Research Office

Research Support Fund

Indirect costs of research

University research involves both direct and indirect costs. Direct costs – which can include equipment, supplies, and travel for a specific project – are typically supported by research grants awarded to individual faculty. Indirect costs include salaries for administrative staff who provide support for faculty researchers, the provision and maintenance of appropriate research facilities (such as laboratories and libraries), research resources (library holdings, databases, and other research tools), safety training, insurance, and other regulatory requirements. These institutional resources are not tied to any one research project but are nevertheless necessary for research to happen.


The Research Support Fund

At CMU, the ongoing indirect costs of research are offset by a grant from the Government of Canada's Research Support Fund. This grant is awarded annually to eligible institutions; the amount is determined as a percentage of all Tri-Council (e.g. SSHRC) research grants that have been awarded to the university and its researchers over the past three years. The university may direct its Research Support grant to the following five areas:

  • research facilities
  • research resources
  • management and administration of an institution's research enterprise
  • regulatory requirements and accreditation
  • intellectual property

For 2019-2020, CMU is receiving a Research Support Fund grant of $44,239.  To date, CMU has allocated its Research Support Fund grant to the management and administration of its research. 

More information about the Research Support Fund can be found at


Impacts at CMU  

Since 2012, the Indirect Costs Grant/Research Support Fund has allowed CMU to increase its level of support for faculty researchers by establishing a permanent staff position for a Research Grants Facilitator. The Grants Facilitator assists researchers in identifying and obtaining sources of funding for their work, and monitors regulatory requirements associated with all research. This targeted administrative support is important as CMU continues to develop and expand its research profile.

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