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(Approved by Council, March 25, 2011)
The function of the University Council for Research (UCR) is to encourage and to support original research and reflective inquiry by members of the faculty. Revenue for the University Council for Research comes from general University funds and a portion of contract research overheads. The university is an institution in which the discovery, transmission and application of knowledge are central. St. Francis Xavier University (StFX) is committed to excellence in undergraduate education, and is committed to scholarship by its faculty. Scholarship includes research, creative work in literature and the arts and intellectual work in one's field.
An important component of scholarly activity is its dissemination in appropriate forms and activities. Scholarship drives excellence in all our activities, including the education of our students. Scholarship is also at the foundation of our outreach and service to the community. Consequently, scholarly activity is a basic requirement of all faculty.
The UCR distributes its resources under three categories without reference to the faculty designation of the researcher. These categories are based upon the research history of each faculty applicant and reflect the policy of the Council whose function is:
- to initiate research,
- to complement other granting agencies and
- to supplement funds already awarded.
- Eligibility: The applicant must normally be a full-time teaching faculty member, holding a probationary contract or with tenure, at the rank of Assistant Professor or above. A faculty member on leave, other than sabbatical leave, is not eligible for support during the period of leave, nor is one who is currently registered in a program of graduate study. Applicants whose eligibility is in doubt may apply, noting on the application why they consider themselves eligible for support.
- Categories of Grant Requests: Council recognizes three categories of applicants:
Category A. This category is restricted to faculty in the first three years of their probationary appointment. The applications will be judged on both the merit of the proposal and the research promise of the applicant and, where possible, will be supported in total. The Council may phase this support over a period greater than one year. Category A individuals may apply for a grant of up to $3,000. Only one Category A award may be received.
Category B. This category includes those faculty members who do not hold awards from external granting agencies. Applicants in this category will be required to explain why support for this project has not been obtained elsewhere or to provide the report(s) of the external adjudication where support has been denied. The maximum award in this category is $3,000 and UCR support in this category shall not exceed a total of $6,000 in three consecutive years.
NOTE: When there is an outstanding external grant application, a Council grant will be provisional, and will be reviewed when an external grant is received.
Category C . This category includes faculty members applying for supplementary support to an external award or those who hold external support of any nature. The maximum award in this category is $2,000 and UCR support shall not exceed a total of $6,000 in three consecutive years. Funding for the support of students is given highest priority in this category.
- Priority of Award Consideration: Council priority in making awards will be given first to those in Category A, secondly to those in Category B, and thirdly to those in Category C.
- Joint Projects: Council will accept applications from two or more researchers. One of these should be designated as the principal researcher who will be responsible to the Council.
- Items Eligible for Support by Council:
- The purchase of operating equipment and expendables required by a researcher.
- Assistance in the purchase of major equipment required by a researcher.
- Periodicals or other library resources required by a research project. Before books or periodicals are ordered their non-availability on campus must be checked with the University Librarian. If it is still necessary to order them, the grant recipient will give full written particulars to the Librarian including the location where the items will be inventoried until they can be lodged in the Library upon project completion (see Paragraph 8).
- Travel and subsistence (to the extent of net incremental out-of-pocket expenses) necessary for conducting research. All travel policies and rates are to be consistent with the University Travel Policy. Rather than use travel funds to visit original authors, applicants are encouraged to use funds to bring authors to campus. NOTE: Travel to conferences is funded as faculty travel through the Deans' Offices and should not to be requested as part of a UCR grant application. See Guidelines for StFX Faculty Travel Grants.
- Salaries, including Employment Insurance, Canada Pension and other employer contributions required by statute, of research assistants. The maximum rates of remuneration, which must not be exceeded either by total or partial use of Council awarded funds, will be established annually. Undergraduate students are funded at a rate of of $12.00 per hour (not including benefits). For more information, contact the Payroll Office (tel. 867-2391). An applicant requesting funds to employ a student assistant shall include in the grant application a brief statement of the duties to be performed by the student. Once a UCR grant has been received, the applicant should also prepare a Letter of Appointment for Hiring a Research Assistant at StFX and a Payroll Request Form for Casual and Student Employees. When an assistant, other than a student, is employed using Council funds, the grantee shall inform the assistant in writing that the hiring does not constitute a commitment by the University to provide a position after the expiration of the grant. A copy of this letter should be sent to the Secretary.
- Material, not labour, expended on a research project by the University electronic and machine shops.
- Photocopying and typing costs. Wherever possible campus facilities shall be used.
- Page charges for the publications of research results will be eligible for support if the applicant can justify them. Reasons for not using journals without page charges must be stated.
- Items NOT Eligible for Council Support:
- Research Assistant relocation or travel expenses other than field trips.
- A grantee shall not use any part of a UCR grant as a personal salary.
- Research being undertaken for the purpose of upgrading the applicant's formal academic credentials (e.g., research to complete Ph.D. thesis).
- External Approval: If the proposed project requires approval of another University committee (e.g., Research Ethics Board or Animal Care Committee) or an external body (e.g., School Board), such approval must be obtained before funds can be released by the Business Office.
- Ownership of Items Purchased with Council Funds: Equipment, books, periodicals, and expendable supplies purchased with a Council award are University property. For the duration of the research project for which they are bought they remain under the control of the person conducting the project; afterwards they revert to the University. Library resources (see Paragraph 5, Section iii) shall be handed over to the Library upon completion of a project. All Audio-Visual equipment (cameras, projectors, tape recorders, microfiche/microfilm readers, record players) approved for purchase shall be ordered in consultation with the University's Audio-Visual Service. The A-V Service shall inventory such items and issue them to the grantee on semi-permanent loan. Co-operation is expected at all times in getting the greatest possible use out of all equipment.
- General Regulations:
- Within whatever restrictions the Council imposes on an award, the recipient holds ultimate authority for decisions regarding its expenditure and must authorize all charges to it. However, if a grantee ceases to be a member of the University Faculty, the award terminates forthwith and any unspent balance reverts to the Council.
- A grant may be used only for the project for which it was awarded. Money may not be transferred to another investigator. If a recipient wishes to change a proposal or an investigator, prior Council approval must be obtained.
- All decisions of the Council on grant applications are final.
- The Council reserves the right to defer, amend, or reduce the amount of any application or award, and to require any applicant to appear before it to answer questions about his/her proposal. The Council also reserves the right to refer any application to an external adjudicator whose identity shall not be divulged.
- Two copies of the UCR application are to be submitted (one electronic copy and one hard copy of first page with all signatures). All applications to Council must be submitted on the approved UCR Application Form (which may be accompanied by supporting documentation) and emailed to the Secretary (UCR@stfx.ca) by the posted deadline (signatures not required on the electronic copy). It is the responsibility of an applicant, not the Chair of the Department, to ensure that an application, duly countersigned, is also filed by the appropriate time. The Chair's signature on an application denotes awareness of the application. If a Chair has reservations about the advisability of an award being made, the form should be signed and written comments should be submitted to Council.
- By February 15th, every grantee is required to email to the Secretary of the Council (UCR@stfx.ca), a report on the approved forms giving an outline of work accomplished over the preceding year. The report should be in general terms of not more than 500 words and must include a financial statement showing the status of the grant to the date the report is made. Copies of papers published, in press or submitted during the tenure of the grant, should accompany a report but they do not replace it. If a project is incomplete by February 15, an interim report is required and it should be followed by a final report as soon as possible but not later than the following February 15. Interim reports must include a request for any unspent cash balance in the grant to be carried forward for another year; otherwise it is considered surrendered and reverts to the Council. All permissions granted by the Secretary to grantees to carry over balance of grants are subject to ratification by Council. If a grantee fails to submit a report by the required date, any balance will be frozen until the report is received. If, after a period of grace, a report is still not received, the balances revert to the Council irrevocably and the success of future applications is prejudiced. Reports may be reviewed as a part of the adjudication process for subsequent applications.
- In any publication arising out of research supported by a Council grant, an acknowledgement of the Council's assistance is required.
- All applications will be stored on the ROMEO database system of the University.
- Funds to employ summer students will be awarded as follows:
- Students Nominated by the NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award Selection Committee: Up to five students, who are unsuccessful nominees for NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards, will be selected by the Committee for Summer UCR Research Awards of $390 per week ($12 per hour for 32.5 hrs per week) for a minimum of 12 weeks. These students can work only for supervisors who can provide sufficient funds from alternative funding sources to cover the remaining financial commitment to the student. In short, $2,250 of the total cost of $4680 (not including benefits, EI, CPP, etc.) will be paid by UCR, and the remainder from the supervisor's funds.
- Other Students: Council will award up to $390 per week ($12 per hr for 32.5 hrs per week for undergraduate students) not including benefits. The application must include the name of the student to be hired and a statement on the nature of the work the student will perform and the education/research training benefit.
Dean of Science, Secretary of the Council -- Revised March 2011