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 on a grant, the named person must be an independent investigator. 
 
Eligible Trainees
In order to be eligible for a Graduate Studentship Award, applicants must:
  • be accepted into a full-time doctoral program in Canada at an eligible institution
    • have completed at least one year of their doctoral studies
    • be more than one year from submission of doctoral thesis

Students enrolled in combined degree programs (e.g. MD/PhD) are eligible to apply during the research portion
of their program. The health professional degree portion is not counted as graduate studies.

 

In order to be eligible for a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship in Prostate Cancer award, applicants must:

  • be studying at an eligible institution
  • hold a PhD degree
Note: Candidates who have obtained a doctoral degree more than three years prior to the start date are not eligible to apply.



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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 (or Co-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

Payments will be made to the Host Institution in four equal installments (January, April, July, October) annually over the term of the award provided that PCC reporting requirements are met.


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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

 

The Host Institution will notify PCC of all public/media announcements that relate to the funded work and be prepared to work with PCC on the announcements; the funder shall be acknowledged in all scientific publications and media releases as indicated on the Notice of Award.


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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. 

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 payments. 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/Supervisor 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/Supervisor. 
Consideration for change will be considered where the original PI or Mentor/Supervisor 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
For research grants, 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.  

For personnel awards, (including Rising Stars, Graduate Studentships, Post-Doctoral Research Fellowships and Clinical Research Fellowships), PCC provides salary support to the Host Institution; PCC is not the employer of record. PCC must be advised of any interruption other than regular vacation (e.g., maternity or parental leave, disability leave). PCC may grant an unpaid leave; the awardee and Host Institution must advise PCC of the type of leave, expected length of the leave and the expected re-start date. Such awards will be suspended for the length of the leave. The maximum allowable leave is one year.

Confirmation must be provided by the awardee and the Host Institution to PCC when the awardee has returned so that the award can be re-instated. In addition, an update confirming status must be provided approximately two months in advance of the expected return date. No additional funds will be provided. If the awardee does not return, the remainder of the award will be cancelled and any excess funds are to be returned to PCC.

For Rising Star awards, which have a personnel award component and a research grant component, the personnel award component will be suspended as noted above. The awardee will have the option to either suspend or continue the research grant component during the leave period; PCC will provide a no-cost extension to match the revised end date based on the approved leave. No additional funds will be provided and funds cannot be transferred between the salary award and research grant components. In either case, a detailed plan for the continued operation of the research project must be provided along with verification of approval of the leave from the Host Institution. The Rising Star (PI) will remain responsible for completing the required scientific and financial reporting.


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, the signators:
  • confirm the information provided in the proposal is complete, accurate and consistent with Host Institution 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

Signatures on grant and award documents

With their signature on the Notice of Award on behalf of the Host Institution:

  • Confirms that they have read and understand the Host Institution’s responsibilities according to PCC’s Policies for Research Grants and Awards: http://www.prostatecancer.ca/Research/Grants-and-Awards-Guide/Policies-for-Research-Grants-and-Awards (current at date) under which this award is made includes, but is not limited to:
  • Administration of the funds is in accordance with the PCC’s Policies for Research Grants and Awards financial reporting requirements
  • Assurance is provided that any research carried out with funds from PCC complies fully with the policies and guidelines in the ethical and responsible conduct of research in Canada (http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/40512.html) (current at the time the research takes place)
  • Agreement that there is no funding overlap with the named PCC-funded grant or award. Funds must not be accepted from other sources for identical research or salary support within the term of the named grant/salary award. If at any time during the funding period, a grant or salary award for the same research and/or salary support is funded from other sources, the grantee and the Host Institution must notify PCC immediately to discuss potential options.
  • Assurance is provided that the Host Institution has 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
  • Assurance that the named Principal Investigator meets the eligibility requirements listed on the Notice of Award
  • Assurance that the Principal Investigator will have the sufficient time and infrastructure that will permit the pursuit of the planned research and the freedom to publish the results
  • Assurance that the information provided in the proposal is complete, accurate and consistent with the Host Institution’s policies
  • Agreement that the Host Institution will notify PCC of all public/media announcements that relate to the funded work and be prepared to work with PCC on the announcements; the funder shall be acknowledged in all scientific publications and media releases as indicated on the Notice of Award
With their signature on the Notice of Award the Principal Investigator:
  • Accepts the award and confirms that there is no financial overlap with existing funding.  Funds must not be accepted from other sources for identical research or salary support within the term of the named grant/salary award. If at any time during the funding period, a grant or salary award for the same research and/or salary support is funded from other sources, the grantee must notify PCC immediately to discuss potential options.
  • Acknowledges that I have read, understand and will comply with PCC’s Policies for Research Grants and Awards found at: http://www.prostatecancer.ca/Research/Grants-and-Awards-Guide/Policies-for-Research-Grants-and-Awards  (current at date). This includes, but is not limited to:
  • Confirms that the information provided in the proposal is complete, accurate and consistent with the Host Institution’s policies
  • Provided assurance that any research carried out with funds from PCC complies fully with the policies and guidelines in the ethical and responsible conduct of research in Canada (http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/40512.html)
  • Provided assurances that PCC is acknowledged in all scientific publications and media releases, as indicated on the Notice of Award.
With their signature on the Notice of Award the Trainee:
  • Accepts the award and confirms that there is no financial overlap with existing funding.  Funds must not be accepted from other sources for identical research or salary support within the term of the named grant/salary award. If at any time during the funding period, a grant or salary award for the same research and/or salary support is funded from other sources, the grantee must notify PCC immediately to discuss potential options.
  • Ensures that PCC is acknowledged in all scientific publications and media releases, as indicated on the Notice of Award.

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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 redistribution. 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 salary award portion cannot be used for other research expenses.


The salary award contribution may be supplemented from other sources 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.

Salary award funding cannot be deferred, except as expressly identified under Leaves, absences noted above.  

Eligible Expenses - trainee award


A Graduate Studentship Award provides $35,000/year for 2 years towards a stipend for the award recipient (based on a full-time student status). Additional scholarships received from other agencies can be accepted but cannot exceed $35,000 per annum. In such cases, the PCC contribution will be reduced in order not to exceed the $35,000 per annum stipend cap. Other grants must not require extra duties or responsibilities that would interfere with the purpose of the Graduate Studentship Award.

A Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship in Prostate Cancer provides $50,000/year for 2 years towards a stipend for the award recipient inclusive of all institutional benefits (based on a full-time student status). Additional scholarships received from other agencies can be accepted but cannot exceed the maximum value of the scholarship; $50,000 per annum. In such cases, the PCC contribution will be reduced in order not to exceed the $50,000 stipend cap. Other grants must not require extra duties or responsibilities that would interfere with the purpose of the Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship in Prostate Cancer award.

Knowledge placement stipend: Up to $5,000 will be allotted to each recipient to complete an inter-lab placement. Eligibility criteria:
  • The goal of the knowledge placement is for the trainee to learn a new technique, approach or skill that may enhance their research in prostate cancer, its diagnosis, treatment or follow-up care, or benefit their career path in prostate cancer research. The activity must take place in another academic research institution, either within Canada or internationally.
  • The activity must be completed within the term of the award.
  • A plan (approx. 1 page) must be provided for review by PCC in advance of the placement; the plan must:
    • describe the educational activity and its impact on the trainee’s career path
    • identify the institution to be visited, the hosting investigator and the timeframe of the activity
    • provide planned expenses (travel, living expenses)
    • be signed by the Trainee, Host Institution Supervisor and Placement Institution Supervisor
  • A summary report must be completed within 6 weeks of returning from the placement; a template will be provided.
PCC will cover costs for reasonable living expenses and travel (per Host Institution’s Travel Policy) to the Placement Institution. Ineligible expenses include: research costs, conference travel and registration fees, hospitality and entertainment costs, passport costs, alcohol, tobacco. Funds will be released when the placement plan has been approved by PCC. All unexpended funds are to be returned to PCC.

Trainee award stipends cannot be re-directed or deferred, except as expressly identified on the Notice of Award. 

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Eligible expenses – research grant 

Eligible expenses include:
  • Salaries
    • Salaries of research assistants, technicians, project coordinators and other personnel who will enhance the collaborative research productivity of the research team;
    • Stipends paid to trainees (e.g., undergraduate, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows) 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.
  • Direct research operating costs for the proposed research
    • Equipment (up to 5% of funding over the term of the grant for small equipment items. Equipment items must be relevant to the research project and justification must be provided.)
    • Materials and supplies
    • Services
    • Knowledge Translation activities which can include:
      • Travel to conferences when presenting results from the funded research grant/award (up to 1% of funding)
      • Publication costs relating to the funded research
      • Other knowledge dissemination activities
    • Other Expenses
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Ineligible expenses 

Expenditures not eligible for funding include:
  • Indirect costs associated with the conduct of research (including, but are not limited to, heating, lighting, ethics review, intellectual property and commercialization activities)
  • Salary or honoraria for researchers/mentors
  • Fringe benefits for students, postdoctoral fellows and clinical research fellows
  • Conference travel (except where noted above)
  • Entertainment and hospitality costs
  • Membership fees, union dues
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Financial overlap

Grantees are required to confirm that they have no financial overlap with existing funding. Funds must not be accepted from other sources for identical research or salary support within the term of the named grant/salary award. If at any time during the funding period, a grant or salary award for the same research and/or salary support is funded from other sources, the grantee and the Host Institution must notify PCC immediately to discuss potential options.



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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 Host 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.

Subsequent quarterly payments will not be released until acceptable reports have been received. 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 month grace period beyond the grant end date, to spend on approved expenses for the grant without making a formal request. In addition to the regular 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 and a plan for spending during the extension period.
Requests for a no-cost extension should be directed to: Joanne Reynolds, Manager, Research Operations and must be received a minimum of 30 days PRIOR to the grant end date in order to be considered.

Last updated: September 29, 2016

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