Research administration is a responsibility shared between the Office of the Vice-President (Research) and academic units. Within the VPR portfolio, two units are responsible:
Research Grant and Contract Services (RGCS), which works closely with the Office of the Vice-President (Research); CREAIT, CRC and CFI Services; legal counsel; Enterprise Risk Management; and individual faculties and schools to provide support for research funding activities.
- CREAIT, CRC and CFI Services (CCCS), which oversees all aspects of the Canada Research Chairs Program (CRC), the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and Memorial’s CREAIT Network.
Overview of RGCS services
Pre-award administrative services
Includes everything to do with the application for, and acquisition of, research funding, right up to the point of spending. Pre-award services also includes any maintenance activities over the life of the award that are associated with the right to continued use of the funding (clearances, amendments, extensions, applying to the General Research Fund, etc.). RGCS’s pre-award administrative services are described below.
- General inquiries;
- Institutional compliance review;
Confirm eligibility requirements of applicant/co-applicants and partner organizations (where applicable);
Review budget to ensure that it has been prepared in accordance with funding program guidelines as well as Memorial’s policies (including the Indirect Cost Policy);
Complete an application component check to ensure all required components conform to the funding agency program requirements;
Confirm that signatures have been obtained from all internal and external applicants/co-applicants/partners (where applicable) as well as appropriate approvals from unit/faculty/external (including partner organizations);
Confirm written confirmation for commitment of resources (cash and in-kind) as outlined in the budget and/or as identified in other sections of the application;
Assess the relationship of related grants and/or pending applications with the current application (where applicable); and
Confirm compliance with the “Meaning of Signature” as outlined in the application guidelines.
- Institutional approval including signature (where applicable) for applications, and research funding related contracts and agreements for all funding agencies except CFI and CRC (see CREAIT, CRC and CFI Services for more information);
- Initiating the establishment of research accounts by Financial and Administrative Services; fund transfers; obtaining confirmation of certifications (Animal Care, Ethics, etc.);
- Administration of internally-funded grant programs;
- Liaison with Tri-Agency (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC) and other research funding organizations and agencies; related accountability and regulatory requirements; and
- Communicating funding opportunities/deadlines; agency guidelines.
Administered by the Research Project Management (RPM) division of RGCS, post-award services include project management guidance and support services to research projects university-wide. Project management services include common tools, templates and processes to aid researchers in the management of their research projects. Furthermore, where necessary, RPM provides training to principal investigators (PIs), project managers and research team members on project management strategies. These optional support services will be available to the research community throughout the life of a research project.
As of summer 2016, the RPM division is designing a project management framework to aid in the dissemination of project management support services university-wide. It is anticipated that this framework will be release in Fall 2016.
RPM is also responsible for the overall financial and administrative management of Memorial's major research collaborations funded by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency's Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) or Petroleum Research Newfoundland & Labrador (PRNL) and for assisting in the development of new industrial research collaborations funded via ACOA or PRNL.
RPM activities related to AIF and PRNL projects
- Provide advice and assistance to researchers in preparing Letters of Intent (LOI) and final proposals and ensure agency and institution guidelines are met;
- In the application process, RPM assists with:
- budget development,
- identifying eligible matching research funding opportunities,
- liaison with industry and agency participants, and
- liaison on IP and commercialisation considerations.
- Liaise with RGCS pre-award services on final application submission, contract execution and account opening.
- Develop, review and negotiate contractual agreements with project partners including liaison with the innovation group and RGCS on partnership agreements and obtaining mandatory institutional signatures;
- Oversee project activities and negotiate any material changes to contractual terms and conditions. Responsibilities would include review and approval of project budgets and work plans in accordance with agency and institutional guidelines;
- Authorize expenses and manage the expense claim process;
- Facilitate the hiring of project staff through engagement with Human Resources, commencing with the hiring of a project manager to assist the PI with day-to-day project administration and guide the scheduling of project activities;
- Provide institutional signature on RPM processed financial claims; and
- Other related activities.
Project completion activities
RPM works with PIs to ensure the project is completed on budget and all reporting requirements are met and communicated to the project sponsors. RPM facilitates the transfer of technology through engagement with the innovation group on the protection and commercialization of IP, negotiations with project partners and/or the assessment of commercialization pathways.