SFU Records Retention Schedule and Disposal Authority (RRSDA)
Award administration files

Description | PIB | Authorities | Retentional rational | Rentention and filing guidelines | Status

RRSDA number


Record series

Award administration files

Office of Primary Responsibility (OPR)

Graduate Studies, Dean of

Retention periods

Records Active retention (in office) Semi-active (records centre) Total retention Final disposition
Tri-Council award files CY award closes + 1 yr 5 yrs CY award closes + 6 yrs Destruction
All other award files CY award disbursed + 1 yr Nil CY award disbursed + 1 yr Destruction

CY = Current calendar year; CFY = Current fiscal year; CS = Current semester; S/O = Superseded or obsolete; OPR = Office of Primary Responsibility; Non-OPR = All other departments.

Description, purpose and use of records

Records relating to the financial management of internal and external awards received by research trainees, including undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows. External funding comes from a number of sources, including provincial and federal governments, government agencies, and for-profit and non-profit organizations (e.g. CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC, MSFHR, etc.). Internal funding includes entrance awards, graduate travel awards, faculty/school-funded scholarships and fellowships, and private awards supported by foundations, endowments, and annual donations.

These records are related to the administration of awards to successful applicants, including notifying students of award terms, establishing or modifying a payment schedule, disbursing funding, monitoring submitted progress and exit reports, and completing auditing and reporting requirements. Scholarship, bursary, award, and grant applications submitted by students are not covered by this RRSDA.

Note that awards require varying levels of administration from the Office of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Fellows.

The financial administration of some externally-funded national scholarships (e.g. Tri-Council awards) are managed by the Office of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Fellows. Award files may include, but are not limited to, the following records: award acceptance letters, letters of agreement, payment schedules, progress reports, requests for and approval of leaves of absence or deferrals, award extensions and modifications, exit surveys, etc.

Internally funded awards may require significantly less record keeping, depending on the funding source, and often relate only to payment information and award disbursal. These awards files include but are not limited to payment schedules, award letters, etc.

Electronic records are also covered by this RRSDA and include email correspondence, electronic award and payment schedule, database records, etc.

Disbursal of award payments is recorded in SIMS. SIMS is not covered by this RRSDA.

This record series is a Personal Information Bank (PIB). See PIB description.

See also:

Personal Information Bank (PIB)

This series is a Personal Information Bank; click here for PIB description.


These records are created, used, retained and managed in accordance with the following authorities:

Retention rationale

Tri-Council award administration records must be retained for a total retention period of "CY award closes + 6 yrs" to comply with Tri-Council requirements as stated in the 2013 Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide and the Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions.

For all other awards, a total retention period of "CY award disbursed + 1 yr" is sufficient to meet the University's business need for these records, to comply with reporting requirements, and to resolve student questions.

Retention and filing guidelines

Records creators should note that this RRSDA applies equally to paper and electronic records and that they are responsible for deleting any records maintained in electronic form at the expiration of the total retention period (e.g. PDF versions, spreadsheets, database records, e-mail correspondence, etc.). Maintaining electronic copies of records with personal information after the recommended retention period places an undue burden on the University to continue to guard against the unauthorized use or disclosure of that personal information in accordance with the FOI/ POP Act and the records series' status as a PIB.

Tri-Council award files

File records by funding agency (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC) and then by student name. Files are closed when the award is completed; closed files are organized by year the award was completed.


At the end of the active retention period (CY award closes + 1 yr), box and transfer the paper files to the University Records Centre (URC). For each box prepare a box contents listing, itemizing all files contained in the box. Always include ONE copy of the file list inside the box sent to the URC taped to the underside of the lid; keep ONE copy for your own records; and send ONE copy (paper or electronic) to the Archives (see Procedures for Transferring Records to the University Records Centre).

All other award files

File records by year, by department (if applicable), and then by student name. For private awards, file records by the name of the award. These records remain in active use during the term of the award and remain in the Office of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Fellows when the award is disbursed + 1 yr.

These records contain personal information and should be destroyed by confidential shredding at the end of the total retention period (CY award disbursed + 1 yr) prescribed by this RRSDA. Contact Facilities Management to make arrangements. They are not to be boxed and sent to the University Records Centre (URC).


RRSDA is in force.

Approved by the University Archivist: 17 Dec 2013

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