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Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Research at KPU

KPU is committed to furthering equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in research. KPU has undertaken several activities in support of EDI in research.  

President’s Diversity, and Equity Committee

Chaired by President and Vice Chancellor, Dr. Alan Davis, the President's Diversity and Equity Committee (PDEC) is a group dedicated to furthering the goal of diversity and equity within the KPU community.


Institutional EDI Action Plan

An internal Steering Committee has initiated the development of an institutional EDI Action Plan.

KPU has also received one-time project funding from the Canada Research Chairs Program to develop the EDI Action Plan that meets their requirements.


Dimensions Charter

In 2019, KPU signed on to the Dimensions Charter from the federal Tri-agencies.


Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund

The Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF) was announced on May 15, 2020, as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. The temporary program has been established to help sustain the research enterprise at Canadian universities and health research institutions that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is expected that the program will help reduce negative impacts of the pandemic and ensure that the benefits of significant investments to date in universities and health research institutions are protected. This will maintain Canada’s international competitiveness in the global, knowledge-based economy, and contribute to Canadians’ health and social and cultural life, as well as the health of Canada’s natural environment.

Program objectives

The program, which has a total budget of $450 million, has two objectives:

  • as a priority, to provide wage support to universities and health research institutions, both of which are ineligible to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), to help them retain research-related personnel funded by non-governmental sources during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic (up to $325 million) (Stages 1, 2 and 4); and
  • to support extraordinary incremental costs associated with maintaining essential research-related commitments during the COVID-19 pandemic, and then ramping-up to full research activities as physical distancing measures are eased and research activities can resume ($125 million) (Stage 3)

CRCEF Administration at KPU

The Associate Vice-President, Research, Innovation, and Graduate Studies, Dr. Deepak S. Gupta (avpr@kpu.ca) is KPU’s senior-level official responsible for ensuring that the requirements of the CRCEF program are followed and, particularly, ensuring its commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in managing CRCEF funds is integrated within the governance process. A working group is being assembled, i.e., the CRCEF Working Group, to develop strategy and devise implementation for CRCEF data collection, internal communications, and decision-making.

The Working Group membership is as follows:
•    Associate Vice-President, Research, Innovation, and Graduate Studies, Dr. Deepak S. Gupta (chair) 
•    Research Services Coordinator, Catherine Parlee 
•    Manager, Financial Services, Simran Kang

The CRCEF Working Group will seek the advice of Dr. Romy Kozak, Director of Diversity and Dr. Asma Sayed, Chair Anti-Racism Task Force as needed. 
The AVPRIGS will report on the work of the CRCEF Working Group to KPU’s Senate Standing Committee on Research and Graduate Studies (SSCRGS) at meetings, held usually monthly during the academic year. The mandate, membership, meeting agendas, and minutes of SSCRGS are online and public at https://www.kpu.ca/senate/committees/research.  

The applications submitted by departments/units for CRCEF funding will be reviewed by Office of Research Services to validate and verify eligibility of the expenses. In addition, individual applicants will include an attestation outlining that the costs are eligible under the program.

Should the CRCEF funding requested exceed the amount allocated to KPU, each need will be met through a pro-rata share of CRCEF funds.

KPU’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy for CRCEF

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) or the University endeavors to provide learning and working environments that are inclusive and which are supportive of fair and equitable treatment of all members within its diverse community, no matter their social identity, meaning the various attributes or characteristics with which one strongly identifies and views as integral to their identity. This commitment requires the removal of unnecessary barriers to greater diversity within KPU and requires measures to support and promote inclusiveness, diversity and equity across the University. These considerations are addressed in Policy HR15 and Procedures. KPU is also a signatory to the Dimensions Charter. 
EDI principles are also embedded in the KPU’s decision-making processes for CRCEF funds. These principles are incorporated into all discussions and deliberations related to the CRCEF.  

(8a) Address how to limit the negative impact of unconscious bias and systemic barriers for both wage support and maintenance/ramp-up costs, including in cases where the need exceeds the funds provided;

  1. Representation of Equity-Deserving Groups: All three members of the CRCEF Working Group at KPU members of equity-deserving groups.
  2. Connection to the CRC EDI Action Plan Steering Committee: The AVPRIGS is a member of this Committee and is informed by their work on inclusive data gathering processes, communications strategies, and analysis methods.
  3. Connection to the Anti-Racism Task Force: The AVPRIGS is part of this Task Force. This work has informed the CRCEF Working Group on best practices, including use of EDI terminology.
  4. Unconscious Bias Training: Members of the CRCEF Working Group have or will train on the CRC module for unconscious bias in peer review. The Working Group applies an EDI lens to all process documents and decisions to minimize unconscious biases. 
  5. Broad, Open, and Inclusive Communication: Information about the CRCEF Program is openly and broadly distributed to the KPU community including Today @ KPU (every employee receives this email) and through the Senate Standing Committee of Research and Graduate Studies.
  6. Where needs exceed funds: Should the CRCEF funding requested exceed the amount allocated to KPU, each and every eligible application will be met through a pro-rata share of CRCEF funds.

(8b) Document safeguards to ensure that decisions are not negatively affected by a researcher’s inability to work during the pandemic due to child/family care or increased risk related to exposure to COVID-19; and

  1. Inclusive Messaging: Communications will be open and the messaging with reinforce that all eligible applications are invited.
  2. Avoid irrelevant considerations: Applicants will not need to spell out reasons or detailed explanation of their inability to work (including family care-giving circumstances or COVID exposure risks) on their application. Only financial information is sought, and other data or attestations to confirm eligibility.

8 (c) Address how to ensure that the decision-making values research that is non-traditional or unconventional, based in Indigenous ways of knowing, outside the mainstream of the discipline, or focused on issues of gender, race or minority status

  1. Avoid irrelevant considerations. Applicants will not be asked to disclose area of research or scholarship. This ensure that the areas or approaches to research are never a consideration at the CRCEF Working Group. 

A comprehensive list of affiliated health research institutions receiving funding, if applicable

Not applicable.

A detailed overview of the method of distribution to their affiliated health research institutions in each stage of the program:

Not applicable.

Strategy for equity, diversity and inclusion decision-making in Stage 1:

An open call was sent to the university community to apply for funding in a prescribed format. Applicants also had to review the CRCEF Program Stage 1 criteria to ensure they met eligibility.

The submitted applications were reviewed by Office of Research Services personnel. Following review and feedback, the applicants confirmed eligibility and provided additional justification.

Allocated CRCEF Stage 1 funding is being distributed proportionately across all final qualified applicants.

This strategy was developed by an ad-hoc research administration team with representation from two equity seeking groups. The process documents were adapted from resources developed at Mount Saint Vincent University and used with permission. Although no peer review was required and no eligible applicant was unfunded, the team lead had previously trained on unconscious bias in peer review.

Contact information of the senior-level individual who is responsible for ensuring the program’s requirements are followed:

Deepak S. Gupta
Associate Vice President, Research, Innovation, and Graduate Studies
Office: 604.598.8827
E-mail: avpr@kpu.ca