Canada announces financial relief for Ukrainian researchers unable to return home

The funding is available for those studying at the graduate and post-graduate levels

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By Michael Su

The federal government will fund Ukrainian researchers and academics so they can continue their work in Canada as the war in Ukraine continues, but Langara students likely won’t be eligible.

According to Martin Leroux, senior communications adviser for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, this fund is available in all provinces and will be in effect until the end of 2022.

Leroux, in an email to the Voice, said this supplement is designed to support researchers in situations where no other source of assistance is available.

The funding was announced by the federal government on March 28, helping Ukrainian students and professors avoid travelling back to the ongoing conflict in their home country, which started Feb. 24 when Russia invaded Ukraine. The fund can be applied for through one of three federal research funding agencies: Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, with up to $45,000 available for postdoctoral-level applicants through salaries and stipends.

As of now, the grant is specifically designed for those who expected to return to Ukraine this year, but can’t as the invasion escalated.

Am I eligible?

The funding may not be available to Langara students. Researchers eligible for the money must be enrolled in a master’s, PhD or postdoctoral program.

Gregory Pokorny, international recruitment manager for Langara global, said that even university transfer students won’t be able to apply as they are still studying at the undergraduate level.

“This actual announcement, I don’t think has anything to do with Langara,” Pokorny said. “This is something if somebody is Ukrainian who wants to do their research at UBC or something like that for master’s, postdoc or PhD level.”

“As far as having any kind of [Ukrainian] relief, we haven’t initiated that yet. And it takes some time,” Pokorny said.

In a federal government press release, François-Philippe Champagne, minister of innovation, science and industry, said Ukrainians deserve support in a dire time.

“Our government will continue to do everything we can to help the people of Ukraine in the wake of the horrific and unjustified actions of Vladimir Putin. Through this fund, we will support Ukrainian researchers and trainees so they can continue their important work here in Canada,” Champagne said in the release.

Master's students can receive up to $20,000, doctoral students $25,000 and postdoctoral students $40,000

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