Research Support Fund

Indirect Costs of Research

Direct costs of research are the costs directly associated with the completion of a specific research project. These costs might include the costs of materials and supplies, the cost to hire research personnel, and the costs to pay for research and dissemination related travel.

Indirect costs of research are the costs incurred by a university in supporting, managing, and housing research activity. These costs are:

  • The costs of maintaining the buildings, labs, and facilities in which the research takes place (such as maintenance, heating and cooling costs, power, cleaning)
  • Housing, maintenance, and management of research equipment
  • Support and Services such as library, information technology, finance, and human resources
  • Legal costs associated with developing and negotiating research agreements and partnerships
  • Research administration and support provided by the Research + Industry Office, including legal support for contracts and agreements, research finance, research ethics support, grant development support, etc.

Indirect costs of research are incurred whether or not funding applications are successful. To offset these costs, all funded projects that are administered through the University's Research + Industry Office include a cost recovery contribution of 20% of the total project budget.

The only instances where this rate does not apply are:

  • Funds from Tri-Council agencies for which the University already receives indirect cost support through the federal Research Support Fund.
  • Funds from agencies that specify an alternate rate that can be verified.

What is the Research Support Fund?

The Research Support Fund is a Federal program instituted in 2003 (previously called the Indirect Cost Program) that assists Canadian post-secondary institutions and their affiliated research hospitals and institutes with the expenses associated with managing the research funded by the three federal research granting agencies:

Research Support Fund grants can be used to:

  • maintain modern labs and equipment;
  • provide access to up-to-date knowledge resources;
  • provide research management and administrative support;
  • meet regulatory and ethical standards; and
  • transfer knowledge from academia to the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

What does the Research Support Fund support at Emily Carr University?

Research Support Funds are allocated every year based on the amount of research funding received through the Tri-Council. In 2023-24, Emily Carr received $189,605 which will be used to offset the cost of research administration that include tasks such as:

  • research expense processing and compliance;
  • financial reporting both internally and externally;
  • general pre- and post- award administrative support for grantees.
Allocation of Research Support fund 2024-25
Allocation of Research Support fund 2024-25

Please see this document for a summary of the last five year RSF allocation to Emily Carr University of Art + Design: 2023 24 Allocation last five years.

The Research Support Funds have been instrumental in growing research at Emily Carr. Our ability to support Faculty in applying and managing their grant funds has increased the number of Faculty involved in research. More information on research at Emily Carr can be found at