VIU Scholarship, Research, and Creative Activity

General Research Accounts

A General Research Account can be created to hold residual funds from a research contract (after institutional indirect costs have been deducted), honoraria from research contracts, faculty professional development funds and small donations.

The funds belong to the University and are kept in trust so that account holders can pursue their research activities and support their research program. The funds must be used in an efficient and reasonable way and expenses must be essential for the account holder’s research work.

General guidelines and restrictions:

  • Expenses processed through a general research account must be justified in that they support a research project and are essential to the activity’s success
  • The means of accessing and using the funds are restricted to existing University policies and practices
  • Certifications, where required (human participants, animals, biohazards), must be in place for the duration funds are used for these activities
  • Funds deposited to the account cannot be reversed nor used for the personal gain of the account holder
  • The account holder is personally responsible for any negative balance in their account at the end of each fiscal year
  • Upon leaving the institution, any residual funds revert to the account holder’s Faculty

Examples of eligible expenditures include:

  • Wages for research assistants and students
  • Account holder workload reassignment funding to allow for focused time on research
  • Material and supplies essential for research and which are kept at the University
  • Small research equipment located at the University
  • Computer purchases (including laptops), software and other equipment needed for the research work
  • Travel expenses for data collection, collaborations, and dissemination of research results (through participation in conferences and other similar activities)

Examples of non-eligible expenses include:

  • Professional fees to the account holder
  • Passport and/or immigration fees
  • Cost of alcohol, entertainment, personal purchases, or gifts
  • Furniture, equipment and office supplies for a home office
  • Any expense resulting in a personal gain for the account holder

To arrange for a General Research Account:

  1. Complete a Request for Non-Operating Work Order Request form
  2. Complete a Signing Authority form
  3. Obtain your Dean’s authorization on both forms
  4. Forward originals of both forms to Financial Services (keep a copy for your records)

Upon receipt, Financial Services will assign a work order number, open the account, and activate signing authorities. To review your work order,  you can check Unit 4 FIS or contact your Faculty Financial Administrator.