Research Nova Scotia is an independent, not-for-profit corporation with the mandate to support, organize and co-ordinate the funding of research in Nova Scotia.  The Research Nova Scotia Corporation Act and Funding Regulations describe the scope, governance, and funding arrangements of the Corporation.  Although Research Nova Scotia reports to the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education, the management and control of the corporation is vested in a Board of Directors. The corporation bylaws describe the activities of the Board of Directors, including the appointment of Directors, the conduct of meetings and the management of the Corporation.

Research Nova Scotia administers the Research Opportunities Fund to support activities that supports inclusive economic growth, or a healthy population and a strong health-care system.

The Research Advisory Committee (RAC) provides advice and makes recommendations on research-related matters, including administration of existing programs and opportunities for development of new programs and research initiatives.