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Research Support Fund (RSF)

The costs of doing research encompass direct and indirect costs. Direct costs are those which can be directly attributable to a research project, such as salaries, supplies, and equipment. These direct costs are normally easily identified and included within a project's budget. Indirect costs are those related to a research project, but are often more difficult to identify and quantify. The Federal Government recognized these costs and created a program known as the Research Support Fund (formerly the Indirect Costs Program). The Research Support Fund (RSF) is intended to assist universities in covering some of the indirect costs associated with managing the research funded by the three federal granting agencies:

The Research Support Fund is a tri-agency initiative of SSHRC, NSERC and CIHR administered by the Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat, which is housed within SSHRC.

In January 2012, the Federal Government mandated that all institutions receiving this assistance disclose information publicly about the indirect costs of research and their use of the Research Support Fund. This webpage is intended to meet that requirement.

International Centre for Sturgeon Studies
Definition of the Indirect Costs of Research

Description of the Use of the Research Support Fund at VIU

Impacts of the Research Support Fund at VIU

Definition of the Indirect Costs of Research

Indirect costs, as defined by the Federal Government RSF program can include the costs of: maintaining modern labs and equipment; providing access to up-to-date knowledge resources; providing research management and administrative support; meeting regulatory and ethical standards; and/or transferring knowledge from academia to the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

Description of the Use of the Research Support Fund at VIU

The Research Support Fund allows for five areas of expenditure:

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

At VIU, our priority is to establish a base level of support for the research function and to ensure compliance with Tri-Agency guidelines, so we have directed funds mainly to the management and administration of the institution's research administration and regulatory requirements and accreditation categories. Once we have reached baseline support in those areas, funding will be directed to other areas that will build capacity for VIU.


Research Support Fund Distribution of Funds

Impacts of the Research Support Fund at VIU

The Research Support Fund is critical to VIU as we build systems to support research. Without this  grant, VIU would need to find alternative sources of funding to support administrative and regulatory processes that are required in order for us to receive Tri-Agency funding. Some of the general benefits of the RSF at VIU include:

  • Support of the Animal Care Committee - veterinarian and vet services, professional development for the Animal Care Committee, and development of animal care Standard Operating Procedures;
  • Support of the Research Ethics Board - professional development for the committee and education of students in research ethics;
  • Grant facilitation services for researchers;
  • The creation, development, and maintenance of systems to enable the tracking of research grants;
  • Assistance, advice and negotiation on research contracts/agreements;
  • Intellectual Property (IP) protection.

Specific impacts:

  • The funding allows for two part-time Grant Facilitators to support faculty in the identification and development of research grant applications. Having two positions results in an expanded breadth of expertise and allows VIU to expand its research capacity by supporting its researchers. VIU's support of grant facilitation and administration has enabled some VIU researchers to develop research programs that result in partnership agreements, collaborative research projects, etc. Through these research projects, undergraduate and graduate students, as well as postdocotoral fellows, have been hosted at VIU.
  • The RSF has provided a foundation for research activities to occur in the coastal BC region and as a result, our institution's research profile has grown immeasurably and we are now able to address many more questions and issues affecting our region.
  • The grant provided by the RSF provides funding for a half-time Ethics Officer to oversee the institution's Research Ethics Board and Animal Care Committee. This position has been instrumental in formalizing the research ethics and animal care tracking databases and future plans include development of an interface between these databases and the research grants tracking database.
  • The RSF has provided funding for a position with responsibility for VIU's intellectual property (IP) and research contracts. This support allows for faculty to enter into research contracts and patent their inventions.
  • The Scholarship, Research, and Creative Activity Office receives approximately half of its funding from the RSF program and provides services to faculty including:
    • Support with the identification, preparation, and submission of external research grant applications (guidelines, eligibility, CV development, courier costs, etc.) and ensuring momentum of the process through to grant submission;
    • Funds for the delivery of professional development activities for faculty Scholarship, Research, and Creative Activity (i.e. workshops, seminars);
    • Maintenance of the VIU research website containing online tips and resources to assist in the grant application and administration processes;
    • Review of grant applications prior to submission;
    • Personnel to administer faculty and institutional grants to ensure compliance (i.e. research ethics, financial management, reporting, etc.) external agency guidelines (i.e. Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions);
    • Personnel to assist in the development and negotiation of research contracts and to support researchers in the patenting process;
    • Promotion of awareness for VIU’s Scholarship, Research, and Creative Activity by enabling the development of annual research report publications and the annual student research poster fair, CREATE;
    • Support for institutional research-related committees and initiatives.

A full list of services provided by the Scholarship, Research and Creative Activity Office at VIU can be found on the Services and Resources webpage.

Updated: May 2, 2017