The Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF)
The Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF) was announced on May 15, 2020, as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. The 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.
It is expected that the program will help reduce negative impacts of the pandemic and ensure that the benefits of significant investments to date in universities and health research institutions are protected. This will maintain Canada’s international competitiveness in the global, knowledge-based economy, and contribute to Canadians’ health and social and cultural life, as well as the health of Canada’s natural environment.
The program, which has a total budget of $450 million, has two objectives:
- as a priority, to provide wage support to universities and health research institutions, both of which are ineligible to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), to help them retain research-related personnel during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic (up to $325 million); and
- to support extraordinary incremental costs associated with maintaining essential research-related commitments during the COVID-19 pandemic, and then ramping-up to full research activities as physical distancing measures are eased and research activities can resume ($125 million).
Strategy for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Decision Making
York University is committed to open-minded, engaged, and cutting-edge scholarship. Enshrined in our University Academic Plan 2015-2020 and our Strategic Research Plan 2018-2023 is the core value of upholding social justice and equity. We are committed to challenging the status quo and leading transformations of society’s inequities through open and vibrant discourse, followed by bold actions.
York is committed to advancing the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion throughout the Institution. Our collective agreements codify our approach to federal policies regarding the hiring of faculty from the four designated groups (Women, Members of a Racial/Visible Minority, Persons with Disabilities, and Aboriginal Persons). Beyond this, York seeks to build a world-renowned cadre of diverse scholars that represent not only the four designated groups and the intersectionality of these four groups, but to move beyond federal targets to have laudable representations of other marginalized groups (such as members of the LGTB2Q community).
York is also committed to addressing and taking into consideration barriers created by home and family challenges arising as a result of COVID-19 disruptions and working from home arrangements. We have prioritized researchers experiencing such barriers for early return to campus where desired. Furthermore, we respect traditional and alternative forms of scholarship and ways of knowing, as documented in the Indigenous Framework and in our Tenure & Promotion Senate Policy, that invites submissions involving community engaged scholarship and public intellectual activities.
York's Affirmative Action policies and processes underpin and advance these aspirations. Rooted in the Collective Agreement between the York University Faculty Association and the York University Board of Governors, these policies and processes enable York to engage as an Affirmative Action employer that “strongly values diversity, including gender and sexual diversity, within its community.”
Within the context of these initiatives which seek to drive representation of, and consideration for, equity seeking groups across the University’s policies and processes, York’s strategy for equity, diversity and inclusion decision-making with respect to the CRCEF includes:
- Establishment of an oversight committee to uphold alignment with York’s core values, and to ensure that equity, diversity and inclusivity infuse all key decisions around the program. Committee membership incorporates representation from various equity seeking groups, including women, racialized minorities, and the LGBTQ2+ communities. Membership of the committee, all of whom have undertaken unconscious bias training, includes the following individuals:
- Vice-President Research & Innovation (Chair)
- Vice-President Equity, People & Culture
- Associate Vice-President Research
- Assistant Vice-President, Research Strategy & Impact
- Director, Strategic and Institutional Research Initiatives
- Dean and Associate Vice-President Graduate Studies
- Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Officer
- Leveraging the institution’s information technology infrastructure to access comprehensive, university-wide data to systematically identify relevant, eligible expenses for the CRCEF. In the case of Stage 1 activities, this involved using objective parameters (including salary plan and cost centre funds) to identify likely research-related personnel funded through non-governmental sources.
- Formation of a cross-divisional working group to apply a thoughtful, creative and holistic perspective to the institution’s methodology, in its review of the data (i.e. to identify errors and omissions), and to help ensure equity, diversity and inclusion considerations are applied throughout the decision making process. In particular, although the Stage 1 allocation was sufficient to reimburse all eligible expenses, the group still reviewed the distribution of funds across equity seeking groups. The working group is comprised of the Associate Vice-President Research, the Director of Strategic and Institutional Research Initiatives, the Senior Executive Officer of the Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation, the Interim Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFO, the Comptroller, the Manager of Research Accounting, and the Assistant Manager of Research Accounting. The working group had representation from various equity seeking groups, including women and racialized minorities.
- Direct engagement with Faculties, liaising through Associate Deans Research and Senior Executive Officers, to raise broad awareness of the CRCEF, to help drive a comprehensive and inclusive approach to York’s response to the CRCEF, and to ensure an accurate account of the institution’s relevant expenses for submission to the program.
- Liaising with other institutions, both through peer-to-peer connections and through broader institutional frameworks such as the Ontario Council on University Research, as well as participation in government-hosted webinars on the CRCEF, in order to obtain further programmatic details, to ask questions, and to exchange ideas and identify best practices.
Any questions or concerns in respect of York’s participation in, or response to, the CRCEF should be directed to:
Amir Asif, Ph.D., PEng
Vice-President Research & Innovation