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.

Deadline extended: Apply by August 4 for CRCEF funding

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

Two weeks ago, we opened intake for CRCEF. In response to an extension provided by the federal government, we have extended the intake deadline for CRCEF to August 4, 2020.

Eligibility for this program is broad, and we encourage all faculty members to assess any non-government funded activities in their research program for potential eligibility. We believe that there are many eligible faculty members who have yet to apply.

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.

If you already submitted an intake form prior to the initial July 29 deadline, you DO NOT need to re-apply. Your submission is being reviewed.

Last updated: July 29, 2020 12:38 p.m.

 

On this page:

Apply if:

  • You receive non-governmental funds and have staff who have worked or will work any days between March 15 and August 29, 2020
  • Your research activities linked to non-governmental funding have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 in any way

Complete intake form by Aug 4

Do not apply if:

  • Your staff wages are paid through funding from federal, provincial or municipal governments
  • You are already covered through other federal programs, including COVID-19 relief programs
  • Your students and/or trainees are paid via scholarship
  • Your staff are paid from the university’s operating budget

Intake form

On the intake form, you will be asked to provide the following information:

  • If you have research staff paid through non-government sources
  • If your project sponsor is providing additional funds to support your project
  • If your project has been negatively impacted by COVID-19
  • How many staff members have worked or will work between March 15 and August 29 2020, categorized by job type:
    • Graduate students
    • Postdoctoral scholars
    • Research coordinators
    • Research associates/research engineers
    • Other
  • How many total person-weeks your staff has worked, categorized by job type 

You are not required to provide contact info or UCIDs for staff members at this time. That information will be required at a later date if you are determined to be eligible.

Each PI is to complete ONE form for all employees, which could include multiple eligible projects. Do not attempt to complete one form per project.
 
Note that only Principal Investigators should complete this form. PIs are not to delegate submission of this form to a team member.

If you already submitted an intake form prior to the initial July 29 deadline, you DO NOT need to re-apply; your submission is being reviewed.

 

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.

A committee appointed by the Office of the Vice-President (Research) will undertake an accelerated review process. 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.

Stage 1: University of Calgary faculty members should complete the Stage 1 intake form if they believe they are eligible for this program. Timelines for this program are extremely short, and we want to ensure all those who are eligible can access this funding. We will communicate about Stages 2 and 3 shortly.

 

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.

Detailed eligibility requirements

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.