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NSERC Research Tools and Instruments Program

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)

Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) Program


Notify ROADS of Intent to apply by August 8, 2016

For internal selection, submit a complete application by September 6, 2016



The objective of the Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) program is to foster and enhance the discovery, innovation and training capability of university researchers in the natural sciences and engineering by supporting the purchase of research equipment and installations. 


Recent Changes to the RTI Program:

  • As of the 2016 competition, applications for the RTI Grants Program must be submitted using the Research Portal and NSERC CCV. NSERC’s Research Portal can be accessed electronically at and the NSERC version of the Canadian Common CV (CCV) can be accessed at
  • It is strongly recommended that you allow ample time to complete the CCV. We have been advised that completion of the NSERC CCV is very time consuming since all of the required information must be entered manually. It is not possible to cut and paste information from existing documents into the NSERC CCV.


To assist researchers with these changes, NSERC will be holding a series of webinars on the NSERC Research Portal. Please see below for details. 



RTI grants are one-year awards of up to $150,000 that assist in the purchase or fabrication of research equipment with a net cost between $7,001 and $250,000 (excluding taxes, shipping and handling). The research community is also encouraged to explore other avenues for funding research tools and instruments’, including NSERC’s other programs that include purchase of equipment and eligible expenses, such as Discovery Grants.


NSERC will only accept requests:

  • For tools and instruments that form a comprehensive system intended to support NSERC funded research in the natural sciences and engineering (bundling of unrelated tools and instruments, or of duplicate tools and instruments intended for different uses, will not be accepted).
  • For the purchase of new, used, or refurbished equipment, or for the repair or upgrade of equipment, or for the fabrication of equipment that is not readily available off the shelf; and
  • For equipment that is purchased after the application deadline.



In addition to meeting NSERC’s Eligibility Criteria for Faculty, applicants and co-applicant must currently hold or be applying for an NSERC research grant (e.g., Discovery, Strategic Partnerships, Collaborative Research and Development, Canada Research Chairs, Canada Excellence Research Chair) at the time of submitting the RTI application.


Application Process:

by August 8, 2016: If you plan to submit an application, please send a list of your team and requested equipment to Grace Kim at
by September 6, 2016: A complete application is due to the Research Office for Administration, Development and Support (ROADS).


Please note: NSERC has given each university an application quota, based on the number of NSERC-funded researchers in the natural sciences and engineering at the university. Full applications submitted by September 6th will undergo an internal review process using the same evaluation criteria as NSERC as follows. Only those selected will be forwarded to NSERC for October 25, 2016.


Review Procedures and Selection Criteria:

Applications to the RTI program will be assessed on the basis of the following five selection criteria:

  • Excellence of the applicant(s);
  • Merit of the proposed research program(s);
  • Need for and urgency of the equipment, including availability of, and access to, similar equipment;
  • Suitability of the proposed equipment for the proposed research program(s); and
  • Importance of the equipment for the training of highly qualified personnel.


More Information:

If you have questions regarding the RTI program, please contact Grace Kim, Assistant Director, Development, ROADS, at or extension 24765.

Additional information about the RTI program can be found on NSERC’s website at