Support for Full-time Employee Initiated Research Policy


Policy Statement

It is the policy of Seneca, consistent with resources available and the funding criteria below, to support research initiated by full time Seneca employees from all employee groups (Support Staff, Administration and Faculty) that will enable them to complete the research component of graduate studies, to conduct research for publication or conference presentations, and/or to explore best practices.

1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to build organizational capacity, to contribute to its national status and to support the applied degree programs by assisting current employees to achieve the required degree program academic qualifications, to develop the skills needed to conduct applied research, and to conduct, publish and present original research.

2. Commitment

Seneca is making a significant commitment of resources to develop baccalaureate degree programs in applied studies and to foster applied research – this includes developing an infrastructure and capacity for sustaining applied research and attracting and developing highly qualified personnel who have the knowledge and skills needed to conduct and foster worthwhile applied research.

3. Funding Criteria

  1. The research conducted by the faculty or staff and supported with resources by the College, must be consistent with the College's current strategic goals and directions and must have the support of the chair/dean/director.
  2. The amount of funding available will be determined through the budget planning exercise each year but would normally provide an amount of up to $6,000 per semester per approved candidate.
  3. Funding for all projects will be granted solely on the merits of the proposal and priority will be given to applicants whose projects meet the funding criteria and who are not currently and have not previously received any College funding for the identified research project.
    Support will be provided for participation in only one research project at a time which is subject to renewal annually based on deliverables, for up to three years.
  4. The funding will support the research process in all its forms including, but not limited to, release time, survey development, and data analysis.
  5. There will be a sharing of resources needed (i.e. faculty to contribute some of their time and college to support some release time).
  6. The process for allocating funds must be transparent and fair.
  7. Researchers need to stay part of their current work team during the project and will NOT be released totally from all responsibilities while they are conducting the research.

    Release time is to be mutually agreed upon, (e.g., to do research on days when the students are in the clinical area). Supervisors will make every effort to time table in a manner that will facilitate the needs of the students and/or the department, as well as the research needs of the applicant.
    Written agreements will specify agreed upon release time, expectations of each party and deliverables for the research.

  8. Research is not necessarily tied to an applied degree program.
  9. Collaborative projects are welcome.
    For collaborative projects involving external partners, a letter of understanding about responsibilities, deliverables, and intellectual property rights must accompany application for research funds.
  10. This Policy is meant to support both large and smaller research projects.
  11. The College’s Intellectual Property policy will apply
  12. All research involving the College's name, resources, students or employees are subject to review and approval by Seneca's Research Ethics Board.

Administrative Guidelines

The Office of Research & Innovation will issue the call for proposals to the college community as appropriate.

The required application forms, progress reports and final reports must be submitted to the Associate Vice President Research & Innovation.

The Research & Ethics Review Council will review all applications and make recommendations to the Associate Vice President Research & Innovation based on the funding criteria identified above.

Applicants and their immediate supervisor will be notified simultaneously of the outcome and funding available for their proposals.


Application approval will include formative assessment and intervention from various research bodies as appropriate and as described in the application process below (see Chart 1).

Chart #1

Seneca Research Flowchart
July 20, 2005

Application Process:

  1. All applicants must complete the appropriate form and submit to the Office of Research & Innovation.
  2. Staff from ORI will be available to assist in completion of the necessary forms.
  3. As part of the application form, the immediate supervisor must acknowledge prior discussion of the proposal, awareness of the proposal, and agreement that a proposal agreement could result in release time for the applicant.
  4. In order for funding to be available for the next fiscal year, applications must be submitted no later than October 31.
  5. The Office of Research & Innovation will review all applications to determine the eligibility of each request, and to calculate the expected total dollar value.
  6. Where appropriate, applications will be reviewed by the Research Proposal Review Panel and/or the Research Ethics Board. The Research and Ethics Review Committee will prioritize the recommended requests based on input from each of these bodies, for final approval by the Office of Research & Innovation.
  7. Upon approval of College and ORI budget, applicants will be notified of the outcome and funding available for their proposals. The immediate supervisor will be notified simultaneously.
  8. To facilitate implementation, applicants are encouraged to submit their proposals simultaneously to the ORI by completing the appropriate forms.

Approval Priorities:

Applications will not be accepted unless they meet all the criteria. Preference will be given to those who have not previously received funding from the Office of Research and Innovation. Where applicants have received previous funding, only those who have demonstrated achievement in their approved deliverables will be considered. In circumstances when the number of proposals exceeds the amount of funds available, projects will be selected based on the following priorities:

  1. Applied Research in pursuit of a degree.
  2. Publication and/or Conference presentation of research based material
  3. Other Applied Research

A sub-committee of the ORI will re-assess the selection priorities each year to ensure they are in keeping with the College's needs and direction.

Application Process:

Applicants are asked to suggest three persons (two of whom must be external) in their field who can evaluate the project, excluding persons on their research committee.

Applications seeking funding to complete research for degree completion:
must complete the application form and where applicable, the research proposal will be reviewed by the Research Ethics Board. (see guidelines)

Applications seeking funding for "Publication and/or Conference presentation of research based material" and for "Other Applied Research":
must complete the application form. The proposed research will be assessed by the Research Proposal Review Panel which will rate each submission in the following areas:

  1. Importance, impact, and relevance to the field of study
  2. Clarity of research questions
  3. The methodology is appropriate and sound
  4. The time-line is realistic/feasible
  5. Plans for dissemination of results
  6. Expertise and research record of investigator, and co-investigators

Each area will be graded according to the following marking scheme to achieve a total grade:

0 – not acceptable
1 – needs major revision
2 – acceptable with minor changes
3 – acceptable
4 – excellent

Decision will be based on the scoring. Advice for researcher(s) will be provided. Proposals that receive a rating of "not acceptable" (0) or "needs major revision" (1) for criteria 2 ("clarity of research questions") and/or for criteria 3 ("the methodology is appropriate and sound") will not be considered for funding.

Where applicable, the research proposal will be reviewed by the Research Ethics Board (see guidelines).

The results will be forwarded to the Research and Ethics Review Committee.

All Applications

Will be prioritized for funding according to the priorities of the College (the weight of each will be published annually in advance of the application process) and based on the following set of criteria:

  1. Research meets College's applied research goals
  2. Research proposal integrates well with the College's strategic goals
  3. The budget is appropriate and realistic
  4. The quality and merit of application (as determined by the Research Proposal Review Panel)

Each area will be ranked on a five point scale with one indicating weak and five indicating strong.

A list of recommended applications will be developed according to the scores and forwarded to the Office of Research & Innovation for final approval.

Terms of Funding:

  1. The funding for each project is distributed each year, for up to 3 years, subject to completion of deliverables as determined by the funding agreement.
  2. All funds are given to the employee's department, not directly to the researcher. The immediate supervisor will administer the funds in accordance with approved project proposal and the College's spending regulations. All money must be used exclusively for the project. All remaining funds will be returned to the ORI.
  3. Applicants must complete an Interim and Final report.
  4. The interim report reporting on the progress of the project and indicating the possibility for renewal must be submitted to the ORI by October 31.
  5. Approval of funding does not substitute for approval of the Research and Ethics Board.
  6. The date of the final report, the nature of its content, and the expected deliverables must be part of the proposal.
  7. The completion of the final report cannot exceed 3 months after completion of funding.

Maintained by: Office of Research & Innovation