Research Support

Research Support Fund

The Government of Canada's Research Support Fund (RSF), helps Canadian post-secondary institutions and affiliated research hospitals/institutes with hidden costs associated with federally funded research. RSF funding enables the government to maintain and enhances its significant research investments and help Canadian post-secondary institutions and research hospitals/institutes pursue and achieve research excellence and maintain world-class research environments.

RSF funds are administered by the Tri-Councils (Canadian Institutes of Health Research - CHIR, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council - NSERC, and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council - SSHRC). Hidden costs of research are essential research support activities/expenses not directly traceable to specific research program/project such as:

  • Maintaining/repairing/upgrading research infrastructure (e.g., modern labs, equipment and libraries).
  • IT and operating costs (telephone, internet, supplies, custodial, heat, water, electricity).
  • Research and central and research administration (grants and contracts administration, regulatory and and legislated reporting requirements, communications, payroll and accounting, research audit, environmental and occupational health, legal and insurance costs).
  • Intellectual property and technology transfer costs associated with transferring discoveries and innovations from academia to the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

How the Federal RSF is calculated
UAlberta must apply annually for the Federal RSF. The amount awarded is based on UAlberta’s averaged Tri-Agency funding received by UAlberta (and its affiliated research hospitals and institutes) in the previous three years. Organizations are considered an affiliate if federally funded research conducted there contributes to the applicant institution's research excellence and/or the applicant institution incurs indirect costs for federally funded research conducted at the affiliate institution. UAlberta affiliated institution is Alberta Health Services. 

UAlberta's federal indirect costs of research funding
UAlberta received $18,376,115 in RSF funds for 2017/18. Since 2006, the federal government has invested almost $175 million to help support indirect cost of research at UAlberta.

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