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Bruyère Research Institute

Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund

In May the federal government announced a multi-stage program to reduce the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Canadian research enterprise. The Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF) is a tri-agency program, and Bruyère RI’s applications are administered through uOttawa.

 

Background

The CRCEF program consists of four stages:

 

  • Stage 1 and 2: provides wage support for research-related personnel paid from non-governmental sources. Bruyère RI received funds for Stage 1 only.
  • Stage 3: provides support for research ramp-up and maintenance costs for all projects (regardless of funding source).
  • Stage 4: was announced on September 30 for additional salary support (details are yet to be released).

For each stage there are strict eligibility requirements, as well as special equity, diversity, and inclusion directives to ensure the CRCEF program is administered transparently and equitably.


All further questions may be directed to Megan McIntosh at mmcintosh@bruyere.org.


See the SSHRC website for full program information.

 

Stage 1

This stage can provide up to 75% of the portion of research personnel’s salaries/wages normally supported by non-governmental sources, to a maximum of $10,174 in a 12-week period between March 15 and August 29 of 2020.

Eligibility Criteria

There are specific eligibility requirements, as outlined in the program description and clarified in the program FAQs.

 


  • Research-related personnel are defined as “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 (e.g., graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and other personnel associated with research projects). Principal investigators are excluded from the research-related personnel definition.”
  • Wage support includes up to 75% of the portion of research personnel’s salaries/wages normally supported by 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.
  • Non-government grants and contracts include funding from private sector, foundations, not-for-profit organizations; donors. Staffing expenses paid from internal research grants or operating funds are not eligible.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Administrative costs are not eligible expenses.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Requirements

One of the program requirements is for each academic organization to create a committee of individuals who are normally a part of the governance structure to develop a decision-making strategy for the use of the CRCEF funds, taking equity, diversity, and inclusion into consideration. Bruyère RI did not previously have such a committee and had limited time to form a group and ensure members were trained. An ad hoc committee was developed, made up of the following members:


  • Trish De Fazio, Senior Director of Operations
  • Rhonda Maidment, Manager, Research Administration
  • Rebekah Hackbusch, Chair, Equity Committee, Bruyère
  • Kirby Kranabetter, Director Mission Effectiveness, Bruyère
  • Megan McIntosh, Finance Administrator


The guiding principles that were developed are:


  1. In order to limit any negative impact of unconscious bias or systematic barriers, decision-making will be based solely on the eligibility criteria provided with the funding.
  2. Priority will be given to any person laid off during the eligibility period; the maximum portion of their salary to be paid under the criteria in the CRCEF guidelines. (Note: analysis determined that any students under-employed or laid off during the pandemic would receive a higher rate of funding through the CERB program, so they were excluded from the RI’s allocation).
  3. Once all laid off personnel are paid, funds go to reimburse research projects for eligible staff costs spent during the eligibility period, on a demonstrated need basis (a program requirement).
  4. In the event that eligible need exceeds the funds provided we will divide the funding equitably on a prorated basis. All eligible research staff on our payroll are included.

Next Steps and Timelines

  • We will contact investigators individually to advise of their project(s)’ eligibility and next steps. Each investigator with eligible personnel costs will be requested to submit an attestation demonstrating need (Research Operations Manager to provide guidance).
  • Funds will be distributed to the eligible personnel and projects once the numbers are finalized.
  • All transfers will take place by March 31, 2021.

Stage 3

This stage supports up to 75% of direct project costs associated with maintenance and ramp-up of research activities, incurred between March 15 and November 15 of 2020. Salary supports of research personnel of up to 75% may also be eligible in the period between August 30 and November 15, 2020.

Eligibility Criteria

  • 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.”
  • Cost reimbursements includes up to 75% of direct costs associated with maintenance and ramp-up of research activities, incurred between March 15, 2020 and November 15, 2020.
  • The salaries of research personnel can be eligible for partial reimbursement up to 75% for the period of August 30, 2020 to November 15, 2020, provided that they meet the Stage 3 eligible expense criteria. Salary support is eligible as long as the expenses claimed are not covered by CRCEF Stage 1, COVID-19 research support from the federal research funding agencies, Canada Foundation for Innovation, and other broad-based federal COVID-19 measures.
  • Internet connection, land line, cell phone connection, and equipment for working remotely can be eligible if they meet Stage 3 eligible expense criteria.
    • Note: any equipment paid for with research project funding is considered to be Bruyère RI property upon project completion.

 

Eligible expense 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; and
  • approved by the decision-making group identified for CRCEF
    • Bruyère’s EDI committee will approve any expense provided it qualifies under the first three criteria, and will set no additional restrictions.

Eligible expenses include costs associated with the following categories:


 

Maintenance costs

Ramp-up 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%.

 

  • 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.

 

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%.

 

  • 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 personnel.

 

 

If your situation does not fit into the examples above, please clearly define your situation in the Excel application form. For more information, visit: https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/funding-financement/crcef-fucrc/index-eng.aspx

Note: While Bruyère RI will apply for the maximum allowable amount, reimbursement to costs is not guaranteed. We encourage investigators to keep receipts for all potentially eligible costs, but not to incur further costs based on the assumption they will be reimbursed.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Requirements

As an application requirement, institutions must implement an open and transparent process for the internal allocation of Stage 3 funds to their researchers, following the CRCEF equity, diversity, and inclusion requirements.

Bruyère RI must ensure all research leads are provided equal opportunity to apply for this funding, through open calls via email and on our public-facing webpage.
The guiding principles that were developed are:


  1. All applications will be reviewed and validated to ensure they meet the program criteria.
  2. All eligible expenses will be added to Bruyère’s application.
  3. Should the eligible expenses exceed any Stage 3 funding received, the funding will be distributed equitably to the project applicants on a prorated basis.

Next Steps and Timelines

  • Review the eligibility guidelines and consult with your Research Operations Manager, as needed.
  • Complete the Excel application form and email it with backup documents to Megan McIntosh (mmcintosh@bruyere.org) by Tuesday, November 24.
    • Note: additions to submissions will be accepted up to the deadline.
  • Any questions or issues regarding individual applications will be communicated to investigators prior to Friday, November 27.
  • Bruyère RI’s application results are anticipated by January 31, 2021, with funds to be distributed to projects by March 31, 2021.