Grant calculations


Method used to calculate grants
Yearly grant calculation exercise
Grant value
Funding formula
Credit base
Programs included and excluded from credit base
Method to identify and divide credits
Requests for institutional funding breakdown
Questions



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Method used to calculate grants

Grants are awarded annually and cover a portion of the indirect costs of research incurred by universities, colleges and their affiliated health research institutes and research hospitals during that year. Institutions must re-apply every year to continue receiving funds. See the Apply to the program page for deadlines and requirements.

Research Support Fund (RSF) grants, including Incremental Project grants (IPGs), are based on the funding that the institution’s researchers receive from the three federal research granting agencies—the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) (the agencies)—in the three most recent years for which data are available.

For the 2021-22 fiscal year, for example, calculations are based on the research funding received by institutions from the agencies and funds spent by the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) in fiscal years 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20.


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Yearly grant calculation exercise

Each year, the agencies determine how much research funding each institution received that can count as RSF credits (see full list of excluded programs below). The program’s administration uses this information in a grant calculation exercise to determine the value of the RSF grant for which each eligible institution may apply. It then informs institutions of this potential grant amount and invites them to apply by the RSF deadline. Institutions must meet the stated deadlines, re-apply every year, and meet the reporting requirements in order to continue receiving funds.


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Grant value

The value of each institution’s RSF grant is based on the amount of funding its researchers received from the federal granting agencies. The funding formula uses the average of the three most recent years for which data are available, and the RSF budget for that year to arrive at a final calculation.


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Funding formula

The value of each grant is calculated as a percentage of the institution’s total funding from the agencies (credits), based on the following sliding-scale formula:

Funding from RSFFootnote * Tier Average revenues from CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC research grants

80%

On the first $100,000

$100,000

50%

On the next $900,000

$100,001 to $1,000,000

40%

On the next $6 million

$1,000,001 to $7,000,000

Percentage calculated annually, based on the total amount available.Footnote *

On the balance

$7,000,000 and up

Footnote *

If Parliament changes the amount of funds available for the RSF, the fund’s steering committee reserves the right to change the value of its grants.

Return to first footnote * referrer

This formula provides higher rates of funding for the institutions that receive the least amount of money from the federal research granting agencies. In this way, the RSF helps smaller universities and colleges provide adequate support to their research programs, and strengthen their research capacity.


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Credit base

In hosting a research program, an institution incurs indirect costs that are not covered by the research grant itself. The basic principle for allocating RSF credits is that the research grants are an indicator of research activity and of indirect costs that are incurred.


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Programs included and excluded from credit base

All granting agency programs are included in the credit base for the RSF, except for the programs listed below:

Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Exclusions:

  • All training awards (summer student programs, studentships, doctoral research awards, fellowships, Clinician Scientists Awards - Phase 1)
  • Best Brains Exchange Travel Award
  • Building the Foundation of the JPIAMR Virtual Research Institute
  • Canadian Council on Animal Care
  • Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute–Innovation Grants
  • Catalyst Grant: Cannabis and Mental Health
  • Chief Scientific Officer Fund
  • CIHR Barer-Flood Prize for Health Services and Policy Research
  • CIHR Gold Leaf Prize for Discovery
  • CIHR Gold Leaf Prize for Impact
  • CIHR Gold Leaf Prize for Outstanding Achievements by an Early Career Investigator
  • CIHR Gold Leaf Prize for Transformation: Patient Engagement
  • CIHR-Institute of Cancer Research National: Tumour Banking Network Grant
  • CIHR-Institute of Population and Public Health: Trailblazer Award in Population Health Solutions
  • Commonwealth Fund Dissemination Award 2015-2016
  • Grand Challenges Canada
  • Hacking AMR 2019: Using the digital world to fight Antimicrobial Resistance
  • Healthy Behaviour Data Challenge
  • Human Frontier Science Program
  • Indigenous Component of Healthy Life Trajectories (I-HeLTI)
  • Indigenous Gender and Wellness – Idea Fair and Learning Circle
  • IHSPR Article of the Year Award
  • IHSPR Rising Star Award
  • Institute Community Support – awards, grants and travel awards
  • Institute of Health Services and Policy Research—strategic initiatives
  • INMD Early Career Investigator Partnership Prize
  • Institute Support Grant
  • IPPH Travel Awards – CPHA Annual Conference
  • Joint Canada-Israel Health Research Program
  • Knowledge to Action Grants—Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute
  • Netherlands-Canada Type 2 Diabetes Consortium – Travel Award
  • Operating Grant – Canadian 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Operating Grant – CCS Innovation Grants
  • Operating Grant – COVID-19 Clinical Epidemiology Research Rapid Response
  • Operating Grant – Health System Impact Fellowship – National Cohort Retreat
  • Operating Grant – Human Frontier Science Program – Research Grants
  • Operating Grant – Network Environments for Indigenous Health Research
  • Operating Grant – Priority Announcement: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Bridge Funding)
  • Operating Grant – Priority Announcement: Blood Supply Risk
  • Operating Grant – Priority Announcement: Blood Utilization and Conservation
  • Operating Grant – Priority Announcement: Transfusion Related Acute Lung Injury
  • Operating Grant – SPOR iCT Rewarding Success – Travel Awards
  • Pan-Canadian Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research Network in Primary & Integrated Health Care Innovations – National Coordinating Office
  • President's Fund Prize: CIHR Institute of Aging Voluntary Sector Outreach Award
  • Prize: IHDCYH Talks
  • Promotions
  • Randomized Controlled Trials: Mentoring
  • Rapid Research Fund for Ebola Virus Disease Outbreaks
  • Stand Up To Cancer Canada Metastatic Breast Cancer Dream Team
  • Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research Summit Travel Awards
  • Summer Program in Aging
  • Summer Program in Japan
  • Synapse—CIHR Youth Connection Program
  • The Terry Fox Foundation Strategic Training Initiatives in Health Research—full application
  • Terry Fox New Frontiers Program Project Grant
  • The following directed grants:
    • Drug Safety and Effectiveness Network—Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health
    • Inuit Research Network Development Grant
    • Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research directed grant—Canadian Clinical Trials Coordinating Centre
    • Other: Call for Letters of Intent: Implementation Research Teams
    • Other: Global Health Research Initiative
    • Other: Symposium on Mental Wellness in Circumpolar Communities
    • Summer Program in Aging Host Support
  • Team Grant: Ebola Vaccine Phase II/III Clinical Trial
  • Team Grant: Pathways Implementation Research Team
  • Team Grant: Pathways Implementation Research Team – Component 2 – LOI
  • Team Grant: Pathways Implementation Research Team – Component 2 - LOI - Oral Health, Suicide Prevention, Obesity/Diabetes & Tuberculosis
  • Team Grant: Stand Up to Cancer Canada Cancer Stem Cell Dream Team Research Funding
  • Training Grant: Health Research Training Platform
  • Training Grant: Healthy Cities Research Training Platform
  • Training Grant: SPOR National Training Entity
  • Transfusion Science - Priority Announcement
  • Travel Awards: Pathways Annual Gathering 2017
  • Undergraduate: Genetics - Institute Community Support

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council

Exclusions:

  • Aboriginal Ambassadors in the Natural Sciences and Engineering Supplement Program
  • CMHC Housing Research Scholarship Program
  • Collaborative Research and Training Experience program
  • DND/NSERC Discovery Grants Supplements
  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Institutional Capacity-Building Grants
  • Fellowship Innovation Platform
  • Industrial Research Chairs for Colleges Grants
  • NSERC Awards for Science Promotion
  • NSERC Doctoral Prizes
  • NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowships, and Industrial Research and Development Fellowships
  • NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships (all types)
  • NSERC Student Ambassadors
  • NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards—University and Industrial
  • NSERC Young Innovators
  • PromoScience Program
  • Special Opportunities Fund

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

Exclusions:

  • Aileen D. Ross Fellowship
  • Alice Wilson Award 
  • Bora Laskin National Fellowship in Human Rights Research
  • Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CHMC) – SSHRC Housing Research Training Awards Program
  • CMHC-SSHRC Joint Initiative: Collaborative Housing Research Network
  • Connections—Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Department of National Defence MINDS Scholarship Initiative
  • International Space University Fellowship
  • Joint Initiative for Digital Citizen Research
  • Jules and Gabrielle Léger Fellowship
  • Mitacs Canadian Science Policy Fellowships
  • Parliamentary Internship Program
  • Partnership Grants – Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Joint Initiative
  • Presidential Fund for Innovation and Development
  • Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Scholarships
  • Queen's Fellowship
  • Scholarly Publications
  • SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships
  • SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships
  • William E. Taylor Fellowship

Networks of Centres of Excellence

Exclusions under Administrative Centres:

  • Operational budget
  • Salaries for students and postdoctoral trainees

Exclusions under Core Facilities:

  • Operational budget (some categories only)

Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence

Exclusions:

  • Expenditures of administrative centres
  • Research-related expenditures in non-eligible institutions

Tri-agency programs

Exclusions:

  • Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships
  • Canada 150 Research Chairs
  • Canada Excellence Research Chairs
  • Canada First Research Excellence Fund
  • Canada Graduate Scholarships (including supplements)
  • Canada Research Chairs
  • Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research
  • College and Community Innovation
  • Community and College Social Innovation Fund
  • Industrial Research and Development Internship
  • New Frontiers in Research Fund (including Rapid Response grants)
  • Tri-Agency Partnership on Knowledge Syntheses on the Environment
  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

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Method to identify and divide credits

High-level governance

Every year, a senior-level committee decides which granting agency programs should be included in the credit base and how credits should be allocated to participating institutions.

This Interagency Program Review Committee (IPRC) is composed of the vice-presidents of programs of the agencies, the associate vice-president of the NCE Secretariat, the managers responsible for data co-ordination at the agencies, and the senior managers of the Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat (TIPS).

The IPRC’s mandate is to ensure that decisions to include agency programs in the credit base are consistent, appropriate and transparent. This mandate includes:

  • reviewing all current agency programs each year to ensure that they are appropriately included or excluded from the credit calculations; and
  • reviewing all new agency programs to determine whether they should be included, in whole or in part, in the calculations of institutional credits for the RSF.

Affiliated organizations—Crediting applicant institutions with research activity conducted at affiliated organizations

Institutions eligible for funding from the RSF generate RSF credits through research activity conducted at the institution, as well as at affiliated research institutes, hospitals and other affiliates (affiliated organizations).

Every year, as part of the RSF application process, applicant institutions must confirm their affiliated organizations in order for research funding awarded to researchers at affiliated organizations to be credited to the applicant institution. Applicant institutions must ensure that the information provided to TIPS at the application stage is current and accurate. As well, all institutions (applicants and affiliated organizations) should ensure that their researchers clearly identify their institutional affiliation in their applications to agency programs, as this is how RSF credits are identified and allocated.

For the RSF, an organization can be considered an affiliated organization of an applicant institution if:

  • the federally funded research undertaken at the affiliated organization contributes to the research excellence of the applicant institution; and/or
  • the applicant institution incurs indirect costs for the federally funded research conducted at the affiliated organization.

Flow-through funds

Research funding from sources other than the agencies, but that is awarded as a result of a process the agencies administer, is not included in the credits.

Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) funds

For NCE funds, credits are based on dollars spent, rather than those awarded. When calculating the credit base for the RSF, funds spent by administrative centres hosted by a postsecondary institution are attributed to the host (applicant) institution for eligible categories. By contrast, funds spent by non-postsecondary institution administrative centres are not credited to the host institution. Research funds spent by network researchers are attributed to the institution where the research expenses have been incurred.

Division of credits

In cases where a grant has applicants/co-applicants from more than one institution, these are considered multi-institutional grants for RSF.

The credits for multi-institutional grants are typically divided proportionally among participating institutions based on the number of participating researchers from each institution. The share for an institution that is not eligible for the RSF is redistributed among eligible institutions.

There are three models for the division of credits for multi-institutional grants. The IPRC decides which model to use when it reviews the eligibility of a granting agency’s funding program.

A—Proportional to the number of researchers: Credits are divided proportionally among participating institutions based on the number of participating researchers from each eligible institution. This model applies to the majority of programs.

B—Proportional to actual expenditures: For programs in which the funds from a single grant are redistributed among participating institutions through a formal process, credits are divided among participating institutions according to actual expenditures (e.g., NCEs).

C—Single attribution: In some cases, the institution receiving the grant incurs all the indirect costs associated with that grant, regardless of whether researchers from other institutions participate in the research project (e.g., NSERC Major Resources Support Program grants). Credits are attributed to the institution receiving the grant or hosting the program. Other institutions should negotiate their share of the RSF grant with that institution, if their participation in the project incurs indirect costs.


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Requests for institutional funding breakdown

Institutions may review all spreadsheets showing the institutional funding breakdown on the RSF-CRC Data Breakdown sharing site. These spreadsheets provide the detailed breakdown of funding from the agencies that individual institutions received, which is then used in the RSF grant calculations.

For the RSF-CRC Data Breakdown sharing site, a single account is created for each applicant institution. Login information is sent to the senior official of the applicant institution. The senior official must share the institutional funding breakdowns posted on the RSF-CRC Data Breakdown sharing site with all relevant individuals at their institution and affiliated organizations. The breakdowns will not be sent to institutions via email.


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Questions

Questions about grant calculations should be sent to information@rsf-fsr.gc.ca.