CHAIRS FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION GUIDE
The Chairs Secretariat administers both the Canada Research Chairs and Canada Excellence Research Chairs Programs. Unless otherwise specified, the regulations in this guide apply to both programs.
Accepting the Chair and start date
Responsibilites and Accountability
Annual Funding of Grants
Use of Grant Funds
Reporting and Supporting Evidence
Accepting the Chair and start date
Notice of award and acceptance
The Chairs Secretariat sends all notices of award to the Primary Contact for the institution and to the institution’s president, principal or rector. For its part, the institution must confirm in writing, by providing the appropriate signatures, that it:
- accepts the award as set out in the Notice of Award and Acceptance;
- acknowledges the start date of each chairholder’s appointment; and
- accepts these administrative regulations.
Provided there are no other conditions attached to the award, when the Chairs Secretariat receives these confirmations, it will begin payments on, or shortly after, the effective date of the appointment.
Note: As indicated in the Notice of Award and Acceptance, chairholders are expected to participate in Chairs program peer review activities, if asked to do so. Universities are able to establish Canada Research Chairs, in part, because other chairholders and researchers have graciously offered their time to participate in the peer review process in the past.
Canada Research Chairs recipients must take up the appointment within 12 months of the institution receiving the Notice of Award and Acceptance. The Chairs Secretariat will withdraw awards that are not accepted within this period.
The effective start date of new Chairs may be no earlier than the first day of the month in which notification of the award occurred. The effective start date of renewal Chairs must be the first day following the end date of the original term.
Canada Excellence Research Chairs recipients must take up the appointment within an appropriate time frame after the university receives the Notice of Award and Acceptance. If an extension is required, the university must submit a justification to the Chairs Secretariat for approval. If the justification is not submitted or it is not accepted, the university will lose the Canada Excellence Research Chairs award. The effective start date of new Chairs may be no earlier than the first day of the month in which notification of the award occurred. If a successful nominee declines a Chair or fails to commence his or her duties and to reside in Canada within the timelines stated above, the respective Chair will be reclaimed.
Period of tenure
Once the chairholder starts, the grants for Tier 1 Canada Research Chairs, as well as for Canada Excellence Research Chairs, are tenable for seven years; grants for Tier 2 Canada Research Chairs are tenable for five years. Should a chairholder leave or be unable to perform his or her duties before the grant expires, the institution must notify the Chairs Secretariat.
Chairholders must be employed full time at the host institution.
Renewing a Chair
Canada Research Chairs: A Tier 1 Chair, which can be renewed indefinitely, is eligible for renewal in its sixth year. A Tier 2 Chair, which can be renewed only once, is eligible for renewal in its fourth year.
Note: If a researcher resigns from a Tier 2 Chair position at one institution and accepts a Tier 2 Chair at another institution, he or she cannot be renewed, regardless of the number of years in the initial Chair.
If a Canada Research Chair is not renewed, the institution can submit a nomination for a new nominee.
Canada Excellence Research Chairs may not be renewed.
Holding other chairs/awards
Canada Research Chairs and Canada Excellence Research Chairs may not be held concurrently.
A Killam Research Fellowship may be held concurrently with a Chair with any granting agency.
CIHR: CIHR-affiliated Canada Research Chair holders may not concurrently hold a CIHR salary award or another federally funded salary award.
NSERC: Subject to certain conditions, NSERC-affiliated Canada Research Chair holders may concurrently hold an Industrial Research Chair, University Faculty Award or Steacie Fellowship.
SSHRC: SSHRC-affiliated Canada Research Chairs may not concurrently hold a SSHRC Partnered Chair.
The following table summarizes the regulations for holding other chairs or awards.
||May be held in conjunction with a Chair
|Steacie Fellowship (NSERC)
||Yes, but the Steacie Fellowship will be reduced from $90,000 to $30,000
|Industrial Research Chair (NSERC)
||Yes, subject to certain conditions.
|University Faculty Awards (NSERC)
||Yes, conditional to keeping the grant as an honorary title without drawing any financial benefit attached to the grant.
|CIHR Salary Award
|Killam Research Fellowship
|Partnered Chair (SSHRC)
Foreign researchers who have been named as chairholders should apply for a temporary work permit through a Citizenship and Immigration Canada visa office.
When applying for a work permit, a letter of confirmation—which may be obtained through the Chairs Secretariat—and a letter of offer from the institution should be sent as supporting documents.
For additional information about hiring foreign academics and general information on taxes, social insurance number applications, spousal employment and similar matters, please consult the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada website.
Visit the Canada Border Services Agency website for Canadian border information and services, such as accounting for personal effects.
Members of the Chair’s team may be eligible for an expedited work permit. For further information on the process, institutions may contact their local Temporary Foreign Worker Unit.
Responsibilities and Accountability
Roles and responsibilities
The Canada Research Chairs and Canada Excellence Research Chairs programs award their grants to institutions. The Chairs Secretariat will make quarterly payments, through SSHRC’s finance division, on behalf of the designated granting agency. Instalments for future fiscal years will be subject to availability of funds.
The administration of funds granted by an agency is carried out by the institution and the granting agency. Refer to the Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions for more details on the administration of funds granted.
In accordance with federal laws and policies regarding grants, the Chairs Secretariat verifies the institution’s eligibility for a grant.
The grantee, normally the institution’s president, principal or rector, authorizes expenditures from the grant account in accordance with program guidelines. The grantee may delegate the authorization of expenditures to a small number of individuals. The business office of the institution at which the chairholder is located generally administers the Chair funds. The institution must open a separate account for each grant it receives, and must clearly record all payments made into and from the account, and group them by category.
The institution can release funds only after verifying that the researchers have obtained the required certifications. Research involving human beings or animals, biohazards, radioactive materials or other hazardous substances, possible environmental impact, field work, or field or marine stations all require certification.
The institution is responsible for providing chairholders with a budgetary statement for their Chair on a regular basis.
Employment security conditions and wage increases
In cases where the grant covers the chairholder’s entire salary, the Chairs Secretariat expects the institution to provide for the chairholder’s employment security as it does for other faculty members of comparable seniority. As for general and merit wage increases, the institution must plan for employment security within the Chair’s budget and distribute the resources in such a way that sufficient funds are available in future years to allow for such increases.
It is an expectation of the Chairs programs that institutions provide chairholders with all the support they need to ensure the success of their work, such as dedicated time for research (e.g., by reducing the teaching load or releasing the researcher from certain administrative duties). While the programs do not stipulate that a certain percentage of dedicated time be provided, many institutions ensure that chairholders are able to devote a minimum of 50 per cent of their work time to research. Note that the cost of a teaching replacement qualifies as an eligible expense except while the chairholder is on leave.
Canada Research Chairs in senior administrative positions
Some researchers are able to deliver at a level expected of a Canada Research Chair while also being in senior level administrative positions. Accordingly, the program does not have a formal policy prohibiting chairholders from holding these types of positions. However, it is the responsibility of the institution (in collaboration with the chairholder) to ensure that chairholders who hold senior administrative positions have time for research so that they can carry out their program of research at the level expected of a Canada Research Chair. Chairholders who, because of a lack of time to devote to research, have difficulty meeting their research objectives, run the risk of not being renewed.
All conditions specified in the award notification and relevant program requirements must be respected. Unless otherwise specified, grantees may generally deviate from the proposed research activities and/or schedules. Furthermore, institutions are not required to adhere strictly to the allocation of funds set out in the application as long as they use their grant for the broad purpose for which it was originally awarded.
Officers from the granting agencies’ finance divisions and from the Chairs Secretariat will periodically visit institutions to update information on the administration of program grants and to review randomly selected grant accounts. These visits ensure that institutions are following appropriate and sound financial practices, and that they are making expenditures in accordance with the conditions set forth in this document and with current granting agency regulations and requirements.
Non-compliance with the regulations in this guide or with current granting agency regulations and requirements may result in the freezing or closing of a particular grant account. If grant funds are being used to pay expenditures contrary to the program’s or the granting agencies’ policies, these funds must be repaid to the grant account or to the granting agency. Grantees and chairholders risk losing the funds and could be subject to sanctions by the granting agency if they disregard the requirements in this guide, institutional policies or the principles of sound financial management.
In cases of allegations of non-compliance with the provisions in this guide, the Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct Of Research applies.
Matters involving financial mismanagement, where there is evidence of fraud or criminal activity, are referred to the appropriate legal authority based on Treasury Board’s Directive on Losses of Money or Property.
Support for research provided by both chairs programs is an investment by Canadian taxpayers. The programs’ accountability regarding this use of grant funds includes informing the public about who receives the support, the type of research that will be conducted and how funds will be administered.
The Canada Research Chairs and the Canada Excellence Research Chairs programs and the granting agencies do not retain or claim any ownership of, or exploitation rights to, intellectual property developed with funding from the chairs programs. These rights are owned by the institution and/or the researcher, in accordance with the intellectual property policies of the chairholder’s institution.
The Canada Research Chairs and the Canada Excellence Research Chairs programs require institutions and chairholders to respect and comply with the Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research. Released in December 2011, this framework replaces the previous integrity policy and related documents, including the Tri-Agency Policy Statement: Integrity in Research and Scholarship (TCPS-I, 1994); the Framework for Tri-Council Review of Institutional Policies Dealing with Integrity in Research (1996) and the Tri-Agency Process for Addressing Allegations of Non-compliance with Tri-Agency Policies (2010).
The granting agencies regard as misconduct any action that is inconsistent with integrity and ethics as defined in this framework.
Archiving of research data
The chairs programs encourage chairholders to follow the research data archiving policies of their granting agency.
Collections of animal, culture, plant or geological specimens, or archeological artifacts (“collections”) collected by a chairholder using funds from the chairs programs are the property of the institution. These collections obtained using grant funds from the chairs programs will be made available to the research community. Such collections must be deposited as quickly as possible in an appropriate repository.
Annual Funding of Grants
The programs and the federal granting agencies are not responsible for funding expenditures or commitments that exceed the grant funds applied to the grantee’s credit at the institution for current or previous fiscal years.
To comply with government policy, the programs must confirm the chairholder’s continued eligibility before releasing future instalments to the institution. Once a year, the programs will provide the institution’s research office and business office with a listing of grant instalments for the next fiscal year, at which time these offices will be required to confirm to the programs that the chairholders continue to meet the eligibility criteria.
If a chairholder’s eligibility changes at any time during the tenure of a grant, the institution must contact the Chairs Secretariat immediately. These changes can include a change in a chairholder’s employment status (e.g., from full professor to professor emeritus, from full time to part time, or due to retirement, dismissal or resignation).
The programs permit a phase-out period of not more than six months for the payment of outstanding commitments from the funds remaining in the chairholder’s account. The chairholder’s salary and non-discretionary benefits are not eligible expenses during the phase-out period; these commitments are eligible, however, if the Chair is lost in the re-allocation process.
In the event of a chairholder’s death, this period may be extended to 12 months. At the end of the phase-out period, the institution must submit a final statement of account (Form 300) (PDF document, 14KB).
If funds remain in the account at the end of the phase-out period, refer to the section on Residual balances.
Use of Grant Funds
The following are guidelines to assist chairholders and institutional administrators in their interpretation of the acceptable use of grant funds. The list of examples is not exhaustive. Chairholders are encouraged to communicate with their pertinent institutional contacts (e.g., financial officer, research grants officer). If an institution is unsure whether an expenditure is eligible, it must contact the Chairs Secretariat.
The funds must be used effectively and economically, and the expenses must be essential for the Chair for which the funds were awarded.
Contributions to shared expenses must be directly attributable to the funded Chair’s research program, and be accepted and authorized by the grantee.
In the absence of a written program policy, the institutional policy (e.g., per diem rates for travel) is to be applied. In the presence of both a program policy and an institutional policy, the program requires compliance with the pertinent program policy, recognizing that chairholders may also have to comply with institutional policies.
The institution has the right and the responsibility to withhold approval of expenses proposed by a chairholder that contravene program requirements or institutional policies.
Recruitment costs and relocation expenses for chairholders can be claimed retroactively.
Expenses incurred between the date of accepting the Notice of Award and Acceptance and the Chair start date are eligible, with the exception of those expenses related to the chairholder’s salary and indirect costs.
Payment of all expenditures related to the grant may begin on or after the Chair start date.
|Recruitment costs and relocation expenses
|Chairholder’s salary and indirect costs
||On or after the Chair start date
|Any other expense
||As soon as the Notice of Award and Acceptance is accepted
Except for the chairholder, everyone employed with Chair funds must be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada, or must hold a valid Canadian employment visa or work permit issued by the Government of Canada. The exception is if the chairholder demonstrates that the research requires hiring someone from outside Canada. In such cases, the chairholder must follow the federal regulations of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, which stipulate that employees working in Canada who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents must comply with all federal employment regulations. As the employer, the institution is responsible for ensuring that these conditions are met.
Institutions may use a reasonable portion of the award to pay for the indirect costs related to the Chair. Expenses charged to the award for this purpose must contribute towards the costs of supporting the specific chairholder and his/her program of research. Please see the Indirect Costs program website for the list of eligible expenses.
For Canada Excellence Research Chairs, an amount of up to 25 per cent of the direct costs of research (e.g., consumables, small equipment, travel, knowledge sharing and dissemination) may be used to pay for the indirect costs of research related to the Chair. For example, if $8 million of the award is spent on the direct costs of research, up to $2 million may be spent on the indirect costs of research. The salary, benefits and recruitment costs for the chairholder are excluded from the calculation of direct and indirect costs. However, salaries and benefits for highly qualified personnel (e.g., research technicians, research associates, postdoctoral fellows) hired to work on the chairholder’s program of research would constitute direct costs of research.
Persons paid from a Canada Research Chairs or Canada Excellence Research Chairs program grant are not considered to be program employees.
Institutional non-discretionary benefits normally include long- and short-term disability insurance; life insurance; pension benefits; medical, vision and dental care benefits; and parental leave. Institutional non-discretionary benefits must not contravene the granting agency’s guidelines.
- the chairholder’s salary and non-discretionary benefits (including bonuses or merit-based increases);
- the salaries and non-discretionary benefits of members of the chairholder’s team (students at all levels, postdoctoral fellows, research associates, technicians, clerks, secretaries or research assistants)—no minimums or maximums apply to stipends aside from those dictated by institutional policy;
- the costs of a teaching replacement for the chairholder, including compensation to a department for one of its faculty members to teach one or more of the chairholder’s courses.
Other types of eligible expenses
- the cost of professional and technical services;
- consulting fees;
- fees paid to research subjects, such as modest incentives for participation, where ethically acceptable;
- subcontracting costs;
- honorariums for guest lecturers.
- a research time stipend for a member of the Chair’s research team;
- the salary of a faculty member other than the chairholder or of anyone who is not a member of the research team;
- the cost of a teaching replacement while the chairholder is on leave;
- the cost of technical services from a company owned by a faculty member who is eligible to apply for funding from any one of the three federal granting agencies;
- death benefits, and any other discretionary benefit;
- discretionary severance and separation packages.
Travel and subsistence costs (meals and accommodation) include reasonable out-of-pocket expenses for field work, research conferences, collaborative trips, archival work and historical research, for the chairholder, research personnel, students and colleagues working with the chairholder, and for visiting researchers.
- travel and subsistence costs (meals and accommodation) for the chairholder or any members of the research team;
- air travel, which must be claimed at the lowest rate available, not to exceed full economy fare;
- travel cancellation insurance;
- travel health insurance for the chairholder or any members of the research team who do not receive any such benefits from their institution and/or other sources;
- safety-related expenses for field work, such as protective gear, immunizations, etc.;
- entry visa fees (for the chairholder or members of the research team) when required for the purpose of research;
- travel and accommodation expenses for speakers invited to conferences and workshops;
- child-care expenses while a chairholder who is a nursing mother or single parent is travelling, with eligible costs limited to:
- for a single parent, child-care costs incurred outside of normal working hours while the chairholder is travelling; and
- for a nursing mother who is travelling with a caregiver, the customary cost of child care.
- passport and immigration fees.
- recruitment costs, which may be recovered retroactively, but only for funded chairholders, and, in the case of Canada Research Excellence Chairs only, members of their research team;
- relocation expenses, including travel costs up to the value of economy airfare for the chairholder and their immediate family, members of the research team and their immediate families, as well as the cost of transporting the families’ household effects;
- Note: These relocation expenses can be recovered retroactively.
- travel and subsistence (food, lodging) costs for the chairholder and one accompanying individual for a four-day trip to arrange accommodations (rental or purchase) in advance of moving;
- travel and subsistence (food, lodging) costs for members of the chairholder’s research team and one accompanying individual per member, for a four-day trip to arrange accommodations (rental or purchase) in advance of moving;
- food and lodging costs for the chairholder, members of the research team and their families during their travel to the city of the host institution, if they drive instead of fly.
- the cost of one return trip between the chairholder’s home institution and the sabbatical location;
- the cost to transport research equipment and material between the chairholder’s home institution and the sabbatical location;
- costs related to a vehicle necessary for field work (with prior institutional approval)
- Note: The vehicle must be licensed and insured during the sabbatical period).
- direct research expenses, including research assistance, bench fees and field work expenses, when supported by appropriate documentation.
- accommodation and meals while the chairholder is on sabbatical leave; and
- the travel costs of a chairholder’s family member or research team member from the chairholder’s home institution to the sabbatical location.
For computers and electronic communications, refer to the section entitled Computers and electronic communications.
- the cost of expendables, publications, materials and supplies for the chairholder or members of the research team;
- the cost of outfitting research laboratories and office space for the chairholder and his or her team;
- the cost of acquiring, operating and maintaining research equipment, research vehicles and other resources required for research (not including costs covered by funds received from the Canada Foundation for Innovation);
- Note: Only small equipment may be purchased with funds from the Canada Excellence Research Chairs program.
- travel costs to visit manufacturers to make major equipment purchases;
- transportation costs for purchased equipment;
- extended warranties for equipment;
- brokerage and customs charges for the importation of equipment and supplies;
- the costs of training staff to use equipment or a specialized facility.
- insurance premiums on research equipment and vehicles;
- costs for the construction, renovation or rental of laboratories or supporting facilities (renovations would be eligible under the Canada Excellence Research Chairs Program as an indirect cost of research);
- supplies from a company owned by a faculty member who is eligible to apply for funding from any one of the three federal granting agencies.
- computers, modems, software and other hardware required for the research;
- monthly charges for the use of the Internet from the institution or the home, only when this service is required for the purpose of research and is not normally provided by the institution free of charge;
- cellular telephones or smartphone devices (e.g., BlackBerry, iPhone, Pocket PC), if they are required for data collection and can be satisfactorily justified.
- standard monthly connection or rental costs of telephones;
- connection or installation of lines (telephone or other links);
- voice mail;
- library acquisitions, computer and other information services provided to all members of an institution;
- rental or purchase of cellular phone or smartphone devices (e.g., BlackBerry, iPhone, Pocket PC), including service plans, long distance or local charges, unless they are necessary for data collection, and with adequate justification.
Dissemination of research results
- costs of developing Web-based information, including website maintenance fees;
- costs associated with the dissemination of research findings (through traditional venues as well as videos or CD-ROMs);
- costs of publishing articles, including costs associated with ensuring open access to the research findings (e.g., costs of publishing in an open access journal or of allowing open access to an article);
- costs of preparing a research manuscript for publication;
- translation costs associated with disseminating research findings;
- costs of holding a workshop or seminar, the activities of which relate directly to the research that was funded by the program (including non-alcoholic refreshments and meal costs).
- recruiting costs for research personnel, such as advertising or airfare for candidates;
- costs for safe disposal of waste;
- costs for the purchase of books or periodicals, specialized office supplies, computing equipment and information services not formally provided by the institution to all its academic and research staff;
- costs involved in providing personnel with professional training or development in novel techniques required for the conduct of the research project;
- hospitality costs (non-alcoholic refreshments or meals) for networking purposes in the context of formal courtesy between the chairholder and guest researchers and for research-related activities in the context of assemblies that will facilitate or contribute to the achievement of the research objectives (e.g., chairholder meetings with partners and stakeholders);
- costs of membership in professional associations or scientific societies, if necessary for the research program/project;
- monthly parking fees for vehicles specifically required for field work, but only for months when field work is conducted.
- costs of alcohol;
- costs of entertainment, hospitality and gifts, other than those specified above, such as regular interactions with colleagues from the institution and staff meetings;
- costs related to staff awards and recognition;
- education-related costs such as thesis preparation, tuition and course fees, leading up to a degree;
- costs related to professional training or development, such as computer and language training;
- costs involved in the preparation of teaching materials;
- insurance costs for buildings and equipment;
- monthly parking fees for vehicles, unless specifically required for field work;
- sales taxes to which an exemption or rebate applies;
- costs of regular clothing;
- patenting expenses;
- costs of moving a laboratory.
Reporting and Supporting Evidence
Institutions must submit an annual report on the deployment and management of their Canada Research Chairs and the progress made in meeting the objectives of their strategic research plan. This report should cover the period from April 1 to March 31 each year. The electronic submission of the annual report is due June 30 each year. An institution’s failure to submit this report will result in suspension of payments until the report has been received.
- Institutions must also submit an annual financial report for each Canada Research Chairs grant account, using the standard granting agency statement of account (Form 300) (PDF document, 14KB), that details how the award funds were spent. The fiscal year of the Canada Research Chairs Program extends from April 1 to March 31. The statement of account, signed by the institution president, principal, rector or authorized delegate, is due at SSHRC’s finance division by June 30 each year. This annual statement of account must indicate all outstanding commitments.
Chairholders are required to complete an electronic annual report, unless they have been in the position for less than 12 months or their mandate is being renewed (as outlined in the table below). This report should cover the period from April 1 to March 31 each year. Institutions must submit the chairholders’ annual reports along with their own institutional annual report by June 30 each year.
Note: While institutions can access a chairholder’s annual report, only the chairholder can make changes. Chairholders are asked to notify their institution when they have completed the report.
Chairholders holding Canada Foundation for Innovation funding can no longer access the CFI’s Project progress report forms through the Chairs website. If a chairholder has a CFI component to their Chair, they must access the forms through the CFI portal at https://www2.innovation.ca/sso/signIn.iface. Note that the reporting timelines and requirements may differ from those of the Chairs Secretariat.
CRC Annual reporting exemption for recently renewed chairholders
|CRC Renewal Submission Deadline
||Exempted for submission of Annual Report 2012-13, due June 30, 2013
If the Chair is not to be renewed, the chairholder must submit a final activity report within six months after the termination of the award.
Universities and chairholders must report annually on their Canada Excellence Research Chair award by preparing an annual report, unless the chairholder has been in the position for less than 12 months. This report should cover the period from April 1 to March 31 each year. The electronic submission of the annual report is due June 30 each year. Failure to submit this report will result in the suspension of payments until the report has been received.
As well, universities must submit an annual financial report for each chairholder, using the standard granting agency statement of account (Form 300) (PDF document, 14KB) to detail how the award funds were spent. The statement of account, signed by the university president, principal, rector or authorized delegate, is due at SSHRC’s finance division by June 30 each year. This statement of account must indicate all outstanding commitments.
The grantee is responsible for authorizing expenditures from the grant account in accordance with the requirements, grant conditions and policies of the institution or program. No other party may initiate or authorize expenditures from an account without the grantee’s written delegated authority. All claims must have the grantee’s or delegate’s signature. The signatures certify that:
- all expenditures on the claim are for the purpose for which the grant was awarded;
- the charges included have not been claimed for reimbursement from other sources; and
- reimbursements for expenditures received from other sources or institutions have been disclosed to the administering institution.
Supporting documentation must be retained for all expenditures charged to the grant accounts. Such documentation includes:
- salaries or stipends paid to chairholders, students and research personnel:
- signed records regarding personnel paid from grant funds, including names, categories, salary levels;
- length of time supported in each case; and
- details of employee benefits charged and relevant calculations;
- equipment and supplies:
- supplier invoices indicating details of purchases; and
- prices paid;
- expense allowances and shared expenditures:
- documentation indicating the exact charges made to the account;
- the method of calculation or attribution; and
- the chairholder’s authorization for those charges made to the account; and
- hospitality for networking and research-related activities:
- documents indicating the date of the event;
- the number of participants; and
- the purpose of the event.
Individuals claiming travel-related expenses from a grant must prepare a separate claim for each trip. These travel expense claims must also conform to the standard travel policies and procedures of the chairholder’s institution. For claimants other than the chairholder, his or her affiliation with the chairholder’s research group must be specified. If the traveller is a student, the travel expense claim must be signed by the chairholder. In the event that the traveller is the chairholder or a visiting researcher, the expense claim must be countersigned by the department head or dean confirming the relevance of the travel with regard to the Chair.
The travel expense claim must include the following information:
- purpose of the trip;
- dates and destinations (persons or locations visited);
- official supporting documentation (e.g., prospectus or program, indicating the dates of conferences or workshops);
- details about the daily claims for expenditures relating to these visits;
- details about any vehicle used;
- original receipts, such as hotel bills or car rental agreements (credit cards slips are not valid receipts); and
- original air travel ticket receipts and boarding passes (if available) or any other evidence that support travel expenses claimed (e.g., a written attestation from the chairholder).
All supporting documentation must be maintained for seven years after the expense is incurred.
All equipment purchased with grant funds belongs to the institution and not to the individual chairholder. As owner, the institution is responsible for ensuring that the equipment is used to support the chairholder’s research program. Decisions on the use and management of the equipment must be made jointly between the institution and the chairholder or user group.
For the granting agencies’ policy on ownership of equipment and facilities, as well as the responsibilities of the institution with regard to equipment and facilities, please consult the Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions.
Chairs grants are not transferable from one institution to another, nor can funds from one Chair be transferred to another.
All equipment purchased with grant funds belongs to the institution and not to the individual chairholder. If the chairholder is moving to another Canadian institution and wishes to move equipment purchased with grant funds, the former institution may, in its discretion, give permission for such a move. The granting agencies encourage the institution to accede to such a request, provided the equipment is not necessary to other researchers at the former institution.
For the responsibilities of the institution with regard to the transfer of equipment, consult the Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions.
Government policy states that the granting agencies cannot make grant payments in advance of need; they can provide only those funds to correspond with the immediate and practical cash flow requirements of the Chair. If the institution has a buildup of funds in its grant account due to a slowdown or delay in the research, attributable, for example, to an extended leave (sick/maternity/parental leave) or to difficulties in hiring staff, and believes that the scheduled instalment/annual commitment payment for the next financial year will not be needed at that time, the institution should request a deferral of the next instalment/annual commitment payment from the program.
Deferring instalment or annual commitment payments does not adversely affect the review of the chairholder’s next nomination (if applicable), but rather demonstrates good fiscal management of grant funds.
The Chairs Secretariat may defer, or even hold back, a grantee’s next instalment/subsequent commitment payments if, in its sole discretion, it has judged that the grantee’s buildup of funds in the grant account has not been properly justified, that the need for funds has not been demonstrated, or that issues have been identified during the period of tenure.
Early Termination of a Chair award
The chairholder, the institution and, in cases of non-compliance, the program, may terminate a Chair award early.
When a Chair award is terminated, the institution must promptly notify the Chairs Secretariat which will in turn advise the appropriate granting agency’s finance division.
The institution must submit the following documents by mail to the Chairs Secretariat:
- a letter stating the date and reason for termination;
- a detailed list of outstanding commitments made by the chairholder prior to termination, including employment contracts/agreements for research personnel, using Form 303 (PDF document, 469KB); and
- a statement of account (Form 300) (PDF document, 14KB).
The chairholder must submit the following documents by mail to the Chairs Secretariat:
In all cases of early termination of Canada Research Chairs, the institution may replace the person leaving the chair, following a transparent, open and equitable recruitment process. A new nomination for a new term of either five or seven years must be submitted to the Chairs Secretariat for evaluation according to the established criteria. Institutions are free to take advantage of the “corridor of flexibility” in the allocation formula to decide the tier and discipline of the new Canada Research Chair nominee.
Universities may not replace a Canada Excellence Research Chair.
The institution must give the Chairs Secretariat prior notice of any leaves taken by its chairholders.
Chairholders are eligible for sabbatical leave, vacation time, long-term disability, maternity or parental leave, compassionate leave, and other types of leaves, in accordance with their institution’s policies. While a period of leave may not exceed one year, a chairholder may take more than one leave period during the tenure of his/her award, as long as there are a minimum of two academic terms between each. The Chairs Secretariat reserves the right to terminate the award of a chair who takes consecutive leaves.
If the conditions of the leave comply with the institution’s policies and if the leave is a paid leave (with full or partial salary), the payments to the institution will continue. Chair funds may only be used to cover the institution’s share of the paid leave for the period involved. If this represents less than 100 per cent of the salary component of the Chair budget, the unspent salary funds may be redirected to other research expenses incurred by the Chair. If the leave is unpaid, the payments to the institution will continue, but the chairholder’s salary will not be counted as an eligible expense for the duration of the leave. These unspent salary funds may be redirected to other research expenses incurred by the Chair.
A researcher may accept a Chair award while on leave, but the period of leave cannot extend beyond 12 months.
Apart from the exceptions explained below, the period of tenure of a Chair will not be extended to accommodate a period of leave. Any residual funds may, however, be transferred to the next fiscal year, but not beyond the end date of the award.
The chairholder may take up to a two-year leave, in cases of:
- maternity leave;
- parental leave;
- extended illness; or
- need for the care and nurturing of immediate family members.
If the leave is less than one year, the payments to the institution will continue.
If the leave is greater than one year, the payments will be deferred for the duration exceeding one year and will resume when the chairholder returns full time to the institution to complete the full period of the original appointment (i.e., five or seven years). The original amount of Chair funding will remain unchanged.
In these cases only, the period of tenure of the Chair can be extended by the equivalent period of the leave, upon request.
Chairholders as electoral candidates
In accordance with the Secretariat’s leave policy, the university must inform the Secretariat if a chairholder is participating as a candidate in any election (municipal, provincial or federal). Each university must refer to its own leave policy to determine whether the salary of the chairholder is an eligible expense during his or her candidacy (see Leaves: Exceptions above). If the individual is successful in the election, the Chair will be terminated immediately and the phase-out period of six months for the payment of outstanding commitments from the balance in the Chair’s account will apply. If the chairholder is not successful, the leave may be terminated at the request of the university. Note that chairholders may continue to use their title during their candidacy.
Paid maternity and parental leave for students and postdoctoral fellows
Both chairs programs permit a maternity or parental leave supplement to be paid out of grants. Students and postdoctoral fellows who are eligible for employment insurance or other maternity and parental leave supplements from other sources do not qualify for maternity or parental leave supplements.
Funds remaining at the end of the Chair tenure must be returned to SSHRC’s finance division, which will credit them to the appropriate granting agency for refund to the federal government’s Consolidated Revenue Fund. However, both chairs programs permit an extension beyond a period of tenure of up to six months for the payment of outstanding commitments from the funds remaining in the account. In the event of a chairholder’s death, this period may be extended to 12 months. At the end of the phase-out period, the institution must submit a final statement of account (Form 300) (PDF document, 14KB).
Residual funds cannot be transferred into the institution’s General Research Fund.
When a Canada Research Chair is renewed, the residual funds are to be automatically transferred into the new account of the renewed Chair. This procedure also applies to Tier 2 chairholders who are advanced to a Tier 1 Chair.