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Information for Tri-Agency Grant Applications & Awards

NSERC (Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada) is a departmental corporation of the Government of Canada created in 1978. It is funded directly by Parliament and reports to it through the Minister of Industry.

SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) was created by an act of Parliament in 1977, and is governed by a Council that reports to Parliament through the Minister of Industry.

CIHR (Canadian Institutes of Health Research)is anarm's-length agency of government, and accountable to Parliament through the Minister of Health.

Each of these agencies provides funding for approved research initiatives.  Funding is subject to the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide.

The administration of funds granted by these Agencies is carried out by the researcher or Principal Investigator (Grant Holder), York University and the Agency.  Grant administration is guided by the Memorandum of Understanding on the Roles and Responsibilities in the Management of Federal Grants and Awards.

Representatives of the Agencies conduct periodic monitoring visits to ensure that York has established appropriate procedures, systems and controls to ensure that agency policies and requirements are followed.  Administrative, personnel and accounting procedures must conform to the standards, practices and policies of York University.

Non-compliance with Agency rules may result in “the freezing or closing of grant account(s) of an individual researcher or of all grant accounts at the Institution.  If grant funds are used to pay expenditures contrary to the Agency’s policies, they will have to be repaid to the grant account or to the Agency.  Grantees who disregard the requirements outlined in the Agency’s Guides, Institutional polices, or principles of sound financial management risk losing their funding and may be subject to Agency sanctions”. (Reference: Tri-Agency 2008 Financial Administration Guide.)

The information that follows is specifically related to the procurement of goods and services in support of an approved Tri-Agency grant award.

The Tri-Agency (NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR) looks to both the researcher or principal investigator (PI) and York to provide:

Minimum Requirements

Researchers or Principle Investigator must: York University must:
  • Exercise good economic management
  • Know the rules
  • Keep agencies up-to-date about eligibility status
  • Submit reports
  • Acknowledge agency support


  • Provide grant holders with infrastructure and administrative support
  • Implement policies, systems and controls
  • Know the rules
  • Look to the agencies for clarifications
  • Keep agencies up-to-date about eligibility status
  • Submit reports

Where acquisitions of goods and services (including external consultants) are required, the Tri-Agency has prescribed a number of activities that must be undertaken in each stage of the grant process, both Pre-Application Stage and Post-Award Stage.