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SCN COVID-19 Update to Community

March 31, 2020

To all of our researchers, trainees and collaborators, I want you to know that the Stem Cell Network has been monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely. I know there are many questions and concerns about research projects and I wanted to take this opportunity to share what the Stem Cell Network has done and is doing to manage these issues.

First, the application deadline for our Round 2 Research Funding Competition has been extended by one month, to May 4, 2020. Details on this can be found on the Stem Cell Network website.

We will be launching a new COVID-19 Rapid Response Initiative on April 1 to help our research community contribute to the global search for a cure. Application packages will be available at https://stemcellnetwork.ca/research/research-funding-opportunities/

We also recently connected with PIs on our Round 1 projects to understand immediate and longer term needs and challenges being faced in different parts of Canada.  We are in close conversation with the government to ensure they are aware of these challenges. Together, we are looking at all options to ensure the success of our funded research, including the possibility of a no-cost extension.  We will have more to say on this in the coming weeks.

Some of our planned spring activities, such as training workshops, have been postponed or cancelled, and we are actively working to move other activities online so that they remain accessible to our community.

It is too early for us to make firm decisions regarding The Till and McCulloch Meetings planned for late October in Vancouver. At this time, we are hopeful that we will be able to still host the meeting.  That said, we will communicate with all of you in the coming months if we must make alternative plans.

In the short term, look for the launch of our new, web-based speaker series. We hope this will allow us to keep in touch with research, even from our sofa. We will make announcements on this via social media so if you don’t already follow us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, now is the perfect time to start.

Our primary objective is to support our community of Canadian researchers. If you have ideas about how we can do this better, we would love to hear from you!  If you and your lab are contributing to the fight against COVID-19 – we thank you – and please let us know about that too.

For now, stay safe. Check in with your neighbours and friends and your broader research community.

We are all in this together.

Michael Rudnicki, O.C. PhD, FRSC
Scientific Director & CEO