Applied Health Sciences (AHS), June 2018
Assemble application and complete Office of Research cover sheet
Cover sheets are required to start a research account through the Office of Research (OR). Typically cover sheets are used for all grants, contracts and research agreements, or awards. They provide a mechanism for payment, help the OR to catalogue applications, ensure that all the varied guidelines are met and to provide information to build statistics around research funding. Without cover sheets, the university (and the Faculty) lose the mechanism to track accurate research statistics.
While creating your application and documents, work with the OR for guidance. Contact them well in advance of the sponsor’s deadline, as competing deadlines may inhibit their review process and response time, and endanger your application. For research ethics, use the new research ethics system (August, 2018) or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Details for preparing an Office of Research cover sheet
Use current blank OR cover sheet template. Detailed instructions on how to complete a cover sheet are below and a visual representation is found at Instructions for completing a cover sheet.pdf Instructions for completing a cover sheet.pdf .
Section 1: Project information
Complete all the information requested in this section including basic project information, an indication of the principal investigator (PI), and co-investigators, and key words relating to the project.
Note: PhD students or postdocs cannot be listed as PI or co-investigator. Instead, list them beside the PI name.
Section 2: Certifications and risk declaration
Check off the proposed activities in this section indicating Yes or No.
Note: If you indicate Yes for seeking a teaching release or for additional space or resources, submit a request to the chair/director, allowing for ample time for review. Chair/director must initial the cover sheet if one of these fields is requested. Initialling regarding space indicates an acknowledgement of your request for space. When submitting a cover sheet for signature, include email exchanges/memos regarding these arrangements.
Section 3: Collaborations
Name collaborators and high level funding arrangements.
Section 4: Total project budget – Cash, overhead, in-kind
Complete this section as follows:
- Cash box: Include the cash budget only, without overhead.
- Overhead box: Indicate if you are charging the expected maximum overhead on cash. See Handling overhead section below.
- In-kind box: Indicate in-kind total. For assistance see Office of Research Building A Budget – In Kind. When submitting the cover sheet for signature, provide supporting documentation for any commitments made by the department, Faculty or the university.
- Total box: Add these three figures for the grand total on the right.
Ensure that the grand total is the sum of the first three boxes and that these figures match the proposal budget that you are including.
Next, indicate if overhead is being charged (Yes or No).
- No for Tri-Council agencies.
- Yes for non-Tri-Council organizations if the sponsor’s guidelines state that overhead is not allowed or if they specify a particular rate. Insert a short explanation and provide documentation to substantiate maximum overhead (from either sponsor guidelines or the OR).
- No if you are not charging the maximum overhead. See Handling overhead section below.
Section 5: Waterloo signatures
Read points under the heading. Signing this section as PI indicates your agreement with the statements. PhD students or postdocs cannot sign as the PI or co-investigator.
Note: The University of Waterloo PI must sign the cover sheet before the chair/director or the dean.
Section 6: Acknowledgement and approval from administration
Route the cover sheet through the department administrator for signature by chair/director (or their designate). If the PI is the department head, the PI signs as the PI, and the designate signs as department head. The department administrator will route the cover sheet to the assistant to the dean, Catherine Maine in BMH 3113, or will leave it in the dean's mail slot. The assistant to the dean will review the package and clarify any questions before obtaining the dean’s signature.
For Propel Centre for Population Health (a Senate approved Centre), first signature is the PI, second signature is the Centre Director and final signature is the dean.
Along with your cover sheet also provide at minimum:
- Short description of the project /research agreement or contract / award (can be a draft)
- An explanation of your role (can be from application)
- Confirming documentation for teaching release, space or resources.
- Clear budget matching the budget totals on the cover sheet (can be a draft as long as no substantive budgetary changes anticipated)
- Overhead rate - provide sponsor’s policy or emails to support adjusted rate. For approved reductions, provide chair/ director and dean’s agreement.
When you submit a cover sheet, please allow for at least three working days prior to the OR deadline (not the agency deadline) for chair/director and dean’s signature. In extenuating circumstances, if three days lead time is not possible, email the department administrator and copy Catherine Maine, assistant to the dean, to see what arrangements can be made.
Once signed by the dean, the dean's assistant will e-mail the Office of Research a PDF version of the cover sheet and the full application, copying the PI. The dean's assistant will submit the original cover sheet (and any other pages with original signatures) to the OR by internal mail. If you prefer to make another arrangement for submitting the cover sheet once signed, please specify it when you submit the application. The PI and Faculty office should each retain copies of the application.
For more information on completing applications see the OR website under Apply for Funding.
Overhead rates vary depending on the sponsoring body and the type of sponsored activity. Once established, fold the overhead figure into the grant when you are building the budget.
Funding opportunities fall into two broad categories: those offered by Tri-Council Agencies and others. On OR cover sheets, specify No for Tri-Council Agencies as their overhead is collected at the university level under the Research Support Fund.
For non-Tri-Council grants, the Office of Research provides expected overhead rates which vary. For some organizations, they may not be defined. If the rates are not defined, do not agree to overhead arrangements before exploring rates with OR personnel. Contact them early in the process.
Contracts and research agreements
Overhead rates are typically 30% on most contracts or research agreements, unless otherwise specified in the OR guidelines.
Contract and research agreements stem from direct funding opportunities from the private sector, some branches of government, non-profits, and industries. Rates may or may not be defined - see question below about determining overhead rates and consult with the OR contact.
Typically there is no overhead allowed on awards or prizes.
Determining overhead rates and special cases?
Do not agree to overhead arrangements before checking in with the OR, in order to establish an overhead rate.
Once the overhead rate has been established, if you wish to make a special case to a lower rate from the norm (rare), email the chair/director and copy the assistant to the dean, presenting your case to reduce overhead. Allow at least five business days before the application deadline for consideration.
If a reduced overhead rate has been agreed upon at the faculty level, indicate No in the overhead box (on the cover sheet), and specify that the maximum rate has not been charged. Beside it, insert the negotiated rate, along with a statement directing the signatory to supporting documents for the new rate (please provide those documents).
Why charge overhead?
Policy 26 states that, "It is intended that the University recover the cost (direct and indirect) of sponsored research activities." Whenever possible, provision for University overhead (the indirect costs) must be made when applying for funding for sponsored research activities. Contract and industrial grant sponsors must allow for overhead recovery; for other grant and research sponsors, an overhead factor must be used whenever possible. Overhead provides compensation to the university for the use of space, heat, light, power, furniture, facility maintenance, administrative services, library, central computing, etc.
In addition, you should be receiving a monthly e-mail about non-profit health research funding opportunities through the OR. If you are not receiving these e-mails, contact the associate dean of research. Also review key specific health-related funding opportunities below:
- Canadian Innovation Fund John R Evans Leaders Fund
- Canadian Institutes of Health Research Award from University of Waterloo Office of Research
- Early Researcher Award from University of Waterloo Office of Research
- Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada from University of Waterloo Office of Research
- Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council from University of Waterloo Office of Research
Funding through student fellowships administered by AHS
This competition runs at least annually and is announced via e-mail to AHS faculty members only.
Undergraduate Student Research Awards - Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
Each year, UWaterloo is allotted Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA), of which AHS receives a proportion. Award holders are eligible students who work with faculty members who are NSERC grant holders. Contact the Undergraduate Coordinator of your department for details, or for more information, visit:
Undergraduate Research Internship
Supplemental funds for co-op student researchers are available through the Undergraduate Research Internship Fund.