Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF)
In May 2020, the federal government announced the Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF). The temporary program was established to help sustain the research enterprise at Canadian universities that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The three-stage program is administered by SSHRC on behalf of the Tri-Agency. Demonstration of need will be required for all stages; research that has been impacted and/or delayed entirely or partly is eligible. The program will be delivered in three funding stages:
- Stages 1 and 2: Wage support for eligible research personnel whose salaries were adversely affected by COVID-19 and who are paid in part or in whole by non-governmental sources, and who are not claiming other wage support (e.g., Canada Emergency Response Benefit).
- Up to 75% of the portion of research personnel’s salaries/wages normally supported by non-governmental sources, to a maximum of $847 per week for up to 12 weeks of salary support (consecutive or broken up over the eligibility period) per individual, incurred within the eligibility period of March 15, 2020, to August 29, 2020.
- Personnel who have been laid off or furloughed as a result of COVID-19 within the eligibility period can become eligible retroactively, as long as they are rehired and their retroactive pay and status meet the eligibility criteria for the claim period.
- Stage 3: Incurred costs associated with maintenance and ramp-up of research activities. Application for this Stage will be at a later date, some time in the fall.
Eligibility for the funding will be determined based on the extent to which research activities linked to non-governmental funding have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. Any reduced productivity or interruptions to employment (complete or partial) are considered negative impacts, including restriction of campus workspaces, suspension of funding, absences to care for family members, lack of access to research participants, and increased risk related to COVID-19.
Expenses NOT eligible for CRCEF support:
- The salaries/wages of research-related personnel who work in broad areas of research services that are typically funded by indirect costs (e.g., animal care facilities).
- Salaries/wages for research-related personnel who were laid off due to COVID-19 and claimed other wage support (e.g., Canada Emergency Response Benefit or “CERB” or the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit or “CESB”).
The salaries/wages of research-related personnel that were transferred to University operating funds or governmental funds (federal, provincial, municipal) to avoid layoff during the eligibility period can be considered eligible, although if University operating funds or governmental sources were the exclusive source of research-related salaries/wages before COVID-19, these are not eligible.
Brandon University Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy
Brandon University is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace and we regard individual merit as the prime criterion for the treatment of current faculty and staff and for the employment of new faculty and staff. Equity is deeply embedded in our hiring practices and diversity welcomed. We are committed to the values of openness, fairness, and tolerance. We are committed to ensuring that candidates are not advantaged or disadvantaged, whether they are from a dominant or marginalized group or based on protected characteristics, as outlined in the Human Rights Code. By extension, this commitment encompasses the Canada Research Chairs Program and the management of our institutional allocation.
Brandon University has a moral and legal obligation to:
- provide equity in the workplace;
- eliminate employment barriers experienced by those in the designated groups (as listed above);
- ensure no person is denied employment opportunities for reasons unrelated to qualifications and ability;
- be inclusive of all community members;
- enhance employment and economic growth; and
- promote social justice.
Brandon University has a legal obligation to comply with the requirements of all relevant legislation, such as The Manitoba Human Rights Code, Temporary Foreign Worker Program, The Accessibility for Manitobans Act, as well as internal policies and collective agreements that govern the various groups of faculty and staff.
Our commitment to diversity and equity provides the campus community the opportunity to:
- serve the needs and expectations of our community better, locally and on a global scale;
- attract, retain, motivate and develop the best-suited and most qualified people;
- expand our levels of creativity and innovation for the improvement of decision-making and problem-solving; and
- be recognized as a socially conscious and progressive university which respects and is inclusive of differences and integrates this diversity into teaching and learning, research, scholarly and creative activities.
Brandon University is committed to upholding Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion principles and practices and is dedicated to preventing systematic barriers for individuals from equity seeking groups. In the Employment Equity Act, the Four Designated Groups are defined as, but not limited to: Women; Indigenous Peoples; Persons with Disabilities; and Members of visible minorities. Brandon University is an ally of the LGBTQ2S+ community and seeks inclusivity and equality for all.
A CRCEF Committee of four was created to review requests for and disbursement of CRCEF support. The Committee is diverse and includes members from the Equity Seeking Groups including women and an Indigenous Person. All members possess unconscious bias training. The Committee includes the:
- Associate Vice-President (Research);
- Diversity and Human Rights Advisor;
- Accountant; and
- Manager of Research Services.
The University research Accountant used internal financial data to identify Principal Investigators with accounts from non-governmental funding sources and research personnel costs incurred between March 15, 2020 and present. Principal Investigators were contacted directly via email and in an effort to ensure no eligible researcher was omitted, information was also sent campus-wide. Principal Investigators requesting CRCEF support were asked to fill out and submit a one-page form that confirmed eligibility criteria and captured reporting requirements. The CRCEF Committee decided, prior to reviewing submissions, that all Principal Investigators who submitted a form and met the eligibility criteria would receive support and if need exceeded available funds, the funds would be pro-rated accordingly. Submissions were reviewed by the CRCEF Committee to ensure all eligibility criteria were met and Committee consensus was reached for each application form reviewed.
Prior to review, the Diversity and Human Rights Advisor provided the Committee with an overview of Brandon University’s commitments, dedications, and policies in relation to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion practices, as well as terms of reference on how to follow the guidelines. This included discussion on systematic barriers that individuals from equity seeking groups face and the measures to prevent these barriers, and how unconscious bias could be prevalent due to the quick nature of decision making as well as external factors that are uncontrollable during a pandemic. The decision making process was implemented with EDI requirements at the forefront and Brandon University’s commitment to inclusive and equitable decisions. The Strategy aims to limit the negative impact of unconscious bias by openly discussing the applicants and where/if they fall within the federally protected groups. Broad discussion was encouraged, and safeguards were put in place by the Committee to ensure equitable choices were made and to eliminate bias in non-traditional or unconventional research.
CRCEF Institutional Delegate
Kerry Murkin, Manager of Research Services