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  2018/19 is $2,177,835.  The expected allocation across eligible expenditure areas is as follows:

Research Facilities $402,865
Research Resources $147,777
Management & Administration $1,022,488
Regulatory Requirements & Accreditation $492,883
Intellectual Property & Commercialization $111,822
Total $2,177,835


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  2017/2018 was $2,236,178.  The expected allocation across eligible expenditure areas is 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.
  • 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 positon that supports these knowledge mobilization and intellectual property protection.

Eligible Expenditure Category


Institutional performance objectives


Target Output

Reported Outcomes

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:

16 Academics +

24 students

Research resources



Maintain library holdings needed by researchers

Dollars spent on electronic databases through the university budget

Database for use by researchers

Access to Canadian Research Knowledge Network maintained.

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.

Increase in the number of workshops and forums to mentor, train and assist faculty in preparing research proposals: 63 events in 2017-18


Number of research centres and institutes: 15


Number of research funds administered by Financial Services: 400 which is an increase from the previous year.



Regulatory requirements and accreditation



Continued vigilance and oversight of regulatory requirements

Time to achieve approval for animal or ethics protocols.


Level of animal care training.

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

Objective met:

Number of research ethics protocols:

97 animal research and 255 human research approved protocols


Maintain 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


Objective met:

Increase in the number of new research partnerships: 17