Hospitality costs (non-alcoholic refreshments and meals) are allowable expenses on Tri-Council grants (NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR) if they are incurred for networking purposes. The Tri-Council agencies define networking purposes as “being in the context of formal courtesy between the grantee and guest researchers; and research-related activities in the context of assemblies that facilitate and contribute to the achievement of the research objectives (e.g., grantee meeting with partners, stakeholders, guest researchers)”. These costs may also be allowable if the related details are included in the approved grant application.
In these cases, funding agency policies will override institutional policies. Therefore, although expenses may follow the Queen’s University Hospitality Policy, if they do not comply with Tri-Council guidelines and are being charged to a Tri-agency grant, they would not be deemed eligible expenses. Please note that alcoholic beverages are not eligible expenses on Tri-agency grants.
If you are unsure if hospitality costs are eligible expenses on your Tri-agency grant, you may contact Research Accounting at firstname.lastname@example.org or you may contact the Tri-Council agencies directly for a ruling:
NSERC or SSHRC - Celine Monfils
CIHR - Ian Raskin