FAQ for research activities and processes
Our top priority is the health and safety of our entire community. Aligned with universities across Canada, we are closely following the directives of public health agencies and the government.
Staff and faculty have been actively responding to the needs of our researchers and will continue to respond moving forward in these extraordinary circumstances.
Below are answers to frequently asked questions for researchers. We will continue to update this page as new information becomes available. Information for graduate students can be found on the School of Graduate Studies website.
For other general questions on Concordia’s COVID-19 response, please visit Concordia's COVID-19 website.
Last updated: August 3, 2020, 10:09 a.m.
Research labs and activities
This tri-agency message from March 16 provides updates regarding postponed travel and submission of publications or grant and scholarship applications. For the most up-to-date information, please refer to each agency’s website.
Prise en compte des impacts de la pandémie de COVID-19 dans l’évaluation des demandes de financement aux Fonds de recherche du Québec (French only): http://www.scientifique-en-chef.gouv.qc.ca/wp-content/uploads/Impact_COVID_lignes_directrices.pdf
For up-to-date information on Quebec agencies, please refer to the agency's website.
- FRQNT: http://www.frqnt.gouv.qc.ca/en/covid-19-mesures-et-programmes (French only)
- FRQS: http://www.frqs.gouv.qc.ca/en/covid-19-mesures-et-programmes (French only)
- FRQSC: http://www.frqsc.gouv.qc.ca/en/covid-19-mesures-et-programmes (French only)
SHHRC and NSERC have announced that academic institutions can automatically approve time extensions for grants ending between February 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, inclusively, in order to allow grantees to continue spending grant funds. This includes grants already in their automatic/additional extension year.
The FRQ has announced that researchers may request an additional year to spend funds already awarded (this includes grants in an additional extension year).
As a follow up to the notice on June 4, 2020, that announced additional funding to support trainees (students and postdoctoral fellows) and research support personnel, please find below additional information on the supplements.
On July 22, 2020, NSERC and SSHRC began contacting eligible grant holders directly to offer a supplement for each eligible grant that they hold. To accept a supplement, the recipient will need to confirm the following for each grant:
- the research and work of trainees and research support personnel was disrupted by COVID-19 from April 1 to June 30, 2020, and
- the grant was used to pay the salaries and stipends of trainees and research support personnel during this period of disruption.
Note that the value of the supplement will be commensurate with the average level of support provided to trainees and research support personnel (e.g., for NSERC 64% and for SSHRC 63.5% of the yearly installment) over a three-month period.
Grant holders have until August 13, 2020, to respond to NSERC and SSHRC offer of a supplement.
Once the deadline has passed and the final list of supplements has been approved, Grant holders will receive documentation confirming the details of each supplement they will receive.
To prepare for the receipt and administration of these funds, research and/or finance offices may find the following information helpful:
- the supplements will be incorporated into the existing grant as a separate payment, which will be transferred separately from the regular grants payments to the institution (for ease of tracking).
- supplemental funds may only be spent on salaries and stipends for research personnel, according to the relevant employment/compensation sections of the financial administration guide for the associated grant (e.g. Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration, the CCI Financial Administration Guide, and/or funding opportunity literature or funding agreements).
- 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 or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit 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 supplement cannot be used for the remuneration for work directly associated with a program of study, as opposed to research, for trainees who graduated in the spring of 2020.
- a separate statement of account (Form 300 or Form 301) will be required for the supplement funds.
- any unspent (residual) funds from the supplement must be returned to the agency by March 31, 2021.
- supplement funds can be spent on eligible expenditures for the period 1 April – 31 December 2020.
- in instances where a grant has co-investigators from other institutions, the supplement will be administered in the same manner as the grant to which it is associated.
For more information on the supplements, please visit the following webpages:
NSERC and SSHRC Supplements Teams
- Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council
- Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
Partnerships & innovation
Yes, with the understanding that any planned research activities and associated timelines must take into consideration the limitations on access to lab spaces and in-person work. Please contact a member of the Research Partnerships and Innovation team to discuss the opportunity and establish next steps.
Requests of this nature must be handled on a case-by-case basis, as every sponsor will differ in its approach. Please contact a member of our team to discuss the specifics and we will be happy to work with you, in conjunction with the sponsor, to determine what accommodations can be made through an amendment to the existing agreement.
Ethics & compliance
The current suspension applies only to research involving human participants which requires in-person/close proximity interactions.
You may proceed with remote/online research as long as you receive proper ethics approval for this type of work. Please contact the Ethics Unit to determine the requirements for your specific situation.
You are required to submit an amendment request to your existing protocol. Since you may wish to return to in-person data collection once the current suspension is lifted, please do not remove any methodologies already approved under the protocol; rather simply request the addition of remote/online recruitment and data collection.
The amendment request must contain:
- A cover email requesting an amendment to an approved protocol
- A separate document in PDF outlining any modifications with a clear, detailed explanation as to why the change is being made; list where each document has been modified (SPF and/or supporting documents)
- Copies of the revised SPF and supporting documents with all changes clearly highlighted; do not resend all your appendices – send only those that pertain to the amendment request
- Any new appendices; these must be provided as separate documents saved in PDF
All amendment requests should be submitted by email to email@example.com.
Priority review of COVID-19-related projects, as well as rush review of amendments requesting the transition to remote/online research, have been implemented.
The committee continues to meet as per its usual schedule, and the review of regular protocols is not disrupted.