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How do I access my research account in FAST?

All funds, including startup and professional development accounts, can be accessed online using FAST. 

FAST allows the review of fund balances and the status of line-by-line expense accounts. It also provides an overall status of the fund.

It is possible to customize financial information generated by FAST. Research and Trust Accounting can provide detailed one-on-one training in FAST – including how to develop a customized report. 

Does the financial information in FAST represent the entire grant?

No, accounting captures revenue and expenditures that have been recognized – which in general means monies received or spent.

For a grant with a duration of less than one year, the annual budget amount in FAST represents the maximum amount of the grant.

For grants with a life span of greater than one year, FAST will only show the cumulative transactions to-date, in the current year.

Can I spend amounts that have not been budgeted or are not in the approved budget proposal?

The terms and conditions of the grant will generally outline whether any budgetary changes can be made. In some cases changes can be made with UOIT approval alone, in other cases the sponsor must pre-approve changes. Please contact Research and Trust Accounting for assistance.

What backup documentation should I attach to my expense report for reimbursement?

For an inclusive list of the documentation required for expense reports, including eligible and ineligible expenditures, please refer to our Research Administrative Guide.

High-level summary:

  • Include original receipts.
  • Attach an outline of conference/seminar agendas.
  • State relevance to research.
  • Obtain proper authorization for the expense report.

What is the typical turnaround time for reimbursement of expenses?

If the expense report has been properly authorized and all relevant documentation has been provided with no additional followup needed, a researcher can expect reimbursement less than two weeks after submitting to Finance.

Why do I have to submit a travel expense claim when I’ve already received a travel advance?

A travel advance is based on estimated costs. When the trip has concluded, all original invoices, receipts, boarding passes and other relevant documentation must be submitted and authorized. Any difference between expected and actual expenditures is to be settled on completion of the expense report.

Why are original receipts and proof of payment necessary for expense claims?

Original receipts and supporting documentation are necessary to substantiate that these costs are relevant and authentic to the research grant or fund. Stewardship, due process, transparency and accountability all support the need for original receipts and proof of payment. All funds, whether sourced internally or externally, must be properly managed and accurately reported.

What are the responsibilities of the researcher once the grant account has been formally set up?

The researcher is responsible for the overall financial management of their research projects, consistent with the terms and conditions of the grant.  Researchers (or approved delegates) approve all expenditures over the life of the grant. They need to ensure such expenditures comply with the funding agency requirements. They are responsible for monitoring spending, signing off on the mandatory reporting requirements and any other progress or technical reports required by the funding agency. They are ultimately responsible for stewarding their research to final completion as initially proposed to the sponsor.

Why should I understand the regulations for spending funds under a specific grant?

The rules for expenditures may vary depending on the funding source.

As the individual in charge of the overall financial management of a particular grant, the researcher should be familiar with the different requirements and regulations to avoid situations whereby expense claims, in full or in part, are disallowed. Being familiar with the regulations particular to your fund will also facilitate the audit process.

How are grants transferred between institutions?

Collaborative research projects often require the transfer of funds between institutions. If permitted by the funding agency terms and conditions, grant funds can be sent to another institution once a Transfer of Funds Agreement is executed. If you intend to send a portion of your grant to another institution, or if you wish to receive funds from another institution, please contact the Office of Research Services for further details.