RE01: Research Administration

  • Policy #: RE01
  • Responsible Authority: Director, Applied Research and Innovation
  • Approval Authority: President's Executive Committee
  • Executive Sponsor: Vice President, Business Development
  • Approval Date: 2005/02/23
  • Last Reviewed: 2011/11/23
  • Mandatory Revision Date: 2016/11/23
  • Downloadable Version: Research Administration


To set out the authority, responsibility, and procedures for research activity at Algonquin College.


All Research Personnel who participate in applied research activities conducted under the auspices of the Office of Applied Research and Innovation.





A College department, person or third party (an external company, agency, person, institution or organization) that seeks to and/or collaborates on research projects through the Office of Applied Research and Innovation.

Collaborative Research Agreements

Collaborative Research Agreements (CRA) relate to written agreements between the College and Clients that delineate the terms, rights and responsibilities of each party of a research project undertaken collaboratively between the College and the Client.

First Contact Form

A form used to formally document a request from a Client to undertake applied research with the College.

Granting Agency

A private or public organization that provides financial support for research projects to private or public organizations.

Grant Application

A proposal developed with Research Personnel that is submitted to a Granting Agency for the purpose of securing funds for a research project or program.

In-Class Project (ICP)

A Research Project conducted in a course as part of an academic program for which students receive academic credit.  Professors generally are assigned such courses as part of their standard workload.

Letter of Support

A document provided by the College to other institutions and clients indicating the College’s support for a research proposal being submitted to a funding organization.  The Letter of Support may indicate the contributions the College will provide in the event the proposal is successful.

Principal Investigator

A professor assigned to be the technical lead on a research project; the professor may also supervise students and other research persons as required.

Project Manager

An administrative employee of the Office of Applied Research and Innovation responsible for preparing research grant applications, administering grants and guiding Research Personnel on grant usage. The Project Manager is a key contact for external clients participating in Research Projects.

Research Personnel

All College employees, full-time and part-time, permanent or temporary; and all students and volunteers working on Research Projects.

Research Program

A research endeavour that encompasses many projects funded through a single grant that is managed and disbursed by the Office of Applied Research and Innovation.

Research Project

A research endeavour that encompasses a set of activities designed to address a single question or objective or closely related research questions or objectives.

Standalone Project (SAP)

A Research Project conducted outside of a course for which students are employed by the College and may receive academic credit (e.g. Co-op or field placement).  Faculty are not engaged through a standard workload assignment, but through a release or as otherwise provided for by the Collective Agreement.  Part-time faculty may also be employed by the College on these projects.

Research Volunteer

Students or other persons who participate in ICPs or SAPs, but are not employed by the College nor receive academic credit.


1.  Role of Applied Research at Algonquin College

Applied research at Algonquin College provides opportunities for professor innovation, enhances student learning and employability, supports economic development, fosters technology development and commercialization, and develops partnerships with external organizations.

2.  Role of the Office of Applied Research and Innovation

Under the direction of its Director, the Office of Applied Research and Innovation (ARI) develops and supports applied research and scholarly activity conducted by Algonquin’s professors and students; administers grant and contract research activity; provides applied research, technology transfer and advisory services to the College’s technical, business, and service communities; and joins in partnerships, alliances, and joint ventures to support applied research activities with others who share the College’s vision.

3.  Responsibilities of the Office of Applied Research and Innovation

3.1   Provides services to assist in developing Algonquin’s research capacity. This includes:

a)   Locating funding support for research in the form of grants and contracts;

b)   Working closely with the Academic Area on professor engagement, client development and student involvement;

c)   Liaising with other research institutions;

d)   Assisting governments, industry, and other agencies sponsoring research in the College;

e)   Administering research grants and contracts, and

f)   Assisting in technology transfer.

3.2   Establishes strategic directions for the College research agenda in consultation with other College departments and external partners.

3.3   Ensures that the College has appropriate research policies and that those policies are followed by all Research Personnel.

3.4   Keeps the College community informed of research policies and practices of governments and other research sponsors.

 3.5   Promotes the research capabilities of the professors, employees and students of the College.

 3.6   Writes, and assists professors, employees, students and clients with research proposals and funding applications.

3.7   Protects and commercially exploits innovations arising out of College research.

3.8   Assists College staff in pursuing strategic research goals.

3.9   Develops and disseminates information on sources of external research funds, research project grants and contracts.

3.10  Develops research links with other research institutions, government and the private sector.

3.11  Establishes procedures for approval of applications for research grants and contracts from external agencies and bodies.

3.12  Administers research grants and research contracts awarded to the College.

3.13  Works with Advancement to ensure Granting Agencies receive appropriate acknowledge­ment in publications, announcements, events, and on equipment and facilities acquired with research funds.

4.   Research Practices

 4.1   All research conducted at the College or using College facilities under an agreement with the College shall conform to the College research policies on integrity, human subjects, animal care, radiation safety, biohazards safety, ethics, conflict of interest, intellectual property and all other applicable policies.

4.2   The College and its researchers shall strive to obtain the greatest possible economic    benefit from its research activities.

4.3   All research at the College shall be conducted under a research agreement which includes specific language relating to intellectual property and commercialization.

4.4   All researchers shall disclose to the College intellectual property with commercial potential arising from research should they decide to pursue commercialization.

4.5   No research or other study involving human subjects, animals, radiation or biohazards may be undertaken unless requirements listed in the appropriate College policies have been met, and the appropriate certificates of approval have been issued where required.

4.6   All researchers shall disclose any and all conflicts of interest as defined in College policies.

4.7   Grant and contract funds shall be held in trust by the College and are not the property of any individual.

4.8   Letters of Support from the College to non-College collaborators for research grant or research contract applications shall be signed by the Director, Applied Research and Innovation.  The Director, at his/her discretion, may request a letter to be signed by a Vice President or the President.

4.9    Only the College has the legal authority to enter into contracts which are binding on the College; such contracts must be executed by the President or Vice President Administration of the College or a Presidential designate thereof.

4.9.1   Research agreements executed between a Client and the College using the College’s standard Collaborative Research Agreement can be signed on behalf of the College by Signing Authorities as designated in the College’s “Finance Information Guide”, Section 1.4.

5.  Research Grant and Research Contract Administration

5.1   The Office of Applied Research and Innovation is responsible for research grant and contract administration including:

a)   Assisting College staff in the preparation of research grant applications or research contracts;

b)   Interpreting and clarifying research grant or research contract awards, procedures and conditions;

c)   Reviewing research grant applications or research contracts for conformity to the policies of the Granting Agency and the College.

 5.2   The College may apply for research grants to develop a Research Program.  When the funds are entrusted to the care of the College for disbursement and management, the College shall develop policies and procedures to ensure that such funds are utilized as intended by the Grant Agency and delineated in any research agreements with the Grant Agency.

5.2.1  Every application for funding from a grant managed by the College shall be signed by the Client, the Principal Investigator, the Project Manager and the Director, Applied Research and Innovation.

5.2.2  If the application is successful, contracts signed between the College and the Client shall be duly authorized as per section 0.

5.3   Every application or proposal for Research Program or Research Project grants or contracts (new or renewal) from an external source, that is not managed by the College as per section 0, shall be signed by the requisite authorities as shown in the table:

Value of Grant or Contract Application to College ($)





Principal Investigator




Project Manager




Director, Applied Research and Innovation




Vice President, Business Development



Vice President, Administration

As required by Granting Agency



5.3.1  If the applications are successful, any contracts signed between the College, Grant Agency and/or Client shall be duly authorized as per section 4.9.

5.4   The Office of Applied Research and Innovation is responsible for providing financial oversight, budget administration and reporting for the College’s research activities including:

5.4.1  Liaising with the Finance Department to establish research accounts and auditable records;

5.4.2  Validating research expenditures against approved budgets on a schedule that is in accordance with the Granting Agency’s policies; reporting deviations from proposed activities or budgets to Granting Agencies while at the same time ensuring that signing authority for expenditures is consistent with the Granting Agency’s guidelines;

5.4.3  Tracking in-kind contributions of the College and industry partners and maintaining auditable records;

5.4.4  Reporting on the financial status of research projects;

5.4.5  Maintaining records of all research activities, funds received and distributed.

6.  Involvement of Students

6.1   The Office of Applied Research and Innovation is responsible for overseeing the participation of students engaged in College research activities including:

6.1.1  Protecting students engaged in research activities in ICPs and SAPs.

6.1.2  Ensuring that all students engaged in research activities ICPs and SAPs sign a research agreement with the College which includes specific language relating to client confidentiality, intellectual property, commercialization rights, research duties and terms of employment as applicable.

6.2   A third party engaging students in applied research projects conducted under the auspices of the Office of Applied Research and Innovation must enter into a research agreement with the College which includes specific language relating to client confidentiality, intellectual property, commercialization rights, student’s research duties and terms of employment as applicable.  Students who are employed by the College to work on research projects are not required to sign separate agreements with the third party, but will be protected under and responsible for the research agreement they have signed with the College. 

6.3  ARI shall maintain a record of such research agreements.

6.4  Where students are working with a third party on research projects as part of their course requirements or as volunteers and are not being paid by the College for their work, the College will not be held responsible for breaches of confidentiality.  In cases where the third party requires a Confidentiality Agreement, such agreements shall be negotiated between the third party and the students working on the project.  The College will provide templates and non-legally binding guidance to both parties.





Applying for a Grant


Identifying a Project


Inquire about the feasibility of conducting a Research Project with the College.



Send the Client the First Contact Form.

Principal Investigator, Project Manager or Director, ARI


Complete First Contact Form and sends it to ARI.



Work with Chair(s) and professors to identify a Principal Investigator for the project.

Project Manager


If a Principal Investigator is identified, inform the client that the project will proceed to the proposal stage.

Project Manager


If no Principal Investigator can be found, inform the Client that the project will not be conducted.

Project Manager


Identifying a Grant Program


 Scope the project to determine preliminary resource requirements such as budgets.

Project Manager


Evaluate project objectives, budget needs and timelines against grant program criteria.

Project Manager, Principal Investigator, Client


Select the grant program that is the best match for the application.

Project Manager


Prepare and Submit Application


Write application/proposal.

Project Manager, Principal Investigator, Client


Circulate application/proposal for appropriate signatures.

Director, ARI


Submit application/proposal submitted to grant program.

Director, ARI


Conducting a Research Project


Initiating a Research Project


Develop the contract between the College, client and Granting Agency once research grant notification has been received from Granting Agency.

Project Manager


Complete internal College processes for budgets, personnel and legal documents.

Project Manager


Project Execution and Completion


Identify student researchers and assign them to the project.

Project Manager, Principal Investigator


Conduct the research as per the project plan.

Principal Investigator


Invoice the Granting Agency and Client as per the approved contract.

Project Manager


Prepare final reports on the Research Project and submit them to the Granting Agency.

Project Manager, Principal Investigator, Client and Financial Services, if required.


HR 12     Conflict of Interest
RE02      Integrity in Research and Scholarship
RE03      Research Involving Humans
RE04      Use of Animals in Research, Teaching and Other Activities
RE05      Intellectual Property
RE06      Use of Biohazardous and Radioactive Materials in Research and Education


Academic Employee Collective Agreement

Support Staff Employee Collective Agreement

FORMS REFERENCED IN THIS POLICY – The forms mentioned in this policy are available from the Office of Applied Research and Innovation.

1)  Confidentiality Agreement Template
2)  Collaborative Research Agreement Template
3)  First Contact Form