Approved Executive Committee of the Board of Governors X2000.26
GRADUATE STUDENTS HOLDING SOFT-FUNDED RESEARCH BURSARY
External agencies award funds to professors in the form of research grants and contracts. These "soft funds" may be used to support graduate students in the form of research assistantships, soft-funded scholarships, or soft-funded research bursaries ("SFRB").
If the funds are not offered as research assistantships but either as soft-funded scholarships or SFRBs, the following applies.
At the time the offer of support is made, the offer must be in writing on the University form Offer of Soft-Funded Scholarship or Research Bursary, hereinafter "Offer" (Appendix A) and may either
a) impose no condition other than the satisfaction of the academic requirements of the student's program of studies as set out in the appropriate calendar of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies ("FGPS"), in which case the offer of support is an offer of a soft-funded scholarship and falls under Policy 110 and the FGPS Policy on Soft-Funded Scholarships; or
b) impose a condition to receiving the support that meets the criteria of Article 3.4 of the CUPE 2626 Collective Agreement, in which case the offer of support is an offer of an SFRB and Policy 110a applies.
A soft-funded scholarship as set out above cannot be transformed into an SFRB without the written agreement of the student.
SFRBs shall be treated as scholarships for income tax purposes.
If an offer of funding from soft funds has a duty, assignment or activity as a condition of acceptance which does not meet the criteria of Article 3.4 of the Collective Agreement between the University and CUPE 2626, the funding is a soft-funded research assistantship and is subject to the Collective Agreement with CUPE 2626. The rights and privileges of graduate students as employees are governed by the Collective Agreement with CUPE 2626 and the collective agreement with the APTPUO in the case of part-time teaching employment.
2. OFFER OF A SOFT-FUNDED RESEARCH BURSARY (SFRB)
An SFRB can be offered only to a full-time graduate student who is not inactive pursuant to the regulations of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies; any exception must be approved by the FGPS. The SFRB must be administered in accordance with any conditions set by the external agency providing the funds. In addition, pursuant to Article 3.4 of the Collective Agreement between the University and CUPE 2626, the professor offering the bursary may impose a specific duty, assignment or activity as a condition of acceptance of the bursary, provided that such duty, assignment or activity
- is significantly related to the work required to fulfill the requirements of the student's program of study as set out in the appropriate calendar of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies; and
- enhances the student's experience and knowledge in the student's study of his/her chosen discipline; and
- is not assigned solely or primarily for the purpose of replacing the work of clerical or technical staff that would normally perform such duties; and
- does not impinge on the time required by the student to satisfy his/her degree requirements; and
- does not place unreasonable demands upon the student by compelling him/her to abandon his/her current work and to devote the majority of his/her time to completing the duty, assignment or activity within a short period of time; and
- is set out in writing by the professor in the Offer at the time the bursary was offered to and accepted by the student.
The Offer must include the amount and duration of funding. It must also address all matters regarding ownership of any intellectual property.
All savings equivalent to the total value of statutory employer deductions shall be dealt with in the following ways:
a) If a soft-funded research assistantship is renewed as an SFRB, the savings shall be added to the value of the SFRB.
b) As of May 1, 2000, offers of SFRBs shall include these savings.
c) Such savings shall be added to current minimum funding levels (May 1, 2000), where applicable.
If the Offer is acceptable to both the graduate student and professor(s), it must be signed by the student and professor(s). The SFRB shall continue unless terminated under paragraph 3 and may be modified or renewed in writing upon mutual agreement of the professor(s) and SFRB student.
3. TERMINATION OF A SOFT-FUNDED RESEARCH BURSARY (SFRB)
An SFRB may be terminated before the end of the period specified in the Offer if:
- the student status changes in any of the following ways:
a) the student transfers into another academic program;
b) the student changes his/her student status to that of part-time;
c) the student chooses a thesis director other than the professor providing the SFRB; or
d) the student withdraws or is required to withdraw by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (FGPS) from his/her academic program;
- the student receives two consecutive evaluations as referred to in paragraph 4 of this Policy in which the professor expresses dissatisfaction with the student's performance to the extent that the professor believes that the bursary should be terminated;
- following written notice by the professor providing the bursary, the student fails to perform a duty, an assignment or activity as set out in the Offer;
- the funding is cancelled or is reduced by the external agency or the SFRB no longer meets the external agency's regulations; or
- the student wishes to terminate the SFRB.
At the end of each academic term, the professor providing the SFRB must evaluate in writing the student's performance of the duty, assignment or activity set out in the Offer, using the form in Appendix B of this Policy. The professor will indicate whether he/she is satisfied with the student's performance or whether the student's performance is unsatisfactory. The professor must give a copy of the written evaluation to the SFRB student, who will be given an opportunity to discuss it with the professor and/or provide written comments. The evaluation and the SFRB student's written comments, if any, will be sent to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and placed in the SFRB student's file defined in paragraph 12 of this Policy.
5. FAIR AND EQUITABLE TREATMENT
SFRB students have the right to be treated according to commonly accepted norms of fairness and ethical behaviour. The following are some examples:
- Requests by SFRB students for absences for good cause shall not be unreasonably denied and will not result in the loss of bursary; however, this may imply that certain duties, assignments or activities defined in the Offer be rescheduled (if possible) to another time during the period of the bursary.
- It is recognized, that according to paragraph 2, the duties, assignments or activities defined in the Offer significantly relate to the student's research. As a result, the student's choice of his/her academic research topic may significantly depend on the initial Offer and so the academic progress of the student may depend on the continued financial support of the professor providing the initial SFRB. Therefore, for the duration of the student's program of study and in accordance with the department's policies or practices on financial support, reasonable efforts should be made by the professor providing the initial SFRB to continue the financial support in one form or another, including renewal of the initial SFRB.
- Subject to the reasonable demands on the student's time by the thesis director regarding the student's academic performance and by the professor providing the bursary regarding the student's performance of the Offer, it is recognized that the SFRB student's time is his/hers to organize.
The examples above are meant to be illustrative, not limitative.
No SFRB student shall be subject to discrimination, intimidation, interference, restriction or coercion exercised or practised in the application of this Policy by reason of age, race, creed, colour, place of origin, ancestry, citizenship, religious or political affiliation, activity or belief, sex and sexual orientation, marital, parental or family status, number of dependents, record of offences, academic orientation or school of thought, place of residence, physical handicap or disability (provided that such handicap or disability does not interfere with the person's ability to perform the regular duties), membership or activity in any union or student association, or the exercise of rights under this Policy.
There shall be no discrimination on the basis of language except where language competence is a requirement in performing the duty, assignment or activity of the SFRB and is consistent with the University's policies and regulations on bilingualism.
No SFRB students shall be subjected to harassment.
For the purposes of this Policy, harassment means engaging in a course of comment or conduct, whether deliberate or inadvertent, which denies individuals their dignity and/or respect, or is offensive, embarrassing or humiliating to the individual, vexatious or vindictive, or adversely affects the working environment, that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome. Harassment can be physical, psychological, verbal, visual or written (including but not limited to electronic media). It can involve individuals or groups and includes the threat of lodging a complaint as well as the threat of reprisals if a complaint is lodged.
The University's Policy 67 on Sexual Harassment shall apply to any complaints of sexual harassment and may be addressed to the University of Ottawa Sexual Harassment Officer.
8. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
The Offer must address all matters relating to ownership of intellectual property. SFRB students have the right to receive appropriate recognition for and to benefit from their research endeavours. The University's approach to intellectual property rights with respect to the various groups of its employees is reflected in Policy 29 on Patents and in the collective agreements with the APUO, the APTPUO, and CUPE 2626. The University's guidelines on authorship are stated in Articles 3.2.2 and 3.2.3 of the FGPS publication "Research Ethics".
9. HEALTH AND SAFETY
While SFRB students are not subject to the provincial legislation on occupational health and safety, the University abides by those principles as shown in its Policies 77 and 91 and is responsible for providing all of its students with a safe and healthy working environment.
SFRB students are covered by the general liability insurance held by the University, as are all students.
Notwithstanding that Health and Safety committees are established under legislation concerning workers, an SFRB student who has concerns about his/her health and safety in performing a duty, assignment or activity set out in the Offer, may bring them to the attention of the University's sectoral occupational health and safety committee. If the SFRB student considers such duty, assignment or activity to be unsafe, she may suspend its performance and request that a member of the University's sectoral occupational health and safety committee investigate and determine whether it is safe. If such duty, assignment or activity is found to be safe, the SFRB student must perform it.
An SFRB student who becomes pregnant may request precautionary measures, including a modification of duties, assignments or activities specified in the Offer, to protect herself and the foetus. Should she request any such measures, she shall report her pregnancy to the professor offering the bursary, the Occupational Health and Safety Nurse and the University's Radiation Safety Inspector, where appropriate, and a modified program will be implemented for the duration of the pregnancy, with no loss of bursary support during the period of the modified program. Women of childbearing age should ensure that they seek all relevant information concerning exposure to hazardous materials, including those which are biohazardous in nature, from the appropriate MSDS information and/or the Radiation Safety Inspector.
In cases where an SFRB student is exposed to an infectious agent either by working directly with an infectious organism or by working with human or animal tissues or fluids, the cost of any required vaccination not covered by a provincial or municipal health plan will be paid from the grant. The costs of any vaccination that is required as a prerequisite of admission to a program of study will not be covered. The University agrees that it will not amend the current prerequisites of admission to a program of study relating to vaccinations without consulting CUPE 2626-1 unless the change is imposed by an external agency legally entitled to require compliance.
SFRB students shall not be required to perform any activities on any of the following holidays: New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Civic Holiday, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and any other statutory holiday or other holiday declared by the University's Board of Governors.
An SFRB student shall be entitled to observe holidays associated with his/her religion provided that he/she notify his/her supervisor in writing of his/her intention at least ten working days prior to the said religious holiday.
SFRB students shall not be required to perform activities between December 23rd and the first day of classes in January.
In addition to official holidays and the Christmas shutdown, an SFRB student shall be entitled to a period of fifteen working days, ten of which must be consecutive, during which he/she shall not be required to perform any duty, assignment or activity defined in the Offer.
Notwithstanding the above, if the performance of an activity is essential and falls on a holiday or between December 23rd and the first day of classes in January and the professor providing the SFRB has given ten days notice except in cases of unforeseen circumstances, the SFRB student will be required to perform such activity, it being understood that the student will be granted the equivalent time off at a time agreed upon by the student and the supervisor.
11. PARENTAL LEAVE
In cases where the external agency providing the funds for SFRB has a parental leave program (such as NSERC, SSHRC and MRC), an SFRB student who becomes pregnant will be made aware of the program and allowed to participate in it subject to the external agency's regulations.
12. SOFT-FUNDED RESEARCH BURSARY FILE
There shall be a file for each SFRB student, called the SFRB File, located at the FGPS and separate from the student's academic file. The SFRB File shall contain a copy of the Offer, the Evaluations and any other documents pertaining to the SFRB, and shall be readily available to the student at least until one year after the student loses his/her student status.
The University will not tolerate any form of misconduct, fraud whether academic or scientific on the part of any member of the academic community, including students, professors and staff, which includes but is not limited to, the following:
- plagiarism, false claims of authorship or ownership of intellectual property
- falsification of research data, dishonesty in the collection or interpretation of data
- attribution of a purported statement or reference to a source which does not exist
- falsification or misrepresentation of a document, or use of a falsified document
- colluding with colleagues in committing academic or scientific misconduct.
Academic fraud and scientific misconduct are dealt with pursuant to the Senate Policy on Academic Fraud and the applicable collective agreements.
14. POLICY 110A JOINT CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE
A Policy 110a Joint Consultative Committee, composed of the Dean of the FGPS and his/her delegate and two representatives of CUPE 2626-1, shall make recommendations to the University's Administrative Committee if amendments to this Policy are required. The Policy 110a Joint Consultative Committee shall also determine the list of internal arbitrators to act under Step 4 of the Dispute Resolution Procedure in this Policy.
In addition, the Policy 110a Joint Consultative Committee shall deal with disputes arising from the description of the duties, assignments or activities defined in the Offer, subject to Step 3 of the Dispute Resolution procedure.
The Policy 110a Joint Consultative Committee shall meet as necessary. Meetings may be called by any member on written notice of five working days or by mutual consent. Quorum shall consist of all four members and minutes of meetings shall be taken. Resolutions shall be by majority vote.
15. DISPUTE RESOLUTION
In availing himself/herself of the procedure outlined in this Policy, an SFRB student may be assisted or represented at any time by CUPE 2626-1.
The SFRB student's use of the dispute resolution procedure shall not be taken into consideration when dealing with grades or eligibility for admission into other graduate programs.
Where the student alleges harassment or discrimination, she may bypass Steps 1, 2, 3 and file a written complaint directly to the dean of the faculty of the respondent. Where the action by the dean is unacceptable to the student, she may proceed directly to Step 4. In matters of sexual harassment, the University's Policy 67 on Sexual Harassment applies.
In the event that the student is of the opinion that this Policy or procedure has not been appropriately or fairly applied, the student should attempt to resolve the matter informally with the person whom the student believes has failed to properly apply this Policy or other procedure.
If the matter is not resolved at Step 1, the student may write, within fifteen working days, to the chairperson of the department or academic unit concerned or where no academic unit or department exists, to the dean of the faculty concerned who shall have a further ten days to attempt to resolve the matter. The student shall set out his/her complaint in detail and the recourse sought. The student may bypass Step 2 if he/she believes that circumstances warrant doing so and may proceed directly to Step 3.
If the student's complaint is not resolved in Step 2 or if the student has elected to bypass Step 2, the student may refer his/her complaint, within fifteen working days to the Vice-Dean of the FGPS or his/her delegate who shall have a further ten days to attempt to resolve the matter.
Where after consultation with the Dean of the FGPS, the Vice-Dean is of the opinion that the student's complaint may involve a breach of ethics under Article 10 of the APUO Collective Agreement, those portions of the complaint dealing with the breach of ethics shall be sent to the dean of the professor concerned to be dealt with under the procedure set out in the APUO Collective Agreement. The dean of the faculty shall inform the Dean of the FGPS once the steps of the APUO Collective Agreement have been completed.
The portion of the student's complaint that does not deal with a breach of ethics pursuant to Article 10 of the APUO Collective Agreement shall proceed to Step 4 of this Policy.
Where the complaint involves a dispute arising from the description of the duties, assignments or activities defined in the Offer, the Vice-Dean shall attempt to mediate the dispute. If the dispute is not resolved to the satisfaction of the professor and the student, the Vice-Dean shall refer the matter to the Policy 110a Joint Consultative Committee, which shall have ten working days to resolve the matter. If there is no resolution or the student is not satisfied with the outcome, the student may choose either to
a) proceed to Step 4; or
b) request from CUPE 2626 to file a Policy Grievance pursuant to the CUPE 2626 Collective Agreement.
If the student's complaint is not resolved at Step 3, the student may submit the matter within ten working days for an internal arbitration by notifying the Dean of the FGPS.
The matter shall be heard by an internal arbitrator chosen by mutual consent or by lot from the list drawn by the Policy 110a Joint Consultative Committee. No internal arbitrator shall serve in respect of a dispute involving a student or an employee from an internal arbitrator's own department or academic unit or, if dealing with a faculty which does not have a department, from the internal arbitrator's faculty. The University agrees to be bound by the decision of the internal arbitrator and the student is deemed to accept the binding nature of the internal arbitration process.
16. No student will suffer academic consequences as a result of exercising his/her rights under this Policy.
17. Every SFRB student will receive a copy of this Policy the first time he/she is offered an SFRB.
Published March 14, 2000
(Teaching and Learning Support Service)