Government of Canada boosts support to keep Canadian research world-class

New major investment will help Canadian researchers and scholars turn their ideas into the next big discovery

April 12, 2019, Ottawa, Ontario—Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat

To keep Canada as one of the top countries in research and development, we need to support our best and brightest researchers. This means we need to take care of the hidden costs of research, like lab maintenance and energy costs, so researchers have every opportunity to focus on the next big discovery.

Today, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced an increase to the Research Support Fund (RSF). The fund provides support for operational costs, such as keeping the lights on in labs, administrative fees and costs to protect intellectual property for Canada’s scientific innovations. This investment will ensure that the research of Canada’s brilliant researchers and scholars remains world-class and at the forefront of discovery.

Today’s announcement includes a Budget 2018 boost of $231 million over the next five years and nearly $59 million per year ongoing for projects at research-intensive institutions.

This new funding prioritizes innovation and commercialization activities, modernizing facilities and advancing digital resources and projects that support equity, diversity, inclusiveness. It also includes new accountability measures that will help better demonstrate the impact of these investments, including project descriptions, costing, timelines and expected outcomes. Institutions will then be required to report annually on the outcomes that were achieved with the funding.


“We want Canada’s brilliant researchers and scholars to have the equipment and support they need to keep Canadian research world-class. Because when we invest in the people behind the hidden costs of scientific innovations, we create jobs, add to economic growth and improve the quality of life for all Canadians.”

—Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport

“This boost in funding to the RSF will enhance the capacity of the research environments where Canada’s researchers produce world-class research. This support will enable further collaboration, discovery and the critical transfer of knowledge from academe to the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, helping to maintain Canada as a world leader in research and development.”

—Ted Hewitt, President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and Chair, Research Support Fund Steering Committee

Quick Facts

  • This Budget 2018 funding is on top of the $369 million already invested every year through the RSF.
  • 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 RSF reinforces this research investment by helping institutions ensure their federally funded research projects are conducted in world-class facilities with the best equipment and administrative support available.
  • The RSF is a tri-agency initiative of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).
  • Today’s announcement builds on Canada’s impressive track record of investing in research infrastructure—one of the biggest indirect costs of research.

Associated Links


Follow Canada’s three granting agencies on Twitter: @CIHR_IRSC, @NSERC_CRSNG, @SSHRC_CRSH

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Daniele Medlej
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Science and Sport

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Andrea Matyas
Director, Communications
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council