Changes in Status

Changes in Status

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A SFU Principal Investigator (PI) who has an active research project should promptly notify the following changes in academic status to the sponsor and Research Services (

  • Full time to part time
  • Tenure-stream eligible appointments to non-tenure stream (e.g., adjunct appointment)
  • Leaves of greater than 12 months
  • Resignation
  • Retirement and emeritus appointment

If your award is a contract or a non-Tri Agency grant, please review termination terms or contact Research Services to help you navigate them as soon as your leave is confirmed.

The Tri Agencies have specific guidelines that are described below. Many sponsors adopt the Tri Agency guidelines so the information is useful regardless where your funding comes from.

Sabbatical/Research Leave (Tri-Agency Grants)

Please check SFU policies of study leave, start of study leave day, and study leave Q&A.

Generally, the Agencies accept sabbatical/research leave (paid or unpaid) up to one year without prior notification. A SFU PI will continue to receive instalments/annual commitments during the period of sabbatical/research leave. No additional funds will be given to cover the period of sabbatical/research leave.

A SFU PI who takes a sabbatical leave for more than one year should notify the funding agency and Research Services ( The Agencies will consider terminating grants when the PI takes a sabbatical leave for more than one year. In addition, there must be at least one year between two sabbatical/research leaves for a grant to continue.

Maternity/Parental Leave and Medical Leave (Tri-Agency Grants)

The general SFU policies relating to maternity, parental, medical leave apply.

A SFU PI who takes maternity, parental or medical leave should inform the funding agency and Research Services ( as soon as the leave is confirmed and dates are known.

The Agencies recognize that extended leave (3 months or more) granted to the PI by SFU may have an impact on the PI’s research projects, and, therefore, offer the following options:

  • When an extended leave of absence has been taken by the SFU PI, he/she may request (1) an extension of the term of the current grant up to two years (NSERC and SSHRC), and (2) an amount to cover eligible expenses during the extended leave of absence up to two years (NSERC), at a level up to but not exceeding the current amount.
  • The PI may defer submission of a renewal application.
  • The PI may compete for a grant in the usual way.
  • The PI may request an Extension for Use of Funds beyond a Grant Period in order to manage unspent funds and mitigate the impact of the leave period (CIHR).


Please check SFU resignation policy.

A SFU PI must inform Research Services ( promptly upon receipt of resignation notification. Lack of prompt notification may increase the risk of ineligible expenses that the department or Faculty will need to absorb.

The following scenarios may be applied to the SFU PI.

  • The SFU PI can maintain PI status if meets Adjunct Professor eligibility
  • The SFU PI who relocates to an eligible Canadian institution can transfer the grant to a new institution. Please refer to the When a PI Leaves SFU page.
  • The SFU PI, who does not have an eligible adjunct status, but has co-applicants, can request a change in the lead PI.
  • The agency will terminate the grant if the SFU PI has neither an eligible adjunct status nor co-applicants.

SFU PIs should be mindful of significant expenses made after confirming resignation. Sponsors may deny expenses incurred after notification date (prior to final departure date). Furthermore, PIs should be mindful of expenses charged to recently awarded grants after confirming resignation. Again, sponsors could deny such expenses. If you wish to make expenses, best to obtain prior approval from the granting agencies before authorizing.