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Managing your Research Funds

Once you receive notification from a granting agency or industry funder that your research proposal has been approved, you are one step closer to beginning your research and having access to your funds. To assist in the administration and management of your funds, please review the information below.

If at any time you require assistance, please do not hesitate to contact:

Shelley Lumsden, Research Services Manager





Setting up a VIU Cost Centre (Account)

Research Certification (Animal Care Committee, Human Ethics & Biohazards)

Monitoring Your Funds through VIU’s Online Financial Record System (FRS)

Making Expenditures and other Purchasing Information


Hiring Students to Help with Your Research


Important Granting Agency Links to Guidelines and Terms and Conditions

Setting up a VIU Cost Centre (Grant Account)

You will receive documentation from the Research & Scholarly Activity Office to set up your research grant cost centre. Forms must be completed, signed, and returned to the Research and Scholarly Activity Office. The package is then reviewed for completeness, applicable ethics certification, and then forwarded to Financial Services for processing. The cost centre request form will be uploaded to FRS for future reference, and a copy kept on file in the Research Office for financial reporting and audits.

Research Certification

If your research involves human participants, invertebrate animals or cephalopods, or biohazards, an application for certification should be made as soon as possible, as you will not be able to access funds until certification is in place. For more information, please visit the applicable web site or contact:

Monitoring Your Funds through VIU’s Online Financial Record System (FRS)

FRS will allow you to monitor transactions and check balances. In addition, important documents and links specific to your grant will be uploaded to FRS. To access the system, login to the VIU Financial Services web page, choose the first option, "Cost Centre Summary/Detail." You can then view any uploaded documents by clicking on the View Documents tab and review the status of your budget and expenditures.


Incurring Expenditures and other Purchasing Information

The granting agency usually has guidelines governing eligible expenses for your grant. All purchases must follow those guidelines. NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR all have expenditure guidelines which are available on the Tri-Agency Use of Grant Funds web page.

VIU's Purchasing Department is authorized to source, negotiate with, and manage the suppliers of goods and services. Employees may make contact with prospective vendors to secure technical information, but except with the approved use of an institutional purchasing card, shall not commit VIU to an order. Purchasing cards are available for smaller purchases; see the Purchasing Cards web page for more information.

Travel: Travel expenses (airfare, accommodation, meals) can be easily covered with a purchasing card, PROVIDED this option is applied for and approved at the time the P-card application form is filled out. Cardholders with travel privileges are allowed to use the card for travel. Alternatively, you can use the services of a travel agency and arrange for a purchase order to be issued. Contact the Purchasing Department for more information.

Human Resources: If you are hiring consultants please contact Purchasing for assistance. For students and other employees, please see below.

Equipment and Furniture: Please contact Purchasing for assistance and allow sufficient time for your order to be properly processed. Institutional standards are in place for many items such as computer equipment and furniture. Purchasing will ensure that approvals from the appropriate areas are in place (such as IT Services or Health and Safety). VIU's Purchasing Department will assist with all purchases, regardless of amount.

See the Purchasing Department Web site for a contact list of personnel by faculty areas.


Hiring Students to Help with Your Research

For VIU student employment, contact the Campus Career Centre at 250-740-6420. For general information on all research appointments, see the Research Personnel - Employment and Awards webpage or contact the Research & Scholarly Activity Office for advice and assistance.


Important Granting Agency Links to Guidelines and Terms and Conditions

The Tri-Agencies (NSERC, CIHR and SSHRC), along with other granting agencies, reserve the right to audit any grant and VIU is subject to financial monitoring visits. Therefore, upon accepting your grant, it is most important that you become familiar with the granting agency guidelines,terms and conditions. Please see below for important links to some of the granting agencies. The guidelines, terms, and conditions of your grant will normally be outlined in your notification letter or contract. If you choose to contact a granting agency directly, please note that the Research and Scholarly Activity Office would appreciate being copied on any e-mails regarding eligibility requirements or financial administration.

NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council):

  • Financial Administration Guidelines
    This site provides most eligible and non-eligible expenditure information. In the event that you do NOT find the information you are looking for about a particular expenditure, please contact:

    Use of Funds General Inquiries
    Phone: 613-995-2694
    E-mail: award@sshrc-crsh.gc.ca
  • Reporting
    Scroll down to "Supporting Evidence" for an explanation of what documentation is required by the agency and thus, what must be submitted to VIU 's Financial Services to accompany any financial transaction. The important section begins with, "Grantees must be able to provide supporting documentation for all expenditures charged to their grant accounts."
  • Administrative Matters (equipment ownership and relocation, relocation or leave of grantee, deferral of installment, termination of grant).
  • NSERC Contact Directory

SSHRC (Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council):

  • Financial Administration Guidelines
    This site provides most eligible and non-eligible expenditure information. In the event that you do NOT find the information you are looking for about a particular expenditure, please contact:

    Finance and Award Administration Division
    SSHRC
    Phone: 613-995-2694
    E-mail: award@sshrc-crsh.gc.ca
  • Reporting
    Scroll down to "Supporting Evidence" for an explanation of what documentation is required by the agency and thus, what must be submitted to VIU 's Financial Services to accompany any financial transaction. The important section begins with, "Grantees must be able to provide supporting documentation for all expenditures charged to their grant accounts."
  • Administrative Matters (equipment ownership and relocation, relocation or leave of grantee, deferral of installment, termination of grant).
  • SSHRC Contact Directory

CIHR (Canadian Institutes of Health Research):

  • Grants and Awards Guide
    See Section 2- Grants and Awards Management for post award information covering: payments; ownership of items; financial reporting; installments; intellectual property; grantee leaves.
  • Eligibility of Expenses
    For expense eligibility CIHR follows the Tri-Agency’s Use of Grant Funds policy. Note there are some specifics noted for CIHR awards.
  • CIHR Contact Directory

Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI):

All CFI awards are made to VIU (the institution), not to the Project Leader, and VIU prefers a one person point of contact; therefore, if you have any questions for CFI please contact Shelley Lumsden.

CFI reserves the right to audit any grant. In addition, VIU is subject to CFI financial monitoring visits. Therefore, upon accepting your grant, it is most important that you become familiar with CFI’s terms and conditions.

  • CFI Policy and Program Guide
    This is a comprehensive document to assist you with acquiring, managing and reporting of CFI funds:
    The most commonly needed sections of the Guide are noted below:
    • Section 4.6 Eligible Costs for Infrastructure Projects
      Note that specific regulations are in place for projects involving personnel, construction and renovation, databases and digital libraries, and high performance computing.
    • Section 4.7 Eligible Costs for the Infrastructure Operating Fund (IOF)
    • Section 6.2 Award Finalization
      After a positive decision from the CFI Board, the University must submit award finalization documents to the CFI within nine months of award approval. The following documents must be submitted to CFI by the Research and Scholarly Activity Office:
      • Signed copy of the Award Finalization Form;
      • Updated Budget, if required (Itemized List and Summary of Secured Contributions);
      • If applicable, an inter-institutional agreement, a memorandum of understanding or other relevant agreement.

      The Research and Scholarly Activity Office will assist with the preparation of the award finalization documents. Please contact Shelley Lumsden. See the VIU Guidelines for CFI Applications and Awards for more details.

    • Section 6.6 Changes to Infrastructure Projects
      This section covers the following situations: changes to the infrastructure; delays in the acquisition of the infrastructure and project completion; differences in total eligible costs; and other miscellaneous changes.
    • Section 6.7 Financial Reporting
      RSAO is required to submit a financial report every two years on projects with CFI funding less than $500,000 and a final financial report within six months of project completion. Preparation of these reports is coordinated by the Research Office, and require input by the Project Leader and Financial Services. Financial Services submits the final financial report to CFI.
    • Section 7.3 Reporting Requirements
      CFI requires the Project Leader complete annual progress reports for 4 years commencing as soon as the infrastructure is operational. RSAO will contact you when these reports are due.

Updated: January 24, 2014