Special Response Fund for Trainees (Ukraine)
Notice: After December 22, 2022, the Special Response Fund for Trainees (Ukraine) will no longer be accepting applications. Beyond this date, Canadian researchers may continue to use their existing grants to support international trainees in Canada.
Table of Contents
- Application process
- Communication of decisions
- Eligible programs and funding opportunities
- Frequently Asked Questions
Following the recent statement by the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health and further to the commitment of the three federal granting agencies to support researchers and students impacted by the crisis in Ukraine the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) have established a limited-time Special Response Fund for Trainees (Ukraine), or SRFT-Ukraine, to initiate or maintain the employment or financial support—via stipend or salary—of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers who are directly impacted by the crisis in Ukraine.
Canada is recognized as a leader in building partnerships and uniting researchers and highly qualified personnel of different nationalities and cultures in the shared pursuit of scientific excellence. Recognizing how the crisis in Ukraine may affect the research landscape, this additional funding for grant holders will support trainees, defined as graduate students or postdoctoral researchers, through salaries and stipends.
Support can be requested for a period of up to 12 months. The maximum allowable amounts are as follows:
|Up to $20,000
|Up to $25,000
|Up to $45,000
Requested amounts must be pro-rated to reflect the expected duration of the support.
Applications received on or before December 22, 2022, will be processed as they are received.
Grant holders will be required to submit a short application form to NSERC requesting funds to initiate or maintain the employment or financial support of a new or existing trainee. In this form, the grant holder attests that
- the trainee will participate in research activities associated with the direct costs of this grant
- the trainee is directly impacted* by the crisis in Ukraine
- the trainee is not benefiting from other tri-agency funds for the same purpose
- the trainee’s support would end or not be possible if the requested funds were not granted
*Direct impact is defined as
- a trainee who is currently in Canada and was expected to return to Ukraine in 2022 but cannot because of the current crisis; or
- a trainee who cannot continue their planned course of studies or research in Ukraine because of the crisis and is now in Canada
The trainee must be in Canada at the time of application and for the duration of the support.
To apply, eligible grant holders must complete the PDF application form and have it signed by the relevant institutional representative. The completed PDF form shall be submitted on the secure submission site. If the grant holder has or expects to have more than one graduate student or postdoctoral researcher supported by this initiative, one form should be submitted for each impacted individual.
The applicant (grant holder) must hold an active grant (including the automatic extension period) awarded under one of the funding opportunities listed below at the time of application. Grant holders must also maintain an active grant (including the automatic extension period) during the entire period of tenure of the SRFT-Ukraine.
Communication of decisions
Applicants and the relevant institutional representative will be notified of decisions within 20 business days following submission.
For more information, or to ask about special circumstances that are not covered by the attestation provided, please contact NSERC at SRFT-FSAS@nserc-crsng.gc.ca.
Eligible programs and funding opportunities
This special response fund applies to the following NSERC programs and funding opportunities:
- Advancing Climate Change Science in Canada
- Alliance grants
- Belmont Forum
- Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering (project component)
- Chairs in Design and Engineering (research component)
- Collaborative Health Research Projects
- Collaborative Research and Training Experience program
- Collaborative Research and Development grants (including DND/NSERC Research Partnership grants)
- Discovery Frontiers
- Discovery Grants program
- Discovery Grants – Subatomic Physics (individual, project and major resources)
- Discovery Grants – Discovery Development Grants
- Discovery Horizons
- Discovery Institute Support
- Emerging Infectious Diseases Modelling Initiative
- Engage and Engage Plus grants
- Idea to Innovation grants
- Industrial Research Chairs (research project)
- Strategic Partnerships Grants – Projects and Networks
- Whale Science for Tomorrow
Networks of Centres of Excellence
- Networks of Centres of Excellence
- Business-led Networks of Centres of Excellence
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does the trainee need to be in Canada at the time of application?
Yes, trainees must be in Canada at the time of application, and for the duration of the support. Potential applicants and trainees are invited to contact the relevant agency to inquire about eligibility before trainees arrive in Canada.
2. Does the trainee need to be registered in a degree program?
In order to be eligible for this support, the grant holder must be able to provide supervision to a trainee who will participate in research activities associated with the direct costs of the grant supplemented. As of the start date indicated on the application form, the trainee must be a registered master's or doctoral student or a postdoctoral researcher who will participate in research during the time of the support.
3. Does the trainee need to be a Ukrainian citizen?
Trainees do not have to be Ukrainian citizens to be eligible for this support. The SRFT-Ukraine is open to trainees of any nationality who are directly impacted by the crisis in Ukraine, where direct impact is defined as trainees in Canada who were expected to return to Ukraine in 2022 but cannot, or who cannot continue their planned course of studies or research in Ukraine and are now in Canada. To be eligible, trainees must also meet the other criteria as outlined in the attestation. They must be in Canada at the time of application and for the duration of the supplement.
4. How many SRFT-Ukraine supplements can a trainee receive funds from at once?
A trainee can receive SRFT-Ukraine support for a total of up to 12 months, through one grant at a time. Note that the supported trainees must be engaged in the research associated with the grant supplemented.
5. Is there a limit to the number of SRFT-Ukraine supplements that a grant holder can hold or apply for?
There is no limit to the number of SRFT-Ukraine supplements that an eligible grant holder can apply for. The grant holder should submit a separate application for each trainee they wish to support.
Administration of funds/Reporting requirements
1. How will funds be received at the institution, and how should stipend/salary funds be administered, once granted?
Funds will be transferred to the institution as a supplement to an existing eligible grant. The applicant, university official who signed the application form/attestation document, Research Grant Officer, and Financial Business Officer will receive confirmation via email that the additional payment has been approved.
2. What reporting requirements are involved?
There are no additional reporting requirements for SRFT-Ukraine. The same procedures for reporting/statement of account described on the original Notice of Award or Notice of Decision should be followed for the amended grant.
3. Are travel expenses such as air fare for the trainee and their family covered by SRFT-Ukraine?
The supplement should be used for the direct support (stipend or salary) of the trainee engaged in research activities associated with the direct costs of the grant. No additional funds for travel expenses are available at this time. The use of SRFT funds, like all Tri-Agency grant funds, should follow the regulations as described in the Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration. Trainees may use their stipend/salary in any way they wish.
4. What is the latest start date for the SRFT-Ukraine supplement?
The Tri-Agencies will allow start dates into early 2023 to support trainees who have arrived in Canada but haven’t been able to officially enroll at the institution before the start of the January term. Applications must still be received by the December 22, 2022, deadline to be eligible for support.
1. How can trainees impacted by the crisis in Ukraine find a host researcher and vice versa?
The agencies have a number of web pages that may be useful in initially connecting trainees directly impacted by the crisis in Ukraine with an institution or a researcher in Canada. Trainees may search agency databases to find information related to grants funded through Tri-Agency programming, which may help locate researchers in specific areas of research.
We are also aware of efforts the research community is putting in place independently of the Tri-Agencies to try to connect Canadian researchers with trainees directly impacted by the crisis in Ukraine. While the Tri-Agencies are not affiliated with these groups, they may be helpful: Science for Ukraine ( website, Twitter).
2. Does this program support independent researchers?
The SRFT-Ukraine does not support independent researchers. We recommend looking at resources such as the website Science for Ukraine for other initiatives aimed at helping researchers and trainees impacted by the crisis.
If you have a special circumstance that is not listed in this FAQ, or require further help in determining your eligibility for SRFT-Ukraine, please contact the relevant agency at: