4.7 Eligible costs for operation and maintenance of the infrastructure

The CFI provides funds to cover a portion of the operating and maintenance costs required for the effective and optimal use of CFI-funded infrastructure. Such costs include technical personnel, maintenance and repairs, and services that are directly associated with funded infrastructure and spaces.

4.7.1 Infrastructure Operating Fund

The costs of operating and maintaining CFI-funded infrastructure are eligible under the Infrastructure Operating Fund (IOF). Unlike most CFI funds, no partner funding is required. An eligible operating and maintenance cost for the IOF must meet the following conditions:

  • The item to which it relates must have been funded by the CFI (i.e., it appears on the proposal or updated budget and/or the final financial report)
  • The CFI-funded infrastructure project to which it relates must have been approved after July 1, 2001 and must not have been funded through the Canada Research Chairs Infrastructure Fund (2000–06), Career Awards (2002–06) or the international funds (2002 and 2007)
  • The CFI-funded infrastructure project to which it relates must have passed the stage of award finalization. An award agreement must therefore be in place for the project
  • The operating and maintenance activities must be needed to ensure the infrastructure can be used to carry out the proposed research
  • The infrastructure must still be used for research purposes.

Only the portion of operating and maintenance costs associated with research is eligible.

Find out more about the Infrastructure Operating Fund.

Eligible costs

  • Salaries (including benefits) for technicians and professionals directly involved in the operation and maintenance of the CFI-funded research infrastructure (The full salary of the assigned personnel may be eligible if the infrastructure cannot be operated without their assistance.)
  • Training for the main operator(s) of the research infrastructure, not included in the infrastructure award (It is expected that the main operator(s) will train other users. Alternatively, a group training session may be provided by the vendor at the institution.)
  • Extended warranties and/or service contracts not included in the infrastructure award
  • Extensions to warranty coverage, service contracts and software licences
  • Maintenance and repairs
  • Replacement parts
  • Replacement of a CFI-funded infrastructure item needing repair, only if the replacement is more cost effective than the repair (The replacement item must have similar functionality.)
  • Services (e.g., electricity, security, cleaning) that directly support space funded by the CFI or for space that is essential to house and use CFI-funded infrastructure, which may include common areas, if applicable
  • Supplies and consumables needed to operate the research infrastructure (not to exceed 10 percent of the cumulative total IOF funding claimed by the institution).

Non-eligible costs

  • Purchase or lease of real property
  • Cost of equipment, installation and construction or renovation deemed eligible under an infrastructure award
  • Upgrades related to the infrastructure
  • Telephone, internet and cable or satellite television services that are not necessary to ensure the infrastructure can be used for research
  • Insurance
  • Costs not directly related to the CFI-funded infrastructure
  • Trainee stipends (undergraduates, graduates and postdoctoral fellows) and researcher salaries
  • Administrative, secretarial or clerical personnel not directly related to the operation and maintenance of the infrastructure (e.g., research services office, library, finance services)
  • Any cost to conduct research activities
  • Costs attributed to the dissemination of information such as promotion, publications or conferences
  • Expenditures reimbursed by another funding source.


4.7.2 Major Science Initiatives Fund

The Major Science Initiatives (MSI) Fund provides support for the ongoing operating and maintenance (O&M) needs of research facilities of national importance for which the loss or absence of support would represent a serious setback for Canada. The CFI has established an oversight framework which guides the monitoring activities of the funded facilities. Oversight activities are tailored to the complexity of the facility.

Find out more about the MSI Fund.