Government of Canada

Research agreements

The Canadian Tri-Council Granting Agencies include the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) and Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). The Tri-Council has a large number of funding programs, and some require industry participation. Where industry funding is required, a detailed agreement with the industry partner will be prepared by the Legal & IP Unit. 


General legal inquiries:

Federal government departments also provide research funding which usually requires a detailed written agreement.  Examples include:

  • Environment Canada 
  • Human Resources Development (“HRDC”)
  • Defense Research and Development Canada
  • Indian Affairs and Northern Affairs
  • Energy & Natural Resources (“NRCan”)

It should also be noted that government departments often use Public Works and Government Services to finalize agreements on their behalf. 

In addition, independent federal agencies also fund university research. Examples include:

  • National Research Council (“NRC”)
  • Canadian Space Agency (“CSA”)
  • Geological Survey of Canada (“GSC”) 

These agencies typically have their own form of agreement to be used for research funding. Their agreements usually grant rights to the funder for intellectual property emerging from the research and contain restrictions on publication and are therefore characterized as “Research Contracts” by the University. 

Overhead rates for federal government agreements are set out in the Overhead and Indirect Costs of Research Policy. “Research Grants” such as Contribution Agreements are subject to 15% overhead, while “Research Contracts” are subject to overhead at the rate of 65% of payroll costs and 2% of travel costs. 

For Federal Government contracts involving field work outside the University, the overhead is 30% of payroll costs and 2% of travel costs.