RSF - About the Program

The cost of research includes both direct and indirect costs.  Indirect costs include maintaining the research space and libraries; cost of utilities for that space; management and administration of research, finances, regulatory requirements and compliance; and liability insurance amongst other costs.  It is difficult to assign these indirect costs to specific projects since the costs are shared across projects.

The Research Support Fund (RSF) (formerly the Federal Indirect Cost Program) is a Government of Canada funding program to assist Canadian post-secondary institutions in offsetting some of the indirect costs involved in administering Tri-Agency awards.  The funds provided are to assist with expenses in five major categories:  Facility, Management & Administration, Resources, Regulatory Requirements and Intellectual Property.  RSF grants are allocated annually based on a 3-year rolling average of an institution’s Tri-Agency revenue.

For more information:

RSF at USask

Under the oversight of the Provost’s Committee on Integrated Planning (PCIP), the USask grant is managed by the Office of the Vice-President Research (OVPR).  

At USask, the funding from this program is used to cover expenditures in all five categories.  As recommended by the OVPR and approved by PCIP, each year’s RSF allocation is directed to three areas within the UofS:  Canadian Light Source, Operating Budget Support and Research Support.

  • Canadian Light Source (CLS): All of the RSF grant that is directly attributable to CLS Tri-Agency awards is transferred to the CLS to cover the indirect costs related to the operations of this national research facility.
  • Operating Budget Support: This category receives 50% of the remaining RSF grant, which is used to provide funding to the operating budget for infrastructure that supports research such as facilities (utilities and rent), library acquisitions and information technology resources, regulatory requirements (ethics, waste disposal), as well as financial and program management.
  • Research Support: This category receives the other 50% of the remaining RSF grant, which is used to fund research support initiatives in areas such as:  college-specific activities through the College Priority Fund; support for Research Centres through an allocation to the Strategic Research Fund, internal assistance programs that support and promote individual and collaborative research proposals, as well as financial and program management.

Calculation of the Research Support Fund Grant

In 2022-23 USask received $8,104,174 (excluding the Incremental Project Grant) allocated to five expenditure categories:

Management and Administration
Regulatory Requirements and Accreditation
Intellectual Property  


RSF Expenditures Highlights


Funds allocated within the Facilities category allowed coverage of a variety of expenses such as technical support salaries, repairs to existing equipment, insurance for research spaces, leased space for research administration, and cost of utilities for research spaces.


Monies allotted within Resources ensured the continuation of available library resources, including a searchable database and e-documents. As well, these funds contributed to various salaries and maintaining services provided by the IT department to support research, annual memberships and costs associated with participation in multi-university, national & international research collaborations.

Management and Administration

This allocation assists primarily in funding salaries in support of research enterprise in numerous units such as: Audit Services, Financial Reporting, Office of Vice-President Research, Canadian Light Source, various centres that support research, and a number of colleges and schools.

Regulatory Requirements and Accreditation

Funds allotted in this category assist in providing technical support, upgrades within Regulatory Requirements, and training in Regulatory Requirements including salaries support within Human Research Ethics, Animal Research Ethics, Animal Resource Centre, CLS and Medicine. Indirect Costs funds ensures that ethical, compliance & safety requirements are met before funding is released to researchers which is highly reassuring to funding agencies.

Intellectual Property

Indirect Costs made available in this category provide researchers access to a dedicated office providing support & expertise in ensuring all aspects of intellectual property are effectively managed such as research commercialization and patenting. Within this dedicated office, the following expenses are covered with these funds: invention/patent administration, Technology Licensing, Industry Partner Administration, and Incubators and Spinoff Company setups.

RSF Performance Objectives

Eligible expenditure category

Institutional performance objective


Target Outcome

Research facilities

To provide satisfactory research facilities

Survey of researchers

Satisfactory research facilities

Research resources

To provide satisfactory research resources

Survey of researchers

Satisfactory research resources

Management and administration of an institution’s research enterprise

To provide satisfactory management and administration of the research enterprise

Survey of researchers

Satisfactory management and administration of the research enterprise

Regulatory requirements and accreditation

To provide satisfactory support toward meeting regulatory requirements

Survey of researchers

Satisfactory support toward meeting regulatory requirements

Intellectual property and knowledge mobilization

To provide satisfactory support around intellectual property and knowledge mobilization

Survey of researchers

Satisfactory support around intellectual property and knowledge mobilization

Previous Research Support Fund Grant Allocations

Each year that the RSF allocation is received, USask must report on expenditures incurred during the federal fiscal year. The grant allocation and summary of expenses from past years are available below:

RSF - Affiliated Institutions

The following affiliated institutions are included by the RSF to determine the amount of Tri-Agency funding associated with the university and the corresponding RSF funding.

Affiliated health agencies/(hospitals)

Regina Qu-Appelle Health Region
Saskatchewan Cancer Agency
Saskatoon Health Region

Other affiliated institutions

Canadian Light Source
Prairie Swine Centre Inc.
Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation
Briercrest College and Seminary
College of Emmanuel and St. Chad
Gabriel Dumont Institute of Native Studies and Applied Research
Horizon College and Seminary
Lutheran Theological Seminary
St. Andrew’s College (SK)
St. Peter’s College (SK)
St. Thomas More College

Incremental Project Grants (IPG)

About the program

The Incremental Project Grants (IPG) funding opportunity is a stream of the Research Support Fund (RSF) that provides support for the indirect costs of research, in addition to the RSF Grant. 

The IPG provides eligible institutions with additional support for projects that focus on a set of priorities that cut across the RSF’s five existing categories of eligible expenses. The initial four IPG priority areas are: 

  • innovation and commercialization activities; 
  • facilities renewal, including deferred maintenance; 
  • information resources, including digital resources, open access and databases; and 
  • equity, diversity and faculty renewal (in the context of equity, diversity and inclusion). 

Current Year

In 2022-23 the University of Saskatchewan received $1,300,489 ($1,300,603 2021-22). This allocation is divided across the following categories to support the University of Saskatchewan's objectives:

Past Performance Objectives and Outcomes