Policy Title: Administration of Research Grants and Contracts
Policy Owner: Vice President, Academic & Dean, Applied Research
Effective Date: September 12, 2007
Last Revised: October 18, 2018
This policy specifies the terms and conditions by which research grants, contracts and related activities are developed, approved, and administered at Mohawk College.
This policy includes:
- An outline of general principles and accountability and compliance guidelines for administering research funds and activities.
- A process for submitting funding proposals.
- A process for administering grants and contracts.
- Roles and responsibilities of key individuals within a department or school involved in research activities.
2. Application and Scope
This policy applies to all research grants and contracts for applied research, scholarly research, and scholarship of teaching and learning, whether funded internally or externally and involves:
- Any activity that proposes to use Mohawk College services and/or resources, including human, physical, and financial; and
- All Mohawk College employees, students, external contractors and partners.
Institutional Research is excluded from this policy.
“Applied Research” means research that solves real world challenges and has immediate practical implications. Applied research is undertaken to apply new knowledge, directed primarily towards a specific practical aim or objective.
“Contract” for the purposes of this policy, means an agreement to perform research or research related activities for a sponsor under specified conditions, in exchange for payment of direct and indirect costs. Normally, a Funder requires that certain guidelines be followed with regards to the direction of the research and/or to the use or publication of research results.
“Funder” means private companies, federal, provincial or municipal government agencies, community organizations or the College and is a term used in relation to the awarding of contracts.
“Funding Agency” means federal, provincial or municipal government agencies, foundations, community organizations or the College and is a term used in relation to the awarding of grants.
“Grant” means non-repayable funds or products awarded, typically by an external agency, to carry out research and related activities. A Funding Agency requires that certain guidelines be followed with regards to the direction of the research and/or to the use or publication of research results.
“Institutional Research (IR)” means research that supports the planning and decision-making at the institutional, program, and student level to ensure quality, accountability, student success and continuous improvement. IR also provides the research and analysis that enables the College to anticipate and develop student success programs and strategies.
“Lead Researcher” means the proponent whose participation is essential to the performance of the research funded by the grant or contract. The Lead Researcher can also play the role of a Project Lead.
“Operations Manager” (or equivalent) refers to an individual in a respective Faculty, responsible for managing and overseeing the administrative processes related to the operational activities of the Schools within the faculty and managing processes related to business plans, academic and budget cycles, monitoring strategic initiatives, special projects/contracts, financial tracking, budgeting and support staff.
“Project Lead” means the person responsible for administering the grant or contract.
“Scholarly Research” means research that is driven purely by curiosity and a desire to expand existing knowledge. It enhances our understanding of the world around us. Publications from scholarly research activities are typically peer-reviewed.
“Scholarship of Teaching and Learning” means scholarly inquiry into any of the intellectual tasks that comprise the work of teaching, including: designing a course, facilitating classroom activities, trying out new pedagogical ideas, advising, writing student learning outcomes and/or evaluating programs.
“Shared Responsibility” means the roles and responsibilities for research activities based in more than one department or school.
“Sponsor/Manager” means an employee within a department, School or Division with supervisory duties whether the individual is a Vice President, Dean, Associate Dean, Director, Registrar or Manager.
4. General Principles
While there are many benefits to employees and students of engaging in research, obligations associated with research grants and contracts can expose Mohawk College to risks which carry significant financial and legal liability. Research may be conducted by employees as part of their work, by students as part of their program of study, by employees as professional development and by external contractors in partnership with the College. Therefore, it is necessary to establish a formal development and approval process to identify and mitigate any liability that may ensue from a grant or contract.
When engaging in research grants, contracts, and related activities, the following principles apply:
- Mohawk College is committed to providing an environment for all employees and students that is conducive to the pursuit of scholarship and research activities.
- The administration of research and related activities must comply with the requirements of the Funder or Funding Agency (refer to ‘Specific Links’).
- Research and related activities must be performed and administered according to policies and procedures established by Mohawk College.
- If the Lead Researcher is an external contractor, a Project Lead will be assigned to the research project by Mohawk College.
5. Accountability and Compliance
5.1 Accountability Framework
This policy has been approved by the Senior Leadership Team.
The Vice President, Academic is the owner of the policy. The Dean, Applied Research is responsible for implementing this policy and monitoring its effectiveness.
6. General Guidelines
- Research and research related activities conducted on behalf of Mohawk College, or with extensive use of Mohawk College resources and facilities, must be approved prior to initiation (Appendix A).
- Funding Proposals and grant submissions must be approved via the ‘Funding Proposal Approval Routing Sheet’ prior to submission (Attachment 1).
- All contracts that result from the successful awarding of research proposals and grants must be submitted through Mohawk College’s contract routing process using the Routing Cover Sheet found on MyMohawk and monitored in accordance with Appendix B.
- Payments for research and related activities are payable to Mohawk College.
- IDEAWORKS must be informed of all funding proposals.
7. Shared Responsibility
Mohawk College uses a Shared Responsibility model to monitor and manage research and research related activities. Appendix C outlines the responsibilities and flow of research from initial research idea inception, through to proposal preparation, formal application and required approvals and checkpoints. The Shared Responsibility model should be used as a guideline for those involved in research and research related activities at Mohawk College.
IDEAWORKS has overall responsibility for institutional leadership in the development of research and research related activities at Mohawk College and for the collection of research metrics. The Shared Responsibility model provides guidance for the flow of research and the roles and responsibilities of various individuals, depending on where the research originates. The model outlines the areas responsible for the provision of research services and the coordination of administrative activities required to support the research initiatives.
8. Funding Proposal and Grant Submission Process
- Funding proposal and grant ideas must be reviewed by the Project Lead’s Sponsor/Manager to assess the opportunity. If the idea is deemed suitable, the Project Lead must prepare a proposal concept with the approval of the Project Lead Sponsor/Manager and in consultation with IDEAWORKS.
- Full funding proposal and grant application development is the responsibility of the Project Lead and must be completed in consultation with internal and external stakeholders, as required, in order to ensure the integrity of the proposal and compliance with Funding Agency requirements.
- The Sponsor/Manager, the Operations Manager (or equivalent) and the Finance Department must review the funding proposal or grant application prior to routing and final submission to the Funding Agency to ensure budgets are consistent and are compliant with any Funding Agency or internal Mohawk College requirements.
- External letters of commitment required to support the funding proposal must be obtained by the Project Lead with the appropriate approvals of the Sponsor/Manager.
- Mohawk College letters of support must be signed by the Vice President, Academic or the President.
- All Funding Proposals and grant applications must be routed using the ‘Funding Proposal Approval Routing Sheet’ (Attachment 1).
- Copies of funding proposals and grant applications must be kept within the originating department or school, IDEAWORKS, and other areas as required.
9. Project Monitoring Process
- Funding for projects must be secured prior to expenditures and the initiation of research and research-related activities.
- Research Ethics Board (REB) approvals, if applicable, must be in place prior to the release of funds and the initiation of research and research-related activities.
- Establishment of the project plan, resourcing and budget are the responsibility of the Project Lead in consultation with Finance, IT, REB (if required), Human Resources, Operations Manager, Facilities, etc. and continued consultation and approval with IT, as appropriate.
- Project Monitoring is the responsibility of the Project Lead in consultation with the Operations Manager (or equivalent) and the Finance Department. Throughout the project, this may require the creation of claims, activity or progress reports, monitoring deliverables and financial reporting.
- Once the project ends, the closeout is completed in consultation with the Operations Manager (or equivalent) and the Finance Department.
10. Roles & Responsibilities
10.1 Project Lead
The Lead Researcher and/or Project Lead (“Project Lead”) must consult with their Sponsor/Manager on the scope of the funding proposal idea to ensure it aligns with the Mohawk’s Strategic Plan and it takes funding, time, space, and other resources under consideration. This step should also evaluate compliance with relevant Mohawk policies and potential liability associated with the funding proposal.
Once this approval has been received, the Project Lead must register the intent to initiate a research project with IDEAWORKS using the Funding Proposal Routing Sheet (Attachment 1).
Full funding proposal and grant application development is the responsibility of the Project Lead and must be completed in consultation with internal and external stakeholders, as required, in order to ensure the integrity of the proposal and compliance with Funding Agency requirements. The Project Lead, with the assistance of their Operations Manager (or equivalent) and/or IDEAWORKS, must review the Funding Agency or Funder requirements (e.g. registration, eligibility, signatures, approvals, processes).
During the development of the funding proposal, it is the responsibility of the Project Lead to meet with internal/external stakeholders to develop partnerships, confirm partner contributions (cash and in-kind), and obtain external letters of commitment required to support the funding proposal.
The Project Lead is responsible for compliance with the terms and conditions outlined in the granting program at the submission stage and after the proposal has been approved and contracts has been secured, including:
- The performance and completion of the work;
- The submission of reports and other deliverables;
- Ensuring that everyone working on the research project is aware of and agrees to the terms and conditions of the grant or contract, especially those relating to publication, intellectual property, and confidentiality; and
- Ensuring that the Sponsor/Manager associated with the project is informed of any circumstances, which could prevent satisfactory completion of the grant or contract.
The Project Lead is responsible for monitoring the project in consultation with the Operations Manager (or equivalent) and the Finance Department (Appendix B).
10.2 Operations Manager (or equivalent)
The Operations Manager (or equivalent), working with their Financial Planning representative, is responsible for administering all financial and process obligations of the research project. This includes but is not limited to the following:
- Understand eligibility criteria.
- Budget monitoring.
- Support the Project Lead for operational issues.
- Work closely with their respective Financial Planning Analyst to help monitor the grant or contract.
- Register the research project with IDEAWORKS
- Liaise with IDEAWORKS for second-level support and advice as required
- Manage the day-to-day requirements of the research including procurement, travel, timesheet processing, expenditures, budget management, maintaining documentation, report preparation.
- Provide metrics to IDEAWORKS.
- The IDEAWORKS’ Director of Operations is responsible for administering the financial and operational obligations for research projects initiated by IDEAWORKS.
- For research projects initiated in other departments and schools, the IDEAWORKS’ Director of Operations will act as second level support to the Operations Manager for that area.
- IDEAWORKS, with input from Operations Managers throughout the College, will capture metrics associated with research and research-related activities throughout the College.
The IDEAWORKS’ Director of Operations is responsible for oversight of institutional grants e.g. ICF, OCE.
10.4 Finance Department
The Finance Department must be involved throughout the entire funding proposal and project monitoring process from inception (creation of initial budget and application or proposal write-up), throughout the life of the project, and until final reporting activities are completed. Responsibilities of the Finance Department include but are not limited to:
- Project Leads must work with their assigned FPA when developing budgets.
- All funding proposals, grants and contracts must obtain approval from Finance. After the budget development step, routing must occur with advance notice of the funding proposal deadline to ensure that Finance has time to review the documentation.
- Progress reports, financial reports, contracts and other grant administrative documentation must be routed through Finance prior to submission.
11. Policy Revision Date
11.1 Revision Date
11.2 Policy Review
The Vice President, Academic is responsible for reviewing this policy every five years or earlier when required.
- Attachment 1 – Funding Proposal Approval Routing Sheet
- Appendix A – Funding Proposal Submission Process
- Appendix B – Project Monitoring Process
- Appendix C – Shared Responsibility
13. Specific Links
- AS-2102-2007 Academic Freedom in Research
- AS-2104-2007 Ethical Conduct of Research Involving Animals
- AS-2101-2006 Ethical Conduct of Research Involving Humans
- AS-2105-2007 Integrity in Research and Scholarship
- AS-2106-2007 Research Involving Biohazardous and Radioactive Materials
- GC-4100-2013 Intellectual Property
- GC-4101-2013 Copyright
- CS-1202-2011 Purchasing
- CS-1002-2009 Purchasing Card
- CS-1000-2013 Travel Expenses and Hospitality
- CS-1502-2002 Acceptable Employee Use of IT Resources
- CS-1506-2017 Acceptable Student Use of IT Resources
- Routing Cover Sheet – Contracts/Agreements (found on MyMohawk)
- Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research
- NSERC Grant Programs Overview
- NSERC Policies and Guidelines
- CIHR Grants and Awards Guide
- SSHRC Policies, Regulations and Guidelines
- Southern Ontario Network for Advanced Manufacturing Innovation (SONAMI)
- FedDev Ontario
- College Voucher for Technology Adoption (CVTA)