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Office of Research and Ethics Services
recherche-research@ustpaul.ca
Telephone: 613-236-1393
1-800-637-6859
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THE FOUR PRINCIPLES GOVERNING THE APPROPRIATE USE OF GRANT FUNDS

1) CONTRIBUTE TO THE DIRECT COST OF THE RESEARCH ACTIVITIES FOR WHICH THE FUNDS WERE AWARDED

  • A direct cost of research must be directly attributable to the funded research program or project and agreed to and authorized by the grantee.
  • Researchers are responsible for how they use the funds to advance their research.
  • Researchers may deviate from the proposed research, activities, and budget as long as they use the grant for the broad purpose for which it was originally awarded.
  • The decision to change the allocation of funds rests solely with the researcher except when not permitted by the funder such as CFI or certain research contracts.
  • If an expense does not seem to align with the broad purpose for which the funds were awarded or the link to the project is unclear, the administrator is responsible for seeking clarification from the researcher on how the expense contributes to the advancement of the project.

2) NOT PROVIDED BY THE THE ADMINISTERING INSTITUTION TO THE RESEARCH PERSONEL

Direct costs should not be confused with indirect costs, which are costs that institutions incur, such as central and departmental administrative costs, which cannot be attributed to specific research projects. Indirect costs for Tri-Agency grants are partially funded by the Research Support Fund.

3) BE EFFECTIVE AND ECONOMICAL

How does the Tri-Agency view what makes an expense “effective and economical”?
  • It achieves the intended outcome with due regard for minimizing cost by avoiding unnecessary expense.
  • It optimizes the use of the funds (does not necessarily mean the “lowest cost”).
  • Researchers are responsible for how they use the funds to achieve their goals.
  • Researchers make trade-offs between effectiveness and economical in the use of their funds, and they are responsible for these decisions.
  • Certain expenses may seem more or less economical than others, and this choice remains the decision of the researcher.
  • If an expense seems greater than the norm for its category, the administrator is responsible for seeking clarification from the researcher on how the expense contributes to the advancement of the project

4) NOT RESULT IN PERSONAL GAIN FOR MEMBERS OF THE RESEARCH TEAM

How does the Tri-Agency define “personal gain”?

The concept of “personal gain” refers to using grant funds to serve an individual’s interests or attain a personal advantage or profit that outweighs the benefit to the grant-funded research/activities.

Examples of personal gain and conflict of interest are:
  • Entering into research contracts with companies employing a faculty member or a member of that faculty members’ immediate family.
  • Directing research toward developments of potential benefit to private firms in which the researcher has an interest.
  • Influencing the purchase of equipment or materials from a company in which the person has a personal interest.
  • Extending a research trip beyond what is permitted.

If an expense seems to provide a personal benefit to a researcher, the administrator is responsible for seeking clarification from the researcher.