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Procedure for the Use of Internal Research Funds

Classification number ADM 1306.01
Parent policy Policy on the Use of Internal Research Funds
Framework category Administrative
Approving authority Vice-President, Research, Innovation and International
Policy owner ´┐╝Vice-President, Research, Innovation and International
Approval date September 19, 2017
Review date March 2018
Last updated Editorial Amendments, February 18, 2020


The purpose of these procedures is to ensure clarity and consistency in the management and use of Internal Research Funds.


For the purposes of these procedures the following definitions apply:

“Fund Holder” means the individual responsible and accountable for the management and use of a research fund.

“Internal Research Funds (IRF)” means funds provided by the University to a Fund Holder to support research-related activities. IRFs include:

  • Faculty Start-up funds;
  • Internal funding programs;
  • University matching funds.

“Start-up Funds” means a one-time allotment of funds normally provided to a faculty member by the University to be spent with the terms defined in the letter of appointment from the University.

Scope and authority

These procedures apply to all Internal Research Funds.

The Vice-President, Research, Innovation and International (VPRII), or successor thereof, is the Policy Owner and is responsible for overseeing the implementation, administrative and interpretation of these Procedures.

Research and Trust Accounting (RTA), or successor department, is responsible for ensuring that expenses allocated to Internal Research Funds are in compliance with University policies and procedures, and any specific terms and conditions associated with the Internal Research Funds.



  1. Eligibility of any research-related expenditures not identified in these procedures must be reviewed by Research and Trust Accounting (RTA) and the Vice-President, Research, Innovation and International (VPRII), or delegate.

  2. In order to be considered eligible, all expenditures must be made, and submitted for reimbursement, in compliance with University policies and all applicable municipal, provincial and federal laws.


  1. Eligible Expenses

    • Graduate Research Assistantships.
    • Salaries and related federal, provincial and institutional non-discretionary benefits for work performed by research personnel other than the Fund Holder (e.g. summer students, research assistants, research associates, technicians, post-doctoral fellows) in accordance with University policies and procedures.
    • Consulting and contract services.
    • Fees paid to research subjects, such as modest incentives for participation, where ethically acceptable.
    • Honoraria or gifts of appreciation for guest lecturers.
    • Teaching release.
    • Administrative support.

  2. Non-eligible Expenses

    • Salaries, stipends, benefits or any type of payment to the Fund Holder that would be considered personal income by Canada Customs and Revenue Agency regulations.
    • Living expenses.
    • Discretionary severance and separation packages.

Travel and Subsistence

  1. Eligible Expenses

    • Reasonable out-of-pocket expenses for field work, research conferences, collaborative trips, archival work and historical research, for the Fund Holder, research personnel, students and colleagues working with the Fund Holder.
    • The University's Expenses Policy and Procedure will apply for all expenses related to travel and subsistence.
    • Safety-related and travel expenses for field work research, including protective gear, immunizations, medications, and visas.
    • Travel cancellation insurance.
    • Costs associated with student thesis examination/defence, including external examiner costs.

  2. Non-eligible Expenses

    • Relocation costs for eligible research personnel and their immediate family members.
    • Commuting costs between a residence and place of employment.
    • Passport and immigration fees.

Research Equipment and Supplies

  1. Eligible Expenses

    • Research equipment and supplies.
    • Travel costs to visit manufacturers to select major equipment purchases.
    • Transportation costs for purchased equipment.
    • Extended warranty for equipment.
    • Brokerage, licenses, permits and customs charges for the importation of equipment and supplies.
    • Training of staff to use equipment or a specialized facility.
    • Maintenance and operating costs of equipment and vehicles used for University-supported research.

  2. Non-eligible Expenses

    • Insurance costs for equipment, research vehicles, etc.
    • Furniture for home offices.
    • Appliances for personal use by the Fund Holder or other personnel (including mini-fridges and coffee-makers, etc.)

Computers and Electronic Communications

  1. Eligible Expenses

    • Computers, modems, other peripherals, and software required for research purposes.
    • Cellular phones and data usage charges when they are necessary for data collection or field work, and to the extent that they are used for research purposes. In general, personal cell phones are not exclusively used for research purposes. Accordingly, the claimant should pro-rate the charges to estimate those related to research.

  2. Non-eligible Expenses

    • Standard monthly connection or rental costs of non-cellular telephones.
    • Connection or installation of lines (telephone or other links).
    • Monthly charges for the use of the Internet from the home, unless it is specifically required for the purpose of research. In general, internet charges from home would not be exclusively used for research purposes. Accordingly, the claimant should pro-rate the charges to estimate those related to research.
    • Library acquisitions, computer and other information services provided to all members of the University.

Dissemination of Research Results

  1. Eligible Expenses

    • Costs of developing Web-based information, including Web maintenance fees.
    • Costs associated with the circulation of findings, (e.g., through traditional media as well as videos, CD-ROMs, etc.)
    • Page charges or other journal charges (i.e. open access) for articles published.
    • Costs of preparing a research manuscript for publication.
    • Translation costs.
    • Costs of holding a workshop or seminar, the activities of which relate directly to research (including non-alcoholic refreshments or meal costs).
    • Costs associated with student thesis preparation and examination/defence.

  2. Non-eligible Expenses

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Services and Miscellaneous Expenses

  1. Eligible Expenses

    • Recruiting costs for research personnel, such as advertising and airfare for candidates, etc.
    • Safety and waste disposal costs.
    • Costs for the purchase of books or periodicals, specialized office supplies, computing equipment and information services not formally provided by the University to all academic and research staff.
    • Costs involved in providing personnel with training and/or development in novel techniques required for the conduct of the research project.
    • Research-related hospitality costs in accordance with the University Expenses Policy and Procedure, as amended.
    • Costs associated with the submission of an operating grant, where these would not be covered by the normal supplies and services provided to all investigators within the University.
    • Patenting expenses.
    • Membership in professional associations or scientific societies.

  2. Non-eligible Expenses

    • Alcohol.
    • Entertainment, hospitality and gifts, other than those specified above.
    • Costs involved in the preparation of teaching materials.
    • Insurance for buildings or equipment.
    • Monthly parking fees for personal vehicles, unless specifically required for field work.
    • Regular clothing.
    • Lab relocation
    • Any assets for personal use.

Monitoring and review

These Procedures will be reviewed as necessary and at least every three years. The Director of Research Services, or successor thereof, is the Policy Lead and is responsible to monitor and review these Procedures.

Relevant legislation

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Related policies, procedures & documents

Policy on the Use of Internal Research Funds
Policy on the Care and Use of Animals in Research and Teaching
Conflict of Interest in Research
Intellectual Property Policy
Research Ethics Policy
Policy on the Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarship
Procedure on the Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarship
Expenses Policy and Procedures
Signing Authority Policy
Signing Authority and Approval Procedure
Procurement Policy
Procurement of Goods and Services - Procedures