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Research Infrastructure Support Funds

Overview

Occasionally, a situation may arise where the CFI project is in need of extra operational funding for costs that are not normally eligible under Infrastructure Operating Fund (IOF) terms or for costs that exceed the authorized IOF allocation of 25% during the five-year funding period. In these cases, the project lead may submit an Extraordinary Request (EOR) for support from the Research Infrastructure Support (RIS) fund. Any CFI-funded infrastructure may be eligible for RIS funding for operation and maintenance during its useful life.

There isn't sufficient RIS funding to provide ongoing operating resources for all projects. Project lead(s), departments and faculties must be prepared to seek out and commit efficient and effective resources for their projects.

RIS funding decisions will favor requests from projects that are serving a large set of Principal Investigators and teams that include a shared-cost arrangement at the department or faculty level, or that include a commitment for complete support after the RIS funds are spent. In some cases, it may be most effective for departments or faculties to combine support for CFI infrastructure or to place it within core facilities. For instance, a department chair could submit, on behalf of several award holders, an EOR request that impacts multiple facilities or a dean could submit an EOR request for support of CFI projects of similar nature that exist across departments.

If funding is awarded, the project lead(s) must report annually to the vice-president (research) on the expenditure of the additional funding, until the full amount is accounted for. If it cannot be spent as requested, the funds will be returned to the RIS. 


Procedure

  • The project lead, department or faculty contacts RSO to discuss the possibility of alternative funding arrangements. If advised to do so by RSO, the project lead may apply to the vice-president (research) for additional funds. 

  • The applicant fills out the EOR form, which includes a justification for the requested funds and a budget showing eligible expenditures in accordance with CFI guidelines. As noted above, a department chair or associate dean (research) could submit a request to support infrastructure from several CFI projects.

  • The appropriate chair(s) and dean(s) review the proposed budget, indicating by their signatures that the costs as described are appropriate and sufficient for the operation of the infrastructure.

  • Project lead(s), departments or faculties may be required to commit to providing the funding for future ongoing operational costs.

  • Requests must be submitted annually.

  • In the case of multi-year requests, an annual report justifying actual expenditures must be completed. If there is insufficient justification for unspent funds, the remaining funds may be withdrawn. 

Decision-Making Process

The applications will be considered by the Vice President (Research) on a case-by-case basis, taking into account how the initial funding was spent, what other resources the project has brought to bear on its operating costs, the productivity of the facility, the range of investigators the facility serves, and the purpose for the additional funds.