1. I have a research project idea. Where do I begin?
- Link to “How to begin section”
- Link to common questions/file starting questions
2. What can assist in timely preparation of a file being processed by the appropriate pre-awards group?
- Working within Research Initiatives & Services (RIS) internal deadlines (link)
- Providing RIS with as much information or context as possible for file assessment and processing.
3. Can an agreement be signed without appropriate research clearance(s)?
Depending on the agreement/contract language and your project requirements, it is possible to sign an agreement without having your research clearance(s) in place. However, work requiring clearance(s) cannot begin without the appropriate research clearance(s) in place.
4. What is required to open a research account?
Project description including budget
Research Certifications (if applicable)
5. When is a Research Participation Agreement (RPA) required?
An RPA is required when any third party is getting any rights in any project IP. This would include such examples as:
- Licenses (including right to use, data, results)
- Terms that govern future negotiations of IP such as commercialization obligations
When it is determined that an RPA is required, Research Initiatives & Services (RIS) will discuss the process with the project’s principal investigator (project lead researcher), and issue them an RPA form for review and signature. Your academic unit will advise on the process required for any RPAs needed for other co-investigators or academic researchers working on the project. The Technology Transfer, Commercialization, Project Management group will advise on the process required for staff and/or students working on the project.
6. I require a transfer of research material or data to be made to another party, or another party wishes to make such a transfer to me. How do I start this process?
Link to the Contracts page – specifically the MTA/DTA section
7. I require a transfer of funds to be made to a colleague at another university or institution, or a colleague from another university or institution wishes to make such a transfer to me. How do I start this process?
Link to Grants/Contracts page – specifically ‘Transfers of Funds’ section
8. I have been asked to sign a non-disclosure or other agreement related to a research project involving Memorial University. What should I do?
Contact the decanal unit and subsequently RIS to discuss the details of the project.
9. I need to amend my project terms (i.e. the scope, budget or timelines). Who should I contact?
Contact your decanal unit and RIS to discuss the reasons for the amendment. Any project revisions require sponsor and institution approval. Once the amendment is finalized, RIS will notify the appropriate units accordingly.
10. I am a co-applicant on an externally led application. Do I need MUN institutional approval?
Yes. You will need to complete an application for research funding within the MUN Researcher Portal.
11. When does a letter of intent (LOI) have to be submitted through the Researcher Portal?
LOIs will only need to be submitted through the MUN Researcher Portal if:
- The Sponsor requires institutional signature or other form of formal endorsement; or
- The opportunity is based upon an institutional quota and/or requires internal adjudication; or
- There is a requirement of a letter of support from the VPR portfolio.
All other LOIs can be submitted through your respective unit and will follow the normal submission processes (which will be processed outside of the MUN Researcher Portal of the academic unit. If these LOIs later become full applications, the LOI will need to be included as an attachment in the Romeo Researcher Portal as part of the full application process.
For LOIs that are required to be submitted through the MUN Researcher Portal and are later invited back for submission as full applications, a new full application will need to be launched in the Portal because the application will require a new institutional signature. Please reference the associated LOI in Question 2.1 under the “Application for Research Funding” tab.
12. Do I need to complete an annual certification verification?
Yes. In accordance with Institutional policies (Human Ethics, Animal Care, Biosafety), the TCPS2 and Institutional agreements with the Tri-Agency (including Tri-Council Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions and the Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research), research certifications must be maintained for the duration of the research for which the certifications apply. Where there is funding from a Sponsor, access to funding is contingent upon maintaining valid certifications. Memorial University is required to confirm and monitor human, animal and biosafety clearance certifications prior to the release of all research funding (including at the initial award stage and for annual installments), regardless of the source of funds. In cases where there are non-funding agreements in place, annual certification checks are needed to ensure ongoing compliance with institutional policy and our Institutional Agreement with the Tri-Agency. RIS is the designated point of contact for the annual verification process.
13. My research does not, and will not, require human ethics, animal or biosafety certifications. Why do I need to complete an annual certification verification?
Under the Tri-Council Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions, and in accordance with Institutional policies (Human Ethics, Animal Care, Biosafety), Memorial University is required to verify clearance requirements pertaining to animal care and human ethics clearances prior to the release of all research funding (including at the initial award stage and for any subsequent annual installments), regardless of the source of funds. In cases where there are non-funding agreements in place, annual certification checks are needed to ensure ongoing compliance with institutional policy and our Institutional Agreement with the Tri-Agency. RIS is the designated point of contact for this process. On behalf of Memorial’s Institutional Biosafety Committee, RIS also confirms clearance certification requirements pertaining to biosafety/biohazardous clearances to conform to the Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research.
14. How do I submit an event?
Click here to learn how to submit an event.
15. I am talking to a company about a research project and now they are talking about contract language. I am not sure what to do next. Who should I talk to?
The first step is to contact the Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office (TTCO) at the early stages of communication with industry to determine the commercial expectations of the research. The TTCO staff will provide recommendations on the best type of contractual relationship required to meet the needs of both you and the industry partner.
16. My industry partner wants to include a royalty rate in the research contract. Is this a good idea?
- It is recommended that any commercial licensing language, such as royalties or equity language, not be added to research contracts with industry. At this initial stage the intellectual property has not yet been developed, so it is impossible to ascertain the value of that intellectual property to create a mutually beneficial arrangement. We strongly advise that researchers and units involve the Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office (TTCO) at the early stages of communication with industry to determine the commercial expectations of the research. Discussions with third parties regarding commercial intellectual property licensing and royalties, should always be done with the participation of the TTCO.
17. I have a research project with funding. I had an ethics clearance on my file, but I no longer require it according to ethical standards and policies. Can I still access my award funding?
If you no longer require ethics clearances on your research project, you can access your research funding. However, you must notify our office of the change in the ethics requirements through a RIS – Certification Verification event on your project.
To complete a Clearance/Certification Verification Event, please complete the following steps:
1. Log into the MUN Researcher Portal
2. Enter the Researcher Portal file number* in the “Search” field near the top of the screen. (*This is the file number of the award, not the file number of the ethics clearance.)
3. Click the Events button.
4. Click on RIS – Certification Verification event.
5. Complete the questions on the event form’s tabs and then click the “Submit” button at the top of the form to forward it to RIS.
If you would like additional help understanding Event Forms, please refer to the “Post-Review Application Management” manual, located on our manuals page.