University of Saskatchewan

Financial Services (FS)

Tri-Agency Financial Administration

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Why are Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada awards (NCE) considered Tri-Agency related?
Answer: NCE awards must follow Tri-Agency regulations (as this is a source of funding) with respect to approval of expenditures. Please refer to the Program Guide for Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) at the Government of Canada web page for more information.

Use of Funds

Eligible expenses

The NCE program uses the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide as the general guidelines for eligibility of expense. In situations where the granting agencies have different rules and policies that are not explicit in the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide the rules and policies of a single granting agency are applicable to the Network. This granting agency is determined and identified in the funding agreement signed by the Network. Note that the granting agencies may release other financial administration guides specific for a program but they are not applicable to the NCE Program and should not be applied without approval of the NCE Secretariat.

Given the unique nature of the grants provided through the NCE Program, a specific NCE eligible expenses table is applicable to all Networks funded through the NCE Program. This eligible expenses table outlines the additions and exceptions to the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide and specific granting agency rules. A listing of NCE Eligible Expenditures (as of April 2015) has been provided.

Appendix E: NCE Eligible Expenditures

The table below contains a non-comprehensive list of eligible and ineligible expenses for the NCE Program.  Specific expenditures related to NCE-Networks and NCE-Networks MF can be found at the end of the table.

General Eligible Expenditures (Applicable to all Networks)

Administrative costs

Eligible Expenses

Ineligible Expenses

1. Operating Costs for the Network's Administrative Centre

The administrative expenses of the NCE-Network are the sum of the expenses that are not eligible to the Indirect Cost and Canada Research Chairs programs.

Salaries and Benefits for Network staff members (e.g. network directors, network manager, business development/industrial liaison officer, communications officer, secretarial support staff)

Non-discretionary benefits include workplace safety insurance coverage costs for Network staff, pension benefits, medical, vision and dental care benefits and parental leave; the costs of the benefits package should be in the average market range.

Other administrative expenses:

Office supplies and equipment (e.g. stationery for the administrative center, fax, computers, printers).

Two communication devices for NCE purposes only.

Long distance charges (telephone and fax).

Internet access (web connection) fees while traveling on business for up to 125 days per year, but not if on sabbatical or other types of leave; (These claims could also be included in the per diem, if the host institution allows it).

Costs to obtain liability insurance for members of the Governing Board, and Network administrators.

Travel and accommodation for Network personnel, and members of Network boards and committees.

Legal fees, audit costs, and other related incorporation costs for the Network.

Honoraria for external reviewers.

Remuneration for Governing Board members

Discretionary severance and separation packages.

Routine courses (Excel, time management, language training, etc.).

Support services provided by the host institution, such as:
a) construction and maintenance of buildings;
b) administrative support;
c) personnel support;
d) financial services;
e) telephone lines and equipment;
f) library and building services;
g) insurance other than liability insurance;
h) furniture;
i) office space; and
j) web connection at administrative centre.

2. Costs Related to Networking

Hospitality costs (non-alcoholic refreshments and/or meals) for networking purposes (e.g. Board meetings and strategic planning meetings with stakeholders).

Hospitality costs (non-alcoholic refreshments and/or meals) for research related activities

Hospitality costs for meetings attended only by Network staff are not eligible.

3. Costs Related to Communication Activities

Newsletters/brochures, annual reports, printing and mailing costs, public relations associated expenses (e.g. display booths, press conferences).

Promotional material for conferences, the total cost for one year not exceeding $5,000.

Financial contributions to special events in Canada, subject to consultation with the NCE Secretariat.

Financial contributions to international events limited to communications activities and/or costs related to networking (e.g. travel, registration fees, exhibit space rental).

Other communications activities as long as the activity is approved by the Network's Governing Board and is part of the Network communication strategy.


4. Costs Related to Knowledge Mobilization and/or Technology Exchange and Exploitation

Prototype development, subject to approval by the Governing Board provided that due diligence has been used to find a partner to share the costs for development, normally on a matching basis.

Market studies to determine the market potential for an NCE-generated development or to determine the appropriate market(s) for a development, subject to the approval by the Governing Board.

Intellectual property: on an annual basis, up to 50 per cent of the total costs of protection for intellectual property resulting from Network research.

Specific Eligible Expenditures (Excludes NCE networks in Management Funds)

Eligible Expenses

Ineligible Expenses

1. Direct Costs of Research and Facility Access

Direct costs of research and facility access, equipment, materials and supplies related to the direct costs of research, as normally allowed by the granting agencies and detailed in the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide and subject to the approval by the Governing Board of the NCE-Network.

Salaries, stipends and institutional non-discretionary benefits for Network-related research performed by students and postdoctoral fellows; please refer to the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide for specific funding agencies guidelines.

Cost of research done by a university researcher under a spin-off or "virtual" company.

2. Administrative Operating Costs

Travel and accommodation for researchers.

Scientific director salary ("A") and partial teaching/clinical release ("B"); subject to approval by the Governing Board and the employer of the NCE scientific director:
a) Contributions from all federal sources towards "A" must not exceed $150K (including benefits);
b) Contribution to "B" may be up to $25K per year from NCE funds; and
c) Total support ("A" + "B") must not exceed $150K per year.

The salary support provided to the NCE scientific directors must enable them to dedicate corresponding time to Network-related activities. NCE scientific directors who receive NCE salary support may hold grants from the federal granting agencies provided they meet the eligibility requirements of the respective agencies.

Part-time salary support for university-based researchers.

Release time for teaching (except for partial release for the scientific director (NCE-Networks)

Honoraria for International Scientific Review Board members.

3. Other Costs Related to Student and Postdoctoral Fellows

Parental Leave Supplements (up to 6 months at the current level of support) for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Students or postdoctoral fellows who are eligible for parental benefits from other sources (e.g. employment insurance or other plans) must first apply to those alternate sources for parental leave support.
  2. Where parental leave support can be obtained from another source, additional NCE parental leave supplement funds may be provided to bring the total parental leave support to the maximum allowable under NCE policy.
  3. The parental leave must be taken in Canada.

The NCE parental leave supplement policy applies to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who are expectant mothers and/or the primary caregiver for a child within six months of the child's birth or adoption, and have taken leave from their home institution.

NCE-Networks Management Funds

Eligible Expenses

Ineligible Expenses

1. Direct Costs of Research and Facility Access

Direct costs of equipment and supplies related to knowledge mobilization and/or technological exchange and exploitation as normally allowed by the granting agencies and detailed in the  Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide and subject to the approval by the Governing Board.

Research-related activities.

Salaries, stipends and institutional benefits for students and postdoctoral fellows performing Network-related research.