The Researcher is the initiator of the grant/contract application. He/she decides to apply to a granting agency for funding (as is usually the case with peer-reviewed agencies), or initiates contact directly with an agency (as is usually the case with private industry, drug companies, etc.).
In the case of an application to a granting agency, the researcher completes the necessary forms,
and submits these to HRS (for FHS projects) or ROADS (for other faculties) for processing/approval. The forms are
then sent to the agency. If funding is coming from a company, even if it is a grant, then it should be administered by the McMaster Industry Liaison Office (MILO) who handles all industry agreements, including MOUs, collaborative agreements, etc. MILO is not restricted to service/contract research. The Director of MILO is the designated signing authority for the University on all contract research, and therefore, this office must be involved, from the outset, in any negotiations.
It is unwise for a faculty member to submit a proposal directly to a sponsor without obtaining appropriate review and signatures from the appropriate office (i.e. HRS, MILO or ROADS) at the University. The investigator does not have the authority to sign agreements/contracts on behalf of the University. Any agreements/contracts that an individual signs are not legally binding on the University, and makes the individual responsible for significant costs and the tax status of the grant (from Canada Revenue Agency perspective).
The Researcher should ensure that his/her Department, through the Chair's office (or the Department Manager) is aware of any applications to granting agencies, or any pending research agreements. The Department will be involved with relevant personnel issues, and in addition, may help the Researcher prepare the application, administer the grant, and aid with budgeting.
HRS/ROADS/MILO must be made aware of any applications to granting agencies, prior to the final grant submission. They will then review and approve the application on behalf of the University. The Researcher must consult HRS, in conjunction with the Department, on issues such as laboratory space, ethics approval, safety issues (chemical usage and storage) etc., where necessary. For non-peer-reviewed research, these offices can help determine if the project should be a grant or a contract, what budgetary items are allowable, and what indirect costs should be included.