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Infrastructure Operating Fund


All CFI projects approved for funding after July 1, 2001, including John R. Evans Leaders Fund (formerly Leaders Opportunity Fund) for Canada Research Chairs since 2005 (excluding International, Canada Research Chairs Infrastructure and Career Award projects), will be eligible for Infrastructure Operating Fund (IOF) funds.

Normally, a project will have access to IOF funds not exceeding 25% of the CFI contribution to the project. In the case of inter-institutional projects, funds will be allocated according to demonstrated need, normally not to exceed 30% of the CFI contribution attributed to each participating institution. This allocation will be negotiated and included as part of the required inter-institutional agreement.

Projects that used CFI funds for construction or major renovation of facilities will be required to provide on-going confirmation of the use of the space for the lifetime of the IOF program at the University. In the event that a Project Lead is no longer responsible for the constructed or renovated space, then the Department or Faculty will be required to provide the annual confirmation.

Projects must apply for IOF funds within 2 years of the submission of the CFI Final Financial Report; or in the event that infrastructure implementation is delayed, the IOF application must be submitted within two years of the implementation. Projects that do not apply for funding within this period will forfeit their allocation of IOF funding to the Research Infrastructure Support (RIS) Fund under the oversight of the Vice-President (Research). Expenses may be claimed under the IOF for up to a total of five years. Expenses incurred in the year preceding submission of the IOF claim are eligible.

Eligible costs include costs directly associated with operation of the CFI-funded infrastructure, including personnel, supplies, maintenance, repairs and services. As with other CFI funds, all expenditures claimed must be prorated to include only that portion used for research (no teaching). Examples of eligible costs include technical personnel, maintenance or service contracts, supplies needed to run the infrastructure, and services to support the infrastructure (electricity, heating, security, etc.).

Examples of ineligible costs include administrative and secretarial services not directly related to the operation of the infrastructure, faculty salary, minor and significant upgrades, indirect cost of administering CFI awards, publications, software site licenses, and conference expenses (this is only a partial list).

For details, please refer to Section 4.7 of the CFI Policy and Program Guide.

IOF awards do not require matching funds, and there is no holdback for IOF funds.


  • Project lead(s) may submit a Request for IOF funding through the RSO at any time during the fiscal year. The request will confirm the full costs and revenues for the infrastructure for its useful life. The IOF will be awarded at a maximum amount for a specified period of time and will be accessed through an annual claim procedure.

  • In order to receive IOF funds, a CFI project must meet all of the following criteria:
    • the project must be a CFI project approved for funding;
    • the award agreement must be in place (i.e., CFI has approved the finalized budget and issued an award agreement) within two years of IOF application; and
    • some infrastructure has been received and is being used for research.

  • The project lead(s) should contact the Partnership and Institutional Projects team to initiate the application for IOF funds. A budget will need to be prepared showing eligible expenditures in accordance with CFI guidelines, along with the scope of work; UA IOF itemized list and budget justification.

  • Once RSO review is completed the documentation can be forwarded to the appropriate chair(s) and dean(s) to review the proposed budget, indicating by their signatures that the costs as described are appropriate and sufficient for the operation of the infrastructure.

  • Forms must be signed by the project lead(s), the dean and the chair and submitted to the RSO for review and authorization.

  • Budgets will be subject to review and approval through the decision-making process outlined below.

  • Project lead(s) will be contacted annually by the RSO to confirm their annual financial statement and to provide a budget forecast for the following year. This claim will be reviewed and approved by RSO, and, once it is approved, the next installment of IOF funds will be deposited into the IOF project.

Decision-Making Process

  • RSO will review each application for eligibility and conformity to the available allocation for the project.

  • Either the assistant director or manager, Partnership and Institutional Projects, will consider and approve the application on behalf of the University.

  • Upon approval, RSO will authorize the set-up of the project and issue an Advice Notice to the project lead(s).
  • Annual claims will also be reviewed and approved by the RSO and, once approved, the next installment of IOF funds will be deposited into the IOF project.