Research Support Fund

Research Support Fund (RSF) Program

Every year, the federal government invests in research excellence in the areas of health sciences, engineering, natural sciences, social sciences and humanities through its three granting agencies (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC). Collectively known as the Tri-Agency, funding provided by these agencies are generally limited to direct research expenses, such as research equipment, materials and supplies; research assistant salaries; and dissemination.  Research projects also incur indirect costs.  These are defined as any expenditure that cannot be traced to a specific research project but is a cost incurred by the University to provide the resources and infrastructure required to allow a research project to proceed. Indirect costs can include, but are not limited to, the provision of space, administration, maintenance of buildings, utilities, accounting, payroll, human resources and information technology services, grants and contract administration and the provision for equipment replacement.

The Research Support Fund (RSF) (formerly known as the Indirect Costs Program) was introduced in 2003 as part of the federal government’s strategy to make Canada one of the world’s top countries in research and development.  It reinforces the federal government's research investment by helping institutions cover a portion of the indirect costs associated with managing the research funded by the Tri-Agency and ensures that the federally funded research projects are conducted in world-class facilities with the best equipment and administrative support available.

RSF funds are awarded annually. The U of L has flexibility in determining how to use the grant, provided the funds are used to defray costs in the following categories:

The U of L's RSF grant is calculated based on the funding received by researchers from the Tri-Agency in the three most recent years for which data are available.

The U of L's grant in 2019/20 is $2,088,795.  The expected allocation across eligible expenditure areas is as follows:

CATEGORY ALLOCATION
Research Facilities $346,265
Research Resources $110,000
Management & Administration $1,115,394
Regulatory Requirements & Accreditation $517,136
Intellectual Property & Commercialization $0
Total $2,088,795

In 2019/2020 the University of Lethbridge will invest the Research Support Fund (RSF) in:

Facilities: Funding technicians used to support the research facilities, liquid nitrogen used to support research equipment and for facilities management to defray the cost of heat, lighting and electricity for the research space.

Resources: Funding to partially offset the cost Canadian Research Knowledge Network access to digital content for the academic research enterprise.

Management and Administration: The RSF is critical in maintaining the support infrastructure required for the research enterprise. The staff support the researchers in all aspects of research administration including grant applications, grant administration, and reporting.

Regulatory requirements: This area of support has increased significantly over the past few years. There has been a significant investment in animal care and safety training.

 

The U of L's RSF grant is calculated based on the funding received by researchers from the Tri-Agency in the three most recent years for which data are available. The U of L's grant in  2018-19 was $2,177,835.  The allocation across eligible expenditure areas was as follows:

In 2018/19 the University of Lethbridge invested the Research Support Fund (RSF) as follows:

  • Facilities: The funding was used for technician compensation used to support the research facilities, liquid nitrogen used to support research equipment and for facilities management to defray the cost of heat, lighting, and electricity for the research space.
  • Resources: The funding was used to partially fund the cost of electronic journals and databases required by faculty and students and a small portion of the costs associated with insuring research equipment.
  • Management and Administration: The RSF is critical in maintaining the support infrastructure required for the research enterprise. The staff support the researchers in all aspects of research administration including grant applications, grant administration, reporting, and knowledge requirement compliance requirements.
  • Regulatory requirements: This area of support has increased significantly over the past few years. There has been a significant investment in animal care and safety training.
  • Intellectual property and commercialization: This funding was used to fund a position that supports knowledge mobilization and intellectual property protection.

Click here to view the U of L's Institutional Performance Objectives relative to the RSF.

Eligible Expenditure Category

Institutional performance objectives

Indicator

Output

Outcomes reported at year end

Research facilities

Increase research capacity by maintaining existing research facilities

Equipment and facilities that support research.

RSF will fund technical support required for maintaining the research facilities and for purchases of material associated with  operating research equipment such as liquid nitrogen

Number of researchers who benefit from the purchase of liquid nitrogen used to support research equipment.

  • 2019: 16 (2018: 16)  Academics
  • 2019: 21 (2018: 24) students

Research resources

Maintain library holdings needed by researchers

Dollars spent on electronic databases through the university budget

Database for use by researchers to map their research activities.

Access to Canadian Research Knowledge Network.

Number of active researcher profiles for mapping research and creative excellence.

  • 284 profiles (2018: 208)

Management and administration of an institution’s research enterprise

Continued support by Office of Research Services in the review and submission of grant applications

Number and quality of Tri-Council grant applications processed

RSF will fund a portion of the salaries of staff in Research Services, Financial Services, Human Resources and Information Technology that directly support researchers.

Number of workshops and forums to mentor, train and assist faculty in preparing research proposals

  • 2019: 12 events + online tutorials (2018: 63 events)

Number of research centres and institutes

  • 2019: 16 (2018: 15)

Number of research funds administered by Financial Services

  • 334 funds (2018: 400)

Regulatory requirements and accreditation

Continued vigilance and oversight of regulatory requirements

Processing of animal or human ethics protocols.

Level of animal care training.

RSF will fund staff infrastructure required for animal care, ethics and safety.

Number of research ethics protocols

  • 2019: 143 (2018: 97) animal and 274 (2018: 255) human research approved protocols

Maintained compliance with regulatory standards.

Intellectual property (IP) and knowledge mobilization

Continue to provide service and support to researchers and external partners in knowledge mobilization.

Number of staff supporting intellectual property

Broader research partnerships that facilitate greater engagement with community associations and industrial partners

Number of new research partnerships

  • 2019: 10 (2018: 17)

Click on the links below to learn more about previous RSF grant allocations and outcomes