7.1 Performance reporting requirements
All CFI-funded institutions are required to collect performance data and information and share it with the CFI. Reporting requirements vary by fund and are defined for each project in the award agreement.
The primary tool used to gather data from funded projects is a project progress report (PPR). We may also use customized reporting tools if doing so is more efficient or appropriate (e.g., for facilities funded through the Major Science Initiatives Fund, or for joint funding opportunities).
7.1.1 Reporting using the project progress report
The PPR is a questionnaire that is filled out in CAMS. Typically, a PPR is required for all CFI-funded research infrastructure projects. Reporting using the PPR begins when the research infrastructure becomes operational.
Unless otherwise specified in an award agreement, projects funded with a total CFI contribution exceeding $1 million must complete a PPR once a year for five years, while projects with a total CFI contribution of $1 million or less complete a PPR once a year for four years.
Defining when an infrastructure project becomes operational
An infrastructure project becomes operational when one of the following conditions is met:
- The institution submits a final financial report for the project
- The project or team leader indicates in CAMS that the funded infrastructure is operational.
Indicating in CAMS if a project is operational
For projects with a CFI contribution of $1 million or less, a question about operational status is displayed in CAMS in the second year following award finalization.
For projects with a CFI contribution exceeding $1 million, the question about operational status is displayed in CAMS in the third year following award finalization.
We activate the question each year during the first week of April. The project or team leader must select “Operational” or “Not yet operational” by June 30.
What happens once a response to the question about the operational status is selected
If “Not yet operational” is selected, the operational status question will be asked again the following year unless a final financial report is submitted in the interim.
If “Operational” is selected on or before June 30, the first PPR will immediately become available in CAMS. This PPR must also be filled out by June 30.
For all projects already recognized as operational, and which have not completed their four or five years of reporting, the PPR questionnaire becomes available in CAMS the first week of April each year.
The PPR is normally completed by the individual identified as the project or team leader, or their delegate. The data and information provided in the PPR must pertain to the CFI’s past fiscal year (April 1 to March 31) only. It should not include results that fall outside the reporting range or that were reported in previous years. For instance, if a new patent was reported in the year-two PPR, it should not be reported again in year three.
Typically, PPRs collect information about the following aspects of CFI-funded infrastructure:
- Any challenges encountered in implementing the infrastructure and its subsequent use and maintenance
- Quality and useful life
- Sources of funds for its operation and maintenance
- Level of use
- Information on users
- Research collaborations and partnerships
- Research outputs (e.g., publications, conference presentations)
- Knowledge assets (e.g., intellectual property, licensing agreements, spin-off companies)
- Impact on the training of highly qualified personnel
- Benefits for Canadians
Once completed in full by the project or team leader, recipient institutions must submit project progress reports for operational projects by June 30. Failure to complete the questionnaire by this deadline may result in the project results not being taken into consideration in our internal and external reporting. In addition, the CFI will withhold all institutional payments when an institution does not comply with performance reporting requirements for any of its awards.
7.1.2 Additional data collection
In some instances, we may invite institutional representatives, researchers or our partners to participate in interviews, surveys or focus groups. These additional data collection initiatives:
- Further explore the achievement of the CFI’s planned objectives and expected results
- Support organizational learning
- Inform operational and strategic decision-making
- Ensure accountability in the use of public funds.