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  1. General guidelines of eligible expenses
  2. Eligible expenses for Tri-Agency programs


General guidelines of eligible expenses

Research funds must contribute towards the direct costs of the research for which the funds are awarded. The funds must be used effectively and economically.

Generally, eligible expenses must be:

  • Direct costs of the funded research project
  • Essential to the funded research project
  • In accordance with terms and conditions of the agreement, and agency and SFU guidelines
  • Incurred within the allowed project term

The following are required evidences to support your expense claim:

  • Appropriate justification if necessary with enough detail for an outside person to be able to make judgement on reasonability. For example, if your budgeted equipment cost more than expected, a justification of “it cost more than expected” might not be enough. You may want to describe that the original quote was for a model since discontinued; that you looked at alternatives and this is the best alternative; without this equipment, you would risk not meeting your project goal.
  • Invoices, contracts, or receipts (no credit card slips)
  • Authorization of PI or delegate
  • For travel expense, check the sponsor guidelines and SFU Travel Business Expense Policy AD3.02.


Eligible expenses for Tri-Agency programs

The Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide reflects the rules of all three grant Agencies (i.e., NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR).  Please visit the Guide in regards to eligible and non-eligible expenses and supporting evidences.

Please note:

  • Eligible and non-eligible expenses specific to a program are detailed in the Agency’s program literature. The Agency’s program literature prevails over the general Tri-Agency Guide.
  • In the absence of a written Agency policy, the institutional policy (e.g., per diem rates for travel) is to be applied.
  • In the presence of both an Agency policy and an institutional policy, the Agencies require compliance with the involved Agency policy, recognizing that grantees may also have to comply with institutional policies.

You can find further information by downloading the following documents:

Last updated: June 9, 2022