Mission & Vision
Research Finance supports the University’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
- Monitoring approved budgets for research projects
- 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
Research Finance is your first contact for issues that arise after a grant has been awarded. Researchers are required to follow every policy the University has plus any additional policies enacted by the granting institution. Research Finance can halt any expenditures and purchase orders that are noncompliant.
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.
Re-organization of Research Finance Personnel
To provide efficient and improved service to PIs on campus, Research Finance Accountants will manage all the grants by Faculty/Department as follows:
Accountant (Project Manager)
Area of Responsibility
Each PI will have a single point of contact for all grants regardless of funding agency/type. Your Project Manager’s name and email contact information is provided in your monthly Statement of Account.
Roll-out of new Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration begins!
The Tri-Agency recently announced the new Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Information (TAGFA) to be implemented at all Canadian universities with an effective date of April 1, 2020. The Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation, Human Resources Office, the Office of Research Finance and the Office of Research and Innovation Services have been working collectively over the past several months to prepare for implementation of the new TAGFA.
Through this collaboration, a fit-gap analysis was conducted which identified existing policies and procedures as well as where we had gaps that needed to be addressed. Staff have been engaged to develop new, or to provide clarity, to our Policies and Procedures in order to be prepared for the full implementation of the TAGFA. Consultations with Faculty and administrative support staff assisted us to better understand the needs of our research community in managing Tri-Agency grants.
What’s most important about the changes is the way the Tri-Agency is managing financial administration?
Previously, the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide was very prescriptive. The transition to the new TAGFA will move the responsibilities of managing Tri-Agency grants to institutions through a principle-based framework. Going forward, many of these rules will be deferred to institutions, subject to four guiding principles:
- The expense must contribute to the direct cost of the research for which funds were awarded
- The expense must not normally be covered by the institution
- The expense must be effective and economical
- The expense must not result in personal gain for members of the research team
Another important change is that the Tri-Agency will no longer accept Grant Amendment forms directly from researchers. After April 1, you must submit your Grant Amendment form to your Research Coordinator in the Office of Research and Innovation Services. A full guide to changes will soon be available.
Who should I contact with questions?
If you have any questions or require further information, please feel free to reach out to the following:
- Research Finance
- Your research coordinator in ORIS
- Heather Pratt – firstname.lastname@example.org
- HR/Research Appointments
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 organizes the account, ensures there is ethics approval in place and instructs Research Finance to open the grant in the University’s financial system. 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 receives 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 is found on the page - Grant-Funded Research Personnel on the Research Innovation website.
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 (employer’s amount of payroll taxes). 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. Research Finance is here to help you interpret these reports and use the information to make timely decisions about your research.
External Research Policies and Procedures
Online Services Helpdesk (OLS-HD)
Research Finance Manager
Joyce Entrepreneurship Centre, room 160
401 Sunset Avenue
Windsor, Ontario N9B 3P4