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For almost 40 years now, the Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST) has been conducting research to help prevent workplace accidents and occupational diseases, and rehabilitate injured workers. Through its research funding programs, the IRSST is able to count on not just its in-house institutional researchers, but also a broad network of outside researchers from universities and research centres as it strives to carry out its mission. Thanks to researchers’ findings, workplaces benefit from the increased knowledge required to support their prevention efforts.
The IRSST has a budget devoted solely to funding outside research. In past years, this budget has been sufficient to meet all of the funding requests received from research teams, but that will not be the case this year. In light of the increased number of grant applications submitted these last two years, combined with the ongoing funding of major multiyear projects, the IRSST must take steps immediately to ensure that it can meet the funding commitments it has already made to research teams and projects. As a result, its outside research grant programs have been suspended until June 30, 2021, which means that no new proposal (research design, letter of intent or protocol) will be accepted from outside researchers.
This news does not mean that the IRSST will no longer be supporting outside teams, however; on the contrary, all the funds allocated to the external research budget will be spent and paid out in 2020 and 2021. Projects that have already been submitted to the IRSST’s scientific advisory board, or are in the process of being submitted, will continue to be processed in 2020 and 2021. It is also important to emphasize that none of the projects already under way will be affected by this suspension. Furthermore, all knowledge translation and dissemination activities, as well as meetings of focus follow-up committees, will continue.
Note that any project that is delayed because of the pandemic can have its deadline extended by up to a year, on request. However, no additional funding will be authorized for the extension. All research projects and activities already funded and under way will continue to receive the planned funding. However, no request for additional budget amounts will be accepted. If you encounter any problems carrying out your research because of the COVID-19 situation, or if you have any questions, feel free to contact one of our research management advisors.
We’re very sorry about the problems that this situation may create for researchers and research teams that were counting on short-term funding from the IRSST in order to pursue their work. The IRSST is aware of the need to be proactive in seeking OHS solutions and will be using this time to develop new initiatives and review its funding strategies. We’ll keep you informed about developments and will be asking for your input. In other news, the call for research proposals, sent out in March, for the development or advancement of OHS knowledge related to the COVID-19 pandemic will be funded out of a special, separate budget.
Thank you for your understanding.
President and CEO
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