Tri-Agency Grants

Tri-Agency is the umbrella term used to describe the three Canadian Government research funding agencies:

  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

The Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE), Canada Research Chairs (CRC), and Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) programs are initiatives of Tri-Agency, and are generally subject to the same policies that the three agencies abide by: the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide.

All Tri-Agency funding is bound by the terms of the Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions and the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide, with additional specific terms and conditions applied at the program level:

Expense Eligibility

Any expenses charged under the Tri-Agency funding, must be essential and directly related to the funded grant and approved by the grantee. Review the documents that will help you to learn about what counts as an eligible expense.


These are the responsibilities relating to ensuring the compliance of Tri-Agency grants:


  • Ensure that financial transactions charged to the PGs are authorized (with signing authorities formally delegated).
  • Ensure that all expenditures charged to the PG are eligible costs per grant/contract.
  • Manage funds to avoid overspending.
  • Comply with institutional and funding agency policies, as well as general terms and conditions governing grants, including specific conditions for each grant.
  • Designate an alternate PG for committed payroll expenses when a grant has expired. 
  • Review monthly PG reports on a timely basis.
  • Request deactivation of PG upon completion of the research project.
  • Review and sign Form 300.
  • Inform funding agency and UBC of a change in eligibility status or nature of research that may affect certifications (humans / animals / biohazards / environmental / ethics) or approval.
  • Meet other reporting requirements as set by the granting agency (including technical progress reporting).

Faculty/department finance managers and administrators

  • Provide administrative support to the Grantee in day-to-day activities.
  • Process payment requisitions and expense transfers (for Departments that are FMS certified).
  • Verify financial transactions charged to the PGs to ensure:
    • eligibility of expenses
    • receipt of goods and services
    • appropriate supporting evidence is provided
    • expense claims and invoices are properly signed by the authorized signatures on file
    • a separate travel claim is provided for each trip
    • claimees have their expense reimbursement claims approved by their manager or supervisor.
  • Maintain supporting documents for seven years.
  • Coordinate with the PI for the review and signing of Form 300.

Office of Research Services

  • Assist with the grant application process.
  • Set up and modify grant accounts, subject to necessary certification / approvals, including (but not limited to):
    • ensuring all relevant certifications / approvals have been met
    • establishing project parameters, such as budget, project activity period, accounting system chartfields
    • noting special conditions specific to the grant.
  • Handle confirmation of eligibility exercise upon request from the funding agencies.
  • Prepare agreements for inter-institutional fund transfers / advancing funds to other institutions.

Research Finance

  • Conduct spot audits of financial transactions charged to PGs to ensure compliance.
  • Review expenses charged to expense account codes with restrictions, excluding meals and entertainment expenses.
  • Prepare Form 300 in a timely manner, and provide financial reporting to Tri-Agency when requested (annual and ad hoc).
  • Review and record collaborative advances to other institutions, and collect financial reporting from the other institutions when Form 300s for submission to the funding agency need to be prepared.
  • Conduct regular training to promote knowledge on Tri-Agency guidelines and UBC policies related to research.
  • Provide clarification and guidance on policy interpretation.
  • Monitoring to ensure the PG is not overspent or used outside of the authority to spend period of the grant.
  • Receive, distribute and refund payments made from the funding agencies.

Accounts Payable

  • Process payment requisitions and expense transfers.
  • Ensure backup and authorization for travel related expenses.
  • Ensure that no alcohol expenses are charged to Tri-Agency PGs.