Financial Management

Financial administration of research agreements, is done through Financial Reporting in consultation with the Financial Officer(s) within the Principal Investigator’s academic home.  The Principal Investigator is responsible for proper financial management.  The Principal Investigator must ensure that all financial charges against the fund are eligible expenses according to the agreement (including its start and end dates and budget), Sponsor guidelines including Tri-Agency, and applicable University policies, including Administration of Research Funds.

Only expenses incurred during of the term of the grant may be claimed. In certain instances the Sponsoring agency will not permit an extension to the end date of the grant. Therefore, the research project must be completed prior to the end date of the agreement.

Delegation of Signing Authority on a Research Fund
A Principal Investigator may delegate another individual to authorize expenditures against his/her research project fund. In such cases, a Grant Holder Declaration and Delegation of Signing Authority form must be completed and approved by the Principal Investigator and by the named delegate.  For Tri-Agency funds, the form must be completed and forwarded to the college or unit’s institutional approver.  For non Tri-Agency funds forward the completed form to the Controller’s Office.
The Tri-Agency Institutional Approver at the University of Saskatchewan

The Institutional Approver (IA) is a control function that has been put in place to ensure expenditures that are not eligible or non-compliant with Tri-Agency and University guidelines will be denied before the charge is entered into the financial system.  The expenditure will have to be sent back to the Principal Investigator or named Delegate for rectification. In the majority of cases, this will involve the expenditure being charged to a different fund. 

For more information on the IA please refer to the Financial Services website.
Payment of Research Funds and Financial Reporting

All invoicing and financial reporting to funders on research projects is handled by Financial Reporting.  Once you have a project established, claims, statements and financial information will be prepared by Financial Reporting for submission to the Sponsor. For more information, please contact Financial Reporting.

Payments to the University shall be made payable to University of Saskatchewan

Cheques are to be forwarded to: Treasury, E40 - 105 Administration Place, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A2, phone: (306) 966-4595, fax: (306) 966-8306, e-mail: FSD_Treasury@usask.ca  

Wire transfers can also be arranged for payment. Please refer to the Electronic Funds Transfer Application for Vendors instructions on the FSD site.
Access to Financial Information

The University has a financial information system called UniFi that is used to record and report financial transactions.  Access to the system and training are available through Financial Services UniFi / Finance System.  For further information on UniFi and finance training opportunities see: Financial Information System (UniFi) information page.

Purchasing Goods and Services

Purchasing Services should be consulted for information related to the procurement of goods and services in relation to your research project.

Ownership of Items Purchased with Research Funds

All items purchased with research funds belong to the University and not to the individual Principal Investigator, unless the funding Agency agrees otherwise in writing, or unless doing so would be contrary to a legislated requirement. As owner, the University is responsible for ensuring that the items are used to support the research program of the Principal Investigator and any applicable Co-investigators.
Research Travel
The University has a comprehensive policy with accompanying guidelines covering travel. An Authority to Travel Form must be completed prior to travel. Principal Investigators must ensure all travel follows the University’s travel guidelines.  Please contact the Financial Services Division (FSD) for further information regarding the University’s travel policy and guidelines.
Over-expenditures on Research Funds

It is the policy of the University that over-expenditures are not permitted on research funds, except for agreements providing that expenditures are paid on a reimbursement basis. The University does not have discretionary financial resources to underwrite research budget deficits and, therefore, the spending pattern should be consistent with the available funding. Projects should not progress at a pace more rapid than can be financed with the current year's funding. Furthermore, it cannot be assumed that the Sponsor will provide funding in the subsequent year(s). In many cases, funds covering multi-year agreements are subject to the availability of funds to the Sponsor and may be contingent on established milestones.

The prime responsibility for controlling expenditures of funded research activity and clearing over-expended funds is vested in the Principal Investigator. In situations where sufficient funding is not available to continue the support of a research project, all activity which depends on the external funding must be suspended. The Principal Investigator’s academic home has the administrative responsibility of assisting in resolving financial problems should they occur and/or suspending activity on research projects that are in deficit financial positions. Research Services and Ethics Office and Financial Reporting should be notified as early as possible of the potential risk of over-expenditure.

Advances on Research Grants

Research grant Funds are not permitted to be in a deficit financial position. However, unique circumstances may exist where an advance is required from subsequent year's approved awards to provide interim financing for the project(s) to ensure an orderly continuation of the research activity.

Only multi-year awards (i.e. periods of two or more years paid in installments), are eligible for advances, except in the final year.
Tri-Agency Deferral of Instalment/Annual Commitment Payments

Government policy states that Agencies cannot pay instalments/annual commitments in advance of need; they can provide funds only to correspond with the cash flow requirements of the research project. If the Principal Investigator has a build-up of funds in a research fund due to a slowdown or delay in the research (for example, extended leaves [sick/maternity/parental leave], difficulty in hiring staff) and believes that the scheduled instalment/annual commitment for the next financial year will not be needed at that time, the Principal Investigator should request a deferral of the next instalment/annual commitment from the Agency.  For more information about deferrals, hold-backs and deferral of the start date (CIHR), contact the Awards Administration section at NSERC, SSHRC or CIHR.

For more information on the financial management of your research funds, please refer to the Research Administration page on the Financial Services website.