Tri-Council Agency Award Requirements

If you are the recipient of an award from NSERC, CIHR, SSHRC, NCE or CRC, you must be aware of and adhere to the specific compliance requirements detailed below.

Please contact ORS if you have any questions.


Your award will be subject to audit by federal auditors who monitor both eligibility of expenditure and compliance with Tri-Council guidelines. Research Finance will also carry out spot audits on Tri-Council Project Grants (PGs) on an ongoing basis.

Cost Transfers

Journal transfers of costs into Tri-Council PGs from other PGs must identify the original invoice or expense source, and the expenses in question must be related to the research in the Tri-Council PG. Entries to simply transfer a deficit balance from another PG are not permitted.

NSERC, SSHRC, CRC and CIHR have requested that when collaborative transfers are made to other institutions, in addition to the annual financial statement the recipient institutions have to submit, those institutions must be made aware of the Tri-Council Use of Fund Guidelines (see Ineligible Expenses, below) so their financial statements are in line with the Funding Guidelines.

Ethics Certificates for Research Involving Human Subjects

All ethics certificates for research involving human subjects must be renewed annually. If a researcher fails to renew an ethics certificate, ongoing salaries will be transferred to the department’s General Purpose Operating Funds and the research PG will be inactivated until the ethics certificate is renewed. The Office of Research Services sends automatic renewal reminders to ethics certificate holders through RISe.

Ongoing Eligibility

In order to act as an applicant or co-applicant on a Tri-Council grant, a researcher must meet the eligibility criteria specified by the sponsor throughout the entire duration of the award.

It is the responsibility of the institution to report a change in the grantee's eligibility changes at any time during tenure of the grant. These changes could include a change in position at the institution, a change from full-time to part-time status, a change to a term position during the course of the grant, or taking a position outside of Canada (academic or other). ORS requires the PI, Department and/or Dean to inform ORS of these eligibility changes as outlined on the "What a signature implies" page.  

Please ensure that you have reviewed the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide, including the following guidelines and their associated checklists: 

Ineligible Expenses

Please review the list of ineligible expenses for all Tri-Council funding, on the NSERC website under Use of Grant Funds. The researcher is responsible for complying with these guidelines. In particular:

  • Tri-council will not pay for the instalment cost or line costs for telephones (which are considered an infrastructure cost to be borne by UBC); membership fees; first class travel; insurance costs.
  • Credit card receipts are not acceptable documentation for expenses charged; an original receipt is required. Where air travel takes place by e-ticket, an original boarding pass is required in support of the travel.
  • All travel expense claims must be signed by the traveler and his/her operational supervisor (not an administrator).

CIHR Research Training Awards

CIHR Research Training Awards are granted to support graduate students and fellows pursuing a degree in health sciences and post-degree training. These awards are made up of two portions: a stipend portion and a research allowance.

The stipend portion goes towards the awardee’s salary, and the research allowance supports the awardee’s specific research needs. The stipend portion cannot be used to increase the research allowance portion and vice-versa.

No costs may be expensed to these awards that does not directly relate to the awardee (e.g., travel costs of the awardee’s supervisor). Similarly, for CIHR research allowances, which are established at UBC in the name of the student’s supervisor, the student must be aware of and confirm expenses charged to the PG.

NSERC Equipment Awards

Equipment purchased under these awards must be the same equipment envisaged in the funding agreement. Any changes to equipment requirements must be specifically approved in advance by NSERC. For further information, see…. UBC is currently developing a procedure whereby researchers will be required to certify with a purchase requisition that the equipment in question is the equipment originally envisaged under the award.

NSERC Strategic Project & CRD Grants

For these grants, any significant deviation (>20% or $10,000 per year or 20% per line item, whichever is greater) from the initial budget must be approved by NSERC.

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