Frequently asked questions: Three-month supplement for the support of trainees (students, postdoctoral fellows) and research support personnel

  • I have accepted/declined the supplement. What are the next steps for me?

    After submitting your decision to either accept or decline the supplemental funding, no further action is required at this time. Further instructions will be provided in the near future. All of the supplemental funding payments will be provided to grant holders prior to September 30th, 2020.

  • Will I receive a confirmation that I have accepted the supplement?

    Yes, you will receive an email acknowledgement. If you accepted the supplement, you will receive a revised authorization for funding (AFF) with the revised amount in the coming weeks.

  • My colleagues have all received emails regarding their supplemental funding, but I have yet to receive one. Does that mean my project or program is not eligible for the funding?

    The answer is likely yes. All eligible grant holders were emailed on July 27, 2020. CIHR or your Research Grant Office can confirm.

  • I received an email regarding supplemental funding for one grant but not for another. Does that mean my other grant is not eligible to receive the funding?

    The answer is likely yes as an email was sent for each grant that was eligible for a supplement. CIHR or your Research Grant Office can confirm.

  • I am not sure whether I am eligible to accept my supplemental funding. What does a “disruption” consist of?

    Examples of research disruptions include instances where research efforts had to be delayed or stopped  temporarily while other offsite arrangements could be made to work remotely, or that access to your institution was not permitted for a period of time. It could also mean that a laboratory or research centre was no longer open, that equipment could not be accessed, or that a member of your research team was unable to conduct research for a variety of reasons.

  • Can I accept only a partial amount of the funding?

    No, the supplement is a fixed amount based on your annual average grant amount and the average proportion of CIHR grant funding on people.  This approach is being used because of the large number of eligible grants and diversity of CIHR funded research.

  • I declined my response in error. I now realize that I am eligible for these funds and would like to change my response to accept the supplemental funding. How can this be done?

    Your response can be changed by emailing CIHR Contract Centre at

  • Why are grants in an extension period not considered eligible to receive the supplement?

    Grants in their extension period are not considered ‘active’ and are thus not eligible to receive the supplement. We realize that the impacts of COVID-19 are broad, and that no one initiative will address them all; however, CIHR is committed to taking a flexible approach and continuing to monitor opportunities to support the research community over time.

  • As a co-applicant, will I receive funds?

    The supplement will be administered in the same manner as the grant to which it is associated. For most grants, this means that the host institution of the principal investigator will transfer any supplemental funding to your institution for the grant on which you are a co-applicant. You may wish to contact the principal investigator to discuss the supplemental funding.

  • Can I only use the supplement to cover salary and stipend expenditures from April 1 to June 30?

    The supplement is being provided in recognition that research institutions, hospitals and universities continued to pay the salaries and stipends of trainees (students and postdoctoral fellows) and research support personnel, through agency grants, even though the associated research was interrupted due to COVID-19.

    The period of interruption being considered was from April 1 to June 30 to establish which grants would be eligible for the supplement and the corresponding value. However, the supplement can be used to support the salaries and stipends of trainees and research support personnel for the same grant, who are not already benefiting from compensation under the Canada Emergency Student Benefit or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, or from other income supports related to COVID-19, including the extensions of tri-agency scholarships and fellowships.

  • I paid trainees/research personnel during a COVID-related disruption, but out of an account other than the agency grant for which I have been offered the supplement (e.g. from start up or other institutional funds).  Can I re-assign the stipend/salary expenditure to the supplement funds?

    It is acceptable to use the supplement funds retroactively against expenditures that were previously charged to a different grant/account, provided the expenditure would have been eligible for the associated grant under the relevant financial administration guide/funding agreement, and the other eligibility conditions for the supplement expenditures are met.

  • What is the agencies’ expectation for how the institution/grant recipient meets the requirement: “trainees and research support personnel supported by the supplement will need to ensure they did not benefit from compensation under the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) between April 1 and June 30, 2020. They also cannot have benefited from other Government of Canada income supports related to COVID-19, including the extensions of tri-agency scholarships and fellowships during this same period”?

    The agencies are not prescribing a specific approach to this. Institutions are asked to develop an appropriate approach that fits the context of their administrative processes. In requesting this information, the agencies will be seeking to ensure that institutions and grantees exercised reasonable due diligence with respect to this requirement. As an example of an approach that would be acceptable: The grantee could ask the payee to confirm by email that they are not being paid from the agency grant while simultaneously benefitting from other federal COVID-19 income supports (including but not limited to Canada Emergency Student Benefit, Canada Emergency Response Benefit and the extensions of tri-agency grants and scholarships). The grantee could then either keep this confirmation in their own files or provide it to the finance/research office for future reference on the grant file, depending on the process set out by the institution. The agencies confirm that having such an attestation from the payee would be a reasonable basis on which the grantee might authorize the salary/stipend expenditure.

  • If we accept the supplement, will it have an impact on our current application submission?

    Accepting the supplement will not have an impact on your current application. This supplement is meant to offset the impacts of COVID-19 and has no impact on regular CIHR program funding.

  • Does the employee or trainee have to be on the institution’s payroll to be eligible for wage support? Will they be eligible for this supplement?

    As long as the grant holder is receiving grant funding from that institution, they will be eligible to receive the supplemental funding to support their trainees and research support personnel paid off the grant.

  • What steps do we need to take as the Research Grants Office to ensure that the supplement is spent on wages? Does this need to be reported separately?

    The Research Grants Office should ensure that an amount equal to the supplement is paid on wages but there is no requirement to manage these funds in a separate account. Any unused funds remaining at the end of the authority to use funds period of the existing grant, inclusive of the supplement, will need to be returned to CIHR as per standard practice.

  • As the Nominated Principal Investigator, is it my responsibility to confirm that all of my trainees paid out of my grant did not receive COVID-19 support, or is this something that will be done at CIHR’s end?

    It is the Nominated Principal Investigator (NPI)’s responsibility to ensure the trainees and research support personnel are not receiving any other support. By signing the form, NPIs are confirming that they will ensure this is true before distribution the funds to the recipients.

  • Is it possible to know the amount that I will be receiving on my grant?

    The amount each grant will receive is calculated using the average grant amount and data on how much, on average, of the grants are reported to be spent on salaries and stipends. As it currently stands, CIHR cannot confirm the exact amount you will be receiving, as it will depend on how many recipients accept or decline the offer of additional support. CIHR aims to maximize the amount eligible grantees will receive.

  • How is the number of personnel and/or trainees supported during the period April 1 to June 30th determined?

    CIHR used historical reported data to determine the average percentage of grants that are used to support trainees and research personnel.

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