Tri-agency financial administration

Summary of changes

CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC have revised the Tri-agency Guide on Financial Administration. A summary of the most significant changes appears below.

All changes are effective April 1, 2024.

Part 2: Use of grant funds

Subsection Nature of changes
Employment and compensation expenditures Unless otherwise specified by the funding opportunity or program guidelines, compensation in the form of an eligible expense may be paid to Indigenous Elders, Indigenous Knowledge Keepers, or Indigenous People affiliated with not-for-profit organizations who are not already being compensated for conducting research. For more information, please go to :

Part 3: Financial matters

Subsection Nature of changes
Extension period for the authority to use grant funds

The administering institution is responsible for submitting the extension request to the relevant agency using the Grant Amendment Form. If the extension is not approved, the grant recipient has three months to pay all expenses incurred before the grant end date or, if applicable, before the end of the automatic one-year extension period for the use of the grant funds provided by the relevant agency. See Table 1: Programs with automatic extensions by agency.

The grant recipient must inform team members, other concerned individuals, and all involved research institutions of the outcome of extension requests.

The Agencies will not consider requests for extensions if the administering institution has not submitted a Grants in Aid of Research Statement of Account (Form 300) and/or the Grants in Aid of Research Statement of Account - College and Community Innovation (CCI) program (Form 301) for each of the grant’s fiscal periods. Requests will also not be considered after the end date for grants not subject to the automatic one-year extension nor to grants whose automatic one-year extension period has ended. Also, requests will not be considered if the grant funds remaining in a grant account have been returned to the funding agency or have been transferred to the administering institution’s General Research Fund (SSHRC and NSERC grants only).

Extension period for the authority to use grant funds

Table 1 - NSERC

Collaborative Health Research Projects

Synergy Awards for Innovation

The grant recipient may submit a request for an extension to the automatic extension by 1 additional calendar year (i.e., 12 months), under the following circumstances only:

  • Extended leaves of absence during the grant period
  • Uncontrollable delays to funded research/activities

Effective for grants awarded as of 2023.

Part 5: Provisions for leaves from grant activities

Subsection Nature of changes
Paid maternity/parental leave for students and postdoctoral fellows The administering institution is responsible for submitting a Grant Amendment Form prior to or during the eligible paid parental leave period. All requests are subject to the relevant agency’s approval, and the Over-expenditures policy applies if the paid maternity/parental leave supplements are advanced to the students and postdoctoral fellows prior to agency approval.

Appendix 1

Subsection Nature of changes
Definition of terms Accountable advance: Funds are advanced to an individual to pay for the acquisition of a specified good or service as an advance in a context such as travel expenditures. The appropriate use of the funds is reconciled to the advance via proof of use, such as an invoice, receipt, bill, etc.
Definition of terms Outstanding commitments: an outstanding commitment (unpaid invoice) occurs when the grant recipient, or administering institution, has received a good or service before the end date of the grant or, if applicable, within the ATUF period of the grant and the invoice for the good or service was not paid within that timeline.

Tri-agency logos

Contact Newsletter

Get highlights of things happening at NSERC delivered to your email inbox. View all Newsletters

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Youtube
  • Instagram