Increased support for students, trainees and research support personnel funded through CIHR research grants

Canada’s three federal research granting agencies - the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) - recognize the vital role that highly qualified talent plays in the research enterprise and the need to sustain the talent pipeline during the major disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

To lessen the impact due to COVID-19 on students, trainees and research support personnel funded through research grants, CIHR will provide additional funding to eligible grant recipients. This additional funding to support trainees (students, postdoctoral fellows) and research support personnel paid through grants recognizes the need to continue supporting their salaries and stipends. This represents an additional investment through CIHR of up to $79.3 million by the Government of Canada to address income challenges related to delays in research created by the COVID-19 pandemic. This additional funding will play a critical role in ensuring continuity in research projects and programs.

All three agencies will provide additional funding to research grant holders so that they can continue to support trainees and research support personnel during the crisis. Grant holders will be contacted in the coming weeks by each agency. The funding will be provided before September 30, 2020. The value of the supplement will be commensurate with the average level of support provided to trainees and research support personnel for each agency over a three-month period. Institutions are strongly encouraged to continue to pay trainees and research support personnel paid from these grants during the crisis.

Grant holders will be required to attest that there were indeed interruptions to the work of trainees and research support personnel caused by COVID-19, and that the additional funding will be used to support them. Additionally, the trainees and research support personnel supported by the supplement will need to ensure they are not benefiting from compensation under the Canada Emergency Student Benefit or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. They also cannot be benefitting from other income supports related to COVID-19, including the extensions of tri-agency scholarships and fellowships.

Grant holders who did not pay salaries or stipends from a grant will not be eligible for the supplement. Eligible grants are those that were active on April 1, 2020 and that were not already in a time extension period.

Please see the accompanying frequently asked questions , which provides details on how this additional funding will be implemented, and check our websites (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC) and social media feeds for updates.

The list of CIHR programs to which this supplemental funding applies will be shared shortly. Please monitor CIHR's Twitter feed and COVID-19 webpage for the latest updates.

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