Office of the Vice-President, Research and Branches

Overview

The role of the Office of the Vice-President, Research (OVPR) is to promote and facilitate research, creativity and innovation at the University of Ottawa, including the assurance of sound management of our research and the resources entrusted to us by our research sponsors. In a highly decentralized environment involving multiple participants, the OVPR provides leadership and expertise for the University-wide strategic policy, direction and operation of its services in support of its research activities. This includes leading and coordinating different autonomous functional teams, at both central and Faculty levels, to assure a consistent and responsive organizational

Within the OVPR, several specialty teams focus on the particular requirements of promoting and managing different types of research funding arrangements:

  • The Research Management Services (RMS) are responsible for the research grants portfolio.
  • The Innovation Support Services (ISS) are responsible for the research contracts portfolio, excluding contracts handled through SDI. ISS is also responsible for intellectual property and technology commercialization matters.
  • The Strategic Development Initiatives (SDI) are responsible for the Canada Foundation for Innovation / Ontario Research Fund portfolio as well as other specific projects as may be determined from time to time.
  • The Office of Research Chairs, Centres and Awards (RCCA) is responsible for initiating, overseeing, and managing the developmental and renewal processes for internal and external Chair programs as well as internal and major provincial, national and international external research awards and recognition. It also manages the establishment, function and evaluation of university research centres and institutes.
  • The Office of International Research (OIR) works closely with faculties, research facilitators and top-notch researchers at uOttawa to build effective international collaborative projects.

Roles and Responsibilities for Research Administration

Coordination of University research management capability and infrastructure, including:

  • Leading and coordinating different functional teams, including Financial resources, Human Resources, Materials Management, Office of Risk Management, Environmental Health and Safety, Ethics of research with human subjects, and senior management from the Faculties, University Institutes, and Hospital Based Institutes to assure a unified organizational approach and capability for the administration of the University’s research portfolio
  • In conjunction with other stakeholders, leading the development and implementation of a comprehensive policy framework that facilitates and supports the responsible administration of research funding in compliance with regulatory requirements
  • Leading, directing and facilitating the development and operation of research management information systems and the provision of information management tools and web-based services using the appropriate technologies, needed by academic administrators, researchers and administrative staff across the University and in the affiliated institutes for the administration of research funding and for communications and strategic planning purposes
  • Promoting and enhancing the University’s leadership and research management profile in research by creating and maintaining effective working relationships with domestic and international government and non-government sponsoring agencies, regulating and monitoring bodies, and research and educational institutions
  • Ensuring compliance with internal and external regulations and guidelines, including University, funding agency, and other federal and provincial regulations for awarded research projects; coordinates with and mobilizes specialized regulatory compliance teams including Research Ethics, Animal Care and Veterinary Services, and the Office of Risk Management, Environmental Health and Safety in order to assure that the University’s compliance obligations are fulfilled
  • Developing, delivering and coordinating of research administration training programs
  • In conjunction with the Office of the Vice-President, Resources, overseeing the administration of federal and provincial indirect costs programs

Application / Proposal Stage

The stage includes the Institutional approval of all grant and contract research applications submitted to external agencies. Such approval is normally confirmed through signature of grant application forms or proposals as required by the sponsor. A prerequisite for institutional approval is, of course, approval by the researcher and the Faculty.

  • Grant applications are approved and signed by RMS
    • Major grant competitions are coordinated through RMS
  • Contract applications are approved and signed by ISS
    • ISS provides assistance in proposal development, development of work plan and schedule, budgeting and inclusion of indirect costs
    • ISS negotiates all research agreements, including both single and multi-party research agreements
    • ISS signs all research contracts on behalf of the University
    • ISS will coordinate with other university teams during the project development / contract negotiation phase as necessary to assure that special requirements can be met
  • CFI / ORF applications are approved and signed by SDI
    • SDI works closely with Researchers, research facilitators, Materials Management Services, Physical Resources Service and others as necessary to ensure CFI compliant proposals
    • SDI signs all the Canada Foundation for Innovation / Ontario Research Fund agreements as well as agreements for other projects within its portfolio
  • International project applications are approved and signed by Office of International Research
  • Proposals for research chairs and major prize nominations are submitted through the Office of Research Chairs, Centres and Awards with the exception of the Ontario Research Excellence awards which are submitted through SDI

Award Processing 

  • Processing signed research contracts and notices of award from sponsors
    • Data entry into awards management system
  • Establishing cost centres for successful awards and authorizing the release of funds
  • Ensuring that all compliance requirements are met prior to the release of funds
  • Processing indirect cost allocation where indirect costs are provided for within the grant award or contract
  • Preparing Notifications of Decisions (NODs), communicating sponsor decisions and administrative requirements to Researchers and faculty administrators
    • Ensuring that researchers have received copies of all signed research agreements
  • Arranging for sub-awards / transfers to and from other institutions by way of transfer agreements for most grants and by way of subcontracts for most contracts
  • Informing all stakeholders of changes

Ongoing project and portfolio management, including:

  • Advising researchers and other University staff on sponsor requirements and / or award terms and conditions and on eligibility of research expenses
  • Advising researchers and other university staff on management of major and / or complex projects
    • Assisting with establishing appropriate management and control frameworks
  • Negotiating inter-institutional agreements
  • Liaising with researchers, faculties, and sponsors to:
    • Ensuring compliance with the sponsor requirements
    • Providing expertise in resolving expense eligibility issues and, where necessary, seeking rulings from external research sponsors
    • Resolving conflicts and concerns, where needed, including assistance to researchers and Faculties in identifying solutions and strategies for avoiding or managing deficits and in resolving non-performance issues
    • Informing agencies of changes in the eligibility status of award-holders
    • Informing agencies of changes in certification requirements
    • Managing changes to project such as dates, amounts, scope of work and more
    • Troubleshooting and problem-solving
    • Ensuring all performance, financial, and contractual obligations are met prior to project close-out
  • Ensuring that research has the appropriate certification approvals prior to release of funds and that such certifications stay current during the life of the award
  • Reporting in the Institution
  • Coordinating business processes, portfolio financial and performance risk mitigation measures, monitoring and control processes, and information systems with Financial resources, Faculties, and other stakeholders
  • Providing information on research funding for research portfolio management, reporting, strategic planning and communication purposes, covering grants, contracts and other research funding sources and types
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