Research Administration Announcements

RAN logoA RAN listserv has been created to keep all members informed of future events, as well as policies and procedures related to research administration at McGill.

Subscribe to the listserv by contacting researchadministrator.osr [at]

For ease of future reference, major announcements sent to the McGill research community can be found here:

Notice Description Published Date
Tri-Agency Grant Extensions and Financial Reporting Updates A summary of directives received over the last few weeks from Tri‐Agency regarding grant extensions and financial reporting deadlines due to COVID-19. 2020-04-09
Renewal of the Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration (TAGFA) Due to the current COVID-19 situation, the implementation of the new TAGFA at McGill University will be deferred to June 1, 2020. 2020-03-27
NSERC and SSHRC grant extensions due to COVID Due to COVID‐19, NSERC and SSHRC have announced that academic institutions can immediately approve extension requests up to 12 months for active grants with an end date between February 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 inclusively. 2020-03-27
Fonds de recherche Québec (FRQ) Travel Guidelines - COVID-19 Fonds de recherche Québec (FRQ) directives regarding the eligibility of travel fees for disruptions caused by COVID-19 relating to research grants. 2020-03-13
Tri-Agency Guideline - COVID-19 Tri-Agency’s directives regarding the eligibility of travel fees for disruptions caused by COVID-19. 2020-03-10
Research Administration Roles and Responsibilities Recently revised and updated, this document outlines the key roles and responsibilities researchers, Departments, Schools, Faculties and central administration play in the effective and compliant management of research funds. 2018-12-18
Procurement Directive - Purchase Requisition Description To ensure the quality of the information stored in the systems and records is sufficient to meet reporting and record retention obligations, Procurement Services is issuing a new Directive, applicable to all purchase requests not originating from a MMP catalogue.


Fund Financial Management This is a reminder to all Fund Financial Managers of their important role with regards to the safeguarding and sound management of public funds entrusted to the University, and all the resources available to them in discharging their obligations in this capacity. 2018-09-17
Appointment of Sylvain Coulombe Effective September 1, 2018, Sylvain Coulombe has been appointed as the Associate Vice-Principal, Innovation and Partnerships for a five-year term. 2018-09-01
Eligibility Status McGill researchers, academic leadership and administrative staff are asked to notify the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) and Research Financial Management Services (RFMS) as soon as they are aware of a change in status, as this has an impact on a Principal Investigator's (PI) eligibility to hold research grants. 2018-06-06
Financial Services New Fund Request Six new and improved New Fund Request forms, including Guidelines, are now accessible on the Financial Services website. 2018-05-24
FY 2019 Overhead Recovery Fee

Effective May 1, 2018, the overhead recovery fee currently being charged on actual revenues earned in non-1A unrestricted funds will be increasing from 5% to 7.5%.

All existing exemptions to this fee will continue to be honored.

McGill University's New Customs Broker Effective March 16, 2018, Thompson Ahern International has the mandate to act as the University's official customs broker. 2018-03-13
MOPS - Two New Enhancements

The McGill Online PCard System (MOPS) has been updated to include two new enhancements that take effect January 24, 2018:

  1. Granting Agencies and Institutional Oversight for Research Grants and Contracts (2F/2M Fund Types)
  2. Uploading PCard Support Documents when Reconciling
Chart of Accounts Optimization Project As part of the Chart of Accounts Optimization project, Financial Services participated in the initiative to provide a relevant and streamlined set of account codes.  This entailed a thorough analysis of account code usage and review of existing definitions for the Revenue and Non-Salary Expenditure account codes.  The Financial Services website now hosts a dedicated account code section where all relevant information is published and can be readily consulted. 2017-12-21
2017 Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide - Summary of Changes (Original Receipts) Effective October 1, 2017, the Tri-Agency modified the section on travel claims in such that original receipts are no longer required.  However, in order to abide by best business practices and at the recommendation of our auditors, the existing University Reimbursement of Travel and Other Expense Policy and the Procedures for Travel and Other Reimbursable Expenses remain in effect as it relates to submission of original receipts for all research grants and contracts.  The University Policy exceptionally supersedes the granting agency's policy. 2017-11-07
FY 2018 Overhead Recovery Fee

Effective May 1, 2017, the overhead recovery fee currently being charged on actual revenues earned in non-1A unrestricted funds will be increasing from 4% to 5%.

Please note that unrestricted start-up grants and service agreements will be excluded from this charge.

New Processes Applicable to Change Orders

In order to meet Tri-Agency requirements, eliminate manual approval processes and duplication of efforts, as well as provide Principal Investigators (PI) full visibility on Change Orders, the following processes respective to Change Orders will be implemented:

  • Effective July 3, 2017, all Change Orders (Purchase Order changes) will be sent to electronic approval to the PI or their delegate.  The approval process will replicate the current approval workflows that exist for Purchase Requisitions in MMP.
  • Effective July 17, 2017, all invoices received by Accounts Payable where a discrepancy exists between the Invoice and the Purchase Order will be returned to the Purchase Order requestor and a Change Order will need to be submitted.
2016 Tri-Agency Monitoring Site Visit - Updates and Scorecard

We continue to actively develop and implement the necessary changes relating to expenses (Internal Stores, PCard, Internal Expense Allocations, Core Facilities) charged to research grants/awards to address the inadequate controls cited by the Tri-Agency in 2016.

The Tri-Agency Executive Scorecard is used to monitor the progress that has been made relating to the Tri-Agency findings.  McGill must address all of the findings in the Scorecard, and in June 2018, the Tri-Agency will formally review the corrective measures put in place to address the 2016 Monitoring Visit findings.


Research Asset Management Phase 2: Management and Disposal of Used and End-of-Life (U/EoL) Research Equipment

McGill is initiating a pilot phase for the management and disposal of used and end-of-life (U/EoL) research equipment purchased from Tri-Agency and US Federal Funds.

For additional information, kindly refer to the Research Asset Management Phase 2 Memo.

Revision of McGill Indirect Costs of Research Aligned with the Quebec Politique nationale de la recherche et de l'innovation (PNRI), McGill will apply the revised indirect cost rates effective March 1, 2017.  The implementation of these rates will not affect grants and/or contracts that are funded or negotiated prior to March 1, 2017.  Full details can be reviewed in the attached memo. 2017-01-26

Research Asset Management Phase 1: Tracking & Tagging of Research Equipment

As of January 1, 2017, McGill will begin tracking and tagging research-funded equipment that has an acquisition cost of $10,000 CDN or more (tax included). 

For additional information, kindly refer to the Research Asset Management Phase 1 Memo.

Changes to the Employment Status of Some Postdoctoral Fellows The status of postdoctoral fellows has been subject to some changes in the last few years, starting with federal government's decision in 2010 to classify postdoctoral fellows as employees.  Being classified as an employee means that postdoctoral fellows must pay provincial taxes, in addition to federal taxes.  McGill therefore has no choice but to start deducting provincial taxes for postdoctoral fellows deemed McGill University employees effective January 1, 2017. 2016-12-13

2016 Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide - Summary of Changes

A 2016 Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide - Summary of Changes has been created to highlight the updates made by the Tri-Agency to the Financial Administration Guide.

Changes made to this year’s guide supersede previous versions and are effective October 1, 2016.

For any additional information, kindly refer to the complete 2016 Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide.


Tri-Agency Monitoring Site Visit 2016 Results Memo

The Tri-Agency Monitoring Visit officially concluded in February 2016. The Tri-Agency report cited significant strengths, and also identified areas that require changes in order for McGill to ensure compliance.

Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) Disclosure and Management Procedure in US PHS (including NIH) Funded Research

The VPRIR and the Provost established the FCOI in US PHS Funded research and other applicable sources procedure to be administered by the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) in order to respect the compliance requirements for research conducted with funding from any agency of the US Public Health Services (PHS), including National Institutes of Health (NIH), and any other research funding sources which have adopted US PHS Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) Regulations (42 C.F.R. Part 50 and 45 C.F.R. Part 94).

Please consult the OSR website for more information.


Tri-Agency Monitoring - 2016 site visit and implementation of 3 new compliance measures

McGill has received confirmation that we will be undergoing our next monitoring review in February 2016.  Important changes continue to take place to ensure the Principal Investigators (PIs), or their confirmed Delegate(s), authorize all expenses charged to grants.  To this effect, three new compliance measures will take effect in December 2015:

  1. Quarterly Purchase Order-Invoice Variance Report
  2. Internal Central Services Report
  3. PI/Delegate Approval of Procurement Card (PCard) Reconciliations

2015 Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide - Summary of Changes

A 2015 Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide - Summary of Changes has been created to highlight the updates made by the Tri-Agency to the Financial Administration Guide.  The table summarizes only the following sections of the guide:

  • Use of Grant Funds
  • Checklist - List of Eligible and Non-Eligible Expenses for Stationery and Office Supplies

The changes/updates are underlined and highlighted in grey.

For any additional information, kindly refer to the complete 2015 Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide.

New Requirements for Research Expenses: Digital Record Retention

McGill University is embarking on a new record retention project aimed at meeting the highest standards of financial controls for the administration of research funds as well as ensuring prompt and efficient retrieval of supporting documentation for compliance monitoring and audit purposes.  The implementation of this secure web-accessible repository, eDocumentum, is planned for release to the McGill community for Spring/Summer 2016.


Federal Employer Compliance Fee

Effective February 21, 2015 the federal government introduced an employer compliance system for employers hiring foreign nationals under the federal international Mobility Programs.  Employers are now required to submit the job offer and other relevant information for the recruitment of a foreign national to Citizenship and Immigration Canada and pay an employer fee of $230.


New Requirements for Research Funds: Authorization of Expenses by PIs and Record Retention

Principal Investigators (PIs) must use the online Delegation of Temporary Signing Authority application to authorize signing authority to delegates.  PIs or their delegates must authorize all expenses allocated to their research funds.  Documents evidencing appropriate authorization must be retained by the Faculty/Department/Unit, easily accessible and retrievable upon request by sponsoring agencies.


Delegating Purchase Requisition Approvals - Change in Process

Effective March 13, 2014, ALL Purchase Requisitions must be approved by the Fund Financial Manager/Principal Investigator (FFM/PI) or their delegate.  FFMs/PIs who have not assigned delegates for Purchase Requisitions on their funds/grants will need to approve ALL Purchase Requisitions regardless of the dollar amount.  The approval of Purchase Requisitions exceeding $10,000 may not be delegated.  This threshold has not changed.


Fund Balances and Profile Report for PIs/FFMs - New Tool to Manage all Your Funds

The Fund Balances and Profile report is an active tool that can be used to track the daily activities and balances for all funds.


POPS Timesheets now available on Minerva Delegate Temporary Signing Authority Menu

Effective December 12, 2013, the new radio button for POPS Timesheets will be available and can be found in Minerva under the Employee Tab or the Finance Tab.

Effective January 6, 2014, POPS Timesheets will require the Fund Financial Manager/Principal Investigator (or their Delegate) to sign and date the timesheets.


Reimbursement of Expenses - PROCEDURE UPDATE regarding missing receipts

Effective September 1, 2013, the practice of obtaining a signed memo as a substitute for missing original receipts in expense claims, will no longer be in effect.  Claimants must now submit supporting documentation (original receipts or acceptable equivalent) when making travel expense reimbursements. 2013-09-03

Academic salary paid from research funds

OSR memo sent to Faculties clarifying tri-agency regulations with respect to charging academic salaries to grants. 2013-08-23

Delegation of Temporary Signing Authority Procedures For All Fund Financial Managers

Following the announcement regarding the New Delegation Menu accessible via MINERVA effective May 15, 2013, this new tool is to be used by all Fund Financial Managers and Principal Investigators for use across all fund types and is not restricted to research funds.  The temporary delegation in Minerva will replace the current paper forms and will be in effect for Travel Advances, Expense Reports and Payment Requests. 2013-05-09

Message from the Office of Sponsored Research and Research Financial Management Services to the McGill Research Community

Message discusses recent procedural changes implemented at OSR and RFMS to better streamline the research administration process at McGill. 2012-06-01



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