Roles & Responsibilities in Relation to Research Grants/Contracts

Royal Roads University Policy

First implemented: 
October 1, 2004
May 1, 2011

This document provides guidance on the roles and responsibilities of Grant/Contract Holders and university administrators in relation to research Grants/Contracts and other academic non-instructional contracts.

The term Grant/Contract Holder may refer to core faculty, associate faculty, adjunct faculty, other Royal Roads University (RRU) staff members, students, professor emeriti, and others on a case by case basis.

The term Grant/Contract may refer to a research grant, a research contract, an institutional based consulting contract, an institutional service contract relating to academic matters or any other institutionally based contract other than direct instructional contracts.

The term Sponsor/Funder refers to any individual, organization, agency, etc. that provides funds.

Grant/Contract funds are held in trust by RRU and are not the property of any individual (unless otherwise specified).

The Office of Research will ensure appropriate financial coding is in place in order to track revenues and expenditures in accordance with funder guidelines and RRU protocols. All cost centres from each faculty or unit will roll up to the Office of Research.

Pre-Grant/Contract Roles and Responsibilities

Grant/Contract Holder

  1. Notifies their Dean/Unit Head, as well as the Office of Research, that they wish to explore submission of a proposal to a Sponsor/Funder. Pre-approval is required from the Dean/Unit Head, the Associate Vice-President Research and the Vice President (Academic) and Provost before proceeding. Grant/Contract proposals should align with RRU’s goals and objectives.
  2. Completes the proposal, including budget and any expected university and partner contributions, once pre-approval is provided. The Grant/Contract Holder has primary responsibility for writing the proposal and articulating the content.
  3. Discusses needs and costs with appropriate university departments (e.g. Business Development, Finance, Foundation, IT, Library, etc.) as required.
  4. Ensures proposals for external funding are authorized as appropriate by the University (e.g. Dean/Unit Head, Associate Vice-President Research, Vice-President (Academic) and Provost, or President).
  5. Ensures all internal/external deadlines regarding the proposal are met.
  6. Agrees to abide by the Sponsor/Funder’s terms and the university’s policies (e.g. research ethics and potential conflict of interest).

Office of Research

  1. Publicizes Grant/Contract and other award opportunities.
  2. Assists with determining whether the proposal fits with the applied and professional focus of RRU’s research model, research theme areas, and the goals and objectives of the university.
  3. Clarifies the nature of the proposal: individual versus institutional, contract versus grant, etc.
  4. Assists in ensuring the proposal meets the requirements of the Sponsor/Funder.
  5. Assists in assessing the requirements of the university in supporting the proposal and coordinates with other university departments (e.g. Business Development, Finance, Foundation, IT, Library, etc.) as appropriate.
  6. Fosters collaboration among Grant/Contract Holders.
  7. Liaises, as required, with Sponsor/Funder and partners.
  8. Provides review and feedback on the proposal.
  9. Assists with the budget as required.
  10. Advises on overhead/indirect costs, and assists with negotiation of such where necessary.
  11. Clarifies intellectual property issues.
  12. Assists in the negotiation of contracts.
  13. Assists in obtaining the appropriate institutional approvals.
  14. Arranges submission of proposals to meet deadlines.


  1. Reviews proposals with a capital component prior to submission.

Dean / Unit Head

  1. Reviews and recommends for both pre-approval and approval (or not) the proposal, in light of the faculty/unit’s mandate, required capacity to provide the support from the faculty/unit, and RRU’s goals and objectives.

Associate Vice-President Research

  1. Reviews and recommends for both pre-approval and approval (or not) the proposal in light of the university’s goals and objectives.

Vice-President (Academic) and Provost

  1. Provides pre-approval and final approval of the proposal or coordinates with the President in the event that the President’s approval is required.

Post Grant/Contract Administration

Grant/Contract Holder

Note: It is the responsibility of the Grant/Contract Holder to ensure that expenditures do not exceed revenues, and that all expenditures are eligible as per the terms of the sponsor.

  1. Assumes responsibility to the Sponsor/Funder and to RRU for completing deliverables as articulated in the proposal.
  2. Liaises with appropriate university departments (e.g. Business Development, Finance, the Foundation, IT, Library, etc.) as required.
  3. Accesses financial information regarding the Grant/Contract including a record of all financial transactions.
  4. Confirms all expenditures associated with the award and ensures that expenditures are as agreed upon in the approved budget.
  5. Follows award and RRU guidelines ensuring expenditures fall within eligible dates of the award, and are not in excess of award funds.
  6. Provides original receipts and appropriate back-up information for all expenses.
  7. Supervises personnel, including students, according to RRU human resource policies.
  8. Prepares required reports for the Sponsor/Funder as agreed to in the terms and conditions of the Grant/Contract.
  9. Advises the Dean/Unit Head and the Office of Research of any change in status and any significant change in the research program.

Dean / Unit Head

  1. When salaries, release time and fees for RRU staff are covered by a Grant/Contract, determines the allocation of funds.
  2. Provides approvals for expenditures. Note: While it is the responsibility of the Grant/Contract Holder to ensure that expenditures do not exceed revenues, and that all expenditures are eligible as per the terms of the sponsor, the Dean/Unit Head is also responsible to ensure that expenditures do not exceed revenues, and that all expenditures are eligible as per the terms of the sponsor, on behalf of the university.
  3. Provides reports on research activity for the faculty/unit as required.

Office of Research

  1. Processes notices of award from Sponsor/Funder and requests a cost centre from Finance. The Cost Centre request will also be sent to the Research Ethics Coordinator (REC) and Research Ethics Reviewer (RER). The Cost Centre request includes the following information:
    1. Name of researcher;
    2. Name of project;
    3. Funder;
    4. Amount of grant;
    5. Duration of grant;
  2. No expenses will be approved until steps 3 & 4 below are complete.
  3. REC and RER add this information to the ethical review database, and send an email to the researcher.
  4. Once researcher receives ethical review clearance, REC and RER alert the Research Development Team. In the event no ethics review is required, REC or RER also alert Research Development Team. Expense claims and other transactions will then begin to be processed.
  5. For multi-year grants, REC and RER will check with researcher, prior to the end of one year, to see if the ethical review needs to be renewed. The REC and RER provide a list to the Research Development Team by the last working day of the month of any renewals due in the next month.
  6. If a renewal is required and the Development Team has not been informed of its approval by the REC and RER by the due date, the Development Team will work with Financial Services to halt the funds until confirmation of approval has been received.
  7. Office of Research reviews terms and conditions of the award and, as required, notifies the Grant/Contract Holder, the Dean/Unit Head, the Associate Vice-President Research and the Vice-President (Academic) and Provost, of specific terms requiring attention.
  8. Prepares agreements and contracts for signing and notifies Grant/Contract Holder of administrative requirements.
  9. Secures signatures of the RRU executive and external partners.
  10. Provides administrative support for financial management, including monitoring award finances. This includes invoicing, payment of invoices, personnel contracts, and purchase of materials and supplies in accordance with university policies.
  11. Involves business managers as appropriate (e.g. staffing requests, travel approval).
  12. Liaises with Sponsor/Funder when Grant/Contract amendments are required and secures appropriate RRU signatures.
  13. Establishes sub-agreements if required.
  14. Assists the Grant/Contract Holder in fulfilling their administrative responsibilities to the Sponsor/Funder and RRU.
  15. Ensures ethical review and other required approvals are in place prior to the release of funding.
  16. Liaises with the Dean/Unit Head, Associate Vice-President Research and the Vice-President (Academic) and Provost on e.g. salaries, release time, honoraria or fees for consulting payments.
  17. Communicates with Sponsor/Funder regarding compliance with the financial guidelines as required.
  18. Works with Finance to ensure invoices are submitted to the Sponsor/Funder.
  19. Assists in discussions with other university departments (e.g. Business Development, Finance, the Foundation, IT, Library, etc.) as required.
  20. Provides Finance with copies of Grant/Contract agreements including guidelines for financial monitoring of revenues and expenditures.
  21. Monitors, with Finance, revenues and expenditures with due diligence.
  22. Ensures overhead/indirect costs are allocated as per university policy and guidelines unless otherwise negotiated.
  23. Maintains a database that tracks Grant/Contract details.
  24. Prepares reports as required by the Deans/Unit Heads, Vice-President (Academic) and Provost, Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer, Associate Vice-President Research, Finance, and others. 25. Communicates research activities.

Finance Office

  1. Provides account maintenance over the life of the award.
  2. Coordinates award audits as required.
  3. Prepares financial reports required by the Sponsor/Funder.
  4. Approves invoices for submission to the Sponsor/Funder.
  5. Prepares and provides regular reports to the Executive, Office of Research, Deans/Unit Heads, as well as individual reports to the Grant/Contract Holders.
  6. Approves final financial reports as appropriate.

Vice-President (Academic) and Provost

  1. Facilitates Sponsor/Funder discussions as issues arise, as appropriate.
  2. Approves final financial and other required reports, as appropriate.
  3. Coordinates with the President on institutional Grants/Contracts as required.

Faculty members are expected to make themselves familiar with the following related policies, procedures and agreements:

  • Conflict of Interest Policy
  • Conflict of Interest in Research Policy
  • Grants and Contracts Pre-Approval Form
  • Intellectual Property Policy & Procedures
  • Policy on Integrity and Misconduct in Research and Scholarship
  • Research Ethics Policy
  • Research Projects Using RRU