COVID-19 Funding Opportunities

CRCEF stage 3 call for applications

Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF)

The Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF) was announced by the Federal Government on May 15, 2020, as part of the Government of Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.  Details of the fund were released on June 23, 2020.

CRCEF is a Tri-Agency institutional fund, administered by SSHRC.  The program funding, with a total budget of $450 million, is being allocated and subsequently released in three stages with the first two stages focused on providing wage support for research-related personnel and the third stage to support extraordinary incremental costs associated with maintaining essential related commitments during the COVID-19 pandemic and to ramp up as research activities resume.  Each stage requires an institutional application.

  • Stages 1 and 2:  wage support for eligible research personnel whose salaries were adversely affected by COVID-19 and who are paid in part or in whole by non-governmental sources, and who are not claiming other wage support (e.g., Canada Emergency Response Benefit).
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • Stage 3: incurred costs associated with maintenance and ramp-up of research activities.
  • Stage 4: extends the maximum duration of wage support for eligible research personnel from 12 weeks to 24 weeks. The eligibility period for wage support remains the same: From March 15th, 2020 to August 29th, 2020.

Based on our Tri-Agency funding, UNB was allocated $1,298,721.00 for stage 1.  Additional funds, above the institutional allocation, may be made available in a subsequent stage.

UNB's application for stage 1 wage support was submitted July 7, 2020.  Only direct costs of research were eligible.  Research-related personnel are 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. This also does not apply to institutional facilities as they are not an eligible expense of the CRCEF (e.g. Animal Care).  Administrative costs, such as indirect costs, overhead or transactions costs were not eligible expenses.  UNB received $1,298,721.00 on July 20, 2020, the maximum allowable in this stage.  It is important to note, that like all COVID-19 federal wage support programs, these funds do not, nor were meant to, cover 100% of the eligible wages.  

The Vice-President (Research) has been working with the various units in the Office of Research Services to identify all eligible recipients and facilitate the distribution of UNB’s CRCEF allocation.  Stage 2 funding will be distributed based on unmet residual needs identified from Stage 1.  In order to ensure the most equitable distribution possible, the decision was made to include all eligible salaries in the calculation and distribution, and to prorate the actual distribution based on the CRCEF funded amount to full eligible costs. 

Strategy for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Decision Making

UNB is committed to fostering an inclusive culture and to advancing diversity in all of its forms to leverage the educational and institutional benefits. The University upholds the Tri-Agency commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, and will ensure equal access to this program.  In managing CRCEF funding, UNB is committed to active measures to prevent systemic barriers from creating unequal access to, or exclusion from participating in the research enterprise.

For Stages 1 and 2:  To ensure equity, diversity and inclusion are embedded in the CRCEF decision making process, and to ensure that bias in the allocation was removed, the committee contacted all UNB researchers with eligible personnel.  Researchers who confirmed that they met the program requirements were advised that EDI principles must be taken into consideration in decisions relating to their research teams. Researchers who did not respond were contacted again to ensure that those who met the eligibility criteria were funded and any outstanding questions regarding the program were answered.

For Stage 1 and 2, submitted claims did not exceed the funds allocated to UNB, and so all eligible requests were given the same consideration and supported to the maximum amount allowable under the CRCEF funding guidelines. Our internal identification process was systematic and unlikely to introduce bias.  If the total available CRCEF funding was not sufficient to meet the demand after the Stage 2 allocation was determined, the funding would have been distributed proportionately to meet as much of the identified need as possible.

For Stages 3 and 4, should the amount of submitted claims exceed available funds, UNB will ensure the following:

  • Decisions regarding funding requests will be determined by the CRCEF steering  committee.
  • Acknowledgement that individuals from equity-seeking groups may be disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
  • Establishment of a fair and transparent decision process with pre-determined selection criteria applied consistently to all applicants, to ensure that decisions:
    • limit the negative impact of unconscious bias and systemic barriers for both wage support and maintenance/ramp-up costs;
    • are not negatively affected by a researcher’s inability to work during the pandemic due to child/family care or increased risk related to exposure to COVID-19; and
    • value research that is non-traditional or unconventional, based in Indigenous ways of knowing outside the mainstream of the discipline, or focused on issues of gender, race or minority status.

The CRCEF process at UNB is overseen by the UNB CRCEF steering committee comprising individuals representing UNB senior management, research administration, and EDI oversight. The UNB CRCEF steering committee provides an accountable and transparent governance structure for making decisions on how the CRCEF funds will be used following Tri-Agency directions and is responsible for:

  • Developing and overseeing a strategy for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) decision making for the use of funds
  • Advising on UNB CRCEF process and controls
  • Making recommendations to the Vice-President, Research for final approval of UNB requirements at Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3 and Stage 4 of the CRCEF program

The following measures were put in place to ensure that equity, diversity and inclusion informed all decision making:

  • The steering committee includes individuals from the four designated groups as per the Employment Equity Act.
  • All steering committee members completed unconscious bias training.
  • The committee includes an individual with advanced equity training, who is tasked with ensuring that decision-making values research that is non-traditional or unconventional, based in Indigenous ways of knowing, outside the mainstream of the discipline, or focused on issues of gender, race, or minority status.
  • All UNB personnel data was extracted from the financial management system based solely on Government of Canada eligibility requirements. The data was cross-checked and verified for completeness at multiple levels.  The funding calculation and anonymized data ensure that decisions are not negatively affected by a researcher’s inability to work during the pandemic due to child/family care or increased risk related to exposure to COVID-19.
  • The steering committee applied a consistent and pro-rated approach to all funding recommendations.
  • The committee followed up with researchers to ensure all eligible personnel were included in the allocation to prevent exclusions.

UNB does not have affiliated health related institution and as such is not required to develop a method of distribution to affiliated institutions.

Ultimate responsibility for the CRCEF program at UNB rests with the Vice-President (Research), who can be contacted at vpr@unb.ca.

CRCEF Stage 3 Call for Applications

UNB is now undertaking an open call for applications for Stage 3 CRCEF funding to support research maintenance and ramp-up costs incurred due to COVID-19. See the attached document for detailed program information and application instructions.

Stage 3 of this program supports direct costs of research that have been incurred to:

  1. maintain essential research-related commitments during the COVID-19 pandemic; and/or
  2. ramp-up to full research activities as physical distancing measures are eased and research activities can resume.

Applications for Stage 3 CRCEF funding can be submitted by faculty members who hold research accounts for impacted projects at UNB. This includes principal investigators and directors of research facilities.

UNB particularly invites applications from early-career researchers, and from members of equity-seeking groups (women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, racialized people, and persons from LGBTQ2+ communities).

Applicants must complete an application form and submit it via email to vpr-crcef@unb.ca, Applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm on Monday, November 23, 2020.

For questions about CRCEF that are not addressed in the attached documents, please contact vpr-crcef@unb.ca.