University of Guelph - Roles and Responsibilities of those involved in Research Award Administration

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Purpose: 

This document outlines the Roles and Responsibilities of those involved with Research Award Administration to ensure the funds are utilized for the designated purposes for which they are awarded and they comply with UofG and Sponsor policies and guidelines.  This shared responsibility is distributed to several stakeholders, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Principal Investigator (PI)/Account holder
  • Department Chair/School Director (and/or Campus Director for OAC)
  • College Dean/ADR
  • Office of Research Services (ORS)
  • Research Financial Services (RFS)

Note:  Other stakeholders such as Project Managers, Research Managers, Research Facilitators, etc. may vary depending on your situation so these position titles have been excluded from the list above.  Please review all Roles and Responsibilities noted for all identified stakeholders below and apply to your position as appropriate.

Stakeholder

Category

Roles and Responsibilities

Principal Investigator (PI)/ Account holder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Due Diligence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Ensure that all expenditures comply with University and Sponsor policies, procedures and guidelines.

    For Tri-Agency awards (CIHR, CRCs, NSERC, NCEs, SSHRC) – Operate in compliance with the Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions, as amended.

    For Tri-Agency awards (CIHR, CRCs, NSERC, NCEs, SSHRC) – Ensure expenditures are in compliance with the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide, as amended.

    Ensure that individuals with delegated signing authority understand and comply with University and sponsor requirements.

    Submit all technical, scientific and/or progress reports by the prescribed deadlines as required by the sponsor.

    The PI will obtain all approval(s)/certifications necessary to conduct the research.

 

 

Fiscal Responsibilities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Exercise financial control over research awards, including the following:
    • expenses are eligible according to the terms and conditions of the award,
    • expenses are in accordance with the approved budget,
    • expenses are necessary to the research endeavour being undertaken, and
    • expenses have been incurred within the eligible dates of the research award.
  • Provide written authorization for all expenditures charged to their research projects.
  • Monitor and review all financial transactions, on a regular basis, that have been charged to their research projects and communicate any discrepancies to your department administrator and/or RFS.
  • Provide timely resolution of all deficits resulting from:
    • over-expenditures,
    • expenses deemed ineligible by the research sponsor, or
    • failure to comply with the rules and regulations of the funding agency and/or University policies.
  • Review and sign financial reports, in a timely fashion, as required by the sponsor.
  • The PI understands and agrees to fulfill the reporting obligations and assumes responsibility for all other obligations of the research agreement.
  • Authorize all travel claims and advances for student travellers that incur travel expenses relevant to the research being funded.  If the PI is the traveller or the claim is for a visiting researcher, the claim must be countersigned by the Department Chair or Dean.
  • If new construction, equipment installation or renovations are required, Physical Resources policies and procedures have been followed and associated costs are covered.

Communication Responsibilities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     Inform Sponsors and ORS in a timely manner, of any changes in their employment status (e.g. maternity/parental leave,.termination, receipt of Adjunct status, receipt of Professor.Emeritus, sabbatical, long term disability).
  • Notify RFS of any discrepancies with Account set up in FRS, ensuring that all account information is up to date.  Most notable are the:
    • Award Amount,
    • Budget,
    • Start Date, and
    • End Date.
  • Notify ORS of any matching funds and provide information on source, account numbers, and work with ORS to set up matching accounts to include a cross-reference.
  • Notify ORS of any transfer of funds (non Tri-Council) to another institution so appropriate agreements can be established.
  • Notify RFS of any transfer of funds (Tri-Council) so the Transfer of Funds Agreement can be established.
  • Contact ORS or Sponsor to request an extension on the term of the grant.
  • Declare/Disclose any real or perceived conflict(s) of interest with the Sponsor to his/her Dean.

 

Stakeholder

Category

Roles and Responsibilities

Department Chair/ School Director (and/or Campus Director for OAC)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Due Diligence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Ensure UofG policies and sponsor guidelines are followed when procuring goods and services or authorizing expenditures to be charged to research accounts.
  • Review and, where appropriate, approve researcher requests for early account set ups.
  • Address concerns/issues in a timely manner as brought forward by Researchers/Account Holders, Department Administrators, RFS or ORS with regards to specific research projects and/or Account holders.
  • Authorize travel claims and advances for PI’s (including visiting researchers).  Travel claims for PI’s or visiting researchers must be signed by the Department Chair or Dean to confirm the relevance of the travel to the research being funded.
  • Ensure Travel and Expense claims are reviewed for:
    • completeness,
    • accuracy,
    • eligibility,
    • one-over-one approval (signed by someone in higher position than the traveller for eg. Traveller is grantee then Dept. Chair or Dean must sign), 
    • include the required supporting documentation as per UofG policy and sponsor guidelines.

Fiscal Responsibilities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Ensure financial transactions charged to research accounts are:
    • authorized in writing by the Researcher (or his/her approved Delegate),
    • have appropriate supporting documentation.
  • Process salary appointment changes and correcting journal entries in a timely manner.
  • If the proposal includes the use of departmental resources, the appropriate fees and charges for use of personnel, equipment and facilities are included in the budget.
  • Review over expended projects with the Researcher and have the account cleared and closed in a timely manner.
  • Work closely with respective Associate Dean of Research and College Administrator to ensure action is taken to resolve over-expenditures.

Communication Responsibilities

 

  • Inform their Dean/ADR, in a timely manner, of any changes in employment status (e.g. maternity/parental leave, termination, receipt of Adjunct status, receipt of Professor Emeritus, sabbatical, long term disability).

 

  • Provide ORS with confirmation of Researcher/Account Holder contractually-limited and adjunct appointments, e.g. start and end dates.

 

 

  • Notify RFS of any discrepancies with Account set up in FRS, ensuring that all account information is up to date.  Most notable are the:
    • Award Amount,
    • Budget,
    • Start Date, and
    • End Date.

 

Stakeholder

Category

Roles and Responsibilities

College Dean/ADR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Due Diligence

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Any conflict of interest disclosed by the PI has been managed.
  • The Dean/ADR is willing to work with the Department Chair/School Director as necessary to resolve issue(s) with respect to administrative, financial and infrastructure support.
  • The Dean/ADR will notify ORS, in a timely manner, if there is a change in status of the PI.

Fiscal Responsibilities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Provide budget approval of research awards, indicating that the College is fiscally responsible to the University for the project.
  • The Dean/ADR is responsible for resolving research account deficits and any over-expenditures.
  • Authorize travel claims and advances for PI’s (including visiting researchers).  Travel claims for PI’s or visiting researchers must be signed by the Department Chair or Dean to confirm the relevance of the travel to the research being funded.

 

 

 

Stakeholder

Category

Roles and Responsibilities

Office of Research Services (ORS)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Due Diligence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Review, draft, negotiate agreements and budgets confirming external funding awarded to the UofG, including funding from principal investigators/other institutions to co-investigating researchers at UofG.
  • Review, draft, negotiate amendments to agreements to confirm approval of any changes, including but not limited to, extension to the term of the research project/account, changes to amounts awarded, consulting with researchers and sponsors accordingly.
  • For Tri-Agency awards (CIHR, CRCs, NSERC, NCEs, SSHRC)

- Ensure institutional compliance with the Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions, as amended. – Authorize set up of new research accounts and/or release of ongoing payments for continuing awards, subject to verification of applicant eligibility and applicable certifications (for animals, humans, etc.).

- Notify sponsors regarding any changes in eligibility or employment status of investigators, subject to terms of agreements and awards (e.g. maternity/parental leave, termination, receipt of Adjunct status, receipt of Professor Emeritus, sabbatical, long term disability, etc.)

  • For all Sponsors excluding Tri-Agencies – Prepare sub-agreements to support transfers of funding to co-investigating researchers at UofG or other Institutions.
  • Request set up of research accounts to Research Financial Services (RFS), prepare files and enter data into RIS database.

 

 

Stakeholder

Category

Roles and Responsibilities

Research Financial Services (RFS)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Due Diligence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Review the financial terms of research agreements and make note of significant dates and/or deliverables (e.g. due dates for invoices, financial reports, required supporting documentation, expense eligibility, audit requirements).
  • For Tri-Agency awards (CIHR, CRCs, NSERC, NCEs, SSHRC) – Ensure expenditures are in compliance with the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide, as amended (and provide guidance to Researchers, Department Chairs/Administrators, ORS as required on interpretation of Guide).
  • For Tri-Agency awards (CIHR, CRCs, NSERC, NCEs, SSHRC) - Ensure that the appropriate paperwork (e.g. Transfer of Funds Agreement) is in place to support transfers of funding to co-investigating researchers at other Institutions.
  • Place projects on HOLD (temporarily close research account) when:
    • non-compliance with sponsor guidelines or contract conditions,
    • over expended projects have not received approval from the department/faculty for continued spending,
    • extensions have not been approved by sponsor or department,
    • as directed by ORS when certifications have expired (animal, human, bio-hazard).

Fiscal Responsibilities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Prepare and submit all required financial reports and supporting documentation to Sponsors by reporting deadlines.
  • Charge indirect costs to the research account in accordance with the approved budget.
  • Monitor over-expenditures and provide regular reports to Senior Management and Colleges/Departments.
  • Ensure that all account information in FRS is accurate and up to date.  Most notable are the:
    • Award Amount,
    • Budget,
    • Start Date, and
    • End Date.
  • Generate invoices during the life of the research award in accordance with the sponsor terms and conditions.
    • Perform collection role on research accounts receivable
    • Perform an advisory role regarding outstanding amounts or collection problems.
  • Transfer funds to co-investigators/collaborators once appropriate agreements are in place.
  • Co-ordinate financial audits for research awards.

Communication Responsibilities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Advise department Chairs or Associate Deans of Research of any issues that are not being addressed in a timely manner by Researchers (i.e. over expended accounts, sign off on financial reports, late submission of progress/technical reports).
  • Liaise with sponsor representatives on issues of eligibility and compliance, and seek clarification of sponsor specific guidelines.
  • Provide clarification of sponsor guidelines and UofG financial policies and procedures to researchers and administrators.
  • Work collaboratively with internal and external partners to implement best practices in financial research administration, accountability and compliance.
  • Provide related education and training for researchers and administrators.