FRQ Indirect Research Costs Reform


Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to draw your attention to a change in the way the Government of Quebec will distribute indirect research funds to institutions.

Previously McGill, like other Quebec institutions, received an envelope each year for applicable indirect costs, based on Système d’information sur la recherche universitaire (SIRU) reporting. However, starting April 1, 2014 and as a result of the Politique nationale de la recherche et de l'innovation (PNRI), the Quebec government is now allocating indirect costs via two separate mechanisms:

  1. 27% in support of institutional administrative costs for eligible programs, which is allocated on a per award basis and indicated in the Notice of Award (NOA);
  2. An annual envelope in support of facility and space, allocated directly to McGill’s central administration.

This reform affects indirect costs allocated through Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) grants. Attached please find a memo from FRQ, in both French and English, outlining the programs for which McGill will be receiving 27% administrative indirect costs on an award-NOA basis. How other provincial granting agencies will manage the change in indirect costs distribution remains to be determined at this time. We will communicate agency-specific information as it becomes available to us.

It is important to underscore that, while how McGill receives indirect costs from these programs is now slightly different, nothing has changed in how provincial indirect funds are handled within McGill. When administrative indirect costs are awarded on FRQ grants, they will initially be accounted for in each project-specific fund for agency financial reporting purposes. Nevertheless, all provincial indirect costs will continue to be redirected to an institutional fund under the purview of the Provost.

The reform may impact the inter-institutional transfer of funds. For now, only direct costs are being transferred to co-applicants and their institutions. We will inform the community once a consensus among Quebec institutions on this matter has been reached.

Thank you for informing your faculty and staff accordingly. More details about how the Quebec indirect costs reform will impact internal processes will be communicated as we receive further clarification from the Government of Quebec. 

Dr. Rosie Goldstein
Vice-Principal (Research and International Relations)
McGill University