The CCR has drafted the following statement to speak to the government’s support for research during COVID-19

The Canadian Consortium for Research welcomes federal support for research during pandemic

(Ottawa – May 15, 2020) The Canadian Consortium for Research (CCR) applauds the Government of Canada’s efforts to support research and researchers in light of current COVID-related challenges. Most recently, the federal government announced $450 million in funding to support universities and health research institutes.

As a result of COVID-19, many researchers across the country have been forced to suspend, and in some cases, end their work. “The granting councils as well as other funding agencies have helped the research community greatly by offering grant extensions and allowing exceptions to the rules governing the use of grants. Most recently, there was concern for the health researchers and research staff who were falling through the cracks of government programs and facing layoffs,” said Dr. Lisa Votta-Bleeker, Chair of the Canadian Consortium. “It is very encouraging to see the government address this issue and provide essential support to the research community.”

It was estimated that up to 15,000 health researchers, research nurses or lab technicians who were researching cancer, cardiovascular health, dementia, and many other areas of health would face layoffs because universities and health research institutes who were funded through industry and philanthropic donations were not eligible for the federal wage subsidy program or other government supports for research.

Last week’s announcement allows universities and research institutes in these situations to access this federal support, which offers 75 per cent per individual to a maximum of $847 a week. Additionally, 75 per cent of total eligible costs to maintain and restart essential research related activities, such as safe storage of dangerous substances and restarting data sets, will also be covered.

“Ensuring that research staff are retained, that research funds are available, and that research activities are supported during these challenging times means that vital work and innovation can continue as our country begins to recover,” said Dr. Votta-Bleeker. “The CCR applauds the research community for its advocacy on these matters, and the government and funding agencies for hearing the concerns of the research community. We look forward to continuing to work with the federal government and the funding agencies to ensure that all researchers, students, trainees and research staff, and ultimately the research they conduct, are supported through this difficult time.”

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Lisa Votta-Bleeker
Chair, Canadian Consortium for Research