Guide to Research Grants

Institute of Social and Economic Research

Research Grants

Applications - Research Grants

Budget and Payment of Research Grants

Grant Holders Responsibilities

Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER)

General Information

ISER Purpose and Mandate

The purpose of the Institute shall be to undertake, sponsor and publish social and economic research within such disciplines and in such parts of the world as are deemed of relevance to Newfoundland and Labrador and the broader Atlantic world. Without limiting the generality of the above, research pertaining directly to social and economic development in Newfoundland and Labrador shall be of special importance.

ISER Books

ISER runs an active publications programme, publishing research directly related to our mandate.

Other Publications

ISER Research and Policy Papers: shorter papers on basic and applied social scientific research.

ISER Reports: reports resulting from ISER-sponsored research which are not appropriate for publication as ISER Books.

ISER Conference Papers: collections of papers presented at ISER-sponsored conferences, or other conferences related to our mandate.

ISER Occasional Papers: include those papers that have not been developed to the level of a Research and Policy Paper. They reflect work in progress and have been judged to be of sufficient topical interest to be worthy of limited circulation at a limited cost.

Seminars and Conferences

ISER sponsors seminars and conferences on topics that fall under its research mandate.


The ultimate responsibility for the affairs of the Institute is vested in the Executive Committee. The Director assumes the responsibility for the day-to-day affairs of the Institute and provides leadership for the activities of the Institute. An Administrative Officer and Secretary work directly with the Director.

ISER Books is under the control of a Managing Editor.  The Managing Editor works directly with the Academic Editor.

Detailed brochures on the Institute as well as a catalogue listing ISER Books and other publications are available on the ISER website.

Research Grants

Purpose and Definition

The Institute entertains proposals from individual scholars, both from within Memorial University of Newfoundland and elsewhere, for specific research projects which fall under the research mandate of ISER (see page 1).

The Institute also supports joint research projects conducted by several social scientists working together. Potential applicants for joint projects should consult the Administrative Officer or Director.

Research Grants are available to graduate students, faculty members and non-affiliated scholars to help defray the cost of such items as travel, subsistence, research assistance and materials and supplies necessary for carrying out a research project.

ISER research projects may incorporate research assistantship for undergraduate and/or graduate students paid at prevailing university rates and conforming to university regulations. However, ISER Research Grants are not intended to cover faculty research within which is incorporated the research for a graduate student’s degree. Such graduate student research support should be sought through the ISER Master and Doctoral Fellowship competitions.

Applicants should also submit applications to other granting agencies, particularly for projects requiring large sums. The Institute is prepared to fund portions of projects that are also partially funded by other agencies, but there must be no overlap of funding. Successful applicants who also receive funding from other agencies must inform the Director.

Note: ISER also offers Fellowships in a number of categories. Applicants should consult the appropriate guidebook to determine which programme is appropriate.


Research Grant proposals are adjudicated by the ISER Awards Panel. The Awards Panel’s recommendations must be approved by the Executive Committee.

Appeals and Resubmission

Although no appeals can be entertained, unsuccessful applicants may resubmit, in the next competition, a revised application which addresses the concerns of the Awards Panel. It will be adjudicated in accordance with normal procedures.

Applications - Research Grants

Deadlines and Announcements

The annual deadline date for submission is March 1 of each year. Decisions are typically announced by mid-May.

Materials Required

The following materials must accompany an application form:

- Curriculum vitae of the applicant and any other personnel involved in the research project. The tasks and need for any personnel must be clearly stated.

- A research proposal consisting of a maximum of six typewritten pages (single-spaced, 12 pt. font).

- Any questionnaires or other research instruments to be used in the research.

- One copy of a sample of the applicant’s written work.

- For research proposals involving the use of human subjects, evidence of submission to the applicant’s university’s ethics committee.

- Three confidential letters of appraisal (forms enclosed within the application).

- Applications must be typewritten.


All applications must be signed by the following:

- The applicant.
- Head of Academic Unit or Graduate Coordinator (required for faculty and graduate students only)
- Dean of Arts (or Delegate)

Eligibility of Proposals

All research proposals must fall under the research mandate of the Institute (see page 1).

Eligibility of Applicants

Research Grant applications will be accepted from graduate students, faculty members or non-affiliated scholars from within Memorial University of Newfoundland or elsewhere.

Applicants can apply for only one Research Grant in each competition.

Normally, the same applicant will be limited to a maximum of two research grants during a three-year period.

Budget and Payment of Research Grants


Grantees must commence research in the calendar year in which the award is made.  Extensions will not be granted. 

Research Grants are for direct costs of research. Effective December 2005, by recommendation of the ISER Awards Panel, the Executive Committee of ISER agreed to establish a ceiling of $8,000 on research grants awarded.

All expenses are paid in accordance with the policy and procedures of Memorial University of Newfoundland.

No expenses are to be charged to Memorial University of Newfoundland.

The holder of a Research Grant is accountable to the Administrative Officer for the proper disposition of funds designated for travel, research assistance, subsistence, materials, supplies or other approved expenses.

The holder of a Research Grant is responsible for providing original receipts for all accountable expenses.

Applying for Expenses Already Incurred

In the event that legitimate expenses are incurred after submitting an application, but before the awarding of the grant, if the candidate is successful in the competition, such expenses will be honored as part of the award, retroactive to the beginning of the fiscal year of award

Research-Related Travel and Subsistence Expenses

Travel and subsistence expenses will be approved where data or sources of information essential to the research project are not available in the applicant’s place of residence.

A full justification must be provided, including written evidence of travel and accommodation costs (such as travel agent quotations, bed and breakfast quotations, etc.).

Travel costs of dependents will not be covered.

All travel forms are available from the Administrative Officer of the Institute. All travel must be preauthorized via a Travel Request form well in advance of the travel. To receive monies allocated for travel and subsistence, Research Grant holders can either:

1) request a travel advance at least 15 working days before the travel commences. Travel advances must be accounted for within 10 days of completion of the travel.


2) pay for travel expenses personally and submit original receipts for reimbursement upon completion of the trip.

When accounting for travel advances or requesting reimbursement, Research Grant holders must complete a “travel claim form” identifying all expenses on a daily basis. All expenses listed on the travel claim must have an original receipt for backup. These receipts should be numbered consecutively as listed on the travel claim.

The following guidelines must be followed regarding approved travel and subsistence:


When airfare is authorized, it will be reimbursed at the cheapest available rate. Grant holders will purchase and pay for their own ticket, the cost of which is claimable provided the original ticket stub as well as boarding passes are included with the travel claim.

The Research Grant holder is responsible to recover funds for all unused portions of airline tickets.

When bus or train fare is authorized, Research Grant holders must purchase and pay for their own ticket, the cost of which is claimable provided the original ticket stub is included with the travel claim.

A taxi may be used when the use of such transportation is justifiable and reasonable and when it is the most economical means of transportation under the circumstances. When taxis are authorized, original vouchers are required for all taxi expenses in excess of $5.00. The starting point and destination of a taxi trip must be stated on the travel claim.

When travel by a privately-owned vehicle is authorized, the reimbursement rate will be at the current Memorial University of Newfoundland rate. Charges for bridge, ferry and highway tolls are allowed, but claims may not be made for storage, traffic violations, repairs, towing, etc.

When car rental is approved, Research Grant holders must arrange and pay for the car rental themselves, the cost of which is claimable provided original receipts are submitted.  All Memorial University grant holders must contact Enterprise Risk Management before proceeding with car rental.


Subsistence may only be applied to time spent away from principal place of residence.

Amounts of subsistence requested should be based on local scales for meals. Refer to policy T-1 Travel Guidelines - General Schedule A for the current rates for meals and accommodation allowances.

Original receipts must be submitted with the travel claim for reimbursement of accommodations.  For regulations regarding Private Accommodation reimbursement, please refger to Policy T1 Travel Guidelines.

Research Assistance/Personnel

Applicants wishing to hire research assistants or other personnel must show that this is justified by the research needs of the project.

Research assistants, student assistants or clerical staff must be paid in accordance with Memorial University of Newfoundland rates.

Grant holders should contact the Administrative Officer at least four weeks before the actual work is to begin, in order to have personnel on payroll by the beginning date. Personnel will subsequently be paid bi-weekly.

All personnel must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents unless it can be shown that candidates are not available in Canada or that projects require the hiring of assistants abroad. Personnel hired in Canada who are neither Canadian citizens nor permanent residents must have employment visas issued by Employment and Immigration Canada.

Materials and Supplies

Disposable Supplies

Reasonable amounts are allowable for stationery or other materials required for the research project. Main items should be identified in the budget.

Non-Disposable Supplies

Normally, ISER does not fund the purchase or repair of non-disposable equipment or supplies such as computers, tape recorders, or reference materials.

Grant holders should provide original receipts to the Administrative Officer for reimbursement for approved materials and supplies.

Other Expenses

Reasonable amounts are allowable for postage, telephone calls, photocopying or other expenses related to the research project. Items should be identified in the budget.

Grant holders should provide original receipts to the Administrative Officer for reimbursement of other approved expenses. In the case of telephone calls, the name of the person called and a brief explanation should be provided with the original receipt.

Grant Holders Responsibilities

Grant Period

Grantees must commence research in the fiscal year in which the award is made. If research is not commenced by the grant deadline date, the candidate must reapply in another competition.  No extensions will be granted.

The effective dates of a research award will be stated in a letter from the Director, to whom the Research Grant holder is responsible.


The holder of a research award of any description shall be accountable to the Administrative Officer of ISER for the proper disposition of funds. (See Budget and Payment of Research Grants section on page 5.)

Terms and Conditions of Holding a Grant

The terms of a Research Grant shall be stated in a letter from the Director of ISER, to whom the Grant holder is responsible.

ISER reserves the right to terminate any award on the grounds that the planned research has not been carried out within agreed time limits, or in accordance with agreed terms, for which the original research proposal was accepted and the letter of appointment shall be evidentiary. But before such action is taken the holder of the award has the right to one month’s notice with detailed explanation.


Financial Records

Grant holders will be responsible for keeping original receipts of all research expenses for submission to the Administrative Officer. (See Budget and Payment of Research Grants section on page 5.)

Progress Report/Final Report

Grant holders may be required to submit brief progress reports on their work from time to time as requested by the Director. All Grant holders must provide a final report on their research within 30 days of completion of their award.

Written Materials

Written materials produced as a result of ISER's financial support shoudl acknowledge the Institute.

Publications Rights and Procedures

Grant holders wishing to submit materials to ISER for publication should follow the procedures listed below.

Procedures: Manuscripts

1) ISER is interested in considering manuscripts which fall within the Institute’s range of interests. Enquiries as to suitability may be made to the Managing Editor, ISER Books, who handles book-length manuscripts.

2) An initial decision as to whether the manuscript is of interest to ISER is usually made without much delay. A longer interval, however, is needed to secure the considered assessments and recommendations of two or three readers before a final decision on publication is reached.

i. independent assessment will be sought for all manuscripts;

ii. for Memorial University of Newfoundland community authors, outside readers will be recommended.

3) An author may be informed of the rejection of the manuscript or consulted concerning the nature of revisions that are recommended. Authors will be sent copies of readers’ reports or a précis thereof.

4) The author undertakes revisions, and if these are satisfactory, decisions are taken concerning publication: either publication and receipt of a subvention (see below) or on occasion, publication without a subvention.

5) The next stage is copy editing—getting the manuscript into presentable shape for publication as a book or report.

6) The time elapse between completion of copy editing and publication can vary.

7) In the stages of final preparation, authors are responsible for the supply of all illustrative material and credits for the same, and for the making of an Index.

Procedures: Articles

Authors of articles are encouraged to submit to appropriate journals. However, if article-length manuscripts and reports are submitted to ISER, there is a review process similar to that described above. After acceptance of the article-length manuscript, the necessary editorial and revision work proceeds. One final copy is produced. A short abstract about that publication would be placed on the ISER website to serve as notification of publication and to provide information about how copies would be made available. Hard copies will be printed on demand and priced in relation to the cost of reproduction and recovery.


Those who receive financial support from ISER will be expected to cite such support in whatever publications result from their research.

Guidelines For Research Involving Human Subjects

Research at Memorial University is subject to ethical approval granted by the Interdisciplinary Committee on Ethics in Human Research (ICEHR). For the most recent information on Memorial University’s ethics policies and procedures, please check the university’s website

Applicants from Memorial University where required, must obtain ICEHR approval for their research. Such approval may be included with the application or subsequently, but funds will not be released until evidence of approval is provided. Applicants from outside Memorial University should also seek ICEHR approval or provide evidence of such approval from their own institutions.


Grant holders may be requested by the Director to give a seminar on their research.

effective: May 2013


Institute of Social and Economic Research

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000