New process coming for hiring PT and temporary FT roles

November 17, 2015

Western is launching a new process for hiring of both part time faculty and part time and temporary full time staff.  This will include hires such as, but not limited to, Research Assistants, Student Assistants; and other positions not within a Unionized Group or Employee Association.

The launch is scheduled for this December.

In the Faculty of Education, please contact Vangie Castillo for information or assistance.

Post-Award Project Administration Guide for Research

October 1, 2015

Research Finance has now loaded their new Post-Award Project Administration Guide on their website (training section).  This is a comprehensive guide that provides detailed information on many, many topics related to the financial management of research projects.   It will be a good resource for the seasoned administrator, new employees, project managers and for researchers.  You will find helpful information on business practices, accountabilities, reporting and financial requirements.

Purchasing at Western Retail Services on Research Grants

March 12, 2015

Western Retail Services implements Speed Code Validation Process for Research Projects

Effective March 15, 2015, Western identification will be required to validate speed code authorization on research projects. 

Overview: As part of Western’s accountability framework and commitment to increased financial transparency, Western’s Retail Services (the Book Store at Western, Campus Computer Store and Books Plus) are working towards improved controls and processes to support this initiative.

All research expenses are required to be authorized by the Account Holders or their delegates.  This added validation will provide assurance that expenses have been properly authorized, speed codes are being charged correctly, and spending limits are adhered to.  This will also help to reduce processing errors.

System controls have been implemented by Financial Services to authenticate individuals with purchasing authorities.  Western Retail Services will continue to accept speed code purchases only if:

  • individuals are recorded in the Western HR system; and
  • purchasing authority has been documented within Financial Services.

Action: While all Research Project Account Holders automatically obtain spending authority on their research funds, other members of the Research team may be designated to make purchases at Western Retail Services.  To set up authorization for delegates, complete and submit the Research Finance Delegation of Signing Authority Form.

  • Questions regarding the validation process change should be directed to or
  • Questions pertaining to purchasing authorities or delegated authority, should be directed to Research Finance at

Update to the Tri-Agencies Financial Administration Guide (TAFAG)

February 3, 2015

The three federal granting agencies—CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC — have posted the 2014 Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide on their respective Web sites. The guide is effective January 1st, 2015 and supersedes all previous versions.

The summary of changes is as follows:

  1. Extension period for use of funds beyond a grant period

NSERC and SSHRC programs have been added to the list of programs that have a 1 year automatic extension period. 

  1. Travel and subsistence costs for collaborators

Collaborators’ travel and subsistence expenses are eligible “if related to research planning and exchange of information with the grantee or for the dissemination of research results (NSERC and SSHRC only); unless this is not permitted according to their formal participation in certain programs, as described in the program specific description and or application instructions (NSERC only).”

  1. Adjunct professors

“Adjunct professors whose primary place of employment is outside the university sector can only use their funds for direct support of students (salaries or stipends and student travel costs), all other costs must be covered through other sources of funding (NSERC only).” 

  1. Administrative Matters – Termination of a Grant (SSHRC)

“If a grantee’s primary affiliation is no longer with an eligible Canadian institution and if the grant cannot be transferred to an eligible co-applicant, the grant will be terminated.”

  1. Administrative Matters – Sabbatical/Research Leave (NSERC and SSHRC only)

“Grantees who are on a sabbatical/research leave (paid or unpaid) of more than one year are no longer eligible to hold and receive funding from a grant, and their grant will be terminated. Note: There must be at least one year between two sabbatical/research leaves for a grant to continue.”

  1. Administrative Matters – Paid maternity and parental leave for students and PDFs (NSERC)

The supplement will be paid to students and fellows as per their current salary/stipend for up to four months* (NSERC).  *Changing to six months for a new paid parental leave starting on April 1, 2015 or later.

SSHRC – Budgets as Part of the Merit Review

January 10, 2014

Communication from SSHRC:

Over the past months, SSHRC has been reaching out to the research community to better understand the ways in which our renewed program architecture is being “lived” by applicants and post-secondary institutions.   We welcome the engagement from our community on the impact of the changes that have been made to our programs, policies and processes as we are work to realize the goals of the new program architecture While this outreach will continue going forward, one issue that has arisen to date has been the treatment of proposed budgets within the merit review process.

An appropriate and well-justified budget is an integral part of an excellent research proposal.  At the same time – and consistent with the 2008 Blue Ribbon Panel report — SSHRC continues to stress that the role of merit review committees is to assess the relative merit of individual proposals, rather than to engage in detailed discussion and revision of budgets.  As a result, SSHRC relies on the collaboration of applicants and their institutions to ensure that requested budgets are realistic and properly justified – with sufficient funds to enable the success of the proposed research, and avoiding exaggerated budgets that would constrain the ability to fund other meritorious proposals.

In this light, we wish to reiterate the following parameters for the work of our merit review committees in the upcoming competitions, as set out in the merit review manual posted on our web site :

  • Committees can and should consider assigning a failing score on the Feasibility criterion in the case of proposals where they deem that 30 percent or more of the proposed budget is either not appropriate or not sufficiently justified.
  • Where this is not the case, committees may nonetheless recommend specific budget reductions if they feel that a particular request is inappropriate or inadequately justified, and if they are confident that savings could be achieved without jeopardizing the project objectives. They are instructed to refrain from proposing “across the board” cuts to all recommended projects, a practice which may put at risk the viability of individual research projects, and increases the likelihood of inflated budget requests in future competitions.

Once again, we thank applicants, institutions and committee members for their collaboration in safeguarding the integrity and sustainability of the merit review process, and in ensuring appropriate stewardship of public funds.  SSHRC will continue to monitor this and other aspects of our business processes, and if necessary will consider additional administrative measures in future years to ensure that proposed budgets are appropriate, well-justified and sustainable in light of SSHRC’s overall budgetary resources.


Brent Herbert-Copley, PhD
Vice-President | Vice- président
Research Capacity| Capacité de recherche
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines du Canada
350 Albert Street | 350, rue Albert, Ottawa, ON  K1P 6G4
E | C :
T : 613.995.5457    F | T : 613.944.4077

Eligibility of Air Canada Economy Fare Classes on Tri-Council Research Awards

April 26, 2013

The Tri-council Financial Administration Guide states that Air travel must be claimed at the lowest rate available, not to exceed full economy fare.”

The Tri-councils have recently confirmed that Tango and Flex (Tango Plus) are Air Canada’s lowest fare options, and should either of these fares be available it is expected that the lowest of these options be taken.  Latitude fares are allowable only when Tango or Flex fares are not available.  In accordance with this ruling, if an Air Canada Latitude fare is being charged to a Tri-Council research project, the travel claim should be accompanied by a screenshot from the Air Canada website showing that on the selected dates of travel there were no Tango or Flex fares available.

Similarly, for other carriers the lowest economy fair should be selected.

NOTE:  The above may not apply to long haul, international flights where business class could be acceptable, with the appropriate approvals and within agency rules.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact one of the Research Finance staff.

Tri Council Update and Information Sessions – Finances

February 12, 2013

Research Finance invites you to an upcoming information session specific to Tri Council research awards (NSERC, CIHR and SSHRC).  This session will provide an overview of the 2011 Tri Council monitoring visit and highlight how Western is addressing the findings and recommendations of the report.  Western’s Financial Risk Officer will clarify the requirements of the new Delegation of Signing Authority form and Research Financial Officers will review the compliance and supporting documentation requirements of the Tri Councils.

This session is recommended for all staff involved in the administration of these awards (Administrative Officers, Financial and Administrative Assistants, Research Facilitators, Project Managers) and for faculty recipients of Tri-Council funding.

Sessions are planned for:
Monday, March 4th          9:30 – 10:30 am                  Health Sciences Bldg, Room 11
Tuesday, March 5th          2:30 – 3:30 pm                   B&G Sciences Bldg, Room 153
Wednesday, March 6th  9:30 – 10:30 am                  UCC, Room 37
Thursday, March 7th        1:30 – 2:30 pm                   Kresge Bldg, Room 103

Please register using the My Human Resources on-line registration system (Manage Training Registration > Enroll in Internal Training Courses >  Search by Course Name) and select the course entitled “Tri-Council Update Info Session” at:

If needed, the following web link provides helpful instructions on how to register: