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CFI - Infrastructure Operating Fund

The UofL has experienced pivotal investments from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) which provide much needed infrastructure for research and creative activities. The UofL receives Infrastructure Operating Funds (IOF) from the CFI that contribute to the incremental operating and maintenance (O&M) costs associated with eligible projects funded by the CFI to maximize the efficient utilization of research infrastructure and to ensure the infrastructure is operational and ready for use. To achieve the full potential of CFI-funded research infrastructure, the UofL is committed to and responsible for ensuring that appropriate resources are provided for the O&M costs of CFI-funded infrastructure over its useful life. 

The full plan (pdf attached below) describes the overall strategy and operative guidelines for O&M costs support of CFI-funded infrastructure.  The plan applies to those CFI Applications that are submitted after January 1, 2020.

An institution’s IOF allocation is based on the amount of funding CFI contributes to an eligible project.  An eligible project usually generates an IOF allocation of 30 percent of the maximum CFI funding amount approved at award finalization.  For example, if CFI contributes $100,000 to a project, the CFI will provide an additional $30,000 to the lead institution for O&M costs.  Project Leaders are able to request up to 80% of the IOF allocation generated by their project.  IOF funds are usually held over a five year period by the faculty member named as the Principal Investigator in the CFI Award Agreement for each project.  This faculty member will be contacted annually regarding requesting an allocation of their IOF funds.  The maximum a project can recieve in IOF funds is 80% of the CFI IOF contribution towards to total project cost.  The faculty member must justify the requested allocation and provide a list of the expenditures to occur over the upcoming year.  These requests must normally be recieved by the Office of Research & Innovation Services prior to May 15th each year.  Requests are then forwarded to the CFI for final approval. A Project Leader may request a project-specific IOF allocation once per year after the first CFI-funded infrastructure item has been installed and up to five (5 years) after Award Finalization. The maximum term of a project-specific IOF allocation is five (5) years. 

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) provides funds to cover a portion of the operating and maintenance (O&M) costs required for the effective and optimal use of CFI-funded infrastructure.  Such costs include technical personnel, maintenance and repairs, and services that are directly associated with funded infrastructure and spaces.

Infrastructure Operating Fund

The costs of operating and maintaining CFI-funded infrastructure are eligible under the Infrastructure Operating Fund (IOF).  An eligible cost for the IOF must meet the following condiditons:

  • The infrastructure item to which it relates must have been funded by the CFI (i.e. it appears on the proposal or updated budget and/or the final financial report).
  • The CFI-funded infrastructure project to which it relates must have been approved after July 1, 2001. However, projects funded under the Canada Research Chairs Infrastructure Fund, Career Awards and the international funds are not eligible for funding from the IOF. 
  • The CFI-funded infrastructure project to which it relates must have passed the stage of award finalization. An award agreement would therefore be in place for the project. 
  • The operating and maintenance activities are needed to ensure the infrastructure can be used to carry out the proposed research. 
  • The infrastructure must still be used for research purposes. There is no maximum number of years for which the IOF funding can be claimed, as long as the infrastructure is still being used for research purposes during the period claimed.

Only the portion of operating and maintenance costs associated with research is eligible.

Eligible costs

  • Salaries (including benefits) of highly qualified personnel (technicians or professionals) directly involved in the operation and maintenance of the CFI-funded infrastructure. The full salary of the highly qualified personnel may be eligible if the infrastructure cannot be operated without their assistance.
  • Training for the main operator(s) of the research infrastructure, not included in the infrastructure award. It is expected that the main operator(s) will train other users. Alternatively, a group training session may be provided by the vendor at the institution. 
  • Extended warranties and/or service contracts not included in the infrastructure award.
  • Extensions to warranty coverage and software licences.
  • Maintenance and repairs.
  • Replacement parts.
  • Replacement of a CFI-funded infrastructure item needing repair, only if the replacement is more cost-effective than the repair (the replacement item must have similar functionality).
  • Services (e.g. electricity, security, cleaning) that directly support the CFI-funded infrastructure or the space essential to house and use CFI-funded infrastructure.
  • Supplies and consumables needed to operate the research infrastructure (not to exceed 10 percent of the cumulative total IOF funding claimed by the institution).

Non-eligible costs

  • Purchase or lease of real property.
  • Cost of equipment, installation and construction or renovation deemed eligible under an infrastructure award.
  • Upgrades related to the infrastructure.
  • Extended warranties and/or service contracts included in the infrastructure award.
  • Telephone, internet and cable or satellite television services that are not necessary to ensure the infrastructure can be used for research.
  • Insurance.
  • Costs not directly related to the CFI-funded infrastructure (e.g. maintenance contract for equipment not acquired through a CFI-funded infrastructure project that is eligible to receive the IOF funding).
  • Trainee stipends (undergraduates, graduates and postdoctoral fellows) and researcher salaries.
  • Administrative, secretarial or clerical personnel not directly related to the operation and maintenance of the infrastructure (e.g. research services office, library, finance services).
  • Any cost to conduct research activities.
  • Costs attributed to the dissemination of information such as promotion, publications or conferences.
  • Expenditures reimbursed by another source.


Agency Name: 
Canada Foundation for Innovation
Contact Name: 
Penny D'Agnone
Grant Location: 
External Deadline: 
Friday, May 15, 2020
Grant Type: 
Grant Area: 
Natural Science
Social Science
Fine Arts
Grant Eligibility: