Research grants and contracts administered by the University of Ottawa are, in almost all cases, awarded to persons who have an employment relationship with the University allowing them to hold research grants or contracts or to manage research funds or are not regular employees but have an academic affiliation with the University (including, but not limited to, adjunct and emeritus Professors). Research grants and contracts are also, though less frequently, awarded to postdoctoral fellows or graduate students. The term “researcher”, as used in this section, refers to any person holding a research grant or contract which is administered through the University of Ottawa.
Researchers set the nature and direction of their research programs, train students, seek and obtain funding for their research activities, and communicate the results of their research to the public, consistent with any requirements of their research sponsors.
Researchers are responsible for managing and conducting their research projects and for the overall sound administration of all research funds allocated to them, in accordance with the funding agency guidelines, University policies and with ethical and legal standards.
Researchers are not alone in meeting these responsibilities. The University, through its Faculties and/or (internal) Institutes and Research Centers, and its central services, provides a physical and administrative infrastructure within which a Researcher conducts her or his research program as well as a range of administrative, information and regulatory expertise and support.
Researcher Roles and Responsibilities for Research Administration
Working within this environment, researchers are responsible for:
- The management and conduct of the project(s):
- Informing research sponsors and university authorities of significant changes in research direction and/or project deliverables
- Meeting reporting and deliverable requirements to the research sponsor
- Sound financial management and the proper allocation of research funds including:
- Authorizing and charging expenses to research accounts
- Ensuring that expenses are charged to the proper accounts
- Assuring eligibility of expenditures and/or, where required, seeking prior approval for budget changes or restricted expenditures
- Where required, assuring that expenditures conform to budget approved by sponsor
- Relying on accurate, timely, comprehensive financial information:
- Reviewing and reconciling periodic internal financial statements
- Arranging for correction of errors
- Reviewing and approving financial statements submitted to funding agencies and sponsors
- Avoiding deficits
- Reducing or ceasing spending, where necessary and possible, when problems arise
- Management and supervision of employees, postdoctoral fellows, and students
- Ensuring a safe working environment
- Complying with external regulatory requirements
- Ensuring all conflicts of interest are disclosed and managed, including those of research staff and students
- Ensuring compliance with the research sponsor regulations, the University's policies and procedures governing the management and conduct of research, including any terms and conditions governing the award
- informing relevant funding agency and University officials of changes in eligibility status
- informing relevant funding agency and University officials of changes in the nature of the research that may have an impact on certification or approvals for research involving humans, animals or biohazards, environmental assessments, financial reporting and other related policies
It should be noted that awards from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) are awarded to the University rather than to a researcher. Within the University, the distinctive nature of the CFI awards is such that submitting a CFI proposal and managing a CFI award involves several entities within the University, including the Researcher who is designated as the “Project Leader” for a CFI grant.
Important responsibilities are delegated from the University to the project leader, who is expected to work very closely with the University’s Strategic Development Initiatives (SDI) team to, amongst others, assure conformance with the approved itemized list, track all purchases to the CFI project number, request and justify modifications, oversee the management of the infrastructure purchased with CFI funding, and provide all project progress and final reports.