Financial Guidelines

Dawson College has a number of policies and practices in place to ensure grant funds are spent and appropriately accounted for. For the complete guide to managing your funds, including hiring personnel, expense reimbursement and purchasing equipment, please consult the complete Financial guidelines document. For answers to specific questions, please consult the list below:

Purchasing equipment, office supplies, and/or services from companies

I want to buy equipment/supplies costing less than $100

You can purchase any supplies and equipment that cost less than $100 yourself (except computers, tablets, external hard drives etc.) and submit a Petty Cash voucher (available here). The voucher will need to be submitted to and approved by the appropriate signing authority delegate(s) in the OAD.

I want to buy non-computer equipment/supplies costing more than $100 but under $500

Supplies or equipment (other than computers) that cost between $100 and $500 per item (e.g. printer toner, chemicals, lab supplies, tools, some software etc.) must be purchased through the Clara Purchasing  system. The Research Office will be happy to submit a Purchase Requisition on your behalf. If you would rather do it yourself, follow these steps:

  1. To access Purchase Requisitions, login to My Dawson, click on “My Finances Services” on the left, then click “Forms”, and then click “Requisition”.
  2. Requests must be accompanied by a quote. All quotes must include delivery, installation and all items to be purchased from that company. No extraneous items can be on the quote.
  3. The Requisition must be approved online by the appropriate signing authority or delegate.
  4. The time from submission of a purchase request to receipt of equipment is from 1-4 weeks, on average.

I want to buy computer(s), software, furnishings, or equipment costing over $500

Computers and computer equipment are considered essential equipment. All computer related equipment must be purchased, inventoried, and disposed of using established College policy. Computers and computer equipment may not be bought by individuals using personal funds or College credit cards. Please see the Annual Capital Acquisitions Process for more details. 

  1. Requests for purchasing computers and related equipment (e.g. printers, tablets, external hard drives, some types of software etc.) or any material goods over $500 (or over $1000 for a quantity of the same item of an individual value of at least $200) must be entered in the Capital Requests System and purchased by the College.
  2. The request will be evaluated by the Capital Budget Committee (CBC) and approved by the appropriate signing authority(s). For the CBC schedule, contact Janet Pakulis (jpakulis@dawsoncollege.qc.ca).
  3. The equipment will be ordered by the purchasing department.
  4. The Information Systems and Technology (IST) office will receive the equipment, inventory it and notify the project leader when it’s ready to pick up.
  5. The time from submission of a capital request to receipt of equipment is 2 to 6 weeks, on average; however, over the summer and if there is a high volume of requests, it may take up to 3 months before equipment is delivered.

I want to hire a company to perform a service

All services rendered provided by a registered business must be processed through the Clara Purchasing System.

  1. To access Purchase Requisitions, login to My Dawson, click on “My Finances Services” on the left, the “Forms”, and then “Requisition”.
  2. Requests must be accompanied by a quote. All quotes must include delivery, installation and all items to be purchased from that company. The quote should include the company’s NEQ and tax numbers. No extraneous items can be on the quote.
  3. The Requisition must be approved online by the appropriate signing authority or delegate.
  4. The time from submission of a purchase request to receipt of equipment is from 1-4 weeks, on average.

Travel reimbursements

I want an advance for a trip I'm taking in the future

You have the opportunity to request an advance before going on a trip.

  1. Fill out section 1 (Expense Advance Request box) from the Cheque Requisition Form (available here).
  2. Using the Expense Report Template, attach an estimate of travel, accommodation, meals, and other expenses and a short description of the purpose of the trip and submit this to the appropriate signing authority delegate(s). Include a quote from an online travel website (e.g. Travelocity) for hotel and airfare estimates, when possible.
  3. When approved, the Finance Department will issue a cheque to you. Please keep all original receipts, as you will have to clear the advance by submitting original, itemised receipts, boarding passes, and/or credit card statements after you return.
  4. If your expenses were less than your estimate, you will need to provide a cheque for the difference when you submit your receipts.

What receipts do I need to keep and submit when I return from a research-related trip?

Generally, you need both an invoice showing the what you purchased (e.g. itemised meal receipts, hotel bill) as well as proof of payment. For expenses incurred in a foreign country using a credit card, we always require your credit card statement to verify the exchange rate used by the credit card company. The following are required to reimburse travel expenses:

  1. All original receipts indicating the amount paid, including itemised meal receipts (please ask for separate cheques for any alcohol, as alcohol cannot be reimbursed by grant funds). If you paid for meals for more than yourself, please include a list of the people you were with and their role in the project.
  2. Boarding passes and/or e-tickets for travel. Tickets must be booked in economy class – business or first class tickets are not eligible for reimbursement. Tickets booked using Air Miles or points are not eligible for reimbursement.
  3. A credit card statement in the following cases:
    1. If you used your credit card in a foreign country (for exchange rate)
    2. When booking accommodation through an online source (e.g. Travelocity, hotels.com), a credit card statement is required along with the invoice.
    3. When a receipt or invoice does not indicate “Amount paid” or “Balance: $0”
  4. A copy of the conference program, if applicable.
  5. For mileage claims, attach a mileage log showing start and end points (Google Maps), and distance (in km). Mileage is reimbursed at $0.43/km

Please remember that alcohol is not an eligible expense for most grants.

Hiring research personnel

How do I hire a research assistant?

Full-time Dawson Students

To hire full-time Dawson students, complete the “Student Hiring Requisition Form” (available here). Most students hired to work on projects will be hired under the job classification “Admin”. Students submit Student Timesheets for every week they work in order to be paid.

Non-Dawson Students

If the nature of the work needed to be completed falls outside of existing collective agreements, 3rd party funded projects will use a Short Term Employment Contract (STEC) (available here). These types of positions include, but are not limited to: research assistant, consultant, specialist in a particular area, etc. Other positions may fall under the STEC form, including: translators, computer programmers, graphic designers etc. Please consult with the appropriate person in OAD and HR prior to hiring to determine the best employment category for the project’s needs.

Prior to the date you need to hire an individual an, please prepare aWorkload agreement form. Please review this agreement with the individual and ensure you both sign it before the employee begins work. This will help to protect you in the case of any miscommunication or misunderstandings as your project progresses.

The Short-Term Employment Contract Form must be submitted and dated after the work is completed. Please refer to the HR/Payroll website for necessary documents required for payment purposes.

What are Dawson's recommended rates to pay research assistants?

Your grant will be charged the hourly rate PLUS 11% fringe and 4% vacation. Please keep this in mind when budgeting and discussing salary with prospective research assistants. We recommend the following rates depending on experience and the needs of the position (2016-17 rates):

Category Total cost to grant Rate advertised and used on STEC form
Cégep student (part-time Dawson or non-Dawson student) $14 + 11% fringe + 4% vacation = $16.10/hour $14/hour
University undergraduate $16 + 11% fringe + 4% vacation = $18.40/hour $16/hour
Masters student $17 + 11% fringe + 4% vacation = $19.55/hour $17/hour
PhD student $20 + 11% fringe + 4% vacation = $23/hour $20/hour
Post-doc $24 + 11% fringe + 4% vacation = $27.60/hour $24/hour
Related forms available here:

Expense Report Please complete this form to clear an advance or to document expenses incurred on a trip.

Research Assistant Workload Agreement Form. Please modify and complete this template when you hire a Research Assistant to document the description of duties, length of employment and hourly rate.

Consult the College’s Online Forms page for the most recent version of other forms.

For any additional questions please contact research@dawsoncollege.qc.ca.



Last Modified: August 23, 2018