Access to Residual Funds – NSERC & SSHRC – New Western Policy

Re-profiled Access to Residual Funds – NSERC and SSHRC

Where Western is the lead institute and the NSERC or SSHRC formal grant period ends, researchers (who are Principal Investigators) are given an automatic one-year extension for the use of any unspent funds to close down or finish off their research (referred to as the terminal year).  Since 1992 for NSERC, and 1998 for SSHRC, Tri-Agency regulations have stated that any remaining (or residual) funds after this terminal year will be transferred to the University’s General Research Fund (GRF) Accounts. These special SSHRC and NSERC accounts are to be held in trust by the university president for the broad purpose of enhancing the quality of research in accordance with SSHRC or NSERC policies on the use of funds. Only SSHRC-related research may be supported by the SSHRC GRF and similarly only NSERC-related research may be supported by the NSERC GRF.  Funds may be used to provide small start-up grants to new researchers, bridge funding to researchers who are between applications, additional funds to researchers in support of their research, etc. and funds must be spent in a timely manner.

Over the past 15-20 years, the University has offered the Access to Residual Funds program to PIs who have SSHRC or NSERC grants ending with unspent funds;  however, effective May 1, 2013, the Access to Residual Funds programs have now been re-profiled into Western’s Strategic Support programs (see attached). Bridge funding, offered under both the SSHRC and NSERC Strategic Support programs, may be requested by researchers whose SSHRC or NSERC grants have just ended and who were unsuccessful in securing external SSHRC or NSERC grants in the past year.

Please be advised that any remaining funds from SSHRC or NSERC external grants that have ended their terminal year after May 1, 2013, will be transferred to Western’s General Research Fund as per SSHRC’s and NSERC’s regulations, and these funds will be re-allocated to Western’s Strategic Support programs. No further “Access to Residual Funds” internal support will be offered.

For more information on Western’s upcoming Strategic Support competitions which run twice a year (including the Bridge Grants), please visit:, and under Research Grants, select the Tri-Agency specific program. Any inquiries about Western’s new internal funding opportunities may be emailed to  Florence Lourdes, Internal Grants Coordinator, at


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