Your research has been funded. Now what?
Receiving research funding is an exciting step towards advancing your work. In order to ensure that everything goes smoothly throughout the cycle of your grant you need to manage these funds according to the numerous stipulations outlined by the funding agency.
Complying with the regulations of your research sponsor can be tricky as each agency has its own set of rules and regulations. The key is to get as informed as possible when it comes to proper fund management, important dates and compliance conditions. Don’t assume anything until you have all the facts.
The good news is that the Office of Research is there to give you the information you need to guide you along the way.
Here are some important points to keep in mind:
Know the ins and outs of your grant period
Being approved for a grant means that there are specific beginning and end dates that must be followed when using funds. Respecting these timelines will keep you in good standing with the granting agency.
Certain agencies (CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC) allow for a grace year, or automatic extension of one year, that you do not need to request in order to complete spending on the project.
Remember, only expenses occurring within the official beginning and end dates of the award will be eligible for reimbursement. If you’re uncertain whether grace periods exist, or you’re unsure about the key dates associated with your grant, reach out to the Office of Research to double check.
How to ask for an extension
Sometimes during the cycle of a research grant certain challenges arise that necessitate an extension. The Office of Research can help you determine if one is needed.
If you think an extension is necessary then you must submit a written request to the Office of Research detailing the reason(s) for the request, the amount of unspent funds remaining, how the funds will be used and how much additional time is required to complete the project.
To ensure seamless access to funds, please make sure you submit a request for an extension before the end of your grant period.
Manage your funds wisely
As you know, there are numerous expenses associated with doing research. Having said this, not all costs related to your work are considered eligible for funding.
It’s important to learn and about what qualifies for coverage by thoroughly reviewing the guidelines for admissible expenses covered by the agency. Certain expenditures may require that additional information be provided to ensure that the claims meet the goals of your research.
Once you start the project, you will need to adhere to the proposed budget. While some grants afford budget flexibility, any change of more than 20 per cent in a given category will require the agency/program officer’s approval before the spending of these funds occurs. Please check with the Office of Research to find out where this applies,
Understanding indirect costs
Concordia has important infrastructure, services and facilities in place that are integral to the development of your research.
When applying for your grant, you may have to build in 15 per cent of your budget for indirect costs associated with Concordia facilities and services. Once received, this amount will be deducted from your overall award.
For more information, visit researcher resources on C-Space, or contact the Research Grant Unit at ext. 4888 or office.of.research@concordia.