MSFHR’s COVID-19 response

17 March 2020

COVID-19 Update: In accordance with the direction of public health officials, we have extended our office closure to April 30, unless advised otherwise by the Provincial Health Officer. Please check back for updates.


MSFHR is responding to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and making changes to its operations to support public health efforts to contain this disease. With the health and safety of our employees, partners, award-holders, peer reviewers and colleagues as our top priority, we’ve implemented several changes to align with public health recommendations to restrict travel, limit face-to-face gatherings and maintain social distance protocols.

MSFHR-hosted events

MSFHR has cancelled or postponed all in-person meetings and events through to the end of May 2020 or where feasible, has arranged to conduct those meetings virtually.

  • Peer review meetings for the 2020 Scholar and Research Trainee competitions will be held virtually. We are confident that high quality peer-review can be achieved through these meetings.
  • The KT Train-the-Trainer workshop initially scheduled for April 15-17 has been postponed.
  • The Vancouver and Kelowna Health xChange events have been postponed.
  • MSFHR staff have cancelled or postponed all business travel.

We will continue to monitor the situation over the coming weeks to determine if events scheduled in June, including the HP-I and I2C peer review meetings, will be held in person or virtually.

Supporting our award holders

We understand that the rapidly changing situation related to COVID-19 may have an impact on MSFHR-award holders with plans to travel for meetings or other research-related activities supported through their MSFHR awards. In alignment with the three federal granting agencies (CIHR, SSHRC and NSERC), MSFHR will accept as an eligible expense any non-refundable travel fees for principal investigators and research personnel who have to cancel travel for reasons related to COVID-19. MSFHR will also grant reasonable no-cost extension requests for cancelled award activities related to COVID-19. Award holders should contact Research Competitions for more information.

Working virtually

To ensure the health and safety of our staff while supporting continuity of our operations, we will be working remotely as of Thursday, March 19.  Our offices will be closed but our team will be available by email. We look forward to continued collaboration with you via email, phone and other virtual tools for the foreseeable future.

Supporting the public health response

Earlier this month, we announced that we were funding urgent public health research on the transmission and susceptibility of COVID-19 in BC. Both projects are led by researchers at the BC Centre for Disease Control.

While we’re doing our part, we urge you to do what you can as well. During these challenging and uncertain times, it is more important than ever to connect with and support each other. Take a moment to send a message or call your colleagues, friends and neighbours to see how they are doing. Staying connected to each other is one way we can bring some normalcy to the coming weeks.

We thank you for your understanding. If you have any questions or concerns about MSFHR’s response to the pandemic, please contact info[at] For up-to-date information on COVID-19 and measures you can take to prevent its spread, please visit the BC Centre for Disease Control.