Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund


About CRCEF

The Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF) is a Tri-Agency program announced in May 2020 as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. This 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.

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; 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.

The program includes four funding stages. Three of the stages (Stages 1, 2 and 4) exclusively provide wage support for eligible research-related personnel who are paid in part or in whole by non-governmental sources. 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.

For more detailed information on the CRCEF program, please visit https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/funding-financement/crcef-fucrc/index-eng.aspx  

Affiliated health research institutions

Not applicable

CRCEF Governance

The senior level university authorized official who is ensuring that the requirements of the CRCEF program are followed is Dr Anna Redden, Dean of Research & Graduate Studies (anna.redden@acadiau.ca).

Decisions are made by a CRCEF Working Group at Acadia, and included representation from three research support administrators, and included under-represented EDI groups. All Working Group members undertook unconscious bias training as per the CRC online training module.

Support staff in the Research Office, Business Office, Human Resources Office and the Office of Advancement (re: funding from foundations) assist in identifying, preparing, verifying and validating the records used to determine eligibility under each stage.

Specific processes by stage can be viewed under the appropriate stage heading.

EDI Decision-Making Strategy

Acadia University is a signatory to the Dimensions Charter, and in doing so, we publicly show our academic community’s commitment to further embedding equity, diversity and inclusion principles in our policies, processes and practices.  Acadia is committed to promoting equity, diversity and inclusion within its research enterprise, removing systemic barriers and biases, and ensuring equity, diversity and inclusion in its management of CRCEF funds.

All members of Acadia’s CRCEF Working Group completed unconscious bias training and are committed to EDI principles. Research Office staff are engaging in considerable contact and follow-up with faculty, and with each other, to ensure to the greatest extent possible the full range of eligible cases are captured, including those addressing EDI principles. We recognize the pandemic is having a disproportionate impact on equity-seeking groups. In the event that support needs exceeded CRCEF Funds allocated to Acadia, support will be prioritized for underrepresented groups, disproportionally affected individuals (e.g. child/family care responsibilities, personnel with increased risk of exposure in the workplace) and early career researchers. The decision-making process prioritizes research that is non-traditional or unconventional, based in Indigenous ways of knowing, outside the mainstream of the discipline, or focuses on issues of gender, race or minority status.

CLOSED: Stage 1- Wage support for research-related personnel

OVERVIEW

Stage 1 focuses on the provision of wage/stipend support for eligible research personnel who were/are paid by non-governmental sources. It can cover up to 75% of salaries paid to research personnel or trainees through research projects funded by sources such as industry, foundations, etc.

To qualify for payment, salaries must have been associated with projects that have either lost industry, NGO or foundation funding or have been interrupted due to the impacts of research curtailment, between March 15 and August 29, 2020.  CRCEF Stage 1 can fund salaries for a maximum of 12 weeks per individual within the eligibility period.

There are two main conditions for eligibility of research personnel for CRCEF Stage 1 support:

  • they are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (either from reduced funding or a negative impact on research activities); and
  • their salary or portion of salary is paid by non-governmental sources (CRCEF will provide 75% of that portion and for a maximum of $847).

PROCESS

  • The Dean of Research & Graduate Studies received authorization by the VP Academic to be the institutional representative with responsibility for the CRCEF program
  • The Dean set up a CRCEF Working Group and all 3 members of the Group undertook Unconscious Bias training and discussed the process by which decisions would be made. Decision-making criteria were:
    • Funding requests must be eligible based on the CRCEF guidelines
    • In the event of need exceeding available funds, priority for funding for wage support, based on eligibility, would be given to:
      • Faculty grant holders and/or research personnel of under-represented groups and/or disproportionately affected, in accordance with EDI principles
      • Faculty grant holders with personnel conducting 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.
      • Faculty supervising international research personnel (students/post-doctoral fellows)
      • Early career researchers
    • For all other requests, the 75% wage support would be reduced (equally) to meet the institution’s allocation limit for Stage 1.
  • The CRCEF opportunity was announced via email to all faculty and staff, and was also posted on Acadia’s public-facing webpages (https://www2.acadiau.ca/research-office.html)
  • Acadia’s Team Dynamic research database was used to identify ALL grant/contract holders with non-government funding in the last 6 months. These researchers, which included members of at least two under-represented groups, were contacted directly to ensure that they were aware of and understood the program, and to assist with any questions and data collection.     
  • Members of the Working Group communicated with CRCEF staff for clarification and with specific questions related to process and eligibility
  • A wage support application form was developed and disseminated to ALL faculty via email. Where eligible (based on CRCEF criteria), data from these applications were entered into a comprehensive salary and wage support spreadsheet.  Personnel information and salaries were confirmed by the Office of Human Resources and the Business Office.
  • The Working Group reviewed the compiled data and compared the list with the list of recipients of non-government funding to ensure all eligible cases were identified.
  • As the total of all eligible wages did not exceed the Stage 1 allocation, no prioritization of wage support was required.
  • Distributed funds, via the Business Office, are for wage support only.

A final report on distributed funds will be submitted at the end of the 2020/2021 financial year, as required.

Acadia will maintain detailed information on individuals supported by the program’s wage subsidy stages (e.g., full name, contact information, amount received) for a period of at least five years (until 2025-26), for financial monitoring and auditing purposes.

CLOSED: Stage 2 - Supplemental wage support for research-related personnel

Stage 1 was not fully allocated, no residual need for Stage 2 support.

NOW OPEN: Stage 3 – Research maintenance/ramp-up costs (Internal Deadline: Nov 30, 2020)

OVERVIEW

Stage 3 is designed to support direct costs of research that have been incurred to: 1) maintain essential research-related commitments during the COVID-19 pandemic; and 2) support ramping-up to full research activities as physical distancing measures are eased and research activities can resume. Only direct costs of research that are extraordinary and incremental to those already covered by existing sources of funds and have been incurred between March 15 and November 15, 2020 will be reimbursed, at up to 75%.

Extraordinary incremental costs incurred for research projects funded by either governmental or non-governmental sources are eligible for Stage 3 support. Extraordinary incremental costs are defined as unanticipated additional costs that would not normally have been incurred in the absence of the COVID-19 pandemic and cannot be funded by existing sources of funds.

Eligible expenses include costs associated with the following categories:

  1. a) Maintenance costs:

Costs incurred within the eligible period and associated with maintaining essential research-related activities during the pandemic that are exceptional and incremental to those already covered by existing sources of funds, funded at up to 75%. This includes:

  • animal and specimen care through the crisis period;
  • maintenance of equipment, software, cohorts, datasets, including warranties, licenses and service contracts;
  • technological equipment for remote access to maintain assets; and
  • safety equipment for personnel dedicated to maintenance.
  1. b) Ramp-up costs:

Costs incurred within the eligible period and associated with full ramp-up of research activities, as physical distancing measures are eased and research activities can resume. Only costs that are exceptional and incremental to those already covered by existing sources of funds will be supported, at up to 75%. Eligible expenses include those incurred at the project level and associated with:

  • re-organizing the research environment and activities;
  • additional costs to bring the research back to its pre-pandemic level, including experiments or related to the restart of collections and datasets (e.g., population-based, environmental);
  • user fees charged by shared platforms to researchers to restart research activities (e.g., animal- care facilities, digital labs);
  • re-scheduling and restarting human and clinical trials;
  • exceptional costs to access special facilities, shared platforms and resources, knowledge transfer meetings and workshops;
  • restarting, reassembling and safety checks of equipment and facilities;
  • reacquiring lost and donated laboratory and field supplies and equipment, reagents, perishable materials, laboratory animal and other living specimens; and
  • personal protective equipment and related items for research-related personnel.

ELIGIBLE EXPENSES CRITERIA

  • unanticipated additional costs that would not have been incurred in the absence of the COVID-19 pandemic and cannot be funded by existing sources of funds;
  • for direct costs associated with maintenance and ramp-up of research activities;
  • costs borne by research projects;
  • approved by the institutional decision-making group identified for CRCEF.  

Please note:

  • The salaries of research personnel may be eligible for partial reimbursement up to 75% by CRCEF at Stage 3 for the period of August 30, 2020 to November 15, 2020 provided that they meet the Stage 3 eligible expense criteria (see above).
  • Internet connection, land line, cell phone connection, and equipment for working remotely can be eligible if they meet Stage 3 eligible expense criteria (see above).
  • Animal per diems for research maintenance and animal purchase costs to ramp-up the population are eligible, provided that they meet the Stage 3 eligible expense criteria (see above).

Please review the Eligible Expenses section of the CRCEF Stage 3 Q&A page for additional information - https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/funding-financement/crcef-fucrc/faq/ramp-up_costs-couts_de_reprise-eng.aspx

PROCESS

Application Process

Acadia has been allocated a notional amount of funding for Stage 3 of the CRCEF program.

  1. The CRCEF opportunity was announced via email to all faculty and staff, and was also posted on Acadia’s public-facing webpages (https://www2.acadiau.ca/research-office.html)
  2. Application forms can be accessed through this webpage or by emailing swanburg@acadiau.ca
  1. Eligible applicants must submit application by email to meghan.swanburg@acadiau.ca by 4 pm on November 23rd.
  2. Researchers can request assistance in compiling eligible expenses by emailing meghan.swanburg@acadiau.ca.
  3. Applications can include actual and forecasted committed costs for March 15 to November 15, 2020, if the application is submitted prior to Nov. 15, 2020.

Administrative Process

  1. The CRCEF working group will review applications for data accuracy and expense eligibility.
  2. Members of the Working Group communicate with CRCEF staff for clarification and with specific questions related to process and eligibility.
  3. CRCEF working group submits a consolidated application to the Tri-Agency on December 15. This consolidated application will include Acadia’s costs for maintenance and ramp-up costs within the allocated funding envelope, and any costs beyond the allocation amount.
  1. Acadia will maintain detailed information on expenses for a period of at least five years (until 2025-26), for financial monitoring and auditing purposes.

NOW OPEN: Stage 4 – Extension period for wage support for research-related personnel (External deadline: Nov 30, 2020)

 

OVERVIEW

Stage 4 provides additional wage support for eligible research-related personnel by increasing the maximum duration of support from 12 to 24 weeks.

Researchers who did not apply for Stage 1 support should apply using the Application Form.

ELIGIBLE EXPENSES CRITERIA

To qualify, salaries must have been associated with projects that have either lost industry, NGO or foundation funding or were interrupted due to the impacts of research curtailment, between March 15 and August 29, 2020.

There are two main conditions for eligibility of research personnel for CRCEF Stage 4 support:

  • they are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (either from reduced funding or a negative impact on research activities); and
  • their salary or portion of salary is paid by non-governmental sources (CRCEF will provide 75% of that portion and for a maximum of $847).
  • 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.

Application Process

  1. The CRCEF Stage 4 opportunity was announced via email to all faculty and staff, and was also posted on Acadia’s public-facing webpages (https://www2.acadiau.ca/research-office.html)
  2. Researchers who did not apply for Stage 1 support were encouraged to apply to determine eligibility by contacting the CRCEF working group.
  3. Application forms can be accessed through this webpage or by emailing swanburg@acadiau.ca

Administrative Process

  1. A Financial Services representative revisited all Stage 1 research accounts to calculate wage support for an additional 12-week period for eligible research personnel.
  2. The CRCEF working group contacted Stage 1 researchers to confirm their interest/eligibility.
  3. The CRCEF working group reviewed the original, signed Stage 1 Application Form for data accuracy and expense eligibility, as well as faculty/personnel attestations.
  1. The CRCEF working group will submit an application for Stage 4 funds to the Tri-Agency on or before November 30th.   
  2. Acadia will maintain detailed information on expenses for a period of at least five years (until 2025-26), for financial monitoring and auditing purposes.
  3. A final report on distributed funds will be submitted at the end of the 2020/2021 financial year, as required.

Acadia will maintain detailed information on individuals supported by the program’s wage subsidy stages (e.g., full name, contact information, amount received) for a period of at least five years (until 2025-26), for financial monitoring and auditing purposes.

Contact for CRCEF Program Compliance

Dr. Anna Redden, Dean Research and Graduate Studies

Anna.redden@acadiau.ca

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Contact

Division of Research & Graduate Studies
214 Horton Hall
18 University Avenue
Wolfville, Nova Scotia, B4P 2R6

researchoffice@acadiau.ca
902-585-1498