Policies for Research Grants and Awards

1. Eligibility
Eligible applicants
Eligible institutions
Number of applications per competition
2. General Policies
Terms and conditions
Payments
Releasing funds/encumbrances
Acknowledgement of funding
Application deadlines
Breach of contract
Certificates
Change in Principal Investigator/Mentor/Applicant Team
Integrity in research
Leaves, absences - medical, parental, sabbatical
Open access
Ownership
Signatures on applications and award documents
Privacy information
Tobacco
Transfer institutions
3. Scientific Reporting
Scientific reporting requirements
4. Financial Administration
Eligible expenses - salary award
Eligible expenses - research grant
Ineligible expenses
Financial overlap
Carryover of funds within grant term
Financial statements
Use of funds beyond grant end date
No-cost extensions

 
 
 
1. Eligibility

Eligible applicants

An independent investigator is an individual who has an academic or research appointment that must be in effect by the commencement of funding and allows the individual to: 
  • pursue the proposed research project
  • engage in independent research activities for the entire duration of the funding
  • supervise trainees
  • publish the research results
The investigator is obliged to conform to institutional regulations concerning the conduct of research, the supervision of trainees, and the employment conditions of staff paid with Prostate Cancer Canada (PCC) funding.

To be a Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-Investigator, the named person must be an independent investigator. 
 

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Eligible institutions

Eligible institutions must meet the following requirements:

  1. The institution type must fall under one of the following categories:
    • Canadian post-secondary institutions and their affiliated institutions including hospitals and research institutes
    • Canadian non-governmental, not-for-profit organizations (including community or charitable organizations) with an explicit research or knowledge translation mandate
    • Canadian non-federal government departments or agencies, including regional health authorities, when specific programs of those departments or agencies do not fund the activity that forms the subject matter of the grant
  2. The institution must be a recognized legal entity.
  3. The institution must have the necessary accounting systems and financial controls in place to manage PCC funds.
  4. The institution must ensure that the researcher will have the time and infrastructure that will permit the pursuit of the planned research and the freedom to publish the results.
Applications from for-profit organizations are not eligible. Non-domestic (non-Canadian) entities (foreign institutions) are not eligible to apply.

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Number of applications per competition

Unless otherwise stated in the competition documents, applicants may submit only one application as a PI per competition.


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2.  General Policies

Terms and conditions

Grants are at all times conditional upon and subject to availability of funds to PCC. PCC reserves the right to terminate or change, at any time, any grant or award. 


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Payments

Funds will be paid out to the Host Institution in installments four times per year (July, October, January and April) over the term of the award.


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Releasing funds/encumbrances

The PI and the Host Institution must formally accept the grant. Funds will be released upon acceptance and confirmation of no financial overlap with existing funding. Any stipulations as identified in the competition documents, such as proof of appointment or proof of other funding, may be required at the beginning of the grant term or throughout the term of the award.


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Acknowledgement of funding

PCC-funded research-related advertising, promotion, publication, presentation and/or exhibition must contain acknowledgement of funding as outlined in the Notice of Award. The grantee agrees to provide PCC with prior notice of any media event or announcement related to this project in order to allow PCC to be involved.  Involvement will be at PCC’s discretion.


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Application deadlines

Application deadlines will be posted on the PCC website. All deadline times will be posted as Eastern Time (either Eastern Standard or Eastern Daylight as applicable on the deadline date). Note that support, technical or otherwise, is only guaranteed until 5:00 pm Eastern Time on deadline dates even if the deadline time is later.

Extensions to application deadlines are not normally approved. 

Where electronic submission is required, if technical issues with the application system arise that prevent submissions at critical times, notification of extensions will be posted on the PCC website. Extensions in these cases will be determined based on the length of system down-time and its proximity to the deadline.  

If an applicant is unable to submit an application by the deadline due to personal unforeseen circumstances (e.g., severe illness, death in the family), the applicant must contact PCC prior to the deadline to request an extension. Consideration for extensions under these circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis. [Note: In order to prevent delays in application processing and reviewer assignments, critical elements will be required in a timely manner as determined by PCC staff]. 


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Breach of contract

PCC may, at its option, terminate the project for any of the reasons listed below.  Upon termination, Host Institutions must immediately repay any and all disbursements from the point of breach including interest (at Prime Rate) accrued if:
  • the PI or Host Institution fails to observe or perform PCC’s funding term or condition if such failure continues for a period of 20 days after receipt by the Host Institution of written notice by PCC of such failure
  • the PI abandons the project in whole or in part, or ceases to actively cause the Project to be completed in an expeditious manner
  • the PI or Host Institution makes or has made a material misrepresentation in their application to PCC for the award of a material fact relevant to these policies
  • the Host Institution becomes insolvent; bankrupt; or a receiver or manager, court appointed or otherwise, is appointed for its assets
  • order is made or a resolution is passed or proceedings commenced for the winding up, liquidation, or dissolution of the Host Institution, or the Host Institution is otherwise dissolved or ceases to carry on its operations
  • in the opinion of PCC, acting reasonably, there is a substantial increase in the degree of risk surrounding the implementation and completion of the Project
  • any portion of the project funds is used for any purpose other than those permitted by PCC policies

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Certificates

Researchers must comply with all applicable requirements and legislation for the conduct of research, including but not limited to current versions of:
  • Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans
  • Canadian Council on Animal Care in Science policies and guidelines
  • Public Health Agency of Canada’s Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines
Copies of valid certificates, where required, must be provided by the grantee in order to release the grant funds. Certificates must be valid at the start date of the grant (expired certificates are not acceptable) and name the grantee and the approved research project.

Prostate Cancer Canada is open to funding research using human embryonic stem cells when:
  • the research is evaluated as meritorious by a panel of expert reviewers via a PCC-managed peer review process, and has significant potential to generate information that will contribute to lessening the burden of prostate cancer;
  • the research must adhere to the CIHR Guidelines for Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Research, which prohibits cloning and the creation of embryos strictly for research purposes, but permits research on embryos no longer needed for reproductive purposes donated with full informed consent. The institution must notify PCC as to the results of the review by the CIHR’s Stem Cell Oversight Committee.
More information is available here: http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/15255.html



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Change in PrincipaI Investigator/Mentor/Applicant Team  
      
Funding for grants and awards is contingent upon the continued participation of the named PI, and/or any named Co-Principal Investigator, Mentor or Co-Investigator named on the application. 

PCC must be advised of any changes as they occur.

A written request to change the designated PI or Mentor must be approved by PCC. The request must include a listing of the revised team along with a plan and persuasive justification to demonstrate that the research project can continue under the direction of the new PI or Mentor. 
Consideration for change will be considered where the original PI or Mentor is unable to continue the research project due to illness, death or ineligibility (such as moving to a Host Institution outside the country or an ineligible institution).


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Integrity in research

PCC is dedicated to the maintenance of high standards of integrity in research.  Therefore, PCC requires that all Host Institutions that administer PCC funds have in place procedures and policies to ensure the maintenance of research integrity and to investigate any charges of scientific misconduct and to impose appropriate sanctions.  

In the event that an allegation of scientific misconduct involving any project funded by PCC is found to have merit, the Host Institution is obliged to provide PCC with a report of the allegations made, the results of the investigation, and the remedial actions taken within 60 days of the finding.  The Host Institution is responsible for the maintenance of research integrity and the reporting of scientific misconduct for research conducted at Co-Institutions.


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Leaves, absences – medical, parental, sabbatical

Interruption of the project
If a project will be interrupted for a period of 6 months or greater for any reason other than sabbatical leave (e.g., vacation leave, maternity or parental leave, disability leave), permission must be obtained from PCC to temporarily interrupt the project and begin again at a later date.  

Sabbatical leave
If the PI takes a sabbatical leave, PCC must be advised. A plan for the continued operation of the research project must be provided along with verification of approval of the sabbatical from the Host Institution. The PI will remain responsible for completing the required scientific and financial reporting.

Abandonment of the project
Should the PI not be able to continue the project as planned in the initial application for any reason, it is the responsibility of the PI and the Host Institution to notify PCC. A financial statement must be provided and any unspent funds must be returned to PCC.    


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Open access

Researchers are encouraged to make their work publicly available. Archives such as PubMed Central, researchers’ Host Institution websites, and/or open access journals are all acceptable ways to make research findings publicly available. It is expected that researchers will make their work available as soon as possible, but must do so no later than six months after the final publication date. 

PCC appreciates the importance of publishing research results in the most widely read and respected scientific journals. This policy is in no way designed to compromise the ability of any researcher to publish in these journals, nor is the open access policy designed to operate in a manner that violates copyright law. 

PCC believes that unrestricted public access to research findings is a crucial part of upholding the values and responsibilities of PCC. Open access allows for broader dissemination of knowledge and ultimately promotes research advancement, crucial to the PCC mission. 

PCC will provide support for any charges levied by publishers that are required to comply with the open access process. Such charges may be included as legitimate research expenses in the budget of a research grant submission.


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Ownership

Ownership and the assignment of the rights to any Intellectual Property will be in accordance with the Intellectual Property Policy of the Host Institution.  At this time, PCC will not take or be assigned ownership to any Intellectual Property.


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Signatures on applications and award documents

With their signatures (PI, Co-Investigator, Financial Officer and Senior Faculty/Dean) on applications and/or Notice of Awards, the signators:
  • confirm the information provided in the proposal is complete, accurate and consistent with institutional policies
  • agree to administer funds in accordance with the PCC’s grants and awards guidelines and financial and reporting requirements
  • will ensure that any research carried out with funds from PCC complies fully with the policies and guidelines in the ethical conduct of research in Canada
  • will be responsible for any and all risk and liability related to the funded project and shall take all necessary measures to avoid any losses or damages to PCC, its successors, assigns, directors, officers and employees
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Privacy information

Personal information provided by the applicant will not be transmitted to any entity external to PCC and will be governed by the Privacy policy posted on its website.


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Tobacco
    
PCC will not provide funds to individuals/institutions who receive support directly from tobacco manufacturers or from the Council for Tobacco Research or from the Smokeless Tobacco Council.     


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Transfer institutions   
    
Grantees who transfer institutions during a grant term must submit a request to transfer their PCC grant. Approval of the transfer will be contingent upon the PI being appointed to an appropriate position and the new institution meeting Host Institution requirements. Institutional sign-off must be obtained in order to formally transfer the grant to the new institution.

Closing financial statements must be provided from the original Host Institution; any unspent funds are to be returned to PCC for reimbursement. Where an overspent balance exists, funds will be paid out firstly to the original Host Institution before any funds are forwarded to the new Host Institution. 


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3. Scientific reporting

Scientific reporting requirements       

Annual scientific progress reports must be submitted by the PI for each funded research grant or award. The statement is due 45 days following the anniversary of the grant start date. 

An end of grant report is due 45 days following the grant end date.

A FINAL report is due 2 years after the grant end date.

Performance indicators that must be reported on include:
  • Results obtained (*please identify the single most important finding and/or milestone reached this past year)
  • List of publications, conference presentations and other forms of scientific communication that have resulted from this project
  • List of additional grant funding obtained from results of the funded grant/award   

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4.

































  
Financial Administration

Eligible expenses – salary award

Salary award funds are to be directed toward salary and fringe benefits for the award recipient (based on a full-time academic or research appointment). Any fringe benefits based on the Host Institution’s rate and the percent of effort must be included in the per annum salary award maximum.

The Host Institution may supplement the award salary contribution up to a level that is consistent with the institution’s salary scale. Institution supplementation must not require extra duties or responsibilities that would interfere with the purpose of the salary award. 


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Eligible expenses – research grant 

Eligible expenses include:
  • Direct research operating costs for the proposed research, such as materials, supplies, animals and upkeep,  and services, publication and open access fees
  • Small equipment items up to a value of 5% of the annual budget
  • Salaries of research assistants, technicians, project coordinators and other personnel who will enhance the collaborative research productivity of the research team
  • Stipends for trainees (e.g., undergraduate, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows); these shall be in accordance with institutional policies, up to a maximum of $21,000 per annum for graduate students and $50,000 per annum for postdoctoral fellows
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Ineligible expenses 

Expenditures not eligible for funding include:
  • Indirect costs associated with the conduct of research include, but are not limited to heating, lighting, lab or office furniture, networking fees, ethics review, intellectual property and commercialization activities
  • Salary or honoraria for mentors, PIs (except for salary awards) and Co-Investigators
  • Fringe benefits for students and postdoctoral fellows
  • Conference travel, entertainment or hospitality costs
  • Membership fees, union dues
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Financial overlap

Grantees are required to confirm that they have no funding overlap with PCC-funded grants or awards. Grantees may not accept overlapping funds for the same project or salary award from other sources. At any time during the funding period, should a grantee receive an award for the same project from other sources, the grantee must notify PCC immediately and discuss potential options (such as decline, discontinue, or reduce PCC and/or alternate grant funding). 


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Carryover of funds within grant term

Grantees are permitted to carry forward unspent funds within the term of the grant. Annual financial statements must be provided; variances on any budget line of greater than 30% will require an explanation along with the statement.

PCC reserves the right to withhold/delay continued payments if the spending on a grant results in a significant unspent balance. 


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Financial Statements

Separate accounting must be maintained for each research grant or award. Annual financial statements of account must be submitted for each funded research grant or award. The statement is due 45 days following the anniversary of the grant start date. It must report all funds received as well as a breakdown of expenses. Statements must be signed by both a Financial Officer for the institution and the grantee.

PCC reserves the right to request additional information as may be required during the review and/or audit process. Where variances are greater than 30% from approved budgeted amounts, an explanation for the variance must be provided along with the statement.

Failure to provide a Statement of Account could result in grant funds being withheld. Outstanding reports for prior grants may impact the release of funds for new grants.


Downloads:
PCC Statement of Account - Salary Award
PCC Statement of Account - Grant

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Use of funds beyond grant end date

It is expected that grantees will expend the funds awarded during the proposed and approved term of the grant. A detailed annual financial statement must be provided by the Host Institution no later than 45 days after the end of each grant year to show spending of funds for approved expenses. All unexpended funds are to be returned to PCC.

Surpluses of up to the value of 50% of final year budget may be retained for up to 6 months beyond the grant end date, to spend on approved expenses for the grant. In addition to the annual statements and reports, a final financial statement must be provided to cover the additional period no later than 45 days after the 6-month grace period ends. Any unexpended funds are to be returned to PCC.


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No-cost extensions 

However, if funds remaining exceed the value of 50% of final year budget and/or more than 6 months are required to complete the work, a formal no-cost extension with justification must be requested. Examples of occasions where a no-cost extension will be considered include:
  • where proposed work remains to be completed
  • where the grantee or critical staff on the project has taken an extended leave of absence during the term of the grant
No-cost extensions will not be given for research that is deemed to be continuing on from the originally proposed studies. Also, no-cost extensions will only be considered to extend the term of the grant for up to one year after the initial funding period.

The request for a no-cost extension must include the following information:
  • an explanation for the delay
  • a brief description for the work remaining with an estimate of the additional time required to complete the work
  • a projected figure of the amount unspent at the end of the current termination date
Requests for a no-cost extension should be directed to: Joanne Reynolds, Manager, Grants & Awards and must be received a minimum of 30 days PRIOR to the grant end date in order to be considered.

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