Research Support Fund: Accountability and Public Acknowledgement

Research Office


While individual research awards can be used to cover the direct costs of research, such as certain salaries, equipment, and supplies connected with a project, research institutions must bear the increasingly high costs of supporting their overall research activity with appropriate facilities, academic research resources, researcher salaries, management and administrative personnel, oversight of regulatory compliance and accreditation, and intellectual property management. 

The University of Winnipeg has been very grateful for the Research Support Fund grant. In the past year, the grant money was used in several areas that supported the ongoing research work at our facilities. Some examples include:

Maintaining Qualtrics Software Institutional License: Qualtrics is web-based, research survey software that offers many advanced, but user-friendly, features. Qualtrics enables users to do surveys, get feedback, and conduct polls using a variety of distribution means. Qualtrics is cloud-based software and has proven to be a versatile resource for our researchers. The company has recently migrated the servers available to University of Winnipeg researchers to Canadian sites to enhance data security.

Vivarium:  The University of Winnipeg Vivarium occupies a 7500 square foot space for keeping and raising traditional model organisms (e.g., rodents, fish) and wildlife (e.g., bats, wild rodents) for research.   The complex houses an Aquatic skid, three fish housing systems, and one living stream. Rodent equipment includes a Cage Washer with access to a clean and dirty side, ventilated lab bench, change station, operating room, and both mouse and rat housing systems. The vivarium includes wildlife facility designed to house bats with two large flight rooms and procedure space with biosafety cabinet for studies of behaviour, physiology and infectious disease. The animals are monitored every day by the technicians (weekends and holidays as well). The research ranges from nutritional studies to aquatic ecology and physiology, evolutionary biology and endangered species conservation.

Library: The Library has focused on sustaining resources responsibly through assessment and increased dialogue with faculty about their needs in the short and long term. As the currency exchange remains high and the cost of resources continue to rise, the Library has undertaken a subscription review project. In the first year of this project, a number of resources were assessed and cancellations were made. As well, a couple of resources were upgraded, and a few new resources were added to our collections. The Library continued to seek opportunities to support Open Access initiatives like Erudit and Scoap3, and to contribute to other non-profit organizations such as Open Book Publishers. These investments benefit the UW community by promoting trustworthy and respected open access resources to our faculty and students, and also in defining an institutional role in the shifts in scholarly communication occurring in the global academic landscape.

Since investing in an upgrade to our institutional repository – WinnSpace – the Library has begun to focus on expanding the collection of Open Access research that we make available on the platform. We have continued to advocate for the importance of making research publicly available and support faculty members who wish to comply with the recent Tri-Agency Open Access Policy via deposit in WinnSpace. We have also begun to increase the value of the repository for our community by strengthening the platform’s analytic capabilities. This work will allow us to better assess the reach and impact of the research undertaken by our community.

We also continue our commitment to participation in consortial initiatives around digital preservation, including the Digital Preservation Network of the Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries (COPPUL). This has allowed for partnerships with the University of Manitoba and the Centre for Truth and Reconciliation on a website preservation initiative and creates opportunities for increased.

Looking ahead to 2017-18 the above initiatives will continue and be strengthened. The Library will also continue working more closely with the Research Office and Technology Solutions Centre to build capacity for the storage, management, archiving and dissemination of research data.

Financial Services Upgrades:  During the past fiscal year, the University transitioned to a new financial system, Microsoft Dynamics NAV and new reporting software, Prophix.  Award functionality now includes multi-year reporting with enhanced non-financial information attached.  A new online reporting tool was developed providing researchers with instant access to their award balances and reporting tools designed to improve analytical abilities. Training materials and videos were developed to assist researchers through the transition.  The upgrades have resulted in faster, more accurate, and more efficient services for researchers and research administration staff.

Research Support: The position of Senior Advisor, Research and Sustainability was created and filled on a .75% basis to increase the University’s capacity to fulfill its 5-year Integrated Academic & Research Plan (IARP), which is currently being developed in consultation with members of the University community. As the University’s research funding in the past decade has nearly tripled, the University of Winnipeg’s goal is to strengthen our capacity to provide relevant research support to faculty members.

About the Research Support Fund Program (RSF)

In 2003 the Federal Government introduced the Indirect Costs of Research Program (ICP) to provide grants to Canadian universities and colleges to offset the financial challenges of administering Tri-Agency funded research. The Research Support Fund replaced the Indirect Costs Program as of May 25, 2015. The program is part of the federal government’s strategy to make Canada one of the world’s top countries in research and development. It currently has a budget of $369,403,000 million and serves 126 postsecondary institutions across the country. 

The Research Support Fund assists Canadian postsecondary institutions and their affiliated research hospitals and institutes with the expenses associated with managing the research funded by the three federal research granting agencies:

Every year, the federal government invests in research excellence in the areas of health sciences, engineering, natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities through its three granting agencies. The Research Support Fund reinforces this research investment by helping institutions ensure that their federally funded research projects are conducted in world-class facilities with the best equipment and administrative support available.

Eligible institutions receive an annual grant through the fund to help pay for a portion of the central and departmental administrative costs related to federally funded research.

What costs does the program support?

Examples of costs supported by the program are:

  • salaries for staff or students who provide administrative support for researchers and their projects;
  • training costs for workplace health and safety;
  • costs related to the maintenance of libraries and laboratories; and
  • Administrative costs associated with getting a patent for an invention.

RSF Grants at the University of Winnipeg 

RSF grants are allocated annually, based on a rolling average of the Tri-Agency funding awarded to the institution over the previous three years. In 2016-2017 The University of Winnipeg incurred eligible costs of nearly $2,000,000 in support of Tri-Agency funded research activities. The total RSF grant awarded for that year was $977,717, off-setting nearly half of these eligible costs. For 2017-2018, the University of Winnipeg RSF grant will be $1,021,466


The program allows institutions flexibility to allocate their annual RSF grant, at their discretion, to offset eligible costs incurred under five categories:

  • Research facilities: renovation & maintenance of research facilities, upgrades and maintenance of research equipment and other devices, operating costs, and technical support for labs, offices and other facilities.
  • Research resources: acquisition of library holdings, improved information resources, library operating costs and administration, and insurance on research equipment and vehicles.
  • Management and administration of the research enterprise: support for the completion of grant applications/research proposals, acquisition, maintenance and/or upgrade of information systems to track grant applications, certificates and awards, training of faculty and research personnel, human resources and payroll, financial and audit costs, research planning and promotion, and public relations.
  • Regulatory requirements and accreditations: creation and support of regulatory bodies, relevant training of faculty and other research personnel, international accreditation costs, upgrades and maintenance of research facilities to meet regulatory requirements, technical support for animal care and handling of hazardous substances, and the purchase of animals exclusively for training purposes (not research).
  • Intellectual property: creation, expansion or sustenance of a technology transfer office or similar function, administration of invention patent applications, support for technology licensing, administration of agreements and partnerships with industry, development of incubators, support for the creation of spin-off companies, certain public outreach activities, and marketing of teaching materials, scientific photo libraries, data sets, and other tools for knowledge transfer.
Allocation of RSF funding by expenditure category graphic



Outcomes Reports:

2016 - 2017 [PDF]

2015-2016 [PDF]

2014-2015 [PDF]

2013-2014 [PDF]

2012-2013 [PDF]

2011-2012 [PDF]

Accountability and Public Acknowledgement:



For more information about the program please visit the Research Support Fund’s website:

Objectives for 2017-18 RSF Grant