Accountability and public acknowledgment


Overview
Summary of accountability and public acknowledgment requirements and deadlines
Public acknowledgment
Setting and reporting on performance objectives, indicators and target outcomes
What are performance objectives, indicators and target outcomes?
Communications strategy
Statement of account
Outcomes report
Technical support
More information


Overview

Support provided by the Research Support Fund is an investment by Canadian taxpayers. The program’s accountability responsibilities regarding the use of grant funds include reporting to program stakeholders and the Canadian public about who receives support and how funds are used to meet the program’s objectives. To help ensure accountability to stakeholders (including researchers, affiliates, industry partners and Canadian taxpayers), grant recipients are expected to publicly acknowledge their grant funding and to bring awareness to the value and impact of the program within the research community and the Canadian research environment.

Outlined in the table below is a summary of the accountability and public acknowledgment requirements and deadlines. The requirements vary depending on the value of the grant received. Institutions must ensure that they meet the applicable requirements (based on the value of their grant) during the three stages of the program’s lifecycle: grant application stage, grant period and end of grant period. 


Summary of accountability and public acknowledgment requirements and deadlines

Tasks Grant of $530,000 or more Grant between $25,000 to $530,000 Grant less than $25,000 Deadline
Grant application stage requirements
Post on institution’s website a definition of the indirect costs of research and concrete examples of expenses incurred by the institution in managing the funded research Required Required Not mandatory, but encouraged By the application deadline
Post on institution’s website a description of the Research Support Fund program and a link to the program’s website Required Required Not mandatory, but encouraged By the application deadline
Post on institution’s website a comprehensive list of all affiliated organizations, if applicable Required Required Not mandatory, but encouraged By the application deadline
Post on institution’s website an overview of how the institution allocates its grant funds under each of the five expenditure categories Required Required Not mandatory, but encouraged By the application deadline
Set institutional performance objectives with corresponding indicators; post on the institution’s website and provide a link in the Affiliated Organizations Validation Form.
Required Not mandatory, but encouraged Not mandatory, but encouraged By the application deadline
Grant period requirement
Develop and implement the communications strategy mentioned in the Affiliated Organizations Validation Form
Required Required Not mandatory, but encouraged Ongoing
End of grant period requirements
Complete and submit on the Research Support Fund extranet a statement of account Required Required Required

June 30 of the next fiscal year

Complete and submit an Outcomes Report via Voxco, including details on the implementation of the communications strategy

Required Required Not mandatory, but encouraged

June 30 of the next fiscal year

Report on institutional performance objectives on institution’s website Required Not mandatory, but encouraged Not mandatory, but encouraged

June 30 of the next fiscal year

Failure to meet the requirements on or before the deadlines indicated will result in the forfeiture of grant funds or the suspension of payments. Such failure may also affect an institution’s eligibility for future Research Support Fund grants. Note that all forfeited funds (if applicable) will be redistributed to eligible institutions in a later grant calculation exercise.

Institutions must continue to meet the program’s accountability and public acknowledgement requirements during the grant period in order to remain eligible for the program. Institutions are required to keep their accountability and public acknowledgement information for the Research Support Fund (organized by fiscal year) on their websites for a minimum of five years.


Public acknowledgment

In order to maintain their eligibility to apply for a Research Support Fund grant, institutions eligible to receive a grant at or above the value of $25,000 must identify and make public on their websites the following information on or before the program’s application deadline.

  • a definition of the indirect costs of research, along with concrete examples of the types of expenses incurred by the institution in managing the research funded by the three federal research granting agencies;
  • a description of the Research Support Fund program, including a link to the program’s website;
  • a comprehensive list of all affiliated institutions, if applicable (including primary, sub- and sub-sub-affiliates); and
  • an overview of how the institution allocates its grant funds under each of the five expenditure categories.

Setting and reporting on performance objectives, indicators and target outcomes

Institutions eligible to receive a grant of $530,000 or more must identify and make public the institutional performance objectives for their grant, including corresponding performance indicators and target outcomes. This information must be posted on their institutional website on or before the program’s application deadline. Links to the web pages must be provided in the Affiliated Organizations Validation Form. Institutions must also post on their websites by June 30 of each year their outcomes achieved during the previous grant year (the reporting period is April 1 to March 31 of each year).

Institutions must include, in their annual outcomes report, a link to the web page where the required performance information has been posted.


What are performance objectives, indicators and target outcomes?

An institutional performance objective outlines the desired return on investment and may reflect an incremental impact (e.g., an improvement to the current status quo), an ongoing commitment (e.g., the maintenance of the current status quo) or both. The objectives should be in accordance with how the institution chooses to invest its grant in one, several or all five of the eligible expenditure categories.

A performance indicator is the tool or unit of measurement used to evaluate the success of a particular investment or activity, and can be either quantitative or qualitative. It is up to each institution to decide which indicators are appropriate for each of its objectives.

A target outcome is the specific change or result to be achieved. It should be either quantitative or qualitative, and based on the performance objectives formulated at the beginning of a given fiscal year.

Examples of objectives, indicators and outcomes

Outlined in the table below are examples of institutional performance objectives, indicators and target outcomes.

Eligible program expenditure category Output (investment or expense of RSF grant funds) Performance objective Performance indicator Target outcome Reported outcome
Management and administration of an institution’s research enterprise $X invested in upgrading electronic information system for grants and awards Increase in processed grant and award applications Number of grant and award applications processed in fiscal year 2016-17 5 per cent increase in  grant and award applications processed in 2016-17 compared to  2015-16

Target met:

5 per cent increase in grant and award applications processed in 2016-17 compared to 2015-16
Research Resources $X invested in  electronic subscription-based database for research resources Maintain access to research resources for faculty Number of texts downloaded from the database by faculty in 2016-17 Less than 5 per cent decrease in texts downloaded in 2016-17, compared to 2015-16

Target met:

1 per cent increase in texts downloaded from the database, by faculty, in 2016-17, compared to 2015-16

Communications strategy

Institutions eligible to receive a grant at or above the value of $25,000 must develop a Research Support Fund communications strategy and actively implement it throughout the grant year. Through their communications efforts, institutions must help bring awareness to the value and impact of the program within the research community and the Canadian research environment, to ensure accountability to stakeholders (including researchers, affiliates, industry partners and Canadian taxpayers).

It is expected that the institution will publicly acknowledge and actively communicate program milestones and impacts to faculty and other stakeholders through various communications tools on an ongoing basis during the grant period. Institutions may fulfill this requirement through a variety of means, including, for example, posting stories about the impacts of their Research Support Fund grant on their website, sending email notifications to their community of stakeholders, publishing stories or updates in newsletters, organizing meetings, giving presentations, etc.

Institutions must provide a summary of their Research Support Fund communications strategy at the application stage (in the Affiliated Organizations Validation Form). In fulfilling their end-of-grant reporting requirements, institutions must report on how they implemented their communications strategy in their annual outcomes report.


Statement of account

Regardless of the size of the grant, all institutions receiving a grant must complete and submit the statement of account (SOA). The SOA outlines how much funding an institution has invested in each of the program’s five expenditure categories during the reporting period.

The SOA must indicate the following expenditures charged to the grant:

  • funds transferred to affiliated hospitals and institutions (note: research affiliates with which a parent institution has shared its grant must report annually to the parent institution); and
  • total outstanding commitments, which refers to expenditures or services incurred prior to the end date of the grant but for which the invoice was not paid by March 31 of each year (note: all outstanding commitments must be paid by June 30 of each year).

Submit the statement of account

All institutions must submit the statement of account (SOA) online via the Research Support Fund extranet. Do not send a paper copy to the Secretariat. Please note that the online submission is a two-part process:

PART 1: Validation and sign-off by the Main Contact

The Main Contact should log into the extranet using their institutional login and password

  1. Click the appropriate fiscal year in the table that appears at the bottom of the Statement of Account main page to open and complete the SOA (unsubmitted SOAs are shown as active hyperlinks).
  2. Click ‘Validate content’ in the table to verify the content for errors.
  3. Approve the SOA by clicking ‘Sign-off’ in the table (this action acts as the Main Contact’s approval of the SOA).
  4. The status ‘Under review by Financial Contact’ will be displayed in the table.
  5. Send an email to the Financial Contact, asking them to log into the extranet with their own unique account information in order to sign off on and submit the SOA.

PART 2: Sign-off and submission by the Financial Contact

The Financial Contact should log into the extranet using their own unique institutional login and password

  1. The Financial Contact must review and submit the SOA by clicking ‘Submit’ before the deadline.
  2. The submission date will appear beside the fiscal year in the table. This serves as confirmation that the SOA has been properly submitted.

Making changes to the SOA

In order to make changes to the SOA after the Main Contact has completed their sign-off, the Financial Contact must unlock it for revisions. Once the SOA has been unlocked, steps 2 to 7 above must be repeated.

The SOA cannot be unlocked or changed after the Financial Contact has submitted it.


Outcomes report

Institutions receiving an RSF grant of $25,000 or more must complete and submit an outcomes report. Along with information from other sources, the outcomes report feeds into the program’s performance measurement framework, and into the report to the federal government and general public on investments made through the RSF.

The outcomes report collects data on:

  • the institutions’ investment to support research during the reporting period from April 1 to March 31 of each year;
  • the research and research support capacity at the institutions;
  • the volume of activities conducted to support research; and
  • evidence that institutions are meeting the accountability requirements of the program.

Note: Affiliated hospitals and research institutes with which a parent institution has shared its grant must report annually to the parent institution. The parent institution specifies the exact format and required content, and must integrate the information it receives into its Outcomes Report.

Submit the outcomes report

Institutions receiving an RSF grant of $25,000 or more must complete and submit an outcomes report online via Voxco by the deadline.

The Main Contact is responsible for completing and submitting the Outcomes Report on behalf of the institution. The Main Contact can use the PDF copy of the Outcomes Report as a reference to facilitate internal discussion about the content to be submitted in the Outcomes Report.

The Voxco link and password to the Outcomes Report is provided in early spring of each year to the institutions on the RSF extranet. Once the link is activated and the report is available, the program informs the first and second contacts of the institution (as indicated in the contacts section of their RSF extranet account) via email.

When submitting an Outcomes Report, please note the following:

  • The Secretariat will only accept electronic copies submitted via Voxco.
  • Institutions can make and save changes to their outcomes reports before submitting.
  • Once the report is submitted, it is not possible to change it.

 Technical support

If you experience technical problems, such as difficulty printing, previewing or saving your electronic forms, or if you need to recover your institutional login and password, please contact:

websupport@rsf-fsr.gc.ca
613-995-4273

More information

If you have questions about the Research Support Fund’s accountability and public acknowledgment requirements, please contact:

information@rsf-fsr.gc.ca
613-992-5139