Residual Research Project Balances

Contact Officer:  Associate Director, Research Accounting


The purpose of this procedure is to establish the process for determining and treating residual (unspent) balances in non-tri-council research projects.


Responsible Officer/Section Process
Financial Services (Research Accounting)

Determination of Residual Balances

Research projects are deemed to be complete at the earlier of:

  • The project end date as defined by the Research Agreement;
  • The completion of all deliverables as defined by the terms of the Research Agreement.

Upon completion of a research project, any residual funds will be returned to the funding agency if required.  Any funds that are not required to be returned to the funding agency will be deemed to be internally restricted residual balances and will be dealt with in accordance with this procedure as detailed below.

This procedure does not deal with residual tri-council funding.

Financial Services (Research Accounting) Treatment of Internally Restricted Residual Balances

Once it is determined that a project which contains internally restricted residual balances is complete, the following steps will be performed by Financial Services (Research Accounting):

  1. Calculate the indirect cost (overhead) recovery applicable on the residual balance (if applicable);
    If an indirect cost (overhead) recovery is applicable, the project will be charged indirect costs (overhead) on the remaining balance by applying the following formulae:
    Step 1:  Available Funds / 1 + Indirect Cost Rate = Direct Costs
    Step 2:  Available funds Less Direct Costs = Indirect Cost
    Example:  Indirect Cost Rate is 40% and $11,200 of residual funds are remaining in the project, the calculation would be:
    Step 1:  $11,200 / 1.40 = $8,000 (represents the direct costs available in the project)
    Step 2:  $11,200 - $8,000 = $3,200 (represents the amount of Indirect Costs to be charged to the project)
  2. Complete a journal entry to charge and distribute indirect costs (overhead);
  3. Complete a journal entry to move the remaining residual balance to the Special Research Project (SRP) held by the Principal Investigator;
  4. Email the PI and the PI’s department head that funds are being transferred to the PI’s SRP, indicating the amount of funds being transferred;
  5. Increase the budget in the SRP by amount of funds transferred in Step 3 above;
  6. Confirm Revenue = Expenses in original project;
  7. Inactivate original project.
Principal Investigator (PI)

Use of Internally Restricted Residual Balances

Residual balances must first be used to reduce or eliminate over-spending or other amounts owing by the PI.

Any remaining funds once other amounts owing by the PI have been eliminated must be used for research purposes and in accordance with the Special Research Project Procedure.

Date Approved:  6 July, 2015

Approval Authority: Vice-Principals' Operational Committee 

Date of Commencement: 1 August 2015

Amendment Dates:

Date for Next Review:

Related Policies, Procedures and Guidelines:  Special Research Project Procedure


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