The University of Prince Edward Island competes every year for millions of dollars in research funding from various granting agencies. UPEI has had great success and growth in this area. In 2000, research activities at UPEI received approximately $2million in annual external funding. By 2011, that amount was well over $18milllion.
The research activities at UPEI requires the service and support of university infrastructure. Canada’s tri-council of federal granting agencies, made up of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), has identified the importance of this infrastructure and the potential financial burden it represents to universities. In response, the tri-council has created the Indirect Costs Program (ICP).
The five expenditure areas covered by the ICP include:
In the 2011/2012 year, UPEI received $1,004,427 in ICP funds. The breakdown of these funds are as follows:
Impact on facilities at UPEI:
The costs of facilities continue to escalate with PEI’s high cost of services. Heat and electricity represent the major cost in this category. Researchers across UPEI utilize CFI-funded equipment; a significant portion of the ICP Facilities funds are used to offset expenses associated with this equipment.
Impact on research resources:
In the past year, ICP funds supported the development of several Virtual Research Environments (VREs). Managed by UPEI’s Robertson Library, these VREs allow research teams to collaborate in virtual environments, as well as create, store, and distribute their data assets.
Impact on management and administration:
As research activity at UPEI grows, so does the need for dedicated support for researchers in the area of accounting, human resources, computer services, research development, proposal development, and administration. ICP support in this area allows UPEI to advance research proposals, manage awards, disseminate results, and translate knowledge. Without this support, researchers would be forced to spend more time on administrative tasks, and less time on their research.
Impact on regulatory requirements and accreditation:
ICP funds support the training of technical personnel, students, faculty members and all compliance committee members at UPEI. It also assists with administrative supports of these committees to provide access to technical expertise required for full compliance. These committees include UPEI’s Animal Care Committee, Biosafety Committee, Research Ethics Board, and the Radiation Safety group.
Impact on intellectual property:
ICP funds have made it possible for UPEI to recruit and retain experienced technology-transfer and intellectual-property personnel. This activity is increasingly important to UPEI researchers as they seek patents on UPEI-developed technology and working agreements with industry.
Research at UPEI is made possible by the behind-the-scenes support funded in part by the Indirect Costs Program. For more information, see the ICP website.