Research Funding Agreements

A research agreement refers to a research contract or research grant.  Contracts and grants differ in a number of ways.  Grants do not require signature of the authorized representatives of the University on the grant letter from a sponsor whereas contracts require signatures of both parties.  Grants have fewer obligations imposed on the University whereas contracts may include many terms (ex. intellectual property, confidentiality, indemnification, governing law, etc.).

Most agreements are for externally-funded research projects.  This includes funding from private industry, government and Tri-Agencies.  Grant agreements are always related to funding while contract agreements may not be related to funding (eg. Intellectual property agreements, data transfer agreements, etc.).

Clinical Trial Agreements

Clinical trial agreements are negotiated and administered through the Clinical Trial Support Unit (CTSU). Intellectual Property and licensing agreements are negotiated through the Innovation Enterprise (IE).

All other agreements are negotiated between the sponsor and Research Services in consultation with the Principal Investigator.  All research agreements require approval of the Principal Investigator, Department Head and Vice-Dean/Associate Dean/Director.

Institutional Costs of Research

In administering agreements, the University incurs Institutional Costs of Research (ICR).  “Institutional Costs” means university expenditures incurred to benefit and support Research and for which it may not be possible to provide an exact itemization of the cost attributable to an individual Research Project.  Institutional Costs are real costs to the university, and include, without limitation, building use and depreciation, utilities, maintenance and upgrade of library resources, computer and network support, management and administration of Research, financial services (including purchasing, financial reporting and accounting), legal services, human resource services, technology transfer office services, regulatory and Research compliance (including Research ethics, human ethics, animal ethics, and biohazard certification), hazardous waste disposal, controlled goods, radiation safety, occupational safety, campus security and liability insurance.

To maintain University viability, these costs need to be recovered in research agreements as per the Institutional Costs of Research policy.  This policy includes a rate to be applied to the total amount of all research agreements.  This begins with an inclusion of the applicable rate within the budget proposed by a Principal Investigator to a sponsor.

Research funding can be held only by those eligible as per the Research Administration policy.

The Innovation Enterprise also has a number of policies related to Intellectual Property.

Research agreements are administered as per the Research Administration policy.

Donations to Research at the University

For donations to the University, Advancement and Community Engagement should be consulted.

Responsibilities of Principal Investigator

All Principal Investigators and their named delegate(s) must operate in compliance with the relevant Sponsor guidelines and all University policies.

Administrative process and responsibilities of Principal Investigators are set out in the University Policies and Guidelines. Such policies are found here, under Research and Scholarly Activities

Additional information on The Memorandum of Understanding on the Roles and Responsibilities in the Management of Tri-Agency Federal Grants and Awards is available from NSERC.

The Principal Investigator must notify Research Services of any of the following:

  • transfers from one department (college) to another within the University
  • changes in academic status (e.g. professor emeritus, adjunct)
  • leaves (medical, administrative, etc.)
  • proposed changes to the approved research budget
  • if a project will need an extension to the end date (which may only be granted at the discretion of the Sponsor)
  • upon completion of the research project
  • departing from the University (e.g. relocating to another Institution, retirement)

Continuing Eligibility and Change of Academic Status

The Principal Investigator must notify Research Services of any changes in academic status that may affect their eligibility to hold research funding.  Research Services shall inform the Sponsor(s) and Financial Reporting of such status changes.

Annually, Research Services provides the Tri-Agencies (CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC) confirmation that the Principal Investigators and University Co-investigators continue to meet the Agency’s eligibility criteria. To comply with government policy, the Sponsoring agency must confirm the Principal Investigator's continued eligibility before releasing future instalments to the University.  For Tri-Agency grants, information pertaining to the documents to be submitted can be found on the Checklist for Confirming Continuing Eligibility.