A working group was established to review the program, propose a process and manage the allocations. The Group consists of AVP (Research); AVP (Human Resources) Director of the Carleton Office of Research Initiatives and Support; Director of Research Financial Services, with additional resources for database analytics drawn from payroll services. The Carleton COVID-19 Operations committee reviewed and provided a recommendation for the final decision on internal distribution of the Carleton allocation and the Senior Official responsible for decision making on this fund is the Vice-President (Research and International). This group includes members of at least two equity-seeking groups. All members have participated in unconscious bias training, delivered by Carleton’s Equity and Inclusive Communities and/or the Unconscious bias training modules (https://www.chairs-chaires.gc.ca/program-programme/equity-equite/bias/module-eng.aspx).
Stages 1 and 4
A quick assessment was made to determine if Stage 1 would be sufficient to cover the non-governmental salaries paid out during the eligibility period and a determination was made that it would not be necessary to seek funds from Stage 2. All research teams were encouraged to maintain staff complements, avoid layoffs and work from home, recognizing this created a serious disruption in productivity for the research teams, for which only a finite budget was available.
Reports from our financial and HR systems were obtained and reviewed for eligibility against the program requirements. All research faculty with eligible recipients were contacted and provided program information and invited to apply for a supplement for any staff during this period. Express consideration was highlighted to ensure PIs are aware that staff who were adversely affected by the pandemic for reasons including any disproportionate impact of the pandemic on individuals from equity-seeking groups, for example, individuals with disabilities being unable to access necessary health care, anyone disproportionately shouldering childcare, eldercare, and homeschooling responsibilities, etc.
A simple application form for funds was developed including the number of personnel for whom support is being requested, listed by category (graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and other personnel; their full name, contact information, amount requested/received), and an attestation that none of these personnel have received other covid-19 government support.
An open call inviting applications from the research community was posted: https://carleton.ca/coris/canada-research-continuity-emergency-fund-crcef-stage-3-extraordinary-incremental-research-costs-reimbursement-program/. The guidelines outlined the purpose of stage 3, eligibility criteria, eligibility criteria (including examples of eligible and ineligible expenses), application information, description of the internal distribution considerations and priorities and a resource contact person who could competently answer any questions. A simple application form (provided in Word format for accessibility purposes) was provided, which included a confidential self-identification section, to facilitate an equitable internal distribution that takes into consideration factors such as the personal impact of COVID-19 on researchers and their teams.
The information was widely disseminated through a targeted call to an all faculty distribution list, included for seven (7) weeks in a weekly funding newsletter disseminated to all faculty, and included in several issues of the Carleton-wide daily newsfeed “Carleton Top 5”.
Internal Distribution of Carleton Allocation
In the event that submissions for support for eligible based costs exceeds the CRCEF Funds allocated to Carleton University:
- The CRCEF funding per project will be capped at defined maximum or percentage that promotes fair access to funding to the largest number of projects.
- The following priorities will apply:
- Faculty grant holders and/or research personnel of under-represented groups
- Faculty grant holders and/or research personnel disproportionately or personally affected by the pandemic (e.g. child/family care responsibilities, personnel with increased risk of exposure in the workplace)
- Faculty grant holders with personnel conducting non-traditional or unconventional research, based in Indigenous ways of knowing, outside the mainstream of the discipline, or focused on issues of gender, race or minority status.
- Faculty supervising international research personnel (students/post-doctoral fellows)
- Faculty conducting field research in Canada’s North
- Early career researchers