COVID-19: Funding Agency Deadline/ Funding Updates

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Return to this web page for updates from funding agencies related to application deadlines and other process changes and announcements. ORS will continue to share information here as we receive it. 

Current COVID-19 related funding opportunities are listed at the bottom of this page.

Please also visit the UBC Vice President, Research and Innovation (VPRI) web site for research FAQs related to COVID-19. These FAQs are being updated as needed. 

Tri-Agency Funding Updates

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

May 28: CIHR has announced that the Spring 2020 Project Grant competition has been reinstated. All applications submitted to the competition will be reviewed over the Summer, with decisions expected to be released in early Fall. Read the full announcement at https://cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/51987.html

April 21: The Tri-Agencies jointly shared the following information regarding funding ongoing and incremental costs of research activities during COVID-19: 

  • Continuing to pay any members of the research team, eligible to be paid from an agency grant, is an eligible expense in the context of COVID-19 despite remote, revised and reduced work. 
  • The agencies will defer to administering institutions to determine if COVID-19 related incremental costs that would not normally be incurred (for example, compensation and travel) related to agency-funded research activitiesare consistent with the principles and directives set out in the Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration (and if they are, then those expenses will still be eligible to be paid from grant funds). If you have questions about the eligiblity of specific incremental costs at UBC, please contact tri-agency.renewal@finance.ubc.ca.

Please visit https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/news_room-salle_de_presse/covid-19-eng.aspx (under the "General Information" heading) to read the full announcement. 

April 2: CIHR has announced several measures in response to COVID-19, including the following: 

(NOTE: Per the CIHR announcement made on May 28, 2020, the Spring 2020 Project Grant competition has been reinstated. Read the full announcement at https://cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/51987.html)

  • Cancellation of the Spring 2020 Project Grant competitionIn light of this decision:
    • CIHR will offer an additional year of funding to researchers who hold an active Investigator-Initiated Research grants scheduled to expire between June 30, 2020 and March 30, 2021 AND who submitted an application to the now cancelled Spring 2020 Project Grant competition. 
      • 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 offer an additional 6-months of funding to researchers who received a bridge grants in the Fall 2019 Project Grant competition AND who submitted an application to the now cancelled Spring 2020 Project Grant 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.
  • 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.

Please read CIHR's full announcement at https://cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/51927.html. Researchers impacted by the cancellation of the Spring 2020 Project Grant competiton should also review the CIHR FAQs on this decision at https://cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/51917.html#faq-spg2020

March 8: See the Tri-Agencies' announcement regarding the cancellation of travel due to COVID-19 and the reimbursement of non-refundable travel fees: https://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Media-Media/ProgramNewsDetails-NouvellesDesProgrammesDetails_eng.asp?ID=1133

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)

April 21: The Tri-Agencies jointly shared the following information regarding funding ongoing and incremental costs of research activities during COVID-19: 

  • Continuing to pay any members of the research team, eligible to be paid from an agency grant, is an eligible expense in the context of COVID-19 despite remote, revised and reduced work. 
  • The agencies will defer to administering institutions to determine if COVID-19 related incremental costs that would not normally be incurred (for example, compensation and travel) related to agency-funded research activitiesare consistent with the principles and directives set out in the Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration (and if they are, then those expenses will still be eligible to be paid from grant funds). 

Please visit https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/news_room-salle_de_presse/covid-19-eng.aspx (under the "General Information" heading) to read the full announcement.  If you have questions about the eligiblity of specific incremental costs at UBC, please contact tri-agency.renewal@finance.ubc.ca.

April 16: The results of the 2020 Discovery Grant competition have been delayed until the week of April 20; ORS will distribute the results to departments as soon as they are received.

April 8: To lessen the impact due to COVID-19, NSERC has announced that all active Discovery Grants can elect to receive a one-year extension with funds at their current funding level ("active" grants are defined as those due to receive payment for the 2020-2021 fiscal year or later, including the Discovery Grants awarded in 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.The 2021 Discovery Grant competition is expected to continue without disruption for new applicants and those who choose not to accept the funded extension. For details read NSERC's full announcement at https://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Media-Media/NewsRelease-CommuniqueDePresse_eng.asp?ID=1139 and visit the FAQs at https://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Professors-Professeurs/FAQ-FAQ/DG-SD_eng.asp

March 20: NSERC has announced that administering universities will have the authority to automatically approve an end date extension of up to 12 months to grants with an end date between February 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, inclusively. This applies to all grants, including those previously extended for any length or any reason (including, where applicable, automatic extensions). If you are the lead PI on an NSERC grant with an end date that falls within this period and you require an extension, please send an email to ors@ors.ubc.ca (UBC Vancouver) or researchoffice.ubco@ubc.ca (UBC Okanagan) and include the following information: (1) UBC PG # and (2) Number of months extension (up to 12). Note that this extension authorization does not apply to GRF funding

March 16: NSERC has announced program information in relation to COVID‑19, including the application deadline extensions listed below. Note that the release of Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) and Discovery Grant results should not be impacted and is scheduled for mid-April (update: results are now expected the week of April 20). After results have been released, the deadline to submit a Discovery Grant appeal has been extended till June 30, 2020. Read the full NSERC announcement at https://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Media-Media/NewsRelease-CommuniqueDePresse_eng.asp?ID=1139​

  • Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) – letter of intent: The application deadline for the letter of intent has been extended to June 1, 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.
  • Canada Graduate Scholarships – Masters (CGS-M): The opening of the Research Portal for students to accept or decline awards has been delayed until April 15, 2020.
  • Call for joint Canada-UK projects on quantum technologies (QT): The expression of interest deadline has been extended to June 8, 2020. The two funding agencies will respond jointly to expressions of interest by June 12, 2020.

March 8: See the Tri-Agencies' announcement regarding the cancellation of travel due to COVID-19 and the reimbursement of non-refundable travel fees: https://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Media-Media/ProgramNewsDetails-NouvellesDesProgrammesDetails_eng.asp?ID=1133

New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF)

COVID-19 related announcements affecting NFRF programs and funding are being posted at https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/news_room-salle_de_presse/covid-19-eng.aspx.

April 20: In recognition of the challenges created by COVID-19, the NFRF Management Committee has decided to allocate additional funding to grantees of the 2018 New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF)—Exploration stream competition. Grantees will receive approximately 2.2 months’ worth of additional funding. The terms of all grants have been extended by 12 months as well. The Office of Research Services will be processing adjustments to the 2018 NFRF - Exploration accounts to reflect these changes.                                                                                               

April 3: The Tri-Agencies have announced that the Letter of Intent (LOI) deadline for the 2020 Transformation Competition has been extended to July 15, 2020, at 8 p.m. (eastern). The 2019 Exploration Competition will be finalized as planned, with applicants receiving Notices of Decision by March 31, 2020. There are no changes to the 2020 Horizon Global Platform competition. See the full announcement at https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/news_room-salle_de_presse/covid-19-eng.aspx (under "Tri-Agency Programs").

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

SSHRC is continually updating all program-specific information in relation to COVID‑19, including application deadline extensions and review timelines. Review the full SSHRC updates at https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/news_room-salle_de_presse/covid-19-eng.aspx.

April 21: The Tri-Agencies jointly shared the following information regarding funding ongoing and incremental costs of research activities during COVID-19: 

Continuing to pay any members of the research team, eligible to be paid from an agency grant, is an eligible expense in the context of COVID-19 despite remote, revised and reduced work. 
The agencies will defer to administering institutions to determine if COVID-19 related incremental costs that would not normally be incurred (for example, compensation and travel) related to agency-funded research activitiesare consistent with the principles and directives set out in the Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration (and if they are, then those expenses will still be eligible to be paid from grant funds). If you have questions about the eligiblity of specific incremental costs at UBC, please contact tri-agency.renewal@finance.ubc.ca.

Please visit https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/news_room-salle_de_presse/covid-19-eng.aspx (under the "General Information" heading) to read the full announcement. 

​March 20: SSHRC announced that administering universities will have the authority to automatically approve an end date extension of up to 12 months to grants with an end date between February 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, inclusively. This applies to all grants, including those previously extended for any length or any reason (including, where applicable, automatic extensions). If you are the lead PI on a SSHRC grant with an end date that falls within this period and you require an extension, please send an email to ors@ors.ubc.ca (UBC Vancouver) or researchoffice.ubco@ubc.ca (UBC Okanagan) and include the following information: (1) UBC PG # and (2) Number of months extension (up to 12). Note that this extension authorization does not apply to GRF (Fostering Research Partnerships Fund Grants), or Hampton funding.

March 8: See the Tri-Agencies' announcement regarding the cancellation of travel due to COVID-19 and the reimbursement of non-refundable travel fees: https://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Media-Media/ProgramNewsDetails-NouvellesDesProgrammesDetails_eng.asp?ID=1133

Other Funding Updates

Canada Council for the Arts

The Canada Council for the Arts has announced the cancellation of the competition for the 2021 Killam Research Fellowships. 

Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR)

May 26: MSFHR announced the following change to eligible expenses for Research Trainees: They may use their research and travel allowance for furniture to improve working conditions in their home environment. Note that Research Trainees will still need to follow their host institution’s policies on furniture purchases.

In addition, MSFHR is relaxing its policies on Conditions of Award (COA) requirements. Specifically, this means greater flexibility on deadlines for various reporting requirements and relaxing the requirements to apply for external salary awards from major national or international funding agencies, and hold in-person meeting(s). No-cost award extensions will also be approved upon request. Please contact Kate Wilczak, Manager, Research Competitions, at kate.wilczak@msfhr.org to arrange any change requests for your award.

These changes will be in effect until August 31, 2020. 

March 20: MSFHR announced the following program updates due to COVID-19:

Scholar/Research Trainee 

  • Full applications have already been received by MSFHR and are under peer review.
  • Peer review meetings will be conducted virtually. We are confident that high quality peer-review can be achieved through virtual meetings and we have experience doing this with a few review panels last year.
  • We are moving ahead with our initial timelines and anticipate that the awards will still be announced this summer, and maintain their original award start dates of July 1, 2020 for Scholar and September 1, 2020 for Research Trainee.   

Innovation to Commercialization (I2C)

Application deadlines have been extended by three months; the new application deadlines are:

  • Deadline to submit to Host Institution: June 30, 2020 
  • Deadline for HIs to submit to MSFHR: July 7, 2020 
  • New award start date: January 1, 2021

Health Professional-Investigator (HP-I)

Application deadlines have been extended by three months; the new application deadlines are:

  • Deadline to submit to Host Institution: July 17, 2020
  • Deadline for HIs to submit to MSFHR: July 24, 2020 
  • New award start date: January 1, 2021

Reach and Convening & Collaborating (C2)

Application deadlines have been extended by five months; the new application deadlines are:

  • Deadline to submit to Host Institution: September 28, 2020 
  • Deadline for HIs to submit to MSFHR: October 5, 2020
  • New award start date: February 1, 2021

Please visit the MSFHR Funding web page for full details: https://www.msfhr.org/funding

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The NIH has published a web page of COVID-19 Information for NIH Applicants and Recipients of NIH Funding. See https://grants.nih.gov/grants/natural_disasters/corona-virus.htm

United States Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity (USAMRAA)

On March 16, 2020, the USAMRRA published COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions to address immediate, high-level questions that have been posed to federal research assistance agencies. See https://www.usamraa.army.mil/Shared%20Documents/COVID-19%20FAQs%20-%20USAMRAA_CLEAN.pdf

Vancouver Foundation

Vancouver Foundation has posted an update on its web site regarding upcoming grant application deadlines and payments to existing grants. Visit https://www.vancouverfoundation.ca/whats-new/our-response-covid-19 to read in full. 

Weston Brain Institute

On March 25, 2020, the Weston Brain Institute announced extended deadlines for upcoming funding opportunities. Visit https://westonbraininstitute.ca/program-deadlines-extended/ to see full details and new deadlines.

Current COVID-19 related funding opportunities

Microsoft AI for Health COVID-19 Grant (Deadline: July 15, 2020)

Details: This is a focused effort for COVID-19 grant requests only. This grant program provides Azure cloud and High-Performance Computing capabilities. Our team of AI for Health data science experts, whose mission is to improve the health of people and communities worldwide, is also open to collaborations with COVID-19 researchers as they tackle this critical challenge.

Deadline: July 15, 2020 (or until further notice) - extended from initial deadline of June 15, 2020

Eligibility: Proposals are being accepted from nonprofits, academia, and governments.

For full details and application instructions, visit https://ai4hcovidgrants.microsoft.com/grantproposal/

Government of Canada Digital Citizen Contribution Program - COVID call (Deadline: July 31)

Details: The Digital Citizen Contribution Program supports the priorities of the Digital Citizen Initiative by providing time-limited financial assistance for research and citizen focused activities in order to support democracy and social cohesion in Canada in a digital world by enhancing and/or supporting efforts to counter online disinformation and other online harms and threats to Canada’s democracy and social cohesion.

Amount: Maximum amount of $25,000 per project for one year

Deadline: July 31, 2020

Eligibility: See eligibility criteria outlined at https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/services/online-disinformation/digital-citizen-contribution-program.html

Sponsor contact: Contact the Digital Citizen Contribution Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage to request an application package, including the application guidelines and the general application form: pch.icn-dci.pch@canada.ca

For full details and application instructions, visit https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/services/online-disinformation/digital-citizen-contribution-program.html

SSHRC PEG COVID-19 Special Initiative (Deadlines: June 15, 2020 and September 15, 2020)

Details: Through Partnership Engage Grants (PEG), the PEG COVID-19 Special Initiative provides short-term and timely support for small-scale, stakeholder-driven partnerships. It will allow researchers and their partners to address urgent and specific needs, challenges or opportunities through collaborations. It will also provide a unique opportunity to foster a knowledge exchange on COVID-19 crisis related issues, challenges and impacts between postsecondary researchers and different sectors of society, including graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and other highly qualified personnel.

Amount: Maximum amount of $25,000 per project for one year

Deadline: Two competitions: June 15, 2020 and September 15, 2020 deadlines

Eligibility: Per the general SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant eligibility requirements

Sponsor contactpartnershipengagegrants@sshrc-crsh.gc.ca

For full details and application instructions, visit https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/funding-financement/programs-programmes/peg-sep-covid-19-eng.aspx

WorkSafe BC - Impacts of COVID-19 Call for Proposals (Deadline: October 31, 2020)

Details: WorkSafeBC is interested in research projects to address both direct and indirect impacts arising from the COVID-19 pandemic unique to occupational health and safety, injured or ill worker recovery, and safe and sustainable return to work or stay-at-work.

Amount: Grant amounts are determined by WorkSafeBC, based on the proposed workplan and budget. As a guide, previous projects ranged from $50,000 to $150,000.

Deadline: October 31, 2020 at 4pm PST

Eligibility: The Principal Applicant must be a qualified researcher based in, or formally affiliated with, a university or other research institution. Researchers worldwide are invited to apply.

Sponsor contact: resquery@worksafebc.com

For full details and application instructions, visit https://www.worksafebc.com/en/resources/about-us/research/2020-sp-request-for-proposals-impacts-of-covid-19?lang=en

Genome Canada: COVID-19 Regional Genomics Initiative

Details: In response to the urgent need for further research on COVID-19 during the current crisis, Genome Canada is issuing a funding opportunity to support regional genomics projects designed to address specific, short-term needs of industry, not-for-profit, and public sector receptors through research conducted by academics in collaboration with these receptors. These projects will be identified by regional Genome Centres and may involve co-funding by provincial or industry partners (or other sources), although this isn’t required.

Amount: Genome Canada is making $1.5 million available, up to $250,000 per regional Genome Centre. It is expected that these initiatives will start no later than July 1, 2020 and be completed on/before June 30, 2022.

Sponsor contact: For more information on this program in British Columbia, please contact Dr. Ellie Griffith, Sector Director, Health

For details, visit https://www.genomebc.ca/funding-opportunity/covid-19-regional-genomics-initiative

Canada's Digital Technology Supercluster: Call for COVID-19 Solutions (Rolling intake)

Details: Through the COVID-19 Program, the Supercluster will invest up to $60 million to improving the health and safety of Canadians and Canada’s ability to address issues created by the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as building expertise and capacity to address and anticipate issues that may arise in future health crises.

Deadline: Rolling intake of project ideas; there is no specific deadline for submissions.

Eligibility: A Project Proposal for the COVID-19 Program must be led by a Supercluster Member or Associate who will become a Member upon selection of the project. 

Sponsor contact: covid@digitalsupercluster.ca

For full details and application instructions, visit https://www.digitalsupercluster.ca/new-covid-19-program/

National Research Council of Canada Pandemic Response Challenge Program

Details: The NRC will receive $15 million to form dedicated teams to address challenges requiring further research and development for solutions to meet COVID-19 related needs. The NRC will build these teams drawing on internal-to-government capacity and academic researchers who register using the button below to indicate their interest, and related areas of expertise and capabilities. 

Researchers at Canadian and international universities, government departments, colleges, and highly innovative firms with relevant expertise can now register their interest to work on these challenges by visiting https://nrc.canada.ca/en/research-development/research-collaboration/nrc-covid-19-response. Over the coming weeks, NRC will post the specific R&D challenges, send information to registered researchers, and invite them to indicate the expertise and capabilities they can bring to a team.

Find Other COVID-19 Funding Opportunities

There are a number of search tools available to researchers to help identify COVID-19 related funding opportunities: