IMPORTANT NOTICE for FACULTY: Tri-agency message regarding travel cancellations due to COVID-19-related issues

As many of you are preparing for summer conference travel, we want to bring to your attention this note that came out from the Tri-Council agencies this week. This notice refers to the changing situation on COVID-19 and travel plans —booked with tri-council funds (SSHRC, NSERC, CIHR) that may need to be cancelled. (Please see below). Note that this notice applies only to tri-council funds and not operating funds (for example, funds through Osgoode internal grants). Once the university has developed a position on those funds, we will contact you with updates.


Dear SSHRC Leaders,

The three federal granting agencies are aware that the rapidly changing situation involving COVID-19 may have an impact on researchers with plans to travel for meetings or other research-related activities. Individuals may decide to cancel trips as a result of various considerations and factors such as cancelled conferences, travel advisories (including those from Health Canada and Global Affairs Canada), or personal choice due to health or other concerns.

The agencies confirm that the reimbursement of non-refundable travel fees from agency funds is acceptable considering the impacts of COVID-19. This applies to the travel of both principal investigators and research personnel, when cancellation occurs as described above.

Note: given the uncertainty of the situation with COVID-19, the agencies suggest that those travelling for agency – funded research consider purchasing either cancellation insurance, or tickets that are at least partially refundable. In this specific situation, some additional cost could still be viewed as economical if it allows for partial or full reimbursement/credit in the event of cancellation.

For additional information, please see the public announcement on our website.

Dalia Morcos Fraser, Chief Financial Officer, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Patricia Sauvé-McCuan, Chief Financial Officer and Vice-President, Common Administrative Services Directorate, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council