Federal Research Support Fund

The federal Research Support Fund assists Canadian postsecondary institutions with the costs associated with managing their research enterprise, helping them to maintain a world-class research environment.

The objective of the Research Support Fund (RSF) is to assist Canadian postsecondary institutions with the expenses associated with managing the research funded by the three federal research granting agencies (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC). Research funding provided through the granting agencies is generally limited to direct project costs (e.g., research equipment, research assistant salaries, etc.). Institutions whose researchers receive funding for research also incur costs to manage their research enterprise. These are often called indirect costs of research.

RSF funds may be used to cover new expenditures, to maintain the current level of services, or to support an institution's research environment and improve its management. The five expenditure areas are:

  1. Research facilities
  2. Research resources
  3. Management and administration of an institution's research enterprise
  4. Regulatory requirements and accreditation; and 
  5. Intellectual property and knowledge mobilization

Overall, grants for indirect costs must add to, and not displace, any research support funds that postsecondary institutions have received from the provincial government, private sector or other federal sources.

Whether the grant pays for the maintenance of libraries, laboratories or research networking spaces, or for the technical support required for an institution's website or library computer system, the overall goal of the fund is to help ensure Canada's research institutions remain among the best in the world. By subsidizing the financial burden of indirect costs, the fund ultimately helps researchers and universities focus on delivering innovative research and scholarly excellence.

The Incremental Project Grants (IPG) funding opportunity is a new stream of the Research Support Fund (RSF), in addition to the RSF grant, that provides further support for the indirect costs of research.

The IPG will provide eligible institutions with additional support for projects that focus on a set of priorities that cut across the RSF’s five existing categories of eligible expenses. The initial four IPG priority areas are:

  • innovation and commercialization activities;
  • facilities renewal, including deferred maintenance;
  • information resources, including digital resources, open access and databases; and
  • equity, diversity and faculty renewal (in the context of equity, diversity and inclusion).
Current Research Support Fund Allocation and Anticipated Spending
Previous Research Fund Grant Allocations

Affiliated Research Institutions
Institutional Performance Objectives FY 2023
Report on FY 2022 Objectives and Outcomes
Report on FY 2021 Objectives and Outcomes
Report on FY 2020 Objectives and Outcomes
Report on FY 2019 Objectives and Outcomes
Report on FY 2018 Objectives and Outcomes
Report on FY2017 Objectives and Outcomes
Report on FY2016 Objectives and Outcomes
Sample Highlights of Previous RSF Expenditure Outcomes