Indirect costs are the hidden costs of conducting research that are borne by an institution. These costs may include salaries of staff dedicated to administering support, training for health and safety, maintenance of libraries, laboratories and office space (including custodial services, internet access and furnishings) as well as development of research infrastructure such as Intellectual Property policies and Research Ethics Boards. The government of Canada allocates a portion of research grants from federal agencies received by researchers to their home institutions each year. For more information on eligible expenses and how grants are disbursed, please see http://www.indirectcosts.gc.ca/about-au_sujet/index-eng.aspx.
In 2013-14, Dawson College was awarded a grant of $65,013 from the Federal Indirect Costs Program. An allocation of $37,393 was targeted to the operation of the Research Ethics Board (under the category of Regulatory Requirements). Facilities maintenance, including custodial and IT services for research offices and labs, absorbed $13,303 of the grant. Salary offsets for research support staff (one research coordinator and one administrative technician) accounted for $14,317.
Impacts of the Indirect Costs Program:
The support from the Indirect Costs Program (ICP) allows Dawson College to deliver excellent research administration to our research community, and support for facilities and resources. The College has been able to make strategic decisions that support long-term improvement to the research ecosystem. This enables us to attract and retain talented teacher-researchers, develop extensive partnerships and collaborations, and to support student involvement in research across the college.
Access to appropriate space for offices, labs and computing infrastructure is essential for effective research. As part of its ICP grant, Dawson supports the ADAPTECH research network which conducts research on the education and inclusion of students living with disabilities. Similarly, the SALTISE network for active learning and technological innovation in science education uses the Active Learning Classroom and other infrastructure to support its cutting edge research in pedagogy.
The ICP grant defrays a portion of the salary of the research coordinator and administrative assistant who provide pre-and post-award support for researchers. These staff help researchers write strong grant applications and provide the tools they need to manage their research dollars. This allows our researchers to focus their efforts on research rather than on administrative concerns.
In 2013-14, the College allocated a substantial portion of the ICP grant to the Research Ethics Board, in support of its operation and ongoing expenses. This board ensures that researchers adhere to both the College’s Policy on Integrity in Research and Scholarship, as well as the Tri-Council Policy on the Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans.
In addition, targeted investment into these categories allows Dawson College to redirect other funds to support the growth of research. In 2013-14, Dawson retained a consultant to help identify areas for research growth, and, in collaboration with the community, we began the process of drafting a strategic research plan. Without the support from the Indirect Costs Program, these activities might not have been possible.