Guidelines for Cash and In-Kind Contributions

These guidelines provide an overview of eligible and non-eligible cash and/or in-kind contributions suitable for submission to SSHRC.

Applicants for any SSHRC grant may fund their projects by drawing on complementary funding from other sources.

For some funding opportunities, a cash and/or in-kind contribution from partners, sponsoring organizations and/or the host institution is mandatory; moreover, this contribution reflects the source’s meaningful collaboration. Please see the funding opportunity description for more details and specific requirements.


Eligible Contributions

Eligible Cash Contributions

The Tri-agency Guide on Financial Administration is used generally as a baseline for eligible cash contributions.

Eligible cash contributions include expenses for the direct costs of research and/or research-related activities that are directly related to achieving the objectives for which the grant was awarded. For a list and description of the costs that SSHRC considers to be eligible expenses and activities, please refer to the Use of Grant Funds section of the Tri-agency Guide on Financial Administration.

Compensation for faculty involved in the project cannot be counted as an eligible contribution. However, the actual cost of releasing faculty from teaching duty to enable participation in and administration of the project is an eligible contribution and can be counted as such (e.g., the cost of hiring a sessional instructor for course release may be counted).

Note: While the Tri-agency Guide on Financial Administration lists faculty salaries as non-eligible expenses, SSHRC will, in the case of Partnership Grants, make an exception to this guideline for SSHRC partnered chairs. SSHRC's Guidelines for Partnered Chairs provide detailed information about expected contributions.

Eligible In-Kind Contributions

Eligible in-kind contributions include eligible nonmonetary resources that partners, sponsoring organizations and/or the grantee’s institution provide to support the project. While eligible in-kind contributions generally align with the Tri-agency Guide on Financial Administration, SSHRC will consider other in-kind contributions that are essential to carrying out the project.

Note: Please consult a SSHRC program officer via the contact information listed in the related funding opportunity description before including any in-kind contributions that do not align with the Tri-agency Guide on Financial Administration.

In-kind contributions considered essential to the research or research-related activities could be in the form of cash-equivalent goods or services, which, if not donated, would have to be purchased with project funds. In-kind contributions could also include the time of individuals (non-faculty) within partner organizations (e.g., experts in a specific area) spent in providing direction and participating in the project. In some cases, the partners may provide specialized skills and advice or access to special equipment, space, data sets, etc.


Sources of Eligible Cash and/or In-Kind Contributions

Canadian and international sources of eligible cash and/or in-kind support may include:

  • the host institution;
  • other academic institutions and organizations (such as universities, research centres, colleges, etc.);
  • philanthropic foundations and trust funds;
  • departments and agencies of the federal government;
  • departments and agencies of provincial, territorial and municipal governments;
  • crown corporations;
  • private sector firms and corporations;
  • not-for-profit organizations and community organizations;
  • professional associations;
  • labour organizations; and
  • individuals (except for Connection Grants).

In cases where leveraging of resources is a requirement of a grant, SSHRC reserves the right to make the final determination of eligibility and value regarding cash and in-kind contributions, to disallow expenditures and, if necessary, to reduce the amount of SSHRC funding awarded.



While external grant funds (e.g., international grant funds) may, in some cases, be applied as eligible contributions, grant funds received from the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), SSHRC and tri-agency programs (e.g., Networks of Centres of Excellence and related programs, the Canada Research Chairs Program, the Canada Excellence Research Chairs Program, the Research Support Fund, and the Canada First Excellence Research Fund) cannot be counted as required contributions.

A contribution that has already been used in full or in part to support another project funded by CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC or any tri‑agency program will not be recognized as an eligible contribution for a new SSHRC-funded project.


Stacking Provisions of Public Funds

The maximum level—or stacking limit—of total government assistance (federal, provincial and municipal assistance for the same eligible expenditures) will not exceed 100 per cent of eligible expenditures. In the event that total government assistance to a recipient exceeds the stacking limit, SSHRC will adjust the level of assistance so that the stacking limit is not exceeded and there is no duplication of funding.

When an award holder is successful in attracting other funding, from either governmental or non-governmental sources, the additional funds do not displace the grant provided by SSHRC. The award holder is encouraged to use the additional funds to extend or accelerate the achievement of their project’s overall objectives by expanding its research program, increasing its talent development activities, enhancing its knowledge mobilization activities, or conducting other activities for the benefit of scholarship and society.


Valuation of Eligible In-Kind Contributions

SSHRC will recognize in-kind contributions at fair market value. “Fair market value” is defined as the agreed-upon price in an open and unrestricted market between knowledgeable and willing parties who are dealing at arm’s length and who are fully informed. The fair market value is the price an institution would be expected to pay in such circumstances, after normal and educational discounts.

It is the responsibility of institutions to ensure that the reported fair-market value for all items involving an in-kind contribution is reasonable.

To guide applicants and partners in identifying in-kind contributions, please refer to the Tri-agency Guide on Financial Administration as a baseline, and to the list below. This list is not exhaustive. Applicants may contact SSHRC program staff (via the contact information found at the end of the related funding opportunity description) for more information about in-kind contributions.


Examples of Cash and In-Kind Contributions

Category Eligible Non-Eligible


Actual salary cost (up to a maximum of $80 per hour, or higher with justification) for employing experts to contribute directly to the project

Portion of the salary of a project manager or research support staff person assigned to fulfill duties specifically related to the project

Payments to the project director, co-applicants and/or collaborators as consulting fees or honoraria (additional to his or her salary)

Salary overheads, or external charge-out or consultant rates

Salary and costs of administrative support staff

Salary and costs of management activities not directly related to the project

Professional and technical services/contracts

Consulting fees and/or technical expertise directly related to the funded project (e.g., communications professionals, lawyers, Indigenous elders, etc.)

Fees not related to the funded project

Faculty remunerations

Actual costs to the institution for release time from teaching duties (e.g., the cost of hiring a sessional instructor for course release may be counted).

Payment to the project director, co-applicants and/or collaborators as consulting fees or honoria (additional to his or her salary)

Partner remunerations

Salary and benefits of partner institution employees (not host institution employees) when they undertake activities related directly to the project

Overhead on salary and benefits of partner institution employees

Travel and subsistence costs

Reasonable out-of-pocket travel and subsistence expenses for work that is directly dedicated to the funded project

Use of air mile points to pay for travel and subsistence

Reasonable conference travel costs related to the funded project

Conference registration fees; or a proportion of these fees if only part of the conference focuses on issues or topics related to the project

Costs to cover conference fees, travel, hotels, food, etc., to attend events, meetings, etc. that are unrelated to issues or topics related to the project

Equipment, materials and supplies
(E.g., computer and electronic communications)

Donated used equipment, material and supplies, at:

  • fair market value
  • company book value

Donated new equipment, material and supplies, at:

  • selling price to most favoured customer (if stock item)
  • cost of manufacture (if one of a kind)

Loaned equipment, material and supplies, based on:

  • rental equivalent based on depreciation
  • rental equivalent to highest-volume rate

Equipment, material and supplies at list price or discounted list price

Rental equivalents exceeding accepted values had the equipment been donated or sold

Development costs

Software, new technologies and databases

Cost of purchasing licenses needed for the project, if not already provided by the institution

Development cost of new technologies related to the project

Access to unique databases

Costs of collecting and archiving data where:

  • the data are critical to the success of the project;
  • there is a commitment to archive the data, once suitably cleaned, in a public database within a reasonable time following the completion of the project; and
  • the database remains in the public domain

Development costs of new software and new technologies that go well outside the scope of the project

See the Canada Foundation for Innovation for funding opportunities that may be applicable in the development of these kinds of tools

Dissemination of results

Preparation of materials (e.g., digital media) for mass and other audiences

Organization of a workshop, seminar, roundtable, conference or public lecture that relates directly to the research project or other funded activities


Use of facilities

Donated meeting rooms, space or facilities for which a fee is usually charged

Donated additional office space that may be at the partner’s site or at the academic institution, as long as the office space is over and above what is provided to the applicant as part of his or her regular employment conditions (e.g., additional office space required to accommodate students, international collaborators, etc., who are contributing to the initiative)

Rental costs for specialized equipment needed at events

Note: The value of donated meeting rooms should be calculated at the rates normally charged to staff, and not at rates charged to non-university clients.



Contact Information

Please address questions about these guidelines to the program officer responsible for the funding opportunity to which you are applying (see the Contact Information section at the end of the appropriate funding opportunity description).