- Hospitality expenses in accordance with the University of Waterloo policy are eligible on most research accounts. Alcohol is an ineligible expense unless the research sponsor has specifically stated otherwise.
Remuneration to research participants
- Where eligible on the research account, payments may be made to research participants. Finance provides a policy regarding such payments.
- The University charges overhead (also referred to as indirect costs) on research accounts to provide compensation to the University for the use of space, heat, light, power, furniture, administrative services, library, central computing, etc. Overhead is typically charged as a percentage of total research funding and is finalized at the time of the award agreement. When a research account is set up the full overhead is committed (encumbered) against the account (this enables users to see what is available for direct costs). Overhead is then charged against an account at the agreed upon percentage as actual expenses are charged to the account and the commitment is reduced accordingly. Please see the overhead page for further details. Also refer to Policy 26.
Financial requirements for purchase card expenses on research accounts
- Recent University and external research sponsor audits have identified that research purchases charged using University of Waterloo purchase cards frequently do not have appropriate authorization and/or back-up documentation to support the charge. Irrespective of the dollar value, all purchase card expenses on research accounts must be appropriately authorized, be eligible on that specific research account, and have appropriate supporting documentation.
Research consulting payments occur when the University enters into a research contract with a third party and a portion of the contract fee paid to the University is allocated by the third party for payments to faculty researchers (typically the Principal Investigator (PI) or co-applicant on the project) for their work on the research.
Prior to research consulting being completed
Prior to research consulting being completed, the following documentation must be in place:
- The research agreement (or an amendment) must state that research consulting is an eligible expense and
- The Office of Research cover sheet for sponsored research must indicate that research consulting payments will be made.
The claimant is responsible for ensuring that the following University policies are followed (if applicable):
Additionally, if the research consulting payments will be paid to a faculty member’s incorporated company, the following documents must be provided to the appropriate faculty financial officer, or their delegate, in accordance with Policy 52: Private corporations:
- An independent contractor agreement as per appendix A of policy 52
- Legally valid contract of employment between the incorporated company and the individual being paid research consulting as per appendix B of policy 52
Proof of comprehensive liability insurance in accordance with the Finance requirements
After research consulting has been completed
Once the research consulting has been completed, the claimant prepares:
- An invoice if their incorporated company will be paid
- An invoice and the one time payment request form if they will be paid directly
Invoices from incorporated companies must be reviewed by the appropriate faculty finance officer, or their delegate, to ensure that the requirements of policy 52 have been met (e.g. a current private contractor agreement, contract of employment, and insurance details are on file).
It's the responsibility of the claimant to charge HST where the Canada Revenue Agency requires them to do so. The determination of whether the services provided are subject to HST is not impacted by whether the payment is being made to an individual or an incorporated company.
Once authorized and any department/faculty/institute/school/center review processes are complete, research consulting claims should be sent to: Research consulting, Research Finance, Office of Research for review to ensure that:
- The expense is eligible on the research project.
- Budgeted amounts for such payments would not be exceeded by the current claim.
- The funds have been collected from the research sponsor.
- The research project has sufficient funds available to pay the claim.
- The claim is accompanied by supporting documentation (the nature of the work performed and how the amount was determined, e.g., hourly / daily rate).
- The claim is appropriately authorized (including a one-over-one approval).
Once the Research Finance review is complete, the claim is sent to Finance (for payments to incorporated companies) where it will be paid by cheque or bank deposit to the company or to Payroll (for payments to individuals) where it will be paid as part of the monthly payroll process.
Table 1: Documentation, approvals and review process
|Individual Claimant||Incorporated Company|
|Form||One time payment request form||Company invoice|
Company invoice to include:
|Research account coding and authorization||One time payment request form to be coded and signed by PI or authorized delegate on the research account||Invoice to be coded and signed by PI or authorized delegate on the research account|
|One-over-one approval||One time payment request form to be signed by claimant’s appropriate one-over-one (usually department chair or school director)||Invoice to be signed by claimant’s appropriate one-over-one (usually department chair or school director)|
|Faculty financial officer (or their delegate) review||
Compliance with policy 52: Private corporations
|Research Finance review||
|Processing||Payroll||Accounts payable (Finance)|