Budget guidelines

Research Personnel Costs

All Research Assistants must be paid at least the BC minimum wage ($16.75/hour as of June 2023) plus 4% vacation for a minimum SFU RA rate of $17.42/hour; the Supervisor may choose a higher rate (e.g., the BC living wage: $25.68/hour).

Graduate Students may be paid a stipend instead of a wage;  stipends must equal or exceed the BC minimum wage.

  • Note that the living wage for Metro Vancouver is $25.68/hour (www.livingwageforfamilies.ca; 2023).
    RA wages and stipends should meet living wage requirements.

Refer to the HR Research Personnel Initiative for more information; and see Employing Grant-Funded Research Assistants.  

Research Travel and Subsistence

Research travel costs must be essential to research activities or to communicate research results. The SFU Travel Policy (appendix) lists standard rates for travel/subsistence:

  • obtain air travel at the lowest fare possible (cost may not exceed the equivalent of full economy fare)
  • private accommodation: $45/night
  • personal vehicle usage: $0.61/km
  • meals when traveling (rates include tips and taxes):
Within Canada
Breakfast $20
Lunch       $20
Dinner      $35
     Total $75/day
Breakfast $25
Lunch       $25
Dinner      $45
     Total $95/day

Teaching "Buy Outs"

Some funding agencies provide salary replacement funds to protect research time and "buy out" teaching responsibilities;  the standard cost of one regular course buy-out in FASS is $20K, corresponding to 12% of the annual average salary in FASS plus benefits.    

The current Collective Agreement (CA) specifies that: "Under certain circumstances, and subject to the approval of the Chair or equivalent and the Dean, faculty members may “buy out” teaching responsibilities when the source of funds is an external research grant or contract, and where the benefits of the buyout to the faculty member’s research program outweigh the effects on the unit’s teaching program and its students. A faculty member normally may not buy out more than one course in any academic year, or not more than one quarter of the actual teaching assigned during any six-year period or any period of eligible years leading to a study leave." [p.33]

Library Support for Research Projects

SFU Library offers research-related services in a range of areas, including: 

  • digital publishing
  • software development
  • training for research project teams
  • research data management
  • digitization and digital preservation
  • media and maker commons
  • copyright assessment
  • open access publishing