Research Support Fund
The objective of the Research Support Fund is to assist Canadian post-secondary institutions with the expenses associated with managing the research funded by the three federal research granting agencies:
- the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR);
- the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC); and
- the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).
The Research Support Fund helps universities, colleges, and their affiliated research hospitals and institutes to maintain a world-class research environment, and can be used to:
- Maintain modern labs and equipment;
- Provide access to up-to-date knowledge resources;
- Provide research management and administrative support;
- Meet regulatory and ethical standards; or
- Transfer knowledge from academia to the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.
At Trent University, Research Support Funding (formerly Indirect Costs) is invested in facilities, resources, management and administration, regulatory requirements and accreditation, and intellectual property.
The Research Support Fund replaced the Indirect Costs Program as of April 1, 2015. The transition of the Indirect Costs Program to the Research Support Fund is in response to the Economic Action Plan 2013, in which the government committed to examining the Indirect Costs Program, in consultation with the postsecondary sector, to ensure that the program was meeting its objective of reinforcing excellence in postsecondary research. The review, which drew on academic literature, previous program evaluations, and financial and administrative data, and solicited the views of a range of stakeholders from the higher education sector, found the Indirect Costs Program to be generally achieving its objective of reinforcing excellence in postsecondary research, but underscored awareness challenges associated with the program. The transition to the Research Support Fund is being made to better reflect the program's intended outcomes, improve institutional reporting measures, and enhance the visibility of this important federal investment in support of Canadian research.
The total cost of research is made up of the direct costs of research plus the indirect costs of research. Indirect costs are sometimes referred to as “overhead” or “facilities and administration cost”. All research incurs indirect costs. The indirect costs of research are institutional costs that benefit and support research and the research enterprise.
Indirect costs are those that are difficult or unable to attribute directly to a particular project, but are real and necessary for the conduct of research. They can include:
- infrastructure and space maintenance
- research support services including central research and financial services and personnel
- environmental health and safety supports and resources
- regulatory certification requirements
- resources such as library and computer information services