University of Toronto Governing Council
Research Administration Policy
October 30, 2013
To request an official copy of this policy, contact:
The Office of the Governing Council Room 106, Simcoe Hall
27 King’s College Circle University of Toronto Toronto, Ontario
RESEARCH ADMINISTRATION POLICY
The University of Toronto is committed to excellence in research and the administration of funds provided in support of that research. Under the Policy on Approval and Execution of Contracts and Documents, research agreements conforming to relevant University policies may be approved and signed by the President, the Vice-President, Research and Innovation, an Assistant or Associate Vice-President within that Vice-President’s portfolio, or designate thereof.
The purpose of this Policy to establish general principles and procedures for the development, approval and administration of research projects conducted at the University of Toronto.
The following capitalized terms, whether used in the singular or plural, have the following meanings in this Policy:
1.1 “Administering Unit” means the academic division, department or unit in which the Principal Investigator holds an appointment that accepts (and is eligible to accept under the University’s applicable policies and procedures) administrative responsibility for a Sponsored Research project.
1.2 “Direct Costs” means the costs of a project that can easily and accurately be identified as such. Examples include but are not limited to salaries, wages and benefits of research personnel, materials and supplies, travel, equipment and rental of space.
1.3 “Indirect Costs” means the costs of a project that cannot be directly attributed to it, usually because they are incurred for objectives common to multiple projects, multiple researchers or multiple functions of the University. Examples include but are not limited to building use and depreciation, equipment depreciation, physical plant and maintenance (including utilities, hazardous waste disposal, and security), insurance, financial administration (including purchasing and accounting) and libraries.
1.4 “Principal Investigator” means the individual responsible for the intellectual leadership of a Research project.
1.5 “Research” means investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery or interpretation of knowledge, the systematic collection or revision of knowledge in light of new facts or theories, the development and application of methodologies to increase knowledge and the practical application of knowledge to specific problems or circumstances, as may be more particularly described in any guidelines issued pursuant to this Policy.
1.6 “Research Agreement” means an agreement entered into or proposed to be entered into by the University in respect of Research and includes any Sponsored Research agreement and any agreement to provide or receive materials, information or data, or any other tools to facilitate Research.
1.7 “Sponsored Research” means Research undertaken or proposed to be undertaken using financial and/or other (e.g. in-kind) support, whether by participation in a competition, call for proposals, or pursuant to an agreement of any kind.
2. Proposals for Sponsored Research
2.1 Any eligible member of the academic staff 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 who would undertake the work, the facilities to be used, and a budget for the project, including provision for the recovery of the full costs incurred in support of the proposed Research.
2.2 Individuals must meet the published guidelines of the University and of the Research sponsor to be considered eligible to act as a Principal Investigator.
2.3 All such proposals must be approved by the Principal Investigator and the appropriate officials in the Administering Unit and/or the academic division housing the Administering Unit, and then submitted to the appropriate unit of the office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation for institutional review and approval before being sent to the sponsoring organization.
3. Negotiation and Signature
3.1 All proposed Research Agreements must be submitted to the appropriate unit of the office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation, 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 Governing Council of the University of Toronto”.
3.3 A Principal Investigator is not authorized to sign a Research Agreement on behalf of the University. No Research Agreement or proposal for Sponsored Research shall be binding on the University unless it is signed or otherwise approved by the Vice-President, Research and Innovation (or designate) or another officer authorized to do so under the Policy on Approval and Execution of Contracts and Documents. In cases where the agreement is to be executed under the University’s seal, the agreement must also be countersigned by another officer authorized by the Policy on Approval and Execution of Contracts and Documents to execute documents under seal.
4. Roles and Responsibilities
4.1 The Principal Investigator is responsible for:
- preparing the proposal for the project, including its budget and statement of work;
- submitting the proposal to the sponsor once it has been endorsed by the University in accordance with this Policy, except in instances where submission by the University is specified by the sponsor;
- carrying out the work as stated in the proposal or as otherwise stated in the Research Agreement;
- ensuring that all persons working on the project, whether paid or unpaid, are fully informed of and agree to comply with all applicable terms of the Research Agreement or sponsor’s funding terms;
- ensuring that all obligations with respect to intellectual property, whether pursuant to the Research Agreement, sponsor’s funding terms, or University policies, are met;
- maintaining scholarly or scientific records and data in accordance with the Research Agreement, sponsor’s funding terms, University policies, and best practices of the Principal Investigator’s academic discipline, whichever is more rigorous;
- submitting (and retaining at least one copy of) reports and other deliverables in the form and by the dates specified in the Research Agreement or sponsor’s funding terms;
- authorizing all expenditures in accordance with the Research Agreement or sponsor’s funding terms and the policies and procedures of the University;
- following all relevant laws, regulations, and University policies and procedures in the conduct of the project; and
- informing the Administering Unit and the office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation as soon as possible if the Principal Investigator becomes aware of any circumstances that could prevent satisfactory completion of the project or compliance with any terms and conditions of the Research Agreement or sponsor’s funding terms.
4.2 The Administering Unit is responsible for:
- providing the necessary support for the project (including administrative support, financial support and space as indicated in the proposal) and ensuring the sustained operation of the research infrastructure and assets funded by the sponsor by including related operating and maintenance costs into planning and budget processes and documents;
- processing authorized expenditures in accordance with the Research Agreement or sponsor’s funding terms and the policies and procedures of the University;
- maintaining financial records in relation to the project in accordance with the Research Agreement or sponsor’s funding terms and the policies and procedures of the University, whichever is more rigorous; and,
- absorbing all financial shortfalls associated with the project, whether occasioned by failure to comply with the Research Agreement or sponsor’s funding terms, overspending, or shortfalls in revenue.
4.3 The office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation is responsible for:
- approving proposals for Sponsored Research on behalf of the University, unless otherwise expressly delegated;
- negotiating and executing Research Agreements on behalf of the University;
- overseeing the administration of Sponsored Research funds in a restricted research fund throughout the term of the Research Agreement or sponsor’s award;
- providing financial reports to the sponsor in accordance with the Research Agreement or sponsor’s funding terms;
- informing the Principal Investigator and the Administering Unit as soon as possible if the office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation becomes aware of any significant adverse matter in respect of the project.
5. Full Cost Recovery in Research
5.1 The University is committed to the principle of recovering the full costs incurred in support of Research. Costs include the Direct and Indirect Costs of Research unless the Research is subject to more restrictive formal, publicized terms or policies regarding cost recovery associated with a sponsor.
6. Application and Administration
6.1 This Policy applies to all Research conducted or proposed to be conducted at, or under the auspices of, the University using University personnel, students, premises, resources, services, facilities, or equipment. Guidelines issued under this Policy shall be followed to determine whether an activity or proposed activity is Research for the purposes of this Policy.
6.2 The Vice-President, Research and Innovation is responsible for the administration of this Policy, is authorized to approve guidelines, regulations and procedures pursuant to this Policy and may, in unusual circumstances, approve modifications to the application of this Policy if she/he is satisfied that it is in the best interests of the University to do so. Such modifications shall be reported annually to the Planning and Budget Committee of the Governing Council. The Vice- President, Research and Innovation (or designate) is also authorized to execute such agreements and other documents as may be necessary or desirable to implement this Policy on behalf of the University.
6.3 This Policy replaces the Policy on Research Agreements and the Recovery of Indirect Costs of Research (April 26, 2007) and amends the Policy on Approval and Execution of Contracts and Documents (November 17, 2008) by revising Paragraph D(1)(e) thereof to read as follows:
“Research Agreements (as defined under the Research Administration Policy) conforming to relevant University policies may be approved and signed the President, the Vice-President, Research and Innovation, an Assistant or Associate Vice-President within that Vice-President’s portfolio, or a designate thereof.”
Approved by the Governing Council October, 30, 2013.