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Table of Contents

Appendix 1 - Terms of Reference, working group on the Review of NSERC's and SSHRC's Policy Framework for Research Integrity

Background

At a meeting of May 26, 2008, the Minister of Industry requested that the granting councils (NSERC and SSHRC) and the Association of University and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) review measures needed to strengthen and enforce research integrity standards, and to report back on these by September 22, 2008. The CIHR will have an opportunity to review and provide comments on the draft response to the Minister.

Mandate

SSHRC, NSERC, and the AUCC will review the integrity policy framework that exists under the Tri-Council Memorandum of Understanding on the Roles and Responsibilities in the Management of Federal Grants and Awards (MOU) to assess whether it is appropriate and sufficient. This includes the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Integrity in Research and Scholarship, the associated Framework for Tri-Council Review of University Policies Dealing with Integrity in Research and the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide. A second policy statement deals specifically with the ethical conduct of research involving humans and is not included in this review. There are currently separate processes underway to update this policy and to improve ethics governance in Canada1.

The review will specifically address policy (is it adequate?), implementation (is it working?) and transparency (can it be more so?) and what can be done to improve research integrity at all levels.

The working group (membership below) will prepare a report addressing the three key issues outlined above with recommendations to the Presidents of each agency in order to allow them to present advice to the Minister for going forward. This will include a power point deck and covering letter to the Minister of Industry.

Members of the Working Group

Contract Detail
Chair: Nigel Lloyd, Executive Vice-President, NSERC
Co-Chair: Barbara Conway, Corporate Secretary, NSERC
Members: Robert Best, Vice-President, National Affairs, AUCC
Margaret Blakeney, Coordinator, ATIP, Ethics and Integrity, SSHRC
Carole Crête-Robidoux, Manager, Financial Monitoring, NSERC
John Dingwall, Senior Policy Analyst, AUCC
Marie Emond, Research Ethics and Environmental Assessment Coordinator, NSERC
Christine Trauttmansdorff, Corporate Secretary, SSHRC
Alternate: Michelle Gauthier, Director, Research and Policy Analysis, AUCC
Writer: Hans Posthuma, Senior Writer, NSERC
1The ethics governance initiative is being led by Health Canada. NSERC, SSHRC and the AUCC are members of the Sponsorsí Table that oversees this initiative.

Appendix 2 - Key documents in the policy framework

The agencies' framework for research and scholarly integrity includes a number of policy documents. The Tri-Agencies' Memorandum of Understanding: Roles and Responsibilities in the Management of Federal Grants and Awards (MOU) (Appendix 3) is an agreement between the agencies and institutions that describes their respective roles in implementing agency policies, guidelines and procedures. Institutions that receive funding from the agencies must sign and adhere to the MOU, ensuring that grant money is managed properly and effectively, and that research meets the highest standards of integrity and ethics. The two schedules in the MOU that pertain directly to research and scholarly integrity are Schedule 4: Integrity in Research and Scholarship, and Schedule 8: Investigation and Resolution of Breaches of Agency Policies.

The MOU requires institutions to comply with the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Integrity in Research and Scholarship (TCPS-I) (Appendix 4). The TCPS-I outlines the responsibilities and behavior expected from all individuals and organizations involved in research. It holds institutions responsible for developing and implementing their own policies that adhere to the TCPS-I, and for investigating allegations of misconduct involving researchers, trainees or research staff. The Framework for Tri-Council Review of University Policies Dealing with Integrity in Research (referred to as the Framework from here on) (Appendix 5) provides a checklist of items that must be included in an institution's policies. Within the scope of the TCPS-I and the Framework, institutions may structure their policies to reflect the unique characteristics and requirements of their governance structures, faculty agreements and research environments.

Schedule 8 of the MOU outlines procedures for resolving breaches of agency policy by an institution.

All documents are available on the agencies' websites.

Memorandum of Understanding: Roles and Responsibilities in the Management of Federal Grants and Awards (MOU)

(Schedule 4: Integrity in Research and Scholarship; Schedule 8: Investigation and Resolution of Breaches of Agency Policies)
  • Umbrella agreement committing institutions to adhering to agency policies
  • Adopted in 2002 (Schedules 1-8)
  • Additional Schedules (9-15) in effect as of 2008
  • Further revisions planned (including Schedules 4 and 8) for 3rd edition
Tri-Council Policy Statement: Integrity in Research and Scholarship (TCPS-I)
  • Outlines principles, responsibilities and procedures for promoting integrity, and for preventing and addressing research misconduct
  • Adopted in 1994
  • First policy of its type in Canada
Framework for Tri-Council Review of University Policies Dealing with Integrity in Research (Framework)
  • Checklist of required elements to appear in institutional policies
  • Adopted in 1996
Institutional policies
  • Include elements required under TCPS-I and Framework
  • Reflect individual needs of institutions
  • Adopted and revised as needed by the institutions
  • Reviewed by the agencies

The agencies' framework for financial accountability includes a number of policy documents. The MOU requires institutions to have effective controls, policies, systems and procedures in place. Grant holders have a number of responsibilities and accountabilities, outlined in the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide (Appendix 6). A number of supporting documents are available to institutions and grantees to assist with implementation of policies for Tri-agency monitoring visits. All documents are available on the agencies' websites.


Memorandum of Understanding: Roles and Responsibilities in the Management of Federal Grants and Awards (MOU)

(Schedule 1: Financial Management; Schedule 8: Investigation and Resolution of Breaches of Agency Policies )
  • Umbrella agreement committing institutions to adhering to agency policies
  • Adopted in 2002 (Schedules 1-8)
  • Additional Schedules (9-15) in effect as of 2008
  • Further revisions planned (including Schedules 1 and 8) for 3rd edition
Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide
  • Outlines financial responsibilities of grant holders and institutions, and provides a list of eligible expenses.
  • Adopted in 2000 and revised annually
Guide for Assessing Financial and Administration Control Frameworks
  • Developed in 2005, in consultation with universities.
  • Describes those elements reviewed during a financial monitoring visit.
  • Assists the financial monitoring team to assess the financial and administrative control framework at the institution.
  • Updated as required, e.g. when new schedules are added to the MOU or changes are made to the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide.
A Monitoring Approach for a Financial Review Visit
  • Developed in 2000.
  • Describes the objectives, scope and approach of a financial monitoring review.
  • Assists the institution in preparing for a review visit.
  • Updated annually.
Manual of Good Practices Observed During Monitoring Visits
  • Developed in 2000.
  • Includes good practices observed during financial monitoring reviews at different institutions.
  • Encourages communication and sharing of good practices between institutions.
  • Updated as required.
Issues and Questions: Information Session on Financial Accountability in Research
  • Developed in 2000.
  • Provides the Agencies with additional information on the institution's financial and administrative framework.
  • Institution completes the questionnaire prior to the financial monitoring review visit.
  • Updated approximately every five years.
Institutional policies, controls and procedures
  • Reflect agency policy and individual needs of institutions
  • Adopted and revised as needed by the institutions
  • Reviewed by the agencies during monitoring visits

Appendix 3 - Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Roles and Responsibilities in the Management of Federal Grants and Awards

(www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/NSERC-CRSNG/Policies-Politiques/MOURoles-ProtocolRoles/index_eng.asp)

Memorandum of Understanding

Between
(Name of the Institution), hereinafter referred to as the "Institution"
and
The Federal Granting Agencies, namely the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), hereinafter referred to as the "Agencies. "

WHEREAS the Institution and the Agencies (hereinafter collectively referred to as the "Parties") recognize that there are three leaders in Canada's research and training enterprise: the Grant Holder or Award Holder, the Institution and the Agency;

WHEREAS each Party recognizes the vital importance of research, the new knowledge and applications it creates, and the knowledgeable and skilled human resources developed through the process of conducting research;

WHEREAS the Agencies provide public resources to promote and assist research and as such have a responsibility to deploy the resources as effectively as possible, to account to the Canadian people for the use, allocation and outcomes of those resources, and to ensure that the activities supported are conducted in accordance with the highest legal, ethical and financial standards;

WHEREAS it is possible to have effective Comptrollership without unduly constraining the research process and outcomes;

WHEREAS it is in the best interests of the research, and of all participants in the research enterprise, that this Comptrollership process be as simple and as uniform as possible across the Agencies, while maintaining appropriate management and accountability standards;

WHEREAS the Parties acknowledge that the administrative support systems and controls related to research supported by the Agencies impose facilities and administrative costs on the Parties, requiring judicious choices concerning the nature of those systems and controls;

WHEREAS these Institutional roles and responsibilities represent the basic requirements for obtaining and maintaining eligibility to administer Grant and/or Award funds.

THE PARTIES therefore agree as follows:

1. Definitions

Agency Policy the set of rules, directives and guidelines published by an individual Agency or jointly by the Agencies.
Award Holders undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows supported by NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR through scholarships or fellowships; or, researchers supported by salary or career support grants from NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR.
Comptrollership having clear accountabilities, effective control over resources, sound risk management and performance assessments, and an open reporting of results in relation to the expenditure of public funds.
Eligible Institution an Institution (a) that meets the requirements for eligibility to receive funding set out in guidelines issued by the Agency; and (b) that has signed this Memorandum of Understanding on Roles and Responsibilities in the Management of Federal Grants and Awards.
Grantees, Grant Holders the recipients of research grants provided by the Agencies. Both terms are used in the Agencies' program guides. This document uses the term "Grant Holders. "
Institutions the universities, hospitals, colleges, research institutes, centres and other organizations eligible to receive and manage grant funds on behalf of the Agencies and Grant Holders.
Non-eligible Institution an Institution other than an Eligible Institution.
Parties the Agencies, Institutions and Grant Holders and Award Holders as a cooperative group, not a legal partnership.
Primary Institution an Eligible Institution in direct receipt of Grant funds which it transfers to a Secondary Institution in order to facilitate research collaboration.
Research Administration Institution officials who provide administrative services to researchers, from offices such as the research grants office, research accounting office or scholarships liaison office, as relevant.
Research Personnel includes undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research assistants, research associates, technicians, programmers, analysts, etc. , who may contribute to the research activities of a Grant Holder.
Researcher anyone who carries out research activities.
Secondary Institution an Institution to which funds are transferred from a Primary Institution. It may be an "Eligible Institution" or "Non-eligible Institution".

2. Roles and Responsibilities of the Grant Holders and Award Holders

While this Memorandum of Understanding represents an agreement between the three Partners - the Agencies and Institutions, the roles and responsibilities of Grant Holders and Award Holders are outlined below. These same roles and responsibilities appear, though in different terms, in Agency guides and publications that address Grant Holders and Award Holders.

2.1  Grant Holders: The Agencies select, and award funds to, Grant Holders and their projects through competitive, peer-reviewed evaluation processes. Grant Holders must operate in compliance with the relevant Agency guidelines and requirements and all applicable policies of the Institution that govern the management and conduct of research, the financial management of research and the management of research personnel and students involved in research.

2.2  Where there is neither an existing Agency policy nor an existing Institutional policy that governs a matter related to a grant, Grant Holders must seek, through their Institution's Research Administration, an appropriate advice and/or ruling from the relevant Agency.

2.3  In accordance with these overall principles, Grant Holders are responsible for:

  1. effective financial management and conduct of the research in accordance with the program guidelines, institutional policies and with ethical and legal standards;
  2. complying with the general terms and conditions governing grants and any terms and conditions specific to each grant or granting program established by the Agency, and for complying with Institutional policies;
  3. managing and supervising research personnel;
  4. informing relevant Agency and Institution officials of changes in eligibility status or in the nature of the research that may have an impact on certification or approvals for research involving humans, animals or biohazards, environmental assessments, financial reporting and other related policies;
  5. meeting reporting requirements specific to the grant or granting program; and
  6. acknowledging, whenever possible, the Agency's financial support for the research.

2.4  Grant Holders are encouraged to participate, as appropriate, in the Agency's peer review process.

2.5  Award Holders: The Agencies select Award Holders through competitive, peer-reviewed, evaluation processes. Award Holders must operate in compliance with the relevant Agency guidelines and requirements and all applicable policies of the Institution that govern the conduct of research.

2.6  Award Holders are responsible for:

  1. complying with the general terms and conditions governing their award and any terms and conditions specific to each award program established by the Agency, and for complying with Institutional policies;
  2. informing relevant Agency and Institution officials of changes in eligibility status or in the nature of the research that may have an impact on certifications, environmental assessments and related policies; and
  3. acknowledging, whenever possible, the Agency's financial support for the research.

3. Roles and Responsibilities of the Institution

The Institution is the administrator of funds, granted by the Agencies to Grant Holders and Award Holders to support their research and/or research training. The Institution provides physical, organizational, policy and procedural infrastructure for the conduct of research. It also establishes norms for the supervision of research personnel. These norms include, but are not limited to, policies and processes related to hiring practices and to the status of research personnel. The Institution, therefore, assists Grant Holders and Award Holders and the Agencies to meet their respective obligations. The Institution also ensures that Grant Holders and Award Holders and their research comply with legal requirements that apply to any workplace, and with ethical and financial standards. The Institution necessarily relies on the good judgement of its Grant Holders and Award Holders.

3.1  In consultation with the affected applicant, Grant Holder or Award Holder, the Institution may withdraw its support for a grant or award application, or for an existing grant or an award, if the requirement for compliance with an Agency policy or with that of an external regulatory agency imposes an undue burden on the Institution which cannot be resolved following discussion with the Agency. In this instance, the Agency would terminate any affected grant or award.

3.2  In the event that an Institutional policy conflicts with an Agency policy governing a matter, the issue will be resolved according to the principles outlined in Schedule 8: Investigation and Resolution of Breaches of Agency Policy. The Parties acknowledge that an Institutional policy may be more stringent than the corresponding Agency policy, in which case the Institutional policy will normally prevail. In such instances the Institution should inform the Agencies.

3.3  The Institution is responsible for:

  1. providing an appropriate physical and organizational infrastructure for the conduct of research funded by the Agencies;
  2. implementing appropriate and effective policies, administrative systems and controls to ensure that the research is conducted in compliance with all applicable legal, ethical, accountability, and financial management standards;
  3. adhering to, and furthering compliance with, Agency requirements, including withholding or withdrawing approval of expenditures that contravene Agency or Institutional policies or the terms of the grants or awards and, as appropriate, seeking advice from the Agencies;
  4. providing Grant Holders and Award Holders with effective administrative support, timely and clear financial information and assistance with Institutional and Agency policies;
  5. advising the relevant Agency of any changes in the eligibility status of Grant Holders and Award Holders and/or of serious problems in the use of research funds; and
  6. submitting financial statements, and, from time to time and as required, reports on such issues as the implementation of new policies.

4. Roles and Responsibilities of the Agencies

4.1  The Agencies develop strategies and plans for the promotion and support of research and research training for which they design appropriate programs and policies. Through these, the Agencies provide funding in the form of grants to Grant Holders in support of their research and provide financial support to Award Holders in the form of salaries, scholarships and fellowships.

4.2  The Agencies are accountable for the quality and relevance of their programs, policies, decisions and decision-making processes. Each Agency operates competitive, peer-reviewed, decision-making processes to select the activities that rank most highly and meet the required program eligibility criteria and quality standards.

4.3  The Agencies must adhere to federal laws and policies which dictate financial and other management practices and which set accountability standards. Responsibility for the actual conduct of the research and for the management of each grant or award is entrusted to the Grant Holders and Award Holder and to the Institution.

4.4  The Agencies have a responsibility and an obligation to:

  1. establish and manage policies and programs that enable them to fulfill their mandates as defined by their individual Acts (for CIHR Act: see This link will take you to another Web site http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/C-18.1/26440.html; for NSERC Act: see This link will take you to another Web site http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/N-21/75176.html; for SSHRC Act: see This link will take you to another Web site http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/S-12/86782.html);
  2. account for their programs, policies and the deployment of the resources entrusted to them;
  3. require that Institutions have adequate organizational and policy structures, controls and systems for the management of award and grant funds;
  4. effectively communicate program information, and management and accountability requirements to Institutions, Grant Holders and Award Holders, and to ensure that program information and management accountability requirements aimed at Grant Holders and Award Holders are consistent with this MOU and its schedules, and to make such information publicly accessible;
  5. verify the eligibility of Institutions, applicants and Award Holders and Grant Holders;
  6. provide timely advice, clarification or rulings on policies, programs, and requirements;
  7. carry out a fair and effective competitive peer-review process;
  8. review only those applications that have received the appropriate Institutional endorsement(s), where applicable;
  9. communicate competition results in a timely manner to the applicants and to the Institution Research Administration official designated to receive this information;
  10. consult with institutions on changes in programs and policies or in their implementation that may have a significant impact on Institutions; and
  11. manage grant research and awards funds and disburse them in compliance with the Treasury Board Policy on Transfer Payments and other relevant legislation (such as the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act), policies and directives.

5. Specific Guidelines and Procedures

5.1  Financial Management

Since the Agencies receive their funding through parliamentary appropriations, they have a responsibility to Parliament and to the Canadian people to effectively manage the public funds placed in their trust. The Institutions agree to assist by providing adequate financial and administrative support to the Grant Holder or Award Holder to ensure sound management of funds. The Institution must also report to the Agencies on the use of these funds. The Parties therefore, agree to adhere to the guidelines set out in Schedule 1.

5.2  Ethics Review of Research Involving Humans

Researchers, Institutions and the Agencies recognize that with academic freedom come responsibilities, including the responsibility to ensure that any research involving human subjects meets high scientific and ethical standards. The Agencies have established standards, namely the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct of Research Involving Humans, and procedures, within a common ethical framework, for the review of the ethics of research involving human subjects and to ensure an appropriate level of accountability. In addition, CIHR has established Guidelines for human pluripotent stem cell research. At a minimum, the Institution must ensure its conformity with these standards and procedures. The Parties therefore, agree to adhere to the guidelines set out in Schedule 2.

5.3  Ethics Review of Research Involving Animals

Researchers, Institutions and the Agencies acknowledge their responsibility to ensure that any research involving live vertebrates and cephalopods (octopi and squid) meets high scientific and ethical standards. The regulatory guidelines are those of the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC), the national peer review agency responsible for setting and maintaining standards for the care and use of animals in research, teaching and testing throughout Canada.

Check one
Check Box Option for those institutions in which animals are used in research, teaching and testing

The Institution and the Agencies agree to adhere to the guidelines set out in Schedule 3.

or

Check Box Option for those institutions in which animals are not currently used in research, teaching and testing.

The Parties acknowledge that as of the date of signing this MOU, the Institution does not have animal facilities and does not carry out research, teaching or testing on animals. In the event that the Institution intends to carry out such research, it will promptly inform the Agencies and will make all necessary arrangements to comply with, and will be bound by, the guidelines set out in Schedule 3.

5.4  Integrity in Research and Scholarship

The Institution and the Agencies are committed to the highest standards of integrity in research and scholarship. While the primary responsibility for maintaining high standards of integrity, accountability and responsibility rests with the researchers, the Institutions and the Agencies have a role in providing an environment that is conducive to achieving these goals. The Parties therefore agree to adhere to the guidelines set out in Schedule 4.

5.5  Environmental Assessment

While the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act requires the Agencies to review proposals for potential impact on the environment, researchers, Institutions and the Agencies must work together to ensure that research activities will not have any significant deleterious effects on the environment. The roles of the Parties are set out in Schedule 5.

5.6  Peer Review

The Agencies' success in supporting excellent research carried out at Institutions depends on members of the research community voluntarily participating in the peer review process. While peer review also includes activities such as providing referee and assessor reports and participating in site visits related to specific proposals, Schedule 6 focuses on participation in advisory and selection committees, and sets out the roles of the Parties.

5.7  Statement of Principles: Postdoctoral Fellows

Postdoctoral fellows are important members of the research community and make valuable contributions to the academic research environment. The Agencies have developed a Statement of Principles to encourage universities and other research institutions to recognize the important contributions postdoctoral fellows make to the research environment and to the stature of their institutions. The roles of the Parties are set out in Schedule 7.

5.8  Investigation and Resolution of Breaches of Compliance

To ensure an effective administration of the research and training enterprise, the Agencies and Institutions strive to ensure compliance with Agency policies on the administration of grant and award funds and on the research environment within which Agency-funded research is carried out. In the event that circumstances arise in which an Institution is considered or found to be in non-compliance with Agency policy, Schedule 8 sets out the procedure for dealing with such instances.

5.9  Transfer of Funds from a Primary Institution to a Secondary Institution

The Primary Institution receiving research funds from the Agencies has principal responsibility for the manner in which funds are spent. In order to facilitate collaborative research involving researchers from different institutions, the Primary Institution may choose to transfer research funds to Secondary Institutions. Schedule 9 provides a framework for ensuring that the roles and responsibilities of the different Institutions and Agencies are clear, and that there is agreement from the outset about how the funds are to be managed and what accountabilities are in place. It is important to note that CIHR and SSHRC allow the transfer of funds from an Eligible Institution to a non-Eligible Institution, but NSERC does not. The Parties agree to adhere to the guidelines set out in Schedule 9.

5.10  Confirmation of Researchers' Eligibility

Each Agency sets its own eligibility criteria to ensure applicants meet the minimum qualifications to receive funds. Eligibility requirements must be met on a continuous basis throughout tenure of a grant or award and thus ongoing communication between Researchers, Institutions and Agencies is required. The Parties, therefore, agree to adhere to the guidelines set out in Schedule 10.

5.11  Reporting on Performance and Outcomes

Reporting on how research funds are used and what outcomes and impacts are achieved assists the Agencies in meeting their own obligations to evaluate program effectiveness and to be accountable to Parliament and the Canadian public. The Parties, therefore, agree to adhere to the guidelines set out in Schedule 11, including the specific requirements set out by each Agency.

5.12  Ownership of Equipment and Facilities

Schedule 12 provides a framework for managing the ownership of equipment and facilities purchased with grant funds, with the goal of ensuring that these funds are used effectively and productively. The Parties, therefore, agree to adhere to the guidelines set out in Schedule 12.

5.13  Research Involving Biohazards

Researchers, Institutions and the Agencies acknowledge the need to ensure that any research involving biohazards is conducted in a manner that meets all applicable safety standards and practices. These standards and practices are defined in federal, provincial and territorial laws, requirements and guidelines. All Institutions conducting research involving biohazards must comply with applicable laws and requirements. The roles of the Parties are set out in Schedule 13.

Check one

Check Box Option for those institutions in which biohazards are used in research.

The Institution and the Agencies agree to adhere to the guidelines set out in Schedule 3.

or

Check Box Option for those institutions in which biohazards are not currently used in research.

The Parties acknowledge that as of the date of signing this MOU, the Institution does not carry out research involving biohazards. In the event that the Institution intends to carry out such research, it will promptly inform the Agencies and will make all necessary arrangements to comply with, and will be bound by, the guidelines set out in Schedule 13.

5.14  Conflicts of Interest in Research

The research enterprise is increasingly competitive and complex, with the result that real, perceived or potential conflicts of interest sometimes arise for Researchers and Institutions in the conduct and management of research. Researchers, Institutions and Agencies recognize that conflicts of interest must be identified and managed in a clear, transparent and accountable fashion to protect the credibility of the research enterprise and to maintain public confidence and trust. The Parties, therefore, agree to adhere to the guidelines set out in Schedule 14.

5.15  Public Communication

The Institutions and Agencies have a special role to play in encouraging and responding to the public's interest in research and its outcomes. Schedule 15 outlines how the communications efforts of the Parties must be planned and coordinated for maximum impact and benefit, and to ensure that the Agencies follow the Federal Government's Communications Policy. The roles of the Parties are set out in Schedule 15.

6. Amendments

This Memorandum of Understanding and its accompanying Schedules may be amended only by a written agreement signed by the Parties.

7. Effective Dates

Schedule 9: Transfer of Funds from a Primary Institution to a Secondary Institution

The Agencies, Primary Institutions and/or Secondary Institutions may have pre-existing agreements relative to the transfer of grant funds which are inconsistent with Schedule 9. Where such agreements exist at the time of signing of the MOU, the agreements will supersede the requirements of this schedule, unless otherwise agreed to by the parties. When these agreements terminate, new agreements must meet the requirements of this schedule. Institutions have until January 1, 2009 to meet the full requirements of Part B of this schedule.

Schedule 13: Research Involving Biohazards

The two-stage approval process (section 2.1d) is to be implemented by January 1, 2009.

Schedule 14: Conflict of Interest in Research

The Institutional Conflict of Interest Policy must be in place by January 1, 2009.

Signed by the Institution

The Institution acknowledges and agrees to fulfill its role and responsibilities as identified under this Memorandum of Understanding and its accompanying Schedules.

___________________________________ _______________
Signature Date
_________________________________  
Name (please print)  
   
Signed by the Agencies  
___________________________________ _______________
President
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council 
Date
___________________________________ _______________
President
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
Date
___________________________________ _______________
President
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Date


Schedule 1: Financial Management

1. Financial Accountability

1.1 Policy
The Agency is subject to the This link will take you to another Web site Financial Administration Act and related guidelines such as the This link will take you to another Web site Policy on Transfer Payments (Terms & Conditions).

2. Responsibilities

2.1 Responsibilities of the Institution

The Institution agrees to:

  1. establish and maintain policies, systems, procedures and controls that require and ensure Grant Holders' and Award Holders' compliance with the policies and requirements of the Agency as published in its formal guides and program literature. As a minimum, this shall include systems and procedures related to:
    1. the maintenance of individual grant accounts which record all eligible charges and credits to those accounts;
    2. audit trails, with full supporting documentation, for all financial transactions in the accounts;
    3. travel-related expenditures charged to accounts;
    4. proper delegation of signing authority with respect to these accounts;
    5. termination of grants and awards; and
    6. transfers of grants between Institutions.
  2. withhold or withdraw approval of expenditures proposed by a Grant Holder that, within the knowledge of the Institution, has contravened the Agency's requirements or the Institution's policies;
  3. advise an Agency without delay if they have knowledge that grants or awards made by the Agency have been used in an inappropriate manner;
  4. process scholarship payments promptly;
  5. establish and maintain effective policies, systems, procedures and controls to ensure-prior to the release of research funds-compliance with all conditions and regulatory certification requirements with respect to research involving humans, animals and biohazards;
  6. support researchers in managing their research funds through the provision of appropriate working advice and financial and program information, and through promotion of professional financial management practices;
  7. adhere to the reporting requirements as specified in the formal guides of the Agency, as well as to any other special requirements that may be associated with individual grants and awards; and
  8. provide access to all accounts, records and other information related to a grant or award that the Agency may reasonably request during the course of an on-site monitoring visit or investigation; and respond fully and frankly to any requests the Agency may make for information concerning specific grant accounts.

2.2 Responsibilities of the Agencies

Each Agency agrees to:

  1. provide for the timely issue of funds in accordance with methods of payment and payment schedules specified in the formal program guides of the Agency;
  2. provide supporting information for each payment, which, at a minimum, identifies the grants and awards (including the application or grant number and its term), amounts and names of investigators for which the payment(s) are made;
  3. provide Institutions and Grant and Award Holders with clear and concise information as to the purpose for which each grant and award is made and the expenditures eligible to be charged to the account;
  4. provide timely and consistent responses to requests for information, issues and policy interpretations related to the administration of grants and awards;
  5. consult with Institutions about, and provide adequate lead-time for, the introduction of major changes to financial policies and other requirements affecting matters of financial administration of grants and awards;
  6. consult with Institutions about, and provide adequate lead-time for, on-site visits related to the monitoring of grants and awards; co-ordinate monitoring visits with other funding agencies when possible; and provide timely reports about the results of monitoring visits and related reviews; and
  7. promote a collegial working relationship with the Institution and researchers aimed at achieving continuous improvement of accountability for funds and ensuring best practices in financial management.

3. Good Practices

The Agencies Manual of Good Practices Observed During Monitoring Visits is available on the Web at: www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/_doc/NSERC-CRSNG/ManualofBestPractices.pdf.

4. Resolution of Issues of Non-Compliance

Should compliance issues arise between an Agency and an Institution, the Agency will follow the procedures described in Schedule 8 at the entry level appropriate to the situation.

5. Transfer of Funds

When a Primary Institution transfers grant or award funds to a Secondary Institution, Schedule 9 applies.

This Schedule forms part of, and complements, a Memorandum of Understanding between the Institution and the Agency/Agencies published at: www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/NSERC-CRSNG/Policies-Politiques/MOURoles-ProtocolRoles/index_eng.asp

Schedule 4: Integrity in Research and Scholarship

1. Policy

The Tri-Council Policy Statement: Integrity in Research and Scholarship is divided into two sections that deal with (1) principles of scientific integrity and the responsibilities of researchers, Institutions and the Agencies in upholding these principles; and (2) procedures to promote integrity and prevent misconduct, and to address misconduct in research funded by the Agency or the other Agencies. As a condition of eligibility to receive research funds, Institutions must have in place an integrity policy that is consistent with the Tri-Council Policy Statement.

The Framework for Tri-Council Review of University Policies Dealing with Integrity in Research (June 24, 1996) provides a checklist of items that should be included in institutional integrity policies. Institutions can obtain "Framework" on the Web (www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/NSERC-CRSNG/Policies-Politiques/frameworkintegrity-cadrereferenceintegrite_eng.asp) or by sending an e-mail to: sectr@nserc.ca.

2. Responsibilities

2.1 Responsibilities of the Institution
The Institution agrees to:

  1. promote integrity in all research and scholarship;
  2. investigate all possible instances of misconduct in research or scholarship, including:
    1. determining whether a breach of integrity has taken place; and
    2. imposing appropriate sanctions in accordance with its own policies.
  3. report its findings to the Agency when:
    1. an allegation of misconduct has been forwarded to the Institution by the Agency regardless of the outcomes of the enquiry(ies); and
    2. an allegation of misconduct ,made directly to the Institution and involving, directly or indirectly, funds from an Agency grant or award, has been upheld by the Institution.

The report should include information on the process that was followed, the conclusions that were reached and the actions that were taken when a breach was determined to have occurred.

If the report is unclear or the process followed by the Institution in conducting its investigation appears to be in any way inadequate or inconsistent with the Institution's policy, the Agency may request that the Institution provide clarification or additional information.

2.2 Responsibilities of the Agencies

The Agencies have a responsibility to:

  1. review and update the Tri-Council Policy Statement, as required, in consultation with research administrators, researchers and others, as needed;
  2. implement the Tri-Council Policy Statement in a consistent fashion;
  3. review policies from Institutions that wish to be declared eligible to receive research funding and ensure that these policies meet the requirements of the Tri-Council Policy Statement;
  4. promote integrity in research and scholarship by providing resource information to Institutions; for example, by compiling and distributing examples of and criteria for "good practices," and by providing links to relevant material available on the Web;
  5. transmit to the Institution concerned written allegations of misconduct, together with supporting documentation (according to the provisions of the Privacy Act the Agency may transmit allegations of misconduct only with the permission of the person or persons making the allegations);
  6. review reports submitted by the Institution to ensure that due process was followed;
  7. consider imposing sanctions in cases where misconduct has been found to have occurred;
  8. maintain confidentiality of the information about allegations; and
  9. inform Institutions within a reasonable time frame from the date of the receipt of a report what sanctions, if any, the Agency may be implementing.

3. Resolution of Issues of Non-Compliance

The criteria for compliance are determined by the responsibilities described in the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Integrity in Research and Scholarship.

In the event that circumstances arise in which an Institution appears to be or is found to be in non-compliance with Agency policy under this Schedule, the Agency will follow the procedures described in Schedule 8, starting at level 3.

The Agency may also share information with the other two Agencies about issues relating to a specific institutional policy, so long as the Agencies respect the confidentiality of the integrity cases involved.

This Schedule forms part of, and complements, a Memorandum of Understanding between the Institution and the Agency/Agencies published at: www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/NSERC-CRSNG/Policies-Politiques/MOURoles-ProtocolRoles/index_eng.asp

Schedule 8: Investigation and Resolution of Breaches of Agency Policies1

To ensure the effective administration of the research and training enterprise, the Agencies and Institutions strive to ensure compliance with Agency policies regarding (1) the administration of grants and awards; and (2) the research environment within which Agency-funded research is carried out. However, situations may arise in which an Institution appears to be or is found to be in breach of Agency policy. Although it is impossible to anticipate every possible situation, this schedule provides a model procedure for dealing with such instances. This procedure may have to be adapted to suit specific cases, and action may be initiated at any level, as circumstances warrant2. Furthermore the Institution may need to consider relevant collective agreements.

1. Procedures

Cases of possible non-compliance may be identified by anyone from the Agencies, Institutions, or elsewhere. In such cases, the situation will be resolved as follows:

Level 1

If the Agency and the Institution consider the alleged compliance issue to be minor, the Agency and the Institution will work informally to investigate and, if necessary, to correct the problem. Relevant Research Administration officials will be advised, but senior officials of the Institution will generally not be involved in the case.

Level 2

If the Institution or the Agency considers a compliance issue to be serious, either Party, as the case may be, will document the alleged infractions, the relevant evidence and options for rectification of the situation if a breach is confirmed.

In consultation with the Agency, relevant Research Administration officials will review the documentation and establish a realistic schedule for resolving the situation, which may be altered by mutual agreement. All reasonable opportunities will be provided for affected parties to comment on the situation and to participate in its resolution.

The Agencies agree to share information among themselves concerning systemic institutional non-compliance while respecting the federal Privacy Act.

If the Agency is of the view that a breach has occurred, it may require that the Institution implement corrective measures, such as appointing a consultant to assist in the development and implementation of a remedial plan.

Level 3

Should the matter not be resolved at Level 2 or be particularly serious or sensitive, it will be referred to senior-level officials from both the Institution and the Agency as follows:

  1. relevant senior Research Administration official (Vice-president or equivalent) of the Institution; and Vice-President(s), Executive Director(s), Director(s) or Corporate Secretary of the Agency; or
  2. chief Executive Head of the Institution and President of the Agency.

Together these officials will establish a realistic schedule for resolving the situation, which may be altered by mutual agreement. If one Party believes that mediation may be useful to assist in defining a mutually satisfactory solution, the Agency President will appoint a mediator that both Parties agree is appropriate. The mediator will make non-binding recommendations to the Parties.

In addition to requiring corrective and remedial measures by the Institution, the Agency may, with prior written notification, temporarily suspend funding to specific programs or projects until corrective measures, which the Agency finds satisfactory, are in place.

2. Unremediable Breach

In the event that the breach cannot be satisfactorily remedied, the President of the Agency may consider the Institution or all or any portion of its faculty to be ineligible to continue receiving funds from the Agency.

The Agency will consider request for reinstatement once the Institution has achieved compliance.

3. Criminal Misconduct

If at any point in the process, any evidence of possible criminal misconduct is found, the Agency will immediately refer the matter to the appropriate authorities.

1 As this schedule forms part of a Memorandum of Understanding between Institutions and the Agency, it deals only with breaches by Institutions and is not meant to address situations of breaches by Grant Holders or Award Holders. Those cases are resolved according to processes described in the Agency's program guides.

2 For NCE grants where accountability is shared between an Institution and the NCE, the Agency will work with both the Institution's Research Administration and the delegated NCE authority to resolve the situation.

This Schedule forms part of, and complements, a Memorandum of Understanding between the Institution and the Agency/Agencies published at: www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/NSERC-CRSNG/Policies-Politiques/MOURoles-ProtocolRoles/index_eng.asp


Appendix 4 - Tri-Council Policy Statement: Integrity in Research and Scholarship

(www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/NSERC-CRSNG/Policies-Politiques/tpsintegrity-picintegritie_eng.asp)

As the major federal sources of funds for research and scholarship in academic institutions, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) are committed to the highest standards of integrity in research and scholarship.

The Councils have therefore undertaken to define their policies and expectations with regard to integrity, in a manner consistent with encouraging the highest standards of research and scholarship. The Councils regard any action that is inconsistent with integrity as misconduct.

Integrity in research and scholarship includes the principles listed below, which should be interpreted with the understanding that research can involve honest error, conflicting data or valid differences in experimental design or in interpretation or judgment of information.

These principles of scientific integrity overlap with other areas, such as financial integrity in the use of research funds and the ethical issues involving the use of human or animal subjects in research, in which the Councils have established guidelines and requirements. This document is concerned only with scientific integrity and does not replace any other statements from the Councils on other areas with which this issue may overlap.

Principles and Responsibilities

  1. The Councils hold researchers and scholars receiving Council funds responsible for upholding the following principles:
    1. recognizing the substantive contributions of collaborators and students; using unpublished work of other researchers and scholars only with permission and with due acknowledgement; and using archival material in accordance with the rules of the archival source;
    2. obtaining the permission of the author before using new information, concepts or data originally obtained through access to confidential manuscripts or applications for funds for research or training that may have been seen as a result of processes such as peer review;
    3. using scholarly and scientific rigour and integrity in obtaining, recording and analysing data, and in reporting and publishing results;
    4. ensuring that authorship of published work includes all those who have materially contributed to, and share responsibility for, the contents of the publication, and only those people; and
    5. revealing to sponsors, universities, journals or funding agencies, any material conflict of interest, financial or other, that might influence their decisions on whether the individual should be asked to review manuscripts or applications, test products or be permitted to undertake work sponsored from outside sources.
  2. The Councils hold institutions that administer Council funds responsible for:
    1. promoting integrity in research and scholarship; and
    2. investigating possible instances of misconduct in research or scholarship, including:
      • imposing appropriate sanctions in accordance with their own policies; and
      • informing the appropriate Council(s) of conclusions reached and actions taken.
  3. The Councils are responsible to the Government of Canada for ensuring that research funds administered by them are used with a high degree of integrity, accountability and responsibility.

Procedures for Promoting Integrity and for Preventing and Addressing Misconduct in Research

1. Researchers and Scholars

The primary responsibility for high standards of conduct in research and scholarship rests with the individuals carrying out these activities. The Councils expect researchers and scholars receiving funds from the Councils to adhere to the principles detailed in the preceding section.

2. Research Institutions

The Councils hold institutions responsible for investigating allegations of misconduct involving researchers, trainees or research staff working with funds from the Councils. Promotion by the institutions of understanding of the issues involved in integrity in research and scholarship offers a valuable means of preventing misconduct.

  1. Promoting Integrity in Research and Scholarship

    Integrity in research and scholarship is best encouraged by developing awareness among all involved of the need for the highest standards of integrity, accountability and responsibility. Research institutions should provide an environment conducive to this goal, and actively promote programs for the education of researchers, scholars, trainees and staff.

    The Councils encourage institutions that manage the Councils' funds to establish mechanisms to educate all who are involved in the collection, recording, citing, reporting and retention of scientific or scholarly material about their expectations for the highest standards of integrity.

    Mechanisms for meeting this objective might include encouraging awareness of the issues involved and establishing policies on specific areas. Awareness might be encouraged by establishing information sessions on the principles and practices of scientific integrity for scientists, scholars, graduate students and other trainees, and research staff when they arrive in the institution and at regular intervals thereafter. Institutions are encouraged to develop policies on such areas as requirements for authorship for publications or applications, on copyrights and patents, and on the responsibilities for retention of data appropriate to the range of disciplines that they offer.

  2. Investigating Allegations of Misconduct in Research and Scholarship

    Allegations may arise from anonymous or identified sources within or outside the research institution; the allegations may be well founded, honestly erroneous or mischievous. Whatever their source, motivation or accuracy, such allegations have the potential to cause great harm to the persons accused, to the accuser, to the institution, and to research and scholarship in general. Each Council requires each research institution that administers its funds to demonstrate that appropriate impartial and accountable procedures have been establishedto:

    1. receive allegations of misconduct in research and scholarship;
    2. conduct and document appropriate enquiries within an established time period;
    3. protect the privacy of the person(s) accused and of the person(s) making the allegations as far as is possible given the need for due process in pursuing the enquiry;
    4. allow the accused person(s) due process and full opportunity to respond to the allegations throughout the enquiry through mechanisms consistent with due process and natural justice;
    5. decide whether or not there has been misconduct;
    6. determine the actions to be taken as a result of conclusions reached, including:
      • any sanctions imposed;
      • any actions taken to protect or restore the reputation(s) or credibility of any person(s) wrongly accused of, or implicated in, misconduct in research, including procedures to ensure that if the charges have been dismissed copies of documents and related files provided to third parties have been destroyed; and
      • any actions taken to protect the person(s) deemed to have made a responsible accusation;
    7. inform the accused person(s) of the results of the enquiry and of the actions that have been decided upon; and
    8. prepare a report on the above.

3. Research Funding Councils

Allegations of misconduct made to the Councils or to research institutions might involve past or present grantees or awardees of the Councils, or trainees or staff supported from their funds or working in laboratories receiving their funds. Such allegations might also arise from the peer review processes of the Councils. Under provisions of the Privacy Act, the Councils may only transmit allegations of misconduct in research with the permission of the person making the allegations. The Councils will not transmit oral allegations to the institution, or otherwise act upon them, since these cannot be assessed or transferred accurately.

In the event that a Council, or one of its peer review committees, identifies evidence of misconduct as part of the peer review processes, the Council will request that the institution(s) involved carry out an enquiry and inform the Council of the outcome.

The Councils request that institutions which have carried out enquiries ofalleged misconduct in research or scholarship involving projects funded by the Councils provide the appropriate Council(s) with the report of their findings. The Council(s) will consider the report and may request clarification or additional information.

In cases where misconduct is concluded to have occurred, the Council(s) will also consider imposing its/their own sanction(s) in relation to grants made to the individual(s) implicated, in accordance with Council policies. These sanctions may include, but are not limited to:

  • refusing to consider future applications for a defined time period;
  • withdrawing remaining instalments of the grant or award;
  • seeking a refund of all or part of the funds already paid as a grant or award for the research or scholarship involved.

If such actions are being considered, the Council(s) will provide an opportunity for the person(s) involved to present a response.

The Council(s) will then inform the person(s) and the institution(s) involved of any impending sanction.

As agencies of the federal government, the Councils retain the right at any time to bring a case to the attention of the appropriate legal authorities.


Appendix 5 - Framework for Tri-Council Review of Institutional Policies Dealing with Integrity in Research

(www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/NSERC-CRSNG/Policies-Politiques/frameworkintegrity-cadrereferenceintegrite_eng.asp)

Researchers are responsible for adhering to ethical principles in their research activities, and their associated institutions are responsible for monitoring conformity with these principles. The granting councils have in place a number of policies that define the standard of accountability in such areas as research integrity, research involving human and animal subjects, and fiscal responsibility. Institutions are required to show their commitment to the Tri-Council policy statement on Integrity in Research and Scholarship by adopting an institutional policy on integrity in research.

Following an examination of the policies submitted, the three Councils have developed a framework for their review. This framework, outlined below, is based on the general principles, expected process, and other requirements defined in the tri-council document on "Integrity in Research and Scholarship" (see the Tri Council Policy Statement: Integrity in Research and Scholarship on NSERC's Web site).

General Principles

To comply with the general principles in the Tri-Council Policy on Integrity in Research and Scholarship and to provide guidance to researchers, the institutions that receive council funding must adopt:

  • A general statement of research integrity principles and description of what constitutes misconduct;
  • A statement confirming expectations for standards of appropriate behaviour in research for the members of the institutional research community, covering such points as honesty of researchers, respect for others, scholarly competence, and stewardship of resources;
  • A statement that both the policy and adjunct policies cover and identify all those involved in the research enterprise in any capacity whatsoever at the institution;
  • A policy (policies) on data recording, ownership and retention;
  • A policy on authorship and publication (either university-wide or by faculty);
  • A policy requiring disclosure of potential conflicts of interest;
  • A statement that the institution is committed to ongoing education on research integrity.

Procedures for Processing Allegations

The tri-council integrity policy also stipulates a number of requirements with regard to the process for dealing with breaches of integrity.

Institutional policies must therefore demonstrate that procedures have been established, as required by the Councils, to:

1. Receive allegations of misconduct

  • identify a central point of contact, at the vice-presidential level or equivalent (herein referred to Vice-President), to receive allegations within the institution; this will ensure that the individual receiving allegations is sufficiently at arm's length in the administrative structure so as to be viewed as impartial and free of personal conflicts of interest (especially with respect to small administrative units) , and indicates that the institution attaches importance to the issue;
  • establish a mechanism whereby administrators who receive allegations must channel them to the vice-president to ensure consistency in dealing with cases;
  • policy on anonymous allegations.

2. Conduct inquiries/investigations

  • specify the time frame for inquiries and/or investigations, which ensures that such matters receive the highest priority;
  • define an appropriate inquiry/investigation process, which would include:
    • the appointment process for the committee responsible for conducting the inquiry/investigation;
    • a procedure to include appropriate expertise on an investigative committee and to prevent conflicts of interest, real or apparent;
    • a procedure to obtain, identify and record documentation to be provided to and kept by the inquiry/investigation panel, and to ensure that all information made available to the inquiry/investigation is included as part of the record(s);
    • a procedure to ensure that the inquiry/investigation panel is able to identify and obtain all relevant records;
    • a statement of expectations for the format and a timeframe for the transmission of the report to the vice-president.

3. Protect privacy/confidentiality

  • identify steps to safeguard, as far as possible, the privacy of the complainant and respondent;
  • identify steps to protect the confidentiality of all material/records pertaining to the investigation.

4. Provide an opportunity for response and for due process

  • provide and opportunity for the complainant and respondent to comment on the allegations as part of the investigation;
  • provide an opportunity for the inquiry/investigation panel to interview the complainant and respondent;
  • ensure that records are maintained of interviews with individuals involved.

5. Make decisions on misconduct

  • ensure that the investigative committee reports to the vice-president;
  • acknowledge that the investigative committee has the authority to decide on misconduct, and that decision is binding on the institution;
  • provide an opportunity for rebuttal if misconduct is concluded.

6. Determine actions in response to a report

  • identify a process for recommendations of sanctions, determine appropriateness, and whether to impose them;
  • identify a follow-up process, to be developed by the vice-president;
  • for unfounded allegations, acknowledge that efforts will be made by the institution to protect or restore the reputation of those unjustly accused, and to ensure that documentation provided to the investigative committees will be destroyed;
  • define actions to protect 1) person (s) who have made an allegation in good faith; 2) all persons involved (e.g. , witnesses) in an inquiry/investigation.

7. Report on the results of the investigation

  • establish a procedure by which the vice-president would inform the parties involved in a timely manner of the decision reached by the investigative committee and of any sanctions which are to be imposed.
8. Maintain records
  • define the time period that reports or records will be kept and by whom, once an inquiry / investigation has been completed and define access rights within the university to investigative reports or records.

Reporting to Councils

The last section of the tri-council policy deals with information to be provided to the Councils. This must also be addressed in the institutional policies and should include:

  • where misconduct was found to have occurred, a commitment, after completion of the investigation, to the forwarding of the report within 30 days of the inquiry/investigation to the Council (s) involved for all cases where the research is funded by the Councils;
  • a policy to take action which protects the administration of federal funds if appropriate;
  • a mechanism for general summary reporting on internal complaints and for forwarding to the Council (s) a comprehensive report of those allegations that result in a misconduct finding which involves their funding;
  • in cases where it is the Council which initiates a request for an inquiry/investigation, a mechanism for providing the Council (s), whose funds are involved, with a comprehensive report of the process and findings.

Appendix 6 - Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide

(www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Professors-Professeurs/FinancialAdminGuide-GuideAdminFinancier/index_eng.asp)

Responsibilities and Accountability

Roles and Responsibilities

CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC

The administration of funds granted by an Agency is carried out by the Grant Holder or Grantee, the Institution and the Agency. Refer to the Memorandum of Understanding on the Roles and Responsibilities in the Management of Federal Grants and Awards for more details on administration of funds granted.

In accordance with federal laws and policies regarding grants, the Agency verifies eligibility for and entitlement to grants.

Grants are awarded to eligible researchers and are administered through the Institution's administration systems. The Grantee authorizes expenditures in accordance with Agency policies and requirements, as outlined in the relevant Agency Guide on its Web site or as stated as a condition of a grant, and with Institution policies. No one may initiate or authorize expenditures from a grant account without the Grantee's delegated authority.

Each Institution establishes appropriate procedures, systems and controls to ensure that Agency policies and requirements are followed. The Institution has the right and responsibility to withhold and withdraw approval of expenditures proposed by a Grantee that contravene the Agency's requirements or the Institution's policies and, when appropriate, seek advice or ruling from the Agency.

Administrative, personnel and accounting procedures must conform to the standards, practices and policies of the Grantee's Institution.

Deviation from Proposed Activities and/or Budget

All conditions specified in the formal grant notification and relevant program requirements must be respected.  Unless otherwise specified, grantees may generally deviate from the proposed research activities and/or schedules. Furthermore, they are not required to adhere strictly to the allocation of funds set out in the application as long as they use their grant for the broad purpose for which it was originally awarded.

Financial Monitoring of Accounts

Representatives of the Agencies will visit Institutions periodically to:

  • assess whether Grantees have the necessary financial/administrative tools to properly and effectively manage their research funds;
  • review the effectiveness of procedures, systems and controls in place at the Institution to ensure that the Agencies' policies and requirements are followed and that research funds are well managed;
  • review expenditures from grant accounts to ensure that these were made in accordance with the established policies, requirements and guidelines and for the broad purpose intended; and
  • share and disseminate information on guidelines and expectations for financial accountability and integrity.

Non-Compliance

Non-compliance with the requirements outlined in the Agencies' Guides, located on their Web sites, may result in the freezing or closing of the grant account(s) of an individual researcher or of all grant accounts at the Institution. If grant funds are used to pay expenditures contrary to the Agency's policies, they will have to be repaid to the grant account or to the Agency. Grantees who disregard the requirements outlined in the Agency's Guides, Institutional policies, or principles of sound financial management risk losing their funding and may be subject to Agency sanctions.

For more information on CIHR sanctions, consult the section titled " This link will take you to another Web site Definitions " of CIHR's Procedure for Addressing Allegations of Non-compliance with Research Policies.

If evidence of possible criminal misconduct is found, the Agency will immediately refer the matter to the appropriate authorities.

Acknowledgement

Support for research by an Agency grant is an investment by Canadian taxpayers. The Agencies' accountability regarding this use of grant funds includes informing the public about who receives the support, the type of research that will be conducted and how funds will be administered.

Grantees are required to acknowledge the Agency in publications arising from the supported research, in conference or congress materials and on equipment and facilities purchased and/or developed with grant funds.

Intellectual Property/Patents

The Agencies do not retain or claim any ownership of, or exploitation rights to, intellectual property or copyright developed with grant funds. These rights are owned by the Institution and/or by the inventor.

Should Grantees decide to pursue commercialization of any results of the research, they must disclose to their Institution any potential intellectual property arising from the research; they and the Institution must make the effort to obtain the greatest possible economic benefit to Canada from the resulting commercial activity.

The above requirement for disclosure is not intended to supersede any policy on disclosure that the Institution might already have in place.

Recipients of NSERC funding must comply with NSERC's Policy on Intellectual Property.

Recipients of SSHRC funding must comply with SSHRC's Policy on Intellectual Property.

CIHR only

The Grant Holder and the Technology Transfer Office (if involved) must inform CIHR of any commercial activities by sending an e-mail describing the nature of commercial development and activities (e.g. , patent submission, licensing or non-disclosure agreement, etc. ) to commercialization@cihr.gc.ca.

Archiving of Research Data

SSHRC only

SSHRC is committed to the principle that research data collected with grant funds belong in the public domain. Accordingly, SSHRC has adopted a policy to facilitate making such data available to other researchers. All recipients of SSHRC funding are required to comply with the This link will take you to another Web site SSHRC Research Data Archiving Policy.

CIHR only

Recipients of CIHR funding are required to adhere to the CIHR This link will take you to another Web site Policy on Access to Research Outputs.

Grant recipients must deposit bioinformatics, atomic, and molecular coordinate data into the appropriate public database immediately upon publication of research results (e.g. , deposition of nucleic acid sequences into GenBank). Please refer to the This link will take you to another Web site Annex of this policy for examples of research outputs and the corresponding publicly accessible repository or database.

Data retention, as already required by the majority of institutions, is now mandated by CIHR. Grant recipients should retain original data sets arising from CIHR-funded research for a minimum of five years after the end of the grant. This applies to all data, whether published or not. The grant recipient's institution and research ethics board may have additional policies and practices regarding the preservation, retention, and protection of research data that must be respected.

Annual Funding of Grants

Communication of Competition Results

The Agency will do the following:

  • notify applicants of the outcomes of the competitions;
  • provide applicants with copies of all available assessments of their application, after the documents have been edited to protect the identity of the assessors and any evaluative comments regarding third parties;
  • provide the results to the designated research and business officials in each Institution for all applications submitted to NSERC and SSHRC, and to CIHR's Operating Grants Program and New Investigator Program, whether the application is submitted directly to the to the granting agency or through the Institution.

Note: The above information is provided in the strictest confidence. The Agency does not publish or otherwise disclose details related to unsuccessful applications.

In addition, for successful applications only, the Agency will:

  • post limited information on its website (e.g. , the Grant Holder's name(s), Institution, grant project title and amount). For details on other information about successful applications the Agency may post on its website, consult the relevant program and/or policy literature.

Payment of Grants

  • Most grant funds are paid through a Common Grant Account and sent directly to the Institution's business officer for retention on the Grantee's behalf. The Institution, through its business officer, maintains control of the grant funds, disburses salaries and other expenditures authorized by the Grantee, and provides periodic reports to the Grantee and to the Agency on the status of grant funds.
  • The Institution may not disburse any funds on behalf of the Grantee until all specified certification requirements required by the Agency, such as animal care, biohazards, and ethics, have been met.
  • No grant funds will be released by the Agency until all payment conditions have been met, such as confirmation of receipt by Institution of partner's contribution, activity reports, eligibility of applicants, and environmental assessment.
  • Some grants are not paid through the Common Grant Account and are made directly to recipient Institutions. In these cases, the terms and conditions of the administration of the funds are determined on an individual basis between the Agency and the recipient Institution. The terms and conditions could include a memorandum of understanding, reporting requirements and method of payment.
  • To ensure that Institutions have complete and accurate funding data on the grants they administer, the Agency will make a list that identifies all new grants and awards and continuing instalments available to the research grants officers and business officers at designated times of the year.
  • All subsequent instalments are subject to Parliamentary appropriations, and the conditions that may be attached to them. The Agency reserves the right to defer or suspend subsequent instalments if the need for funds is not demonstrated.

Over-expenditures

The Agency is not responsible for funding expenditures or commitments by Grantees that exceed grant funds applied to the Grantee's credit at the Institution for current and prior fiscal periods.

Continuing Eligibility

To comply with government policy, the Agency must confirm the Grantee's continued eligibility before releasing future instalments to the Institution. Once a year, the Agency will provide the Institution's Research Office and Business Office with a listing of grant instalments for the next fiscal year at which time the Institution will be required to confirm to the Agency that the Grantees continue to meet the Agency's eligibility criteria.

However, the Institution must contact the Agency's Finance Division as soon as a Grantee's eligibility changes at any time during tenure of the grant. These changes could include a change in position at the Institution, a change from full-time to part-time status, a change to a term position during the course of the grant, or taking a position outside of Canada (academic or other).

Extension Period for Use of Funds Beyond Grant Period

Extension details are outlined in the chart at the end of this section.

  • For some programs, an extension is automatically given to allow the Grantees to use funds remaining in their account for a set period following the funding expiry date of their grant. This period allows grantees to bring research activities to a close. Grantees may make and pay new commitments during the extension period but not beyond.
  • Other programs may allow extensions by request (see below for a list of programs and extension periods). For these programs, a written request must be submitted to the Agency's program staff before the funding expiry date of their NSERC or SSHRC grant or 30 days before the end of the automatic extension period of their CIHR grant. The request must explain the need for an extension and provide a date when the research activities will be completed.
  • If the extension is not approved, the Grantee has three months to pay all commitments made prior to the end of the grant period.
  • The "Authority to Use Funds Period" ends:
    • when the original grant reaches its expiry date;
    • when the extension period ends, whether automatic or approved;
    • three months following the expiry date of the original grant in the case where an extension has been requested but not approved.
  • If funds remain in the account at the end of the Authority to Use Funds period, refer to the paragraph on "Residual Balances."
  • No requests for extensions will be considered after the account has been closed and any remaining balance has been returned to the Agency (NSERC, SSHRC & CIHR) or transferred to the Institution's General Research Fund (NSERC and SSHRC only).
  • It is the responsibility of the Grantee to inform co-investigators, other concerned individuals and all involved research Institutions of the outcome of extension requests.

Agency Automatic Extension Period
(1 Year)
Extension by Request Only
NSERC Discovery, Research Tools and Instruments - Categories 1, 2 and 3, Major Resources Support and Supplements to Discovery grants1, 2

Networks of Centres of Excellence

Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Engineering, NSERC John Polanyi Award
Strategic Project grants, Strategic Network grants, Strategic Workshops Program, Collaborative Research and Development grants, Idea to Innovation, Research Partnership Agreements, Industrial Research Chairs, Intellectual Property Management program, Chairs in Design Engineering, College and Community Innovation Program, Northern Research Chairs, PromoScience grants and Perimeter Institute, Centres for Research in Youth, Science Teaching and Learning (CRYSTAL), Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering, NRC/NSERC/BDC Nanotechnology Initiative, Research Capacity Development in Small Universities Program, Ship Time, Special Research Opportunity Program (Collaborative Research Opportunities and International Opportunity Fund), Collaborative Health Research Project, and Michael Smith Award
Agency Automatic Extension Period
(1 Year)
Extension by Request Only
SSHRC Aboriginal Research (Research Grants); Knowledge Impact in Society; Image, Text, Sound & Technology (Research,  Workshop/Conference/Summer Institute Grants); Management, Business and Finance (Research Grants, Knowledge Impact in Society, Public Outreach Grants); Northern Research Development Program; Research/Creation Grants in Fine Arts; Sport Participation Research Initiative (Research Grants); Standard Research Grants; Research Development Initiatives. Aboriginal Research (Development Grants); Aid to Research Workshops and Conferences; Aid to Small Universities (address requests to both Fellowships and Finance divisions); BOREAS; CISS Data Training Schools; Community-University Research Alliances; Forest Research Partnerships (CFS/ NSERC/SSHRC); Homelessness and Diversity Issues in Canada; Immigration and the Metropolis; Crossing Boundaries; Research Alliances; Research Grants; Public Outreach Grants); International Opportunities Fund; Major Collaborative Research Initiatives; Management, Business and Finance (International Opportunities Fund, Multiculturalism Issues in Canada (Research Grants); Industrial-Community-University Research Alliances; Ocean Management National Research Network; Official Languages Research and Dissemination (Research Grants; Workshop, Conference, and Virtual Scholar in Residence Grants); Presidential Fund for Innovation and Development; Research Development Initiatives; SSHRC Institutional Grants (address requests to both Fellowships and Finance divisions); Strategic Knowledge Clusters; The Social Economy Suite.
Agency Automatic Extension Period
(1 Year)
Extension by Request Only
(1 Year)
CIHR All grants1 2 3

The unspent balance of a grant does not lapse at the end of the grant period. Unless otherwise specified on the Authorization for Funding, grantees will have a minimum of one additional fiscal year, beyond the expiry date of their grant, to use their unspent funds (i.e. , up to March 31 of the next full fiscal year). This authority to use funds is provided to the end of CIHR's fiscal year.

This also applies for grants funded all in one year (unless otherwise specified on the Authorization for Funding).

For example:

  • if a funding expiry date is March 31, 2008, the automatic extension period will end on March 31, 2009;
  • if a funding expiry date is September 30, 2008, the automatic extension period will end on March 31, 2010.
All grants1 2 3

Grant recipients must also obtain prior authorization from CIHR before they may use the unspent balance of a grant for other purposes.
1Additional extensions to the Authority to Use Funds period will be considered only in the case of extended leaves of absence during the grant period or due to uncontrollable delays to project activities.
2Researchers can submit another grant application and hold a new grant during the extension period.
3Researchers must write to program staff for potential further extensions.

Use of Grant Funds

Preamble

The following are guidelines to assist researchers and Institutional administrators in their interpretation of the acceptable use of grant funds. The list of examples is not exhaustive. Researchers are encouraged to communicate with their relevant Institutional contacts, e.g., Business Officer, Research Grants Officer. For further information on any of the Agencies' policies, please contact the Agency's Finance Division.

General Principles

Grant funds must contribute towards the direct costs of the research program or project for which the funds were awarded. The Institution provides for indirect or overhead costs, such as the costs associated with facilities and basic utilities, the purchase and repair of office equipment, administration fees, insurance for equipment and research vehicles, and basic communication devices such as telephones and fax machines.

The funds must be used effectively and economically, and the expenses must be essential for the research supported by the grant.

Contributions to shared expenses must be directly attributable to the funded research program or project, and agreed to and authorized by the Grantee.

Additional eligible and non-eligible expenses specific to a program will be detailed in the Agency's program literature. Specific program guidelines may complete this list.

In the absence of a written Agency policy, the Institutional policy, e.g. , per diem rates (travel), is to be applied. In the presence of both an Agency policy and an Institutional policy, the Agencies require compliance with the involved Agency policy, recognizing that Grantees may also have to comply with Institutional policies.

The Agency relies on Institutions' research integrity and conflict of interest policies to ensure the accountable and responsible use of grant funds.

The Institution has the right and responsibility to withhold approval of expenses proposed by a Grantee that contravene Agency requirements or Institutional policies.

Retroactive Expenses

Costs incurred between the date of the grant announcement on the Agencies Web site and the effective funding start date of the grant, are eligible. However, the Agencies will not assume any responsibility for any overcommitments should a change in funding occur. These expenses are subject to approval at the discretion of the institution.

For NSERC project grants only

In exceptional circumstances, as determined in the sole discretion of NSERC, NSERC will agree to consider the eligibility of certain retroactive costs that would be defined as costs incurred prior to the official start date of a grant.

The Agency will not assume any responsibilities for retroactive expenses in the event that the project or expenses are not approved.

Retroactive Expenses will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by NSERC in accordance with the following four criteria:

  • They must be "eligible expenses" as per the Program Guide for Professors under the Use of Grant Funds in the Financial Administration section;
  • They must be identified as Retroactive Expenses and justification provided at the time of submission of the original application;
  • They must relate to a project grant application which has been approved for funding; and
  • The cost must be incurred between the submission date of the original application and the official start date of the approved project.

Compensation-Related Expenses

Persons paid from Agency grants are not considered Agency employees, scholars or fellows.

Institutional non-discretionary benefits normally include long- and short-term disability insurance; life insurance; pension benefits; medical, vision and dental care benefits; and parental leave. Institutional non-discretionary benefits must not contravene Agency guidelines.

Eligible Compensation-Related Expenses

NSERC only

  • Salaries,* stipends,* and related federal, provincial and institutional non-discretionary benefits for research work performed by research personnel (e.g. , students, research associates, technicians, etc. ).
  • A maximum salary/stipend of $16,500 per annum for master's students and $19,000 per annum for doctoral students from grant funds. Non-discretionary benefits are also an eligible expense. Additional support may be provided from the partner's funds.
  • Postdoctoral fellows paid in whole, or in part, from grant funds must receive a total stipend/salary of at least $25,000 per annum plus non-discretionary benefits.
  • Salaries to postdoctoral fellows are limited to two years' support from the Agency. Three years' support is acceptable, when justified, to attract exceptional foreign candidates. The three-year appointment must be offered up front and reported to the Agency with a written justification within one month of an offer being accepted.
  • Supplements to salaries/stipends are permitted for the following programs only: NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowships, NATO Science Fellowships, Undergraduate Student Research Awards and Northern Research Internships. In addition, non-discretionary benefits are also an eligible expense.
  • Visiting researchers' stipends are limited to a maximum of $2,000 per month for up to 125 days per year, not including travel and subsistence costs.

SSHRC only

  • Salaries,* stipends,* and related federal, provincial and institutional non-discretionary benefits for work performed by research personnel, support staff and other personnel (i.e. , research associates, technicians).
  • Full-time master's students are eligible for stipends of up to $12,000 per annum; full-time doctoral students, up to $15,000 per annum; and full-time postdoctoral fellows, up to $31,500 per annum. Non-discretionary benefits are also an eligible expense. However, if a student or postdoctoral fellow receives a salary, the rate shall be in accordance with the salary scale of the Institution concerned.

CIHR only

Notes: The stipends listed below are the minimum amounts that must be paid to trainees from a grant. They are also the maximum amounts that an applicant can request when applying for a grant and that the Agency will award. Once the grant is held, the grant holder may, at his/her discretion, provide a stipend to a trainee that is higher than the Agency minimum. Grant funds may also be used to supplement stipends received by trainees from other sources, including other Agency grants and individual training awards.

Eligible Expenses

  • Salaries* and related federal, provincial and institutional non-discretionary benefits for work performed by research associates, research assistants, technicians and trainees being paid from a grant e.g. undergraduate, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows. The rates of pay for research associates, research assistants and technicians shall be in accordance with the salary scale of the institution concerned.
  • A minimum stipend of $17,850 per annum for a graduate student paid in whole or in part from a CIHR grant.
  • A minimum stipend for a postdoctoral fellow with a PhD of $36,750 per annum. Postdoctoral fellows with a PhD degree must begin their postdoctoral training within five years of obtaining their doctoral degree.
  • Fellows with a health professional degree such as medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, optometry, veterinary medicine, nursing or rehabilitative science, with or without licensure in Canada, may be supported during the first four years of research training. Registration for a master's or PhD degree is not a requirement. Those who are neither Canadian citizens nor permanent residents of Canada will not be eligible for such support beyond the eighth year following receipt of their health professional degree. The minimum stipend levels for those with a health professional degree and holding licensure in Canada are dependent upon the number of years of academic experience since obtaining the health professional degree. For 0-2 years of postgraduate academic experience, a candidate will receive a minimum $36,750 stipend per annum. For two or more years of postgraduate academic experience, a candidate will receive a minimum $47,250 stipend per annum.
  • Fellows with a health professional degree who do not hold licensure in Canada may be paid between $17,850 and $36,750 depending on the policies of the institution.
  • Those with a health professional degree and a PhD may be supported during the first three years following receipt of the PhD (same stipend level as the fellows with a health professional degree). If a PhD degree was obtained prior to studies for the health professional degree, CIHR will accept this as being equivalent to one extra year of experience. Each year of post-PhD training completed before the health professional degree will also be recognized as additional experience.
  • Undergraduates being trained in research during the summer months are eligible to receive a minimum monthly stipend of $1,313 paid in whole or in part from a CIHR grant.

* Agencies defer to Canada Revenue Agency requirements.

Other types of eligible compensation-related expenses

  • Consulting fees.
  • Fees paid to research subjects, such as modest incentives for participation, where ethically acceptable.
  • Subcontract costs.
  • Clerical salaries directly related to dissemination activities, including manuscript preparation.
  • Honoraria for guest lecturers (NSERC and CIHR only).
  • Research Time Stipends (SSHRC only).

Non-Eligible Expenses

  • Any part of the salary, or consulting fee, to the Grantee or to other persons whose status would make them eligible to apply for grants.
  • Administrative (or management) charges and fees.
  • Discretionary severance and separation packages.
  • Payments under grants to practicing clinicians who wish to participate in the research on a part-time basis, or to individuals who wish to participate in the research as an investigator and who at the same time receive remuneration. for teaching or service work (CIHR only).
  • Payments of stipends to students from grants who already hold a master's scholarship, a doctoral award or postdoctoral fellowship from an Agency (SSHRC only).
  • Additional Agency funding for students who already hold a master's or doctoral scholarship (NSERC only).

Travel and Subsistence Costs

Eligible Expenses

  • Travel and subsistence costs (meals and accommodation) include reasonable out-of-pocket expenses for field work, research conferences, collaborative trips, archival work and historical research, for the Grantee, research personnel, students and colleagues working with the Grantee, and visiting researchers.
  • Air travel must be claimed at the lowest rate available, not to exceed full economy fare.
  • Travel cancellation insurance.
  • Travel health insurance for research personnel who do not receive any such benefits from their institution and/or other sources (NSERC and CIHR only).

Other types of eligible travel expenses

  • Safety-related expenses for field work, such as protective gear, immunizations, etc.
  • Entry visa fee (for grantees and/or research personnel) when required for the purpose of research.

NSERC and CIHR

Relocation costs for eligible research personnel and their immediate family members:

  • Economy airfare; or
  • Cost of land travel, up to the equivalent of economy airfare.

Child care expenses while a nursing mother or single parent is travelling.

  • The eligible cost for a single parent is limited to overnight child care costs incurred while the grantee is travelling.
  • The eligible cost for a nursing mother who is travelling with a caregiver is limited to the customary cost of child care.

CIHR only

  • The eligible cost for a nursing mother who is travelling with a caregiver and a child under two years of age is limited to travel and accommodation costs up to a maximum of $1,000 for the travelling caregiver, in lieu of child care expenses.

Non-Eligible Expenses

  • Commuting costs of grantees and associated research personnel between their residence and place of employment or between two places of employment.
  • Passport and immigration fees.
  • Costs associated with thesis examination/defence, including external examiner costs.
  • Reimbursement for airfare purchased with personal frequent flyer points programs.

Sabbatical and Leave Periods

Eligible Expenses

  • Costs related to a vehicle necessary for field work (with prior Institutional approval; the vehicle must be licensed and insured during the sabbatical period).
  • Direct research expenses, including research assistance, bench fees, and field work expenses, when supported by appropriate documentation.
  • Transportation costs to move research equipment or material to and from the sabbatical location.
  • Travel costs to attend conferences during a sabbatical leave.
  • During a sabbatical or other leave period, the costs of travel between the home Institution and the sabbatical location, limited to one return trip ticket, except in unusual circumstances (NSERC and CIHR only).

Non-Eligible Expenses

  • Costs of transporting research personnel to and from a Grantee's sabbatical or leave location for supervisory or academic purposes.
  • Costs of transporting the Grantee to the home Institution for supervisory purposes during a sabbatical leave.
  • Living expenses during a sabbatical leave.

Equipment and Supplies

For computers and electronic communications, please refer to the section titled "Computers and Electronic Communications".

Eligible Expenses

  • Research equipment and supplies.
  • Travel costs to visit manufacturers to select major equipment purchases.
  • Transportation costs for purchased equipment.
  • Extended warranty for equipment.
  • Brokerage and customs charges for the importation of equipment and supplies.
  • The costs of training staff to use equipment or a specialized facility.
  • Maintenance and operating costs of equipment and vehicles used for Agency-supported research.

Non-Eligible Expenses

  • Insurance costs for equipment, research vehicles.
  • Costs of the construction, renovation or rental of laboratories or supporting facilities.

Computers and Electronic Communications

Eligible Expenses

  • Computers, modems, and other hardware and software required for the research.
  • Monthly charges for the use of the Internet from the institution or the home, only when this service is required for the purpose of research and not normally provided by the institution free of charge.
  • Cellular phones and personal digital assistants (PDA, e.g. BlackBerry, Palm Pilots, Pocket PC) when they are necessary for data collection and with adequate justification.

Non-Eligible Expenses

  • Standard monthly connection or rental costs of telephones.
  • Connection or installation of lines (telephone or other links).
  • Voice mail.
  • Library acquisitions, computer and other information services provided to all members of an Institution.
  • Cellular phone or personal digital assistants (PDA, e.g. , BlackBerry, Palm Pilot, Pocket PC) rental or purchase, including service plans, long distance or local charges, unless they are necessary for data collection.

Dissemination of Research Results

Eligible Expenses

  • Costs of developing Web-based information, including Web site maintenance fees.
  • Costs associated with the dissemination of findings, i.e. , through traditional venues as well as videos, CD-ROMs, etc.
  • Page charges for articles published, including costs associated with ensuring open access to the findings (e.g. costs of publishing in an open access journal or making a journal article open access).
  • Costs of preparing a research manuscript for publication.
  • Translation costs associated with dissemination of findings.
  • Costs of holding a workshop or seminar, the activities of which relate directly to the funded research (including non-alcoholic refreshments or meal costs).

Services and Miscellaneous Expenses

Eligible Expenses

  • Recruiting costs for research personnel, such as advertising and airfare for candidates, etc.
  • Costs for safe disposal of waste.
  • Costs for the purchase of books or periodicals, specialized office supplies, computing equipment and information services not formally provided by the Institution to all its academic and research staff.
  • Costs involved in providing personnel with training and/or development in novel techniques required for the conduct of the research project.
  • Hospitality costs (non-alcoholic refreshments or meals) for networking purposes in the context of formal courtesy between the grantee and guest researchers and research-related activities in the context of assemblies that facilitate and contribute to the achievement of the research objectives (e.g. , grantee meeting with partners and stakeholders).
  • Costs of membership in professional associations or scientific societies if necessary for the research program/project.

Non-Eligible Expenses

  • Costs of alcohol.
  • Costs of entertainment, hospitality and gifts, other than those specified above such as regular interactions with colleagues from the Institution and personnel meetings.
  • Costs related to staff awards and recognition.
  • Education-related costs such as thesis preparation, tuition and course fees.
  • Costs related to professional training or development, such as computer and language training.
  • Costs involved in the preparation of teaching materials.
  • Costs of basic services such as heat, light, water, compressed air, distilled water, vacuums, and janitorial services supplied to all laboratories in a research facility.
  • Insurance costs for buildings or equipment.
  • Costs associated with regulatory compliance, including ethical review, biohazard or radiation safety, environmental assessments, or provincial or municipal regulations and by-laws.
  • Monthly parking fees for vehicles, unless specifically required for field work.
  • Sales taxes to which an exemption or rebate applies.
  • Costs of regular clothing.
  • Patenting expenses.
  • Costs of moving a lab.

Reporting

Research Activity

Research activity reports, both progress or final, may be required for some grants. Consult the individual program descriptions for specific requirements.

Financial Reporting

  • Institutions are required to submit an annual Statement of Account to the Agency, signed by a business officer designated by the Institution, for every grant for the period ending March 31 of each year, using the Agency's Grants in Aid of Research Statement of Account (Form 300).
  • If the Form 300 sent to the Agency is not signed by the grantee, then the Institution must retain a copy of the Form 300 signed by the Grantee.
  • The Form 300 must indicate the total outstanding commitments.
  • In addition to the Form 300, each Institution is required to review a reconciliation report provided by the Agency's Finance Division. The Institution must return the Form 300 as well as the reconciliation report by June 30 for the period ending March 31. Note: Institutions that use the online Financial Data Submission and Reconciliation (FDSR) system are not required to return the reconciliation report.
  • Institutions are required to submit other financial reports as requested by the Agency.

Supporting Evidence

The Grantee is responsible for authorizing expenditures from his/her grant account in accordance with the Agency's requirements and conditions of grants and with the Institution's policies. No other party may initiate or authorize expenditures from an Agency's grant account without the Grantee's written delegated authority. All claims must have the Grantee or delegate's signature. The signatures certify that:

  • all expenditures on the claim are for the purpose for which the grant was awarded;
  • the charges included have not been claimed for reimbursement from other sources; and
  • reimbursements for expenditures received from other sources or Institutions will be disclosed to the administering Institution.

Grantees must be able to provide supporting documentation for all expenditures charged to their grant accounts. Such documentation includes:

  • salaries or stipends paid to research personnel:
    • signed records regarding personnel paid from grant funds, including names, categories, salary levels;
    • length of time supported in each case;
    • details of employee benefits charged and relevant calculations.
  • equipment and supplies:
    • supplier invoices indicating details of purchases;
    • prices paid.
  • internal expense allocations or shared expenditures:
    • documentation indicating the exact charge made;
    • the method of calculation or attribution;
    • the Grantee's authorization for those assigned to the Agency account.
  • hospitality for networking and research-related activities:
    • the date(s) of the event(s);
    • number of participants;
    • purpose of the event.

Individuals claiming travel-related expenses from a grant must prepare a separate claim for each trip. These claims must also conform to the standard travel policies and procedures of the Grantee's Institution. For claimants other than the Grantee, the affiliation with the Grantee's research group must be specified. If the traveler is a student, the claim must be signed by the Grantee. In the event that the traveler is the Grantee or a visiting researcher, the claim must be countersigned by the department head or dean confirming the relevance of the travel to the research being funded.

The travel claim must include the following information:

  • purpose of trip;
  • dates and destinations (person or location visited);
  • official supporting documentation (e.g. , prospectus or program, indicating the dates of conferences and workshops);
  • details of daily claims for expenditures relating to those visits;
  • details of any vehicle used;
  • original receipts, such as hotel bills, car rental agreements (credit cards slips are not valid receipts);
  • original air travel ticket receipts and boarding passes (airline boarding passes will not be accepted in lieu of ticket receipts except in the case of electronic tickets).

All supporting documentation must be kept for seven years.

Administrative Matters

Ownership of Items Purchased or Collected With Grant Funds

All equipment and material purchased or collected with grant funds belong to the Institution and not to the individual Grantee. As owner, the Institution is responsible for ensuring that the equipment is used to support the research program of the Grantee and Co-Grantees. Decisions on the use and management of the equipment should be made between the Institution and the Grantee or user group.

The Agency expects that the equipment will be made available to other faculty members and students for their research when not in use by the Grantee. The Institution may charge fees to these other users to recover direct costs incurred.

Insurance must not be charged to the Agency's grants. It is the Institution's responsibility to insure all of its equipment and assets, including powered vehicles.

If Agency-funded equipment or vehicles are later sold, proceeds from the sale belong to the Institution and must be used for research-related purposes.

Collections or Specimens

Scientifically valuable collections of animal, culture, plant or geological specimens, or archaeological artifacts collected by a Grantee with grant funds are the property of the Institution. 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, the Agency's policy on ownership of collections or specimens does not supersede any federal or provincial legislation on this issue.

The Agency's intention is not to restrict standard and recognized procedures of exchange of material and specimens between researchers and Institutions, but to better ensure their continuing good condition and future availability.

For additional details on the proper care, maintenance, ownership and eventual transfer of university-based collections, refer to the Framework for Researchers Working with University-Based Collections.

Paid Parental Leave For Students and Postdoctoral Fellows

CIHR and NSERC only

On request, and if the Institution grants parental leave, the Agency will provide parental leave supplements paid out of grants within six months following the child's birth or adoption to eligible students and postdoctoral fellows who are paid out of Agency grants and who are primary caregivers for a child.

The supplement will be paid to students and fellows at their current level of compensation (NSERC) or appropriate minimum stipend (CIHR) for up to four months (NSERC) or six months (CIHR). If both parents are supported by grant funds, each parent may take a portion of the leave for a combined maximum of four months (NSERC) or six months (CIHR). Students or fellows who are eligible for employment insurance or other parental leave supplements from other sources do not qualify for parental leave supplements.

NSERC only

Students or fellows should contact the Office of Graduate Studies of the Institution for information on paid parental leave.

CIHR only

CIHR will add the amount covering the parental leave supplement to the supervisor's grant.

The supplement must be requested at least 30 days in advance with a letter from the supervisor confirming the following information sent to CIHR:

  • The dates of the leave.
  • The student or fellow will be the primary caregiver for the child.
  • He or she is not eligible for and will not be receiving employment insurance or other parental leave benefits from other sources.
  • During the leave he or she will not be engaged in his or her studies/research activities or employed in any capacity.

SSHRC only

Parental leave supplements are not an eligible budget item for SSHRC grants.

Transferring Grants to an Eligible Canadian Institution

NSERC and SSHRC only

In order to transfer a grant from one eligible Canadian institution to another eligible Canadian institution, the following documents are to be forwarded to the Finance and Awards Administration Division of the Agency.

  • From the Grantee:
    • Written notification stating the date of departure from the Institution.
  • From the former Institution:
    • A signed Grants in Aid of Research, Statement of Account (Form 300) up to the date of departure; and
    • A detailed list of Outstanding Commitments (Form 303) made by the Grantee prior to the transfer, including employment contracts/agreements for research personnel.
  • From the new Institution:
    • A letter from the President of the Institution or his/her delegate, countersigned by the appropriate department head or Dean, giving the date of appointment and academic status at the new Institution. The letter must include a statement that the President of the Institution or his/her delegate agree to abide by all Agency policies and requirements relating to the Grant; and
    • Page 1, and Appendices B or B1 and C of the Personal Data Form (Form 100). (NSERC only)

CIHR only

A Grantee may seek to transfer the grant to another Institution by forwarding:

  • a completed " This link will take you to another Web site Application to Transfer Grant(s) to an Eligible Canadian Institution", duly countersigned by the appropriate authorities at the new Institution, the principal investigator(s) and co-investigator(s) on the grant; 
  • a revised cover page (Page 1) of the Common CV (validated for CIHR) with the address of the new institution;
  • a letter stating the project title, an estimate of the remaining grant funds available at the current Institution and the effective date of the transfer.

The remainder of the unexpended balance will be transferred upon receipt of a final statement of expenditures from the business office of the Institution to which the grant was originally made.

The Grantee must notify any Co-investigators to make their own arrangements regarding the allocation of funds.

Transfer requests between institutions will be considered during the funding period and the extension period (automatic one-year extension or other approved extension period). Requests for a transfer between a host institution and an affiliated institution (and vice versa) made during an extension period, however, will not be authorized.

Moving Equipment, Material or an Unexpended Equipment Grant

All equipment purchased with grant funds belongs to the Institution and not to the individual Grantee. If a Grantee is moving to another Canadian Institution and wishes to take an unexpended Equipment Grant (known as a Research Tools and Instruments Grant at NSERC), or to move equipment or other material purchased with grant funds, the former Institution may, in its discretion, give permission for such a move. The Agencies encourage the Institution to accede to such a request, provided the equipment is not necessary to other researchers at the former Institution. If the request is granted, the former Institution is to transfer ownership of the equipment to the new Institution.

Termination Procedures

Grants are terminated on the date when the Grantee ceases to be eligible to hold Agency funding.

The Institution's Office of Research Services or Office of Financial Administration must immediately inform the Agency's Finance Division when a Grantee ceases to be eligible to hold funding as outlined in the Agency's program guidelines, or is unable to carry out the research or research-related activities for which the grant was awarded.

Where a Grantee ceases to be eligible (e.g. , a change in eligibility, resigning or retiring from the academic position), the Agency may approve transfer of the grant to an eligible co-grantee, thereby allowing any group/team grant for which the ineligible Grantee is the Principal Investigator (PI) to continue to be funded. In order to request such a transfer the Institution must submit a written request to the Agency.

NSERC and SSHRC only

When a Grantee becomes ineligible for Agency funding, the following documents must be submitted by the Institution to the Agency:

  • A Grants in Aid of Research, Statement of Account (Form 300) as of the date of termination; and
  • A detailed list of Outstanding Commitments (Form 303) made by the Grantee prior to termination, including employment contracts/agreements for research personnel.

No new commitments or expenditures may be authorized from the grant account after the date of termination. Any such commitments or expenditures are the responsibility of the Institution.

The Agency may authorize a phase-out period for the payment of outstanding commitments or expenditures from funds remaining in the account. If no such period is authorized, payment of outstanding commitments or expenditures is the responsibility of the Institution.

When authorized, the duration of a standard phase-out period is three to six months, but it is 12 months in the event of a Grantee's death.

SSHRC only

If the Grantee moves to another country before completing a research program or project for which the Institution has received SSHRC funding, any individual grant that the Grantee holds will be closed. The sole exception is when the research program or project pertains to Canada, in which case the grantee will be permitted to complete the project in his or her new country with the funding as originally awarded. In such cases, the original Institution will continue to administer the grant.

CIHR only

When a grant is terminated, CIHR recognizes that a period of transition is often required to enable trainees supported by a grant to complete theses or to transfer to another supervisor, for research personnel supported by the grant to relocate, and for projects supported by the grant and already under way to come to a logical conclusion. In such cases, the Grantee (or Institutional official) must describe to the Agency the matters to be resolved, the time period and the funds required to do so, and what arrangements will be made (e.g. , to continue supervision of students or the project if the Grantee will no longer remain on site). Ordinarily, this period of transition will not exceed one year. If the proposal is approved by the Agency, the Authorization for Funding will be modified to accommodate the revised requirements. At the end of this period, any remaining funds must be returned to the Agency. When unspent funds are returned to the Agency, the cheque must be accompanied by a Form 300, signed by the grant recipient and the institution's financial officer, indicating an unspent balance in the same amount as the refund. The grant is not renewable and there is no extension period.

Deferral of Instalment/Annual Commitment Payments

Government policy states that Agencies cannot pay instalments in advance of need; they can provide funds only to correspond with the cash flow requirements of the research project. If the Grantee has a build-up of funds in his or her research account due to a slowdown or delay in the research (for example, extended leaves [sick/maternity/parental leave], difficulty in hiring staff, etc. ) and believes that the scheduled instalment for the next financial year will not be needed at that time, the grantee should request a deferral of the next instalment from the Agency.

Deferring an instalment (NSERC and SSHRC) or annual commitments (CIHR) extends the life of the grant, allows the Grantee to re-organize his/her activities and postpones the renewal/re-application date by one or two years. The total of all deferral periods (CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC) cannot exceed two years. The original grant end date will be adjusted accordingly.

CIHR will also allow deferment of the start date of a grant for up to one year from the start date indicated in the description of the funding opportunity if the Grantee has not resolved pending issues with the application prior to that date.   To request a deferral of an annual commitment, the Grantee must submit a written request to This link will take you to another Web site CIHR for consideration. To determine if there are issues with your application, refer to the subsection titled " This link will take you to another Web site Pending Grants" of the CIHRC Grants and Awards Guide.

Deferring an instalment (NSERC and SSHRC) or annual commitments (CIHR) does not adversely affect the review of the Grantee's next application, but rather demonstrates good fiscal management of his/her funds and provides the opportunity for the Agencies to fund other researchers who might otherwise not have been awarded funding.

The Agencies may defer (CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC) or even hold back (NSERC and SSHRC) a grantee's next instalment if, in the sole discretion of the involved Agency, it is judged that the grantee's build-up of funds has not been properly justified and that the need for funds has not been demonstrated.

Any exceptions to this policy will be indicated in the program description of the agency.
For more information about deferrals (CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC) and hold-backs (NSERC and SSHRC), contact the Awards Administration section at NSERC, SSHRC or This link will take you to another Web site CIHR.  

Parental, Medical or Care and Nurturing Leave

CIHR and NSERC only

The Agencies recognize that extended leave granted to the Grantee by the Institution may have an impact on an individual's research program, and offer the following options with respect to research grants:

  • When an extended leave of absence has been taken by the Grantee, he/she may request an extension of the duration of support of the current grant for up to six months (CIHR) and up to two years (NSERC), at a level up to but not exceeding the current amount; such a request must include a justification for the amount requested and be endorsed by the appropriate Institutional authorities (e.g. , Department Head, Dean, etc. ).
  • The Grantee may request deferral of a grant instalment for up to one year (CIHR) and up to two years (NSERC).
  • The Grantee may defer submission of a renewal application.
  • The Grantee may compete for a research grant in the usual way.

NSERC only

For NSERC grants, provided all parties agree, approval may be given to defer an instalment or extend the time required to complete a project owing to delays caused by parental, medical, or care and nurturing leave. Grantees must submit a request in writing to the appropriate program division at NSERC.

CIHR only

In the event that the proposed research continues while the Grantee is on leave, another investigator from the same Institution as the Grantee, who meets the eligibility requirements of the Agency, should be given the responsibility of monitoring the project and supervising the personnel working on the project during the Grantee's absence, and should be given signing authority for the grant. A letter from this replacement investigator, confirming assent to assume this role, and a letter from an appropriate Institutional official confirming that the arrangements are in place, are to be forwarded to the Agency in addition to the Grantee's request for leave.

As CIHR does not notify co-investigators of leave decisions, the Nominated Principal Investigator must inform those individuals involved along with their research institutions (if different from the Principal Investigator's Institution) of the outcome of any requests for parental, medical or care and nurturing leave.

SSHRC only

See the following section "Sabbatical and Other Leaves. "

Sabbatical and Other Leaves

NSERC only

The Grantee and/or the Institution must inform NSERC's Finance and Awards Administration Division when a Grantee is away on a leave period of more than one year (sabbatical, unpaid leave, etc. ) from his or her Canadian Institution.

Leave Periods of Up to One Year

  • Grantees who are away on a leave period from their Canadian Institution for a maximum of one year continue to be eligible to hold and receive funding from their grant.

Leave Periods of One to Two Years

  • Grantees who are on a leave period of more than one year, but spend a minimum of six months per year at an eligible Canadian Institution, continue to be eligible to hold and receive funding from their grant.
  • Grantees who do not spend a minimum of six months per year at an eligible Canadian Institution are not eligible to continue to hold and receive funding from their grant. Funding in the second year will be pro-rated to the anniversary date and the remainder will be deferred. All subsequent instalments will be frozen until confirmation is received that the Grantee has returned to the Institution.

Leave Periods Extending Beyond Two Years

  • A Grantee whose leave period extends beyond two years will no longer be eligible to hold the grant.

Note: The effective termination date of the grant will be the actual date when the second year of leave began. There will be no phase-out period.

SSHRC only

For Sabbatical Leaves

  • SSHRC does not require that grantees give notice that they are taking a sabbatical leave. Grantees may continue to hold and receive funds from their grant during sabbaticals.

For Other Leaves (Illness, Maternity, Parental, Unpaid Leave, Etc.)
Leave Periods of Up to One Year

  • Grantees who are away from their Canadian institution for a maximum of one year continue to be eligible to hold and receive funds from their grant.

Leave Periods of One to Two Years

  • Grantees who are on leave from their Canadian institution for more than one year for non-research purposes are not eligible to continue to hold and receive funds from their grant. In the second year of the leave, funding will be deferred. All subsequent instalments will be frozen until the Agency receives confirmation that the grantee has returned to the institution at the end of the two-year period. The grantee's institution must inform SSHRC's Finance Division when a grantee has been given leave of more than one year and must forward this information before the end of the first year of the leave period.

Leave Periods Extending Beyond Two Years

  • A Grantee whose leave period extends beyond two years will no longer be eligible to hold the grant. The effective termination date of the grant will be the actual date when the second year of leave began. There will be no phase-out period.

CIHR only

The Grantee and/or the Institution must inform This link will take you to another Web site CIHR when the Grantee is away on sabbatical leave from his or her Canadian Institution, for a period of six months or more.

For a Grantee to continue to be eligible for grant funding, sabbatical leaves cannot exceed one year.

Grant recipients wishing to continue their project during a period of sabbatical leave must, not less than 30 days prior to their departure, provide CIHR with a suitable proposal outlining the provisions made for the operation of the project and supervision of graduate and postgraduate students. CIHR also requires a letter from the head of the Grantee's department stating the date when the grant recipient is expected to return.

No additional funds will be given to cover the period of the leave.

As CIHR does not notify co-investigators of leave decisions, the Nominated Principal Investigator must inform those individuals involved along with their research institutions (if different from the Principal Investigator's Institution) of the outcome of any requests for sabbatical and other leave types.

Residual Balances

NSERC and SSHRC only

  • All grants paid are deemed to have a primary holder, namely the Grantee whose name appears on the award notice. The secondary holder is the President of the Institution administering the grant.
  • All grants that have not been renewed or extended or that have been terminated, or project grants that have been completed may contain residual balances of funds allocated in prior years and/or issued in the current fiscal year. The Agencies will adjust their next payment to the Institution for any current-year funds not required for the purpose for which they were granted. The Agencies will allow residual funds from prior years to be retained by the Institution under certain conditions determined by their Finance and Awards Administration Division. The Finance and Awards Administration Division may authorize such funds to be transferred to a General Research Fund (GRF). * With regards to these special grant accounts, the Agency expects that the Institution President will use these funds for the broad purpose of enhancing the quality of research in the natural sciences and engineering, or in the social sciences and humanities, as applicable. Funds must be spent in a timely manner.
  • Any residual balances at the end of the grant for the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) must be returned to the NCE Secretariat.

*For some programs, e.g. Research Time Stipends (SSHRC only), the residual balances remaining at the end of the grant cannot be transferred to the General Research Fund (GRF) and must be returned to the Agency. Please refer to the specific program guidelines for more information.

CIHR only

Any funds remaining at the end of the Authority to Use Funds period must be returned to the Agency. When unspent funds are returned to the Agency, the cheque must be accompanied by a signed Form 300, indicating an unspent balance in the same amount as the refund.
Please note that CIHR does not allow for the transferring of residual funds (unspent balances in grant accounts) between affiliated institutions during the "Authority to Use Funds" extension period. For further information regarding the transfer of grants to eligible Canadian institutions or organizations, refer to the subsection titled Transferring Grant(s) to an Eligible Canadian Institution of this Guide.

Appendix 7 - Statistics on allegations of misconduct

Misuse of grant funds

NSERC

FY No.
Allegations
No.
Findings of Ineligible Expenses
No.
Findings of Misconduct
No. Forwarded to Legal Authorities and under investigation
2007-08 5 1 0 0
2006-07 5 4 0* 2
2005-06 2 0 0 0

*2 cases pending

SSHRC

FY No. Allegations No.
Findings of Ineligible Expenses
No.
Findings of Misconduct
No. Forwarded to Legal Authorities and under investigation
2007-08 0 0 0 0
2006-07 1 0 0 0
2005-06 2 1 0 0

Research and scholarly misconduct

NSERC

FY # of Researchers # of Students Total  
2005-2006 11,200 23,000 34,200  
2006-2007 11,500 24,500 36,000  
2007-2008 11,700 26,500 38,200  
FY # Cases Investigated # of Misconduct Found & Sanctions No Misconduct Found % of Funded Population
2005-2006 8 3 4* 0.009
2006-2007 2 2 0 0.006
2007-2008 2 1 1 0.003

* one case pending

SSHRC

FY # of Researchers ** # of Students ** Total
2005-2006 5,600 3,700 9,300
2006-2007 5,900 3,900 9,800
2007-2008 6,200 4,000 10,200
FY # Cases Investigated # of Misconduct Found & Sanctions No Misconduct Found % of Funded Population
2005-2006 2 0 2 0.022%
2006-2007 1 0 1 0.010%
2007-2008 1 0 1 0.010%

Estimates only

Appendix 8 - List of Acronyms

AUCC Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada
CAUBO Canadian Association of University Business Officers
CAURA Canadian Association of University Research Administrators
CIHR - Canadian Institutes of Health Research
CRIC Canadian Research Integrity Committee
FFP Falsification or fabrication of data and plagiarism
MOU Memorandum of Understanding: Roles and Responsibilities in the Management of Federal Grants and Awards
NSERC Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council
OECD Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
ORI Office of Research Integrity
PHS Public Health Service
RCM Royal Canadian Mounted Police
SSHRC Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
TCPS-I Tri-Council Policy Statement: Integrity in Research and Scholarship
People Discovery Innovation