VIU Scholarship, Research, and Creative Activity

Research Support Fund

What is the Research Support Fund?

Canada's Research Support Fund (RSF) assists postsecondary institutions with the costs associated with managing their research enterprise.  Helping Canadian institutions maintain a world-class research environment, thereby helping make Canada a world leader in research and development.  

RSF grants can include the costs of maintaining modern labs and equipment; providing access to up-to-date knowledge resources; providing research management and administrative support; meeting regulatory and ethical standards; and/or transferring knowledge from academia to the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

Research grants from Canada’s three federal funding 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) fund the direct costs of research, such as research salaries, travel expenses, student stipends, materials for example.

There are also indirect costs associated with research which are often more difficult to identify and quantify.  These include expenses such as: provision of space including the costs of maintenance and utilities; maintenance and repair of research equipment; computing resources; library resources; insurance; and support by VIU service departments (Facilities, Finance (Accounts Payable/Accounts Receivable), Human Resources, Payroll, Information Technology, Office of Research Services, Purchasing, and Facilities).

To maintain transparency, and to demonstrate the importance of the RSF program to our researchers, students, community members and elected officials, this report is prepared and made public annually.

Description of the Use of the Research Support Fund at VIU

The Research Support Fund allows for five expenditure categories:

  1. Research facilities
  2. Research resources
  3. Management and administration of an institution's research enterprise
  4. Regulatory requirements and accreditation
  5. Intellectual property and knowledge mobilization

At VIU, our priority is to establish a base level of support for the research administration function and to ensure compliance with Tri-Agency guidelines; therefore, we have directed funds for the past 6 years to the category of management and administration of the institution's research enterprise. VIU 2021-22 RSF allocation is $193,408.  Since 2006, VIU has received 3,016,851 in RSF support.

  • 2020-21 RSF allocation was $151,921
  • 2019-20 RSF allocation was $122,469
  • 2018-19 RSF allocation was $143,843
  • 2017-18 RSF allocation was $181,601
  • 2016-17 RSF allocation was $225,839

Impacts of the Research Support Fund at VIU

The Research Support Fund is critical to VIU as we build systems to support research. Without this grant, VIU would need to find alternative sources of funding to support administrative and regulatory processes that are imperative in order for us to maintain eligibility to receive Tri-Agency funding.

Some of the general benefits of the RSF at VIU include:

  • Grant facilitation services for researchers;
  • Researcher professional development;
  • Maintenance of systems to enable the administration of research grants and contracts;
  • Assistance and advice in the negotiation and finalization of research contracts/agreements;

Specific impacts:

  • The funding allows two Grant Facilitators to support faculty in the identification and development of research grant applications. Having two positions results in an expanded breadth of expertise and allows VIU to expand its research capacity by supporting its researchers. VIU's support of grant facilitation and administration has enabled VIU researchers to develop research programs that result in partnership agreements, collaborative research projects, etc. Through these research projects, undergraduate and graduate students, as well as postdoctoral fellows, have been hosted at VIU.  Our Grant Facilitators also develop and deliver professional development workshops for students and faculty and one Facilitator supports our researchers in the negotiation and finalization of research contracts.
  • Other positions partially funded through the RSF program include personnel to:
    • oversee faculty and institutional grants to ensure compliance (i.e. research ethics, financial management, reporting, etc.) with external agency guidelines (i.e. Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions);
    • maintain records and administer the process for opening and closing of accounts and ensuring completion of financial and narrative reporting;
    • Support institutional research-related committees and initiatives related to Tri-Agency grants awarded to the institution for small-scale research project funding for faculty.

Research Support Performance Objectives

 

Eligible program expenditure category

Output (investment or expense of RSF grant funds

Performance objective

Performance indicator

Target outcome

Reported outcome

Management and administration of an institution’s research enterprise

Projected percentage of RSF grant invested in management and administration of research enterprise: 100%

Maintain and improve institutional support for research proposal development, grant management, research personnel hiring to faculty and students applying to and holding Tri-Agency grants and awards

Grant application success rate.  Total annual grant funding

Maintain and improve performance levels by increasing service levels to internal and external stakeholders

Target met:

9 per cent increase in grant and award applications processed 2020-21 compared to  2019-20