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Research Contracts, Grants and Fund Administration Policy

Effective Date: December 13, 2021
Downloadable Version: PDF ICON Research Contracts, Grants and Fund Administration Policy
Related Procedure(s):

PDF ICON Research Contacts and Fund Administration Procedure

  This document is available in alternate format on request.



As a Ministry-recognized Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning (ITAL) the Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning (hereafter referred to as “Humber” or “the College”) engages in research activities. Research contracts and grants often involve substantial use of institutional resources and sometimes require a financial contribution made by the College in order to qualify. This policy specifies the terms and conditions by which research contracts and grants will be reviewed, approved and administered. For proposal development refer to the Integrity in Research Policy and Procedure.


The policy applies to all research contracts and grants that propose the use of any of Humber’s services or resources (including human, physical, and financial).


Ministry: To denote the provincial Ministry(ies) responsible for Colleges and Universities. At the time of writing, this is the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.

Research: Any internally or externally funded initiative which the College and the academic community in general, consider to be research including:

  • Finding solutions to practical problems through the application of knowledge;
  • Experimental discovery;
  • Activities leading to the publication of books, monographs, and contributions to edited books;
  • Unpublished research, including work in progress;
  • Consulting and contract work under the auspices of the College, and other professional activities involving research.

Research Contract: An agreement to perform research or research-related activities for a sponsor (see below) under specified conditions in exchange for payment of direct and indirect costs. Normally the sponsor generates the idea for the project and they require that certain guidelines be followed about the direction of the research and/or to the use or publication of research results. In addition, sponsors usually want to retain control of some or all of the Intellectual Property generated from a project. Sponsors of research may include private companies, federal government departments (e.g., Human Resources Development Canada) or federal funding agencies (e.g., Canada Foundation for Innovation), and provincial government ministries (e.g., Ministry of Colleges and Universities), provincial funding agencies (e.g. Regional Innovation Centers such as MaRS) or industry partners, be they for profit or not-for profit.

Research Grant: A fund provided in aid of the independent research activities of a staff member. Grant recipients are expected to use the funds as outlined in the grant proposal and to contribute the results from the research to the public domain without undue delay. The Principal Applicant and co-applicants, not under the direction or in collaboration with the granting agency, usually develop the research methodology. Grant agencies will not typically make any claim to Intellectual Property generated from projects they fund. Grant programs may be offered by federal or provincial agencies (e.g., Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board), non-profit organizations, or foundations (e.g., Ford Foundation, Fulbright Foundation).

Scholarly Activities: Any internally or externally funded initiatives which the College and the academic community in general, consider to be scholarly activities including, but not limited to:

  • Preparation of papers for submission to be refereed and non-refereed journals, and those delivered at professional meetings;
  • Participation in panels;
  • Editorial and referring duties;
  • Dissemination of course writing and course design including creation of technological materials; and
  • Consulting and contract work under the auspices of the College, and other professional activities involving scholarly activities.

Sponsor: The partner in the project and can be an individual, a for-profit company, a government agency, an academic institution, a private organization or a not-for profit organization. The sponsor takes responsibility for the initiation, management, and/or financing the research project. The sponsor may participate in the conduct of the research. Usually, the sponsor has defined the research project and requires some Humber resources (staff expertise, students, space and/or equipment) in order to complete the project. The sponsor usually remains in control of the final results and any Intellectual Property arising from the project, in compliance with the Humber Intellectual Property policy and/or the research contract.


  1. Any Humber employee who wishes to apply for funding whether it be to support a scholarly activity such as presenting at a conference or a research contract or grant, will prepare a concept proposal for review and approval. Proposals at a minimum should include: a statement of work; the identification of individual(s) who will undertake the work, the Humber resources to be used (e.g. services, equipment, lab time, copying etc.); outline of potential liabilities and risks associated with the proposal and; identification of a budget.
  2. All proposals that require institutional sign off through an agreement or contract must be submitted to ORI which will ensure that the terms and conditions are consistent with institutional policies, and the policies of relevant gran or award agencies. Information on initiatives that do not require a contract should be sent to ORI for information and for possible inclusion in the collection of college statistics on level of research activities.
  3. Research contracts and grant proposals and applications will require (1) Faculty/Department approval, (2) Finance Department approval of the Budget, (3) Dean of Research and Innovation (e.g. Research Grants Officer - RGO) approval as per the funding agency or sponsor guidelines. These approvals must be obtained i) prior to final submission of a grant application or research contract and ii) in the sequence listed above. See procedure for additional guidance.
  4. Contracts will be signed by a Humber authorized signing authority(ies) as required by the funder or sponsor.
  5. The Dean of Research & Innovation (ORI) will be responsible for the administration of this policy and to monitor its effectiveness. The Dean will provide an annual report to the Senior Academic Vice-President and the Associate Vice-President Academic regarding the effectiveness of this policy to facilitate research contract and grant applications. Reports may include recommended changes to the policy that are considered necessary.


Optional. List forms and other related documents to be included in the policy.

Related Procedure(s):

Research Contracts, Grants and Fund Administration