UVic Research Recovery Fund

Purpose

The purpose of the UVic Research Recovery Fund (URRF) is to help mitigate some of the negative impacts created by the temporary suspension of research due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are aware that these negative impacts may be far reaching, and could include lost opportunities, delayed career progression, and impeded trainee development in addition to the direct costs associated with pausing research projects and creative endeavors. Managing these impacts will require collaboration between government, funding agencies, community and industrial partners, and the university. To that end, we are seeing some positive developments, such as flexibility with tenure clocks, extensions of some Tri-Agency and NIH grants, government programs (e.g., CERB, enhanced student work opportunities), and emergency funds for undergraduate and graduate students.

The URRF is available to support researchers who require assistance with direct financial losses associated with pausing research projects and creative endeavors. The fund is open to faculty from all areas of campus (i.e., not only Science and Engineering) who can demonstrate clear financial costs associated with pausing research or creative projects mid-stream, the certain loss of future research funding, or a loss of ability to continue their research program. These funds are meant to support faculty who are most vulnerable to career damage and will lessen but not completely account for the negative impact of COVID-19 on research programs. We ask that faculty who are able to weather the storm with their existing funding do so to the best of their ability so we can prioritize cases where significant hardship has occurred or is certain to occur without these funds.

 

Who can apply?

Any tenure-track, tenured or limited-term research faculty who are able to clearly demonstrate that financial losses have occurred or are certain to result from the temporary suspension of research or creative activity. Eligible financial losses include:

  • Research staff/Post-doc/Technician support: The ongoing costs of supporting and retaining research or technical staff who are/were unable to continue their work remotely.
  • Matching funds for partnership programs and agreements: The loss of funding from industrial or community partners who are unable to continue participation in an established agreement. The faculty member should demonstrate that without such bridge funding, the program is certain to collapse leading to a loss of future funding and damage to the program.
  • Resuming in-progress research/creative endeavors: The cost associated with resuming research projects or creative endeavours that were underway at the time on-campus activities were disrupted by the COVID-19 crisis. This may include replacement of materials, personnel, animals, etc. required to resume the research. In this case, applicants should focus on what costs have already been incurred and what costs are required to re-start.
  • User fees for shared equipment: The loss of revenues associated with the closure of shared facilities on campus, where those revenues are essential to ensure sustainability of the infrastructure.

Ineligible expenses

  • Travel Costs
  • Conferences
  • Support for graduate student stipends or research assistantships (except where the
    shortfall relates to lost contributions from the cancelled Mitacs Globalink)
  • Animal care per diem costs
  • Support for new research projects or creative activities

Additional considerations

Our goal with this fund is to help as many faculty members as possible, which is why we will consider a wide range of financial losses. However, recognizing that this fund will be unable to mitigate all the negative financial impacts of COVID-19 on scholarly activity, we have developed some priority areas for funding. These include:

  • Faculty who are not yet tenured;
  • Faculty whose research was interrupted as they were collecting pilot data to support an external grant application this year; and
  • Faculty who had grants submitted to the cancelled Spring CIHR Project Scheme competition.

Applications in which Deans and/or Department Chairs commit matching or supplemental funds to the requested Research Recovery funding will be viewed favorably.

NSERC and NIH have already announced 1-year funded extensions to existing grants, and we are expecting more extensions to be announced in the near future. Faculty who hold grants that have been extended or supplemented must justify why they need additional support from the URRF.

This fund is aligned with a separate opportunity for additional graduate student support being developed by the Dean of Graduate Studies. Please note that a number of other external opportunities have been announced to support graduate students, including enhanced work opportunities, emergency benefits, extensions to some graduate scholarships, and additional funding allocations to the Tri-Agencies.

What is the process to apply?

The URRF application form is a fillable PDF, with the provision for electronic signatures. Please complete each section as instructed on the form and send your completed and signed application form (including Dean or Chair/Director signatures) to vprea@uvic.ca.

Additional files/attachments will not be considered.

There are two application deadlines – May 15 and August 15. Faculty members who receive funding through the first application phase are not eligible for the second application phase. Decisions will be communicated approximately two weeks after each deadline.

We will consider requests up to $15,000 in exceptional cases, though we expect most awards to be $5,000 or less. All awarded grants must be spent within one year.

Applications will be assessed by an internal committee comprised by the following individuals:

Michael Masson, Acting Associate Vice-President Research (Chair)
Joaquin Trapero, Director of Strategic Research Initiatives
Brent Sternig, Director of RPKM
Debra Anderson, Manager - Research Finances
Cathie Krull, Special Advisor to the Provost
Alex D’Arcy, Associate Dean Research, Humanities
Charlotte Loppie, Associate Dean Research, HSD
Andrew Rowe, Director, IESVic
Caroline Cameron, Professor, Department of Biochemistry

Questions about this fund or the process to apply should be sent to Andrea Knittig at vprea@uvic.ca.

 These guidelines were updated May 27 2020