Guidelines on CIHR Payment Practices for Grants and Awards

1. Scope

The following are general guidelines that aim to facilitate understanding of how CIHR issues grants and awards payments, as well as the types of application issues that can potentially delay the initiation of payments. These guidelines are intended to be read in conjunction with the CIHR Application Administration Guide, specifically Part 4: Administration of CIHR Grants and Awards Funds.

2. General Practices and Considerations

2.1 CIHR-eligible Institutions

CIHR-eligible institutions receive grants and awards payments through a CIHR common account. Funds are typically issued in installments following an established payment schedule or as determined appropriate by CIHR. The institution then disburses the funds to the grant/award holder, based on the institution's policies and processes.

2.2 Direct Payments

CIHR funds may be paid directly to the nominated principal applicant, when CIHR has determine the circumstances to be an acceptable financial risk. Such circumstances may include but are not limited to the following:

Before issuing direct payments to nominated principal applicants, CIHR requires confirmation of the financial arrangements, including bank account and direct deposit information. Other documentation or information may be requested on a case-by-case basis. 

2.3 Applications with Pending Status

Following a competition, some successful applications may be given a status of “pending”. This means that CIHR staff or the peer review process has raised specific application issues that will need to be addressed or resolved before CIHR can initiate the payments. CIHR will notify the nominated principal applicant of such issues by way of a conditional letter of offer. When action is required on the part of the nominated principal applicant, CIHR may impose a deadline to resolve the issue, after which the offer could be rescinded.

The following are some examples of application issues that result in a pending status and may delay the initiation of payments. This list is not exhaustive.

i. Eligibility Issues for Clarification

Applicant eligibility issues raised at peer review require follow-up and resolution by the nominated principal applicant, as determined appropriate by CIHR. The period of time in which the eligibility issue(s) must be resolved is determined on a case-by case basis and communicated in a conditional letter of offer.

ii. Overdue Final Report (grants only)

If the nominated principal applicant (or role equivalent) has an Electronic Final Report that is overdue on a previously funded grant, their newly successful application will be given a pending status. The period of time in which the overdue report must be resolved is determined on a case-by case basis and communicated, in a conditional letter of offer. (Refer to the Policy Statement: Electronic Final Reports).

iii. Research Involving Human Pluripotent Stem Cells

CIHR's Stem Cell Oversight Committee (SCOC) must review projects involving human pluripotent stem cells before funds can be released in order to ensure that the research is compliant with the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct of Research Involving Humans (TCPS-2) (chapter 12, section f). This type of issue does not require a follow-up response and/or documentation from the applicant.

iv. Environmental Impact Assessment

CIHR is required to determine the potential for an adverse environmental effect for any projects carried out, in whole or in part, on federal lands or outside of Canada, as defined in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (2012) [ PDF (625 KB) - external link ] and conducts environmental pre-screenings, as required, using the information provided in the application. Applicants will be contacted by CIHR should additional information be required to complete the assessment.

v. Allegations of Breaches of Tri-agency Policies

As per the Tri-Agency Framework on the Responsible Conduct of Research, concerns raised at peer review regarding the integrity of an application (e.g., the data or content) may be referred to the Secretariat on Responsible Conduct of Research for further follow-up, as appropriate.

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