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.
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.
For more information about the Program visit the CRCEF program webpage.
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.
UNBC did not allocate any funding for Stages 1 and 2.
Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) strategy
In accordance with the mandate from the federal research funding agencies and the Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF) program, UNBC offers this commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion:
The University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) is committed to excellence in research and research training for the benefit of Canadians. Achieving a more equitable, diverse and inclusive Canadian research enterprise is also essential to creating the excellent, innovative and impactful research necessary to seize opportunities and for responding to global challenges. As such, UNBC is committed to the federal government’s policies on non-discrimination and employment equity for the four designated groups (women, persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities, and Indigenous peoples) as well as the LGBTQ2+ communities and individuals with intersectional identities, and has endorsed the Tri-council Dimensions: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Canada Charter and the Universities Canada Inclusive Excellence Principles.
CRCEF program governance
The Vice President Research (VPR) in consultation with the EDI Working Group and UNBC Research Community will form the CRCEF Committee to make decisions on the allocation of the fund. The committee will meet regularly to review program requirements, define internal processes and confirm eligibility and compliance.
Committee members will receive unconscious bias training by completing the Canada Research Chairs’ unconscious bias training module.
The Vice -President Research is responsible for ensuring the program’s requirements are followed.
Dr. Kathy Lewis
Acting Vice-President, Research
The committee will consist of diverse and interdisciplinary members with representation from equity-seeking groups.
UNBC did not use CRCEF Stage 1 or 2 funding.
For Stage 3, the following strategies will be used to ensure transparency and fairness in the allocation of funds:
- Communication will be sent to faculty members, research administrators and the entire university community regarding CRCEF and the UNBC online application form, using language that encourages eligible researchers and research staff of equity-seeking groups to apply.
- College Deans, Department Chairs and Research Institutes Administrators will be enlisted to communicate with all faculty members and ensure that all researchers are made aware of the program.
- Internal financial data will be examined to identify research funded by CRCEF-eligible sources, the account holding researchers (Principal Investigators) will be invited to confirm and submit claims using the online application form.
In order to ensure that applications received are representative of UNBC’s diverse research community, the Office of Research invites and encourages people from underrepresented groups (Indigenous, visible minorities, diversely-abled, women, LGBTQ2S+) to submit a Letter of Intent. We recognize the additional burden placed on everyone during the COVID-19 pandemic, but especially, and often disproportionately, on people from the four designated + groups. The evaluation process will not create any barriers for applicants from underrepresented groups.All applicants will be offered the opportunity to voluntarily self-identify if they fall within any of the following criteria:
- Applicants who undertake 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.
- Applicants 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).
- Applicants from equity-seeking or underrepresented groups (racialized minorities, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, women, and persons from LGBTQ2+ communities).
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 under-representation in the research ecosystem more broadly.
Hence, the aforementioned applications would be prioritized.
To apply for Stage 3 funding, researchers must submit a letter of intent to apply. For questions, inquiries and support regarding this program please contact the Director of the Office of Research and Innovation, Mark Barnes, at firstname.lastname@example.org.