Tri-Agency (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC) Grant Extensions and NSERC/SSHRC General Research Fund (GRF) Application Guidelines

Research grants awarded by the Tri-Agencies (CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC) have specified end dates. However, the Tri-Agencies provide for a one (1)-year extension (a “terminal year”) to most grants’ end dates. Any further extensions beyond the terminal year as indicated by CIHR, NSERC and/or SSHRC will require written approval from the Tri-Agencies’ program staff.

Upon completion of the grant’s terminal year, NSERC and SSHRC only will allow residual funds from prior years to be retained by the University of Guelph under certain conditions determined by their Finance and Awards Administration Division. These funds will be transferred to a General Research Fund (GRF). NSERC and SSHRC expect that the University of Guelph will use these funds for the broad purpose of enhancing the quality of research in the natural sciences and engineering, or in the social sciences and humanities, as applicable. Funds must be spent in a timely manner.

NSERC and SSHRC grant holders, whose grants have expired with funds remaining, may formally apply to the University of Guelph NSERC/SSHRC GRF, which is administered by the Office of Research Services and Research Financial Services, in order to complete the research project originally funded.

Applicant Eligibility

To be considered, applicants must have held a NSERC or SSHRC grant that expired with funds remaining. Applications to the University of Guelph NSERC/SSHRC GRF must be received by the Office of Research within one (1) year of the end of the grant’s terminal year.

Applicants must be eligible to hold a research grant account at the University of Guelph (i.e. must hold a tenure track, tenured, emeritus, adjunct status) and maintain an active academic appointment at the University for the duration of the GRF grant period.

How To Apply

All applications to the University of Guelph NSERC/SSHRC GRF must receive approval from the applicant’s Assistant/Associate Dean Research in the applicant’s college, which must be in writing (in the form of a letter or e-mail). Eligible applicants must forward their ADR’s approval, complete the NSERC/SSHRC General Research Fund Application Form and submit it, along with a completed, signed OR-5 Form, both available online from the Office of Research website, to the Office of Research Services at

Funding Availability

Applicants may request funds of up to the total balance at the end of the terminal year in their NSERC or SSHRC grant account. Grants made under the University of Guelph NSERC/SSHRC GRF will be available for one (1) year. Any funds remaining at the end of the grant period will be automatically returned to the University of Guelph’s GRF; subsequent applications or extensions to GRF grants will not be considered.

Review and Adjudication Process

Applications for GRF grants will be reviewed by the Associate Vice-President (Research Services) as designated by the Vice-President (Research). All decisions are final.

Award Terms and Conditions

All GRF grants are subject to approval from NSERC and/or SSHRC. GRF grants may be reduced from the requested amount, depending upon the availability of funds in the University of Guelph GRF account. A GRF grant will be treated as a new grant as funds will be deposited into a new research account for the applicant. Funds must be spent in accordance with the policies set by the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide. As for other Tri-Agency grants, applicants whose research activity will involve the use of animals, biohazards or human participants must retain active certifications for the duration of the GRF grant period.


For GRF application/guideline queries
Katie Meyer-Beck, Director, Research Support Services,

For GRF transfers and account balances
Asifali Momin, Tri-Council Accountant,

Application Form