Guide for Faculty
An important component of the mission of the University of Toronto is for the institution to serve an internationally significant research role. U of T Mississauga is one part of an expansive research institution—the University of Toronto is Canada’s largest and most distinguished university, with active research across three campuses and in its nine fully affiliated hospitals. In such a complex research environment it can be easy for confusion to arise about the administrative policies and procedures that govern the research enterprise.
This guide is intended to give all new faculty a practical overview of the research policies and procedures at U of T Mississuaga, and is also available as a downloadable PDF.
First Things First
Transfering Grants from Another Institution
Faculty who are transferring to U of T Mississauga from another institution may have existing research grants, contracts or other awards which will need to be transferred to the University of Toronto. The procedures for transferring grants between institutions vary depending on the policies of the research sponsor, so faculty looking to transfer a grant(s) should contact the U of T Mississauga Research Office for specific advice on the necessary administrative procedures. Transferring grants between institutions can be a complex process, and can take many months, so it is wise to begin this process as soon as possible.
Forms & Signatures
My Research - Applications (MRA)
An online system at the University of Toronto has replaced the former RIS Application Attachment form (aka the "Blue Form"), the use of which has now been suspended.
MRA automatically routes applications through the correct approval channel according to the specifics of the proposed project.
Researchers should login to the MRA system (using your ESS/MROL/AMS credentials) early to ensure that you have an active account and that your username and password access are up to date. MRA may also be accessed through the VPRI RAISE website and via Campus Business Connect (click on the "Research" option on the "Services Directory" and select the first item, MRA).
The recommended browser for MRA is Internet Explorer (IE) versions 6 to 9 (version 10 coming soon). It is also supported on Firefox (Macs). Safari and Chrome are not supported due to resource limitations.
Individuals who do not know their username and password, or who experience difficulties with login, should contact the RAISE help desk staffed Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
- Phone 416.946.5000
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Research Agreement Signatures
Signing authority for research agreements vests with the Vice-President, Research & Associate Provost and those designated by the Vice-President. Researchers themselves are not authorized to sign agreements on behalf of the University of Toronto. UTRS must review and approve all research-related agreements that name the University of Toronto, including the following contracts: Research Agreement Signatures
- Research Grants or Contracts;
- Collaboration, Licensing or Partnership Agreements;
- Material Transfer Agreements; and
- Confidentiality or Non-Disclosure Agreements.
For further information, please visit the Industry Partnerships page at U of T.
Funds & FReDS
Each time UTRS creates a research fund, they simultaneously create a funded-research digest, also known as a FReD. The FReD provides the principal investigator and his/her Administrative Coordinator with all the details of the award, including any budgetary restrictions. Copies of FReDs are no longer mailed directly to principal investigators, but FReDs may be printed by the Administrative Coordinators.
One of the most important details provided on the FReD is the ‘Fund End Date’. Keen researchers will ensure that the grant award has been entirely spent by the fund end date, whenever possible.
My Research Online
My Research On Line (MROL) is a web-based system that allows principal investigators to view their FReDs, the balance of their research funds, and the details of expenses that have been charged to their funds. Researchers must complete an MROL Access Form to request access to their secure page on the MRO database, and the form must be signed by the faculty’s Chair and Administrative Coordinator. Researchers are accountable for any funds that they may receive, and a standard expectation is that all accounts are reviewed monthly. Account review requires formal action by way of clicking on a specific acknowledgement button that the account(s) has been reviewed.
Need to hire a research assistant?
Want to order a computer?
Get advice from the Administrative Coordinator!
The Administrative Coordinators are vital resource people for new faculty, as they are intimately familiar with the day-to-day administrative issues regarding research grants. For instance, most grants are subject to rules regarding eligible and ineligible expenses, and the University of Toronto itself has policies and procedures to govern travel, equipment purchases and hiring. The Administrative Coordinators are experts at navigating the guidelines and policies, so it is the wise grant-holder who seeks their counsel when preparing the budgetary section of grant applications and after the grant has been awarded. The Research Office also can provide assistance in explaining policies and guidelines related to development of budget proposals.
Administrative Accountability Report
The University of Toronto’s primary accountability tool for principal investigators is the Administrative Accountability Report, which lists the researchers’ financial, ethical and human resource management accountability responsibilities. All principal investigators must complete and sign the form annually. Typically the Administrative Coordinator and Chair will coordinate the collection of these reports. All policies, procedures and guidelines mentioned in the Accountability Report are available for access on-line.
The University of Toronto’s publication policy affirms that U of T Mississauga researchers, including faculty, staff and students, will always have the right to publish the results of their research activities, assuming that they do not disclose another’s confidential information in the content of the proposed publication. In some circumstances there may be a contractual agreement between the University and a research sponsor which may grant the sponsor the right to review or delay a proposed publication. Such a delay should not exceed twelve months and should not ordinarily apply to the publication of a graduate student’s thesis.
According to the copyright policy, in most circumstances the creator of a work owns the copyright for that work. If a work was created with a substantial use of University resources, then the University reserves the right to a 25% share of net revenue generated by the work and the right to use the work for research and teaching purposes. The University will only claim copyright ownership in works which are specifically commissioned by the University or which are created by administrative staff in the course of their employment at the University. While software is protected legally by copyright, for the purposes of the University’s policies, computer software (excluding instructional applications) is to be considered an invention, and is subsequently covered under the inventions policy rather than the copyright policy.
The inventions policy states that the inventor and the University normally share the rights to an invention, unless a third party, such as a corporate sponsor, is granted rights in a preexisting contractual agreement. An inventor may choose to assume full responsibility for the legal protection and commercialization of the invention. In this case, the University will assign its rights to the inventor in return for 25% of future net revenues. If the inventor does not want to assume the legal and commercialization obligations for the invention, then the University may require the inventor to assign all his/her rights to the University in return for the first $1,000 of, and 25% of subsequent, net revenues. The University will only claim exclusive rights to inventions which are made in the course of activities performed under the explicit direction of faculty or staff, specifically for the purpose of making the invention. The Inventions policy is not intended to apply to inventions created in the course of demonstrably private research unrelated to the inventor's University functions, or in the course of private consulting activities to outside bodies, when such activities do not involve any substantial use of University facilities.
All University researchers have an obligation to disclose the details of their inventions and/or discoveries to the University through the Confidential Invention Disclosure form which is submitted to the Intellectual Property Officer at UTRS. Upon disclosure to the Intellectual Property Officer, the University will work with the inventor or the team of inventors to determine the best course of action as per the Inventions policy.
Conflict of Interest
According to the conflict of interest policy, some research activities require the prior written approval of the appropriate U of T Mississauga Chair, Director, or Dean:
- All major paid professional activities, such as private research consulting activities;
- The use of U of T Mississauga facilities, supplies, support staff, or students for privately undertaken work or research consulting activites;
- The hiring of, purchasing from, selling to, or conferring or denying any financial or commercial benefit on any member of the faculty member's immediate family or a person with whom there exists, or has recently existed, an intimate personal relationship;
Any research undertaken by a faculty member for a company or organization in which a significant financial interest is held by the faculty member, any member of the faculty member's immediate family, or any person with whom there exists, or has recently existed, an intimate personal relationship.
At U of T Mississauga: Reseach Office
The Research Office aims to serve in a facilitation role to help U of T Mississauga colleagues achieve their aspirations in research, and to help faculty develop and implement broad strategic visions at U of T Mississauga. In addition to acting as a liaison with the UTRS offices, the Research Office staff provide the following services: maintain the ‘Research’ portion of the U of T Mississauga website, which serves to make up-to-date research news readily available to faculty; coordinate research publicity and community outreach activities; and work overall to enhance the research enterprise at UTM. The VP: Research also oversees U of T Mississauga’s Vivarium.
The RO also coordinates the efforts of two local research committees:
- Ethics Review Committee: Responsible for ensuring that all undergraduate research at U of T Mississauga that involves human subjects is conducted in accordance with the highest ethical standards as set in the Tri-Council Policy Statement for Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans.
- Local Animal Care Committee: Responsible for ensuring that all teaching and research at U of T Mississauga that involves animals is conducted in accordance with the ethical standards set by the Canadian Council on Animal Care and Ontario’s Animals for Research Act.
The Research Innovation Commercialization Centre (RIC) is closely linked to the Research Office, and has a significant presence on the U of T Mississauga campus. The RIC operates as the focal point mechanism for bridging academia with local industries and government, and offers many on-campus events of mutual benefit to scholars and entrepreneurs.
Downtown: University of Toronto Research Services (UTRS)
UTRS offers the centralized administration of research awards for all three University of Toronto campuses, and is the key office to provide institutional approval and/or endorsement for research applications. UTRS is the main office that most faculty will deal with at Simcoe Hall, but UTRS works very collaboratively with a number of other services offices that are sometimes also referred to as part of UTRS:
- Ethics Review Office (ERO): The ERO is responsible for reviewing all graduate and faculty research activities that involve the use of human subjects, animals and/or biohazardous materials.
- The Innovations & Partnerships Office: The Innovations Group was established to assist faculty in commercializing the results of their research activities.
- For further information about U of T research, please see the UTRS Research & Innovation section.