the type of activity and source of funds (see below). If you have concerns or questions about your specific project, please reach out your regular RSO contact.
  • The highly qualified personnel directly involved in the operation and maintenance of the CFI-funded infrastructure are considered critical for the current and future activities of labs and facilities. Institutions can continue to claim their salaries as expenses from the Infrastructure Operating Fund (IOF) or MSI Fund, retroactive to April 1, 2020.
  • The salaries of professional, technical and managerial personnel, consultants and contractors directly involved in the design, engineering, manufacturing, installation, construction or renovation of the infrastructure cannot be claimed if they are unable to perform the work. If the personnel required to acquire and develop infrastructure can only conduct their work from campus or in the field, and the activity has been suspended, their salary cannot be claimed to CFI as a project-based expense. 

Project-related expenses – travel

  • The CFI will cover unforeseen costs for travel associated with CFI-funded projects that had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. This applies to travel to a manufacturer, dealer or supplier intended for selecting research infrastructure or associated with operation activities for facilities funded through the Major Science Initiatives Fund.

Project end dates

  • The CFI is granting an automatic six-month extension for project end dates to accommodate delays in project delivery and operationalization of infrastructure. This automatic extension only applies to projects that have an approved end date of no later than March 31, 2021. It has been applied retroactively to projects with end dates on or after December 1, 2019.  The extension has been applied directly in CAMS.

Reporting

  • The 2020 project progress reports and the operational status question are now accessible in CAMS. The deadline has been extended to September 30, 2020, although the CFI strongly encourages institutions to respond as early as possible.

 If you have any questions or concerns, please email your project contact in RSO.

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John R. Evans Leadership Fund (JELF) application deadlines have not changed. 

CFI Innovation Fund review timelines are unchanged, although reviews are taking place remotely.

With questions regarding reporting deadlines, contact ipd@ucalgary.ca.

Genome Canada and Genome Alberta will be extending deadlines associated with the 2020 Large Scale Applied Research Project (LSARP) Genomic Solutions for Natural Resources and the Environment Pre-Application process. Contact ipd@ucalgary.ca for more information.

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation, Alberta Innovates has extended the agency deadline for the Carbon Fibre Grand Challenge Phase I Program. The deadline has been postponed to April 28, 2020.

The Research Services internal deadlines have been updated accordingly. The RSO internal deadline is now NOON on April 24, 2020. Please consult the funding calendar for more information.

April 23, 2020:

2020 SFARI Collaboration on Sex Differences in Autism: Simons Foundation

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation, Simons Foundation has extended the agency deadline for the SFARI Summer 2020 Pilot Award to May 22, 2020.
The Research Services internal deadline has been updated accordingly. The RSO internal deadline is now NOON on May 20, 2020. Please consult the funding calendar for more information.

Contact: Lisa Singh

Previous updates:

Arthritis Society 2020 Strategic Operating Grants

Letters of Intent for this program will now be due to Research Services by noon on May 4, 2020; full applications for those invited will be due on August 28, 2020.

Contact: Jonathan Jucker

 

Azrieli Foundation 2020 Science Grants

Letters of Intent for this program will now be due to Research Services by noon on May 13, 2020;  full applications for those invited will be due on July 15, 2020.

Contact: Jonathan Jucker; Marian Zlomislic

 

Canadian Blood Services 2020 Intramural Research Grants

Full applications for those who have pre-registered will now be due to Research Services by noon on April 28, 2020.

Contact: Jonathan Jucker

 

Canadian Cancer Society 2020 Emerging Scholar Grants

Full applications for those invited will now be due to Research Services by noon on July 3, 2020.

Contact: Jonathan Jucker

 

Canadian Cancer Society 2020 Impact Grants

CCSRI has indicated that due dates for this competition will be postponed: the funding calendar will be updated once the information is available, and a further communication sent to researchers.

Contact: Jonathan Jucker

 

Weston Brain Institute Transformational Research 2020: Alzheimer's and Related Diseases

Letters of Intent for this program will now be due to Research Services by noon on April 22, 2020; full applications for those invited will be due on August 20, 2020.

Contact: Jonathan Jucker

 

Weston Brain Institute Rapid Response: Canada 2020: Alzheimer's and Related Diseases

Letters of Intent for this program will now be due to Research Services by noon on April 22, 2020; full applications for those invited will be due on August 20, 2020.

Contact: Jonathan Jucker

 

Weston Brain Institute Transformational Research 2020: Parkinson's and Related Diseases

Letters of Intent for this program will now be due to Research Services by noon on June 2, 2020; full applications for those invited will be due on October 9, 2020.

Contact: Jonathan Jucker

 

Weston Brain Institute Rapid Response: Canada 2020: Parkinson's and Related Diseases

Letters of Intent for this program will now be due to Research Services by noon on June 2, 2020; full applications for those invited will be due on October 9, 2020.

Contact: Jonathan Jucker

Research awards

NSERC Gerhard Herzberg Gold Medal: the agency deadline has been revised to May 1, 2020.

NSERC John C. Polanyi Award: the agency deadline has been revised to May 1, 2020.

NSERC Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research: the agency deadline has been revised to May 1, 2020.

NSERC Synergy Awards for Innovation (all categories): the agency deadline has been revised to June 1, 2020. Institutional endorsement is required, and the Research Services deadline is May 15, 2020.

NSERC E. W. R. Steacie Memorial Fellowships: the agency deadline has been revised to July 7, 2020. Institutional selection is required, and the Research Services deadline to receive internal submissions is April 14, 2020.

 

The Alberta Science and Technology Leadership (ASTech) Foundation has announced that the 2020 ASTech Awards have been cancelled due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

This cancellation affects all award categories:

  • Researcher of the Year
  • Outstanding Achievement in Digital Innovation
  • Outstanding Women in STEM
  • Outstanding Emerging Change Makers
  • Outstanding Achievement in Agricultural Innovation sponsored by Corteva Agriscience
  • Outstanding Achievement in Energy and Environmental Innovation sponsored by Syncrude Canada Ltd.
  • Outstanding Achievement in Information and Communications Technology sponsored by TELUS
  • Innovator of the Year

The Canada Council for the Arts has announced the following changes to the 2021 Killam Prize competition:

  1. New deadline of June 30 (formerly June 15)
  2. Nominations may now be submitted electronically through a dedicated email address: killam-prizes@canadacouncil.ca.

The Canada Council for the Arts has announced that the current competition for the 2021 Killam Research Fellowships competition is cancelled, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There will be no Killam Research Fellowships awarded in 2021.

Internal Deadline: CANCELLED (formerly May 22, 2020)
Deadline (Canada Council): CANCELLED (formerly June 1, 2020)