The Government of Canada introduced the Indirect Costs Program in 2003 to help universities like Acadia offset the increasing ancillary costs of research. Replaced in 2015 by the Research Support Fund (RSF), this permanent program provides universities and colleges (and affiliates) with an annual grant to help with the expenses associated with managing the research funded by Tri-Council agencies (CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC).
The annual RSF grant is used to cover new expenditures, as well as to maintain the current level of services to the institutional research environment, and to generate improvements, innovations, and efficiencies in its management. Institutions have flexibility in deciding how to use their RSF grants, provided that the funds are used for the payment of current expenditures attributed to federally-sponsored research that fall within the mandated categories. Ultimately, the RSF eases Acadia’s financial burden and ensures that our faculty can focus on research and collaboration.
The indirect costs of research (often called overhead) are defined as the hidden, but very real costs that occur when universities and colleges undertake ground-breaking research. They include such expenses as utilities; operating and maintenance; IT, technical, laboratory and library support; animal care and ethics support; and other expenditures associated with administrative support of Tri-Council research (HR, financial services, contract and grant support services).
As of these indirect costs pose a significant financial challenge to Canadian post-secondary institutions, the Research Support Fund (RSF) ensures that universities have the resources to sustain the daily research activities of their students and faculty. More specifically, the funding has allowed Acadia to continue to build on its research programs by creating additional research space, providing technical support and providing equipment upgrades and maintenance to adequately operate and maintain research facilities.
In 2021-2022, Acadia University is receiving $602,000 from the Research Support Fund. Funding will be allocated as follows: