Getting Signatures

The Policy on the Approval of Contracts and Designation of Signing Authority designates the Vice-Principal (Research and Innovation) (VPRI) as signing officer on research-related applications, grants, agreements, and contracts. The VPRI exercises this signing authority through the oversight of the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR), the Office of Innovation and Partnerships (OIP), and the Strategic Initiatives (SI) team.

The OSR)/OIP/SI must review all research-related applications, grants, agreements, and contracts prior to signature and submission, including cases where:

  • McGill researchers are participating as co-applicants in a submission led by an external organization;
  • No funds will be transferred to McGill;
  • Applications are submitted electronically (e-submission or email);
  • No institutional signature is explicitly required (hardcopy or otherwise).

The time needed to review, sign, or procure the appropriate signatures depends on the complexity of the application, grant, agreement, or contract and volume of submissions. OSR/OIP/SI cannot submit or sign anything without sufficient notice to complete a comprehensive review.

As a rule, please provide documents 10 business days before a deadline. This includes a complete copy of the application, grant, agreement, or contract, and a complete and duly signed OSR checklist. Longer lead times may apply in certain situations. Late applications may be withheld and are subject to modification in scope and budget. Bypassing OSR/OIP/SI internal processes may lead McGill to refuse research awards submitted or signed without their review/approval.

For more information on signature requirements for the approval of faculty cash and in-kind contributions, please consult the Signing Authority Guidelines for Faculty Contributions to Research Projects and Agreements.

For more information on signature requirements for the approval of academic salary support requests, please consult the Signing Authority Guidelines for Academic Salary Support Requests in Research Projects and Agreements.

For more information on signing authority and signature requirements, please consult the Signing Authority and OSR Checklist FAQ page.


Guide to application signature requirements

  1. Applicant. The applicant certifies that the information provided in the application is true, complete and consistent with institutional policies to the best of the applicant's knowledge. The signature of the applicant indicates acceptance of academic, professional, and scientific responsibility for the project, as well as agreement to comply with the regulations and policies of the University and sponsor.
  2. Co-applicant (where applicable). In addition to the above, the co-applicant's signature(s) (when required) indicates that he or she agrees that the Principal Applicant will administer the project on behalf of the group or team. If a McGill researcher is a co-applicant on an application/agreement led by an external organization, then they would also need to complete and sign an OSR Checklist. Note that only one checklist is required per application/agreement from the lead McGill applicant, or from the lead McGill co-applicant in the case of externally-led submissions).
  3. Department chair, institute director, Dean/Associate Dean of Research or delegate of faculty (where applicable). This signature indicates that the applicant is a staff member at the University eligible to apply for external funding and that the applicant has time, space and the basic facilities available to carry out the proposed research. It also indicates willingness to recommend leave or other special arrangements as specified in the application. If the signatures of the chair and/or dean are not required on the application itself, they MUST appear on the OSR Checklist.
  4. Dean. The signature of the dean/delegate is required for non-departmentalized faculties. Internal policies may also require the dean's signature for certain faculties. This signature should appear on the application and/or OSR Checklist.
  5. McGill affiliated hospitals. If the project is to be administered by a hospital, consult the appropriate research institute for signatures. If administered by the OSR, but research is to take place at a hospital, 1 through 4 above apply. The signature of the director of the hospital (or delegate) must appear on the OSR Checklist, and indicates that the hospital is aware of the research to be undertaken and will provide all necessary support facilities.
  6. Final signature by University Officer. Whether required by the sponsor or not, final signature on behalf of the University must be obtained in the Office of Sponsored Research for all projects administered by the University.
    This signature:
    1. underwrites the departmental and faculty commitment;
    2. confirms that the institution will accept and administer funds in accordance with agreed terms and conditions or will negotiate acceptable terms if these are not established at the time of application; and
    3. when applicable, indicates that the project use of animals, human subjects, radioactive materials and biological research hazards has been or will be reviewed by the appropriate University ethics committee.

The above signatures are also required for applications submitted electronically (e-submission or email).

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