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Research application budgets

Information on salary, employment rates and other research budget costs to help you complete your research funding application budget and budget justification.

Salaries & Employment Costs


Suggested hourly rates (research assistants/students)

Suggested rates are based on current UVic CUPE 4163 – Component 1 rates as a guideline.

Your RA’s salary is not the only cost to your grant account. In addition to the salary, you must also pay the Mandatory Employment Related Costs (MERCs):

  1. Roughly 11% in employer costs (Employer portion of CPP premiums, Employer portion of EI premiums, WorkSafeBC premiums, and BC’s Emploer Health Tax)
  2. Either paid vacation days, or 4% in vacation pay in lieu (for RAs paid hourly, part time, or for a term less than 6 months we advise paying 4%)

The total estimated cost to your budget would be:

Level Sept.  2023 Salary Sept. 2023 total cost incl. MERCs Sept.  2024 Salary Sept. 2024 total cost incl. MERCs
Undergraduate $19.27/hour $22.16/hour $19.66/hour $22.61/hour*
Graduate $30.87/hour $35.50/hour $31.49/hour $36.21/hour*

*Rates are subject to a 2024 CPI adjustment

Calculating salary from an hourly rate 

UVic uses 152 as the average number of hours in each month.

UVic’s Pay periods are from the 1-15th and the 16th-end of each month. Because each pay period contains a different number of workdays, an average of 76 hours per pay period, or 152 hours per month is used.

  • Monthly salary = 152 hours * hourly rate
  • Annual salary = monthly salary * 12
Determine the Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) rate if your employee is working less than 35 hours/week.
  • 35 hrs/week is a full-time appointment (1.0 FTE)
  • If the employee is working less than 35 hours/week, divide the number of hours/week by 35
    • e.g., 28 hours a week / 35 = 0.8 FTE
    • annual salary * 0.8 = part-time annual salary

Calculating hourly rate from annual salary 

Depending on your benefits and vacation decisions the cost to your grant can change.

Example: $60,000 in funding is available. What is the salary? Hourly rate? 

  • $60,000/1.15 = $52,173.91 annual employee salary (excluding the Mandatory Employment Related costs (MERCs))
  • $52,173.91/12 = $4,347.83 monthly employee salary
    • $4,347.83/152 hours = $28.60/hour (excluding the Mandatory Employment Related costs (MERCs))

Example: $60,000 salary excluding employer costs. What is the hourly rate?

  • $60,000/12 = $5,000 monthly salary (excluding the Mandatory Employment Related costs (MERCs))
    • $5,000/152 hours = $32.89/hour (excluding the Mandatory Employment Related costs (MERCs))

Extended benefits for grant funded employees

  • Extended benefits (such as health, dental, life and pension) are discretionary and some funding agencies, including Tri-Council, do not consider them an eligible expense.
  • If you wish to pay extended benefits, please consult the Benefits Summary for Externally Funded (Grant) Employees for cost estimates and further details
  • You can also use the Grant funded benefit cost estimator to calculate the approximate costs of hiring an employee, but please note that this tool provides an estimate only and may not represent the exact rates for each scenario.

Post-doctoral rates

Post-doctoral fellows (PDF) can be paid via fellowship or through payroll as employment. The determination of this depends on:

  1. The rules of the funding,
  2. Employee Benefits coverage, and
  3. The working relationship with the supervisor.

If you are interested in supervising a PDF, contact UVic’s PDF coordinator.

Examples of post-doctoral fellow amounts per annum

Calculating faculty rates 

Faculty salaries and rates of pay can be complex and may include various stipends and adjustments that may or may not be applicable to an hourly rate. If you need to know a faculty member’s salary, for example to include as an in-kind contribution to a project, contact your faculty’s Director of Administration regarding the appropriate rates.

Applicant, co-applicant & collaborator compensation 

Be aware of funding guidelines. In most cases, applicants, co-applicants and collaborators listed on a grant cannot draw a salary or any sort of compensation from the grant.

Further, anyone eligible to apply for the funding themselves (whether or not listed as a participant on the grant) can usually not draw a salary from the grant.

Some exceptions apply. For example:

  • CIHR will permit trainees to be listed on a grant as co-applicant and draw a salary from the account.


Stipends are paid in support of a student’s own work. They differ from salary (where there is an employer/employee relationship).

If you are unsure which applies, refer to:

The Tri-Council agencies (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC) do not set maximum amounts for fellowship or stipend requests. 

Examples of current fellowship rates:

UVic graduate fellowship awards
  • Master’s: $17,500/annum
  • PhD: $20,000/annum

Tri-Council awards:



Course releases

  • Course releases/buy-out must be pre-approved by your department/school and faculty. If course buy-out is an eligible expense or there is a requirement for protected research time associated with your application, please contact your chair/director and faculty grant officer
  • For budgeting purposes, release time is calculated as the cost of hiring a sessional instructor to teach your course(s). Please consult with your faculty to determine the appropriate rate.
  • Course buyout is not an eligible expense for Tri-Council grants

Types of costs & typical expenses

Travel & subsistence

UVic per diem: $60/day: breakfast $14, lunch $16, dinner $30 (CDN or US dollars if outside Canada)
Incidentals: $20/day, meant to cover small expenses for which you have no receipt, such as parking, bus fare, tips, etc (CDN or US dollars if outside Canada)
Private vehicle usage as per the Canada Revenue Agency prescribed rate. 2024 rates:
  • $0.70 per km 
  • an additional $0.04 per km is allowed in the Northwest Territories, the Yukon and Nunavut
Airfare and accommodation estimates
  • consult your travel agency or use current online (e.g., Air Canada, or similar) rates
  • make sure to include the date the price was checked in your budget justification
Public transportation (e.g., bus, taxi, ferry) 
Travel cancellation insurance and travel health insurance 
Childcare expenses (under specific circumstances only)

Tip: If travelling in Canada, you can access preferred rates for car rentals, hotels, the Toronto Union Pearson Express and VIA Rail through UVic’s membership in CAUBO. For travel in BC, you are eligible for BC Provincial Government room rates (these can also be used for hosting research team members or visiting scholars if the booking is made via UVic). 

Materials, supplies & services

Equipment under $2K (e.g., laptops)
Book purchase
Animal orders 
UVic animal care per diem rates

Equipment or facility

Purchase or rental
Operation and maintenance costs
User fees
Space rental for community use of on-campus meeting and/or classrooms
UVic AV rental rates 
  • books purchased with Tri-Council funds should not duplicate those available through the library
    • If they do, an explanation must be provided
  • the costs of items including, but not limited to, office supplies, furniture, insurance for building and equipment, memberships, alcohol and entertainment are ineligible for Tri-Council funding
  • the current BC tax rates are 7% PST and 5% GST, with UVic eligible for a 67% GST rebate

Knowledge mobilization/dissemination

Open Access Journal Publication
Publication costs
Website design and maintenance
Translation costs
Workshop costs (including room, food) 

Technology transfer activities

Field trials
Building prototypes
Scale-up costs
Demonstration projects

Work with your ORS research partnerships and innovation manager to explore costs.

Ownership of items purchased with grant funds

Please note that the Tri-Agency guidelines apply to all funded research (whether funded by Tri-Agency or not):

“All items purchased with grant funds belong to the institution and not to the individual grantee, unless the funding Agency agrees otherwise in writing, or unless doing so would be contrary to a legislated requirement.

As owner, the institution is responsible for ensuring that the items are used to support the research program of the grantee and co-grantees. Decisions on the use and management of the items should be made between the institution and the grantee or user group.” 

Cash & in-kind contributions


  • matching/leveraged funds must be supported by documentation (letters of support, emails) and be verifiable
    • leveraged funds are auditable; the university is required to report on them.
  • you are not permitted to claim identical contributions on multiple applications
  • cash contributions include expenses for the direct costs of research that are directly related to achieving the proposal objectives
  • in-kind contributions include eligible non-monetary resources that partners and the host institution provide to support the project
  • review guidelines for specific funding opportunities
    • know the “mix” that is required (e.g., 100% matching)

Cash contributions 

  • cash in support of direct costs of research
  • teaching buy-out (not the cost of researcher salaries, but the cost of releasing a researcher to devote time to the project)
  • travel (e.g., a co-applicant’s travel paid by institution or conference travel support amount institution provides)
  • fellowships/scholarships
  • professional development funds

In-kind contributions

  • cash-equivalent of goods or services that would otherwise have to be purchased
  • time of individuals (non-faculty). Know the limits (e.g., max. of $80/hr for SSHRC)
  • office and laboratory space (beyond what is ordinarily provided)
    • general office space is valued at $25/sq ft/yr
    • lab space value should be confirmed with your faculty 
  • access to equipment
  • donation of software, access to databases

When submitting a Tri-Council application, the following funding sources are not eligible as contributions:

  • Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)
  • Canada Research Chairs and Canada Excellence Research Chairs
  • Canada First Excellence Research Fund (CFREF)
  • National Centres for Excellence (NCE)
  • indirect costs/research support fund program

You may be able to leverage Tri-Council funds for non-Tri-Council funding applications.

Indirect costs of research (overhead)

Refer to our Indirect costs & recovery page for information.

Additional resources

Eligible expenses 

Cash & in-kind contributions

Need help?

Please contact your faculty grant officer.