Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund
Apply for CRCEF Stage 3 funding for research maintenance and ramp-up - Deadline Nov. 9 click here - application period closed
The Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF) was announced on May 15, 2020, as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. 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. This will maintain Canada’s international competitiveness in the global, knowledge-based economy, and contribute to Canadians’ health and social and cultural life, as well as the health of Canada’s natural environment.
CRCEF is a tri-agency program and is administered by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) on behalf of the three federal research funding agencies: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and SSHRC. The Canada Research Coordinating Committee (CRCC) provides strategic oversight for the program and approves awards. The Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat (TIPS) provides administration.
1. Program objectives
The program, which has a total budget of $450 million, has two objectives:
- as a priority, to provide wage support to universities and health research institutions, both of which are ineligible to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), to help them retain research-related personnel during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic (up to $325 million); and
- to support extraordinary incremental costs associated with maintaining essential research-related commitments during the COVID-19 pandemic, and then ramping-up to full research activities as physical distancing measures are eased and research activities can resume ($125 million).
The program includes four funding stages. Institutions must apply at each stage to access funding. Three of the stages (Stages 1, 2 and 4) exclusively provide wage support for eligible research-related personnel. The remaining stage (Stage 3) supports incurred costs associated with maintenance and ramp-up of research activities. For all stages, institutions must demonstrate the need to access the emergency funds.
More details about the program can be found on the CRCEF program webpage.
2. Affiliated Health Research Institutions
Dalhousie University affiliated health research institutions receiving CRCEF funding:
- Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA)
- IWK Health Centre (IWK)
3. Distribution Method to affiliated health research institutions
Consistent with the CRCEF grant allocation formula outlined in the program guidelines, Dalhousie University allocated Stage 1 funds to affiliated health research institutions based on a percentage of the annual average over three years (2015-16 to 2017-18) of total research income from all non- governmental sources as reported by Dalhousie in the Financial Information of Universities and Colleges (FIUC) publication, jointly prepared by the Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO) and Statistics Canada.
CRCEF Stage 1 funds were distributed as follows:
Total CRCEF Allocation – Stage 1
Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA)
IWK Health Centre (IWK)
Dalhousie and affiliated health research institutions did not require additional wage support beyond the Stage 1 allocation, therefore, Stage 2 funds were not requested from CRCEF.
Consistent with the CRCEF grant allocation formula outlined in the program guidelines, Dalhousie University has notionally distributed Stage 3 funds to affiliated health research institutions based on a percentage of the annual average over three years (2015-16 to 2017-18) of total research income from all sources as reported by Dalhousie in the FIUC publication, jointly prepared by CAUBO and Statistics Canada. Final distribution to affiliated health research institutions will be calculated when the needs have been established and funding awarded.
CRCEF Stage 3 funds were calculated as follows:
Total CRCEF Allocation – Stage 3
Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA)
IWK Health Centre (IWK)
CRCEF funds available for Stage 4 are a result of the unspent Stage 2 budget envelope. The CRCEF Stage 4 allocation for Dalhousie and affiliated health research institutions is to be determined.
4. Contact Information
The Vice-President Research and Innovation, Dalhousie University, is responsible for ensuring that CRCEF program requirements are followed.
Dr. Alice Aiken
Vice-President Research and Innovation
Tel: (902) 494-6513
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy
Dalhousie University, NSHA and IWK are deeply committed to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and each institution has established robust EDI guidelines and policies. The Research and Innovation enterprises at Dalhousie and affiliated health research institutions are fully aligned with the university’s EDI goals and will propel research and innovation excellence across all disciplines.
More information can be found here:
5. CRCEF Committee
Under the direction of Dalhousie’s Vice-President Research & Innovation, a committee consisting of nine senior representatives from Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) and the IWK Health Centre (IWK) was established to facilitate the CRCEF program. Senior staff from the Offices of Research Services, Financial Services, Human Resources, and the Provost’s Office meet regularly to discuss program requirements and CRCEF fund distribution.
Nancy Hayter, Assistant Vice-President, Research Services (Chair)
Trevor Weissent, Director, Finance and Operations, Office of Research Services
Chris LeBlanc, Controller, Financial Services
Ferial Bitar, Assistant Controller, Financial Services
Chris Hattie, Director, Employee Experience, Human Resources
Britney Sears, Grant-Paid HR Consultant, Employee Relations, Human Resources
Catherine Martin, Director, Indigenous Community Engagement, Provost’s Office
Nova Scotia Health Authority:
Dr. Jordan Warford, Senior Director, Research
IWK Health Centre:
Kathleen Leadon, Director, Research Operations
6. Committee Representation
More than half of the committee members are from equity-seeking groups.
The Committee reports to Dr. Alice Aiken, Vice-President Research & Innovation, Dalhousie University. Dr. Jordan Warford consults with and reports to Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy, Vice-President of Research and Innovation, Nova Scotia Health Authority; and Kathleen Leadon consults with and reports to Dr. Jeannie Shoveller, Vice-President, Research & Innovation, IWK Health Centre.
7. Unconscious bias Training
All committee members received unconscious bias training by viewing and engaging in the Canada Research Chairs’ unconscious bias training module.
8. EDI Statement
Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) and the IWK Health Centre (IWK) are guided by equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) principles and are committed to managing CRCEF funds with an emphasis on EDI.
The three institutions are committed to facilitating an open and transparent process that widely promotes access to CRCEF funds to all researchers. The CRCEF program is being promoted to the research community through a variety of mechanisms in an effort to ensure that the opportunity to apply for funding reaches as broad an audience as possible. This includes announcements in the Office of Research Services weekly newsletter, regular communication with Vice-Presidents Research and Innovation, Deans, and Associate Deans of Research, and e-mail communication to researchers. NSHA and IWK research offices will also advise researchers through internal communications channels, although most hospital researchers hold Dalhousie appointments and will have been informed through Dalhousie.
Decision-making for use of funds:
The Committee made funding recommendations on how the funds would be used.
Internal financial data was used to initially identify research personnel paid from non-governmental sources and the following process was implemented to ensure completeness of eligible research accounts:
- Researchers identified by internal data as eligible for CRCEF funding and holding research accounts that paid research personnel during the eligibility period were notified and invited to submit an on-line form to their institution confirming eligibility and research personnel information;
- The broader Dalhousie research community was notified of the availability of the CRCEF program and researchers were invited to submit an on-line form if they thought they were eligible (note that most researchers at NSHA and IWK hold Dalhousie appointments);
- In the event that the requested funding exceeded the CRCEF allocation, the Committee would consult with Faculties to discuss an appropriate distribution of funds. Faculties would be further reminded of EDI considerations and requirements.
Similar to Stage 1, the Dalhousie, NSHA and IWK research communities were notified of the CRCEF Stage 3 program and eligible researchers were encouraged to submit an on-line form.
The Committee reviewed applications based on the Evaluation Criteria below and provided recommendations for funding; however, if requested funding exceeded the CRCEF allocation, the Committee would consult with Deans/Associate Deans Research before finalizing the funding list. Dalhousie committee members reviewed applications from Dalhousie; hospital committee members consulted with their Vice-Presidents, Research & Innovation.
Funding priority was given to the following groups, with the highest priority for applicants from equity-seeking or underrepresented groups. Applicants who self-identified with more than one area were the next priority funding group.
Dal/NSHA/IWK Evaluation Criteria
The evaluation criteria put in place by institutions should not create barriers to access for individuals from equity-seeking or underrepresented groups (racialized minorities, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, women, and persons from LGBTQ2+ communities).
Highest priority will be given to applicants from equity-seeking or underrepresented groups - opportunity to self-identify provided on application form.
Institutions should carefully consider their support for individuals who have been personally impacted by the pandemic (e.g., their own or their immediate family’s health has been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, family obligations for dependent care or limited access to medical care for persons with disabilities). Evidence shows the pandemic is having a disproportionate impact on equity-seeking groups, resulting in further inequities for these individuals regarding their research activities in the long term, and further exacerbating existing inequities and underrepresentation in the research ecosystem more broadly.
Priority will be given to applicants who have been personally impacted by the pandemic - opportunity to self-identify provided on application form.
Address how to ensure that the decision-making values research that is non-traditional or unconventional, based in indigenous ways of knowing, outside the mainstream of the discipline, or focused on issues of gender, race or minority status.
Priority will be given to applicants who undertake non-traditional or unconventional research, based in indigenous ways of knowing, outside the mainstream of the discipline, or focused on issues of gender, race or minority status - opportunity to self-identify provided on application form.
Earmarking a certain percentage of its allocation for supporting researchers at a specific career stage (e.g., early career researchers)
Priority will be given to early career researchers (ECRs are typically within five years of first academic appointment, however, the updated definition of ECR from *NSERC will apply) - opportunity to self-identify provided on application form.
8a. Limiting Unconscious Bias and Systemic Barriers
On September 10, in an effort to minimize unconscious bias and systemic barriers in the administration of the CRCEF program, a separate CRCEF Committee meeting was held to discuss the unconscious bias training module including bias awareness and mitigation. The committee’s discussion helped to inform the approach taken to advise the research community of the CRCEF opportunity, the development of the internal application form, and the review and ranking process of applications. As a result of the discussion, the Committee agreed to implement general operating principles for the committee (see CRCEF Committee Principles).
For Stage 3, applicants from equity-seeking or underrepresented groups were offered the opportunity to self-identify on the application form. These applications received the highest priority for funding to help ensure the researchers did not suffer from further inequities regarding their research activities.
8b. Safeguards to ensure decisions are not negatively affected by personal circumstances
For Stage 3, applicants who had been personally impacted by the pandemic were offered the opportunity to self-identify on the application form. These applications were prioritized for funding to help ensure the researchers did not suffer from further inequities regarding their research activities.
8c. Valuing research that is non-traditional or unconventional
For Stage 3, applicants who undertook non-traditional or unconventional research, based in indigenous ways of knowing, outside the mainstream of the discipline, or focused on issues of gender, race or minority status were offered the opportunity to self-identify on the application form. These applications were prioritized for funding in an effort to acknowledge and support the value of their research activities.