Policies and Regulations

This section provides detailed information in regards to the various policies and regulations that play a role in the conduct of research. The University of Ottawa policies are guiding principles or broad statements on courses of action to be consistently followed under specific conditions. Exceptions require the prior consent of an approving authority, very often the Administrative Committee.


Policy 48 defines the regulations regarding grants, research contracts and service contracts administered by the University of Ottawa.

Policy 85 defines conditions in which over expenditures may be authorized.

Policy 47 defines the working conditions for contractual staff paid from grants and external contracts. This policy does not apply to Postdoctoral Fellows nor to any employee who is a member of a recognized bargaining unit at the University of Ottawa.  

Consultation of policies related to the following is particularly recommended:

Regulations in Research

  • Quick Reference: The Basic Research Regulatory and Compliance Requirements.
  • Institutional Signatures: Most of the external sponsors require an institutional signature on funding requests. This signature certifies that the information provided in the application is true, complete, accurate and consistent with institutional and the sponsor’s policies to the best of the applicant's knowledge.
  • Ontario Sales Tax for goods and services for research purposes: This note is intended to the personnel authorized to purchase goods and services for research purposes. As a reminder, many purchases for a research project qualify for a conditional exemption from the Ontario Sales Tax. In general, when utilized at 100 % for research purposes scientific equipment, laboratory equipment and laboratory supplies (re-usable) are exempt from the Ontario Sales Tax. It is important to note that before you process the payment of an invoice that has an Ontario Sales Tax you must verify if this purchase is eligible for research or not.
Health and Safety in Research

The Health and Safety standards imposed by the University of Ottawa on students and staff facilitate compliance with the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations.

Environmental Safety

Environmental Safety is an important part of many research projects. The University has established monitoring programs for many environmental issues such as environmental sampling and monitoring as well as health and safety inspections.

Guidelines for the Ethical Conduct of Research and Procedures for Investigating Misconduct

The University community has always recognized the necessity for maintaining the highest ethical standards in the conduct of research. However, the emerging belief that universities are responsible for the guidance and conduct of their faculty and staff has prompted the University of Ottawa to develop guidelines setting out general principles that underlie the ethical conduct of research. This is viewed as a preventive measure which should also help to ensure the reliability and high quality of research.

Allegations of misconduct in research, though rare, must be dealt with effectively. Formal procedures are essential to determining how such allegations should be handled and also to protecting the rights of individuals, the University and any outside funding agency.

Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment Policies

The University of Ottawa is reviewing its Conflict of Interest (COI) and Conflict of Commitment (COC) Policies.

The objectives of reviewing the COI/COC Policies include:

  • Promoting public confidence in research and the research process
  • Providing guidance for managing potential conflicts
  • Protecting institutions, researchers, and research
  • Defining roles

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

NSERC, CIHR and SSHRC in consultation with other institutions who administer funds for federally funded projects have collaborated and created this Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions which acts as a tangible agreement declaring shared accountability for funds administered. It describes the basic requirements for institutions to be eligibility to administer agency funding.


Supervisors and principal investigators must show due diligence in the application of health and safety measures in general. To be more precise, they must keep informed of the health and safety regulations applicable to the employees under their authority. Also, they must initiate and incorporate necessary preventive measures in order to control health and safety hazards associated with activities under their authority. Finally, they must ensure that employees under their authority work in the manner and with the protective devices, measures and procedures required under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, as well as ensure the use of equipment, protective devices or clothing required.

For more detailed information, please refer the Faculties of Science, Engineering and Medicine's Laboratory Procedures and Safety Manual as well as to Policy 77 "Health and Safety Policy", clause seven in the Manual of Policies and Procedures of the University of Ottawa. 

Intellectual Property

Ownership of intellectual property developed at the University of Ottawa is governed by Policy 29 - "Patents" and by Article thirty-five of the Collective Agreement between the University and the Association of Professors of the University of Ottawa. The key provisions are described below:


The University of Ottawa holds the rights to all inventions, whether or not covered by a patent application or patent, made by its faculty, students or staff using University of Ottawa facilities or under financial support provided by the University of Ottawa or by third party funding administered through the University of Ottawa. The University of Ottawa has no claim on inventions made without the use of the University of Ottawa's facilities, support personnel or services and on an individual's own time.


Works prepared within the scope of employment, also called "works for hire", generally belong to the employer. The general rule at the University of Ottawa is that the University owns all copyrights to work created by University of Ottawa employees in the scope of their employment. However, in keeping with academic tradition and the collective agreement between the University of Ottawa and the Association of Professors of the University of Ottawa, the University generally grants ownership of copyrights of original works resulting from faculty members' or students' own efforts to the creator(s).


Although software is generally covered by copyrights and treated as belonging to the authors, the nature of the development process for software raises a number of complex issues in dealing with its ownership and disposition. It is often difficult to attribute ownership of software because its development may involve contributions from more than one party and because different kinds of proprietary rights may exist in the final product. For example, development of the algorithm on which the software is based and the actual writing of the code both represent valid contributions to the end product but may have been performed by different people. In cases where software does not belong to the University, the authors and other contributors must determine ownership amongst themselves. 

If software developed using University resources is commercially exploited, the University may be entitled to recover a portion of the costs incurred in the development of the software. Such matters are negotiated between the author(s) and the Office of Research Management Services.

Intellectual Property Obligations to External Research Sponsors

Of particular interest is intellectual property developed by University of Ottawa faculty members, students and staff under research funding provided by external sponsors such as granting agencies or under contracts with government agencies or private sector organizations. Most research conducted at the University is funded through such mechanisms, some of which may require that intellectual property be owned by the research sponsor or owned by the University of Ottawa with certain licenses granted to the research sponsor. In such cases, ownership of all works produced by faculty and students (including progress, final and technical reports and software, etc.) under externally sponsored research agreements vests with the University or the research sponsor, to the extent required to meet the University's and the individuals' obligations to the external research sponsor.

Laboratory and Office Space

Allocation of laboratory and office space is the responsibility of the Dean of each Faculty. Researchers must ensure that they have the facilities needed to conduct a project before applying for research funding for that project. Researchers must explicitly inform their Deans of any additional requirements, and obtain the Dean's approval, before applying for projects needing additional laboratory and/or office space.

Ownership of Equipment

Unless there are contractual obligations or granting agency regulations are to the contrary, equipment, including computers, purchased with research funds administered by the University of Ottawa belongs to the University of Ottawa.For more details, contact Innovation Support Services at 613-562-5842.

Overhead/Indirect Costs

Overhead, or indirect costs, must be included in the budgets for all contracts and contract proposals. Some granting agencies also allow a provision for overhead in their grants and overheads should be included in funding applications if eligible. The University's overhead rate is based on the amounts negotiated between the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) and the Department of Supply and Services (DSS). 

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