NSERC COVID-19 Grant Extensions and Supplements

Quick Guide for Queen’s researchers

Updated June 7, 2021

This guide includes information pertaining to extensions and supplements provided to NSERC grantees.

  • **No action is required by PIs at this time. NSERC will contact PIs when they are in the last year of their eligible grant.
  • Phase 2 has now started and will include grants ending March 31, 2022. 
    • All PIs with an eligible grant will be notified directly by NSERC in June 2021. 
    • PIs will have until September 15 to respond to the offer. 
    • Notices of amendments for accepted extensions will be sent to Research Services and awardees in October. 
    • After receiving the official notice with the funded amount from NSERC, PIs will need to create and submit an Amendment Event and upload the notice to the corresponding TRAQ DSS. Research Services will send a reminder to PIs at that time.
  • Please note that the Discovery Grants COVID-19 extension with funds is only available to active grant holders one time.

Please see NSERC FAQ on the Discovery Grants funding extensions.

* Includes all Discovery Grant (DG) programs: DG - Individual, DG - Subatomic Physics, and DG - Northern Research Supplements

In March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NSERC and SSHRC provided an opportunity to researchers with grants ending on or before March 31, 2021, to request an extension of the grant’s tenure period beyond the automatic one-year extension prescribed in the Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration. For most funding opportunities, the period for this initial pandemic-related provision will end shortly, on March 31, 2021. 

Given the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, NSERC and SSHRC will allow, on request, a one-year extension to grants with spending deadlines up to March 31, 2022, regardless of whether they have received a previous time extension of any length for any reason. Please note that this extension does not apply to funds awarded as part of the three-month supplement for the support of trainees (students, postdoctoral fellows) and research support personnel.

This latest one-year COVID-19 extension applies only to grants awarded under the following funding opportunities:

  • University programs (with the exception of Advancing Climate Change Science in Canada; Canada-UK Artificial Intelligence Initiative; Joint Canada-Germany 2+2 call on Advanced Manufacturing-Industry 4.0; Joint Canada-UK projects on Quantum Technologies; Whale Science for Tomorrow; WaterWorks Joint Call; Ship Time Program; Belmont Forum; Emerging Infectious Disease Modelling Initiative, DND/NSERC Discovery Grant Supplements)
  • College and Community Innovation program
  • Networks of Centres of Excellence
  • PIs must request this extension by emailing Research Accounting, it is not automatic
    - send an email to research.accounting@queensu.ca
    - do not contact NSERC or SSHRC
  • Research Accounting notified NSERC and SSHRC grant holders on March 18, 2021, regarding the criteria and process for requesting these extensions
  • All questions should be sent to research.accounting@queensu.ca
  • Grant funding transfers to other institutions will be handled by the usual process (Event form- Transfer of Funds in TRAQ); please contact Magda Monreal at monreal@queensu.ca if a transfer of funds amendment is required on a sub-grant

NSERC started contacting PIs holding grants eligible for the COVID-19 trainee supplement in July 2020. The response to the agencies was required by August 24, 2020. 

Supplement Eligibility - PI:

  • PIs who paid salaries or stipends from a research grant to trainees (students, postdoctoral fellows) and research support personnel, whose work was interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic during a three-month period, from April 1 to June 30, 2020.

Trainee/Research Personnel Eligibility to receive stipend/salary from the supplement funds:

  • Trainees and research support personnel supported by the supplement will need to attest they are not benefiting from compensation under the Canada Emergency Student Benefit or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. They also cannot be benefitting from other income supports related to COVID-19, including the extensions of tri-agency scholarships and fellowships.

Use of supplement funds:

  • PIs may use the supplement funds to provide salary/stipend support to trainees/research personnel who are currently in your group or who join your group before the spending deadline AND who are not receiving other federal COVID-19 benefits at the same time that they are paid from your supplement grant.
  • The period of interruption from April 1 to June 30 was used to establish which grants would be eligible for the supplement. The supplement funds can be used to cover eligible salary costs expended for the period April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021.
  • Unspent supplement funds must be returned to the funding agencies.
  • The supplement cannot be used for the remuneration of work directly associated with a program of study, as opposed to research, or for trainees who graduated in the spring of 2020.
  • See additional details in the information provided below. Spending restrictions depend on the grant and supplement type.

Researchers may receive official notification of supplement details from the agencies in the coming weeks.  In order to avoid further delays in access to supplemental funding, Research Services will now provide guidance to grantees on next steps for initiating the release of funds process prior to receiving the supplemental notice of award. These instructions will replace those previously sent to grantees on Nov 5th, 2020, and will include information on the supplement total awarded for each eligible grant that was recently provided to our office. Please stay tuned for a new personalized message from Magda Monreal with your instructions.

PIs will be required to upload the notifications from the agencies to TRAQ, as Amendment Events, as soon as they receive them.

Decisions on whether a new TRAQ DSS/project account will be required is determined by agency reporting requirements for each type of grant:  

Supplements that require the submission of a new TRAQ DSS Supplements that will be added to existing grants (Amendment Events to the existing TRAQ DSSs are required)
Discovery Grants EGP




  1. Instructions for supplements awarded as a new grant with separate reporting requirements. These supplements require a new TRAQ DSS.
  2. Instructions for supplements added to the existing grants. These supplements require the submission of an Amendment Event in the corresponding TRAQ DSS, instead of a new TRAQ DSS

  • PIs should submit a request for installment deferral and/or project extensions to the agency, close to the end of the grant (timing details may vary between programs, please refer to relevant program guidelines). This should be done via the usual process (Contacting Magda Monreal at monreal@queensu.ca and completing a Grant Amendment Form for submission to the agency)
  • Please send questions to research@queensu.ca