Tri-Agency Grants

Tri-Agency is the umbrella term used to describe the three Canadian Government research funding agencies:

  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

The Tri-Agency is initiating changes to simplify and provide additional flexibility in the use and administration of CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC grant funds.

UBC is part of the pilot phase of this initiative known as “Renewal of the Tri-Agency Financial Administration".

Impact for Administration of Grant Funds

As of December 1, 2018, UBC grant holders will follow UBC policies and guidelines in managing their Tri-Agency funding instead of having to ensure that transactions comply with both funding agency and institutional policies and guidelines. This will reduce the amount of time that researchers and their teams spend on the administration of these grants.

Where differences exist between the existing Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide (TAGFA) and UBC policies, during the pilot phase the less strict of the two will be applied unless specifically disallowed by program-specific literature. Once there is full implementation of the initiative, UBC policy will be followed. Exceptions will go to the Quick Response Team (QRT) for approval.

Institutions that are not piloting the new TAGFA will remain subject to the existing TAGFA, while the 12 institutions that are piloting the new TAGFA (including UBC) will follow their own institutional policy. It is expected that when funds are sent to co-investigators outside of UBC, their local policies will apply (including the existing TAGFA, if they are not a pilot institution).

Feedback from all members of the research community (including grant holders, administrators and finance managers) are welcome to be directed to


Use of Grant Funds

The use of grant funds will be governed by directives and principles.


The directive categories:

  • Employment and Compensation Expenses
  • Goods and Services Expenses
  • Travel and Travel-Related Subsistence Expenses
  • Hospitality Expenses
  • Gifts, Honoraria, Incentives


Expenses must meet the 4 principles:

Roles and Responsibilities

There will be a shared accountability between the grant recipient, administering institute and Tri-Agency.




UBC will be running training for grant recipients, payment processors and financial staff to learn how the pilot phase will impact the management of their Tri-Agency grants. The sessions will provide practical instruction and allow an opportunity to provide feedback.

Keep an eye out on all of our current and upcoming training events here.


Please see process Flow Chart for any issues identified. If the issue cannot be resolved, Managers can then escalate their concerns to the Helpdesk.

Contact information for the helpdesks are as follows:

UBC Vancouver

Jean Chang
Manager, Research Compliance and Training
(604) 827-0033

Evelyn Miguel
Associate Director, Research Finance
(604) 822-3275

UBC Okanagan

Gerald Levac
Finance Manager
(250) 807-9037 ext 9034