COVID-19 Grant Updates

Ongoing Updates:

Opportunities for Collaboration Related to COVID-19:

  • CanCOVID: Expert network of Canadian COVID-19 researchers, clinical collaborators, and healthcare stakeholders from across the country. Canada’s Chief Science Officer mandated the creation of CanCOVID to expedite communication and collaboration between the scientific, healthcare and policy communities during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • COVID-19 Resources Canada: Central hub designed to help those involved in COVID-19 research and development in Canada to locate human resources, expertise, reagents, equipment and information in a timely manner.
  • A tool for businesses, non-profits, governments and others who want to access the experts, facilities and/or intellectual property that exists on campuses across Canada.
  • Ontario Together: The Government of Ontario's request for emergency products, services and innovative solutions to support responses to Covid-19.
  • OCE COVID-19 Collaboration Platform: Ontario Centres of Excellence platform for identifying innovative technologies, SMEs and experts from across the province to help fill the current product and service gaps related to COVID-19.
  • SOCIP COVID-19 Response: Aims to provide rapid access to high-performance computing resources on our advanced computing platforms.
  • COVID-19 Innovation Challenges by Innoget

Additional Updates:

Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on research: NEW guidelines for NSERC’s community | Sept. 14, 2020

NSERC recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting researchers’ and students’ capacity to conduct their regular research and training activities. NSERC also recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to exacerbate inequities in the natural sciences and engineering research community. Certain identity factors are associated with greater impacts for some members of the research community (e.g., gender, race, Indigenous identity, geographic location, rurality, disability, age, socioeconomic status, career stage, family responsibilities, etc.). With this in mind, NSERC has developed general guidelines for the consideration of COVID-19-related impacts on research aiming to provide direction on how to describe these impacts in an application and information on how to consider these impacts when reviewing contributions to research and training and/or research and training plans. You are encouraged to reach out to the appropriate program contact with questions relating to the specific funding opportunity to which you are applying. NSERC will continue to monitor the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic and may adapt its guidelines in future years.

For more information, please see NSERC's full announcement.

CIHR Supporting early career researchers affected by COVID-19: Temporarily “pausing the clock” for ECRs | Sept. 2, 2020

While the COVID-19 pandemic has affected all aspects of the research enterprise in many ways, CIHR has heard clearly from the research community that the pandemic has disrupted early career researchers (ECRs) particularly acutely.

Following consultations with stakeholders, CIHR will move forward with a plan to temporarily “pause the clock” for all ECRs. Given the impact of the pandemic has affected most, if not all, of the CIHR community, this measure will be applied automatically to all who qualify and will not need to be requested. All those who held ECR status as of March 1, 2020—or who secured their first academic appointment after this date—will have their status extended by one year.

CIHR will continue to monitor closely the impacts of the pandemic on researchers in the months ahead.  CIHR will be ready to take further action as required, and will follow closely the impact of this temporary measure and re-evaluate the duration of the pause as we move forward. CIHR commits to critically assessing more broadly the question of how to best support researchers’ full academic lifespan, including all aspects of equity, diversity and inclusion, as a fundamental component of our Strategic Plan that will be released in early 2021.

By temporarily pausing the clock, CIHR will ensure that ECRs can continue to benefit from programs and policies such as the Observer Program and the equalization process in the Project Grant competition.CIHR recognizes that the impacts caused by COVID are not limited to ECRs. While it is our hope that the actions we have taken to date—such as the provision of extensions and grant supplements and other subsidies from the Government of Canada—are making a difference, we will continue to look for ways to support the community at this difficult time.

Thank you to all those who took the time to consult with CIHR as we considered this decision.

CIHR Update on Spring 2020 Project Grant Competition | May 28, 2020

A message from CIHR President Dr. Michael Strong

Dear colleagues,

At the outset, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all of you who have assisted CIHR over the last three months as we have managed an intensive schedule of COVID-19 related funding initiatives. Thanks to the over 1,000 reviewers who volunteered to help deliver the phase II COVID-19 rapid response funding opportunity, we are on schedule to deliver the results by mid-June.

It is now time that we turn our attention to the Spring 2020 Project Grant competition. I am pleased to announce that the review of these competition applications will proceed this summer. As promised, with the exception of those funds used to provide bridge funding or extensions, we have preserved the funding envelope designated for the Spring 2020 competition. As indicated in a previous correspondence, this amounts to approximately $245M. Spring 2020 applications submitted by Nominated Principal Applicants (NPAs) who did not receive a financial extension will be reviewed, unless specifically withdrawn by the NPAs. Please note that NPAs who were offered a financial extension linked to the decision we took around the Spring 2020 competition will be contacted by CIHR to discuss options.

Read the full message from Dr. Michael Strong

More Information for the research community

OCE Research Bulletin | May 13, 2020

Please find below a bulletin of important updates to OCE’s programs and processes. As this will affect your researchers, please distribute accordingly.

Contained in this bulletin:

  • COVID-19 IP Program Update
  • OCE open for COVID-19 Submissions
  • OCE Knowledge Base - Dynamic FAQ portal
  • Reminder: Upcoming Program Intake Dates

COVID-19 Program Update

As this unprecedented global health and economic situation unfolds, we recognize that this is a uniquely challenging period for you - not only personally, but also due to the disruption to your business, research and projects.

Whether you are a researcher or a company, early-stage or scaling, if you currently have a project with OCE, we fully appreciate how the impacts of COVID-19 may affect your business, your ability to conduct research, your access to research labs and equipment, as well as your ability to prepare and submit applications and reports. We view every program that we offer and every project that we support as a partnership, and take an active role in ensuring your success. As a result, we are exploring all avenues, including project extensions and accelerated payments, to support you during this difficult time.

We continue to make adjustments as we monitor the evolution and impact of COVID-19 and we look forward to keeping you informed as we respond to rapidly changing circumstances.

OCE is working across our many partners and stakeholders to ensure timely updates are available and we encourage you to visit the Program Updates section of the OCE website for program-specific updates as new information becomes available. For urgent requests related to projects that are within 30 days of completion, please contact the Program Lead assigned to your project.

As always, do not hesitate to reach out to your OCE Business Development Manager. We're here to help.

OCE open for COVID-19 Submissions

Getting support to innovators who need it! OCE is helping Ontario innovators come together, as we respond to COVID-19 by leveraging existing funding support through the Voucher for Innovation and Productivity and the Market Readiness Investment Fund.

For the COVID-19 Call for Submissions, OCE will consider alternate matching requirements on a case-by-case basis, for OCE funding up to $100,000 up to Thursday, May 28, 2020. Through these programs, we are supporting innovative COVID-19 solutions that leverage all emerging technologies.

Through OCE's extensive pool of expert reviewers, submissions will be quickly prioritized and reviewed on a rolling basis to expedite the application process. Submission are due to OCE May 28, 2020. For full details contact your OCE Business Development Manager.

OCE Knowledge Base - Dynamic FAQ portal

Do you have a question on OCE's program processes? Check out the OCE's Knowledge Base of Frequency Asked Questions for helpful articles on various topics such as applying to a program, reviewing an application, activation and updating an application, project reporting, project finance. If you have any questions, please check out the Knowledge Base and feel to contact the Program Manager.

Mitacs: Important Program Updates | May 13, 2020

As the effects of COVID-19 continue, we know research projects are facing challenging times, so Mitacs is working closely with our partners on strategies to support the urgent needs of businesses, students, and our academic partners. We are proud to share the following initiatives that may be of interest to your faculty and students.

Faster approvals and better leveraging for COVID-19 projects 
(deadline to apply is June 1, 2020)

If you are involved in the battle against COVID-19, it’s vital that you continue to push ahead with your R&D as quickly as possible. Eligible industry and not-for-profit partners that are developing specific COVID-19 solutions may qualify for fast-tracked research review to get them the talent they need right away. And, if you are working with a small- to medium-sized enterprise (SME), we are increasing our funding leveraging — SMEs may contribute as little as $3,750 for one four-month internship. Learn more here.

Small- to medium-sized enterprise discount (deadline to apply is July 1, 2020)   

Businesses, especially SMEs, are facing challenging times, which might jeopardize their R&D activity, so Mitacs is improving its leveraging for SMEs for a limited time. During this time, businesses can contribute $3,750 for a four-month internship, for a total award of $15,000. Learn more here.

COVID-19 Industrial Postdoctoral Fellowship (deadline to apply is May 15, 2020)

This is a one-year collaborative research award between universities and industry or not-for-profit partners that demonstrate a strong benefit to Canada in battling COVID-19 and addressing its aftermath. Eligible projects will be fast-tracked through the Mitacs approval process. Additional financial support is available to SMEs working to develop solutions to COVID-19. For a finite period, with an SME contribution of $15,000, Mitacs will provide a total award of $60,000 to cover the postdoctoral fellow’s salary and associated research costs. Learn more here.

Research Training Award

The Research Training Award (RTA) is an immediate and short-term opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to undertake a 12- to 16-week paid research training internship, valued at $6,000 per student. Student-led, these projects are designed to enhance their research skills as well as their interaction with faculty. Host institutions will be asked to contribute $3,000 towards the total award. These projects are intended to provide opportunities for students over the summer months, ideally starting by June 1, 2020, and no later than August 31, 2020.

For a limited time, undergraduate and graduate business students can undertake internships to apply their business expertise to real-world decision-making in SMEs. Projects will be structured to undertake a strategic analysis of an SME to help them restore or modify their business operations in a new business environment disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Business Strategy Internship

These paid internships are valued at $10,000 per student. SMEs and host institutions will each contribute $2,500 towards the $10,000 award. This exciting opportunity allows business students with broader training and career opportunities while providing support to SMEs who need additional assistance in modifying their business operations to adapt to the new economic reality.

To support the development of evidence-informed policy with access to scientific expertise from Canada’s academic sector, Mitacs is opening a Canadian Science Policy Fellowship (CSPF) COVID-19 call. This cohort will address Canada’s response to COVID-19, recovery, and preparation for future pandemics.

Canadian Science Policy Fellowship COVID-19 (deadline to apply is May 31, 2020)

This CSPF COVID-19 call is a modified version of our standard CSPF program aimed at quickly connecting government with academic researchers. Meaning a faster matching process from a pool of qualified and pre-approved candidates, all of whom hold PhDs. This call will be open to provincial, municipal, and Indigenous governments.

CIHR Update: COVID-19 Objectives | May 8, 2020

CIHR would like to apologize for the clarification that was issued yesterday. We know that everyone is dealing with the impacts of COVID-19 and we did not want to make this more difficult for anyone. While the original intent of the funding was to collectively address all of the objectives as outlined in the funding opportunity, we appreciate that this was not clear in the posted description. Nonetheless, we should not have tried to clarify things so close to the deadline.

Given this, we will fully revert to the community’s common understanding of the objectives that were outlined when the funding opportunity was launched. As such, all applications that meet any of the objectives will be considered by the peer reviewers, regardless of whether they meet a single objective or any combination of the five overarching objectives. As always, we will rely on the peer review process to determine which applications merit funding and, to that end, we will ensure that the reviewers are also aware of this clarification.

Please note that we are also extending the deadline by 24 hours. All other aspects of the funding competition will remain as originally delineated.

To ensure that we are meeting our goal of investing the funding provided by the Government of Canada in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as it is evolving, we will ensure that the breadth of projects funded cover the objectives of this call as a collective. Our approach to doing this is not changing and is outlined in the funding opportunity.

Again, we apologize for the confusion generated by yesterday’s clarification and extend our appreciation to all those who reached out quickly to highlight the issue.

CIHR Clarification: Objectives of Operating Grant COVID-19 Rapid Response | May 7, 2020

CIHR would like to offer a clarification related to the objectives of the Operating Grant : COVID-19 May 2020 Rapid Research Funding Opportunity given a high number of inquiries received. CIHR’s intention was always that applications would address all five objectives included in the funding opportunity and this will be assessed as part of the review of the application.

Additionally, some clarification within objectives is also required to highlight that some elements were not meant to be strictly inclusive. For example, in Objectives 1 and 2 we referenced ‘prevent, detect, treat and manage COVID-19’. We acknowledge that it is unlikely a single grant would address all of these and intended grants to address one or more (but not all). We acknowledge the funding opportunity could have originally been clearer on both of these points and we have updated the objectives, relevance review and evaluation criteria, and how to apply sections accordingly:


  • Accelerate the availability of high-quality and real-time evidence to support Canada’s rapid response to the global pandemic in order to better prevent, detect, treat and/or manage COVID-19;
  • Develop, test, and/or study the implementation of effective interventions to prevent, detect, treat, and/or manage COVID-19 and/or its consequences at the individual and/or population levels by reorienting or amplifying existing research platforms, networks, and trials as well as funding new research projects within existing and established research infrastructure;
  • Enable Canadian engagement and coordination in national and international large-scale trials and/or better enable harmonized data collection, sharing of data, quasi-experimental and observational studies, and rapid large-scale evaluation of impact;
  • Provide evidence to inform clinical and health system management and public health response, and/or decision-making and planning within and across jurisdictions in Canada and/or internationally;
  • Enhance local, national and/or international collaborative efforts, including in low- and middle-income countries, to mitigate the rapid spread of COVID-19 and related negative consequences.

Relevance review

CIHR will perform a relevance review to identify applications that are in alignment with all five of the objectives and one of the research areas of this funding opportunity. Applications that are not deemed to be relevant to the objectives and research area(s) will be withdrawn from the competition and not proceed to peer review.

Evaluation criteria

Quality of project:

  • Extent to which the application responds to each of the objectives;

How to apply

Identify a Research Area

  • In the text box provided address how the research proposed is aligned with each of the objectives of this call and the research area selected.

To further help with clarity and transparency, we are also sharing the following table which will be used to assess competition relevance. It is the responsibility of the applicants to ensure that alignment to each of the criteria is clearly articulated in the research summary. Applications deemed not relevant to one or more criteria in the table will be withdrawn.

We apologize for any confusion this has caused and hope that these clarifications will help you assess how you position your application.

Update from Canadian Cancer Society | May 7, 2020

The coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis is having an unprecedented impact on people around the world. For the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS), this pandemic is the greatest financial challenge we have faced in our 80-year history. We are anticipating a roughly 50% decrease in revenue – a financial loss of $80 million – this year due to event cancellations, changes in philanthropy as people and companies face new financial stresses, and reductions in investment earning. Most experts anticipate a slow economic recovery and as a result, we are preparing for the impact to CCS to extend for years.

As the largest national charitable funder of cancer research in Canada, our goal is to ensure that we can continue to support our researchers not just in the coming months, but in the years ahead. Our CCS research team continues to monitor the evolving COVID-19 pandemic to determine how we can best support our research community, including our funded researchers and their teams, applicants to our competitions and our dedicated peer reviewers during this challenging time.

We have carefully developed a number of mitigation strategies to protect our research portfolio, in consultation with our Advisory Council on Research (ACOR) and CCS senior leadership. These strategies have been guided by the following overarching principles:

  • Maximize and sustain the value of our investments made in previous years and prioritize these commitments over new investments
  • Protect our core research programs such as our Impact, Innovation and Innovation-to-Impact grants
  • Strive to sustain our contributions to the health research ecosystem and minimize disruptions
  • Work with our partners, and honour our commitments, where possible
  • Make changes based on efficiencies and ease of implementation
  • Seek opportunities to make unique investments to reduce the short- and long-term impacts of COVID-19 on people with cancer
  • >Carefully consider the long-term and possible unintended consequences of our actions
  • Maintain a balanced portfolio of research that reflects our commitment to inclusive excellencev
  • Refrain from mortgaging our future, in the short term, as a result of changing events during these uncertain times
  • Support our research community and position them for a rapid recovery once normal operations have resumed

Modifications to our research programs

We recognize the COVID-19 pandemic has jeopardized the conduct of research, as well as the preparation and submission of grant applications and research reports. To balance the necessity of fiscal restraint, due to declining donor revenue, with our ongoing commitment to our funded researchers, we have made the following modifications to our program delivery. Given the rapidly evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be revisiting and re-evaluating these measures on an ongoing basis as the situation changes.

CCS grant competitions

  • The 2020 Innovation and Innovation to Impact (i2I) competitions have been completed
  • Applicants will be notified of decisions in mid-to-late May
  • The start date for these grants will be adjusted based on anticipated return-to-work for grantees but is tentatively scheduled for November 1, 2020
  • The Prostate Cancer Canada (PCC) Implementation Research competition will be completed as planned
  • Applicants will be notified of decisions by the end of June
  • The start date for these grants will be adjusted based on anticipated return-to-work for grantees but is tentatively scheduled for November 1, 2020
  • The Travel Awards competition has been suspended for 2020
  • The Awards for Excellence in Cancer Research for this year are under review and may follow a different format than in previous years
  • The Research Grants for Uterine Carcinosarcoma and other aggressive uterine cancers competition will be completed, with peer review scheduled in June
  • The start date of these grants will be adjusted based on anticipated return-to-work for the successful grantee
  • The Emerging Scholar Award LOI review process will be completed as anticipated
  • Results will be communicated to applicants at the beginning of May
  • The Full Application deadline will be extended and applicants will be advised of new dates, in due course
  • The Impact Grants LOI deadline of April 29, 2020 has been postponed due to work disruptions and to accommodate applicants who are performing additional duties outside their regular scope of work and care
  • We will share more information about Impact Grant deadlines (LOI and Full Application) once we know more about the impacts of COVID-19
  • Competitions planned for 2020 and beyond that have not yet been launched are on hold until the implications of COVID-19 on CCS resources are more fully understood

Supporting our funded researchers

  • In alignment with the tri-council agencies, CCS will accept as an eligible expense any non-refundable travel fees incurred as a result of COVID-19 and directly related to CCS-funded and PCC-funded research grants
  • For grants incurring non-refundable travel fees as a result of COVID-19, these fees will not be included in the grant maximum for conference travel
  • >Going forward, grant payments currently made on an annual basis will be adjusted to quarterly payments
  • Some scheduled grant payments may be reduced by 50% until normal research operations are able to resume. To be clear, this is not a 50% cut in grant funding but rather a deferral of 50% of the scheduled grant payment to the end of the grant. We will communicate with those researchers affected as needed and in due course. We will continue to monitor the situation as it unfolds and will review our position as necessary, contingent on availability of CCS funds
  • Any deferred payments will be transferred to the end of the grant, as part of the anticipated extension period (see more below). Our hope is that this approach will allow for a quick recovery once research operations resume and support the retention of essential personnel during this challenging time
  • Annual progress reports and statements of account may be submitted as time and resources permit. Please note, however, that submission of reports will be required to release payments, as per CCS and PCC usual accountability procedures
  • To ensure that our donor dollars remain committed to the cancer cause, CCS grants cannot be used to cover the salaries for research staff that have been redeployed to COVID-19 efforts
  • No cost extensions (NCEs) (of 12 months) will be offered to all current grantees
  • 12-month extensions will be automatically applied to grants affected by payment deferrals
  • Grantees will receive further instructions on how to request NCEs in a streamlined manner
  • A reminder for our current grant holders that surpluses may be retained for an additional term beyond the grant end date without requesting an NCE; for more information on no cost extensions in general, see our current policy (#10) and PCC’s policy (applicable to PCC grant holders)

We will communicate any additional updates via our email list, directly to our applicants/grantees as required, and/or on our website at

We are grateful for your ongoing support and your commitment to research excellence during this challenging time. Your work is a valued part of our mission and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with you in the months and years ahead.

Message from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research | May 4, 2020

To our partners in cancer research,

I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. COVID-19 continues to impact millions of people across Ontario and around the globe and I realize that this crisis has created unprecedented challenges for the cancer research and clinical communities, as well as for cancer patients. I know that your researchers may be encountering difficulties with conducting their planned research activities.

I want to assure you that OICR’s leadership understands these challenges and their impact. Although, like many organizations, we have closed down our offices and laboratories for regular business, we remain committed to continue working with our collaborators and stakeholders to the fullest extent possible. We’re taking measures to maintain research projects remotely and plan to restore our on-site activities gradually, when safe to do so.

We are committed to continuing our financial support for your OICR-funded programs. Further, to support the research community during these difficult times, we have extended all reporting deadlines and granted no-cost extensions for some OICR-funded research projects. Further details about these extensions can be found on our website.

As we adapt to the current situation, we also recognize the long-term impacts of this pandemic on research programs, researchers and on cancer patients. We acknowledge the possibility that some research objectives may not be met, but we’re committed to supporting the community through this continued period of disruption. At OICR, our priority is, and always will be, advancing cancer research in Ontario. We are working with our funder, the Government of Ontario’s Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU), to identify any needed longer-term strategies to support your currently funded ongoing programs that may need supplemental funding into the next fiscal year to complete milestones and deliverables, as well as to support the positions of critical staff. As we engage MCU on these and other matters, we will have more updates for you in terms of what is possible and what is not. We are committed to supporting cancer research and working together with you now and for years to come.

We thank you for your ongoing collaboration and for your perseverance and understanding during this difficult time. We look forward to continuing our collaborative research and working together in the fight against cancer.

NSERC Alliance Grant Resources | April 30, 2020

Alliance resources to help prepare an application

As we continue to navigate through new ways of working during the COVID-19 pandemic, NSERC staff remain accessible to answer any questions or concerns you may have. We would also like to remind you of the resources that are available to support you in preparing an Alliance application. In particular, we have added a new presentation deck entitled “Preparing an Alliance application,” which was created based on the experience we have gained and on questions we have received since the launch of Alliance. This presentation provides essential information about the steps involved in preparing a complete application in compliance with NSERC’s requirements, as well as important information on the recently launched Alliance option 2.

Please refer to the resources below and on the Alliance Resources webpage. We invite you to read the new presentation and share it with other relevant parties within your institution.

NSERC Alliance COVID-19 grants

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, NSERC is leveraging the expertise of researchers in natural science and engineering and their partners across Canada to address this unprecedented crisis. NSERC is providing up to $15 million in total support to stimulate collaborations between academic researchers and the public and not-for-profit sectors, and industry to address pandemic-related research and technical challenges. Support for up to $50,000 for one-year projects is being made available immediately.

Please visit the NSERC Alliance COVID-19 grants webpage for more information.

NSERC and Mitacs partnering to rapidly fund innovation for COVID-19 solutions

If your Alliance or College COVID-19 application is funded, an NSERC-Mitacs partnership is making available additional resources to augment research collaborations. Qualifying partner organizations can add Mitacs-funded internships to an Alliance or College COVID-19 project at a reduced cost to the organization. To access this opportunity, please contact Noha Gerges, Director of Business Development at Mitacs. NSERC will share a copy of the approved project application with Mitacs, who will then confirm program eligibility and the details surrounding the internship opportunity.

Making connections: project opportunities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Industry, not-for-profit and public sector organizations

If you are from an industry, not-for-profit or public sector organization (eligible to participate as a partner in this initiative) that is addressing a challenge or question related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and could benefit from scientific, technical or research expertise in natural science and engineering, please submit them to NSERC by completing this survey. NSERC will communicate these publicly to Canada’s post-secondary institutions and connect you with interested researchers.

You may also use to find expertise; facilities and Intellectual Property (IP) at Canada’s post-secondary institutions that can help you address challenges and questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. allows you to enter a search term and quickly see the institutions, researchers, facilities and IP most relevant to your interests.


If you are a researcher from a Canadian college or university who is eligible to apply to this funding opportunity and is interested in helping an organization address a challenge or question related to the COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the list of project opportunities. Select the project(s) you are interested in and NSERC will connect you with the organization that submitted the challenge or question.

Impact of COVID-19 on the Ontario Research Fund and Early Researcher Award Programs | April 24, 2020

  • In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Ministry is implementing a series of temporary policy and procedural amendments to support researchers currently receiving funding from Ontario Research Fund (ORF) and Early Researcher Award (ERA) programs:
  • The Ministry will continue to process payment requests for all current projects. The Ministry will also continue to finalize contract agreements for previously awarded projects.
  • The Ministry recognizes that research activities may be delayed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Grant extensions can be requested for up to 12 months for ORF and ERA programs with project end dates between February 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 inclusively. Research teams are asked to work with their respective research offices to initiate a request with the Ministry.
  • The Ministry recognizes that in some cases costs may have be incurred related to salaries or stipends for individuals that have been recommended or required to self-isolate, and/or may be unable to work or telework for reasons related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Provided these expenses would otherwise have been eligible to be paid out of an existing ORF or ERA grant, these can be paid from current project funds.
  • Any ORF and ERA projects with annual and/or financial reporting due dates between April 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020 will have the deadline extended to September 30, 2020.
  • Travel cancellation/rescheduling costs resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak are eligible project expenditures within the contracted funding allocation. The Ministry will continue to assess what other unanticipated project costs will be considered eligible.
  • The Ministry recognizes that communications with private sector partners (PSPs) may be difficult at this time. If this is impacting your project’s financial reporting, please contact your Ministry program representative to discuss.

Please contact your Ministry representative regarding your project should you have any further questions.

CIHR: Additional Support for Research Trainees | April 22, 2020

Dear colleagues,

Today, the Government of Canada announced new funding of $291.6 million to maintain income support for trainees whose programs have been affected due to the closure of academic research labs. This funding will include those trainees funded directly through programs such as the Canada Graduate Scholarships, Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships, and Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships.

Critically for CIHR-funded investigators, this investment will also provide support for those whose funding is derived directly from operating grants (also termed indirect support). While the full details of disbursement of the funding remain to be established, this represents a major investment of the Government of Canada in further securing the stability of the health research ecosystem. From the outset of the pandemic, CIHR has been working to develop mitigation measures for Canada’s health research community, and we are grateful for this additional funding, which will provide relief for many research trainees at this difficult time.

In concert with the announcement made today, we are continuing to support Canadian health researchers by working with the Minister of Health to assess and respond to the impact of COVID-19, with the objective of ensuring the overall stability of the Canadian health research ecosystem now and going forward.

I wish all of you and your loved ones good health during this challenging time. With your patience and understanding, we will get through this together.


Michael J. Strong, MD, FRCP, FCAHS, FAAN

President, CIHR

Mitacs: Expanding Research Efforts | April 14, 2020

We know research projects are facing challenging times. So, Mitacs is expanding its research efforts to support Canadian innovation, research and development in the fight against COVID-19.

We are:

Our goal is to ensure you get the partner and the resources you need to find solutions faster.

NSERC: Discovery Grant Extensions, Funding | April 8, 2020

NSERC released the following statement on April 8th regarding Discovery grant extensions and additional funding.

Research Finance and Western Research are currently working with NSERC and waiting for further direction on how grant recipients will elect to accept the extensions and an additional year of funding if they choose. As more information becomes available we will forward it to our research community.

Extension of Discovery Grants

To lessen the impact due to COVID-19 and to support all of our researchers and highly qualified personnel, all active Discovery Grants can elect to receive a one-year extension with funds at their current funding level. This includes grants from the recent 2020 competition. Grantees due to apply in competition 2021 can elect not to apply for funding this summer/fall during these tumultuous times.

This one year extension will be granted for the following programs: Discovery Grants, Discovery Grants – Subatomic Physics (Individual, Project and Major Resources), Discovery Grants – Northern Research Supplements and Discovery Development Grants. NSERC will contact grantees and universities with details on how to confirm their grant extensions.

In light of these extensions, the 2021 Discovery Grants competition will be for new applicants (those not currently holding a Discovery Grant) and those who choose not to accept the extension. As we develop the necessary mechanisms to support this initiative, additional details will be communicated.

In the meantime, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions and continue to visit this webpage, which is updated regularly. You may also continue to contact NSERC Research Grants at

CIHR: Cancelling Spring 2020 Project Grant Competition | April 2, 2020

I am writing to you today to announce that, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, CIHR has cancelled the Spring 2020 Project Grant competition.

CIHR made the decision to cancel the spring competition following consultations with Governing Council, Science Council, partners at the U-15, Universities Canada, HealthCareCAN, and the University Delegates Network, among others. While the decision to cancel the competition was a difficult one, our priority right now is to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the health and safety of our staff and the research community.

After considering all available options, the Spring 2020 Project Grant competition was cancelled for the following key reasons:

  • Many of our peer reviewers are clinician scientists and health professionals who have heeded the call to lend a hand, as our country’s health care resources are stretched thin on the ground. It would have been irresponsible for CIHR to divert their attention at this critical time of need.
  • With researchers following public health advice to curtail travel and self-isolate, carrying out face-to-face peer review for the Spring 2020 Project Grant competition would have been contrary to all public health advice.
  • Our pool of peer reviewers is comprised of many professors who are now faced with the task of modifying their courses and final exams to an online format. This shift will entail a great deal of work, and we do not want to add to their burden.
  • The researchers who would typically provide peer review for this competition – and the CIHR staff who would deliver it – are presently occupied with a more important duty: caring for the health and safety of their families and loved ones, which must remain their top priority.
  • Last, but not least, in keeping with government-wide initiatives to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, CIHR’s physical offices are closed and all work is being done from home. Our priority is to direct our resources to efforts to tackle the government of Canada’s response to COVID-19.

Given the extraordinary circumstances, CIHR did consider virtual peer review for the Spring 2020 Project Grant competition. However, such a move would not have resolved many of the challenges mentioned above. Furthermore, with the situation continuing to evolve, we could not be certain about the reliability of the critical infrastructure required to deliver a high-quality competition. For these reasons, we are not pursuing virtual peer review for the Spring 2020 Project Grant competition. Delaying the competition until this summer was also not a viable option, as there is a possibility that CIHR’s normal business operations will not resume in time to successfully deliver a Project Grant competition this summer. That said, CIHR remains on track to deliver the Fall 2020 Project Grant competition.

We acknowledge that cancelling the competition will have significant impacts on those who applied as well as on future competitions. CIHR will implement the following measures to help mitigate these impacts:

  • Similar to what was done when the Spring 2017 competition was delayed, CIHR will financially extend all existing Investigator-Initiated Research grants scheduled to expire between June 30, 2020 and March 30, 2021, for one year.
  • This includes providing an extension to all Nominated Principal Applicants (NPAs) with a grant expiring within the date range who applied to the Spring 2020 competition, as these applicants were applying for a grant to replace one that was expiring.
  • The amount provided will be equivalent to one year of the grant’s average annual value.
  • Those who accept the extension will not be allowed to apply as an NPA to the Fall 2020 competition to help ease some of the pressure on this competition.
  • Additionally, CIHR will financially extend all bridge grants provided to Nominated Principal Investigators (NPIs) in the Fall 2019 Project Grant competition.
  • This extension will be provided to all NPIs who received a bridge grant in the Fall 2019 competition and applied to the Spring 2020 competition.
  • The amount provided will be the equivalent of 6 months of their bridge grant amount.
  • NPIs who are provided this bridge grant extension will be allowed to apply in the role of NPA to the Fall 2020 competition.
  • NPAs from the Spring 2020 Project Grant competition will be given the option to bring their submission forward automatically to the Fall 2020 Project Grant competition, including the ability to provide a one-page supplement for additional support data or publications. NPAs will also have the option to withdraw their application and resubmit a new or updated application to the Fall competition.

More broadly, CIHR is considering measures to help the health research community weather the storm of the COVID-19 pandemic. The following measures will be implemented immediately

  • An automatic one-year extension to the authority-to-use-funds date for all active grants. This will give researchers an additional full year to use any residual funds not yet spent to compensate for disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • CIHR will place a moratorium on all existing and any new strategic/institute-driven funding opportunities during the next three months. The exception is that any funding competitions related to COVID-19 will continue to go forward.
  • Relatedly, throughout this process, we have worked closely with our colleagues at the U15 and Universities Canada, who are currently considering our proposal to provide a full-year extension to all those individuals who are within the probationary period and tenure stream.

CIHR will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves, and stands ready to take more action as needed to help mitigate any impacts and delays caused by COVID-19.

I know that you likely have many questions. CIHR will follow up with all applicants and peer reviewers for the Spring 2020 Project Grant competition through targeted communications in order to assist you as you navigate next steps and consider your options. We will also be holding webinars in the lead up to the Fall 2020 Project Grant competition to answer your questions. In the meantime, please visit CIHR’s COVID-19 webpage, which will be updated regularly, and continue to email your questions to

Rest assured that we will continue to do everything in our power to minimize disruption to the research community. These are extraordinary times and these are extraordinary measures, but we will get through them together.

National Institutes of Health | April 2, 2020

The NIH is deeply concerned for the health and safety of people involved in NIH research, and about the effects on the biomedical enterprise in the areas affected by the HHS declared public health emergency for COVID-19. Due to the potential exceptional impact, we want to assure our recipient community that NIH will be doing our part to help you continue your research.

This is a rapidly evolving situation and we will provide updated guidance and information as it becomes available.For specific updates, please visit the NIH website dedicated to COVID-19 updates.

Mitacs | March 30, 2020

Mitacs would like to contribute to help the ecosystem as much as we can during this challenging time. We have set aside a limited number of internship units to support research that directly aligns with the Federal and Provincial governments’ objectives at the moment:

If the partner is an SME they can get a discounted financial contribution: $3,750 + HST cash instead of $7,500 and Mitacs will provide the remaining $11,250 per unit for the $15K total.

In addition, we have extremely quick turnaround times for applications (regardless if SME or not).

If you come across any projects that may fall in line with these priorities, please let me know and I would be happy to follow up with the applicants.

Take care and stay healthy!

Katie Facecchia

Canada Foundation for Innovation | March 26, 2020

CFI activities are continuing, with some changes

The current global pandemic underlines the necessity of keeping Canada’s research facilities at the ready. Recognizing the importance of delivering our funding programs in a timely way, we strive to continue conducting our regular business, to the extent possible as our staff has transitioned to telework.

The purpose of this note is to inform you of specific actions we are taking to maintain high-quality service:

  • CFI staff are working remotely until further notice but remain connected through email and phone. You can also direct general queries to or 613.947.6496.
  • We will hold all currently scheduled in-person meetings by video- or teleconference.
  • As we adjust to these new circumstances, we may be delayed in responding to your queries.

Current funding competitions

  • The evaluation of the applications for the 2020 Innovation Fund competition is proceeding according to original timelines. We have changed the format of our Expert Committee meetings from in-person to video- or teleconference. We have also eliminated face-to-face meetings with representatives from institutions and projects. We invite researchers to contact their institution’s CFI liaison for information related to their proposals. For all other stakeholders in the 2020 Innovation Fund, please write to if you have questions.
  • The June 15, 2020 deadline for the next John R. Evans Leaders Fund competition remains unchanged. If institutions are not in a position to meet that deadline, they can still use their JELF allocations for the next JELF competition (October 15, 2020 deadline).
  • We are currently consulting with colleges that have submitted notices of intent for the College-Industry Innovation Fund— Stream 1 competition regarding the deadlines for full applications.
  • We are liaising with NSERC regarding the College-Industry Innovation Fund–Stream 2 competition to determine the appropriate measures we need to take.

Award finalization, payments to institutions and financial reporting

  • We are extending award finalization and financial deadlines by three months.
  • We continue to process award finalizations. Please continue to upload signed award finalization forms in the CFI Awards Management System (CAMS) to initiate the process. We are also accepting electronic signatures of these documents.
  • For the time being, we will send award agreements electronically rather than in hard copy.
  • We will continue to make payments to institutions.
  • We are finalizing an interim process to accept and sign agreements via reply email such as the award finalization form, award agreements and institutional agreements. Details will follow.

Project progress reporting

The 2020 project progress reports and the operational status question will be accessible in CAMS April 1. While we strongly encourage institutions to respond as early as possible, we are extending the deadline to September 30, 2020.

Frequently asked questions

In the coming days, we will be posting these and other ongoing updates on our activities on our website, We will advise you once that page is live.

Canada Council for the Arts | March 26, 2020

Our thoughts go out to the many artists and arts organizations, and to their loved ones around the world, whose health and livelihood are being directly affected by the global spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

We know these are difficult times. The effects of the pandemic continue to raise many important questions across our borders and boundaries. Although we can’t predict the extent of its impact on Canada’s national arts community, we are sensitive to the many challenges ahead for artists, organizations and their stakeholders.

Answers to your questions:

We have put together a COVID-19 Info update page with FAQs and guidance to keep you informed about the latest regarding:

  • Financial impacts like emergency funding, financial losses and grant payments.
  • Federal government support measures to support artists abroad and enhanced access to employment insurance.
  • Suspension of funding for public events and travel-related activities and for grant recipients.
  • Grant details involving applications, assessments, cancellations and reimbursements.

If you cannot access an online version of this information and require a PDF, please email:

Our website is being updated regularly. We are using our social media channels to announce the updates. Please help us support the community, by sharing this information with your own networks.

Quick facts:

  • Some Deadlines and notification of results have been extended.
  • We are suspending our funding for projects that are dependent on domestic and international travel during a four-month period from March 16 to July 31, 2020.
  • We aim to reply to all questions within two business days; our ability to do so may be affected by the volume of queries received by staff and by our availability to respond. Thank you for your continued patience.

What’s next:

  • We are working closely with our colleagues at Canadian Heritage to develop proposals for short-term measures, which will help the sector get through this crisis.
  • As we identify and confirm new information or resources, we will update our site.
  • Check our website and other channels regularly for updates. If you don’t have online access, let us know so we can send you the latest update.

When you can expect to hear from us again:

  • We will only send out another message like this one if we have a major announcement to share. In the interim, we encourage you to follow us on social media and to keep an eye on our COVID-19 Info update page.
  • Please review our FAQs; if you have questions we haven’t addressed, email us at:

A message to you from our CEO and Director, Simon Brault:

  • The latest message from CEO and Director Simon Brault is available on our web site.

While these are difficult and unsettling times, we remain committed to doing all we can to support the arts community and to preserving its invaluable role within Canadian society.

As you navigate the challenges ahead, we are with you in working to keep bringing the arts to life.

Ontario Centres of Excellence | March 26, 2020

As this unprecedented global situation unfolds, we recognize that this is a uniquely challenging period for you – not only personally, but also due to the disruption to your business, research and projects.

Whether you are a researcher or a company, early-stage or scaling, if you currently have a project with OCE, we fully appreciate how the impacts of COVID-19 may affect your business, your ability to conduct research, your access to research labs and equipment, as well as your ability to prepare and submit applications and reports. We view every program that we offer and every project that we support as a partnership, and take an active role in ensuring your success. As a result, we are exploring all avenues, including project extensions and accelerated payments, to support you during this difficult time.

We continue to make adjustments as we monitor the evolution and impact of COVID-19, and we look forward to keeping you informed as we respond to rapidly changing circumstances.

OCE is working across our many partners and stakeholders to ensure timely updates are available and we encourage you to visit the Program Updates section of the OCE website for program-specific updates as new information becomes available. For urgent requests related to projects that are within 30 days of completion, please contact the Program Lead assigned to your project.

As always, do not hesitate to reach out to your Business Development Manager. We’re here to help.

Finally, thank you again for being a valued part of Ontario’s innovation ecosystem – now, more than ever, we must be adaptable, responsive and collaborative, as we work together in common interest with innovators from across the province.

Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) | March 20, 2020

In this time of unprecedented disruption, we wanted to reassure you that we recognize the COVID-19 pandemic may affect you and your loved ones’ physical and/or mental health. We understand that you may be facing many challenges, including delays or interruptions in your ability to conduct and review research; teach and mentor students; supervise postdoctoral researchers; prepare and submit publications or grant and scholarship applications, among other things. We understand that some research could be jeopardized or slowed down, the preparation of research and financial reports may be delayed, and meetings, events, and travel plans may also be affected. SSHRC will continue to support the community as we adapt to these challenges.

Our strength in the social sciences and humanities research community is our understanding of the human aspect of such crises. We recognize the priority to ensure your health and safety, and that of your families, students, employees, friends and colleagues. Here at SSHRC, we are likewise involved in supporting our staff as we all adapt to a new way of working.

We appreciate your patience as SSHRC is taking appropriate measures to analyze and implement necessary adjustments to its operations as we monitor the evolving impact of COVID-19. The situation continues to evolve rapidly, and we will make further adjustments as needed.

Over the coming days and weeks, we will provide program-specific information, noting adjustments to application deadlines and reporting due dates, as needed. Check out this webpage regularly to learn more about the impacts of COVID-19 on SSHRC’s programs.

Mitacs | March 19, 2020

As the landscape around COVID-19 continues to change, our priority of supporting global public health remains steadfast.

We are monitoring this unprecedented situation and are taking action to support our staff, participants, and stakeholders. In response to federal and provincial directives, we have made a number of changes to our business operations.

Globalink Research Internship (GRI)
  • We are cancelling the Globalink Research Internship program this summer and, unfortunately, will not have the opportunity to welcome senior undergraduates from our partner countries to Canadian universities.
  • We are working with participants on immediate actions, including covering incurred, non-refundable costs.
  • Questions may be directed to
  • We are continuing with the 2021 Globalink Research Internship Faculty call
Globalink Research Awards (GRA) and Accelerate International
  • For inbound Globalink Research Awards and Accelerate International participants who are currently in Canada, we strongly advise them to make immediate arrangements to consult with their home and host universities, end their project activities, and return home.
  • For outbound participants who are currently abroad, we strongly advise them to make immediate arrangements to consult with their home and host universities, end their project activities, and return home.
  • For Accelerate International interns who are requesting work-from-home options, we are examining them on a case-by-case basis.
  • We are working toward alternatives for those GRA and Accelerate International students who have been approved recently, but have not yet travelled.
  • GRA questions may be directed to and Accelerate International questions to
Mitacs Entrepreneur International
  • We are working with Mitacs Entrepreneur International participants through one-on-one means.
  • The contact for related questions is an online form.
  • We are moving all courses online.
Accelerate and Elevate
  • We are continuing with the Elevate call, as scheduled.
  • We are looking at how Accelerate and Elevate programs are currently being affected and will be affected in the future.
  • We expect that interns and fellows are following partner and university work-from-home procedures.
  • We will share more updates on these programs soon.

All Mitacs staff members have moved to work-from-home protocols and are using supporting technology. Our teams remain operational and reachable.

We thank the community for their patience and will continue to adapt as the situation evolves.

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) | March 19, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented us with a health crisis and grave disruptions the likes of which most of us have never seen before. I know that you are facing many challenges: our labs have been temporarily closed, you’re adjusting to teaching your courses online, and many of you who are clinicians have heeded the call to lend a hand as resources on the ground are stretched thin. Above and beyond this, you’re occupied with the most important job of all: watching out for the health and safety of your family and loved ones.

I know that you have questions about what the disruptions caused by COVID-19 mean for CIHR’s programs. Many of you are in the course of applying, have applied, or will be applying for funding competitions, or you’ve volunteered to peer review, and you’re wondering about the status of those competitions.

As you may imagine, this issue has been a critical priority for my senior team and I to address while we assess the evolving challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. While I acknowledge that you would like answers right now, the fact of the matter is that this is not going to be business as usual for any of us and our tools to address these challenges are limited. Given this, we have been consulting carefully in order to understand not only the critical needs to be addressed, but also the long-term implications of any approach we use. We recognize that we will need to address not only the ability to offer grant competitions at this time, but also the implications for the current closure of labs across the country. Any package that we will bring forward, and indeed there will be one, will look to mitigate the many impacts on researchers, trainees, lab staff, and research administrators, among others – including ensuring that staff paid from grants will continue to be paid. I can assure you that we will provide the initial aspects of this approach in the next few days.

In the meantime, please regularly consult the COVID-19 webpage on CIHR’s website. It will be updated regularly as more information becomes available.

These are extraordinary times, but we will get through them together.

EduCanada International Scholarships | March 18, 2020

Global Affairs Canada (GAC) is currently monitoring the effect of the current COVID-19 pandemic on Canadian postsecondary institutions, foreign institutions and students and researchers around the world. Given the rapidly evolving circumstances, GAC will extend all open scholarship competition deadlines by an additional three weeks for various programs.

Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council (NSERC) | March 17, 2020

NSERC continues to make adjustments to its operations as we monitor the evolution and impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). We will continue to support our grants, scholarships and awards recipients, as well applicants, peer reviewers and employees. The situation continues to evolve rapidly, and we will make further adjustments as needed.

The granting agencies recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic may affect your work, your ability to conduct and review research, and your ability to prepare and submit publications or grant and scholarship applications. We understand that some research could be jeopardized or slowed down; the preparation of research and financial reports may be delayed; and meetings, events, and travel plans may also be affected. The Agencies will continue to support the research community as we adapt to these challenges.

Over the coming days and weeks, we will provide program-by-program specific information as we continue to monitor and evaluate adjustments to program application deadlines and the reporting of due dates, as needed. These will be communicated through the NSERC website with regular updates. We will continue to make adjustments and put in place additional measures as necessary.

The information below will be updated on a regular basis. If you have any questions, please refer to NSERC's Contact Us page.

Program-specific details

Collaborative Research and Development grants

All grant applications: Results will be communicated shortly, only minor delays are expected.

Alliance grants (option 1)

NSERC continues to accept applications. Applicants can expect delays in processing times, depending on the capacity of peer reviewers and of NSERC personnel. Applications for which external reviews were received by March 12, 2020, should receive answers from NSERC in April.

Alliance grants (option 2)

The first meeting of the review panel is postponed until June 2020.

Synergy Awards

The application deadline has been moved to June 1, 2020.

Idea to Innovation (I2I) grants

The March 30, 2020 I2I application deadline has been postponed to June 22, 2020. The evaluation of I2I applications submitted in January 2020 will not be affected by these changes.

College Engage and Applied Research and Development (ARD) grants

NSERC will continue to receive applications, but processing times will be partly dependent on the availability of external reviewers, notably for ARDs.

The Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, the Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research and the John C. Polanyi Award

The deadline for these programs has been extended to May 1, 2020.

Canada Graduate Scholarships – Masters

The timelines for opening the Research Portal (CGS-M) for students to accept or decline awards will be delayed. New timelines will be communicated as soon as possible.

All programs

Research reports due to NSERC have all been granted an extension of four weeks (to be revised as appropriate).

Other general program information Grant extensions

NSERC and SSHRC recognize that agency-funded research activities may be delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. NSERC and SSHRC will approve, on request, extensions to spend existing grant funds of up to 12 months for grants ending on or before March 31, 2021. This provision applies to all grants, regardless of whether they have received a previous time extension of any length for any reason (including, where applicable, automatic extensions). Administering institutions can now proceed with the necessary changes to give grant recipients reasonable flexibility, especially for grants ending in the very near future. The intent of this provision is to allow grantees to continue spending grant funds, and institutions to delay the processing of residual grant funds (per the NSERC/SSHRC Guidelines for the General Research Fund). The mechanism for institutions to notify the Agencies of the details of these extensions will be determined and communicated in the near future, after which the Agencies will process them as resources permit. In addition, grantees and institutions are reminded that recipients have three months to pay commitments made prior to the grant end date.

Travel and travel cancellations

NSERC confirms that in addition to the costs described in the earlier Tri-agency statement regarding cancelled travel plans of researchers and members of their teams, other non-refundable expenses may be incurred as a result of cancelled travel and/or meetings related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Provided the expenses would have been eligible had the travel/meeting taken place as planned, these non-refundable costs can be reimbursed out of existing grant funds.

Other exceptional expenditures

In addition to the reimbursement of non-refundable travel and meeting costs as previously described, NSERC recognizes that in some cases other costs may be incurred in relation to ongoing financial commitments, such as the remuneration of individuals paid out of agency grants. For example, individuals receiving a salary or stipend from grant funds may be recommended or required to self-isolate, and/or may be unable to work or telework for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic. NSERC confirms that if the costs are not covered by other sources of funds within the institution, and provided these expenses would otherwise have been eligible to be paid out of the grant, these can be paid from existing grant funds.