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Eligible Research Expenses

To assist research grantees and institutional administrators in their review and interpretation of acceptable use, the following categories summarize eligible and ineligible grant fund expenses.

More on the effective and economical use of research funds can be found in the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide (external link) . For information on TMU’s reimbursement process, visit the Faculty & Staff Reimbursements page.

Expense regulations

The details on this page reflect regulations common to various granting agencies.

At times, you’ll find external funding agency regulations differ from university regulations. In all cases involving external funds, the agency’s regulations take precedence over TMU’s. Consult your project’s guidelines for regulations specific to your research project.

Expense categories and explanations

Eligible expenses

  • research equipment and supplies
  •  (PDF file) select stationery and office supplies (external link) 
  • travel to manufacturer
  • shipping costs for purchased equipment
  • brokerage and customs charges
  • extended warranties
  • staff training on use of a specialized facility or equipment
  • maintenance and operating costs for equipment or vehicles used for research

Ineligible expenses

  • insurance fees
  • space or facility rental costs
  • facility construction or renovation costs
  • security access card fees

Supporting documentation

When paying a supplier or seeking reimbursement for a payment already made, please include the following supporting documents:

  • original invoices, contracts or receipts
  • adequate justification for purchase as it relates to research project
  • authorization of the grant holder or delegate
  • where payment is made by credit card, please enclose a copy of the credit card statement to support proof of payment, and the rate of foreign exchange, if applicable

Eligible expenses

  • computers, hardware and software for research
  • cellular devices for research data collection and personal safety use only
  • monthly plan fees for electronic devices being used for research purposes (e.g. data collection), or for personal safety reasons (e.g. field work)

Ineligible expenses

  • home internet services
  • monthly connection or rental costs for telephones
  • phone line connection or installation fees
  • voice mail add-on fees
  • fees for services or supplies available to the research community, e.g. library acquisition fees, network connection or other service fees

Supporting documentation

  • original invoices, contracts or receipts
  • justification for supplies and expenses in relation to research project
    • for cellular device monthly service fees, please apportion the cost between research and personal use – further information may be required during a Tri-Agency Monitoring Review
  • authorization of the grant holder or delegate

Eligible expenses

  • recruiting costs for research personnel
  • safe disposal of waste
  • federal employer compliance fee for engaging foreign nationals to work exclusively on research
  • books, periodicals, specialized office supplies not provided by TMU
  • training and development in novel techniques necessary for the research
  • professional association or scientific society memberships necessary for the research
  • monthly parking fee for a vehicle specifically required for field work, when used for that purpose

Ineligible expenses

  • education-related costs such as thesis preparation, tuition fees
  • cost for preparation of teaching materials
  • regulatory compliance costs including ethical review, biohazards, environmental assessments
  • professional training or development
  • staff recognition and awards
  • monthly parking unless specifically required for field work
  • regular clothing
  • Patenting
  • basic services and supplies for research
  • lab costs such as heat, distilled water
  • lab relocation costs
  • insurance costs for buildings or equipment
  • sales tax to which an exemption or rebate applies
  • security access card fee

Supporting documentation

When submitting expenses related to services and miscellaneous costs, please include the following details and supporting documents:

  • original invoices, contracts or receipts
  • justification of expense or purchase as it relates to research project
  • for internal acquisitions or services costs:
    • documentation describing the acquisition/service
    • the method of calculating the allocation of costs for shared acquisition or services
  • authorization of grant holder or delegate

Eligible expenses

  • meals and non-alcoholic beverages during working meetings with external collaborators directly related to research project

Ineligible expenses

  • research personnel or team meeting costs
  • alcoholic beverages
  • entertainment
  • gifts

Supporting documentation

When submitting expenses related to hospitality costs, please include the following details and supporting documents:

  • purpose of event
  • date of event
  • number of participants or collaborators
  • names and external affiliation of collaborators, if applicable
  • original, itemized receipts
  • authorization of grant holder or delegate

Eligible expenses

  • transportation at the lowest available fare
  • mileage reimbursements at the following rates:
    • mileage reimbursement rates from September 1, 2022 onward:
      • $0.57 per km
      • $0.91 per mi
    • mileage reimbursement rates prior to September 1, 2022:
      • $0.50 per km
      • $0.90 per mi
  • accommodations
  • travel cancellation insurance (recommended and encouraged)
  • travel health insurance (if not provided by TMU)
  • child care expenses for nursing mothers or single parents, as specified by funding agencies
  • entry visa fees
  • safety-related expenses for field work travel
  • relocation costs
  • seat selection fees within economy class (justification may be required and will be approved on a case-by-case basis if fees exceed reasonable rates)
  • meals at the following per diem rates (unless provided by airlines or conferences):
    • meal per diem rates from January 16, 2023 onward:
      • Canadian travel: $85 CAD per day ($15 Breakfast; $25 Lunch; $45 Dinner)
      • U.S.A./international travel: $85 USD per day ($15 Breakfast; $25 Lunch; $45 Dinner)
    • meal per diem rates prior to January 16, 2023:
      • Canadian travel: $50 CAD per day ($10 Breakfast; $15 Lunch; $25 Dinner)
      • U.S.A. travel: $50 USD per day
      • International travel: $75 per day ($15 Breakfast; $22 Lunch; $38 Dinner)

More on travel allowances can be found on the National Joint Council’s (NJC) travel directive page (external link) . However, any directives from your research project’s granting agency takes precedence over the NJC travel directive.

Ineligible expenses

  • commuting costs from home to work and back, and between workplaces
  • passport and immigration fees
  • thesis examination and defense-related travel
  • reimbursement for airfare acquired with personal reward points
  • checked baggage fees
  • upgrade fees for business or first class seats
  • alcoholic beverages

Supporting documentation

For all research-related travel, please submit a  (PDF file) Research Travel Authorization Form and include the following:

  • purpose of trip and relevance to research project
  • dates and destinations (for prolonged visits, a daily itinerary is recommended and may be requested for audit purposes)
  • traveler’s affiliation with the grant holder’s research project if the traveler is not the grantee
  • signatures of claimant and grant holder or delegate
  • signature of department head or dean for grant holder or visiting researcher’s travel claim
  • letter of invitation if claiming travel expenses related to site visits or collaboration

When submitting expenses related to travel costs, please include the following details and supporting documents:

  • a separate claim per claimant, per trip
  • prospectus or program for conference-related travel
  • details of daily expenses
  • details of vehicle usage, including a Google maps (external link)  printout supporting mileage claims
  • itemized meal receipts
  • rental car agreement and rental receipt
  • original air travel ticket and boarding passes
  • details of foreign exchange rates, including an Oanda (external link)  currency conversion statement supporting the rate, unless using the built-in system rate within the Toronto Metropolitan University Financial System (FIS)
  • for meal-related claims:
    • original, itemized receipts for all meals where per diems are not available
    • summary of per diem expenses claimed, e.g. days of travel and which meals were claimed for each day

Eligible expenses

The following will be approved on a case-by-case basis:

  • unforeseen cancellations and expenses related to pandemic concerns or travel bans
  • non-refundable pre-travel costs based on:
    • unforeseen conditions including illness, family or critical emergencies, death
    • type of pre-travel expenditures incurred
Other exceptional expenditures (Tri-Agency)

In addition to the reimbursement of non-refundable travel and meeting costs as previously described, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) recognizes that in some cases other costs may be incurred in relation to ongoing financial commitments, such as the remuneration of individuals paid out of agency grants.

For example, individuals receiving a salary or stipend from grant funds may be recommended or required to self-isolate, and/or may be unable to work or telework for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic. NSERC confirms that if the costs are not covered by other sources of funds within the institution, and provided these expenses would otherwise have been eligible to be paid out of the grant, these can be paid from existing grant funds.

Ineligible expenses

  • cancellation costs related to late or incorrect filing for travel documents, leading to an inability to travel
  • reimbursement for expired credits notes, e.g. airline, hotel credit issued for previously cancelled trips

Supporting documentation

When submitting expenses related to travel cancellation, please include the following details and supporting documents:

  • sufficient justification to support or demonstrate purpose of trip cancellation
  • demonstration of best efforts to obtain reimbursement or a credit for future travel

Eligible positions and roles

  • salaries, stipends and benefits for research personnel
  • third-party subcontract costs
  • clerical salaries directly related to dissemination activities

Ineligible positions and roles

  • grant holders or persons eligible to apply for support from funding agencies
  • students holding a master’s or doctoral-level scholarship
  • administrative charges and fees
  • discretionary severance and separation packages
  • stipends, salaries or honoraria payments made by grantees out-of-pocket
  • payments to practicing clinicians participating in the research on a part-time basis (for CIHR research projects only)
  • payments to individuals participating in the research as an investigator and who receive remuneration for teaching or service work (for CIHR research projects only)

Supporting documentation

When setting up payment for a position, please include the following details and supporting documents:

  • name of person
  • position or category of employment
  • salary or stipend amount
  • duration of compensation
  • details of supplementary benefits, if applicable
  • authorization of grant holder or delegate

Payment procedure

Stipends and salaries paid to individuals and employees must be processed through TMU’s Human Resources department. For more information on hiring, visit AskHR.

The following outlines expenses eligible and ineligible during a sabbatical or leave period from the university.

Eligible expenses

  • direct costs for research work
  • travel to conferences
  • vehicle required for field work
  • transportation costs to move equipment or materials to and from sabbatical location
  • one round-trip ticket between home institution and sabbatical location

Ineligible expenses

  • transport of research personnel for supervisory or academic purposes
  • travel to home institution for supervisory purposes
  • living expenses
  • subsistence and accommodation costs

Supporting documentation

  • original invoices, contracts or receipts
  • copy of your iExpense travel claim or  (PDF file) Research Travel Authorization Form and supporting documents for travel (refer to the “travel and subsistence” section on this page)
  • authorization of grant holder or delegate
  • signature of department head or dean for grant holder’s travel claims

Eligible expenses

  • development and maintenance of web-based information
  • dissemination of findings via traditional or contemporary means
  • page charges for published articles, including open access costs
  • manuscript preparation costs
  • translation costs
  • workshop or seminar fees directly related to the research

Ineligible expenses

  • expenditures unrelated to dissemination

Supporting documentation

  • original invoices, contracts or receipts
  • authorization of grant holder or delegate

Purchasing procedure

Purchases can be made with your TMU Purchasing Card (P-Card) or through the Financial Information System (FIS or Oracle) (opens in new window) . To support your claim for purchases made in a foreign currency, please enclose a copy of your credit card statement with your reimbursement request.

If you’ve made a purchase out-of-pocket with your own funds, you can seek reimbursement via FIS while all others can submit a cheque requisition form via internal mail or to the Financial Services dropbox at 1 Dundas Street West, 9th floor.

TMU’s Purchasing Policy and Purchasing Procedure apply for all purchases. For more guidance on procurement and spend thresholds, visit the Purchasing Thresholds & Request to Waive page.