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Research Institutes and Centres

Category: Research
Number: RCH-010-005
Audience: All University employees and Researchers associated with the University of Regina
Issued: April 18, 2007
Revised: March 09, 2021
Owner(s): VP (Research)
Approved by: Board of Governors
Contact: Director, Research Office, 306-337-2478

Introduction

The University of Regina values the strengths and contributions of its research institutes and centres and seeks to ensure their success as a vital part of the University’s research mandate.

In keeping with good governance, this policy provides for the creation, management and disestablishment of University of Regina research institutes and centres. The abbreviation "Centres/Institutes" is used throughout this policy and will be understood to include all research groups, whether generally identified as a research centre or research institute.

Definitions

  • Research Institute or Centre - a formally constituted unit of the University established to bring together relevant researchers and increase focus on a specific area or topic. The terms "research institute" and "research centre" are equivalent for the purposes of this policy.
  • Relevant Authority – the person with authority and responsibility for a research institute or centre. This is the Vice-President (Research) or delegate, in the case of a University-based research institute or centre and the dean, in the case of a faculty-based research institute or centre.
  • Office of Record - the Research Office will hold copies of reviews and annual reports of university-based and faculty-based research institutes and centres.

Policy

Purpose of Research Institutes and Centres

The prime objective of a research institute or centre (hereafter abbreviated as "Centre/Institute") is the generation of research products and knowledge. However, a Centre/Institute may also have important non-research co-objectives, such as teaching or training, dissemination of research, or public service.

Centres/Institutes are established by the Board of Governors after review and approval, on recommendation from Senate.

Types of Research Institutes/Centres

The University has two types of Centres/Institutes:
  • University-based, under the authority of the Vice-President (Research); and
  • Faculty-based, under the authority of the relevant dean.
As research orientation and activities evolve to include more or fewer faculties/departments than when established, it may become advantageous to convert an initially faculty-based Centre/Institute to university-based status, or vice-versa. In such a situation, the Vice-President (Research) or delegate and the relevant dean may recommend this change to the Board of Governors.

Funding

Centres/Institutes are encouraged to seek out external funding. To promote this, Centres/Institutes receive a portion of indirect costs received from grants and contracts administered by the Centre/Institute (Tri-Agency funding excepted). Financial support for Centres/Institutes should be based on at least three to five years of confirmed funding, and not solely on a short-term grant or contract. The budget plan for a Centre/Institute must include items such as anticipated costs for administrative and infrastructure support, Information Services and other service costs. The responsible authority (Vice-President Research or Dean) should be advised and updated at least annually regarding a Centre/Institute's budget plans and financial commitments.

Leadership and Accountability of Centres/Institutes

Every Centre/Institute shall have a director with administrative responsibility for the Centre/Institute. The director shall report either to the Vice-President (Research) or delegate in the case of a university-based Centre/Institute or a faculty dean in the case of a faculty-based Centre/Institute. Appointments as a director of a Centre/Institute will normally be for a three to a five-year term. Re-appointments are possible with the approval of the relevant authority. A Dean may not serve as the Director of a Faculty-based research Centre/Institute.

All directors will be issued an appointment letter from Human Resources outlining their role, responsibility, expectations, etc. A director who is a faculty member of the University will continue to receive applicable benefits and privileges. Course release or other compensatory workload reduction may be agreed upon, depending on individual circumstances. Where the director is out of scope, benefits and privileges will be defined in the applicable appointment letter and by the relevant University policies.

Centres/Institutes and Academic Programming

A Centre/Institute may contribute to undergraduate, graduate, or other training (such as internships) related to ongoing research programs. However, while a Centre/Institute may support academic programs, such programs shall not be housed or administered by a Centre/Institute.

Multi-Institutional Arrangements

A University of Regina Centre/Institute may be co-housed at another institution. In such situations, the relevant authority will work with the director to minimize unnecessary duplication in reporting or review processes. A formal agreement with the other institution that outlines each party's rights and obligations must be reviewed and signed by the Vice-President (Research).

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Recognizing that commitments to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) strengthen research and potential relevance and impact to communities, Centres/Institutes will document and implement applicable EDI practices and plans.

Signing Authority

Signing authority for the Centre/Institute director will be in accordance with GOV-010-005 Approval Authorities and Execution of Documents and related appendix. All research grants and contracts must be reviewed and approved by the Research Office.

Financial Structures

Every Centre/Institute must establish an accounting structure in consultation with Financial Services with all external funds deposited into an individual FOAPAL to ensure compliance in internal and external reporting.

Policy Compliance

Centres/Institutes shall conform to University policies and procedures.

Consequences for Noncompliance

If a Centre/Institute does not meet the requirements outlined in this policy, an internal or external review may be conducted, and the Centre/Institute may be disestablished. f non-compliance with policies is due to the director's activity/inactivity, the relevant policies' consequences will be applied.

Processes

Establishment of a New Centre/Institute

The following are the steps to establish a new Centre/Institute:

  1. In consultation with the Council Committee on Research, the relevant authority reviews foundation documentation, and then forwards the appropriate documentation with a recommendation to establish a new Centre/Institute to Executive of Council. Executive of Council recommends the matter to Senate.

  2. Senate approves the establishment of the Centre/Institute and makes a recommendation to the Board of Governors.

  3. The Board of Governors accepts or rejects the recommendation from Senate.

Review

The director of a Centre/Institute Centre/Instituteis responsible for preparing documentation for a review and providing it to the relevant authority. The relevant authority shall provide a director with at least 90 days’ notice of a review due date.

A review of the Centre/Institute shall take place at least every five years.

At any point in time, the relevant authority may initiate an external review. An external review involves comment, analysis, and recommendations by appropriate individuals or entities external to the University selected and engaged by the relevant authority.

Upon receipt and consideration of a review, the relevant authority may:

  • recommend a continuance of the Centre/Institute with a review in five years;
  • recommend a continuance of the Centre/Institute with a review in fewer than five years, during which time the Centre/Institute will endeavor to address issues raised during the review;
  • initiate steps to disestablish the Centre/Institute.

Deans will forward a copy of a review of a faculty-based Centre/Institute to the Office of Record.

Reports from reviews of University-based Centres/Institutes will be shared with and discussed by the Council Committee on Research. Comments will be shared with the relevant authority for consideration.

Disestablishment

Centres/Institutes may be disestablished via either of two mechanisms:

  1. In the case of a Centre/Institute with a prescribed termination date, the Centre/Institute will cease to exist as of that date unless the Centre/Institute director and the relevant authority determine, through an internal review, that the Centre/Institute should be continued; or,

  2. In the case of an Centre/Institute with no prescribed termination date, the Centre/Institute may be disestablished by the Board of Governors.

The relevant authority may recommend disestablishment, giving due consideration to consultations with the relevant director, the Council Committee on Research, and key Centre/Institute partners. In the case of disestablishment under (2) above, reasonable notice will be given to the director so as to allow for the orderly winding up of Centre/Institute affairs.


Reporting

Each Centre/Institute shall report annually to the relevant authority on its activities, membership, challenges and opportunities. The director of an Centre/Institute is responsible for preparing the annual report and providing it to the relevant authority. Unless otherwise mutually agreed by the director and the relevant authority, the annual report due date for the University year ending April 30 will be June 30 of the same year.

Deans will forward a copy of the annual report of a faculty-based Institute/Centre to the Office of Record.

Where the relevant authority deems it advisable, the relevant authority may direct a Centre/Institute director to prepare an interim report at any point in time between Centre/Institute annual reports. In so doing, the relevant authority will define the nature and scope of the requested information. The interim report, and where useful an assessment of it by the relevant authority, may be provided to the Board of Governors.

 

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