Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF)

COVID-19 Guidance for Researchers: CRCEF

This page contains information about research operations during the University of Calgary's COVID-19 response.

Visit the Emergency Management website for general campus information.

CRCEF Stage 1 intake is complete; action required by all applicants by Sep 14, 2020

The Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF) was announced in May as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.

In July 2020, the university administered an intake process for Stage 1 of the program, which closed on August 4, 2020.

As of August 21, 2020, all UCalgary Stage 1 applications for Canada Research Continuity Emergency Funding have been conditionally approved, pending submission of financial information to confirm eligibility. 

NOTE: Only non-governmental funds are eligible for this funding. Tri-agency funding and scholarship/award payments (6XXXX) are NOT eligible. 

At this time, each applicant has been conditionally approved to receive up to $847/week for 12 weeks for each staff member, postdoc, or graduate student identified on their intake form.

Eligible wages/benefits will be transferred to the university’s CRCEF project from the project/operating department that they are currently being charged to. To request a transfer, applicants must complete and submit a CRCEF Salary and Benefit Transfer form.

Forms must be submitted to crcef@ucalgary.ca by Monday September 14, 2020.

Once submitted, Research Accounting will verify the information provided to confirm eligibility of the requested transfers. 

If you did not submit for Stage 1, but believe that you are eligible for funding, please contact crcef@ucalgary.ca

Next steps:

  • Review financial submission requirements (below) and gather all required information
  • Download the CRCEF Salary and Benefit Transfer form
  • Complete the form and submit it to crcef@ucalgary.ca by Monday September 14, 2020
    • 1 form per applicant; all eligible staff members/projects should be included on a single form
    • The form has been completed correctly when Column R is auto-filled

Download CRCEF Salary and Benefit Transfer form

Questions?

Stage 1 financial submission requirements

All applicants must fill out the CRCEF Salary and Benefit Transfer Form in order to have the eligibility of their requested transfers confirmed. Eligible wages/benefits will be transferred to the university’s CRCEF project from the project/operating department that they are currently being charged to.  

One form is to be filled out per applicant. All eligible staff members/projects should be included on a single form.

Please note that minor discrepancies in wages/benefits being claimed between your initial Stage 1 intake form (submitted prior to Aug 4) and this transfer form are acceptable. If you need to make a significant addition, please include an explanation when you submit your completed form.

To complete the transfer, we require staff information and accounting strings for the project/operating department that the staff wages and benefits are currently being charged to.

The following information regarding all employees whose wages/benefits are eligible must be provided:

  • UCID
  • Job title
  • Employee type (hourly or salaried)
  • Accounting string of project/operating department that the employee’s wages/benefits are currently charged to
  • Relevant pay period
  • Monthly salary/hourly rate
  • Percentage of wages eligible (if applicable)
  • Total weeks of salary and benefits being claimed
  • Eligibility evidence and research attestation (additional details below)

Please send complete forms to crcef@ucalgary.ca by Monday, September 14, 2020.

Please contact RTAhelp@ucalgary.ca for any questions regarding the CRCEF Salary and Benefit Transfer form.

 

Eligibility evidence and research attestation

Research Accounting will verify the current source of salaries and benefits to determine eligibility of the requested transfers. For employees currently paid from government-funded projects and operating funds, please use the comments field (column T) to provide all required information as follows:   

  • For individuals paid from government-funded project(s):
    1. The Project # where the individual was initially paid from, prior to moving the salary and benefits to the government-funded project; and
    2. Reason(s) why salaries and benefits had to be moved to the government-funded project (e.g. industry funding was suspended; or non-government funds ran out but the individual was still working and had to be paid)  
  • For individuals paid from operating funds:
    1. Identify the employee’s task(s) that is directly related to research; and
    2. Attestation / confirmation that the identified portion of work directly attributable to research is correct (This attestation pertains to the % of work identified in column L).

Retroactive hires

Please contact hr@ucalgary.ca or your HR Partner or Advisor if you have any questions or concerns surrounding the process for retroactive hires.

Program administration

The VPR office is working with the Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat (TIPS) to administer the CRCEF for the University of Calgary. The CRCEF will provide funds to the University of Calgary, and the VPR office will distribute funds based on eligibility.

The University of Calgary distributed funds to Alberta Health Services in Stage 1 based on their percentage of total sponsored research of non-governmental sources as reported to CAUBO over three years (2015-16 to 2017-18).

Our committee appointed by the Office of the Vice-President (Research) will undertake an accelerated review process for all stages. Principles of equity, diversity and inclusion will be followed in all stages to prevent systemic barriers from impeding access to funds sought by equity-seeking groups. This is a people-centric program, and we are committed to ensuring our community is supported in an equitable way.

Dr. William Ghali, Vice-President (Research), is overseeing the administration of the CRCEF program and will ensure that the requirements of the program are followed. Questions for Dr. Ghali regarding CRCEF administration can be sent to vpr@ucalgary.ca

Stage 1: University of Calgary faculty members who applied for Stage 1 funding are required to submit a CRCEF Salary and Benefit Transfer form by Monday, September 14, 2020.

We will communicate about Stage 3 shortly.

 

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Respect for equity, diversity and inclusion inform the University of Calgary’s commitment to learning, research excellence and our community. The University of Calgary CRCEF Committee is committed to upholding equity, diversity and inclusion in its decision-making process for the distribution of the CRCEF.

Measures have been implemented to prevent systemic barriers for equity-seeking groups in managing the CRCEF funds. Equity-seeking groups include, but are not limited to, women, racialized minorities, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and persons from LGBTQ2+ communities.

The Canadian government announced details on the $450M Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF) on June 23, 2020. The CRCEF is a three-stage program and is administered by SSHRC on behalf of the Tri-Agency. All 3 stages require demonstration of need; research that has been impacted and/or delayed entirely or partly is eligible.

The University of Calgary CRCEF Committee is committed to upholding equity, diversity and inclusion in its decision-making process for the distribution of the CRCEF. Measures have been implemented to prevent systemic barriers for equity-seeking groups in managing CRCEF funds. Equity-seeking groups include, but are not limited to, women, racialized minorities, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and persons from LGBTQ2+ communities.

Consideration of systemic barriers or practices that may disproportionately affect underrepresented groups is particularly important in a situation such as a pandemic, as unconscious biases are more likely to influence decision-making that must be done rapidly and in stressful circumstances.  There is also evidence that points to a disproportionate impact of the pandemic on individuals from equity-seeking groups, for example women who may be impacted disproportionately by childcare and homeschooling responsibilities and persons with disabilities who may be unable to access necessary healthcare.

The CRCEF Committee has developed a strategy to reflect best practices in limiting unconscious bias in peer review, including the following:

  1. The CRCEF committee includes representation from underrepresented groups and nontraditional areas of research. 
  2. All members of the CRCEF Committee have had unconscious bias/EDI training to ensure they are aware of how to limit unconscious bias and its implications to equity seeking groups. Members were made aware of strategies to address the negative impact of systemic barriers or practices that may disproportionately affect underrepresented groups, and to ensure that decisions were not negatively affected by a researcher’s inability to work during the pandemic due to child/family care or increased risk related to exposure to COVID-19.
  3. Language used in all communications was inclusive and invited all qualified researchers to apply for funds. An explicit statement on the importance of EDI was included on the call:

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

As an inclusive employer, the University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of our entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by equity-seeking groups in our society, and we strive to support all individuals in achieving academic and professional success.

In managing the CRCEF funds, we commit to fully comply with the program’s equity, diversity and inclusion decision-making and allocation requirements. Equity-seeking groups include, but are not limited to, women, racialized minorities, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and persons from LGBTQ2+ communities.

 

  1. Inclusivity was further ensured by issuing a second call for applications on July 29, 2020.

Detailed eligibility requirements

You may be eligible for funding if:

  • You receive non-governmental funds and have staff who have worked or will work any days between March 15 and August 29, 2020, and
  • Your research has been negatively impacted by COVID-19 in any way, including reductions in staff productivity due to loss of access to campus or family-related absences.

Any reduced productivity or interruptions to employment (complete or partial) are considered negative impacts, including: restriction of campus workspaces, suspension of funding, absences to care for family members, lack of access to research participants, increased risk related to COVID-19 etc.

Negative impacts present in varied ways within our diverse campus community, and all situations should be considered equally. All research activities that meet the eligibility requirements, including alternative research activities or approaches, should be considered.

If you have staff that have been laid off or furloughed as a result of COVID-19, funding through this program can be accessed to cover costs of re-establishing employment at any time between March 15 and August 29, 2020.

Eligible:

  • Wages (or wage portions) for research-related personnel who are normally supported through non-governmental sources, to a maximum of $847 per week for up to 12 weeks of salary support (consecutive or broken up over the eligibility period) per individual, incurred within the eligibility period of March 15, 2020, to August 29, 2020.
  • Personnel who have been laid off or furloughed as a result of COVID-19 within the eligibility period can become eligible retroactively, as long as they are rehired and their retroactive pay and status meet the eligibility criteria for the claim period.
  • Wage expenses temporarily paid by a governmental grant or operating budget due to regular non-government funding source being suspended may be eligible.

Please note that the $847 per person-week is the maximum benefit payable under federal rules. The amount that will be paid to eligible university employees has not been determined and will depend on the total number of eligible applicants to the program.

Ineligible:

  • Wages paid through funding from federal, provincial or municipal governments.
  • Principal investigators are excluded from the research-related personnel definition.
  • Expenses for students and trainees paid via scholarship (vs as an employee) are not eligible.
  • Personnel normally paid from the university’s operating budget are not eligible.

Applicants cannot claim benefits, salary/wages or portions of these, and expenses covered through:

  • other federal research funding agency awards;
  • the Canada Foundation for Innovation awards; or
  • funding from all levels of government, including COVID-19 relief programs.

Individuals who will have their wages funded by CRCEF cannot receive support from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit for the same period.

Program definitions

Funding sources including industry, foundations, not-for-profit, philanthropic funds, and international agencies.

“Wages” includes salary, pay, money paid for time off instead of overtime pay, commission or remuneration for work, however calculated, but does not include:

  • overtime pay, vacation pay, general holiday pay and termination pay,
  • a payment made as a gift or bonus that is dependent on the discretion of an employer and that is not related to hours of work, production or efficiency,
  • expenses or an allowance provided instead of expenses,
  • tips or other gratuities.
  • Research personnel wages paid as a University of Calgary employee using account codes related to 5XXXX series
  • those employed by universities or health research institutions who are working for faculty members conducting research,
  • or who are working in scientific and engineering facilities/laboratories supporting broad research objectives.

Example cases


Example 1

PI has an industry-funded project. Funding continued after March 15, 2020, and staff were kept on payroll while conducting virtual research activities. Productivity was substantially reduced and project timelines had to be extended as a result.

  • This is eligible for funding

Example 2

PI has an industry-funded project. Funding continued after March 15, 2020, and staff were kept on payroll while conducting virtual research activities. Productivity was partially reduced and interruptions were minor.

  • This is eligible for funding

Example 3

PI has an industry-funded project. Funding ceased after March 15, 2020, and staff were laid off as a result. Productivity was substantially reduced.

  • This is eligible for funding. PI may wish to consider re-hiring staff as they are eligible to receive funding.

Example 4

Research Associate in a lab funded 50% by an industry contract, 50% by a government grant. The industry funding is temporarily suspended due to the pandemic.

  • The industry-funded portion of their wages is eligible.

Example 5

PI has a donor-funded project. Their Research Associate’s hours were temporarily reduced to 50% for 5 weeks.

  • This is eligible for funding at the full-time salary of the Research Associate.

Example 6

Technician who works in a facility funded by user fees

  • If user fees ceased, the technician’s wages would be eligible

Example 7

Postdoc normally paid through a grant from a foundation

  • If the grant was not suspended, but work was unable to continue or had to be adjusted, the postdoc’s salary for the affected period would be eligible.

Q: If a single position was partially paid by government funds and partially by other sources, is the portion of the wage that is non-government funded eligible?

A: Yes, the portion of the wage that is non-government funded is eligible.

Q: Are Core Facilities that are led by research institutes that receive user fees and/or are partially funded by other non-governmental sources eligible?

A: Yes, Core Facilities led by research institutes are eligible. They are understood to be a common platform/infrastructure that is shared and operated by a group of researchers through diverse sources of funding, such as governmental and non-governmental sources, including user fees. Scientific personnel and administrative personnel supporting those facilities can be eligible.

University of Calgary administrative personnel offering general services such as legal, financial or research office and commercialization services are not eligible. Institutional facilities personnel, such as animal care facilities personnel, are not eligible as they are considered an institutional service and associated to indirect costs of research.

Q: Is international or foreign funding eligible?

A: If the international or foreign funding is non-governmental, it is eligible.

Q: Are trainees and staff paid by tri-council or other government grants eligible?

A: No, staff paid by funding sources provided via any level of government are not eligible.

Q: Because donor funds are eligible, does this mean that donor-funded chairs are eligible? Are staff paid by a donor-funded chair eligible?

A: Yes, staff of donor-funded chair teams would be eligible, but the chair position itself (salary of the chairholder) would not be eligible.

Q: Is the industry portion of an NSERC Industrial Chair (or other industry-funded chairs), or Mitacs HQP programs eligible?

A: Yes, these portions are eligible. Note that this only covers wages associated with the research chair, but not with the chair position itself (salary of the chairholder).

Q: Are staff funded by start-up funds offered by departments or institutes eligible?

A: They are not eligible if the start-up funds originate from university operating dollars. They are eligible if the original funds are from non-governmental sources.

Q: Are co-op students or studentships eligible?

A: In cases where the student is paid as an employee, yes. If the student is paid via scholarship, no.

Q: Are graduate students or postdocs funded by donors (Cumming Fund, etc) eligible?

A:  Yes, as long as they are paid as a University of Calgary employee rather than being paid via scholarship.

Q: If I sub-grant non-governmental funds to another institute, should I be contacting that institute?

A:  Yes, we encourage you to contact your sub-grant institution to ensure that they are accessing the eligible  CRCEF through their own institution.

Q: If I receive a sub-grant through another institution, and the original funds are from a non-governmental source, is this eligible?

A: Yes, those funds are eligible. Eligibility is based on the original source of funds.

Q: Are contractors eligible?

A:  Contractor fees are not considered “wages” because there is no employer/employee relationship, the exchange is contractual, and it is a fee for service. 

Q: Are both salary and benefits of research personnel eligible?

Yes. CRCEF wage support is aligned with the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and, as such, eligible remuneration includes amounts you paid an employee as salary, wages and other taxable benefits, fees and commissions.

Severance pay and items such as the personal use of a corporate vehicle are not part of eligible remuneration.

Q: Are salaries supported by foreign government funding (such as NIH) eligible?

No. The salaries of personnel paid by government sources, either domestic or international, are not eligible to the program.

Q: Are wages of research personnel charged to residual balance projects eligible?

A: Research personnel salaries charged to residual balance projects are eligible, as long as the residual funds can be easily traced and verified to be from a non-governmental source.

Q. Are benefits an eligible expense?

A. Yes benefits are eligible, including employer paid portions of CPP, EI, WCB, health and dental benefits.

Q: Can I claim AHS employee wages on eligible projects?

A: Yes, AHS research employees (not PI fees) paid from University of Calgary non-governmental grants are eligible. These are typically charged to 60150.

Q: Are wages of research personnel charged to overhead projects eligible?

A: Research personnel salaries charged to overhead projects are eligible, as long as the overhead funds can be easily traced and verified to be from a non-governmental source.

Background

The Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF) was announced on May 15, 2020 and has a total budget of $450M.  

The temporary program has been established to help sustain the research enterprise at Canadian universities and health research institutions that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

It is expected that the program will help reduce negative impacts of the pandemic and ensure that the benefits of significant investments to date in universities and health research institutions are protected.  

Stages 1 and 2 address wage-related expenses incurred between March 15, 2020 and August 29, 2020.  

Stage 3 will address exceptional research maintenance and ramp-up expenses incurred by November 15, 2020.