Research Support Fund

Research requires both direct and indirect investments. Operational maintenance of research infrastructure requires reinvestment on a significant scale. Examples of indirect costs include:

  • costs related to the management and administration of space and facilities
  • insurance
  • purchasing services
  • library services
  • as well as pre-award and post-award research administration services

For more information, see What are indirect costs?. Recognizing that research requires a significant investment at the institutional level, the Research Support Fund (RSF), was introduced in 2003 to assist Canadian postsecondary institutions with the expenses associated with managing the research funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), and the Networks of Centres of Excellence. Carleton University, and its affiliated institution the Dominican University College, receive an annual grant to help pay for a portion of the central and departmental administrative costs related to federally funded research. Carleton uses its grant to support a variety of initiatives across campus to maximize the investment of federal funding. For 2017-18, Carleton intends to spend its Research Support.

Fund grant of $4,561,223 as follows:

Category Amount allocated Percentage of total grant
Facilities $294,355.00 6.5%
Resources $2,255,086.00 49.4%
Management and Administration $1,647,575.00 36.1%
Regulatory Requirements and Accreditation $341,750.00 7.5%
Intellectual Property $22,457.00 0.5%

Each of the above noted cost categories are supplemented from other sources as described below.


The support Carleton University’s research facilities receive from RSF is instrumental in ensuring their continued use and viability. At Carleton there are more than 200,000 sq ft of floor area designated as research space. The grant covers approximately 20% of the total costs attributed to operation of research facilities and the remainder of the cost is provided by the University from other sources.


Overall, the RSF grant covers approximately 20% of the actual institutional costs associated with this category (the same rate as the Facilities category), and Research Support funding is specifically attributed to library holdings and operating costs and e-resources.

Examples of activities supported include i-CUREUS (Carleton University Research Experience for Undergraduate Students) program as well as the Carleton University Research Impact Endeavour (CURIE). The CURIE fund provides funds for the reimbursement of reasonable article processing fees for articles authored or co-authored by Carleton researchers. It is available to researchers whose work is published in eligible peer-reviewed open access journals, for which no alternative funding is available. RSF funding also support Carleton University Library’s Research Data Management services to researchers in developing and implementing Research Data Management Plans. As well, later this year students and faculty will see the implementation of an “Info Hub” in order to provide friendly, direct, triaged service to a wider range of users. Carleton Library also committed to an initiative called Collaborative Futures, where at least 13 of the 21 Ontario university libraries will be implementing a shared catalogue and search interface which should make finding resources and initiating interlibrary loans much easier.

Management and Administration

 At Carleton, the expense types included in this category include the Carleton University Research Office and Research Accounting. The grant covers approximately 53% of the costs for administering federally sponsored research.

Recent activities to further simplify the research administration process, including the implementation of enterprise data management systems, such as cuResearch, have been supported through the RSF. This automation of certain tasks have simplified the process for grant holders, while ensuring compliance and reporting, and also freeing up research administration personnel time, which has allowed for more tailored services to be offered to the Carleton research community.

Regulatory Requirements and Accreditation

This category covers many aspects of research compliance including human ethics, spread over two Boards, animal care and biohazards. Controlled Goods and Radiation hazard costs, which are minor at Carleton, are currently absorbed into general administration costs and included in the previous category, although Carleton’s department of Environmental Health & Safety practices are in support of all matters related to research compliance.

The RSF grant funds assist the university in fulfilling regulatory requirements, including internal and external reviews, post-approval monitoring, as well as the implementation of new electronic systems to manage its research compliance obligations. The RSF grant has also permitted Carleton to purchase Cyber Liability insurance, which provides added protection to the Carleton research community in the digital age.

Intellectual Property

For Carleton, expenditures in this category cover the administration, from an IP perspective, of all types of agreements and relationships with industry, government and not-for-profit partners. Support from the RSF has allowed the Research Office to increase its services to researchers considering partnered research, including expert advice on IP issues. The additional personnel support has allowed researchers to maximize the impacts of the investments of federal funding by leveraging this support to engage partnering organizations from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors. This category is greatly supplemented from other sources.