CICan Network Updates

Main Content

Applied Research

April 2020

1. Advocacy Updates

COVID-19: Stay up-to-date with NSERC

NSERC continues to update its website regularly to provide program-by-program specific information including adjustments to program application deadlines and the reporting of due dates, as needed.

Representatives from NRAC met with NSERC in the middle of March and shared the current challenges applied research offices are facing, including potential issues of retaining staff depending on the duration of the crisis. NSERC’s March 31st update included this note related to staff retention:

NSERC recognizes that in some cases other costs may be incurred in relation to ongoing financial commitments, such as the remuneration of individuals paid out of agency grants. For example, individuals receiving a salary or stipend from grant funds may be recommended or required to self-isolate, and/or may be unable to work or telework for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic. NSERC confirms that if the costs are not covered by other sources of funds within the institution, and provided these expenses would otherwise have been eligible to be paid out of the grant, these can be paid from existing grant funds.

If you missed our special update about COVID-19, visit the COVID-19 page to read about CICan’s response and open calls to meet medical equipment and supply needs.

Advocacy on College and Institute Applied Research

Before the crisis started, an open letter from key players was sent to Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance to highlight the importance of investing in SME engagement services through college and institute applied research. Signatories include CICan, Polytechnics Canada, Synchronex, Association pour la recherche au collégiale, Tech-Access Canada, Colleges Ontario, BC Colleges, Fédération des cégeps and Atlantic Colleges Atlantiques.

Within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are engaging with senior federal officials and key Ministers’ offices on the importance of supporting the capacity of college and institute applied research as the country transitions into a recovery phase. We will continue to emphasize that our Budget 2020 recommendation for $40M for SME engagement services through college applied research will be key to support SMEs as the economy recovers.

2. Upcoming Events

AR Network Webinar: COVID-19

CICan is pleased to host a webinar for the those who work in Applied Research to hear directly from granting agencies about their response to COVID-19 and the impact on existing programming, as well as exchange on issues and challenges currently facing applied research offices and centres. The webinar will take place in a bilingual format, on Wednesday, April 15, 2020 from 1 – 2 p.m. (EST).

Please RSVP by Monday, April 13, 2020 to Tresanna Hassanally. A calendar invitation with log-in details will be shared only with those who RSVP.

Career-Launcher Webinar: Expand your innovation capacity

CICan’s Career-Launcher has launched a series of webinars for employers, interns, and members on a variety of topics. View the first in the series, Fundamentals of Diversity & Inclusion Webinar presented by the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion, to gain essential information and practical tools for creating and contributing to diverse and inclusive workplaces. The next webinar will be focused on how college applied research capacity supports innovation for companies and the funding opportunities that are available to employers who would like to embark on an innovation partnership with a college or institute in their community.

Hosted by CICan, this webinar will be presented in English by Ken Doyle, Executive Director of Tech Access Canada and Jeffrey Taylor, Associate Vice President of Research and Innovation at Nova Scotia Community College. In French, it will be presented by Marc-André Saint-Yves, Director of Development and Innovation at Synchronex, Nathalie Méthot, Manager, Research and Innovation Office at La Cité and Ken Doyle, Executive Director of Tech Access Canada.

The English webinar will take place on April 29th, 2020 (2 p.m. EST), and the French webinar on May 1st, 2020 (11a.m. EST).

Please join in the conversation and promote this opportunity to your partners. Contact Meghan Hach for promotional content to share with your industry partners.

CARA webinar on Applied Research Data

The Canadian Association of Research Administrators (CARA) will host a webinar on CICan’s 2017-18 applied research survey data. Presenting will be CICan’s Anna Toneguzzo, Director, Government Relations & Policy Research and Shawn Anctil, Senior Research Analyst. The webinar will take place on April 27, 2020 (12 p.m. in English and 1:30 p.m. in French). Learn more and register by visiting CARA’s website.

3. Information Sharing

New R&D Challenge: Made in Canada N95 filtration material

The National Research Council of Canada is looking for made in Canada alternative solutions for the industrial production of efficient filtration material to be used for manufacturing N95 respirators and surgical masks.

This challenge closes April 13, 2020. The awarded company could receive up to $1M for Phase 1 (7 days) and up to $5M for Phase 2 (4 weeks).

Think you can solve this challenge? Compete for funding to prove your feasibility and develop a solution!

College interns primed to accelerate Mitacs COVID-19 research projects

Mitacs is collaborating with governments, businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and academia to develop COVID-19 solutions. Post-secondary researchers have started working on COVID-19 projects, and Mitacs has announced that college students can be enlisted to contribute to these projects to accelerate the research development. For a limited time, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) responding to federal and provincial requests can address COVID-19 challenges with expedited research project approval and increased funding leverage from Mitacs. Contact Mitacs business development specialists across the country to learn if your project qualifies.

ARC Student Awards for College Research Activities

ARC is pleased to announce it is accepting applications for their student prize awards to recognize research activities conducted by college students. The Awards are open to students in Quebec and Francophone Canada.

ARC’s Student Awards aim to raise awareness, and demonstrate the value of student participation in research training activities at colleges, in all programs and disciplines. The prizes range from $1,000 (for the first prize recipient) to $400 for the third-place recipient. The Emerging Star awards are awarded in three research sectors: society and culture, health and nature and technology. Each Emerging Star recipient receives $1,000.

Visit the ARC website for more information on the awards and to nominate a student.

CICan and Mitacs partner to drive innovation with 1,000 research internships for college and institute students across Canada

CICan and Mitacs signed an historic agreement on February 26, 2020. The partnership creates up to 1,000 work-integrated learning Mitacs research internships for students from CICan member institutions across Canada over the next five years. This agreement builds new links for college and institute students to work with industry partners and other researchers. It leverages both the extensive footprint and the longstanding relationships colleges and institutes have with community partners and local industry across the country, including rural and northern communities. Similarly, this partnership extends access to research opportunities for underrepresented groups who have traditionally sought post-secondary education at colleges and institutes in their local communities.

Bursaries and Textbooks for Research Administration Certificate

The Canadian Association of Research Administrators is pleased to offer the Dr. Frances Chandler Bursary and a limited number of free textbooks for those starting or continuing in the spring term. If you are interested, please contact to submit the bursary application or request free textbooks. The bursary helped over 50 students last year and CARA remains committed to providing assistance and removing financial barriers. Registration for the spring term of the fully online Research Administration Certificate opens March 19 and students may apply now. The semester begins on May 1, 2020.

CSPC 2020 Call for Panel Proposals

The Canadian Science Policy Conference (CSPC) 2020 call for panel proposals is now open! You are invited to submit proposals in a variety of presentation formats that revolve around any of the conference themes. The form for panel proposal submissions will be posted on CPSC’s website,, soon.

Due to the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals and organizations across Canada and the world, and to accommodate the community, CSPC is extending the panel proposal deadline by an additional four weeks, to May 15th, 2020.

The 12th Canadian Science Policy Conference (CSPC 2020), will be held in Gatineau, Quebec from November 23-25, 2020 at Hilton Lac-Leamy.

4. Subscription Information

Subscribe to the CICan Applied Research Network

If you would like to be added to the CICan Applied Research Network and receive future update newsletters, or to change your contact information, please contact Fatou Diop (