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, cultural, 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, cultural, 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.

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. Two Administrative Assistants work with the Director.

ISER Books is under the direction of a Managing Editor.  The Managing Editor works closely with the Academic Editor and the Publications Assistant.

More information on ISER Books is available at

Research Grants

Purpose and Definition

The Institute accepts 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.

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. HSS applicants are given priority.

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 Masters and Doctoral Fellowship competitions.


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


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 February 10 of each year. Decisions are typically announced by mid-April.

Materials Required

The following materials must accompany an application form:

- Curriculum vitae

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

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

- One confidential letter of appraisal (link for form located elsewhere on this page).


All applications must be signed by the following:

- The applicant
- Head of Academic Unit or Graduate Officer (required for faculty and graduate students only)

After submission, the Director of ISER will also review, approve, and internally sign HSS applications.

Eligibility of Proposals

All research proposals must fall under the research mandate of the Institute.

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.

An 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 to a maximum of $8,000.

All expenses are paid in accordance with the policy and procedures of 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

A full justification of travel expenses must be provided, including written evidence of travel and accommodation costs (such as travel estimates, accomodations, 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. Reimbursement requires proof of ticket purchase.

When bus or train fare is authorized, Research Grant holders must purchase and pay for their own ticket. Reimbursement requires proof of ticket purchase.

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.

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. Reimbursement requires proof of rental payment.  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 refer 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.

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 laptops/IPads, digital recorders, cameras, 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 miscellaneous espenses 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.

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 holder of a research award of any description shall be accountable to the Administrative Officer of ISER for the proper disposition of funds.

Terms and Conditions of Holding a Grant

The terms of a Research Grant shall be stated in a letter from the Director of ISER.

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.

Written Materials

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


Grant holders wishing to submit materials to ISER for publication should contact ISER Book's Academic Editor.

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.  Applicants from outside Memorial University should also seek ICEHR approval or provide evidence of such approval from their own institutions.


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