Research Support Fund

What is the Research Support Fund?

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 Tri-Council agencies (CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC). The annual grant helps institutions manage the financial demands of the indirect costs of research. By easing the institutional financial burden, the Research Support Fund helps the university create an environment where researchers can focus on their research, collaborate with colleagues, and translate their discoveries and innovations.

What are the indirect costs of research?

In order for research projects to step off the pages of the funding application and come alive in an active, collaborative environment, there is a host of everyday, practical requirements that must be addressed and in place. These requirements, that may not be directly obvious, have associated costs; these are the indirect costs of research. Some of the specific costs include those behind-the-scenes expenses incurred by the university supporting the day-to-day research enterprise. Without heat, electricity, computer and network maintenance or administrative staff, research projects would be near impossible to complete. Costs incurred to keep the lights on, maintain database servers, or the wear-and-tear maintenance for lab space all contribute to the indirect cost of research.

Contact:

Office of the VP Research research@ucalgary.ca 

Government of Canada Research Support Fund

 

In 2003, the Government of Canada introduced the Indirect Costs Program to help post-secondary institutions offset the less obvious costs of research. The Indirect Costs Program will be completed after the 2014-2015 fiscal year. For future years, the program will be replaced by the Research Support Fund.

In May 2016, The U15 Executive Heads agreed to the following statement on the indirect costs of research. Read more.

Calculation of the Research Support Fund Grant

The University of Calgary's Research Support Fund allocation is calculated based on Tri-Council (CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC) funding awarded in the three previous fiscal years.

In 2021-22 UCalgary received a $14.16 M grant (excluding the Incremental Project Grant) dedicated to five expenditure categories:

Calculation of the Research Support Fund Grant 2021-22

Affiliated Institutions

  • Alberta Health Services (AHS)
    • Alberta Children's Hospital
    • Alberta Children's Hospital Research Centre
    • Alberta Precision Laboratories (formerly Calgary Lab Services)
    • Foothills Hospital
    • Peter Lougheed Centre
    • Rockyview General Hospital
    • South Health Campus
    • Tom Baker Cancer Centre
  • Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute
  • Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre
  • Alberta Sulphur Research Limited (ASRL)
  • Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre
  • Calgary Technologies Inc.
  • Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI)
  • Canadian Institute of Resources Law (CIRL)
  • Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family
  • Carbon Management Canada Inc. (formerly Carbon Management Canada Research Institutes Inc. (CMCRI))
  • PolicyWise
  • The Arctic Institute of North America (AINA) 
  • The Van Horne Institute
  • TRIUMF
  • University Technologies Inc.
  • Vecova Centre for Disability Services and Research

Outcomes


Research Support Fund

2021-22 Performance Indicators and Target Outcomes (pdf)

Incremental Project Grants

2021-22 Institutional Performance Objectives (pdf)

Past Funding

Calculation of the Research Support Fund Grant

The University of Calgary's Research Support Fund allocation is calculated based on Tri-Council (CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC) funding awarded in the previous fiscal year. In 2020-2021 UCalgary received a $16.02 M grant (including the Incremental Project Grant) dedicated to five expenditure categories.

View expenditure categories.

View 2020-21 RSF Outcomes Report

View 2020-21 IPG Performance Objectives Report.

Calculation of the Research Support Fund Grant

The University of Calgary's Research Support Fund allocation is calculated based on Tri-Council (CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC) funding awarded in the previous fiscal year. In 2019-2020 UCalgary received a $15.28 M grant (including the Incremental Project Grant) dedicated to five expenditure categories.

View expenditure categories.

View 2019-20 IPG Performance Objectives Report.

  1. Research Support Fund Outcomes Report

    The University of Calgary and its affiliated institutions are committed to building a culture of research and innovation. The RSF grant is invested in various services.

    In 2019/20, UCalgary invested the RSF grant in facilities to support and maintain laboratories across campus. These funds help provide a vital physical space where the lights are on, the environment is safe, and the equipment is functional to ensure the research team can rely on a lab space where they can discover, create, and innovate. The RSF funding also continues to provide critical infrastructure to support UCalgary-affiliated researchers’ access to Alberta Health Services (AHS) resources vital to their clinical health research projects. This is particularly true for grant-funded and unfunded studies.

    Dedicating a significant portion of the grant to research resources ensures current and relevant material is available to support research and training at the undergraduate, graduate, and faculty levels. Maintaining a current library is at the very core of a post-secondary institution as it is a repository of knowledge and an academic foundation for the research enterprise. RSF funding supports workflows in the administrative AHS database used to capture volume and timeline metrics within the Health System Access (HSA).

    This year, the portion of the RSF grant allocated to management and administration supported Research Accounting salaries and benefits as that team operates as a central service unit responsible for the post-award financial administration of sponsored research and restricted funding. Research Accounting is instrumental to research at UCalgary as it works with research teams, administration and leadership, and funding agencies to ensure compliance with agency guidelines and policies, as well as accurate and timely reporting. The RSF funding allocated to AHS is reinvested in various services to UCalgary faculty and staff provided by the AHS HSA team. Overall, the RSF funding has enabled staff to continue supporting researchers in meeting administrative requirements, to cut down the administrative barriers of initiating research and to carry out their important work in the most efficient manner. The RSF funding positively contributed to ongoing process improvements and increasing capacity to accommodate research activities.

    This year, the portion of the RSF grant allocated to regulatory requirements and accreditation supported Animal Care, Research Services ethics and compliance, and environment health and safety staff. The Institutional Research Information Services Solution (IRISS) provides researchers and their teams a convenient, secure, online process that streamlines and modernizes research certification application processes related to human ethics and animal care protocols. IRISS aims to reduce process time and will alert researchers of potential compliance issues. A key area of investment is to ensure AHS maintains its regulatory obligations to maintain patient privacy, a detailed health information disclosure log and monitoring of chain of custody for the disclosures.

    In line with the strategic vision to sharpen our focus on research and scholarship, UCalgary has dedicated salary support for in-house legal counsel to ensure faculty and students protect their intellectual property and successfully execute contracts and agreement when working with sponsored research and industry.

     

    Affiliated Institutions

    • Alberta Health Services (AHS)
      • Alberta Children’s Hospital
      • Alberta Children's Hospital Research Centre
      • Foothills Hospital
      • Peter Lougheed Centre
      • Rockyview General Hospital
      • Tom Baker Cancer Centre
      • South Health Campus
      • Calgary Lab Services
    • Arctic Institute of North America (AINA)
    • Alberta Sulphur Research Limited (ASRL)
    • Carbon Management Canada Research Institutes Inc. (CMCRI)
    • Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI)
    • University Technologies Inc.
    • Calgary Technologies Inc.
    • Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute
    • Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family
    • Van Horne Institute
    • Vecova Centre for Disability Services and Research
    • TRIUMF
    • Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre
    • Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre
    • PolicyWise
  2. Outcomes Report

    Listed below are the qualitative and quantitative measurements on the impact of the Research Support Fund at the University of Calgary, supplemented by the university’s internal operation budget. Funds have been invested in each eligible category.

     

    Research Facilities

    UCalgary has many research facilities that support thousands of researchers (including faculty members, students and postdoctoral fellows) and provide the infrastructure to implement hundreds of research projects each year. A list of 30 core facilities across 7 faculties is available on the website. Additional facilities that support research include: Centre for Mobility and Joint Health (MoJo)Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets (ACWA)Arctic Institute of North AmericaBiogeoscience InstituteInternational Microbiome CentreCERC (Canada Excellence Research Chair) labThe Life Sciences Innovation Hub, The Prairie Regional Data CenterW.A. Ranches and School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape (SAPL) City Building Design Lab. These facilities are crucial in the support of leading-edge research and innovation.

    Innovate Calgary is assisting the University of Calgary in transforming the University Research Park into a new Innovation zone: University Innovation Quarter.

     

    Research Resources

    A number of initiatives have been established at UCalgary in 2019/20:

    • Significant ongoing upgrade in digital research infrastructure for advanced research computing and data management.
    • University of Calgary has been a member of the HathiTrust Digital Library since 2011 and the Library recently expanded our agreement by signing on to the Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS). During this period of restricted physical access to our collections, the agreement provides researchers online reading access to more than 1.2 million in-copyright digitized items, which is about 33% our physical collections. This temporary access is an expansion to the normal access to public domain corpus.
    • Continued support and deployment of Secure Research Computing platform for L3/L4 data storage processing.

     

    Management and Administration of Institutions and Research Enterprise

    • More than 150 personnel are dedicated to research support systems in accounting, legal, and ethics, with an additional 150 personnel providing support in human resources, IT, and supply chain management.
    • UCalgary’s Research Services Office, with a staff of 46, offers services ranging from pre-award assistance to facilitation of major strategic initiatives, partnerships and research infrastructure programs (including business case development, securing matching industrial support and developing commercialization strategies as necessary).
    • Twelve faculty-embedded research facilitators across the UCalgary campus provide local support for individual researchers in securing and utilizing research funding.
    • Strategic University Proposal and Platform Opportunity Review Team (SUPPORT): Six committees (Chairs, Infrastructure, Major Grants and Partnerships, Prizes and Awards, and Training) provide content feedback to researchers and make recommendations to the Vice-President (Research) for the strategic allocation of institutional opportunities, quotas, and major infrastructure and operating funds. The SUPPORT process provides more than 75 full peer reviews of research funding applications annually, and feedback to researchers has significantly improved quality and success of our applications. Committees comprise 45 faculty members from across campus, plus associate vice-presidents (research) and representatives from service units responsible for implementation, such as Facilities Development, Supply Chain Management and IT.
    • The Research Management System (RMS) is the platform at the University of Calgary that provides complete management of the research life cycle from pre-award through to publication of the results a research grant or contract. RMS continues to be released in phases as new  functionality is developed. Throughout the Grants and Contracts life-cycle, RMS interfaces with other UCalgary systems, including IRISS and PeopleSoft, to provide a seamless process for grants and contracts management, eliminate re-keying of data and heightened transparency into the status of applications at any time. Release-1 focused on a select number of single sponsor competitions, and went live on June 18, 2019. Two subsequent releases have delivered functionality including: Post-Award, Project Set-up, Notice of Decision, Ethics, Animal Care and Biosafety, again targeting select single sponsor competitions.  Release-4 which is planned for November/December 2020 will include Amendments and Multi-Sponsor functionality. It is of note, it is anticipated that over September and October of 2020 all single sponsor competitions will be supported by RMS.
    • AHS utilizes the partnership model to provide research support through staff dedicated to the HSA team. These services include administrative support platforms (e.g. access to AHS IT systems, extraction of data from repositories, access to to operational areas, etc), efforts to accelerate timelines for study initiation, navigation to to appropriate AHS resources, streamlining of approval processes to enable researchers to focus more directly on their programs of research, and engaging with clinical leaders and staff about the importance of research to improving care. a requests completion in one day or less and 50% of the data requests were completed in 5 calendar days or less.

     

    Regulatory Requirements and Accreditation

    The Institutional Research Information Services Solution (IRISS): an online automated workflow for researchers when applying for the certifications necessary to conduct research involving humans or animals. This system supports over 12,000 researchers annually and has significantly reduced the administrative workload when applying for ethics certification, supports efficiencies for the review boards, and ensures institutional compliance with Tri-Council guidelines.

    • Submission Stats for 2019/20: (includes certification, modification, renewal & closure): 8,045 applications (value does not include reportable events).
    • Time to Determination in 2019: (upon submission to REB) 44 days for CHREB (certification only) and 55 days for CFREB (certification only).
    • Quality Assurance (QA) and Regulatory Compliance services are provided to ensure that all clinical research meets high-quality standards.Conducted 8 Internal File Reviews of Investigator-initiated clinical trials
    • CITI Canada online training completed: 1729 people - Good Clinical Practice course; 948 people - Health Canada Division 5 course; 459 people - Biomedical Ethics course; 305 people - Social and Behavioural Research course
    • Hosting of IRISS in a virtual environment for better business continuity and reliability. REB Exchange adds a new set of features which enables a single ethics application for multi-site studies and reduces the burden on participating sites.
    • Pursuing institutional licensing related to cannabis research.

     

    Intellectual Property

    • Legal & Intellectual Property (IP) works closely with the Office of the Vice-President (Research), General Counsel, Deans, faculty and Innovate Calgary (formerly University Technologies International). The team provides advice on the legal and business aspects of sponsored research and assists researchers in understanding options for commercialization.
    • The current fiscal period has seen significant growth in research funding from spin-off companies to support validation and testing of inventions developed at the University of Calgary
    • The Legal & IP team has also supported growth in research funding from a wide range of international organizations including the European Space Agency, NIH, DARPA (USA) and CONACYT (Mexico).
    • The number of active NSERC partnership grants in 2019/20 is 136 (including Alliance, CRD, Engage/Engage Plus, I2I, IRC and SPG).
    • The Legal & IP team works closely with Innovate Calgary to ensure efficient progression of new inventions from the University environment into the commercial world.
    • The University’s Intellectual Property policy is currently under review to better support the research community.

     

Calculation of the Research Support Fund Grant

The University of Calgary's Research Support Fund allocation is calculated based on Tri-Council (CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC) funding awarded in the previous fiscal year. In 2018/2019 UCalgary received a $14.3M grant, including the Incremental Project Grant, dedicated to five expenditure categories.

View expenditure categories.

View the 2018-19 IPG Performance Objectives Report.

  1. Research Support Fund Outcomes Report

    The University of Calgary and its affiliated institutions are committed to building a culture of research and innovation. The RSF grant is invested in various services.

    In 2018/2019, UCalgary invested the RSF grant in facilities to support and maintain laboratories across campus. These funds help provide a vital physical space where the lights are on, the environment is safe, and the equipment is functional to ensure the research team can rely on a lab space where they can discover, create, and innovate. The RSF funding also continues to provide critical infrastructure to support UCalgary-affiliated researchers’ access to Alberta Health Services (AHS) resources vital to their clinical health research projects. This is particularly true for grant-funded and unfunded studies.

    Dedicating a significant portion of the grant to research resources ensures current and relevant material is available to support research and training at the undergraduate, graduate, and faculty levels. Maintaining a current library is at the very core of a post-secondary institution as it is a repository of knowledge and an academic foundation for the research enterprise. RSF funding contributes a portion of the annual fee for the web-based, administrative platform, EDGE, that AHS uses to manage the diverse requests for AHS resources related to health research.

    This year, the portion of the RSF grant allocated to management and administration supported Research Accounting salaries and benefits as that team operates as a central service unit facilitating the administrative, post-award financial administration supporting research initiatives. Research Accounting is instrumental to research at UCalgary as it works with research teams, administration and leadership, and funding agencies to ensure accurate and timely reporting. AHS utilized a portion of RSF funds to support research administration at UCalgary. The RSF funding provided a team of trained research-oriented professionals to navigate the complex AHS environment. This team has streamlined the processes for data acquisition, management of privacy, and the use of IT resources within AHS for research purposes. Overall, the RSF funding has enabled staff to continue supporting researchers in meeting administrative requirements, to cut down the administrative barriers of initiating research and to carry out their important work in the most efficient manner. The RSF funding positively contributed to ongoing process improvements and increasing capacity to accommodate research activities.

    This year, the portion of the RSF grant allocated to regulatory requirements and accreditation supported Animal Care Certification and Research Services ethics staff. The Institutional Research Information Services Solution (IRISS) provides researchers and their teams a convenient, secure, online process that streamlines and modernizes research certification application processes related to human ethics and animal care protocols. IRISS aims to reduce process time and will alert researchers of potential compliance issues. A key area of investment is to the AHS Health System Access team (HSA). This includes administrative support platforms to accelerate timelines for study initiation, navigation to appropriate AHS resources, streamlining of approval processes to enable the researchers to focus more directly on their programs of research, and engaging with clinical leaders and staff about the importance of research to improving care.

    In line with the strategic vision to sharpen our focus on research and scholarship, UCalgary has dedicated salary support for in-house legal counsel to ensure faculty and students protect their intellectual property and successfully execute contracts and agreement when working with sponsored research and industry.

     

    Affiliated Institutions

    • Alberta Health Services (AHS)
    • Alberta Children's Hospital Research Centre
    • Foothills Hospital
    • Peter Lougheed Centre
    • Rockyview General Hospital
    • Tom Baker Cancer Centre
    • South Health Campus
    • Calgary Lab Services
    • Arctic Institute of North America (AINA)
    • Alberta Sulphur Research Limited (ASRL)
    • Carbon Management Canada Research Institutes Inc. (CMCRI)
    • Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI)
    • University Technologies Inc.
    • Calgary Technologies Inc.
    • Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute
    • Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family
    • Van Horne Institute
    • Vecova Centre for Disability Services and Research
    • TRIUMF
    • Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre
    • Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre
    • PolicyWise

     

  2. Outcomes Report

    Listed below are the qualitative and quantitative measurements on the impact of the Research Support Fund at the University of Calgary, supplemented by the university’s internal operation budget. Funds have been invested in each eligible category.

    Research Facilities

    UCalgary has many research facilities that support thousands of researchers (including faculty members, students and postdoctoral fellows) and provide the infrastructure to implement hundreds of research projects each year. A list of 32 core facilities across 7 faculties is available on the website. Additional facilities that support research include: Centre for Mobility and Joint Health (MoJo)Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets (ACWA)Arctic Institute of North AmericaBiogeoscience InstituteInternational Microbiome CentreCERC (Canada Excellence Research Chair) labThe Life Sciences Innovation HubThe Prairie Regional Data Center and W.A. Ranches. These facilities are crucial in the support of leading-edge research and innovation.

    Innovate Calgary is assisting the University of Calgary in negotiating the transfer of the University Research Park land from the Province of Alberta to UCalgary, and establishing it as an Innovation Park.

    Research Resources

    A number of initiatives have been established at UCalgary in 2018/19:

    • Creation and deployment of Secure Research Computing platform for L3/L4 data storage processing
    • Recruitment of Director of Research Computing
    • Significant ongoing upgrade in digital research infrastructure for advanced research computing and data management
    • Library acquisition of Glenbow collection that includes roughly 22 million pages of textual records, two million phonographs, 125,000 books, 15,000 maps, 600 hours of audio recordings, as well as 4,000 videos and films

    Management and Administration of Institutions and Research Enterprise

    • More than 150 personnel are dedicated to research support systems in accounting, legal, and ethics, with an additional 150 personnel providing support in human resources, IT, and supply chain management.
    • UCalgary’s Research Services Office, with a staff of 46, offers services ranging from pre-award assistance to facilitation of major strategic initiatives, networks, centres of excellence and research infrastructure programs (including business case development, securing matching industrial support and developing commercialization strategies as necessary).
    • Twelve faculty-embedded research facilitators across the UCalgary campus provide local support for individual researchers in securing and utilizing research funding.
    • Strategic University Proposal and Platform Opportunity Review Team (SUPPORT): Four committees (Chairs, Infrastructure, Major Grants, and HQP Training) provide content feedback to researchers and make recommendations to the Vice-President (Research) for the strategic allocation of institutional opportunities, quotas, and major infrastructure and operating funds. The SUPPORT process provides more than 75 full peer reviews of research funding applications annually, and feedback to researchers has significantly improved quality and success of our applications (with nationally leading success rates in CRC and CFI JELF awards). Committees comprise 49 faculty members from across campus, plus associate vice-presidents (research) and representatives from service units responsible for implementation, such as Facilities Development and IT.
    • Research Management System (RMS) is a new platform that was in its final stages of development in 2018-19 progressing towards a phased release in 2019 and 2020. It will provide complete management of the pre-award, post-award, and publication phases of a research grant or contract. Throughout the Grants and Contracts life-cycle, RMS will interface with other UCalgary systems, including IRISS and PeopleSoft, to provide a seamless process for grants and contracts management, eliminate re-keying of data and heightened transparency into the status of applications at any time. RMS will be rolled out across several releases, with increased functionality at each release. Release 1 will focus on a select number of competitions, and went live on June 18, 2019. We expect that all releases will be complete by September 2020. 
    • Alberta Health Services (AHS) utilizes the partnership model to provide research support through staff dedicated to the AHS Provincial Research Administration team. These include administrative support platforms (e.g. access to AHS IT systems, extraction of data from repositories, etc), efforts to accelerate timelines for study initiation, regulatory oversight to ensure the highest level of research integrity, some support in the translation of results into care, and streamlining of approval processes to enable the researchers to focus more directly on research programs. An example of an improvement was the implementation of the triage function. When the AHS Research Administration Team designated one FTE of an Advisor to the function of triaging and processing the organized studies, the team was able to “fast-track” approximately 25% of the data requests completion in one day or less and 50% of the data requests were completed in 5 calendar days or less.

    Regulatory Requirements and Accreditation

    The Institutional Research Information Services Solution (IRISS): an online automated workflow for researchers when applying for the certifications necessary to conduct research involving humans or animals. This system supports over 12,000 researchers annually and has significantly reduced the administrative workload when applying for ethics certification, supports efficiencies for the review boards, and ensures institutional compliance with Tri-Council guidelines.

    • Submission Stats for 2018/19: (includes certification, modification, renewal & closure): 10,138 applications.
    • Time to Determination in 2018: (upon submission to REB) 42 days for CHREB (certification only) and 59 days for CFREB (certification only).
    • Quality Assurance (QA) and Regulatory Compliance services now being provided.
    • Hosting of IRISS in a virtual environment for better business continuity and reliability.

    Intellectual Property

    • Legal & Intellectual Property (IP) works closely with the Office of the Vice-President (Research), General Counsel, Deans, faculty and Innovate Calgary (formerly University Technologies International). The team provides advice on the legal and business aspects of sponsored research and assists researchers in understanding options for commercialization.
    • The current fiscal period has seen significant growth in research funding from spin-off companies to support validation and testing of inventions developed at the University of Calgary
    • The Legal & IP team has also supported growth in research funding from a wide range of international organizations including the European Space Agency, NIH, DARPA (USA) and CONACYT (Mexico).
    • The number of active NSERC partnership grants in 2018/19 is 117 (including Engage, CRD, SPG, IRC, Engage Plus, and I2I).
    • The Legal & IP team works closely with Innovate Calgary to ensure efficient progression of new inventions from the university environment into the commercial world.
    • Innovate Calgary was restructured in early 2017 and about 30 staff are now fully integrated in the university. This has enabled better support for commercialization of IP generated at the university.
    • Intellectual Property policy is currently under review to better support the research community.

Calculation of the Research Support Fund Grant

The University of Calgary and its affiliated institutions are committed to building a culture of research and innovation. The RSF grant is invested in various services. In 2017/2018 UCalgary received a $12.56M grant dedicated to five expenditure categories.

View expenditure categories.

  1. Research Support Fund Distribution

    In 2017/2018, UCalgary invested the RSF grant in facilities to support and maintain laboratories across campus. These funds help provide a vital physical space where the lights are on, the environment is safe, and the equipment is functional to ensure the research team can rely on a lab space where they can discover, create, and innovate. The RSF funding also continues to provide critical infrastructure to support UCalgary-affiliated researchers’ access to Alberta Health Services resources vital to their clinical health research projects. This is particularly true for grant-funded and unfunded studies. RSF funding contributes to a portion of the annual fee for the web-based, administrative platform, EDGE, that AHS uses to manage the diverse requests for AHS assistance related to health research.

    Dedicating a significant portion of the grant to research resources ensures current and relevant material is available to support research and training at the undergraduate, graduate, and faculty levels. Maintaining a current library is at the very core of a post-secondary institution as it is a repository of knowledge and an academic foundation for the research enterprise.

    This year, the portion of the RSF grant allocated to management and administration supported Research Accounting salaries and benefits as that team operates as a central service unit facilitating the administrative, post-award functions supporting research initiatives. With the new campus-wide efficiency program supporting the administrative systems, there is a vital need for staff to be responsive to researcher requests, as well as the need to produce timely, detailed and accurate reporting. Research Accounting is instrumental to research at UCalgary as it works with research teams, administration and leadership, and funding agencies to ensure accurate and timely reporting. Alberta Health Services (AHS) is an affiliated institution and received a portion of RSF funds to support research administration at UCalgary. The RSF funding provided a team of trained research-oriented professionals to navigate the complex AHS environment. This team has streamlined the processes for data acquisition, contracting through CPSM (Contracting, Procurement & Supply Management) and the use of IT resources within AHS for research purposes. Overall, the RSF funding has enabled staff to continue supporting researchers in meeting administrative requirements, to cut down the administrative barriers of initiating research and to carry out their important work in the most efficient manner. The RSF funding positively contributed to ongoing process improvements and increasing capacity to accommodate research activities.

    This year, the portion of the RSF grant allocated to regulatory requirements and accreditation supported Animal Care Certification and Research Services ethics staff. The Institutional Research Information Services Solution (IRISS) is an online program that was implemented to offer researchers and their teams a convenient, secure, online process that streamlines and modernizes research certification application processes. IRISS aims to reduce process time and will alert researchers of potential compliance issues. Ongoing RSF investment to the research support infrastructure will also enable continuous process improvement and to operationalize the concept of platform integration between AHS’ EDGE and the university’s ethics submission portal. Integration will further reduce redundancies for data entry and administrative processes to dramatically improve study initiation timelines for UCalgary researchers.

    In line with the strategic vision to sharpen our focus on research and scholarship, UCalgary dedicated salary support for in-house legal counsel to ensure faculty and students protect their intellectual property and successfully execute contracts and agreement when working with sponsored research and industry.

    Affiliated Institutions

    • Alberta Health Services (AHS)
    • Alberta Children's Hospital Research Centre
    • Foothills Hospital
    • Peter Lougheed Centre
    • Rockyview General Hospital
    • Tom Baker Cancer Centre
    • South Health Campus
    • Calgary Lab Services
    • Arctic Institute of North America (AINA)
    • Alberta Sulphur Research Limited (ASRL)
    • Carbon Management Canada Research Institutes Inc. (CMCRI)
    • Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI)
    • University Technologies Inc. (UTI)
    • Calgary Technologies Inc.
    • Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute
    • Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family
    • Van Horne Institute
    • Vecova Centre for Disability Services and Research
    • Tri-University Meson Facility (TRIUMF Joint Venture)

     

  2. Outcomes Report

    Listed below are the qualitative and quantitative measurements on the impact of the Research Support Fund at the University of Calgary, supplemented by the university’s internal operation budget. Funds have been invested in each eligible category.

    Research Facilities

    UCalgary has many research facilities that support thousands of researchers (including faculty members, students and postdoctoral fellows) and provide the infrastructure to implement hundreds of research projects each year. A list of 32 core facilities across 7 faculties is available on the research website. Additional facilities that support research include: Centre for Mobility and Joint Health (MoJo)Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets (ACWA)International Microbiome CentreCERC (Canada Excellence Research Chair) lab and The Prairie Regional Data Center. These facilities are crucial in the support of leading-edge research and innovation.

    Research Resources

    A number of initiatives have been established at UCalgary in 2017/18:

    • Creation and deployment of Secure Research Computing
    • Recruitment of Director of Research Computing
    • Significant ongoing upgrade in computing infrastructure in support of research
    • Optogenetics Facility being developed in Cumming School of Medicine

    Management and Administration of Institutions and Research Enterprise

    • More than 150 personnel are dedicated to research support systems in accounting, legal, and ethics, with an additional 150 personnel providing support in human resources, IT, and supply chain management.
    • UCalgary’s  Research Services Office, with a staff of 45, offers services ranging from pre-award assistance to facilitation of major strategic initiatives, networks, centres of excellence and research infrastructure programs (including business case development, securing matching industrial support and developing commercialization strategies as necessary).
    • Twelve faculty-embedded research facilitators across the UCalgary campus provide local support for individual researchers in securing and utilizing research funding.
    • Strategic University Proposal and Platform Opportunity Review Team (SUPPORT): Five committees (Chairs, Infrastructure, Networks, Prizes and HQP Training) make recommendations to the VP Research for strategic allocation of institutional opportunities, quotas, and major infrastructure and operating funds. The SUPPORT process provides full peer review for more than 90 major grant applications annually, and feedback to researchers has significantly improved quality and success of our applications (with nationally leading success rates in CRC and CFI JELF awards). Committees are comprised of 44 faculty members from across campus, Associate VPs Research, and representatives from service units responsible for implementation, such as Campus Planning and Facilities Development.
    • Research Management System: a committee and operational team is in place to develop this new platform that will provide streamlined, one-stop customer service to the research community by providing greater administrative oversight, improved integration and reporting in order to administer, track, and analyze research inputs, processes and outputs. Scope includes Grants, Contracts and Publications with interfaces to several existing systems currently used by the research community: IRISS (Ethics), PeopleSoft (Accounts Receivable / Management), Funding Calendar (Opportunities) and PRISM (Institutional Repository). The team is comprised of five seconded staff, seven full- or part-time consultants, plus steering and oversight committees including members from faculty and administrative staff. The first pilot of the system will happen in late 2018.
    • Alberta Health Services (AHS) utilizes the partnership model to provide research support through staff dedicated to the AHS Provincial Research Administration team. These include administrative support platforms (e.g. access to AHS IT systems, extraction of data from repositories, etc), efforts to accelerate timelines for study initiation, regulatory oversight to ensure the highest level of research integrity, some support in the translation of results into care, and streamlining of approval processes to enable the researchers to focus more directly on research programs. An example of an improvement was the implementation of the triage function. When the AHS Research Administration Team designated one FTE of an Advisor to the function of triaging and processing the organized studies, the team was able to “fast-track” approximately 25% of the data requests completion in one day or less and 50% of the data requests were completed in 5 calendar days or less.

    Regulatory Requirements and Accreditation

    The Institutional Research Information Services Solution (IRISS): an online program automated workflow for researchers when applying for the certifications necessary to conduct research involving humans or animals. This system supports over 12,000 researchers annually and has significantly reduced the administrative workload when applying for ethics certification, supports efficiencies for the review boards, and ensures institutional compliance with Tri-Council guidelines.

    • Submission Stats for 2017/18: (includes certificate, modification, renewal & closure): 10,500 applications.
    • Time to Determination in 2017: (upon submission to REB) 49 days for CHREB (certification only) and 64 days for CFREB (certification only).
    • Quality Assurance (QA) and Regulatory Compliance services now being provided.
    • Hosting of IRISS in a virtual environment for better business continuity and reliability.

    Intellectual Property

    • Legal & Intellectual Property (IP) works closely with the Office of the Vice-President (Research), General Counsel, Deans, faculty and Innovate Calgary (formerly University Technologies International). The team provides advice on the legal and business aspects of sponsored research and assists researchers in understanding options for commercialization.
    • The number of active NSERC partnership grants in 2017/18 is 116 (including Engage, CRD, SPG, IRC, Engage Plus, and I2I).
    • Several Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) have been developed with national and international organizations, allowing our researchers to seize emerging opportunities and strategically advance their strengths on the global stage.
    • The Legal & IP team coordinate with Innovate Calgary to ensure efficient services. Innovate Calgary was restructured in early 2017 and about 30 staff are now fully integrated in the university. This has enabled better support for commercialization of IP generated at the University.
    • Intellectual Property policy is currently under review to better support the research community.

Calculation of the Research Support Fund Grant

The University of Calgary's Research Support Fund allocation is calculated based on Tri-Council (CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC) funding awarded in the previous fiscal year. In 2016/2017 UCalgary received a $12.43M grant dedicated to five expenditure categories.

View expenditure categories.

  1. Research Support Fund Distribution

    In 2016/2017, the U of C invested Indirect Costs funding in facilities to support and maintain laboratories across campus. These funds help provide a vital physical space where the lights are on, the environment is safe, and the equipment is functional to ensure the research team can rely on a lab space where they can seek, discover and innovate.

    Dedicating a significant portion of the grant to research resources ensures current and relevant material is available to support research and training at the undergraduate, graduate, and faculty level. Maintaining a current library is at the very core of a post-secondary institution as it is a repository of knowledge and an academic foundation for the research enterprise.

    This year, management and administration funds supported Research Accounting salaries and benefits as that team operates as a central service unit facilitating the administrative, post-award functions supporting research initiatives. With the new campus-wide efficiency program supporting the administrative systems, there is a vital need for staff to be responsive to researcher requests, as well as the need to produce timely, detailed and accurate reporting. Research Accounting is instrumental to research at the U of C as it works with research teams, administration and leadership, and funding agencies to ensure accurate and timely reporting.

    Alberta Health Services is an affiliated institution and received a portion of RSF funds to support research at the University of Calgary.

    This year, regulatory requirements and accreditation funds supported Animal Care Certification and Research Services ethics staff. In an effort to proactively meet compliance issues, the U of C launched a new ethics certification process – the Institutional Research Information Services Solution (IRISS). IRISS is a significant project that impacts all aspects of research.

    In line with the strategic vision to sharpen our focus on research and scholarship, the U of C dedicated salary support for in-house legal counsel to ensure faculty and students protect their intellectual property and successfully execute contracts and agreement when working with sponsored research and industry.

    Affiliated Institutions

    • Alberta Health Services (AHS)
      • Alberta Children's Hospital Research Centre
      • Foothills Hospital
      • Peter Lougheed Centre
      • Rockyview General Hospital
      • Tom Baker Cancer Centre
      • South Health Campus
      • Calgary Lab Services
    • Arctic Institute of North America (AINA)
    • Alberta Sulphur Research Limited (ASRL)
    • Carbon Management Canada Research Institutes Inc. (CMCRI)
    • Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI)
    • University Technologies Inc. (UTI)
    • Calgary Technologies Inc.
    • Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute
    • Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family
    • Van Horne Institute
    • Vecova Centre for Disability Services and Research
    • Tri-University Meson Facility (TRIUMF Joint Venture)
  2. Outcomes Report

    As part of our outcomes report, listed below are the qualitative and quantitative measurements on the impact of the Research Support Fund at the University of Calgary, supplemented by the institutions’ internal operation budget. Funds have been invested in each eligible category.

    Research Facilities

    A list of 32 core facilities across 7 faculties has been created and is available on the website. These facilities are crucial in the support of leading-edge research and innovation. They support thousands of researchers (including faculty members, students and postdoctoral fellows) and provide the infrastructure to implement hundreds of research projects each year.

    Additional facilities that support research include:

    • Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets (ACWA):  for development of technologies to remove emerging substances of concern, notably pharmaceuticals, hormones and antibiotics, as well as pathogens and toxins from wastewaters, and to create a deep understanding of the impacts of pollutants on aquatic environments to protect and improve human and environmental health. The ACWA Research Facility is embedded in the Pine Creek Wastewater Treatment Centre of the City of Calgary. The growing network of ACWA researchers includes 3 Canada Research Chairs, more than 25 faculty members and 35 student and postdoctoral trainees.
    • Western Canadian Microbiome Centre (WCMC): Opening in Fall 2017, a basic and translational research center focused on multi-disciplinary areas: human diseases, agriculture, energy & environment. The WCMC is equipped with integrated platforms (10,000 sqft Germ-free facility, real time in-vivo and in-vitro imaging, bioinformatics, -omics, bio-banking and mass cytometry to develop prophylactics, novel antimicrobials, immunotherapies & bio-therapeutics against infections, inflammation, & chronic disease.
    • CERC (Canada Excellence Research Chair) lab in the Energy, Environmental, Experiential Learning building with equipment to study micro/nano-materials applied to unconventional oil reservoirs. The lab is equipped with unique equipment purchases for interdisciplinary use, which include: NanoTracker 2 (JPK), Custom-built Rheometer, Custom-built Multi-phase and Steam-Foam Core Flooding instruments, and FT-ICR-MS (only one in Canada doing energy-related experiments).
    • A partnership with IBM and Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute has incorporated powerful computing and storage infrastructure along with advanced analytics and cognitive computing software for the use of advanced genomics in health research
    • The Prairie Regional Data Center for use of Statistics Canada and other datasets is being redeployed in a new facility within the Taylor Family Digital Library (August 2017).

    Research Resources

    A number of initiatives have been established at UCalgary in 2016/17:

    • A committee to develop and implement a digital data management system
    • Upgrade of archiving system to manage new digital data management needs (PRISM)
    • Deployment of Data Management Plan Assistant for use by faculty
    • Creation and deployment of Secure Research Computing
    • Significant upgrade in computing infrastructure in support of research

    Management and Administration of Institutions and Research Enterprise

    • More than 150 personnel are dedicated to research support systems in accounting, human resources, IT, legal, ethics and supply chain management.
    • The University of Calgary’s Research Services Office, with a staffing complement of 45, offers services ranging from pre-award assistance to facilitation of major strategic initiatives, networks, centres of excellence and research infrastructure programs (including business case development, securing matching industrial support and developing commercialization strategies as necessary).
    • Ten faculty-embedded research facilitators across the UCalgary campus provide local support for individual researchers in securing and utilizing research funding.
    • Strategic University Proposal and Platform Opportunity Review Team (SUPPORT): Five committees (Chairs, Infrastructure, Networks, Prizes and HQP Training) make recommendations to the VP Research for strategic allocation of institutional opportunities, quotas, and major infrastructure and operating funds. The SUPPORT process provides full peer review for more than 90 major grant applications annually, and feedback to researchers has significantly improved quality and success of our applications (with nationally leading success rates in CRC and CFI JELF awards). Committees are comprised of 44 faculty members from across campus, Associate VPs Research, along with representatives from service units responsible for implementation, such as Campus Planning and Facilities Development.
    • Research Management System: a committee and operational team is in place to develop this new platform that will provide streamlined, one-stop customer service to the research community by providing greater administrative oversight, improved integration and reporting in order to administer, track, and analyze research inputs, processes and outputs. The team includes three full- or part-time consultants plus five seconded staff and steering and oversight committees of staff including members from faculty and administrative staff.
    • Alberta Health Services implemented a common IT platform for research administrative processes, increased access for staff to N2 training, and funded 8 full-time equivalent Provincial Research Administration staff and personnel in other AHS departments supporting research-related requests, pro-rated for support provided to researchers in the Calgary Zone.

    Regulatory Requirements and Accreditation

    The Institutional Research Information Services Solution (IRISS): an online program automated workflow for researchers when applying for the certifications necessary to conduct research involving humans or animals. This system supports over 9,000 researchers annually and has significantly reduced the administrative workload when applying for ethics certification, supports efficiencies for the review boards, and ensures institutional compliance with Tri-Council guidelines.

    • In 2016/17, there were approximately 15 activities that were modified to support a more efficient electronic process
    • Many manual activities were automated
    • Submission Stats for 2016/17: (includes certificate, modification, renewal & closure): 7,290 applications
    • Time to Determination in 2016: (upon submission to REB) 57 days for CHREB (certification only) and 34 days for CFREB (certification only)
    • Completion of migration of all legacy paper files into digital format

    Intellectual Property

    • Number of active NSERC partnership grants in 2016/17: 93 (including Engage, CRD, SPG, IRC, Engage Plus, and I2I).
    • UCalgary has created an innovation ecosystem in the energy sector through our partnership with SAIT (Canada’s top ranked Polytechnic in Applied Research) and Innovate Calgary (our Tech Transfer organization). 
    • By partnering with SAIT Polytechnic, UCalgary has a champion in prototyping capabilities and technology transfer in the energy sector. SAIT adds important laboratories and facilities and also a key team of over 45 full-time applied research staff who have a track record of building prototypes and demonstration scale technology apparatus for the energy sector.
    • Innovate Calgary, a 60-person organization serving entrepreneurs and innovators both inside the university and within the community at large, has a 30-year history of managing intellectual property development (invention assessments, patents and licenses), launching new companies, mentoring entrepreneurs and SMEs, and raising capital to build and grow start-ups and link them with technology receptors.
    • UCalgary, SAIT, and Innovate Calgary have partnered with support from Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) to construct the Kinetica Innovation Center at SAIT (KICS), a prototype development lab space for energy startups (opening fall 2016).
    • University of Calgary Client Successes (data only for the energy-sector): 4 start-up companies that Innovate Calgary has helped to de-risk and accelerate over the past year.
    • Major development with the licensing of rights to Navicims technology by Novartis AG as potential therapy for Type 1 diabetes.

Calculation of the Research Support Fund Grant

The University of Calgary's Research Support Fund allocation is calculated based on Tri-Council (CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC) funding awarded in the previous fiscal year. In 2015/2016 UCalgary received a $11.57M grant dedicated to five expenditure categories.

View expenditure categories.

Affiliated Institutions

  • Alberta Health Services (AHS)
    • Alberta Children's Hospital
    • Alberta Children's Hospital Research Centre

    • Foothills Hospital

    • Peter Lougheed Centre

    • Rockyview Hospital

    • Tom Baker Cancer Centre

    • South Health Campus

    • Calgary Lab Services

  • Arctic Institute of North America (AINA)
  • Alberta Sulphur Research Limited (ASRL)
  • Carbon Management Canada Research Institutes Inc. (CMCRI)
    • Containment and Monitoring Institute (CaMI)
  • University Technologies Inc. (UTI)
  • Calgary Technologies Inc.
  • Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute
  • Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family
  • Tecterra Inc.
  • Van Horne Institute

Outcomes Report

As part of our outcomes report, listed below are the qualitative and quantitative measurements on the impact of the Research Support Fund at the University of Calgary, supplemented by the institutions’ internal operation budget. Funds have been invested in each eligible category.

Research Facilities

A preliminary list of 32 core facilities across 7 faculties has been created and is available on the website. This is the first step in the process of compiling a complete list of our core facilities and collecting qualitative metrics (usage, users’ satisfaction, etc.). These facilities are crucial in the support of leading-edge research and innovation. They support thousands of researchers (including faculty members, students and postdoctoral fellows) and provide the infrastructure to implement hundreds of research projects each year.

New facilities that have been announced or opened in 2015/16 include:

  • Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets (ACWA): for development of technologies to remove chemicals – notably pharmaceuticals, hormones and antibiotics – as well as pathogens and toxins from wastewaters, and to create a deep understanding of the impacts of pollutants on aquatic environments. The ACWA Research Facility is embedded in the Pine Creek Wastewater Treatment Centre of the City of Calgary.
  • Energy Bioengineering and Geomicrobiology (EBG) Facility: cutting-edge instrumentation including a bioreactor and associated analytical devices for bioprocess and metagenomic characterization.
  • Western Canadian Microbiome Centre (WCMC): under development (opening in 2017), the WCMC will include a new germ-free facility, real-time in vivo & in vitro imaging, and –omics platforms for studying natural and engineered microbiomes.
  • CERC (Canada Excellence Research Chair) lab in the Energy, Environmental, Experiential Learning building with equipment to study micro/nano-materials applied to unconventional oil reservoirs.

Research Resources

A number of initiatives have been established at UCalgary in 2015/16:

  • A committee to develop and implement a digital data management system
  • Upgrade of archiving system to manage new digital data management needs (dSpace)

Management and Administration of Institutions and Research Enterprise

  • More than 150 personnel are dedicated to research support systems in accounting, human resources, IT, legal, ethics and supply chain management.
  • The University of Calgary’s Research Services Office, with a staffing complement of 45, offers services ranging from pre-award assistance to facilitation of major strategic initiatives, networks, centres of excellence and research infrastructure programs (including business case development, securing matching industrial support and developing commercialization strategies as necessary).
  • Ten faculty-embedded research facilitators across the UCalgary campus provide local support for individual researchers in securing and utilizing research funding.
  • Strategic University Proposal and Platform Opportunity Review Team (SUPPORT): Five committees (Chairs, Infrastructure, Networks, Prizes and HQP Training) make recommendations to the VP Research for strategic allocation of institutional opportunities, quotas, and major infrastructure and operating funds. The SUPPORT process provides full peer review for more than 90 major grant applications annually, and feedback to researchers has significantly improved quality and success of our applications (with nationally leading success rates in CRC and CFI JELF awards). Committees are comprised of 44 faculty members from across campus, Associate VPs Research, along with representatives from service units responsible for implementation, such as Campus Planning and Facilities Development.
  • Research Management System: a committee and operational team is in place to develop this new platform that will provide streamlined, one-stop customer service to the research community by providing greater administrative oversight, improved integration and reporting in order to administer, track, and analyze research inputs, processes and outputs. The team includes three full- or part-time consultants plus five seconded staff and steering and oversight committees of staff including members from faculty and administrative staff.

Regulatory Requirements and Accreditation

The Institutional Research Information Services Solution (IRISS): an online program automated workflow for researchers when applying for the certifications necessary to conduct research involving humans or animals. This system supports over 9,000 researchers annually and has significantly reduced the administrative workload when applying for ethics certification, supports efficiencies for the review boards, and ensures institutional compliance with Tri-Council guidelines.

  • In 2015/16, there were approximately 20 activities that were modified to support a more efficient electronic process
  • Many manual activities were automated
  • Submission Stats for 2015: (includes certificate, modification, renewal & closure): 6,309 applications
  • Time to Determination in 2015: (upon submission to REB) 59 days for CHREB (certification only) an 33 days for CFREB (certification only)

Intellectual Property

  • Number of active NSERC partnership grants in 2015/16: 91 (including Engage, CRD, SPG, IRC).
  • UCalgary has created an innovation ecosystem in the energy sector through our partnership with SAIT (Canada’s top ranked Polytechnic in Applied Research) and Innovate Calgary (our Tech Transfer organization). 
  • By partnering with SAIT Polytechnic, UCalgary has a champion in prototyping capabilities and technology transfer in the energy sector. SAIT adds important laboratories and facilities and also a key team of over 45 full-time applied research staff who have a track record of building prototypes and demonstration scale technology apparatus for the energy sector.
  • Innovate Calgary, a 60-person organization serving entrepreneurs and innovators both inside the university and within the community at large, has a 30-year history of managing intellectual property development (invention assessments, patents and licenses), launching new companies, mentoring entrepreneurs and SMEs, and raising capital to build and grow start-ups and link them with technology receptors.
  • UCalgary, SAIT, and Innovate Calgary have partnered with support from Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) to construct the Kinetica Innovation Center at SAIT (KICS), a prototype development lab space for energy startups (opening fall 2016).
  • University of Calgary Client Successes (data only for the energy-sector): 4 start-up companies that Innovate Calgary has helped to de-risk and accelerate over the past year.

Research Support in Action

REB Exchange

REB Exchange streamlines multi-site research in Alberta

August 31, 2021

We are excited to announce the release of REB Exchange (REBX), a new ethics solution that integrates the ARISE (UAlberta) and IRISS (UCalgary) platforms to enable streamlined multi-site research, with a true single Board of Record model in Alberta.

Read more

Evolve to Innovate

New program helps UCalgary researchers translate research to real-world solutions

August 18, 2021

Applications now open for the Evolve to Innovate (e2i) program

Read more

River by Tahlisha North Peigan

Team sees Indigenous research as heart work, not hard work

May 14, 2021

Indigenous Research Support Team set to support Indigenous research 'in a good way'

Read more

UCalgary main campus

Knowledge Engagement team develops toolkit for researchers to measure impact

May 26, 2021

Initiative demonstrates UCalgary’s commitment to research impact assessment

Read more

Bedard family property in Piikani

Introducing UCalgary’s Indigenous Research Support Team

October 30, 2020

New office provides Indigenous research and scholarship guidance

Read more

Innovation Untold

Student storytellers celebrate UCalgary innovators

April 15, 2020

Storytellers showcase campus changemakers in Innovation Untold contest

Read more

FutureU

How do you inspire students to innovate? FutureU

January 28, 2020

New experiential learning program helps UCalgary students find their place in a rapidly changing world

Read more

WeLab

UCalgary launches first entrepreneurship training program for women

November 13, 2019

Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking strengthens university's women-led innovation ecosystem

Read more

Hieu Van Ngo is the leader of the Identity-based Wraparound Intervention Project.

It takes a village to raise a research project

July 18, 2018

Researchers and administration work together on community-based gang prevention program

Read more

Participate in Research

Why one family has participated in more than a dozen research studies

June 15, 2018

Participate in Research website offers volunteer opportunities for families to give back to the community and learn about science

Read more

Director Liz Scarratt helps researchers secure funding: 'In the end, what I do is based on connections with other people'

Director Liz Scarratt helps researchers secure funding: 'In the end, what I do is based on connections with other people'

May 17, 2018

How the renewed Academic and Research Plans shape our workplace at University of Calgary

Read more