The Institut’s director favours the straightforward principle he learned at the Rockefeller Institute:
- The administration should be headed by the scientific director
- Laboratory directors should have complete and total freedom in managing their research units, supervising their staff and choosing the focus of their projects
- Researchers should have access to a large number of auxiliary services (accounting, common equipment, audiovisual department, library, lecture rooms, cafeteria, etc.)
- Researchers should qualify for grants from public and private agencies with peer-review panels
The IRCM is a non-profit organization and receives funding from various sources. The operating budget is covered by grants from the Quebec ministry of Health and Social Services and the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ). The IRCM also receives financial support from corporations and the public through fundraising campaigns, annual activities, donations and bequests. Moreover, Institut researchers are required to seek funding for their research projects from national and international granting agencies.
Collaborations with the pharmaceutical industry are also common practice. In fact, the IRCM was a pioneer in an era when university biomedical research was still conducted in isolation. The university-industry association, which became particularly important towards the end of the 1980s, has only recently been fostered by the major federal research funding bodies and government instances. However, the IRCM, as part of the Université de Montréal, has had close ties with industrial partners since its earliest days.