COVID-19

The HSS Dean's Office is closely monitoring and adhering to the University's guidelines and institutional responses, and those of funding sponsors concerning COVID-19. If researchers have specific questions related to faculty-level procedures such as grant submission and internal or external deadline changes, please contact Matthew Milner (hssresearchgrants@mun.ca) and Heather C. O'Brien (HSSResearchAdmin@mun.ca). As per normal, please consult your departmental administrative staff and head for assistance on all matters related to post-award administration.

Updates:

University-wide Information

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences urges all faculty, staff, and students engaged in research to consult Memorial University's COVID-19 site regularly for updates: https://www.mun.ca/covid19/researchers/.

Ethics & Animal Care

For more information please consult the University's COVID-19 pages on Research Ethics (including ICEHR and HREB) at https://www.mun.ca/covid19/researchers/research-ethics.php, and Animal Care Services at https://www.mun.ca/covid19/researchers/animal-care.php.

Researchers engaged in health research should also consult the following announcement https://www.mun.ca/research/news.php?id=13170&type=announce.

Indigenous Research

Researchers should make every effort to inquire with Indigenous communities and groups with which they collaborate on research projects in regards to restrictions, or suspension of permissions, licenses, and other changes to consent arrangements arising from COVID-19. In addition to Memorial's own prohibition and suspension of on-site fieldwork, communities may also have suspended digital interviewing, and all research related activities. As we obtain information for specific groups it will be posted below.

RGCS SSHRC/NSERC COVID-19 Extension

The following is guidance for researchers to begin the process of requesting an extension to their grant through RGCS, as noted in the University COVID-19 FAQ for Research Administration (https://www.mun.ca/covid19/researchers/research-administration.php). Please note: the following applies only to awards ending between Feb. 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021 (and includes awards currently in the automatic one-year extension period).

  1. Open your grant file in the Researcher Portal (https://rpresources.mun.ca) and launch an “RGCS – Amendment” event against it;
  2. Follow the instructions in the event and answer all questions, but we are requesting extra, specific information in two particular questions;
    • a) In question 1.3 start the response with:
      • i) “THIS AMENDMENT REQUEST IS FOR AN EXTENSION RELATED TO COVID-19”.
      • ii) Please ensure you provide the current end date and the requested end date; and
    • b) In question 2.2, be as specific as possible regarding your plans for ethics or other clearances, especially if there were clearances in place earlier in the course of the project;
  3. For these COVID-related extension requests, there is no additional documentation required and unit/faculty level approval will not be required.
May 27, 2021 SSHRC & NSERC Phase 2

If a 2nd COVID in-time extension is necessary (after month 12 Phase 1), an additional 12 months may be approved by the institution without the grant amendment form.
NOTE: These requests must be made during the first COVID in-time extension period (between February 2021 and March 2022) and not before if there is no automatic extension year. Otherwise, a second COVID in-time extension may only be requested/approved once the automatic extension year begins. They should be based on need, and may not exceed an 12 months.

  • The grant MUST be in its final year (including the automatic -extension if applicable) for this extension request to be approved.
May 18, 2021 RGCS NSERC Clarification

RGCS has noted an increase in queries with respect to the NSERC funded extensions related to COVID-19. The most recent information on the NSERC website under FAQs (https://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Professors-Professeurs/FAQ-FAQ/DG-SD_eng.asp) indicates the following:

"3. How do I accept/decline the one-year extension with funds due to COVID-19?
At this time, no action is necessary from grantees. NSERC will contact eligible grantees once they’ve entered the last year of their grant (in the month of June) with information on how to accept the funded extension.”

March 15, 2021

(Clarified March 18, 2021)

NSERC and SSHRC have announced that they will allow, on request, a one-year extension to grants ending between April 1, 2021-March 31, 2022, regardless of whether they have received a previous time extension of any length for any reason. Please note that this extension does not apply to funds awarded as part of the three-month supplement for the support of trainees (students, postdoctoral fellows) and research support personnel.

As of April 1, 2021, RGCS will begin accepting requests for extensions for grants ending between April 1, 2021- March 31, 2022. Memorial procedures are being finalized; until advised otherwise, grant holders should use the above method for requesting an extension to these grants. Note: no amendment form is required, but the extension must be requested. RGCS may seek further clarification from the grant holder, if required.

Holders of grants ending after March 31, 2022 but affected by COVID-19 restrictions should await further instruction from RGCS, and refrain from creating Memorial Researcher Portal Amendment Events for COVID-19 related extensions. We advise retaining any documentation of the impact (if possible) should it be required for an extension request at a later date. As always, please contact an HSS Grants Facilitator if you have questions.

SSHRC

For the full SSHRC announcement see https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/news_room-salle_de_presse/latest_news-nouvelles_recentes/2021/extension_of_the_period_for_use_of_sshrc_grants-prolongation_de_la_periode_d-utilisation_des_subventions_du_crsh-eng.aspx.

Grants from the following SSHRC programs are eligible for the COVID-19 extension:

  • Connection Grants
  • Partnership Development Grants
  • Partnership Grants
  • Partnership Engagement Grants
  • Insight Grants
  • Insight Development Grants
NSERC

For the full NSERC announcement see https://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Media-Media/NewsDetail-DetailNouvelles_eng.asp?ID=1139#March15-2021.

All University programs (with the exception of: Advancing Climate Change Science in Canada; Canada-UK Artificial Intelligence Initiative; Joint Canada-Germany 2+2 call on Advanced Manufacturing-Industry 4.0; Joint Canada-UK projects on quantum technologies; Whale Science for Tomorrow; Ship Time program; Belmont Forum; Emerging Infectious Disease Modelling Initiative; DND/NSERC Discovery Grant Supplements, WaterWorks Joint Call)

Other SSHRC & NSERC Programs

Funding from other programs should complete an extension request using the SSHRC/NSERC Grant Amendment form.

May 4, 2020 Update

SSHRC and NSERC have established timelines on the submission of COVID-19 related extensions. Therefore, the RGCS deadline for COVID-19 extensions on SSHRC and NSERC projects with end dates in 2020 and 2021 is June 1, 2020.

  • Grants that have an end date up to and including Dec 31, 2021 will be processed in priority.
  • Grants that have an end date in 2022 (and beyond) will have an opportunity to request extensions at a later time.

Grant holders should also note the following:

  • Research Grant and Contract Services will prioritize amendment requests based upon those projects with imminent end dates. It expects significant volumes of these requests, so please be patient;
  • The more specific the information in your amendment request, the faster RGCS can process it as it will not need to contact you for clarification;
  • All other amendment requests should follow the established processes;
  • If you are unsure how to complete an event, please see the FAQ listed on main page of the Researcher Portal; and
  • Once RGCS has received direction from the tri-agencies on their processes for extension related to COVID-19, RGCS will make the information available to the Memorial University research community.

Funders' Information

We are attempting to update all opportunity deadlines and details in the HSS Research Funding Tracker as we recieve them. However, if you plan to apply for an upcoming opportunity, please confirm the deadlines with a  HSS Grants Facilitator, before submitting for review. Equally, if you have deadline inquiries for opportunities, or details we may have not received, please contact a Grants Facilitator so we may make updates. 

The Tri-agencies and many other funding bodies are regularly updating their web pages with information about a variety of matters pertaining to grants, including extensions on upcoming competitions. Check back regularly for updates to these pages which can be found at these links:

SSHRC
NSERC
CIHR
CFI
MEOPAR
CRC
Mitacs

Modifications to Permissions & Clearances

Memorial

Please consult the University's COVID-19 pages for information on Research Ethics (including ICEHR and HREB) at https://www.mun.ca/covid19/researchers/research-ethics.php, and Animal Care Services at https://www.mun.ca/covid19/researchers/animal-care.php

External Sponsors, Governments, & Groups
Nunatsiavut Government

The Nunatsiavut Government Research Advisory Committee (NGRAC) is suspending all existing research Approvals for fieldwork in the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area.

  • The NGRAC will not be approving new research proposals involving fieldwork at this time. New proposals that do not involve fieldwork or only involve virtual fieldwork (internet or telephone) will be reviewed according to usual schedules and processes.
  • Researchers who currently have a research Approval which includes fieldwork may: Continue to work on other aspects of the research and delay their fieldwork until NGRAC Approves fieldwork; and/or Adjust their methods to carry out their research using virtual methods. To do so, researchers must submit an amendment outlining these changes for approval by the NGRAC.

Please see the Nunatsiavut Gov COVID-19 Notice to Researchers (Mar 30, 2020) for more details. Questions can go to: research@nunatsiavut.com

COVID-19 Research & Initiatives

Numerous sponsors are marshalling their resources to help respond to COVID-19. Here is a list of announcements and opportunities related to research to assist in developing resources or other research build capacity and tools required to combat COVID-19, manage its spread, and support health care workers.

All research opportunities can be found in the HSS Research Funding Tracker at https://www.hss.mun.ca/funding/searches/search_opportunity?search_filter%5Bfulltext_query%5D=COVID-19-research-funding

National Research Council (NRC)
The COVID-19 Challenges Procurement Program

https://nrc.canada.ca/en/research-development/research-collaboration/nrc-covid-19-response#s3

The Pandemic Response Challenge Program

https://nrc.canada.ca/en/research-development/research-collaboration/nrc-covid-19-response#s2

CIHR

Coronavirus: Canada’s rapid research response https://cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/51890.html

NSERC
Alliance COVID-19 Grants

https://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Innovate-Innover/COVID-19/index_eng.asp

NSERC is providing up to $15 million in total support to stimulate collaborations between academic researchers and the public and not-for-profit sectors, and industry to address pandemic-related research and technical challenges. Support for up to $50,000 for one-year projects is being made available immediately.