CIHR Electronic Systems Service Standards

CIHR's Response to Sustained Interruptions in ResearchNet

In the rare times that we lose access to our electronic computers and devices, we realize just how dependent we have become on them for so many aspects of our life. No matter how many redundant systems and safeguards are in place, no matter the dedication and skill of the people supporting these systems, there will be times of planned and unplanned interruptions in access to CIHR's electronic systems, such as ResearchNet. CIHR has developed a decision guide for extending deadlines in response to sustained interruptions. This does not minimize our intent to ensure that ResearchNet is available. Rather it acknowledges the inevitable fact at there will be the occasional sustained interruption and provides a guide for how CIHR will apply extensions to competition deadlines when appropriate.

Note: These guidelines cover confirmed interruptions which affect all, or the majority of, users which therefore warrant an extension of deadlines for the whole community. When an individual loses access to CIHR's electronic systems, CIHR will analyze whether an extension is warranted on a case-by-case basis where it can be shown that, despite assistance from CIHR's technical support, a technical issue could not be resolved in time to meet the deadline.

For those instances where CIHR provides advance notification regarding an outage and no extension is planned, we strongly encourage applicants to complete their application before or after the scheduled outage.

Responding to Sustained Interruptions on ResearchNet

The following will be used by CIHR as a guide to determine when an extension to a competition deadline is warranted.

Type of Interruption Nature of event(s) CIHR's response
Unplanned sustained interruption on a CIHR competition deadline day Two hours or less of unplanned sustained interruption on a competition deadline day except for the last two hours before the deadline time. No extension provided
Unplanned sustained interruption of 30 minutes or more during the last two hours before the competition deadline. 24 hour extension to deadline
More than two and less than 6 hours of unplanned sustained interruptions on competition deadline day 24 hour extension to deadline
More than 6 hours of unplanned sustained interruptions on a competition deadline day 48 hour extension to deadline
Unplanned sustained interruption prior to a CIHR competition deadline day Less than 6 hours of unplanned sustained interruption in the 72 hours prior to a competition deadline day. No extension provided
More than 6 hours of unplanned sustained interruption in the 3 days prior to a competition deadline day. 24 hour extension to the deadline
Less than 24 hours of unplanned sustained interruption in the period from the fourth to the seventh day before a competition deadline No extension provided
More than 24 hours of unplanned sustained interruption in the period from the fourth to the seventh day before a competition deadline 24 hour extension to the deadline for each 24 hour sustained interruption
Planned sustained interruption on a CIHR competition deadline date. Two hours or less of planned sustained interruption on a competition deadline day before the last two hours before the deadline time. No extension provided
Planned sustained interruption of 30 minutes or more during the last two hours before the competition deadline. 24 hour extension to deadline
More than two and less than 12 hours of planned sustained interruptions on competition deadline day 24 hour extension to deadline
More than 12 hours of planned sustained interruptions on a competition deadline day 48 hour extension to deadline
Planned sustained interruption prior to a CIHR competition deadline day Less than 9 hours of planned sustained interruption during peak hours in the 3 days before a competition deadline day, where notice was provided at least 7 days prior to the interruption No extension provided
More than 9 hours of planned sustained interruption during peak hours, in the 3 days before a competition deadline day, where notice was provided at least 7 days prior to the interruption 24 hour extension to the deadline for each 9 hour sustained interruption during peak hours
Planned sustained interruptions during off peak hours in 4 days or more before a competition deadline day where notice was provided at least 7 days prior to the interruption No extension provided

Summary table of "Unplanned sustained interruptions":

Total Sustained Interruption Proximity to Deadline Date
< 2h before deadline on deadline date > 2h before deadline on deadline date 1-3 days before deadline 4-7 days before deadline
0-30m No extension No extension No extension No extension
30m-1h 24h extension No extension No extension No extension
1h-2h 24h extension No extension No extension No extension
2h-3h N/A 24h extension No extension No extension
3h-4h N/A 24h extension No extension No extension
4h-6h N/A 24h extension No extension No extension
6h-9h N/A 48h extension 24h extension No extension
9h-12h N/A 48h extension 24h extension No extension
12h-24h N/A 48h extension 24h extension No extension
24h + N/A 48h extension 24h extension 24h extension*

* 24 hour extension for each 24 hour outage.

Summary table of "Planned sustained interruptions":

Total Sustained Interruption Proximity to Deadline Date
< 2h before deadline on deadline date > 2h before deadline on deadline date 1-3 days before deadline 4-7 days before deadline
0-30m No extension No extension No extension No extension
30m-1h 24h extension No extension No extension No extension
1h-2h 24h extension No extension No extension No extension
2h-3h N/A 24h extension No extension No extension
3h-4h N/A 24h extension No extension No extension
4h-6h N/A 24h extension No extension No extension
6h-9h N/A 24h extension No extension No extension
9h-12h N/A 24h extension 24h extension ** No extension
12h-24h N/A 48h extension 24h extension ** No extension
24h + N/A 48h extension 24h extension ** No extension

** 24 hour extension for each 9 hour outage.

Communication of Deadline Extensions

Should an extension be warranted based on the criteria noted above, CIHR will communicate the extension through the following methods:

  • A notice on the CIHR home page under "Funding news"
  • A notice on the ResearchNet's home page under "News"
  • A communiqué through CIHR's "Funding News" E-Alert
  • An update to the deadline date in the description for each of the relevant funding opportunities affected.

Note: Should a service interruption take place outside of CIHR`s regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time), CIHR will evaluate the interruption and communicate if an extension is required on the next regular business day. This means that an evening outage on a Monday deadline would result in a deadline extension being communicated on the Tuesday. For those deadlines that may fall on a Friday, an evening outage would result in the deadline extension being communicated on the Monday.

Questions or Comments?

If you are experiencing technical difficulties with your ResearchNet account, or if you have any questions or difficulties in completing the CIHR specific content on ResearchNet, contact us between 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time:

support@cihr-irsc.gc.ca
1-888-603-4178
613-954-1968

Definitions of Terms

Peak hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Non peak hours: 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time

Sustained interruption: A prolonged period of time where all users are unable to log on to ResearchNet and/or have access to a majority of its functions. Does not apply where:

  • There is a known workaround to the problem that allows users to continue.
  • The interruption is a short, intermittent outage and is not sustained.
  • The interruption is not widespread and does not affect all ResearchNet users.

Unplanned interruption: An unforeseen and unannounced outage which causes a sustained interruption. Usually the result of a problem with system software/hardware, a widespread internet/electrical outage or an incident at Public Works Government Services Canada (PWGSC) facilities where ResearchNet is hosted.

Planned interruption: A predetermined and preannounced outage causing a sustained interruption to maintain the software, hardware or facilities. As ResearchNet is not hosted at CIHR, some planned interruptions in service are dictated by PWGSC and not always within CIHR's control. CIHR's standard is to provide a minimum of seven days notice to the research community of any planned interruption.