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FAQs

1.   How does my research grant account get set-up?

Research Services approves the opening of all research accounts. It is necessary for Research Services to have on file:

  • a copy of the application submitted for the research grant,
  • a completed Investigator checklist,
  • a budget which includes any appropriate overhead, ethics approval (if required) and
  • notification of approval from the funding agency.

When the information is complete for Research Services, Financial Services is advised to open a Research Grant Account. Upon receipt of funds from the funding agency, a letter of notification is sent to the Researcher advising of the account number.

2.   How does my research contract account get set-up?

All research contracts are negotiated by the Legal Advisor, Dalhousie Research Services on behalf of Dalhousie University. When the agreement has been signed by all parties, a copy of the contract is sent to Financial Services to set up a research contract account. All invoices, claims, statements are prepared by the Contract Administrator in Financial Services for submission to the funding agency.

3.   Is it possible to have my research grant account opened prior to receipt of funds from the funding agency?

The current practice of waiting for a cheque to arrive before opening a Research Grant Account will be waived if the following conditions are met:

  • Receipt of written confirmation from the funding agency that the project has been approved 
  • A copy of the proposal, budget and Investigator checklist is on file in Research Services
  • There are no outstanding conditions which must be met (e.g. ethics, animal care, biohazards, enviornmental assessment)
  • No charges can be made prior to the start date of the project and charges must be eligible for the project
  • Written confirmation providing an alternate account number to which expenses will be moved in the event funds do not arrive within three months

4.   What is the balance in my account?

As a researcher, you have access to Financial Self-Serve which provides up-to-date information on the transactions which are processed through your research account. To verify what your current balance is for your account, log into Dal Online, click on Web for Administrators, Finance and Researcher: Summary & Detail Query.  The balance is what is available to you as of this moment.      

E-Print provides the monthly General Ledger, Revenue & Expense and Payroll Hours and Fringe Benefit reports for your accounts.

If you require further information on Finance Self-Serve or ePrint, please review either the Quick Reference Material or Detail User Manuals.

Researchers are strongly urged to become familiar with these tools to monitor the activity in their account. Grant Administrators in Financial Services are unable to give priority to responding to questions from Researchers which are available to them online.

5.   How do I pay employees on my research account?

All payments to individuals working on research accounts must be processed through the Payroll Department on the appropriate forms. 

It is the responsibility of the Researcher to ensure sufficient funds are available in their research account to cover salary plus fringe benefits. For questions about cost of fringe benefits, consult with Payroll.

6.   What are the responsibilities of the Researcher once the grant account has been set-up?

The researcher is responsible for the following:

  1. Authorizing expenses charged to the account 
  2. Ensuring expenses are eligible under the funding agency guidelines
  3. Complying with Dalhousie University policies and procedures 
  4. Contacting sponsor agency if there is a change in their status at the University
  5. Contacting sponsor agency to request an extension on the term of their grant 
  6. Responsible for any over-expenditures on their account 
  7. Notifying Research Services of change in status 
  8. Approval of financial report (prepared by Financial Services) to the funding agency

7.   How do I get reimbursed for expenses that I have paid out of pocket?

A cheque requisition is the appropriate form to use for reimbursement of expenses paid for by you personally. Original receipts must accompany the cheque requisition form. Please visit Cheque Requisition if you have further questions regarding how to complete a cheque requisition form. Researchers are encouraged to obtain and use a PCard for small purchases.

8.   Is it possible to obtain a PCard for my research?

Yes, Researchers may obtain a PCard for their research. The Purchasing Card (P-Card) Program is the preferred method of procuring and paying for low dollar goods and services ($3,000 and Under).

9.   What are Dalhousie University's Policies and Procedures for Financial Services?

Please visit our Policy section to view the various policies and procedures.

10.   Can I prepare an invoice for reimbursement to my grant account?

All invoices submitted for payments must be prepared by appropriate staff in Financial Services. Contract your Grants Administrator to discuss invoicing matters.

11.   Can I borrow funds from one research account until I receive funding from a new grant?

No. Funds received from a Funding Agency are to support the specific research project awarded and cannot be borrowed to fund another research project.

12.   Can I buy computer (desktop or laptop) from my research account?   And if so how?

A computer may be purchased from your research account under certain conditions.  It is always best to get approval in advance of a purchase by contacting your research grant/contract administrator.

Financial Services will need the following information to access eligibility: 

  • How will the computer be used in the research for which the particular funds are approved?
  • What does your department normally provide in terms of computer hardware?
  • Was a computer specifically budgeted and approved as part of the award application/negotiation?

Assuming the purchase is eligible on your research account:

  • The best mode of purchase is via a p-card.  You can use this card for any purchase less than $3,000.  If the cost is greater than $3,000, you should submit a purchase requisition.
  • Dalhousie requests that you use one of the above methods.  Please DO NOT purchase computers from your personal credit card and request reimbursement via a cheque requisiton.

Reminder:

  • Computers purchased with research funds are the property of the University and policies related to research equpment apply.

For your reference, we direct you to Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide – Use of Grant Funds.   

http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Professors-Professeurs/FinancialAdminGuide-GuideAdminFinancier/FundsUse-UtilisationSubventions_eng.asp

·          Computers and Electronic Communications -  Eligible Expenses

·          Computers and Electronic Communications -  Non-Eligible Expenses