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Institutional Strategic Awards (ISA)

Email Notification

The post awards process is triggered when the AVPR and ISA staff receive an email from the Tri-Agency Institutional Programs Secretariat (TIPS) that decisions for nominations submitted for a specific deadline are available online. Accessing SFU’s institutional CRC website provides a list of the approved nominations and a Notice of Award and Acceptance (NOA) for each successful candidate. The ISA staff downloads the documents and they are emailed to the successful Chairholders for acceptance of the award.

Acceptance of the Award

The NOA provides the following information: Grantee’s name and address (SFU) and the institutional contact person (AVPR), name of Chairholder, Tier, granting agency, and proposed start date. Both the Chairholder and the AVPR must sign the NOA for the institution to accept the award on behalf of the Chairholder. TIPS generally requires the return of the NOA within three weeks if the candidate wishes to accept the award. In order to accept the award, four conditions must be met:

  • the University must accept the grant and provide the signature of either the President or Authorized Representative for CRC awards (for SFU, this is the AVPR);
  • the nominee must accept the Chair by the proposed start or a revised start date. Note: the Chair has up to one year to start the award, however, the University prefers the Chair to start as close as possible to the proposed start date unless there are extenuating conditions;
  • the University assigns a Contracts Officer in the Office of Research Services (ORS) to review and accept the Terms and Conditions for the grant under the CRC Program; and
  • the University agrees to follow the Public Communication Guidelines for Universities and the nominee agrees to follow the Communication Guidelines for Chairholders.

Signed NOAs

The signed NOAs are scanned and sent to by the ISA. CRC no longer requires paper copies. New Chairholders are also notified at this time that the public announcement of Chairs by either the Chairholder or the institution is under embargo until the public announcement of the Chair, which can be up to six months after the decision date. Return of the NOAs to TIPS results in processing of the Award and setup of a payment schedule for funding transfers to the university. This process often takes 1-2 months; the ISA, in coordination with ORS, is responsible for requesting this payment schedule through SFU’s assigned CRC Program Officer. Simultaneously while returning NOAs to CRC, signed NOAs are provided to:

  • Director, Research Services, along with the first 6 pages of the CRC nomination module; terms and conditions, and payment schedules
  • Faculty Relations;
  • VPA Associate Director Budget and Operations;
  • Manager, Research Accounting;
  • Faculty Dean and/or School Director/Department Chair of the Chairholder and their Administrative Assistants; and
  • the Chairholder.

Research Services (ORS)

When a signed NOA is received by ORS, a Contracts Officer is assigned and the ISA provides:

  • The first six pages of the CRC application; and
  • Payment Schedule. Note: the payment schedule may not be available from the Secretariat for 1-2 months after the NOAs are returned to TIPS for processing. The ISA is responsible for requesting the payment schedule through SFU’s assigned CRC Program Officer.

A Grant Track (GT) “proposal” is created by the ORS Contracts Coordinator. Pages of the signed NOA and payment schedule are posted to the record. Note: new GT proposals are also created for award renewals and are linked to the original award as an “Associated Proposal”. The following details are populated into the GT record:

  • the proposed title of the Chair (Tier 1 or Tier 2) – Renewal (if award is renewal, if new – omit);
  • keywords as provided on page 3 of the CRC application;
  • six-digit file number as per the CRC application;
  • year of the application;
  • start and end date as indicated in the Payment Schedule; and
  • funding – line items per year as per the Payment Schedule.

The award is then approved by ORS for set up with the following steps:

  1. Ensure that all documents (NOA, pages of CRC application, Payment Schedule) are posted to the GT proposal and ORS local drive.
  2. Double-check term dates and funding in the GT record.
  3. The NOA, pages of CRC application, and Payment Schedule are transmitted to Research Accounting via GT for their records.
  4. A GT mail is sent to Research Accounting confirming ORS approval of the CRC award for set up under the VPA.

Research Accounting (RA)

RA will open a new project account in Fund 31 once ORS provides the approval for fund setup. The required information has been entered into GT by ORS. RA will send an email notification to the VPA Associate Director Budget and Operations when the account is set up.

Note: The VPA Director of Finance will be responsible for providing RA a journal voucher annually to charge the project. 

If the Chairholder status changes (e.g., due to leave), the VPA Associate Director Budget and Operations will notify the ISA. ISA will submit leave request to CRC for approval and requests an updated end date. When it is approved, ISA provides an amended Notice of Award confirming revised end date, and revised payment schedule or budget to the VPA Associate Director Budget and Operations and ORS, and then VPA Associate Director Budget and Operations will submit a journal voucher to amend the annual charges before March 31 to RA.

RA will receive the quarterly payments and report on the amounts received and expended annually to CRC. See #Fc.

Note: Research ethics approval is not required for the Chairholder account to be set up. The Faculty/School/Department works with the Chairholder to obtain the necessary ethics approval (if required) if the funds are going to be used or diverted towards a research account or project see #14.

Office of the Vice-President, Academic

Once the project has been set up by RA, the VPA Associate Director Budget and Operations will transfer funds annually from the Fund 31 account to a Faculty or departmental/ school account code and send the journal voucher to RA for processing.

Leaves of Absence

The VPA Associate Director Budget and Operations will inform the ISA staff of any leaves of absence for the Chairholder as described under C.9.b and the VPA Associate Director Budget and Operations will work with ISA on confirmation of eligibility report on annual basis.

Other Research Grants

Occasionally, a Faculty may request funds to be transferred directly to another research grant so the Chairholder can use the funds towards research activities. In this case, the Faculty will work with ORS and the Office of Research Ethics (if required) to set up the new project. Once the new project has been approved, the VPA Associate Director Budget and Operations can arrange the transfer of funds.

Office of Research Ethics (ORE)

If conducting research with human participants or their data - in other research grants connected to CRC funds (#14) – the researcher must first obtain research ethics approval before initiating the work. To add CRC funding to an already approved ethics study, this can be done using the administrative amendment process at ORE.  Contact the Office of Research Ethics ( for questions.

Annual reporting

Confirmation of eligibility

Annually, the VPA Director of Finance and ISA staff jointly confirm the eligibility of the institution’s Chairholders to hold their CRC awards:

  • The ISA staff downloads the spreadsheet from the CRC extranet;
  • The VPA Associate Director Budget and Operations enters leave/sabbatical data into the spreadsheet and returns to the RO; and
  • The ISA checks data and submits to the Secretariat by June 1 each year.

Annual chairholder and institutional reports

Annual reports are carried out by the ISA with an annual deadline of June 30. The ISA facilitates the collection of CRC Annual Chairholder Reports and uses the information provided by these reports to drafts the Institutional CRC Report.

  • The ISA provides the Institutional and Chairholder Reports to the AVPR. The AVPR edits the Institutional Report as needed.
  • The ISA submits Chairholder and Institutional Reports to the Secretariat by June 30.

Financial reporting (Form 300)

Annually, RA will prepare Form 300 and send to the VPA Associate Director Budget and Operations for confirmation and signature. Research Accounting will submit Form 300 to CRC after VPA approval

CRC profiles 

Although not a formal reporting requirement, for communication purposes after the Chair is awarded, the ISA assists the new Chairholder to develop a profile for posting on the CRC website. Chairs that have been renewed should update their profiles after approval of the award; reminders to do this will be sent by the ISA. Instructions and templates for Chairholder profiles can be found here.