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  2017/18 is $2,236,178.  The expected allocation across eligible expenditure areas is as follows:

Research Facilities $373,434
Research Resources $147,777
Management & Administration $1,124,347
Regulatory Requirements & Accreditation $478,798
Intellectual Property & Commercialization $111,822
Total $2,236,178


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  2016/17 was $2,1,53,028.  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 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 positon that supports these 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



Outcomes reported at year end

Research facilities




Increase research capacity by renovating and/or maintaining new and existing research facilities

Equipment and facilities that support research.

RSF will fund technical support required for maintaining the research facilities and operating costs for the research equipment.

The space devoted to research increased:

2015/16 – 20.49%

2016/17 – 20.70%

Research resources



Maintain library holdings needed by researchers

Dollars spent on electronic databases through the university budget

Database for use by researchers

Research Support Fund covers approximately 20% of the cost associated with the site license to the Canadian Research Knowledge Network.

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.

In 2016-2017 grant facilitators assisted with 204 applications with 102 successful applications which is a success rate of 50%.


Office of Research Services (ORIS) hosted five grant facilitation training sessions.


There was 96 new external grants/awards established in 2016-17.

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 infrastructure required for animal care, ethics and safety.

There 130 animal ethics approvals and 239 human subject ethics approvals.


Training included both ethics training course and hands-on workshops and training.


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

RSF will fund a portion of the compensation for IP staff.

There were no new patent applications however there was one copyright registration and staff provided 26 workshops/training session.




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