Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Common menu bar links

A planned outage affecting this website and several other NSERC and SSHRC (including TIPS) websites and granting portals will take place from Friday, June 28, 2024, at 4 p.m., until Tuesday, July 2, 2024, at 8 a.m. (ET). For more details, visit NSERC or SSHRC/TIPS dedicated webpages.

Archived in January 2013 Schedule 8: Investigation and Resolution of Breaches of Agency Policies1


This information has been archived. Visit the This link will take you to another Web site Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions page for current information.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the This link will take you to another Web site Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats by contacting us.

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: