Research Support Fund (RSF) Program
The Research Support Fund (RSF) (formerly known as the Indirect Costs Program) provides support to Canadian post-secondary institutions to cover a portion of the indirect expenses associated with managing the research funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).
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. The Research Support Fund reinforces this research investment by helping institutions ensure that their federally funded research projects are conducted in world-class facilities with the best equipment and administrative support available.
Eligible institutions receive an annual grant through the fund to help pay for a portion of the central and departmental administrative costs related to federally funded research.
The 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 currently has a budget of $342 million and serves 126 postsecondary institutions across the country. Click here for more information about the Research Support Fund.
What are indirect costs?
The indirect costs of research are defined as any expenditures that cannot be traced to a specific research project but are costs that are 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, 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.
Allocations, Objectives and Outcomes
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:
- Research facilities
- Research resources
- Management and administration of an institution's research enterprise
- Regulatory requirements and accreditation
- Intellectual property and knowledge mobilization
Additional information on the University of Lethbridge's use of RSF are available below.