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news News Wednesday, September 9, 2020 Wednesday, September 9, 2020 3:44 PM - Wednesday, September 9, 2020 3:44 PM

Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF) strategy for equity, diversity and inclusion

Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF) strategy for equity, diversity and inclusion

On May 15, 2020, the government of Canada announced the Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF) as part of its COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. This temporary program has been established to help sustain the research enterprise at Canadian universities and health research institutions that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This research funding relief strategy is the latest rolled out by the federal government, representing an additional investment of $450 million. It is targeted specifically (at stages One and Two) to wage/salary/stipend relief for research-related personnel (postdoctoral students, graduate students and staff) paid from grants that are supported by non-governmental sources (foundations and industry contracts). Funding in Stage 3 will be awarded to support direct costs, incurred extraordinarily by November 15, 2020, in the maintenance and ramp-up of research activities.

The CRCEF Steering Committee is aware of the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on some equity-seeking groups, especially people with disabilities, including those not able to access health care, those disproportionally shouldering dependent care and homeschooling responsibilities, and members of racialized minority communities. Equity-seeking groups include, but are not limited to, women, racialized minorities, indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and persons from LGBTQ2+ communities.

As a McGill affiliate institution, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Canada is also committed to respect EDI principles in the administration of CRCEF funds. The McGill CRCEF Steering Committee has developed a strategy which we intend to follow to ensure equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in the administration of CRCEF funds:

  • The CRCEF Steering Committee includes representation from individuals from equity-seeking groups and from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds across the hospital.
  • All members of the Shriners Hospitals CRCEF Steering Committee completed training to ensure they are aware of how to limit unconscious bias and its impact on equity-seeking groups.
  • Identification of eligible claims to the CRCEF allocation includes both examination of University financial records (for Stage One this meant extracting eligible wages and salaries paid from non-governmental sources, agnostic to the background of the researcher, with an aim to simplify the process for researchers, especially those researchers shouldering dependent care and homeschooling responsibilities) as well as inclusive open calls to the research community.
  • Shriners Hospitals for Children — Canada CRCEF allocation was not exceeded in Stage One (wage support) with residual funding being held for Stage Three (pandemic-related costs incurred to maintain or ramp up research).
  • Self-identification data at the institutional level, as available, will be used in final grant reporting.

In administering the CRCEF funds, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Canada CRCEF Steering Committee commits to full compliance with the program’s equity, diversity and inclusion decision-making and allocation requirements. This commitment is bolstered by McGill’s EDI statement:

"McGill University is a world-class institution of higher education and research. Our University recognizes that excellence in teaching and scholarship requires the convergence and collaboration of individuals of diverse identities, experiences and ideas. Equally important, McGill values respectful and inclusive learning and work environments, which seek to identify and challenge historic and systemic barriers to full participation in university life and to foster discovery, advancement and accomplishment, all of which benefit our University and society more broadly. McGill is committed to these values in the pursuit of all aspects of its academic mission."

Specifically with respect to research as part of the hospital’s mission, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Canada is committed to ensuring equity, diversity and inclusion across all aspects of the research ecosystem, including access to funding and the participation of all individuals in the research enterprise. The Research Centre adheres to McGill’s statement: "We are committed to advancing equity, diversity and inclusion in research, including the production of knowledge, equitable access to funding opportunities, and the equitable and inclusive participation of all individuals in the research ecosystem."

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Canada Committee members:

  • Dr. René St-Arnaud (director of research) rst-arnaud@shriners.mcgill.ca
  • Mr. Jacques Boissonneault (administrator)
  • Mr. Jean Déry (director of fiscal services)
  • Ms. Kim St. Hillaire (director of human resources)

committee members