Editorial for the Canadian Science Policy Centre (CSPC)
The CAPS editorial addresses the particular issues facing postdocs during the COVID-19 pandemic, and recommends specific short- and long-term actions to be taken by funding agencies, higher education institutions, and future employers of postdocs to mitigate the negative impacts on postdocs (Forthcoming).
CAPS quick survey on COVID-19 impacts on postdoctoral life
At CAPS-CSPC, we are working behind the scenes to have the postdoctoral experiences be heard. We want to hear your thoughts on how COVID-19 has impacted your research trajectory. Please fill this quick survey and let us know your thoughts (your answers will be anonymous to organizers). The results of the survey will be compiled into a report for postdoc funding agencies, higher education institutions and other stakeholders.
Complete the survey here.
OTHER POSTDOC-LED INITIATIVES
We very much appreciate the positive response to our previous message on the continuation of the COVID-19 research grants announced over the past two weeks. It is gratifying to see how the community is coming together to ensure that this critical research continues to move forward during this difficult time.
At the same time, we fully appreciate the challenges facing institutions and researchers, as many other labs and research facilities begin to wind down activities in the interest of public safety. We look forward to the day when this work can resume. Here again, we applaud consistent efforts made by senior administrators and lead investigators to ensure that where tri-agency grants have not expired and where funding is available, research personnel, such as students, postdoctoral researchers and research assistants, are continuing to be compensated according to existing or alternative arrangements that align with university policies and procedures. While recognizing the challenges this imposes on administrators, institutions, and researchers, we strongly support these ongoing efforts. In our view, this is not only fair, but will help ensure a state of readiness within the research ecosystem as activity starts to increase in the months ahead.
Looking to the longer term, the three agencies will communicate with you in the days ahead regarding other measures that will be taken to further support institutions, researchers and students impacted by the pandemic. We are all in this together, and together we will develop responses that will help us to maintain the health of both our community and the research ecosystem well into the future.
CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC now have sections on their respective websites to inform the research community of any changes to their programs and policies due to COVID-19.
We invite you to visit the following links:
CIHR’s webpage: https://cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/51917.html
NSERC’s webpage: NSERC program information in relation to COVID‑19 https://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Media-Media/NewsRelease-CommuniqueDePresse_eng.asp?ID=1139
SSHRC’s webpage COVID-19: Impacts on SSHRC’s policies and programs at the following link: https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/news_room-salle_de_presse/covid-19-eng.aspx
Dr. Alejandro Adem, President, NSERC
Dr. Ted Hewitt, President, SSHRC
Dr. Michael J. Strong, President, CIHR
Support for PostDocs
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support. The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks. For more information, click here.
Employment Insurance (EI) provides regular benefits to individuals who lose their jobs through no fault of their own (for example, due to shortage of work, seasonal or mass lay-offs) and are available for and able to work, but can’t find a job.
Always apply for EI benefits as soon as you stop working. You can apply for benefits even if you have not yet received your Record of Employment (ROE). If you delay filing your claim for benefits for more than four weeks after your last day of work, you may lose benefits. More information here.
COVID-19 Resources Canada
The COVID-19 Resources Canada portal: a central hub designed to help those involved in COVID-19 Research and Development in Canada to locate human resources, expertise, reagents and equipment in a timely manner.
The COVID-19 Resources Canada portal aims to support front-line healthcare workers, expand the capacities of public health and research labs, and serve as a source of expertise on COVID-19. Thanks to a community-wide effort, this portal now hosts over 100 resources, including a list of active Canadian COVID-19 related research programs, calls for critical reagents needed to expand COVID-19 testing capacity, volunteer recruitment and other relevant community-based initiatives. At launch, over 3,200 volunteers have already signed up to help in the fight against COVID-19.
At this point, we are continuing to recruit volunteers, and assemble resources, as this pandemic continues. If you have any suggestions or resources to add, please feel free to contact us directly via email or our Contact Us page.
COVID-19: A Message from the UBC PDA
Dear fellow postdocs,
Considering the circumstances, the UBC PDA has made the decision not to host any in-person gathering in the near future. We have cancelled our upcoming ski trip and will not be planning any socials and events until the COVID-19 situation has resolved in an effort to help to #flattenthecurve.
We are currently making plans on how to serve and strengthen the postdoc community during this time of isolation. Please stay tuned for updates. We are looking forward to welcoming you to online get-togethers!
We are aware that a lot of you will be dealing with different problems, such as ramping down research, finding a routine while working from home, travel bans – and being worried about your own health as well as about friends and family in Canada and abroad.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you are struggling – or if you just need someone to talk to. Supporting each other in this difficult time is the least we can do. Stay safe and healthy and take care of yourself and others!
University of British Columbia Postdoctoral Association
Please click here for the full message.