Acknowledgement of the Research Support Fund
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.
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 Research Support Fund reinforces this research investment by helping institutions ensure that their federally funded research projects are conducted in world-class facilities with the best equipment and administrative support available.
The Research Support Fund assists Canadian postsecondary institutions and their affiliated research hospitals and institutes with the expenses associated with managing the research funded by the three federal research granting agencies. These include the costs of equipment and supplies, staff and student salaries and benefits as well as the cost of travel and dissemination of research and creative outputs. Institutions also incur costs to manage their research enterprise. The Research Support Fund assists Canadian postsecondary institutions with the costs associated with managing their research enterprise, helping them to maintain a world-class research environment. Grants can be used to: maintain modern labs and equipment; provide access to up-to-date knowledge resources; provide research management and administrative support; meet regulatory and ethical standards; or transfer knowledge from academia to the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, helping to make Canada a world leader in research and development. (1)
York’s specific examples of categories of eligible expenditures for the Research Support Fund may be found below (“Performance Objectives”).
The Research Support Fund grant for 2023/24 is $5,881,193, and will be used to fund eligible expenses across the five expenditure categories. Of these five eligible expense categories, York prioritizes 1) maintaining labs/equipment and 2) keeping research knowledge resources current, investing 42% and 50% of the annual Research Support Fund grant in these two categories respectively. The remaining 8% of the grant is divided among the remaining three categories. These priorities are reviewed annually by the Division of Research & Innovation and the Division of Finance & Administration seeking input from the Associate Deans Research should changes to these amounts be required.
Past grant amounts detailing allocations across the five expenditure categories, can be found here. York University is grateful to the Government of Canada for supporting the direct costs through research grants and training awards as well as supporting a portion of the indirect costs of research.
York University’s Performance Objectives for the Research Support Fund
Indirect costs are those expenses that the University incurs to provide researchers and students with world class research facilities and services.
Eligible indirect costs of research include:
- maintenance of labs, studios and equipment including information technologies
- keeping knowledge resources such as library holdings and electronic subscriptions current
- research management and administrative supports such as the Office of Research Services and Research Accounting as well as administration in the Organized Research Units
- regulatory and ethical standards including the costs of managing animal care, biohazardous materials, human ethics and controlled goods
- exchange of knowledge and technology to the private, public and not-for-profit sectors including the costs of Innovation York and the Knowledge Mobilization Unit
Past Performance Objectives:
2022-2023 Research Support Fund Performance Objectives
2021-2022 Research Support Fund Performance Objectives
2020-2021 Research Support Fund Performance Objectives
2019-2020 Research Support Fund Performance Objectives
2018-2019 Research Support Fund Performance Objectives
2017-2018 Research Support Fund Performance Objectives
2016-2017 Research Support Fund Performance Objectives
2015-2016 Research Support Fund Performance Objectives
Incremental Project Grants (IPG) Program
The Incremental Project Grants (IPG) program is a new stream of the Research Support Fund (RSF) that provides further support for the indirect costs of research.
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 five IPG priority areas are:
- innovation and commercialization activities
- facilities renewal, including deferred maintenance
- information resources, including digital resources, open access and databases
- equity, diversity and faculty renewal (in the context of equity, diversity and inclusion)
- research security
The objective of the IPG stream aligns with the RSF’s objective to reinforce the federal research investment by helping Canadian postsecondary institutions ensure their federally funded research projects are conducted in world-class facilities with the best equipment and administrative support available. By directing funds to specific investments and annual or multi-year projects initiated by institutions, the IPG will facilitate tracking and reporting, to better demonstrate the impact of these investments.
Details on York’s past funding allocations, projects and achieved outcomes can be found here.
The Government of Canada introduced new funding through the Research Support Fund (RSF) in Budget 2022 to further support the activities related to the indirect costs of research security and to support the National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships.
Research security is categorized as a fifth priority area of the IPGs. These investments are aligned with the RSF’s objectives to help Canadian postsecondary institutions ensure their federally funded research projects are conducted in world-class facilities with the best equipment and administrative support available. By directing funds to specific investments and to annual or multiyear projects initiated by institutions, research security funding will help to build capacity within postsecondary institutions to identify, assess and mitigate the potential risks to research security.
Details on York’s past research security investments can be found here.
For the year 2023/24, York’s Research Security award is $350,976, which will be allocated toward one project, the details of which can be found here.
Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF)
The Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF) was announced on May 15, 2020, as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. The temporary program has been established to help sustain the research enterprise at Canadian universities and health research institutions that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is expected that the program will help reduce negative impacts of the pandemic and ensure that the benefits of significant investments to date in universities and health research institutions are protected. This will maintain Canada’s international competitiveness in the global, knowledge-based economy, and contribute to Canadians’ health and social and cultural life, as well as the health of Canada’s natural environment.
The program, which has a total budget of $450 million, has two objectives:
- as a priority, to provide wage support to universities and health research institutions, both of which are ineligible to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), to help them retain research-related personnel during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic (up to $325 million); and
- to support extraordinary incremental costs associated with maintaining essential research-related commitments during the COVID-19 pandemic, and then ramping-up to full research activities as physical distancing measures are eased and research activities can resume ($125 million).
Strategy for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Decision Making
York University is committed to open-minded, engaged, and cutting-edge scholarship. Enshrined in our University Academic Plan 2015-2020 and our Strategic Research Plan 2018-2023 is the core value of upholding social justice and equity. We are committed to challenging the status quo and leading transformations of society’s inequities through open and vibrant discourse, followed by bold actions.
York is committed to advancing the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion throughout the Institution. Our collective agreements codify our approach to federal policies regarding the hiring of faculty from the four designated groups (Women, Members of a Racial/Visible Minority, Persons with Disabilities, and Aboriginal Persons). Beyond this, York seeks to build a world-renowned cadre of diverse scholars that represent not only the four designated groups and the intersectionality of these four groups, but to move beyond federal targets to have laudable representations of other marginalized groups (such as members of the LGTB2Q community).
York is also committed to addressing and taking into consideration barriers created by home and family challenges arising as a result of COVID-19 disruptions and working from home arrangements. We have prioritized researchers experiencing such barriers for early return to campus where desired. Furthermore, we respect traditional and alternative forms of scholarship and ways of knowing, as documented in the Indigenous Framework and in our Tenure & Promotion Senate Policy, that invites submissions involving community engaged scholarship and public intellectual activities.
York's Affirmative Action policies and processes underpin and advance these aspirations. Rooted in the Collective Agreement between the York University Faculty Association and the York University Board of Governors, these policies and processes enable York to engage as an Affirmative Action employer that “strongly values diversity, including gender and sexual diversity, within its community.”
Within the context of these initiatives which seek to drive representation of, and consideration for, equity seeking groups across the University’s policies and processes, York’s strategy for equity, diversity and inclusion decision-making with respect to the CRCEF includes:
- Establishment of an oversight committee to uphold alignment with York’s core values, and to ensure that equity, diversity and inclusivity infuse all key decisions around the program. Committee membership incorporates representation from various equity seeking groups, including women, racialized minorities, and the LGBTQ2+ communities. Membership of the committee, all of whom have undertaken unconscious bias training, includes the following individuals:
- Vice-President Research & Innovation (Chair)
- Vice-President Equity, People & Culture
- Associate Vice-President Research
- Assistant Vice-President, Research Strategy & Impact
- Director, Strategic and Institutional Research Initiatives
- Dean and Associate Vice-President Graduate Studies
- Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Officer
- Leveraging the institution’s information technology infrastructure to access comprehensive, university-wide data to systematically identify relevant, eligible expenses for the CRCEF. In the case of Stage 1 activities, this involved using objective parameters (including salary plan and cost centre funds) to identify likely research-related personnel funded through non-governmental sources.
- Formation of a cross-divisional working group to apply a thoughtful, creative and holistic perspective to the institution’s methodology, in its review of the data (i.e. to identify errors and omissions), and to help ensure equity, diversity and inclusion considerations are applied throughout the decision making process. In particular, although the Stage 1 allocation was sufficient to reimburse all eligible expenses, the group still reviewed the distribution of funds across equity seeking groups. The working group is comprised of the Associate Vice-President Research, the Director of Strategic and Institutional Research Initiatives, the Senior Executive Officer of the Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation, the Interim Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFO, the Comptroller, the Manager of Research Accounting, and the Assistant Manager of Research Accounting. The working group had representation from various equity seeking groups, including women and racialized minorities.
- Direct engagement with Faculties, liaising through Associate Deans Research and Senior Executive Officers, to raise broad awareness of the CRCEF, to help drive a comprehensive and inclusive approach to York’s response to the CRCEF, and to ensure an accurate account of the institution’s relevant expenses for submission to the program.
- Liaising with other institutions, both through peer-to-peer connections and through broader institutional frameworks such as the Ontario Council on University Research, as well as participation in government-hosted webinars on the CRCEF, in order to obtain further programmatic details, to ask questions, and to exchange ideas and identify best practices.