Since NSERC receives its funding through parliamentary appropriations, it has a responsibility to Parliament and to the Canadian people to ensure that the public funds put in its trust are well managed.
To this end, College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program funds must be used effectively, economically and in the best interest of the colleges supported by the grant.
The administration of funds granted by NSERC is carried out by three partners: the authorized representative (as identified on the application), the college and NSERC. Refer to the Memorandum of Understanding on the Roles and Responsibilities in the Management of Federal Grants and Awards (MOU) for more details on administration of funds granted.
In accordance with federal laws and policies regarding grants, NSERC verifies eligibility for, and entitlement to, grants.
NSERC defines the conditions under which its funds may be used, monitors the use of grants and interprets its rules and requirements for the colleges and the authorized representative.
CCI grants are awarded to NSERC eligible colleges and are administered through the college's administration systems. The authorized representative authorizes expenditures in accordance with NSERC requirements as outlined in this guide, or as stated as a condition of a grant, and with the college’s policies. No one may initiate or authorize expenditures from a grant account without the authorized representative’s delegated authority.
Each college establishes appropriate procedures, systems and controls to ensure that NSERC policies and requirements are followed.
Administrative, personnel and accounting procedures must conform to the standards, practices and policies of the authorized representative's college.
The authorized representatives managing grants must adhere to the activities and budget specified in the approved proposal. However, during the tenure of the grant, reallocation of more than 20 percent of any budget item to other items is permitted upon NSERC’s approval of a revised budget and justification for the changes. If a college is not awarded all the funding that was originally requested, it can modify its activities according to the funding that it receives. Modified activities must still address the objectives of the original application and can only be made if the Private Sector Advisory Board (PSAB) did not direct funding to a particular aspect of the proposal (that information would appear in the award letter). All adjustments should be documented. Any changes to the projects/activities being supported by the grant funds must be discussed with the NSERC Program Manager. A revised budget will be required.
Representatives of NSERC may visit colleges periodically to:
Non-compliance with the requirements outlined in this guide, located on NSERCís Web site, may result in the freezing or closing of the grant account. If grant funds are used to pay expenditures contrary to NSERC's policies, they must be repaid to the grant account or to NSERC. In cases where colleges disregard the requirements outlined in this guide, collegeís policies, or principles of sound financial management, NSERC may decide to take certain actions, including terminating the grant or removing the institutionís eligibility status.
In cases of allegations of non-compliance with the College and Community Innovation Program Financial Administration Guide, the Tri-Agency Process for Addressing Allegations of Non-Compliance with Tri-Agency Policies applies.
Matters involving financial mismanagement, where there is evidence of fraud or criminal activity, are referred to the appropriate legal authority as per the Treasury Board Directive on Losses of Money or Property.
Support for applied research by CCI grants are investments by Canadian taxpayers. NSERC's accountability regarding this use of grant funds includes informing the public about who receives the support, the type of applied research that will be conducted and how funds will be administered.
Colleges are required to acknowledge NSERCís assistance in publications arising from the supported research, in conference or congress materials, and on equipment and facilities purchased and/or developed with grant funds. NSERC logos are available on its Web site.
NSERC makes no claim to ownership of any intellectual property (IP) generated from the research it funds. As a general principle, colleges need to develop and sign an agreement with each company partner on the ownership and disposition of IP arising from the CCI-funded applied research before initiating any grant activities. Any agreements made regarding the ownership of the IP resulting from the CCI-funded research must take into account the CCI objective of creating partnerships. This implies a sharing of eventual benefits between the partners commensurate with their respective contributions, as well as the sharing of the costs to protect the IP.
Given the purpose of the projects, and the fact that they are company-driven, the college must have the right to use the new knowledge or technology in future teaching and research, and faculty and students must have the right to describe the project on their curricula vitae.
Scientifically valuable collections of animal, culture, plant or geological specimens, or archaeological artifacts collected by an authorized representative with grant funds are the property of the college. They must be held in trust for the research community, which should have reasonable access to them. Such collections should be deposited as quickly as possible in an appropriate repository.
However, NSERCís policy on ownership of collections or specimens does not supersede any federal or provincial legislation on this issue.
NSERC's intention is not to restrict standard and recognized procedures of exchange of material and specimens between researchers and colleges, but to better ensure their continuing good condition and future availability.