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Summary of Changes 2017 Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide

NSERC, SSHR and CIHR have revised the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide. A summary of the most significant changes appears below. All changes are effective October 1st 2017.

Financial Administration
Section and Sub-section Nature of Changes
Responsibilities and Accountability
Non compliance New hyperlink to the Treasury Board policy on the Directive on Public Money and Receivables was added to replace previous Directive on Losses of Money or Property.
Annual Funding of Grants
Extension Period for Use of Funds Beyond a Grant Period Table was updated to include new programs: Partnership Engage Grants, Knowledge Synthesis Grants in the SSHRC section.
Use of Grant Funds
Compensation Related Expenses  Salaries: Three new salaries guidelines applicable to CIHR only have been added to replicate the information currently in the CIHR stipend guidelines.

Other Types of Eligible Compensation Related Expenses: Items 2 and 3 now allow gifts as an eligible expense for the purpose of participant recruitment and research participants.
Travel and Subsistence Costs Air travel can now be claimed at the most economical rate rather than the lowest rate.
Services and Miscellaneous Expenses New guideline to allow for the offering of gifts where approved by a Research Ethics Board.
Reporting and Supporting Evidence
Supporting Evidence Modified the section on travel claim in such that original receipts are no longer required by the agencies.
Administrative Matters
Paid Maternity and Parental Leave for Students and Postdoctoral Fellows Effective July 31, 2017, SSHRC has joined NSERC and CIHR in providing parental leave supplements paid out of agency grants within six months following the child’s birth or adoption to eligible students and postdoctoral fellows who are primary caregivers for a child. (This will not be retroactive, it will apply to births and adoptions on or after July 31, 2017.)

Further, for all three agencies as of July 31, 2017, students or fellows eligible for other parental leave supplements may also be eligible for Agency supplements. The following sentence of the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide in the Administrative Matters section will be deleted: Students or fellows who are eligible for employment insurance or other parental leave supplements from other sources do not qualify for parental leave supplements.
Residual Balances Revised list of Programs Eligible for General Research Fund Transfer to include: Partnerships Engage Grants and Knowledge Synthesis Grants for SSHRC.
Reference Documents
Grant Amendment Form – New NEW - Grant Amendment Form to harmonize processes and to reduce administrative burden. This new form will now replace 6 previously existing forms (as identified below).

The purpose of the form is to streamline and standardize the means of requesting a grant amendment. The form is meant to capture all information needed from the client in order for the agency to respond to the request without needing multiple email exchanges. The form is in a fillable PDF format and can be submitted electronically to the agencies.  
  Deleted Forms:
  • Checklist for Confirming Continuing Eligibility- Ongoing Eligibility Form
  • Checklist for Maternity and or Parental Leaves Paid from Grants to Students and Postdoctoral Fellows
  • Checklist for Maternity, Parental, Medical or Family Medical Leave for Grantees
  • Checklist for Sabbatical Research Leave for Grantees
  • Checklist for Termination of a Grant
  • Checklist for the Relocation of a Grantee to an Eligible Canadian Institution.