Investigators applying for funding must follow specific guidelines to obtain the required institutional signatures.

In late 2010, Dean's Council approved a comprehensive signature guideline which provides a thorough explanation of the importance and significance of what a signature acknowledges on a grant application. This guideline supports the standardized approvals collected through the Research Management System and the legacy Application Approvals form.

The guide - What Grant Application Signatures Mean - responds to Auditor General recommendations and ensures everyone, from the Principal Investigator to the Institution, is fully aware of his or her responsibilities and helps to clarify responsibility, reduce risk and avoid duplication. The guideline details both the rationale and the commitment a signature acknowledges on an application. It also covers letters of intent, new project and renewal requests and requests made by letter, proposal or preprinted forms.

The guide applies to 

  • Letters of Intent
  • New project funding requests; both competition-driven and self-initiated
  • Requests made by letter or by written proposal, as well as those prepared on preprinted forms
  • Renewal or supplemental funding request

Principal Investigator: Acknowledges responsibility for the application's content and for carrying out the research in accordance with both university and funding agency regulations. In November 2012, the Associate Deans (Research) Council approved a document outlining the roles and responsibilities of a Principal Investigator. This document works in conjunction with the overview detailing the responsibilities that are connected to a signing a grant application.

Department Head: Confirms the connection between the Principal Investigator's roles as a researcher and employee and certifies the PI holds the appropriate academic appointment. This signature indicates resources (space) will be made available to the project, should it be successful. Also, the Department Head signature indicates awareness of the proposed research and approval of the application going forward.

Dean: Indicates peer reviews are complete and that provisions are available for the project on confirmation of approved funding. The Dean's signature signifies awareness and approval of the proposed research going forward in the application process.

Vice President (Research): The capping signature facilitated through Research Services certifies the proposal has received an internal review. It indicates the university's willingness to accept and administer awarded funds and accepts responsibility for the project meeting both university and agency requirements and guidelines.

If you have questions or require further information, please contact Tiago Lier, Director, Grants, Awards and Ethics.