Roles and Responsibilities in the Financial Management of Research Grants and Contracts

The administration of research funds at the University of Ottawa is carried out by numerous centralized and decentralized units, teams and individuals. With ever increasing administrative and accountability requirements being imposed by our research sponsors, it is essential that all who participate in the administration of research funds understand the nature and importance of their contributions to the sound management and administration of the research funding entrusted to us by our research sponsors.

Effective administration and management of research funds begins with the person to whom a grant or contract is awarded, often referred to as the “Award Holder” or “Grantee” or “Principal Investigator”, to whom we will refer as the “Researcher” in this document.

The Researcher clearly has full responsibility for the conceptualization, scientific conduct of a project and overall sound scientific and financial management of a project. Yet, effective administration of research funding, in compliance with all administrative, financial management, and regulatory requirements clearly goes beyond the expertise of any single individual. In order for Researchers to be able to conduct their work and meet their obligations as scientific leaders and managers, they must rely on a variety of administrative support and information systems provided through the University.

In broad terms, the operational management of research is highly decentralized at the University of Ottawa, with the great majority of administrative transactions being handled at the departmental, faculty of institute level. Other services are provided centrally, such as research contract negotiation, approval of account openings and fund advances, certain purchasing services, financial reporting, and regulatory compliance programs. All must work seamlessly together if we are to meet our collective responsibilities to our Researchers and our research sponsors.

The purpose of this document is to clarify the roles and responsibilities for the following units, teams and individuals involved in the administration of our research funding:

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Last Updated: 9/28/2010