Overhead/Residual Account Information & Guidelines


Effective October 1, 2008 the University (UBC) created a new overhead policy which stated that all funded research grants, contracts and agreements should be assessed overhead at a single rate of 25% of total direct costs.  This replaces the current existence of variable rates applied to different research agreements. BCCHR, as a university affiliated hospital, is required to follow the implementation of the new overhead policy.

Under the Sponsored Research Administrative Agreement with UBC, (September 2003) overhead funds generated as a result of commercially funded research activity at the C&W site are split between UBC & C&W institutions.

Overhead Sharing

Overhead recovered from projects carried out at Health Authority (hospital) sites is shared as follows:

  • Clinical Trials: UBC – 20%, Hospital – 80%
  • Other projects: UBC – 50%, Hospital – 50%

These guidelines apply to the funds at C&W and UBC.

Note: 50% of the overhead funds received by C&W are allocated back to the individual investigator who generated them. 

Residual Funds From Completed C&W Projects

For completed projects that don’t have a requirement from the granting agency/sponsor to return funds at the end of a project, the residual (remaining) funds will be transferred into researcher’s research overhead/residual account.

Principles for the Use of the Funds 

The principle for the use of overhead funds is that they are to be used to enhance and strengthen the research infrastructure of the Investigator's "unit". The funds are intended to be used for "value added" research activities. Pooled use of funds between investigators in order to share resources and/or to achieve a common research purpose is encouraged.

Examples of research expenses which can be charged to these funds are:

  • Reimbursement to other account for fellowships, scholarships, etc, or for salaries for such items as pooled clerical or technical support staff; (due to the volatility of these revenues no salary appointments may be made directly against these accounts);
  • Seminars and conferences related to the research field of the investigator;
  • Equipment, preferably shared, which will enhance the research capabilities of the unit/department (equipment purchases must be made through C&W Purchasing Dept.);
  • Service contracts for research related equipment;
  • Reasonable development expenses used towards securing research opportunities and/or which enhance the research capabilities of the unit (e.g. Grant preparation expenses);

Examples of expenses which cannot be charged to these funds:

  • Personal remuneration to the principal investigator responsible for generating the funds;
  • Non-mandatory staff benefits costs such as parking, living expenses, bonuses, etc.;
  • Non-research related expenses.

Management and Conditions of the Funds

A separate cost centre will be created for each investigator as required. The distribution of overhead funds will be managed through the Research Institute's Finance Office. Allocation of these funds to each investigator will be made at the end of the fiscal period and will be calculated at 50% of the actual overhead funds received by C&W which were generated during the year.

Funds will be accessible by submitting a completed payment requisition form to the Research Institute's Finance Office to ensure that the expense item is acceptable within the approved guidelines. The CFRI Executive Director has final responsibility and authority for determining whether a particular use of these funds falls within the approved guidelines.

The hospital's current policies and procedures on payments from C&W funds will apply. Operating statements will be made available to the investigator approximately 3 weeks after period-end by e-mail notification to investigators or their designates.

Year-End and Future Access

Funds not expended by the end of a fiscal year (March 31) will be transferred to the BC Children’s Hospital to support future research activities at the C&W site. After the transfer has taken place, funds for research support can be assessed by completing the funding request form (120KB PDF).

This information is also available as a PDF. Download here.