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Prime Minister announces support for research staff in Canada

Minister of Health Patty Hajdu looks on as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference on the coronavirus situation, in Ottawa, Wednesday March 11, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

From life-saving cancer treatments to clean technologies that protect our environment, thousands of research staff in Canada are driving discoveries and innovations that support our well-being and our economy. When we need them the most, many members of Canada’s academic research community have been forced to temporarily suspend their work due to COVID-19. To ensure they can keep their jobs, safeguard their research, and continue their important work after this crisis, the Government of Canada is stepping up to support them.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced $450 million in funding to help Canada’s academic research community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The investment will:

  • Provide wage supports to universities and health research institutes, so they can retain research staff who are funded from industry or philanthropic sources and are unable to access some of the government’s existing COVID-19 support measures. This would apply even if their work has been temporarily suspended. The government will provide up to 75 per cent per individual, with a maximum of $847 per week.
  • Support universities and health research institutes to maintain essential research-related activities during the crisis, and to ramp back up to full research operations once physical distancing measures are lifted. This will cover up to 75 per cent of total eligible costs, and will support activities such as the safe storage of dangerous substances, and restarting data sets that were interrupted during the pandemic.

This investment is part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, which has helped protect Canadian jobs, and committed billions in support to Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the pandemic. It will help sustain Canada’s research excellence and protect our research talent, in support of the COVID-19 response and the post-pandemic economic recovery.

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