The Federal Indirect Costs Program (FICP) is a Government of Canada funding program to assist Canadian post-secondary institutions in offsetting the indirect cost of research associated with Tri-Agency awards (i.e., NSERC, SSHRC, and CIHR). The funds provided are to assist with expenses in five major categories: Facility, Management & Administration, Resources, Regulatory Requirements, and Intellectual Property. FICP grants are allocated annually based on a 3-year rolling average of an institution's Tri-Agency revenue.
The total costs associated with conducting research comprise "direct" costs and "indirect" costs.
"Direct" costs of research normally comprise all of the budgeted expenditures for carrying out a specific research project at the University or affiliated organizations. These direct costs can be directly assigned to research projects relatively easily with a high degree of accuracy.
"Indirect" costs are real dollars spent by the University and affiliated organizations, to support research activities. Although it can be difficult to assign these costs to specific projects, they represent necessary provisions for the conduct of research including items such as utilities, building costs, research contract/applications support, human resources, research accounting, library costs and central computing costs.
Starting in 2012, universities are required to publicly disclose, on their websites, information on the indirect costs of research and the use of the Federal Indirect Costs Program (FICP) grant received.