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This online version is for convenience; the official version of this policy is housed in the University Secretariat. In case of discrepancy between the online version and the official version held by the Secretariat, the official version shall prevail.

Approving Authority: President

Original Approval Date: March 20, 2000

Date of Most Recent Review/Revision: March 25, 2011

Office of Accountability: Vice-President: Research

Administrative Responsibility: Office of Research Services

I. Accountability

The Vice-President: Research has the signing authority and the responsibility for the research accounts defined in this policy.

A. Research Accounts Defined

  1. Research grants, including but not limited to those awarded by federal granting councils (e.g. SSHRC, NSERC), external foundations (e.g. Ontario Mental Health Foundation), agencies, associations (e.g. AUCC).
  2. All grants awarded by internal research grants committees.
  3. Research contracts from government or other agencies that are negotiated/signed by the Vice-President: Research.

B. Procedure for Establishing Research Accounts

Funds, including the original contribution and any subsequent contributions, deposited to a research account must first be approved by the Vice-President: Research. In order to receive approval, the following information is required:

  1. Notification of grant/contract from the sponsoring agency.
  2. A copy of the sponsor's terms and conditions concerning the award, including regulations for administering the funds such as a contract or a letter of agreement, and any other reporting obligations to the agency when work is completed.
  3. A research proposal or description of the research project, including a line-by-line budget.
  4. Certifications (i.e. human subjects, animals, biohazards) if required.
  5. Date of attendance at research finance training session.
  6. Expected completion date.

C. Management of Research Accounts

  1. Individual faculty members are responsible for submitting their expense claims, purchase orders, etc., according to regular approval processes with appropriate one-over-one signatures.
  2. External research accounts are to have an expiry date that is established according to the expected or agreed duration of the project. Any extensions beyond this date must be approved by the Vice President: Research and the sponsoring agency.
  3. Individual researchers should arrange for electronic access to their research accounts, and are expected to monitor the finances monthly.
  4. Researchers who create a deficit in any research account are responsible for erasing the deficit and are not eligible to apply for internal grants until the deficit has been eliminated.

D. Deficits

Definition: a deficit occurs when actual expenditures and commitments exceed the budget available.

Deficits in contract and grant funded research accounts are not permitted unless:

  1. The funding agreement allows deficits (e.g., the agency is invoiced after expenses are incurred), or
  2. The Office of Research Services approves the deficit in writing. Requests to allow a deficit must include alternate means of funding the deficit if funds from the contractor/granting agency do not materialize.

The grant or contract holder is accountable for reimbursing the university for any deficit in a research account.

E. Accountability of Grant/Contract Holder

Grant or contract holders are accountable to:

  1. Maintain their research accounts in good standing.
  2. Review the grant or contract’s financial status using available on-line systems at least monthly. Delegation of the account review does not release the grant or contract holder from responsibility for deficits.
  3. Reimburse inappropriate or disallowed expenditures as determined by Research Services per funding agency guidelines.

F. Authority to Freeze Research Accounts

The Office of Research Services has the authority to freeze grants or contracts due to:

  1. A failure on the part of the grant or contract holder to exercise accountability;
  2. A lack of funds; budgetary deficits;
  3. Failure of the grant holder to attend research finance training when requested; or
  4. Noncompliance with contract conditions.

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