UBC Research Regulations

Starting May 1, 2015 UBC’s required indirect cost recovery rate for all new industry-funded projects is increasing from 25% to 40%. The indirect costs recovery rates are now: 25% of all direct costs for all non-industry funding (governments and non-profits) and 40% of all direct costs on all industry funding.

The only exceptions to these rates will continue to be funds from any of the Tri-Council funding agencies and funds through grant applications that specify a verified, alternate rate. After May 1, 2015, all discretionary powers for the recovery rate of indirect costs (for projects not covered by the standard or published verified rates) rests with the deans of the faculties and not with the Vice President Research & International Office.

Researchers are responsible for the pursuit and overall management of their research projects. Because UBC is legally responsible for the conduct of research and the management of funds awarded, researchers must abide by UBC policies. Pre- and post-award administration of all research grants is managed by the Office of Research Services (ORS). Both research and non-research contracts and agreements are administered through the University-Industry Liaison Office (UILO).

A signature on a grant application is legally binding and confirms the signatory’s agreement and consent to a number of obvious and implied responsibilities that vary with his or her role at UBC.

Before submission, research grant applicants must secure two sets of signatures. The first set of signatures must satisfy the funding agency’s requirements; the second must satisfy UBC’s research signature policy, which requires that all applications secure the following signatures in this order before they are submitted to the sponsor:

  1. Applicant (i.e., Principal Investigator)
  2. Department Head (not applicable to School of Kinesiology)
  3. Dean of Faculty (For the Faculty of Education, the signatory is either the Associate Dean, Research, for non-Kinesiology faculty, or the Director, School of Kinesiology, for Kinesiology faculty)
  4. Institutional signature (Director, UBC’s Office of Research Services)

Please use the ORS Research Project Information Form to facilitate any signatures that are not accommodated in the application package. Adobe Acrobat must be used (Mac users do not attempt to open the file with Preview - it will be corrupted). Note this form remains with ORS when it is submitted for the Director’s signature and applicants can request a copy for their personal records once signed by ORS's Director.

Please click links to download samples of RPIFs used for different kinds of research funding arrangements  right click to "save as", and open in Adobe Acrobat.

RPIF Internal FoE Funding
RPIF Non-Profit with Indirects
RPIF Student Trainee Award
RPIF Transferring Funds from External PI to UBC
RPIF UBC Start-Up Funding

Required Documentation to Obtain Signatures

Key sections of the proposal must be supplied to obtain signatures:

For Faculty of Education signature:

  • Full Proposal

For ORS signature:

  • Completed RPIF with all but the ORS Director's signature;
  • Title Page;
  • Abstract or Summary of Proposed Project;
  • Budget and budget justification and all accompanying financial information; and
  • All letters of support or commitment from UBC, collaborating companies or other institutions.

All grant applications must be routed through Office of Research in Education (ORE) and then ORS before submission to the sponsor and signatures must be secured in the order listed above. The process for securing an institutional signature from ORS is described on the ORS website.

Signature Turnaround Timelines

Department Head: Contact Department Head executive assistant.

Faculty-level: Contact Research Grants Facilitator Robert Olaj in the Faculty’s Office of Research in Education (ORE) if you plan to submit a grant application and to arrange signatures from the Associate Dean, Research. Faculty are advised to review funding opportunity postings for pre-established internal deadlines. If no deadlines are posted, allow for three full business days, at minimum, for processing.

Institutional: Minimum two full working days prior to the sponsor deadline. See the ORS website for details on specific turnaround times.

Agency-specific Submission Requirements

Specific submission requirements for Tri-Council (SSHRC, CIHR, NSERC), Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, and NIH applications are detailed on the ORS website. These instructions are typically updated several weeks before each competition deadline, so please be sure to check ORS’s site for updates.

As per UBC policy, all budgets for research grants and contracts must include a 25% indirect rate for all non-industry funding (government and non-profit) and 40% for all industry funding. The only exceptions to these rates are funds from the Tri-Council funding agencies (SSHRC, NSERC and CIHR) and funds through grant applications that specify a verified, alternate rate. Vice-President Research & International maintains an Indirect Costs of Research Rates Table (requires CWL login) which identifies funding sources with which UBC has negotiated alternate indirect rates. All discretionary powers for the recovery rate of indirect costs (for projects not covered by the standard or published verified rates) rests with the deans of the faculties.

If you are applying for external research funding (excluding Tri-Council (SSHRC, NSERC and CIHR)), it is critical that you address UBC’s indirect policy with your sponsor before proposal submission. If you are in the process of applying for external research sponsorship, including approaching external partners (other than Canadian Universities) for cash contributions to Tri-Council projects, please contact Research Facilitators Robert Olaj or Heather Frost in the Faculty’s Office of Research in Education for advice on navigating UBC's overhead policy.

Some research sponsors or collaborators require applicants to sign contracts or agreements. Please note that UBC University-Industry Liaison Office (UILO) personnel are the only people at UBC with the authority to sign research contracts or agreements. Note that the requirement to involve the UILO applies whether the organization is for-profit or not-for-profit. If you are unsure of whether you need to involve UILO, please contact Research Grants Facilitator Robert Olaj in the Faculty’s Office of Research in Education, or UILO directly.

Many Education faculty receive funds from and conduct research with Governments and Non-profit organizations. Please refer to the Government and Non-profit Research Partnerships web page designed to help UBC applicants navigate their agreements and contracts with these sponsors.

Research Ethics Boards (REBs)

As per UBC Policy #87: Research, all research or study conducted at UBC facilities or undertaken by persons connected to the University, involving human subjects, animals or bio-hazardous materials, must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate University Research Ethics Board (REB). Grant funding is not released until awardees obtain approval from UBC REBs. Ethical approval must be obtained within six months of award date.

Behavioural Research Ethics Board (BREB)

Behavioural projects may involve asking subjects to participate in studies that use, for example, questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, observation, data linkage, secondary use of data, testing, video and audio taping. To get the most up-to-date BREB ethics submissions deadlines, forms, FAQ, tips, guidelines and a list of BREB membership, please visit the BREB web site.

Please refer to UBC’s Board of Governors Policy #89: Research and Other Studies Involving Human Subjects, the goals of which are intended to:

  • Create a research environment in which human subjects are protected
  • Ensure responsibilities are discharged according to the relevant ethical standards
  • Promote awareness of research ethics amongst faculty, staff, and students
  • Establish an independent research ethics review process
  • Put in place mechanisms for the protection of human subjects in ongoing research, including monitoring

Clinical Research Ethics Board (CREB)

Research and studies that involve surgery, clinical interventions, exercise programs, and/or the analysis of private clinical data must be reviewed and approved by the Clinical Research Ethics Board (CREB). To get the most up-to-date CREB ethics submissions deadlines, forms, tips, guidelines and CREB membership, please visit the CREB web site.

TCPS Tutorial

At UBC, all non-Faculty personnel who are associated with a research project and who will have contact with the human participants are required to have completed the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2) online tutorial before the application is submitted to the REB. This includes (but is not limited to) undergraduate and graduate students, medical residents, research assistants, research coordinators, etc. The REB requires that all Principal Investigators be familiar with the TCPS and recommends that they also complete the TCPS tutorial, especially when the Principal Investigator supervises or teaches classes for graduate students or medical residents. The TCPS was developed by Canada’s Interagency Advisory Panel on Research Ethics (PRE) as a collaborative effort to promote the ethical conduct of research involving human participants.

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Grant Development Resources

Below you will find resources to assist you in the development of a research grant application.

Note that the Tri-Council (SSHRC, NSERC and CIHR) has established a Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide, updated annually, for the use of Tri-Council grant funds.

The Office of Research in Education (ORE) supports faculty members in identifying and applying for research funding. This support is offered to all members of the professoriate, regardless of tenure, with particular regard to newly appointed faculty. The support and services are provided at multiple stages in the entire application process and include:

  • Working with individual faculty to identify suitable research funding opportunities.
  • Interpreting research grant objectives, guidelines and evaluation criteria.
  • Providing critical reviews of draft grant proposals, with particular attention to ensuring that the proposal is clearly written and focused, that there is a match between the research proposal and the objectives of the funding program, and that applications abide by UBC research policies and the funding agency's application requirements.
  • Assisting with the development of research grant budgets.
  • Facilitating research funding information session and workshops.
  • Assisting in identifying potential research collaborators and partners.
  • Recommending options for various research-related services (e.g. data analysis, statistical services, translation, methodological expertise, etc.).
  • For major competitions, coordinating submission of applications to UBC’s Office of Research Services for institutional signature.
  • On behalf of the Associate Dean, Research, sending congratulatory announcements in recognition of faculty members' research grant successes.
  • Strengthening grant applications for re-submission.

Please contact Heather Frost 604.822.0215 or Robert Olaj 604.822.0580 for assistance.

Have you…

  • Ensured that all required application sections are completed and verified?
  • Understood the submission process for your application (see Submitting Your Proposal)
  • ?

  • Secured the requisite signatures in the requisite order (see UBC Regulations > Signatures and Submission Process)?
  • Ensured your budget is pragmatic, realistic and accurate, and takes into consideration projected annual increases in costs, particularly for salaries and services?
  • Secured written approval for all cash and/or in-kind contributions to your project?
  • Secured written approval for release time before including funds for release time in your budget?
  • Addressed with your sponsors (except Tri-Council), UBC Policy on Indirect Costs of Research?
  • Ensured that your CV is accurate and reflects all your recent contributions?

Common CV formats:

UBC CV and Publication Record (Word format) – Used for UBC Tenure and Promotion

Personal Data Form – Humanities and Social Sciences Personal Data Form for UBC Internal Grant competitions (e.g., HSS Research Grants, Hampton Fund Research Grants)

Canadian Common CV (CCV) – web-based application that gathers CV information required by 22 federal, provincial and non-profit Canadian funding organizations, including CIHR. SSHRC and NSERC are transitioning their competitions to use the CCV and should be fully integrated by 2015. Please consult the CCV system User Manual developed by the Office of Research.

SSHRC Web CV and online forms – access to SSHRC’s online application system and CV forms

my.CV (UBCCV) – website still functioning but no longer updated

Please find below a selection of budget templates to assist you in the development of your research grant proposal.

Project Activity and Resource Planning

Project Expenses by Month

Project Expenses by Year

Personnel on research grants may occupy a number of different roles, for example, students on stipends, Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs), Post-Doctoral Fellows, statisticians, translators and consultants. Pay rates may vary based on a number of factors, including expertise and skill level, experience, duration of work, type and complexity of job, location of service and collective agreements. Please note that the personnel costs outlined below are suggestions only.

Salary scales for various UBC employee groups are found on the UBC Human Resources website.

Note: Researchers are responsible to abide by employment practices and wage increases resulting from collective bargaining agreements for hired individuals that are part of any UBC employee group (e.g. CUPE, M&P). These have significant implications for your research budget. It is the faculty member’s responsibility to know and apply the appropriate employment framework.

Student Stipends

Student stipends are appropriate for work that furthers the completion of their thesis or dissertation. Where possible, investigators should consider offering stipends instead of hourly wages. Neither UBC nor Tri-Council prescribes stipend amounts.

Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs)
Salary rates for GAA and GRA positions in the Faculty are $7,985 for each doctoral student (8 month appointment) and $7,684 for each masters level student (8 month appointment). Please budget to include an additional 8% for non-discretionary benefits (Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance, Worksafe BC and vacation). For additional information, please visit Please note that students holding scholarships such as Tri-Council awards are limited in the number of hours they are permitted to work, unless the work is directly related to their thesis in dissertation (in which case a stipend should be used to compensate them). UBC generally recommends that students undertake no more than an average of 12 hours of paid work per week.

Post-Doctoral Fellows

Investigators may recruit Post-Doctoral Fellows to work on their research projects. Policies and procedures for recruiting and hiring Post-Doctoral Fellows, as well as guidelines for assessing requisite and discretionary benefits, are outlined on UBC's Faculty Relations website.

Project Coordination/Management Support

Many research sponsors (including SSHRC) allow for project coordinators. At UBC, project coordinators or managers are typically part of the Management & Professional (M&P) employee group. Depending on the complexity of the work involved, salary rates range from $45,000 to $65,000 per year for a full-time project coordinator (includes 18% benefits for M&P personnel). Part-time coordinator salaries should be pro-rated. Projected salary increases should be included in the budget for employees in this category.

Transcription Services

Transcription is often undertaken by the Graduate Research Assistants employed on a research project, but an independent transcription provider may be hired. Typical transcription rates vary between $24 to $28.00 per hour plus applicable taxes. Typically, it takes a professional transcriptionist 3-4 hours of transcription time for every hour of audio recording.

Translation Services

Please contact Robert Olaj if you require information on translation services.

Statistical and Database Development Services

UBC’s Statistical Consulting and Research Laboratory (SCARL) is operated by the Department of Statistics and offers services that cover the spectrum of statistical design and analysis. SCARL's fee-based services are available to all Faculties as well as to off-campus clients on a small-project or hourly basis.

Edudata Canada, a research unit located in the Faculty of Education at UBC, also offers consultancy for survey design, data collection, data linking, data analysis and report writing.

Before purchasing equipment, please consult with your unit’s Administration Manager. Please note that for the purchase of equipment exceeding $3,500 (per item), UBC Supply Management requires a Requisition for Payment (or Q-Req form) and three quotes. They will then create a Purchase Order. Please see your Administration Manager for Q-Reqs.


UBC Finance manages the Purchase Card (PCard) program, a corporate credit card that can be an appropriate way to access your research funds. Visit UBC Finance’s Procurement Services website to get information on a range of procurement options and processes.


Office supplies are available through the UBC Bookstore and Staples Canada. The UBC Bookstore offers discounts on office supplies to all departments.

Computers, Audio and Video Equipment 

Staff in the University’s Research IT unit can assist you with choosing the right digital equipment for your research project and for securing vendor quotes.


Managed by the VP Research & International, the Facilities, Resources, and Equipment Database (FRED) is an online database of sharable research resources from across British Columbia, accessible to anyone in British Columbia, including researchers, students and representatives from the public, private and non-profit sectors.


A range of word processing, notation and data analysis software is available at no cost through the University’s Research IT unit. They can also assist you in finding the right kind of software for your needs. UBC Bookstore also offers an array of software at educational discounts. Note that many free, open-source applications are also developed and can be used in educational research.

Below is a listing of just a very few examples of software used in educational research.

Adobe Canada for Acrobat, Photoshop, Dreamweaver; Illustrator and InDesign

Apple Canada’s Educational Site for OSX, QuickTime Pro, Final Cut, Aperture and Airport Express.

ATLAS.ti GmbH for Atlas.ti

IBM Canada for SPSS

QSR International for NVivo

Scientific Software International for Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM)

Thomson Reuters for EndNote

Zotero (free, open-source reference management tool)

Additional Budget Items

Postage and Couriers Current postage rates and courier services are listed on UBC’s Campus Mail Services website.

Copying and Printing – UBC’s preferred partner is Xerox Global Services (XGS). Please visit the Faculty’s Print Services web page for pricing information and service options.

Currency Conversion  The Bank of Canada provides a handy currency converter.

Telephone and Internet  Additional telephone costs range from $23.00-$35.00 per month depending on the features required. Please consult your department’s Administration Manager and IT Services on your telephone and internet needs.

Air Travel

UBC has developed UBCTravelSmart, a website that provides UBC faculty, staff and researchers with guidelines and tips for making travel reservations and reimbursement process for University-related travel. Information on the site includes preferred travel agent contacts, online booking options, corporate hotel rates, vehicle rental rates and UBC corporate charge cards.

UBC Mileage Rate

The reimbursement rate for the use of private vehicles when travelling on UBC business is $0.49 per kilometer based on the most direct route. This covers the driver only and is intended to cover all costs associated with utilizing personal vehicles for business use including fuel, maintenance, insurance and depreciation.

UBC Per Diem Rate

Travel within Canada Travel within and outside US
Breakfast $14.00 Breakfast $14.00
Lunch $16.00 Lunch $16.00
Dinner $30.00 Dinner $30.00
Total $60.00 CDN Total $60.00 USD or Euro
Amounts include GST and gratuities

*current as of April 1, 2013

More information about the meal per diem is available through Finance Office.

In some cases, investigators may need to estimate the cost of research space on campus or of leasing space off campus. Be aware that most funding agencies will not fund the cost of research space that is already part of infrastructure provided to you by the University as an in-kind contribution. Investigators should justify the use of any additional spaces not provided to them and reference actual rental costs, if applicable. Contact Robert Olaj for more information.

A number of excellent resources are available online from Canada’s leading research sponsors on the subjects of research knowledge translation and mobilization.

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)
SSHRC Guidelines for Effective Knowledge Mobilization

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
Guide to Knowledge Translation Planning at CIHR: Integrated and End-of-Grant Approaches

Moving into action: We know what practices we want to change, now what? An implementation guide for health care practitioners

Knowledge to Action: An End-of-Grant Knowledge Translation Casebook

Contact us early! Partnered research takes time to do right.

An increasing number of sponsors offer research grants that support collaboration between university researchers and external partner organizations (e.g. government ministries, associations, school districts, unions, non-profit organizations and foundations).

Establishing a sound research partnership can take months and involves a range of negotiations:

  • Between researcher and partners to establish project objectives, roles, responsibilities, budget and dissemination priorities and vehicles
  • Between the researcher and the Department and Faculty to identify potential resource contributions (e.g. in-kind support, release time, etc.)
  • Between the Faculty and the University for institutional support (particularly on SSHRC Partnership Grants, where the institution, not the researcher, is the applicant)
  • Between the researcher and UBC’s University-Industry Liaison Office to develop MOUs and contracts with partners
  • Between UILO and partner organizations to negotiate the details of contracts and agreement details

Not all partnered research requires all these steps; nevertheless it pays to engage your research support team early in the development process. Please contact Research Grants Facilitator Robert Olaj if you are thinking of engaging in partnered research.

Grant applications often require applicants to provide narrative that describes the researcher’s institutional environment. This narrative often serves to convince grant reviewers that the project’s host site or Co-Applicant’s research site has the research infrastructure available to support the project.

Below are some sample narratives that you may use for such a purpose.

The Faculty of Education at The University of British Columbia (UBC), in Vancouver, Canada, provides an excellent research environment for the study of ABC. Dr. ____ will benefit from the fact that, as one of Canada’s largest public research and teaching institutions, UBC consistently attracts approximately half a billion dollars in research funding each year. As one of UBC’s community of over 7,000 researchers, Dr. ___ will be supported by a team of skilled staff and academic mentors focused on the development of large, strategic and interdisciplinary research projects and will enjoy access to one of North America’s leading research libraries, with 21 branches and divisions that house 5.8 million volumes and more than 80,000 serial titles. With respect to compliance, UBC provides an online research administration platform that tracks all research funding and compliance application and certification, including an efficient and rigorous ethical review system consisting of seven Research Ethics Boards for human, clinical and animal research.

Dr.____’s research will also benefit from the resources and facilities provided by UBC’s Faculty of Education, one of the largest Education faculties in Canada. Research infrastructure within the Faculty includes on-site computer and media labs and technical support, administrative and financial management support for grants, and the services of two staff with first-class grant facilitation and management experience. The Faculty’s Research Infrastructure Support Services team, which operates through the Faculty’s Office of Research, provides support with publication projects, events and communication to scholarly and community audiences.

Please contact Heather Frost 604.822.0215 or Robert Olaj 604.822.0580 in the Faculty of Education’s Office of Research in Education to learn if grant samples are available. Samples of successful grants from major research sponsors are also available on UBC’s SPARC web site. Please click "Sample Grants" then login using your Campus-Wide Login (CWL).