Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it mandatory for institutions to submit Grants in Aid of Research, Statements of Account (Form 300) electronically in the current reporting exercise?


No. However, the agencies are aiming to phase-out the paper-based Form 300 reporting system and encourage institutions to use the FDSR system as soon as possible.


2. When can institutions register for the FDSR system?


The agencies encourage the institutions to register for the FDSR system as early as possible. Early registration will provide institutions with the opportunity to test the system and identify the necessary changes they may have to implement to adapt to the FDSR system.


3. How can institutions access the FDSR system?


To access the FDSR system it will be necessary that Business Officers (BOs) and their selected assistants (BOAs) register with NSERC.


4. What happens if someone with an account leaves his/her position? Can their User ID and password be given to their successor?


In the event that a BO or BOA moves to another position, the institution must inform NSERC's Local Registration Authority. The obsolete account will be deactivated and a new User ID and password will be issued to the successor.


5. What should institutions do if they are anticipating significant implementation issues in the adoption of FDSR?


We encourage institutions that anticipate significant implementation issues to contact the FDSR project team, as soon as possible, so that we may work closely with the institutions to help them meet the paper-based Form 300 reporting phase-out target.


6. What should institutions know if they intend to supply records individually, using the Add a F300 record page?


Institutions will not need to comply with FDSR's technical requirements per se. The Web application will automatically format the entered data in order to make it compatible with the FDSR database.


7. What should institutions know if they submit Forms 300 by means of batch files?


Institutions will need to involve their information systems personnel to develop an FDSR data migration strategy. These institutions will be required to consolidate their data into one or more files containing plain text (file type ”..txt”) or Comma Separated Values (file type ”.csv”). Each record (or ”.row”) in the data file will correspond to one grant, in a format that complies with the FDSR Data File Layout Guide which can be found at the left menu of the FDSR system Main Menu page.


8. Should institutions submit some of the Forms 300 electronically and others on paper?


No. Institutions should choose one method of submission for all of their Forms 300; otherwise, the granting agencies' data capture process will be difficult to manage.


9. If the institutions have used the FDSR system to approve and send the Forms 300 to the agency and an error has been detected on one of the forms, should they send the revised form on paper?


No. The agencies require that the institutions continue to use the process used in the initial submission, i.e., if a previous record was submitted electronically the modified version should also be submitted electronically.


10. What happens if the Forms 300 are submitted after the deadline date of June 30?


NSERC and SSHRC process the transfer of residual funds to the institution's General Research Funds (GRF) in the order in which they receive the completed reconciliation listing and all of the Forms 300. Consequently, late submission may significantly delay the approval of the transfers. Note that no funds can be transferred to the GRF without prior approval from the agency.


11. Can institutions modify a Form 300 after it has been approved?


Yes. In the event that the institution wishes to modify a Form 300, the form must be approved once again by the grantee and the BO. If changes are made to a Form 300 after the deadline date of June 30, you must inform the agencies as soon as possible.


12. What happens if an existing Form 300 is changed and a modified version is resubmitted to the agencies after the deadline date of June 30, without having informed the agency of this?


The agencies will retain the latest revised version received from the institution.


13. What is required as the researcher's approval when institutions have decided to send the Forms 300 electronically?


Institutions may opt for a paperless approval process for researches if they choose. This approach entails that each researcher approve his/her Form 300 online. Once approved by the researcher, the BO can approve the Form 300 on behalf of the institution. If the institution opts for a hybrid process involving signature on paper by the researchers, then the BO is required to approve the Form 300 electronically, on behalf of both the researcher and the institution. In this instance, approval ”r;on behalf of the researcher” indicates to the granting agency that the researcher has signed a paper Form 300 rather than approved his/her Form 300 online; the BO must ensure that a copy of the Form 300 signed by the grantee is on record at the institution.


14. May institutions submit Forms 300 for Canada Research Chairs using the FDSR system?


Yes. SSHRC will provide a CID/PIN number for the Chair to facilitate submission.


15. May institutions submit Forms 300 for institutional grants using the FDSR system?


Yes. Please contact SSHRC at (613) 996-0276 for details.


16. Can institutions submit Forms 300 pertaining to multi-institutional grants using the FDSR system?


Yes. However, since the current version of the FDSR system does not yet support multi-institutional grants, the host institution will need to calculate total expenses and input the results into a single Form 300. The consolidated Form 300 may be keyed using FDSR's ”r;Add a Form 300 Record” page, or uploaded in a batch file as any other Form 300 record. Researcher approval will be provided by the principal investigator at the host institution.


17. The BO has uploaded a researcher's Form 300 to FDSR, but when the researcher attempts to link the Form 300 to his/her account, FDSR reports that there is no match for the grant information provided. Why does the linking process fail?


The most likely reason for this failure is that the grant information provided by the researcher is not identical to the grant information that the BO uploaded to FDSR. Subtle differences are easy to overlook. For example, a single digit in the CID/PIN may differ; or the researcher may have indicated 02 for the competition year component of the grant number, while the BO uploaded the value 2002. The values must match exactly.


18. Why does FDSR display an asterisk (*) in certain NSERC grant numbers, but not others?


The program component of the NSERC grant number is optional in FDSR. If the BO did not specify the program code when s/he uploaded the Form 300, FDSR will display an asterisk instead of the program code. For example, a grant number with a program code would appear as RGPIN/123456-2004, while the same one without a program code would read */123456-2004.


19. Can institutions report expenditures from the General Research Fund (GRF) for NSERC and SSHRC grants in FDSR?


Yes. Each institution may submit one Form 300 for expenditures from the GRF for each granting agency in any given year. A special grant number identifies the Form 300 as pertaining to the GRF. For NSERC, the grant number consists of program code GRF, grant ID 0, and the relevant fiscal year. For SSHRC, the grant number consists of program code 000, grant ID 0, and the relevant fiscal year.


NSERC GRF example: GRF/0-2004

SSHRC GRF example: 000-2004-0


20. Who should we contact if we are having technical problems?


Please contact the Online Services Helpdesk.


21. Who should we contact if we require information on financial issues?


Please contact the Finance Support representatives.