Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions

The 2007 version of the Memorandum of Understanding: Roles and Responsibilities in the Management of Federal Grants and Awards has been archived.

Logos: Canadian Institutes of Health Research; Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada; and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

Between

Institution

And

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research;

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada; and

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

Whereas The Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada are agencies of the Government of Canada and are charged with promoting and funding research and research training in Canada;

Whereas the Institution is engaged in research, research training, and related activities, in Canada;

Whereas the Parties recognize the vital importance of research, the new knowledge and applications that it creates, the knowledgeable and skilled human resources developed through the process of conducting research, as well as the importance of peer review, which ensures that funded research meets the highest standards of excellence;

Whereas the Agencies provide public funds to Recipients to promote and assist research and, therefore, have a responsibility to use the funds as effectively as possible, to account to the Canadian people for their use, allocation and outcomes, and to help ensure that the activities supported are conducted in accordance with the highest ethical and financial standards;

Whereas the Parties are committed to promoting the responsible conduct of research;

Whereas there has been an agreement entitled Memorandum of Understanding on the Roles and Responsibilities in the Management of Federal Grants and Awards between the Institution and the Agencies since 2001 and the Parties now wish to replace it by an updated and simplified agreement;

And whereas the purpose of this Agreement is to set out the general terms and conditions governing the administration, by the Institution, of Grants and Awards, and only institutions that have agreed to the terms and conditions are eligible to receive funding directly from an Agency;

The parties therefore agree as follows:

1. Definitions

In this agreement, the following italicized words will have the meanings assigned to them in this Article.

Agreement means this agreement.

Award means funding provided by an Agency through a scholarship, fellowship, or Agency salary or career support grant.

Agency means one of CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC.

Animal means a vertebrate or a cephalopod.

CIHR means The Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Grant means funding provided by an Agency to carry out research and related activities.

Institution means (Insert name of the institution).

NSERC means The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Parties means the Agencies and the Institution.

Recipient means an Award holder or a Grant holder.

Researcher means an individual who carries out research activities.

SSHRC means The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

2. Roles and Responsibilities of the Parties

  1. In general, and subject to more specific requirements set out in this Agreement, the Institution shall:
    1. provide an adequate physical and organizational infrastructure for the conduct of research, research training, and other activities funded by an Agency; and
    2. develop and implement effective policies, administrative systems, procedures and controls to ensure that all activities funded by an Agency are conducted in compliance with all:
      1. legislated requirements;
      2. Agency policies and procedures; and
      3. other Agency requirements specific to a particular Grant or Award.
  2. Each Agency shall accept and process applications for funding that it receives from the Institution, in accordance with the Agency's policies and procedures.
  3. Each Agency shall consult with the Institution on changes to its policies referred to in this Agreement that may have a significant impact on the Institution, to the extent reasonably possible.

3. Specific Obligations

3.1 Endorsement of Applications, Grants and Awards, and Confirmation of Eligibility

  1. An Agency shall only consider an application for funding if the Institution has verified and endorsed it and the applicant meets the conditions of the relevant Grant or Award.
  2. The Institution:
    1. shall confirm the eligibility of each Grant or Award applicant at the time of application, in accordance with the Agency's eligibility requirements and procedures;
    2. shall monitor the eligibility of its Recipients throughout the term of the Grant or Award;
    3. shall advise the Agency concerned, immediately, of any change in the eligibility status of an applicant or Recipient; and
    4. may, after consulting with the Agency involved, withdraw its endorsement of a Grant or Award application, or of an existing Grant or Award, if an Agency or legislated requirement imposes an undue burden on the Institution.
  3. Upon being advised of a withdrawal of support for an existing Grant or Award, the Agency may terminate the Grant or Award and may demand the repayment of the funds remaining in the Grant or Award account.

3.2 Responsible Conduct of Research

The Institution shall comply with the requirements set out in the Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research, as amended from time to time, which sets out the responsibilities of institutions, Researchers and the Agencies in respect of the responsible conduct of research, including the procedures to be followed in the event of a breach of an Agency requirement, or an allegation thereof.

3.3 Financial Administration

  1. The Institution shall:
    1. administer and expend the funds that it receives from an Agency in accordance with:
      1. the Agency's financial policies and procedures including, but not limited to, the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide, as they may be amended or supplemented from time to time; and
      2. any additional terms or conditions of the Grant or Award;
    2. establish and maintain policies, systems, procedures and controls that require and ensure compliance by Recipients with the Agency's financial requirements;
    3. for each Grant and Award:
      1. maintain a separate account;
      2. ensure that each expenditure and charge made to the Grant or Award account is authorized by the Recipient, or by their delegate if the delegation is clearly documented; and
      3. keep complete and accurate records on the use of Agency funding, including verifiable audit trails with complete supporting documentation for each transaction, for at least seven years;
    4. withhold or withdraw approval of expenditures that contravene an Agency or institutional policy or a term of the Grant or Award;
    5. consult with the funding Agency whenever the Institution is uncertain as to the Agency's financial requirements;
    6. promptly process eligible and approved payments from Recipient accounts;
    7. provide adequate financial and administrative support to its Recipients to ensure sound management of funds;
    8. in the event of a transfer of Grant or Award funds from the Institution to another institution, ensure that the transfer complies with the provisions of the Agency's applicable financial policies, guidelines and procedures;
    9. provide regular and timely financial reports on the use of Agency funds, as the Agency may require, and comply with Agency requirements related to ongoing financial monitoring;
    10. provide each Grant and Award holder with regular information regarding their account;
    11. upon reasonable notice, allow Agency representatives access to its premises and facilities to carry out monitoring reviews and compliance audits, provide them with access to all accounts, records and other information related to a Grant or Award, and respond fully and accurately to any inquiries the Agency may make for the purpose of verifying adherence to Agency requirements; and
    12. allow representatives of the Auditor General of Canada access to the information mentioned in (xi) and to the Institution's premises so that he or she may exercise the powers granted under the Auditor General Act, including the carrying out of financial or performance audits.

3.4 Research Involving Humans

  1. The Institution shall, for all research involving humans carried out under its auspices:
    1. comply with the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans, second edition ("TCPS2"), as amended from time to time;
    2. have its own policy and procedures, or a formal agreement with another institution, that conform to the requirements set out in TCPS2;
    3. ensure that Researchers are informed of their obligations under the TCPS2 and provided such training as they may reasonably require;
    4. allow access to Grant funds only after the Institution's research ethics board ("REB"), or an REB designated by the Institution, has approved the research project, unless the activities involving human participants will only take place in the future, in which case a part of the funds may be released to cover only expenses to be incurred before human participants are involved; and
    5. subject to (iv), ensure that funds are available to the Recipient only while REB approval is maintained, unless the REB has determined that the research no longer requires its review and approval, in accordance with the provisions of TCPS2 and its interpretive guidelines.

3.5 Research Involving Animals

  1. If the Institution uses animals in any of its research, whether in its own facilities, in other facilities or in the field, it shall:
    1. maintain a valid Certificate of Good Animal Practice® from the Canadian Council on Animal Care ("CCAC"), or an indirect certification by a formal agreement with another organization that has a valid Certificate, and ensure that research funded by an Agency complies fully with CCAC standards, as amended from time to time;
    2. allow access to research funds only after the institution's animal care committee or another animal care committee designated by the Institution has approved the research, unless the activities involving animals will only take place in the future, in which case a part of the funds may be released to cover only expenses to be incurred before animals are used; and
    3. ensure that approval by the animal care committee is maintained for the duration of research activities involving the use of animals and that, subject to (ii), funds are available to the Recipient only while this ongoing requirement is met.

3.6 Institutional Conflict of Interest

When making decisions about research or related activities funded by an Agency, the Institution shall ensure that its decision-makers avoid situations that could place them in a conflict of interest or, if unavoidable, take appropriate measures to mitigate the risks thereof, taking into account the best interests of the funding Agency.

3.7 Reporting on Performance and Outcomes

  1. The Institution shall:
    1. provide any information about a Grant or Award that an Agency reasonably requests, in a timely manner;
    2. contribute to the monitoring, review and evaluation of the Agency's programs, policies and processes by participating in mid-term reviews, evaluation studies, surveys, workshops, audits and other activities organized for the purpose of collecting information to assess progress and results; and
    3. make its applicants, Recipients, students and administrative staff available to participate in the monitoring, review and evaluation of the Agency's programs, policies and processes.

3.8 Ownership of Equipment and Facilities

  1. If an Agency provides funding for the purchase, establishment or support of equipment or facilities ("Equipment"), the Institution shall:
    1. assume and retain ownership of the Equipment, unless
      1. the funding Agency agrees otherwise in writing;
      2. doing so would be contrary to a legislated requirement;
      3. ownership is to be transferred to another institution, in which case the Institution shall obtain a written undertaking from the other institution agreeing to abide by the terms under which the funds for Equipment were granted; or
      4. the Equipment is sold, in which case the Institution shall make reasonable efforts to use any funds obtained from the sale of Equipment for research-related purposes;
    2. house, maintain and, if appropriate, insure the Equipment, and take reasonable measures to protect it during its useful life; and
    3. to the extent reasonably possible, and if appropriate given the nature of the Equipment, allow other Researchers to also make use of it.
  2. If the Equipment is to be loaned to another institution, the Institution shall retain ownership of the equipment and shall remain responsible to the Agency for the obligations set out above.

3.9 Public Communication

The Parties will work together to ensure that public communications concerning research, research training or related activities funded by an Agency, including publications and events, meet the requirements of the Government of Canada and of the Institution. More specifically, the Institution will adhere to the Public Communications Policy of the Federal Research Funding Organizations, as amended from time to time.

3.10 Environmental Assessments and Reviews

  1. The Institution shall assist the Agencies in fulfilling their responsibilities under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012 and, more specifically, the Institution shall:
    1. comply with any request for information that an Agency may require to meet its obligations under the Act; and
    2. assist applicants in preparing or commissioning documentation or reports that may be required, the cost of which shall be borne by the Institution or the applicant but shall not constitute an expense eligible for Agency funding.

3.11 Intellectual Property

An Agency shall not claim any intellectual property rights in respect of the research or related activities which they fund. However, for research funded by NSERC, unless the program under which the Grant is funded requires otherwise, the Institution shall comply with NSERC's Policy on Intellectual Property, as amended from time to time.

3.12 Open Access

  1. For research funded by CIHR, the Institution shall comply with CIHR's Policy on Access to Research Outputs, as amended from time to time.
  2. For research funded by SSHRC, the Institution shall comply with SSHRC's Open Access policy, as amended from time to time.
  3. For research funded by NSERC, the Institution is encouraged to promote access to research results in accordance with the Guiding Principles on Access to Research Results, as amended from time to time.

4. General

4.1 Duration

This Agreement will take effect on January 1, 2013 and will end on March 31, 2018. The following sections and paragraphs shall survive the termination of the Agreement for a period of seven years: 3.3(a)(xi) and (xii); 3.7; 3.12; 4.3; and 4.4.

4.2 Conflict Resolution

The Parties agree that, in the event of a conflict in respect of this Agreement or its implementation, they shall first attempt to resolve the conflict at the working level, in good faith but, if that is unsuccessful, the conflict shall be brought to the attention of the Parties' management for resolution. As well, if the Parties concerned agree, the matter may be referred to mediation before a mutually acceptable third party.

4.3 Independent Review in Certain Cases

If an Agency believes, acting reasonably, that there has been a serious or systemic breach of this Agreement, it may require the Institution to cause an independent review to be carried out promptly by a qualified person to verify compliance by the Institution with Agency requirements, the cost of which shall be borne by the Institution, and the Institution shall make the report and working papers of the review available to the Agency.

4.4 Default and Remedies

  1. The following shall constitute an event of default:
    1. If the Institution has committed a material breach of this Agreement;
    2. If the Institution has submitted materially false or misleading information or has made misrepresentations of a material nature to an Agency, other than in good faith;
    3. If the Institution ceases to operate, is dissolved, or an order is made or resolution passed for the winding up of the Institution; or
    4. If the Institution becomes bankrupt or insolvent, goes into receivership or takes the benefit of any statute being in force from time to time relating to bankrupt or insolvent debtors.
  2. If the default is related to a specific Grant or Award, the Agency shall demand that the Institution take corrective action within a certain time, but the Agency may, despite the delay provided, immediately suspend the Grant or Award and require that the Institution stop the payment of funds in respect of it. If the Institution fails to take corrective action satisfactory to the Agency within the delay provided, the Agency may exercise one or more of the following remedies:
    1. If the Agency has not already done so under the preceding, suspend the Grant or Award and require that the Institution stop the payment of funds in respect of it;
    2. Terminate the Grant or Award; and
    3. Require the Institution to repay part or all of the funds remaining in the Grant or Award account or, in exceptional cases, require the Institution to repay all the funds provided by the Agency in respect of the Grant or Award.
  3. In a case other than b), the Agency may, in its discretion, demand that the Institution take corrective action within a certain time. If no demand is made, or if the Institution fails to comply with a demand in a way that is satisfactory to the Agency, the Agency may exercise one or more of the following remedies:
    1. Demand that the Institution cease payments from any or all Grant and Award accounts;
    2. Terminate any obligation that the Agency may have to provide funding to the Institution;
    3. Require the Institution to repay any funds paid to it that were misused or that were paid by the Agency as a result of a misrepresentation; and
    4. In exceptional cases only, declare the Institution ineligible to apply for funding.
  4. In the case of a demand for repayment, the Agency shall also be entitled to interest on the amount demanded from the date of demand at the interest rate set out in the Interest and Administrative Charges Regulations, as amended from time to time.

4.5 Relationship of the Parties

Nothing contained in this Agreement shall be construed so as to create an agency relationship between the Parties or to place the Parties in a relationship of partners or joint venturers, and no Party shall have any right to obligate or bind another Party in any manner.