Research, Engagement and Graduate Studies

New Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration

UFV transitioned to new Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration (TAGFA) effective April 1, 2020

View the new Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration

What you need to know

  • UFV manages all research funds in accordance with regulations set by the federal Tri-Agencies: NSERC, SSHRC, and CIHR.

  • This policy renewal represents some significant changes to the ways in which UFV manages research funds and how eligibility of expenses will be determined. On the whole, these changes should reduce some of the burdens associated with managing research funds and should provide greater flexibility for Primary Investigators to determine how their research funds should be used. However, they also clarify responsibilities for researchers, institutions, and the Agencies, and make it more important that you, as an investigator, understand the principles and guidelines for managing your research funds.

  • During this transition period, the UFV Research Office will be updating policies and procedures related to the changes to ensure institutional compliance with the new guide.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. Shifts from a rules-based approach to a principles based approach for evaluating eligible expenses

  2. Defines roles and responsibilities for each group in the grant management process (investigators, institutions, agencies)

  3. Aligns many rules and guidelines with institutional policy


1. Appropriate use of grant funds

  • Directly related to the funded research
  • Effective and economical; not resulting in personal gain
  • Not normally provided by the institution to their research personnel

2. Authority to use grant funds

  • Grant recipient or their delegated representative must authorize all transactions

3. Reporting and supporting evidence

  • Expenses must be supported by documentation as prescribed by the institution's policies and procedures

4. Oversight of the use of grant funds

  • Institution to request further justification and/or documentation if the purpose of an expense is unclear


 The sound stewardship of agency funds relies on collaboration and common understanding between the Agencies, administering institutions and grant recipients of their respective roles and responsibilities.

WhoRoles and responsibilities

Grant recipients and delegates

(i.e., you the researcher and your delegates)

Administering institutions

(e.g., University of the Fraser Valley, through the UFV Research Office)

  • Develop and implement effective policies, administrative systems, procedures and controls to ensure that all activities funded by an agency are conducted in compliance with legislated requirements, agency policies and procedures and other grant funding agreements
  • Monitor the eligibility of recipients throughout the term of the grant and advise the relevant agency immediately of any change in the eligibility status of an applicant or recipient
  • Withhold or withdraw approval of expenditures that contravene an agency or institutional policy or the terms and conditions of the grant
  • Provide training on the institution’s policies and practices with respect to the Agencies’ grant administration
  • Provide adequate physical and organizational infrastructure for the conduct of research, research training and other funded activities
  • Oversee and submit grant amendment requests to the relevant agency
  • Keep complete and accurate records and report on the use of agency funding, including verifiable audit trails with complete supporting documentation for each transaction, for at least 7 years; report annually on the use of the grant funds

Agencies

(i.e., whoever is funding the grant)

  • Set out the general terms and conditions governing the administration of grants by the institution
  • Communicate and consult with the institution on the introduction of new policies or changes to existing policies that may have a significant impact on the institution, to the extent reasonably possible
  • Make funds available to grant recipients in a timely manner
  • Conduct periodic reviews of the use and administration of grant funds
  • Oversee approval of changes to grant administration that have financial implications for the Agency
  • Terminate a grant when agency requirements can no longer be met

Note: This information comes directly from the Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration (TAGFA), reformatted into a table for ease of reading. For more information on the roles and responsibilities of Agencies and Administering Institutions, see Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions.


SectionWhat's changed?
2.1 — Statement on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and the Use of Grants Funds Section has been expanded and tied directly into the use of grants funds.
2.2 — Overview of Grant Administration Roles and Responsibilities for Appropriate Use of Grant Funds Additional bullet points have been added to the "roles and responsibilities" sections for Administering Institutions, Grant Recipients, and Delegates.
2.3 — Principles Governing the Appropriate Use of Grant Funds

The revised guide no longer prescribes "eligible" vs. "ineligible" expenses. Instead, the guide provides principles which grant expenditures must follow.

Grant expenditures must:

  1. Contribute to the direct costs of research/activities for which the funds were awarded, with benefits directly attributable to the grant
  2. Not be provided by the administering institution to their research personnel
  3. Be effective and economical
  4. Not result in personal gain for members of the research team
2.4.1 — Employment and Compensation Expenditures

The eligibility for severance pay has been updated. There is no longer a requirement for a funding agency to review these on a case-by-case basis.

The restriction tied to paying employees of federal government departments and agencies has been removed (reference to this has also been removed from section 2.4.2 "Goods and Services Expenditures").

Employment and compensation expenses must adhere to the four principles listed in section 2.3.
2.4.3 — Travel and Travel-related Subsistence Expenditures

Reference to individuals remaining at a travel destination in excess of 6 consecutive months — and meals and accommodations beyond 6 months — not being reimbursable has been removed.

2.4.5 — Gifts, Honoraria and Incentives Added the following: "In recognition of the cultures and traditions of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit, Elders and other Knowledge Keepers who also fulfill another role (i.e. an independent researcher) are eligible to receive gifts in a ceremonial or other context."
3.7 — Transfer of Funds

Added details to Appendix 2: Transfer of Funds Agreement Requirements (Eligible and Non-Eligible Institutions).

Added the following: "Invoices, contracts or accountable advances are not considered to be grant transfers."
5.2 — Paid Maternity/Parental Leave for Students and Postdoctoral Fellows

The agencies now allow maternity/parental leave supplements within 12 months (up from 6) following a child’s birth or adoption to eligible students and postdoctoral fellows who are paid out of agency grants and who are the child’s primary caregiver.

The supplement paid to the grant recipient can now cover up to 12 months of leave (up from 6 months).

Note: The above two changes came into effect April 1, 2019. The Guide has now been updated to reflect this.


For the most part, you will be able to manage your grants the same way you always have. Most changes will be at the policy and administrative process levels, and won’t impact your ability to use your grant as you see fit (in fact, in some cases expenses that were ineligible previously will now be eligible).

We will continue to share our progress as we work to implement the new guide. Check back for regular updates.


We created this page to address common questions and answers about the updated Tri-Agency financial guide. If your question is not answered here, you can email us by clicking the button below. We may add your question to this FAQ so others can benefit.

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