Research Support Fund

In 2003, the Government of Canada established the Indirect Costs Program (ICP) as a permanent program.  This program provides Canadian universities and colleges with an annual grant to help pay for a portion of their hidden or “indirect” costs of research – administrative expenditures that support research but are not chargeable to specific research projects.  In 2015 the program was renamed the Research Support Fund (RSF).  Please visit the Research Support Fund website for additional information on the program.

Indirect costs include a broad range of activities such as the maintenance of research facilities, the purchase of library holdings, support for technology transfer of research, assistance in preparing grant proposals, and technical support to meet regulatory requirements.

Indirect Costs and the University of Ottawa

The amount of the University of Ottawa’s grant is based on the amount of funding received by researchers from the three federal granting agencies - CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC - in the three most recent years for which data is available. In 2015/16 the University received $12,648,659 from the RSF. The grant is allocated to cover a proportion of all indirect costs within the university.  A portion is retained centrally, and it is further distributed to faculties and affiliated hospitals/research institutions (see below). The University uses these funds in five areas (see graphic and table), as defined by the program.

These investments helped to:

  • Attract and retain researchers and provide them with the resources and infrastructure they need to succeed
  • Support the development of the future generation of researchers
  • Attract additional funding to support the University’s research environment


University of Ottawa Affiliated Hospitals/Research Institutions

  • Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
  • Ottawa Heart Institute Research Corporation
  • Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute
  • Institute of Mental Health Research
  • Bruyère Research Institute
  • Institut du Savoir Montfort

Indirect Costs 2015-2016

Graphique des coûts indirects pour 2015-2016, voir tableau pour les données.


Breakdown of spending in 2015-2016
Areas of fundingSpendingPourcentage
Research facilities$3,987,44531%
Research resources$2,104,18217%
Management and administration of an institution's research enterprise$4,826,14138%
Regulatory requirements and accreditation$1,238,03910%
Intellectual property$492,8524%
Institutional Performance Objectives
Institutional Performance Objective
Expenditure CategoriesPerformance ObjectivesIndicatorsOutputsOutcomes reported at year end
Research FacilitiesMaintain ability to support research facilitiesTotal research space in Net Assignable Square Meters (NASM)1Portion of RSF invested in research facilitiesNASM devoted to research in current FY is equal to or more than NASM in baseline FY (2014/15)
Research ResourcesMaintain ability to provide research resourcesNumber of journal subscriptions (traditional and electronic formats) held by the institutionPortion of RSF invested in research resourcesNumber of journal subscriptions in current FY is equal to (or not less than 10% less than) the number of journal subscriptions in baseline FY
Management and Administration of Research EnterpriseMaintain institutions’ ability to support existing research activityNumber of active research files in FY 2015/16Portion of RSF invested in management and administrationNumber of active research files in current FY 2015/16 is equal to or more than the number of active files in baseline FY
Regulatory Requirements and AccreditationHuman Ethics
Maintain institutions’ ability to support human ethics compliance activities
Number of active Ethics certificatesPortion of RSF invested in regulatory requirements and accreditationNumber of active human ethics certificates in current FY is equal to or more than the number of active human ethics certificates in baseline FY
Animal Care
Assist researchers and review animal use protocols within 5 weeks, and provide improved training
Annual protocol review statistics and improved training materialsHiring of a Post-approval Support & Training Coordinator (mid-2015)Confirmation that all protocols have been reviewed within 5 weeks and that completed, targeted training materials are available
Intellectual PropertyPromote innovation, industry interaction and entrepreneurship – Sustenance of technology transfer officeNumber of inventions disclosuresPortion of RSF invested in intellectual property activitiesNumber of inventions disclosed in current FY same as baseline FY

1 The amount of area (in NASM*) used for research purposes. *1 square meter = 10.76 square feet


Research space includes all spaces functionally usable for research such as lab space (e.g. animal facility, wet lab, clean room, dry lab, engineering facility, greenhouse, server rooms), lab-office space, office-type space used for research, office and work space of research support staff. It excludes custodial, circulation and mechanical area.

Institutional Performance Indicators Report

In 2015-2016, funds from the Research Support Fund supplemented by the institutions’ internal operational budgets supported and maintained the research enterprise as demonstrated in the table below.

Summary of Institutional Performance Indicators Report
Institutional Performance Indicators20142015
Research Facilities
Total research space in Net Assignable Square Meters (NASM)1
Research Resources
Number of journal subscriptions (electronic formats) held by the institution
Management and Administration of Research Enterprise
Number of active research files
Regulatory Requirements and Accreditation
Number of active human ethics certificates
Animal Care protocols and training materials 2
Intellectual Property
Number of invention disclosures

1 The amount of area (in NASM*) used for research purposes in square meters. *1 square meter = 10.76 square feet

2 The Animal Care Committee (ACC) oversees 400 protocols with the help of the Director of Animal Ethics, and now ensures that complete and standard protocols are evaluated or renewed within a 5 week period. In 2015, the University of Ottawa Animal Care Services increased the number of staff members (one Protocol Coordinator and one Training and Communications Coordinator) to ensure efficient optimal data entry in the protocol management system and to develop and implement a new animal care training program.

Back to top