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The federal Research Support Fund assists Canadian post-secondary institutions with the costs associated with managing their research enterprise. This program is helping McMaster maintain its world-class research environment.

About the Research Support Fund (RSF)

The Research Support Fund (RSF) is a tri-agency initiative of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. It is administered by the Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat, which is housed within SSHRC.

The program (formerly known as the Indirect Costs Program) was introduced in 2003 as part of the federal government’s strategy to make Canada one of the world’s top countries in research and development. [McMaster’s annual reports under the Indirect Costs Program for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018 can be found here.]

The Research Support Fund Outcomes Report 2015-2016 Transition Version can be found here.

The Research Support Fund assists Canadian post-secondary institutions and their affiliated research hospitals and institutes with the expenses associated with managing the research funded by the three federal research granting agencies. The RSF currently has a budget of $369 million and serves 133 post-secondary institutions across the country.

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

How is this fund used at McMaster?

Calculation of grant

In 2017/18 McMaster University received $14,047,002 from the federal Research Support Fund (RSF). Most post-secondary Institutions in Canada receive a share of the pool of funds based on their individual Institution’s three year average of spent Tri-Council funding. The 2017/18 grant was calculated using data from 2015/16, 2014/15 and 2013/14.

The total pool was $369,343,339 in 2017/18 and provided indirect costs at a rate of 20.98% of most Tri-Council projects (some specific programs do not pay research support funds and institutions are made aware of this at the application stage).

McMaster received 3.80% of the pool. The RSF supports the costs of heat, hydro, research accountants, assistance with research applications, the health physics office, support for central facilities such as the central animal facilities, library acquisitions, computing services etc. Eligible and ineligible expenditures can be found here: RSF Eligible and Ineligible Expenses.

McMaster’s Use of the Research Support Fund

The federal government requests that we report the use of funds by five categories, which are: Facilities; Resources; Management and Administration; Regulatory Requirements and Intellectual Property.

Facilities expenditures include the cost of renovating labs, salaries for technicians and the utility costs for research labs. Research Resources include the cost of library acquisitions, operating costs for non-facility areas, insurance on research vehicles, etc. Management and Administrative costs include expenses to provide researchers with grant writing assistance, research accounting services, promotional expenses, audit costs, etc. Regulatory requirements include the costs of upgrades and upkeep of animal facilities, the management of ethics boards, the Health Physics office and other compliance type offices. Intellectual property expenses include the cost of tech transfer offices and the support of technology licensing.

Distribution of RSF Funds

UnPicture features a pie graph of how the RSF funds are divided at mcmasterder the current budget model the funds are distributed among McMaster’s six Faculties: Health Sciences, Science, Social Sciences, Business, Humanities and Engineering; as well as affiliated hospitals. Each Faculty uses these resources to provide for step-down expenses such as hydro, research administration etc.

Below, you will see a graph that shows how the funds were expended by the reporting categories of Research Facilities, Research Resources, Management and Administration, Regulatory Requirements and Accreditation and Intellectual Property.

 

 

Institutional Performance Objectives

2020-2021

Eligible Program expenditure category Output Performance Objective Performance Indicator Target Outcome
Research Facilities Portion of RSF invested in research facilities Maintain ability to support research facilities Net Assignable Square Metres (NASM) devoted to research in FY20/21 compared to FY19/20 Maintain high level of NASM devoted to research
Research Resources Portion of RSF invested in support of the University libraries Maintain high level of access to digital and print library resources Library resource expenditures in FY20/21 compared to FY 19/20 Maintain high level of library resource expenditures
Management & Administration of an institution’s research enterprise Portion of RSF invested to initiate enhancements of McMaster’s Business Intelligence tool enable the integration of research project budget information Improvement in access to and monitoring of post-award research project budget information. Increased efficiency and easier navigation of post-award research budget information for monitoring and reporting purposes. Access to additional research project budget information and reports via the Business Intelligence tool.
Regulatory requirements and accreditation Portion of RSF invested in regulatory requirements and accreditation McMaster Research Ethics Board (MREB) provides ethics training on non-medical research involving human participants for members of McMaster’s research community Number of training sessions conducted in FY20/21 compared to FY19/20 Maintain the number of training sessions conducted
Intellectual property and knowledge mobilization Portion of RSF invested in McMaster industry Liaison Office (MILO) Maintain MILO’s ability to evaluate, protect, and market intellectual property (IP) generated at the university to support commercialization; and license McMaster IP to existing or start-up companies Number of invention or copyright disclosures, number of licenses or licensing revenues, and projects supported with commercial potential or start-ups created; in FY20-21 compared to previous year. Increase or maintain number of invention or copyright disclosures, licenses executed or licensing revenues, and funded projects with commercial potential or start-ups created; in FY20-21 compared to previous year.

 

2019-2020

Eligible Program expenditure category Output Performance Objective Performance Indicator  Target Outcome
Research Facilities Portion of RSF invested in research facilities Maintain ability to support research facilities Net Assignable Square Metres (NASM) devoted to research in FY19-20 compared to FY 18/19 Maintain high level of NASM devoted to research
Research Resources Portion of RSF invested in support of the University libraries Maintain high level of access to digital and print library resources Library resource expenditures in FY19/20 compared to FY 18/19 Maintain high level of library resource expenditures
Management &
Administration of an institution’s
research enterprise
Portion of RSF invested in renewal of research and innovation website Improvement in provision of information regarding institutional administrative policies, processes and support for research and innovation activities at McMaster Increased efficiency and easier navigation of webpages pertaining to institutional administrative policies, processes and support for research and innovation activities at McMaster Successful launch of the new research and innovation website in Fall 2019
Regulatory requirements and accreditation Portion of RSF invested in regulatory requirements and accreditation McMaster Research Ethics Board (MREB) provides ethics training on non-medical research involving human participants for members of McMaster’s research community Number of training sessions conducted in FY19/20 compared to FY18/19 Maintain the number of training sessions conducted
Intellectual property and knowledge mobilization Portion of RSF invested in McMaster industry Liaison Office (MILO) Maintain MILO’s ability to evaluate, protect, and market intellectual property (IP) generated at the university to support commercialization; and license McMaster IP to existing or start-up companies Number of invention or copyright disclosures, number of licenses or licensing revenues, and projects supported with commercial potential or start-ups created; in FY19-20 compared to previous year. Increase or maintain number of invention or copyright disclosures, licenses executed or licensing revenues, and funded projects with commercial potential or start-ups created; in FY19-20 compared to previous year.


2018-2019

Eligible Program expenditure category Output Performance Objective Performance Indicator Target Outcome Outcomes Reported for 18/19

Research Facilities

Portion of RSF invested in research facilities Maintain ability to support research facilities Net Assignable Square Metres (NASM) devoted to research in FY18/19 compared to FY17/18 Maintain high level of NASM devoted to research As a research intensive university, McMaster dedicates a significant amount of its space to facilitating excellence in research across a range of disciplines. In FY18/19 there was an increase in the NASM devoted to research compared to FY17/18

Research Resources

Portion of RSF invested in support of the University libraries Maintain high level of access to digital and print library resources Library resource expenditures in FY18/19 compared to FY 16/17 Maintain high level of library resource expenditures The level of library resource expenditures has increased by more than 8% compared to FY16/17.

Management &
Administration

of an institution’s
research enterprise

Portion of RSF invested in research ethics administration system Improvement in research ethics administration system Increased efficiency and easier navigation of the ethics approval process Successful launch of the new research ethics administration system in September 2018 The new research ethics administration system was successfully launched in October 2018.

Regulatory requirements and accreditation

Portion of RSF invested in regulatory requirements and accreditation McMaster Research Ethics Board (MREB) provides ethics training on non-medical research involving human participants for members of McMaster’s research community Number of training sessions conducted in FY18/19 compared to FY17/18 Maintain the number of training sessions conducted In FY18/19 MREB training sessions were refined to provide the most convenient and effective assistance to McMaster’s research community through in-class lectures, larger workshops, and more individual consultations.

Intellectual property and knowledge mobilization

Portion of RSF invested in McMaster industry Liaison Office (MILO) Maintain MILO’s ability to evaluate, protect, and market intellectual property (IP) generated at the university to support commercialization; and license McMaster IP to existing or start-up companies Number of invention or copyright disclosures, number of licenses or licensing revenues, and projects supported with commercial potential or start-ups created; in FY18-19 compared to FY17-18 Increase or maintain number of invention or copyright disclosures, licenses executed or licensing revenues, and funded projects with commercial potential or start-ups created; in FY18-19 compared to FY17-18 Maintained # invention and copyright disclosures: 88 (18/19) vs 94 (17/18)
Increased commercialization / licensing revenues and agreements: $8.7M with 289 licenses executed in 18/19 vs $6.4M with 232 licenses executed in 17/18
Increase in patents filed and issued: 85 filed with 21 issued in 18/19 vs 71 filed with 13 issued in 17/18
Maintained funded projects with commercial potential: Proof of principle awards $492K in 18/19 vs $534K 17/18


2017-2018

Eligible Program expenditure category Output Performance Objective Performance Indicator  Target Outcome Outcomes Reported at Yearend 2017/18
Research Facilities Portion of RSF invested in research facilities Maintain ability to support research facilities Net Assignable Square Metres (NASM) devoted to research in FY17-18 compared baseline FY15-16 Maintain high level of NASM devoted to research As a research-intensive university, McMaster dedicates a significant amount of its space to facilitating excellence in research across a range of disciplines. For example, new facilities in development include those which will: support research to advance our understanding of microbial biology and pathogenesis, and thereby accelerate the discovery of therapeutic leads aimed at improving human health; and enable analysis of the large volumes of administrative data routinely collected by government and business, which will inform the development of policies aimed at improving human health and social well-being.
Research Resources Portion of RSF invested in the RDC@McMaster.  As part of the Canadian Research Data Centre Network, RDC@McMaster  provides convenient access to confidential individual-level Statistics Canada data in a secure environment. Maintain high level of usage of RDC@McMaster Average # of researchers per month using the centre, number of projects underway, and publications reported; in FY17-18 compared to baseline in FY15-16 Maintain high level of usage of the centre In FY17/18 the McMaster RDC had 156 active researchers, including student users, working on 135 research projects; this is a significant increase from the previous year. In addition, 14 publications arose from research supported by the RDC.
Management & Administration of an institution’s research enterprise Portion of RSF invested in Research Office for Administration, Development and Support (ROADS) Increased involvement in development of large inter-institutional applications Successful submission of large scale inter-institutional applications Successful large scale inter-institutional research programs ROADS submitted a significant number of highly complex grant applications and is working to bring into operation a CFI Innovation Fund award with 30 participating institutions in support of the Canadian Research Data Centre Network
Portion of RSF invested in McMaster Research Finance and Health Research Finance offices Maintain institution’s ability to support existing research post award activity Number of active research projects in FY17-18 compared to baseline FY15-16 Maintain high level of active research projects The Research Support Funds allowed McMaster’s Research Finance offices to provide service and support for approximately 5100 research accounts in 2017/18.
Regulatory requirements and accreditation Portion of RSF invested in regulatory requirements and accreditation McMaster Research Ethics Board (MREB) maintains institution’s ability to support ethics compliance activities Number of active ethics certificates in FY17-18 compared baseline FY15-16 Maintain high level of active research ethic certificates MREB issued 410 clearance certificates in FY17-18 (250 for new applications and 160 for amendments), an increase of 15% compared to FY15-16
McMaster’s Biosafety Committee maintains institution’s ability to meet the Human Pathogen and Toxins Act and the Canadian Biosafety Standard Number of active biosafety certificates in FY17-18 compared baseline FY15-16 Maintain high level of active biosafety certificates At the end of FY 17-18 there were 220 active Biosafety certificates at McMaster, a significant increase compared to FY15-16
Intellectual property and knowledge mobilization Portion of RSF invested in McMaster industry Liaison Office (MILO) Maintain MILO’s ability to evaluate, protect, and market intellectual property (IP) generated at the university to support commercialization; and license McMaster IP to existing or start-up companies Number of invention or copyright disclosures, licensing revenues, and start-ups created; in FY17-18 compared to baseline FY15-16 Increase number of invention or copyright disclosures, licensing revenues, and start-ups created; in FY17-18 compared to baseline FY15-16 Disclosures = 94 (baseline 82 for 2016-17)
Licensing revenues = $7.1M (baseline $5.45M for 2016-17)
Start-ups created=2 based on university IP (baseline 2 for 2016-17)


2016-2017

Eligible Program expenditure category Output Performance Objective Performance Indicator  Target Outcome Outcomes Reported at Year End
Research Facilities Portion of RSF invested in research facilities Maintain ability to support research facilities Net Assignable Square Metres (NASM) devoted to research in FY16-17 compared baseline FY15-16 Maintain high level of NASM devoted to research As a research intensive university, McMaster dedicates a significant amount of its space to facilitating excellence in research across a range of disciplines. For example, new facilities in development include that which will support research enabling unique and definitive advanced characterization of structures at the nano scale; and research into technologies that will integrate electricity, thermal, transportation and fuel systems into smart community energy nodes.
Research Resources Portion of RSF invested in the RDC@McMaster.  As part of the Canadian Research Data Centre Network, RDC@McMaster  provides convenient access to confidential individual-level Statistics Canada data in a secure environment. Maintain high level of usage of RDC@McMaster Average # of researchers per month using the centre, number of projects underway, and publications reported; in FY16-17 compared to baseline in FY15-16 Maintain high level of usage of the centre The McMaster RDC had on average 135 users/month in 2016/17, including student users; this is a 14% increase from the previous year.  In addition, there was an average of 82 contracts active in each month, a 12% increase from the previous year. 13 publications arose from research supported by the RDC.
Management &
Administration of Research Enterprise
Portion of RSF invested in Research Office for Administration, Development and Support (ROADS) Increased involvement in development of large inter-institutional applications Successful submission of large scale inter-institutional applications Successful large scale inter-institutional research programs ROADS submitted an unprecedented number of highly complex grant applications and helped to bring into operation 2 CFI MSI awards supporting inter-institutional research: the Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy and the Canadian Research Data Centre Network
Portion of RSF invested in McMaster Research Finance and Health Research Finance offices Maintain institution’s ability to support existing research post award activity Number of active research projects in FY16-17 compared baseline FY15-16 Maintain high level of active research projects The Research Support Funds allowed McMaster’s Research Finance offices to support additional research accounts in 2016/17
Portion of RSF invested to support the Research Administration Module in PeopleSoft (MOSAIC) Enhancements to Research Project Statement Automatic generation of Research Project Statements on a monthly basis with e-mail notification to award holders Go live in FY16-17 of enhancements to Research Project Statement Recent enhancements to McMaster’s MOSAIC system enabled the automatic generation of Research Project Statements
Regulatory Requirements & Accreditation
 
Portion of RSF invested in regulatory requirements and accreditation
 
McMaster Research Ethics Board (MREB) maintains institution’s ability to support ethics compliance activities Number of active ethics certificates in FY16-17 compared baseline FY15-16 Maintain high level of active research ethic certificates MREB issued 273 clearance certificates for new applications and 123 for amendments, an increase of over 10% and 15% respectively over the previous year
McMaster’s Biosafety Committee maintains institution’s ability to meet the Human Pathogen and Toxins Act and the Canadian Biosafety Standard Number of active biosafety certificates in FY16-17 compared baseline FY15-16 Maintain high level of active biosafety certificates 166 McMaster Biosafety approvals provided for awarded projects, more than double that of the previous year
Intellectual Property & Knowledge Mobilization Portion of RSF invested in McMaster industry Liaison Office (MILO) Maintain MILO’s ability to evaluate, protect, and market intellectual property (IP) generated at the university to support commercialization; and license McMaster IP to existing or start-up companies Number of invention or copyright disclosures, licensing revenues, and start-ups created; in FY16-17 compared to baseline FY15-16 Increase number of invention or copyright disclosures, licensing revenues, and start-ups created; in FY16-17 compared to baseline FY15-16  

82 invention or copyright disclosures, including a higher number of new faculty disclosures over previous years; 184 licenses generated revenue, an 8% increase over previous year; 3 researcher-led start-ups were initiated. McMaster, through the Forge, has made student entrepreneurship a priority.  40 student-led start-ups began this year, compared to 25 the previous year