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ARCHIVED – CCI Applied Research Rapid Response to COVID-19 – Frequently Asked Questions


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Table of Contents






  • Who should I contact if I have questions?
    General inquiries can be directed to or 613-943-7615.

  • Where are the instructions to submit an application for this call?
    The application uses the Form 103 for the College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF). For more details, see the special instructions for completing the application.

  • If an application is submitted to this special call and is rejected or not awarded, can it be modified and resubmitted?
    No, an application may not be resubmitted. Should an application be resubmitted, it will be rejected and count towards that institution’s total number of submissions.

  • Is this an open competition or will all applications be adjudicated after the June 1, 2020 deadline?
    This is an open competition. Applications will be reviewed as they are submitted, and funding decisions will be sent to applicants as soon as possible. We are accepting applications until June 1 pending availability of funds.

  • I have already started working on a project. Can I still submit an application?
    Yes, but NSERC funds can only be used for expenses incurred after the grant has been approved.

  • Are you able to provide feedback on drafts?
    No, NSERC will not provide feedback on draft applications. Applications will only be reviewed once submitted through the NSERC Online system.

  • Is Research Ethics Board (REB) approval required before submission of the application?
    While REB approval is not required before submitting the application, because of the immediate need for outcomes, proposals must demonstrate that REB approval can be obtained within the tight timelines of the project. If the application is successful and there are budget items requiring REB approval, approval must be obtained before the funds can be used for these expenses.


  • I am the Project Director of an active CCSIF grant; can I be the lead researcher on an application for this call?
    Project Directors of existing CCSIF grants are eligible to participate as the lead researcher on an application for this call. A researcher should lead only one CCI COVID-19 project.

  • Are Ph.D. students or international researchers eligible to apply?
    The CCI Applied Research Rapid Response to COVID-19 grants are institutional grants. Only Canadian colleges that have been declared eligible to administer grants of at least one of the three federal granting agencies (NSERC, SSHRC, and/or CIHR) within the College and Community Innovation (CCI) program are eligible to apply to this funding opportunity.


  • Is it necessary that projects have a company or industrial partner organization?
    There must be at least one partner organization participating in the project. Applications with only the college are not eligible. The partners can be organizations from the public, private, or not-for-profit sectors, and must be able to implement and/or use the project results in a timely manner.

  • What are the partner contribution (cash and in-kind) requirements for this funding opportunity?
    There is no cash or in-kind contribution requirement however, all organizations must participate meaningfully in the project and demonstrate their level of involvement. The involvement of the partner organization(s) in the design and conduct of the research and/or related activities is a sub-criterion in the assessment of applications.


  • Can the grant funds be used to purchase equipment that is required for a project?
    No, equipment purchases are not eligible expenses for this special call for proposals.

  • How many pages are allowed for budget justification?
    1 page, uploaded in the same PDF file as the proposal. This page should only contain information pertinent to the budget.

  • What are additional eligible expenses for this call for proposals?
    A salary research allowance can be requested for a not-for-profit organization that has an employee listed as a collaborator on the application. Salary research allowances are a contribution from the college to a not-for-profit organization to help compensate for the time an employee will spend participating in the research project. Applicants may request for up to 50% of the total salary costs of the employee, including benefits, to offset some of the costs of hiring a replacement employee.

  • Can two (or more) colleges partner in one application and are the staff and faculty participating in the project considered participants? If so, what are the means of compensating faculty, staff and students from both (or more) colleges?
    Faculty or staff from other colleges (other than the host college) can be considered participants. There are two ways to compensate faculty, staff or students from other colleges: Transfer of Funds Between Institutions, or for a participating college to invoice the host college.

  • Are overhead and administrative costs eligible? How are they calculated?
    Yes, overhead and administrative costs are eligible. Overhead costs can be up to 20% of the grant installment per year. For example, for a $75,000 grant, the overhead can be a maximum of $15,000. The remaining funds, $60,000, should be used for direct project costs.