Delay of strategic funding opportunities

June 23, 2020

Dear colleagues,

On behalf of the team at CIHR, I would like to extend our deep appreciation to Canadian scientists for your support and assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. These are difficult times for all Canadians, and your steadfast commitment to science has been remarkable throughout this crisis.

In early April, CIHR announced a three-month pause on existing and new strategic funding opportunities (FO), with the exception of FOs related to COVID-19, in order to allow CIHR to focus its efforts on supporting the Government of Canada’s response to the pandemic. Today, I would like to provide you with an update on our progress related to these strategic FOs.

We are now in the later stages of delivering FOs specific to COVID-19; significant efforts are focused on delivering the Spring Project Grant competition this summer and preparing for the Fall Project Grant competition. CIHR recognizes that all aspects of the health research ecosystem are under tremendous stress and we are consulting carefully with Scientific Directors and funding partners (where applicable), to determine a time frame for these strategic FOs to move forward. We know that FO delivery timelines will be staggered as they depend on financial and human resources.

As these discussions take place, we would like to share the following important information:

  • All strategic FOs will remain available on ResearchNet, including all applications that were in progress and submitted, but with a new placeholder date of December 31, 2021 and a statement in the notes section that this date is a placeholder. Please note that CIHR has selected a date well into the future so that it does not have to be revised until the actual dates (which are expected to be earlier) are determined.
  • FOs with application deadlines that have closed, but which have not been peer reviewed, will not be re-opened to accept additional applications. Timelines will be confirmed to finalize these competitions.
  • As competition timelines are confirmed, applicants will be provided with at least two months advance notice to allow them to prepare their applications. Applicants will be able to:
    • work on a previously started application(s);
    • review and edit their previously submitted application(s) prior to resubmitting;
    • withdraw their previously submitted application(s); and
    • start a new application(s).
  • Please note that FOs that do not have a placeholder date of December 31, 2021 will move forward according to posted timelines. New FOs will also be launched (e.g., the Fall 2020 Project Grant competition).

CIHR will contact all those with an open application in ResearchNet to inform them of these delays. We will also keep the community informed as dates are finalized by posting these new dates in the FO on ResearchNet, through our ACCESS newsletter, and on Twitter at @CIHR_IRSC. We invite you to sign up to receive our newsletter via email if you are not already a subscriber.

As CIHR works to re-establish a number of our key funding initiatives at a time when we all continue to work under exceptional circumstances, we are deeply appreciative of your understanding and flexibility.

Thank you for your continued support. We extend our best wishes for good health in the future.

Adrian Mota
Associate Vice-President of Research Programs

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