Approvals Required for Research Supported by Externally Funded Sources:

All external research funding, when applied to and when awarded, must be reviewed and approved by the Principal Investigator (PI), the relevant Department Head and/ a representative from the Dean’s Office in the relevant College.  Whether the funding agency requires it or not, all applications and agreements for external research funding must be approved by a duly authorized University representative on behalf of the University of Saskatchewan.  Final approval on behalf of the University is provided by the Research Services and Ethics Office (RSEO).

The approval by the Principal Investigator (PI) is required to ensure that the funding application or agreement satisfactorily confirms the following, where applicable:

  • The PI has carefully considered the appropriateness of the scope of work, the proposed budget (research can be completed within budget), and the timeline for deliverables.
  • The necessary Indirect Costs of Research (ICR) are included.
  • Any ethics, biosafety, or animal care requirements are identified.
  • The provisions for publication rights are acceptable.
  • The trainees have adequate space, insurance and time to complete tasks. 
  • The provisions for intellectual property (IP) rights are acceptable.
  • The insurance and indemnification provisions are acceptable.
  • The warranty and liability provisions are acceptable.
  • The confidentiality provisions are acceptable.
  • Collaborations and affiliations are properly identified and detailed sufficiently.

The approval by the Department Head, Dean/Associate Dean Research/Director are required (where applicable) for:

  • Assurance that normal teaching duties or other responsibilities of the PI will not be adversely affected by terms of the agreement or that acceptable adjustments to these duties have been made, and if appropriate, provided for in the related department budget.
  • Assurance that the existing university space and facilities will not be unduly burdened and that any necessary improvements and equipment are accounted for in the budget.
  • Assurance that any involvement of trainees is appropriate.
  • Assurance of the protection of academic and financial interests of the university, the PI, and the general public.
  • Awareness of the scholarly content of the research and assurance that the research is consistent with, and will benefit the departmental teaching and scholarly mandate.
  • Assurance that potential conflicts of interest have been addressed.
  • Budget overview and assurance that the equipment, personnel, supplies, and other costs incurred during the research can be recovered from the research funds.
  • Verification of the researcher’s academic status.
  • Acceptability of provisions dealing with Intellectual Property Rights.
  • Appropriate ICR allocation.
  • Any other aspect of research that is under the jurisdiction of the Department Head and Dean/Associate Dean of Research/Director.

The approval of the Institution is required for:

  • The Office of the Vice-President Research (OVPR) is responsible for the overall terms and conditions of the agreement.  Specifically, the research must be conducted within the policies and guidelines of the University of Saskatchewan.  Should any of the terms be unacceptable to the university, these terms must be negotiated or modified before the university will execute the agreements.
  • On behalf of the OVPR, the Research Services and Ethics Office (RSEO) is responsible for the complete overview of the terms and conditions of the agreement and compliance with University policies.  The RESO is also the primary pre- and post- contract administrator, and thus actively participates in the negotiation and management of the agreement on behalf of the principal investigator and the university.
  • Visit the University of Saskatchewan’s Board of Governor approved policies and procedures for more information.
The Innovation Enterprise (formerly Industry Liaison Office) has a number of principles regarding Intellectual Property.

All research funding proposals involving University of Saskatchewan affiliated applicants (principal and/or co-applicants) must obtain academic and Institutional approval prior to submission to the external funding agency.  All external research funding applications must be academic and Institutional approved is a necessary and important part of the grant application process.  Once approved, the Principal Applicant is responsible for submitting the application to the funding agency, unless the Institution submits on behalf of the Principal Applicant.


Academic and Institutional approvals are obtained through the University Research System (UnivRS).  UnivRS is a web-based central repository for research-related activities and CV data management. It is intended to simplify the pre-and post-award and compliance processes, while producing reports and CV documents as needed. The data stored in UnivRS may help facilitate a research network among the faculty, finding shared research interests and building collaborations at the U of S.  A number of helpful instructional quick start UnivRS guides as well as additional information about UnivRS is available here.

UnivRS can be accessed through your PAWS account or you can log-in directly at:

For funding applications requiring Institutional signature(s) approvals will be obtained in UnivRS as per the standard process and timeframe outlined in this section.  However, if the funding agency requires an Institutional signature for submission, please contact your Research Support Specialist in Research Services and Ethics Office.  The Specialist, as part of the compliance review process, will also facilitate the required Institutional signature(s) required.  Please ensure to collect all other signatures the funding agency is requesting (i.e. Principal Applicant, Co-applicants, Partner Organizations) prior to seeking Institutional approval.


To align with institutional policies the following must approve all applications for external research funding in the following order:
• Principal Applicant
• Department Head of Principal Applicant
• College Dean/Associate Dean of Research/Director (or Delegate) of the Principal Applicant
• Research Services and Ethics Office (on behalf of the Institution)


Research Services and Ethics Office (RSEO) requires the complete finalized funding application to be submitted and academically approved in UnivRS by the internal deadline of 5 business days prior to the funding agency deadline.  Please ensure to contact your Research Facilitator to determine if there are any additional internal deadlines set by your Department or College as well.  This internal deadline does not apply to contracts, CFI or CRC applications.

Submitting research applications in UnivRS by this internal deadline provides the following assurances:

  • A thorough review of the application in detail by the assigned Research Support Specialist to ensure compliance with funding agency guidelines and University policies;
  • A review of the budget and budget justification to ensure that they coincide with each other and to ensure the accuracy and eligibility of expenditures;
  • Ensure necessary academic and Institutional approvals are received in a timely manner; and
  • Sufficient time to incorporate suggested adjustments to the application.

Under terms of The University of Saskatchewan Act, 1995 the University of Saskatchewan must be named as the contractor in research contract agreements which involve the institution and any of its employees. Faculty members and other staff members cannot enter into or sign contracts on behalf of or binding on the University.

For a contract (i.e. non-grant) to bind the University, the agreement must be signed by duly authorized representatives for the Chair and Secretary of the Board of Governors, according to the University Signing Authority Policy. This policy concerns University contracting and the delegation of authority to contract on behalf of the University.

Research Services is responsible to obtain these approvals on behalf of the University. The Board of Governors signatures are needed to indicate acceptance of the financial administration, associated liabilities and general terms of the agreement.

Research agreements are administered as per the Research Administration policy. Research funding can be held only by individuals who are eligible, as per the Eligibility to Apply for, Hold and Administer Research Funding policy.