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Non-Research Grants and Contracts

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Applications for Funding

From time to time a University faculty member will apply for funding which might not fall under the terms of reference of Research & Innovation. Applications for funding of projects should first be discussed with that office since only the President or his/her designate, in this case, the Vice-President, Research and Innovation, may accept research funding on behalf of the University.

Preparing a Budget Proposal

Direct and Indirect Costs

One of the key objectives in applying for funding is to obtain funding sufficient to cover all costs of the proposed project – both direct and indirect costs. For a general explanation of what is a direct cost and what is an indirect cost, refer to the GTFM section Indirect Costs (Overhead).

In preparing the budget which accompanies the award application, it is important to:

  • Identify all direct costs related to the project, paying particular attention to including vacation and benefit costs related to salaries. Since not all agencies define direct costs in the same way, refer to the sponsor’s guidelines.
  • include an appropriate provision for indirect costs. This provision is generally expressed as an overhead rate applied to all direct costs or to a specific category of direct costs.

Refer to the Policy on Research Agreements and the Recovery of Indirect Costs of Research for policy guidelines on requesting overhead provisions for contracts and grants.

Please note that the overhead charged to the grant or contract will be distributed to divisions using the same methodology as research overhead. For more information on this distribution, refer to the GTFM section Indirect Costs (Overhead).

Authority to Accept Non-Research Awards

If the project is determined not to be research or is not an international collaborative project, then the official acceptance of funding on behalf of the University may be approved and signed by the Principal, Dean, Vice-Dean, Associate Dean, Director, Chair or other head of the budget unit, provided that such non-research projects have been approved to be conducted in the unit by the Vice-President, Assistant Vice-President or Vice-Provost responsible for the budget unit.

The Vice-President, Assistant Vice-President, Deputy Provost or Vice-Provost responsible for the budget unit will notify the Secretary of the Governing Council of all approved non-research projects.

Signatures on the application for non-research funding and signatures for the approval from the budgetary unit signify the following:

By signing, the applicant indicates:

  • agreement to adhere to the policies and regulations of the University of Toronto and, where the sponsor imposes greater/additional restrictions, to adhere to those policies and regulations of the granting agency.
  • all staff and students engaged on the project shall be fully informed of, and agree to comply with, the conditions of the award.

Chair of Department, Director of Centre or Institute, Dean of Non-departmentalized Faculty
Signs all applications from the Department, Centre, Institute, or Faculty. The signature indicates:

  • the applicant is a staff member at the University (consistent with any particular agency requirements respecting rank) who is undertaking an independent project;
  • the Department, Centre, Institute or Faculty is able to provide adequate space and normal facilities to allow the proposed project to be carried out;
  • in the judgment of the Chair, Director or Dean, time is available to the applicant to do the proposed project;
  • the application itself is well-prepared and consistent with the standards of the Department, Centre, Institute or Faculty;
  • the project is consistent with University and sponsor policies, including those associated with indirect costs;
  • agreement to meet the sponsor’s standard requirements for administration of, and accounting for, funds received.

Vice-Dean of Research, Faculty of Medicine
The Vice Dean, Research requires that all sponsors requiring a Dean’s signature be directed to the Faculty of Medicine Research Office, Room 2331, Medical Sciences Building for the Dean’s signature.

Principal or Vice-Principal, Research, UofT Mississauga (UTM)
All applications from a faculty member whose major appointment is at UTM, regardless of where the project is to be undertaken, must be signed by the Principal or Vice-Principal, Research.

Principal or Divisional Chair, UofT Scarborough (UTSC)
All applications from a faculty member whose major appointment is at UTSC, regardless of where the project is to be undertaken, must be signed by the Divisional Chair or Principal.

Deans of Applied Science and Engineering, Graduate Studies (if the application is through a Graduate Centre or Institute)
The Deans have asked to sign all applications exceeding $100,000 for any purpose (equipment, operating, negotiated, strategic, etc.). This signature signifies awareness of faculty activities and the acceptance of resource commitments.

Dean of Arts & Science
The Dean has asked to sign all grant applications exceeding $100,000 for purposes other than operating grant applications.

The Division of University Advancement requires that applications to any foundations and companies be discussed with that office before submission.

Note: Agreements with respect to project funding are not to be confused with contractual agreements for delivery of goods or services. The latter are accounted for in the Operating Fund and are subject to the approval and signature requirements for contracts as set out in Policy on Approval and Execution of Contracts and Documents.

Establishment of the Fund

Submit a copy of the fully signed grant or contract, or a copy of the award notification from the funding agency, together with a copy of the application of funding signed by a Vice-Provost or designate to:

Maria Omandam ()
Trust Accountant, Financial Services Department
215 Huron Street 2nd Floor

The trust accountant will prepare a draft administrative digest which will be forwarded to the project director for review. When all relevant details of the award are accurately reflected on the Administrative Document, it will be distributed to:

  • the project director – signing authority for the award account(s), and
  • the departmental chair to whom the project director reports.

The trust accountant will also set up the appropriate fund in AMS and the budget(s) according to the agreement making these funds available for spending.

Administrative Digest
The administrative digest summarizes information that is relevant to the financial administration of the grant and contract (i.e. start and end dates, award amount, reporting requirement, etc.). It provides central and divisional administrators with a quick summary of the terms and conditions of the fund.

Sample of an Administrative Digest.

Role of the Fund Manager(s)

For non-research grants and contracts, the head of the department is the fund manager. The fund manager is the award signing authority and has the primary responsibility for:

  • effective use of the funds,
  • adherence to purposes as specified in the agreement, or application of funds,
  • compliance with all applicable University policies and regulations, and
  • ensuring that any financial reports issued on the fund are complete and accurate.

Financial Reports

The financial reports reflect the transactions recorded in the statements of account issued on the fund. The detailed checking of the accuracy and completeness of these statements by the manager is critical to the effective management of the funds.

Financial reports can be either prepared by the business officer of the division or by the Trust Accountant. In cases where the financial information required to complete the financial report in the sponsor’s format can be readily extracted from AMS, the financial report can be prepared by the Trust Accountant. However, where the sponsor’s reporting format requires details which cannot be readily obtained from AMS, the financial reporting is prepared by the business officer of the division. In the latter case, the trust accountant will provide assistance as required.

Before a financial report is issued to the sponsor, the fund signing authority is asked to review the report for completeness and accuracy, i.e. ensure that all expenses have been properly classified and properly accrued when the expenses for the period miss the processing deadlines.

Delegated Responsibilities

Where fund management responsibilities have been delegated, there must be reporting and review procedures in place to provide assurance that the delegated responsibilities are being effectively discharged.

Last revision January 2014