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Special Response Fund for Trainees (Ukraine)

Program news

March 28, 2022

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:

Master’s level Up to $20,000
Doctoral level Up to $25,000
Postdoctoral level Up to $45,000

Requested amounts must be pro-rated to reflect the expected duration of the support.

Application process

Applications will be accepted using a continuous intake up to December 22, 2022.

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.

This special response fund will be in effect until the end of 2022, subject to review based on the evolving situation.

For more information, or to ask about special circumstances that are not covered by the attestation provided, please contact NSERC at

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

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