University of Saskatchewan

September 18, 2014   

What is a Grant?

A research grant is financial support of research in a particular subject area or field without any formal detailed stipulations as to the direction of such research. Under the terms of a grant, other characteristics which are typically present:

  • Flexibility exists to revise the course of the research as it proceeds without the approval of the sponsor
  • Payment of the grant is not linked to the timeliness or contents of the research results and is usually paid in advance or a series of advances
  • No restrictions are placed on the publication of research results; results intended for public dissemination
  • Sponsor does not reserve to itself rights to the commercial exploitation of research results
  • Purpose of the research is more in the nature of the general advancement of knowledge than goal-oriented for practical results
  • Principal Investigator or any co-investigator(s) can not be compensated under the project

How does a contract differ from a grant?

  • Scope and nature of research are outlined
  • Set time period for the research
  • Milestones and/or deliverables are defined
  • Payment schedule may be linked to meeting deliverables
  • Intellectual Property rights are often granted to sponsor
  • Publication restrictions are common; there is often a review of material to check for confidentiality or patent issues
  • Principal Investigator may be compensated under project