CRCEF Stage 4

Please note that the internal submission deadline for
CRCEF Stage 4 applications has now passed.

Urgent questions and enquiries should be sent to crcef.stage4@ubc.ca

The Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF) Stage 4 has been launched to extend wage support for research personnel and trainees whose salaries were adversely affected by COVID-19 and who were paid in part or in whole through research projects funded by non-government sources. CRCEF is a Tri-Agency program that is part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.

As in CRCEF Stages 1 & 2, Stage 4 is focused on wage support for research personnel who were paid in part or in whole through research projects funded by non-government sources. Eligible projects must either have experienced a loss or reduction in funding, or have been curtailed or delayed due to responses to COVID-19.

  • 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 15, 2020 to August 29, 2020.

A total of $84 million in extended support has been made available to Canadian universities and health research institutions. Within this envelope funding will be allocated to UBC and affiliated health research institutes based on demonstrated need. Funds will be dispensed to eligible researchers at UBC and our Affiliated Hospitals per the criteria and process outlined below. 

Submitting a claim
  • Investigators who submitted a claim in Stage 1 and 2 will be contacted directly by UBC's CRCEF support team or their affiliated institution regarding eligible salaries before November 10.
  • Investigators who did not make a claim for Stages 1 and 2 and have research personnel salaries eligible for Stage 4, should contact the dedicated UBC Stage 4 email help desk at crcef.stage4@ubc.ca by November 16, 2020 with the staff name, salary cost, dates worked, and PG or affiliate account number. CRCEF support team/affiliated staff will be available to assist with this Stage 4 submission.

Process GUIDE AND FAQS

UBC Internal Submission Deadline

November 16th, 2020

For Stage 4 of the CRCEF program UBC and affiliated health research institutions are required to demonstrate the need for funding.  It is critical that all eligible research personnel and trainees are identified by November 16th, 2020 so that a complete application can be submitted.

Eligibility

Funds are exclusively available to support the salaries of research trainees and personnel paid in part or in whole by non-governmental sources where funding or research progress have been adversely affected by COVID-19.

Eligible projects must either have experienced a loss or reduction in industry or foundation funding, or have been curtailed or delayed due to responses to COVID-19.

  • Stage 4 of CRCEF provides partial support for the direct salary costs of eligible research personnel incurred between March 15, 2020 and August 29, 2020 (the “eligibility period”) for a maximum of 24 weeks per individual. This 24-week maximum is the combined total wage support requested for an individual in Stages 1, 2 and 4.
    • Stage 4 provides funding for up to 24 weeks of wage support to eligible research-related personnel, as opposed to the initial maximum of 12 weeks.
    • Stage 4 funds do not cover an additional 24 weeks: the portions of salaries (i.e., number of weeks) that were reimbursed within the scope of Stages 1 and 2 cannot be claimed again in Stage 4.
    • If eligible salaries were not identified in Stage 1 and/or Stage 2, these salaries can be reimbursed in Stage 4, for a maximum of 24 weeks.
       
  • Research trainees and personnel are defined as those who are employed by UBC or affiliated health research institutions and who are working for faculty members (“Investigators”) conducting research, or who are working in scientific and engineering facilities/laboratories supporting broad research objectives. Eligible research personnel may include:
    • Graduate Students,
    • Post-Doctoral Fellows,
    • Research Associates,
    • Technicians who directly support research activities within a research project
    • Clinical research fellows and research staff funded through clinical trial activity,
    • Administrators who directly support research activities within a research project,
    • Scientific and administrative personnel who support common platform/infrastructure facilities that are shared and operated by researchers through diverse sources of funding, including non-governmental funding and through user-fees and University endowment funds. 
       
  • Only research personnel whose salaries are supported by non-governmental sources (e.g. industry, non-profit) are eligible.  The following groups are NOT eligible:
    • Research personnel and trainee salaries paid from the following funding sources are explicitly not eligible for CRCEF:
      • Federal Research Funding agency awards (e.g. NSERC, CIHR, SSHRC),
      • Canada Foundation for Innovation Awards,
      • Funding from any level of Canadian Government (including the Provincial and Municipal Government), including other COVID-19 relief programs,
      • Internal UBC or affiliated health research institution funding, except where the source of this funding is user-fees or endowment-funding (which are eligible).
    • Administrative personnel of the institution offering general services such as legal, financial or research office and commercialization services.
    • Research personnel and trainees funded by foreign governmental sources (e.g. NIH, US DoE).
    • Staff employed at institutional facilities such as animal care facilities. 
    • Faculty members.
       
  • If research personnel or trainees are paid by multiple sources, only the salary portion that meets these eligibility guidelines is eligible for CRCEF support.
     
  • For Mitacs supported projects, CRCEF will only support researcher salaries in proportion to the portion of the Mitacs funding provided by the industry partner.
     
  • Research personnel or trainees are not eligible for CRCEF during any period that they receive support from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
     
  • Research 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. (This criteria is taken from the Tri-Agency guideline for the fund, which may not be applicable to UBC and affiliates).
     
  • The salaries of research personnel or trainees whose ability to work have been affected due to childcare responsibilities are eligible.
Examples of eligible projects
  • The salaries of research trainees and/or personnel paid through a project funded by a foundation or industry partner. The partner indicated that it had to terminate or suspend payments on April 1, but salaries continued to be paid from remaining funds in the project account.
  • The salaries of research personnel and/or trainees were paid through a project funded by a foundation or industry partner. The partner indicated that it had to terminate or suspend payments on April 1, but salaries were able to be paid to avert layoffs by the PI utilizing other funding sources including Tri-Agency grants and University operating grants.
  • Funding from an industry sponsor that supports research trainees and personnel has continued but the project has been interrupted by research curtailment since March 15. Salaries have continued to be paid using the industry funding, but the research curtailment has significantly delayed the progress of the project.

Support provided

CRCEF will support 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 24 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. The 24 weeks of support is the combined total claimed for an individual in Stages 1, 2 & 4.

Process

UBC and affiliated health research institutions must demonstrate need to the Tri-Agency in order to receive funds under Stage 4 of the CRCEF program.

  1. Stage 4 funding eligibility information will be shared with all Investigators at UBC and affiliated health research institutions.
  2. UBC's CRCEF support team and staff at affiliates will identify Investigators who hold eligible funding sources from Stages 1 and 2 submissions, and the research personnel and trainees salaries claimed by the Investigators under Stages 1 and 2. UBC CRECEF support team/affiliate staff will identify eligible salary costs for the Stage 4 submission based on these Stage 1 and 2 submissions and internal financial data.
  3. UBC's CRCEF support team/affiliate staff will then contact Investigators before November 10, 2020 to confirm the research personnel and trainees salaries identified as eligible for support under Stage 4 of the CRCEF program. Investigators can submit additional eligible salaries (by PG number, staff name, and dates worked) by November 16, 2020.
  4. Investigators who did not make a claim for Stages 1 and 2 and have research personnel salaries eligible for Stage 4, should contact UBC's CRCEF Stage 4 email help desk at crcef.stage4@ubc.ca by November 16, 2020 with the staff name, salary cost, dates worked, and PG or affiliate account number.
    • UBC's CRCEF support team/affiliated staff will be available to assist with these Stage 4 submissions.
  5. Investigators will be asked to provide an attestation that the research personnel meet the CRCEF eligibility guidelines.  If Investigators are unavailable to provide this attestation their Department Head can do so on their behalf.
  6. Salary support submissions will be reviewed by a committee including faculty and staff from UBC and affiliated health research institutions.

Allocation of all funds requested by UBC under Stage 4  of CRCEF is not guaranteed.

Evaluation Criteria

Submissions are accepted and considered equally from all faculties and affiliated health research institutions. There are no individualized funding caps on researchers based on their fields of study.

UBC's call for applications encourages applications from:  

  • Early-career researchers (researchers who have held a full-time independent research appointment for a period of 0-7 years, beginning with the date of first appointment at UBC);
  • Researchers who were personally impacted by COVID-19 and/or have special needs in regard to child/family care; and
  • Researchers belonging to equity-seeking groups

In the event that funding requests for Stage 4 are higher than the allocated funding, special consideration will be given to researchers known to be most impacted by COVID-19. This includes early-career researchers, researchers belonging to equity-seeking groups and researchers who were personally impacted by COVID-19 and/or have special needs in regard to child/family care.

How will the funds be transferred to an Investigator?

Stage 4 funds are expected to be released to UBC by mid-December 2020. A UBC CRCEF committee will approve funding amounts to Investigators based on needs and funding availability. Approved salary reimbursements will be transferred to the Investigator’s project grant (PG) that is the source PG that funds the salary after January 31, 2021.

What if the research personnel or trainee or project are funded from multiple sources?

Funding distributions will be calculated on a per-project grant (PG) basis (with the exception of industry-government matching programs, see below).  If a research personnel or trainee’s salary is drawn from multiple PGs, investigators should work with their departmental finance/administration staff to ensure that all relevant and eligible salary-supporting PGs are identified and submitted for each research personnel and trainee.

Eligible salary submissions for support from CRCEF should be made to the institution/department that administers the PG from which the research related employee is paid. If a research personnel or trainee is paid by two or more eligible PG accounts, administered by more than one department or institution, then each department/institution will separately need to submit the details of the research personnel or trainee, and the portion of that salary paid by the PG they administer. See Example 8 below.

Funding received under a government program that matches government funding with an eligible non-governmental funding source is often held in distinct PG accounts, and research personnel/trainees may be paid from either or both of these accounts. In these instances, the distinct PGs may be considered together to calculate the total salary of individuals funded by the project. Eligible salaries should be pro-rated by the proportion of eligible non-government funding that contributes to the project

What about non-salary costs of research projects funded through non-governmental sources?

Phase 3 of CRCEF  is designed to provide support for direct costs associated with maintenance and ramp-up of research activities.  Eligible maintenance and ramp-up costs in Stage 3 can include salaries for the period August 30, 2020 to November 15, 2020. Further details for Stage 3 can be found here: https://research.ubc.ca/crcef/stage3.

What financial information will be available to make my CRCEF claim after Workday goes live on November 2nd?

Everyone who currently has access to FMS nQuery will continue to have access to their PGs to view their financial information posted prior to November 2020. FMS nQuery will be the most reliable source for pre-November 2020 transactions as August to October 2020 transactions will not be converted to Workday until mid-November/December 2020.

What about salaries that are not eligible for CRCEF?

The federal government has announced increased support for students, trainees, and research support personnel funded by federal Tri-Agency research grants.  Faculty members will be contacted directly by the relevant funding agency for each eligible grant they hold. Additional details are posted on the web pages listed below:

Answers to additional FAQs are provided here: https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/funding-financement/crcef-fucrc/faq/wage_su...

What are some examples of calculating eligible funding?

A. If a project with a non-government sponsor ends as the sponsor terminates the funding, a submission can be made for salaries that would have normally been paid by the non-government funding for this project.
 

  1. A company funds a research project at UBC through a collaborative research agreement.  Two graduate student salaries are funded under the project. Due to the effect of COVID-19 on the company’s business they decline to fund the second year of the project that was due to start on April 1st, 2020. The research project ceases but the students are paid from other accounts held by the PI.
     
    • The Investigator will be eligible to receive a reimbursement of up to 75% of the graduate students’ salaries funded during the eligibility period up to a maximum of $847 per week per personnel for up to 24 weeks.

B. If research has been curtailed or delayed, a submission can be made for salaries paid by non-governmental sources.

  1. A foundation reduces its funding commitments to support various research projects at UBC and affiliated health research institutions by 30%, due to the impact of COVID-19 on its fundraising activities.  The research projects are all curtailed due to COVID-19 and limited or no progress is made during the eligibility period.
    • Because the research is delayed, investigators who receive funding from the foundation will be eligible to receive a reimbursement of up to 75% of the salaries of research personnel funded by the foundation PG, up to a maximum of $847/week per research personnel for up to 24 weeks. The reduction in funding is not a factor in eligible salary calculation where research is delayed/curtailed.

C. If research has NOT been curtailed or delayed, but there has been a reduction in non-government funding due to COVID-19, claims can be submitted against lost non-government funding supporting salaries.

  1. A foundation reduces its funding commitments to support various research projects at UBC and our Affiliated Hospitals by 50%, due to the impact of COVID-19 on its fundraising activities.  The projects are COVID-19 related and have had exemptions to continue research, and have therefore progressed as normal.
    • Because the research is not curtailed or delayed, only the funding lost from the foundation is eligible for the program. Therefore, Investigators who receive funding from the foundation will be eligible to receive a reimbursement of up to 75% of 50% of the salaries of research personnel funded by the foundation PG, up to a maximum of $847/week per research personnel for up to 24 weeks.
       
  2. A foundation had launched a granting program in January 2020 and subsequently announced the successful awardees, but decided to cancel the program in March 2020 due to uncertainty with respect to the effect of COVID-19.
    • Investigators who had been awarded funding from the now-cancelled foundation granting program will be eligible to receive CRCEF support for the salaries of research personnel or trainees that were budgeted for in the successful application, up to 75% of their salary to a maximum of $847/week per research personnel for up to 24 weeks during the eligibility period.

D. Claims can only be submitted against the portion of salaries funded by non-government sources.

  1. A research project is funded by company with matching funds from an NSERC Alliance grant. Two graduate students and a post-doctoral fellow’s salaries are funded from this project. Progress on the project is significantly delayed by research curtailment. The funding from the company is considered an eligible source for CRCEF support, the matching NSERC funding is not eligible for CRCEF support.
     
    • The research project will be treated as a single project for the purposes of calculating eligible salaries, irrespective of whether the research personnel are paid from the NSERC PG or company PG, reimbursement will be pro-rated by the proportion of total cash funding from company vs. NSERC funding.  For example, if the project is funded 50% by NSERC and 50% by Company (excluding any overhead and in-kind contributions) then only 50% of the graduate students’ and postdoctoral fellow’s salary will be eligible for CRCEF support. The Investigator will be eligible to receive a reimbursement of up to 75% of 50% (i.e. 37.5%) of the graduate student and post-doc salaries funded during the eligibility period, up to a maximum of $847 per week per personnel for up to 24 weeks.
       
  2. A graduate student intern is funded through a Mitacs Accelerate project in partnership with company. Due to the impact of COVID-19 on their business, the company declines to make their contribution to 50% of the project’s funding for the second year (starting April 1, 2020) causing Mitacs to also cancel their portion of the funding (thereby causing a 100% funding loss).
     
    • While all the funding has been lost, the Investigator can only claim the proportion of eligible salaries that were funded by the company, so in this example the Investigator will be eligible to receive a reimbursement for up to 75% of half (i.e. 37.5%) of the graduate student’s salary during the period April 1st to the end of the eligibility period up to a maximum of $847 per week for up to 24 weeks.
       
  3. Three research staff are employed within a departmental X-ray crystallography facility.  Salaries for these staff are partially paid for by external user-fees, with the balance paid by Canadian government funding. The COVID-19 research curtailment lead to the temporary closing of the facility.
     
    • The department will be eligible to receive a reimbursement of up to 75% of the portion of the salaries of research staff that are funded by external user fees (up to a maximum of $847/week per research personnel for up to 24 weeks).

E. If an individual’s salary is paid by more than one institution or PG account, a submission must be made by each institution, and for each PG (except for matched government programs).

  1. An Investigator holds a research grant provided by a foundation that is adminstered by an affiliated health authority; a research associate is funded from this research grant.  However, 40% of the research associate’s salary is reimbursed by UBC via a bill-back arrangement with funding from an industry research contract. The Investigator’s project at the health authority was curtailed due to COVID-19.
     
    • Both funding sources for the research associate’s salary are eligible for CRCEF support so the Investigator will be eligible to receive a reimbursement of up to 75% of the research associate’s total salary (up to a maximum of $847/week per research personnel for up to 24 weeks). However, the Investigator should ensure that submissions are made for CRCEF funding through both (i) the health authority for partial reimbursement of the 60% of the research associate’s salary paid by the foundation grant, and (ii) UBC for the 40% that is reimbursed through the industry contract.
Further Information

CRCEF is a Tri-Agency program and is administered by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) on behalf of the three federal research funding agencies: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and SSHRC. Additional information on this program can be found on the dedicated CRCEF webpages.

For questions about CRCEF that cannot be addressed by departmental/affiliate finance/administration staff, please email director@ors.ubc.ca.