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The following policies are only applied to Tri-Agency programs (i.e., SSHRC, NSERC and CIHR). For research grants funded by other sponsors, please check specific sponsor guidelines or contact Research Services (ors@sfu.ca).

Deferral of Instalment (Tri-Agency Programs)

Government policy states that the Tri-Agencies cannot pay instalments in advance of need. The Agencies can provide funds only to correspond with the cash flow requirements of the research project.

If a Principal Investigator (PI) has a build-up of funds in a research account due to a slowdown or delay in the research (e.g., sick/maternity/parental leave), and believes that the scheduled instalment/annual commitment for the next financial year will not be needed at that time, the PI should request a deferral of the next instalment from the Agency.

Deferring an instalment extends the life of the grant, allows the PI to re-organize activities and postpones the renewal/re-application date by one or two years. The total of all deferral periods cannot exceed two years. The original grant end date will be adjusted accordingly.

Please note

  • CIHR allows deferment of the start date of a grant for up to one year from the start date indicated in the description of the funding opportunity if a PI has not resolved pending issues with the application prior to that date.
  • Deferral of instalment will not affect the review of the PI’s next application. Instead, it demonstrates the PI’s good fiscal management of grant funds.
  • The Agencies may defer, or even hold back the PI’s next instalment if the PI’s build-up of funds has not been properly justified. Please contact Research Services (ors@sfu.ca) if you have a build-up of funds in your research account.

Information pertaining to the documents to be submitted can be found on the Deferral of Installment section of the Tri Agency Grant Amendment Form.

For more information about deferrals, contact

Early Termination (Tri-Agency Programs)

A research project may be terminated by the sponsor, the university, or by mutual agreement of both parties. The research agreement and/or agency regulations specify the process of terminating a project before the contractual end date. Please contact Research Services immediately if you receive a notice of project termination.

The Tri-Agency (i.e., SSHRC, NSERC, and CIHR) will terminate a grant when

  • The PI no longer holds an eligible position at SFU
  • Program requirements are not met (e.g., unsatisfactory progress, discontinuation of the partner’s contributions)
  • The PI is unable to carry out the research or research related activities for which the grant was awarded.

If the PI is no longer holds an eligible position at SFU, the Agency may approve

  • The transfer of the grant to an eligible Co-PI, or
  • Another eligible individual as suggested by SFU

Information pertaining to the documents to be submitted can be found on the Termination of a Grant section of the Tri Agency Grant Amendment Form.

Other Changes

Please contact Research Services (ors@sfu.ca) if you have questions with respect to other project changes such as budget, key personnel, research scope or objectives, timeframe, budget, etc.