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$900,000 of new research support funding available

Read a message from Paula Wood-Adams, Interim Vice-President, Research and Graduate Studies, on Concordia’s return to on-campus research activities
June 1, 2020
By Paula Wood-Adams

Dear colleagues,

I am pleased to share some good news regarding a new internal funding opportunity and additional Tri-council support for researchers, as well as update you on Concordia’s gradual return to research activity on campus.

I’m pleased to announce that Concordia researchers who have been experiencing particular setbacks in their research program due to COVID-19 related disruptions will benefit from $900,000 of new funding. As part of this new funding, today we are launching a call for applications for the Spring 2020 Research Support Fund of $650,000.

Concordia Spring 2020 Research Support Fund

The fund comprises separate funding packages for early career researchers, established researchers, and research labs. 

The Researcher Support Program for Early Career Researchers (ECRs) and the Researcher Support Program for Established Researchers (ERs) will provide a stipend or salary for undergraduate/graduate students and postdoctoral fellows which can be used by ECRs and ERs to advance existing research-creation projects or to prepare (or resubmit) applications to support new research-creation projects.

The Research Lab Boost Program will provide grants which can be used to support expenses involved in restoring lab activity after the spring 2020 shutdown, e.g. equipment maintenance, replacement of perishables and other consumables.

The deadline to apply is June 15. Details on these programs are available here.

Partnership with Mitacs

Additionally we have created a $250,000 partnership with Mitacs that will provide research internships for 41 Concordia undergraduate students. Candidates for these internships will be identified by the Provost and the VPRGS.

Federal program announced to support research staff in Canada

On May 15, the Government of Canada announced a federal investment of $450 million to support the research enterprise. This new funding which will be managed by SSHRC, NSERC and CIHR will go to wage support for those working in universities and health research institutes, to maintain essential research-related activities.

The funding will be distributed to institutions as block grants in two phases; further details can be found here. Once the tri-council has finalized the implementation of these block grants we will communicate with our community as to how the funds will be managed within Concordia.

For more information on agency-specific measures to support researchers and graduate students, as well as new programs and initiatives enabling our research communities to address the COVID-19 crisis, visit:

Gradual reopening of labs

Over the last month, a cross-sectoral Working Group has been hard at work developing a carefully staggered and gradual Return to Campus plan, starting with research labs in accordance with the priority list established by the provincial government: health, natural sciences, engineering and seasonal research.

As a reminder, our first priority remains the health and safety of the entire community. As we have done throughout the pandemic, we are adhering rigorously to all public health directives in planning for the sanitization and subsequent use of shared spaces such as stairs, elevators and eating areas. In addition, our aim is to ensure that the resumption of research activities is as sustainable and as green as possible.

Security, safety, and cleaning procedures have been developed in accordance with CNESST protocols. The order in which labs will reopen has been determined in collaboration with the Faculties, taking into consideration the significant differences in lab spaces and personnel needs across both campuses. We want to create winning, healthy and sustainable conditions for everyone.

Phase I begins today

The Return to Campus plan will be implemented in several stages. The pilot phase — opening a small group of 11 labs — commenced on May 25.

Starting today, June 1, the university will implement phase I: opening up to 50 labs in the faculties, the Genomics (GE) building and limited facilities in PERFORM. Additional details about exactly which labs are opening will be posted in the research FAQ in the days to come.

The progress made in each phase will determine the rate at which we can reopen the remaining labs and in the medium term, lab-based research in the fine arts, humanities and social sciences.

Those researchers and employees who will be involved in the gradual reopening of labs will be identified by their supervisors.

Before coming on campus, these individuals will need to follow a strict protocol to ensure that they are able to return to campus safely, including taking a short Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) training course via Moodle to make them aware of the new health and safety measures in place on campus, and filling out a self-evaluation form. Relevant information will be shared with these individuals as appropriate.

Employees currently working remotely will continue to do so unless otherwise notified.

If you have any questions, please contact your Faculty’s Associate Dean of Research.

Research-related communications available on the VPRGS website

In the interest of keeping the research community informed, we will continue to update our FAQ and internal funding information on the research website.

For information on Concordia’s response to COVID-19, please check the COVID-19 information page. Any general questions you may have can be directed to

Thank you for your understanding, collaboration, and cooperation.

Paula Wood-Adams
Interim Vice-President, Research and Graduate Studies

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