Updates - 2017

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November 2, 2017: Upcoming consultations and discussions

Representatives from the Agencies will attend the Canadian Association of Research Administrators (CARA) Regional Conferences in the coming weeks. Presenters will share information about the Renewal of the Tri-Agency Financial Administration, including details about progress to date. The focus will mainly be on the new principles-based approach to renewing the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide.

The dates and locations of the planned consultations are outlined below.

Upcoming consultations and discussions





Colloque Francophone des services de Finances

Delta, Trois Rivières

Conference: October 17-18 (COMPLETE)

Session: October 18th from 9:15 to 11:45 AM (COMPLETE)

Pierre Côté (CIHR)

Nathalie Manseau (NSERC/SSHRC)

CARA East/CAREB Atlantic 2017

Memorial University of Newfoundland

St. John's, Newfoundland

Conference: November 14-15

Session: November 14th from 2:10 to 3:10 PM

Pierre Côté (CIHR)

Karine St-Amour (NSERC/SSHRC)

CARA Ontario

Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning, The Hospital for Sick Children

Toronto, Ontario

Conference: November 16-17

Session: November 16th from 11 AM to 12 PM

Pierre Côté (CIHR)

Karine St-Amour (NSERC/SSHRC)


Shawinigan, QC

Conference : November 22-24

Session: November 23rd from 10:40 AM to 12:00 PM

Pierre Côté (CIHR)

Nathalie Manseau (NSERC/SSHRC)


Vancouver Island Ballroom at Hotel Grand Pacific

Victoria, British Columbia

Conference: November 29-December 1

Session: November 30th from 11 AM to 12 PM

Pierre Côté (CIHR)

Nathalie Manseau (NSERC/SSHRC)

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October 5, 2017: Updates to 2017 financial administration guides

"Light Review" of the 2017 Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide and the 2017 Tri-Agency College and Community Innovation Program Financial Administration Guide

The 2017 Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide and the 2017 Tri-Agency College and Community Innovation Program financial Administration Guide were reviewed to address outstanding administrative irritants and "quick fixes" until the launch of the new "principles-based" Guides. The new Guides and their respective Summary of Changes have now been posted online.

Effective as of October 1st, 2017, please note that changes made to these Guides supersede previous versions.

New Grant Amendment form

As part of this review, we are also happy to introduce a new Grant Amendment form, which was created in an effort to harmonize processes and to reduce administrative burden among the Agencies, grant holders and institutions. The intended purpose of the form is to amalgamate the multiple checklists currently residing in the Guide and to streamline and standardize the grant amendment process. The form is now accessible through the Guide website.

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September 25, 2017: Suspension of financial monitoring reviews

In light of the review of the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide, the Agencies are suspending their financial monitoring reviews and follow-up exercises. The Agencies feel that monitoring based on a Guide that will be substantially changed would not be beneficial to either the Agencies or the administering institutions.

For those organizations that have recently had a Financial Monitoring review and are working to implement further control mechanisms to meet the requirements of that review, we encourage you to contact the Agencies so that we may discuss postponing those implementations.

Notwithstanding this suspension, we encourage all organizations to continue any improvements of your financial administration of Agency funds in order to ensure sound controls are in place.

Ongoing improvements

As part of our commitment to having strong and productive collaboration with the administering institutions, the Agencies will continue to seek feedback from research administrators and business officers. Your feedback in regards to our forms, processes and guidelines has been invaluable to date, and we are continuing to improve our service delivery. As part of our ongoing improvement, the Agencies remain committed to:

  • Improving service standards;
  • Addressing areas of debates such as reporting requirements; and
  • Reviewing and standardizing tri-agency forms.

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July 31, 2017: Changes to paid parental leave for students and postdoctoral fellow research trainees

The guidelines regarding parental leave supplements for eligible students and postdoctoral fellows research trainees who are paid out of agency grants will be changing July 31, 2017. Working collaboratively, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) have sought to improve access to paid parental leave, harmonize their guidelines and reduce administrative burden.

As a result, effective July 31, 2017, SSHRC will join NSERC and CIHR in providing parental leave supplements paid out of agency grants within six months following the child's birth or adoption to eligible students and postdoctoral fellows who are primary caregivers for a child. (This will not be retroactive; it will apply to births and adoptions on or after July 31, 2017.)

Further, for all three agencies, starting on July 31, 2017, students or fellows eligible for other parental leave supplements may also be eligible for Agency supplements. The following sentence of the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide in the "Administrative Matters" section will be deleted: "Students or fellows who are eligible for employment insurance or other parental leave supplements from other sources do not qualify for parental leave supplements".

Correspondingly, changes have been made to the "Checklist for Maternity and/or Parental Leave Paid from Grants to Students and Postdoctoral Fellows": essentially, SSHRC will adopt the same administrative model as NSERC, by which the supplements are paid to the institution as a reimbursement for the Paid Parental Leave they have provided to eligible students and postdoctoral fellows paid out of agency grants.

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