Research Finance supports the University of Windsor’s research community by managing the post-award functions for all research grants and contracts and acting as the University’s main point of contact with sponsor agencies. It provides financial advice, support, and assistance to researchers relating to the management of their research funds while working closely with funding agencies, researchers, administrative units, and the Office of Research and Innovation Services to ensure adherence to funding guidelines and policies.
Research Finance’s primary responsibilities include the following:
- Administering and accounting for the research funds received by the University
- Monitoring cash flow and expenditures to ensure financial accountability
- Communicating with funding agencies
- Performing financial reporting
- Preparing and submitting financial reports to sponsors and funding agencies
- Coordinating internal and external research-related audits
- Requesting invoices for research funds in accordance with sponsor terms and conditions
- Ensuring all research-funded expenditures, budgets, and financial reports are compliant with University policies, the terms of the agreement, and granting agency rules
Effectively, Research Finance is your first point of contact for any issues that might arise after a grant has been awarded.
Researchers are required to follow every policy the University has plus any additional incremental policies enacted by the granting institution. Research Finance can halt any expenditures and purchase orders that are noncompliant.
Generally speaking, a strong AAU head is very aware of who in their department is performing significant amounts of research. As a head, you will be required to sign off on grant-related purchases and new hires within your department. This is a straightforward process facilitated by Research Finance’s standard purchasing and expense policy.
Faculty members who successfully manage their grants with high levels of efficiency and effectiveness are usually in close touch with the Research Finance administrator assigned to their grant. Each Primary Investigator’s Research Finance contact is a knowledgeable advisor who is well placed to answer any questions or clarify any uncertainties you or a faculty member within your department might have.
Getting Started: Opening New Grants and Establishing Signing Authorities
The Office of Research and Innovation Services (ORIS) is responsible for all pre-award manners related to grants. It is the main contact for faculty members who are in the process of applying for a grant. Once a grant has been awarded by the funding authority, ORIS ch organizes the account, ensures there is ethics approval in place, and then instructs Research Finance to open the grant in the University’s financial system. With rare exceptions, from that point onwards the grant is effectively managed by Research Finance until it ends.
ORIS informs Research Finance when a grant is ready to be opened. When Research Finance receive that notification, the PI will receive a letter informing them of the grant number and the budget. You will also be assigned a staff member in the Office to support you throughout your grant.
PIs are able to grant signing authority for purchase orders and invoices to other individuals on campus by completing the form attached to the letter. Even when signing authority is assigned, the PI is still responsible for all charges incurred.
Hiring Students for Research
There are a variety of forms that are required when hiring a student or non-student and as for completing the process to ensure that they are paid. The complete list of information was previously found on the University's Post-Doctoral Fellowship webpage, which has recently been decommissioned. Further information is forthcoming..
In accordance with CRA rules, students working on research grants are paid as an employee (with deductions for taxes, CPP, and EI, etc.), not via scholarship.
Research Finance can help you determine the cost of hiring a student when considering the cost of benefits. As a general rule, basic benefits that will be charged to the grant are charged at approximately 10%.
Purchasing and Travelling for Research
The University has a Travel Expense Form and Policy to support PIs travelling for research purposes.
The University’s Procurement and Payables Department is here to help you with all your other purchasing and reimbursement needs.
Invoicing, Milestones, and Reporting for your Research Grants
Many externally funded grants require some financial reporting by the University and/or require that the University issue an invoice to the granting agency in order to receive payment. Research Finance is here to help you with all invoicing and reporting needs.
From the time when you are awarded a grant until the grant’s expiration, you will receive a set of Monthly Research Grant Report statements. These statements will show your grant spending for the period ended, the “life to date” expenditures, and a payroll report detailing the transactions charged to your grant. Upon your request, Research Finance can also provide you with live access to its Financial System for even more timely information. Research Finance is here to help you interpret these reports and use the information to make timely decisions about your research.
Research Finance is located in the Joyce Entrepreneurship Centre, Room 160. If you have a question relating to research finance, your first point of contact is Elaine Clark, Research Finance Manager.