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Making Expenditures from Research Awards

Claims against a research award are recorded by the Research Finance Office. To ensure that the investigator and the university are financially accountable for funds received, procedures have been established to aid in making claims against the research award.

Investigators have a responsibility to see that expenditures are:

•       Associated with project or program for which the award is made

•       In accordance with the budget approved by the sponsor

•       Necessary to the research endeavour being undertaken

•       Within the financial guidelines of the sponsor and the university

Principal investigators must approve expenditures from research awards. A signature indicates such approval and compliance with the university and sponsoring agency policies and procedures. In some circumstances, an investigator may wish to delegate signing authority to another individual. For the protection of all involved, the investigator should specify, in writing, the name of the individual to whom signing authority is delegated and the circumstances that necessitate the action – travel by the principal investigator away from campus, for example.

The investigator exercises financial control over grant funds through review of claims, submission of original vouchers, stubs, receipts and other documentation, the authorization of all expenditures, and the review of all applicable financial reports, including the monthly financial reports.

Although primary fiduciary responsibility rests with the investigator, the administrative unit is responsible for implementing departmental guidelines and procedures which ensure compliance with university and sponsoring agency policies and procedures. This includes the review of commitments and expenditures prior to recording them against research awards, the prompt removal of ineligible expenditures and overdrafts against research awards, and the prompt review and reconciliation of monthly financial reporting.


The hiring of employees is subject to preparation of a written job description, job classification, salary ranges and the university’s internal promotional opportunity policy requirements. While an employee is with the university, there are a number of policies that govern his or her treatment. Grant holders – as supervisors- are responsible for being aware of and following these policies. The hiring of grant-supported staff is also of concern to the administrative unit which also has fiduciary responsibility in ensuring that there is sufficient funding to pay grant-supported staff.

Termination of employees is subject to policy and legal considerations and consultation with the Human Resources Department is required. The Human Resources Department can provide further information.