Research Administration

Research and Scholarly Activities

Responsibility: Vice-President, Research
Authorization: Board of Governors
Approval Date: Dec 16, 2014
Amended: Mar 21, 2017


To establish general principles and procedures for the development, approval and administration of Research Projects conducted at the University of Saskatchewan (the “University”).


The University is committed to excellence in Research and the administration of funding provided in support of that Research.  All Research Agreements must be approved and signed by the Research Services and Ethics Office, the unit responsible for establishing and applying responsible Research conduct policies and procedures that meet the terms and conditions of the Funders and the University.

Scope of this Policy

The policy applies to all Research Projects and Research Programs conducted or proposed to be conducted by members of the University, on or off University premises, using University personnel, students, premises, resources, services, facilities, or equipment.  

Related policies are: Eligibility to Apply for, Hold and Administer Research Funding; and Institutional Costs of Research

This policy replaces the Administration of Research Funds policy and the Administration of Research Grants and Contracts policy.


1.0    Definitions

The following capitalized terms, whether used in the singular or plural, have the following meanings in this policy:

1.1    “Academic Home” means the college, school, division, department or unit in which the Principal Investigator holds their primary appointment. 

1.2 “Administering Unit” means the college, school, division, department, centre or other university unit that accepts administrative responsibility for a Funded or Non-Funded Research Project.  In cases where the Administering Unit is not the Academic Home of the Principal Investigator, they may transfer administrative responsibility for a Funded or Non-Funded Research Project to an Administering Unit with approval from their Academic Home and the Administering Unit that accepts the administrative responsibility.

1.3    “Co-Investigator” or “Co-I” means an individual participating in a Research Project who makes a significant contribution and plays a significant role.

1.4    “Direct Costs” means the budgeted expenditures for carrying out a Research Project at the University.  Direct Costs may include: the salaries of Research assistants and stipends for graduate students; equipment and supply costs; travel and publication costs; user fees; and other costs allowed by the Funder.

1.5    “Eligible Member” mean members of the University who are eligible to apply for, hold and administer funds as provided for in Section 2 and Section 3 of the Eligibility to Apply for, Hold and Administer Research Funding Policy of the University.

1.6    “Funder” is defined as any organizational unit internal or external to the University which provides funding for the purposes of pursuing Research.

1.7    “Funded Research” means Research undertaken or proposed to be undertaken using financial and/or other (e.g. in-kind) support from a Funder or the University, whether by participation or competition, call for proposals, or pursuant to an agreement of any kind.

1.8    “Institutional Costs” means University expenditures incurred to benefit and support Research and for which it may not be possible to provide an exact itemization of the cost attributable to an individual Research Project.  Institutional Costs are real costs to the University, and include, without limitation, building use and depreciation, utilities, maintenance and upgrade of library resources, computer and network support, management and administration of Research, financial services (including purchasing, financial reporting and accounting), legal services, human resource services, risk management services, technology transfer services, regulatory and Research compliance (including Research ethics, human ethics, animal ethics, and biohazard certification), hazardous waste disposal, controlled goods, radiation safety, occupational safety, campus security and liability insurance.

1.9    “Non-Funded Research” means Research undertaken or proposed to be undertaken using non-financial means pursuant to an agreement of any kind.

1.10    “Principal Investigator” or “PI” means the individual responsible for the intellectual leadership of a Research Project or Research Program.  For clinical Research, the PI is defined as the person responsible for the conduct of clinical Research at a Research site, which is where the clinical trial related activities are conducted.

1.11    “Research” is defined as an undertaking intended to extend or apply knowledge through a disciplined inquiry or systematic investigation of scholarly and artistic activity.

1.12    “Research Fund” is defined as the means by which Research Projects are established within the University financial system.

1.13    “Research Project” is defined as Research undertaken with an intended inquiry, examination, defined question or hypothesis, start and end dates, deliverables, and budget (if applicable).

1.14    “Research Program” is defined as a collection of Research Projects which are aligned around a central theme.  While each Research Project is complete within itself, it may have overlapping staff, timelines or deliverables with other Research Projects within the Research Program.  As such, managing the Research Projects together generates savings or synergies that would not exist if they were managed and run separately.

1.15    “Research Agreement” means any document between the University and another entity for the purpose of Research, documented through (not an exhaustive list), funding proposals, Research contracts, Research grants, technical services agreements, service agreements, clinical Research agreements, memoranda of understanding, etc.

2.0    Proposals for Externally Funded Research

2.1    Any Eligible Member (as defined in the policy Eligibility to Apply for, Hold and Administer Research Funding) of the University who wishes the University to secure financial or other support for Research shall prepare a proposal which includes, at a minimum, the following information:  a statement of work; identification of the individuals and their affiliation who would undertake the work; the facilities to be used; and a budget for the Research Project or Research Program (if applicable), including a provision for the recovery of the institutional costs incurred in support of the proposed Research (if allowed by the Funder).  This would include the total direct costs of the Research and the associated Institutional Costs of Research (ICR) as outlined in the ICR Policy and Procedures.

2.2    Effective (date following approval of policy amendment), under no circumstances shall a proposal or budget for a Research Project or Research Program be prepared or approved which provides for a PI Fee to be paid to an Eligible Member.

2.3    Individuals must comply with the published Policies and Procedures of the University and of the Research Funder to be considered eligible to act as a PI  or Co-I.

2.4    All such proposals must be approved by the PI, Co-Is (if applicable) and the appropriate officials in the Administering Unit in which the PI (and Co-Is, if applicable and as required) holds his/her letter of appointment, and then sent to the Research Services and Ethics Office, Office of the Vice-President Research, for institutional review and approval before being sent to the Research Funder.  If the proposal is associated with a centre/institute or secondary unit, and using resources within that centre/institute/unit, then in addition to the Administering Unit, approval must also be obtained from the centre/institute/unit.

3.0    Negotiation of Agreement Terms and Institutional Authorization

3.1    All proposed Research Agreements must be submitted to the Research Services and Ethics Office, Office of the Vice-President Research, which will ensure that the terms and conditions are consistent with all applicable University policies, regulations and procedures as may be, from time to time, enacted and amended.

3.2    The contracting party for a Research Agreement shall be identified as the University of Saskatchewan represented by the Board of Governors.

3.3    Principal Investigators, department heads, associate deans research, deans, directors are not authorized to sign a Research Agreement on behalf of the University.  No Research Agreement for Funded Research shall be binding on the University unless it is signed as per the University Signing Authority Policy and Use of Corporate Seal Policy.

4.0    Institutional Awards

4.1    In the case of institutional awards, such as the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and the Major Science Initiatives (MSI) etc., regardless of the named PI, these awards will be administered by the Vice-President Research.

4.2    The Vice-President Research may complete a delegation of signing authority form for each institutional award.  The delegated individual will be responsible for all expenditures.

5.0    Roles and Responsibilities

5.1    Research administration has many requirements in order to comply with regulations, agreements, policies and procedures.  There are many parties involved in the administration of Research with clearly defined roles and responsibilities.  Principal Investigators, Co-Is, the Administering Unit, Research Services and Ethics Office, and Financial Services, must understand and follow their respective roles regarding the administration of Research at the University.  The Research Administration Procedures outline all respective roles and responsibilities.

6.0    Full Cost Recovery in Research

6.1       The University is committed to the principle of recovering the full costs incurred in support of Research.  Costs include the Direct Costs and Institutional Costs of Research unless the Research is subject to more restrictive, formal, publicized terms or policies regarding cost recovery associated with a Funder as described in the Institutional Costs of Research Policy and Procedures.


The Research Services and Ethics Office, Office of the Vice-President Research is responsible for the administration of this policy and is authorized to modify procedures.  Any significant modifications of procedures shall be reported annually to University Council.


The Research Services and Ethics Office does not have the authority to sign-off on behalf of the University on Research proposals or Research Agreements, or authorize Research Funds where the policies provided herein have not been complied with.

Related Documents

Research Administration Procedures

There are no other documents associated with this policy.

Contact Information

Contact Person: Director, Research Services and Ethics Office, Office of the Vice-president research
Phone: 306-966-8575