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NSERC Research Tools and Instruments Program

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. While the RTI Grants Program provides the primary avenue to obtain support for research tools and instruments costing more than $7,000, equipment of any value can be purchased using a Discovery Grant. You are also encouraged to explore other avenues for funding research tools and instruments, including NSERC’s many programs that include the purchase of equipment in eligible expenses.



RTI grants are one-year awards that assist in buying or developing research equipment that costs more than $7,000. NSERC will pay a portion or all of the applicable taxes as well as the shipping and handling expenses, as long as the overall grant does not exceed $150,000. NSERC will accept applications for equipment with a total net cost of more than $150,000 and up to $250,000, provided that the applicant can secure funding from other sources to bring the amount requested from NSERC to $150,000 or less. The funding must be in place and confirmed at the time that the application is submitted.



  • To be eligible as an applicant or co-applicant, you must currently hold or be applying for an NSERC research grant (e.g., Discovery, Strategic, Research Partnership, Canada Research Chairs) at the time of submitting the RTI application.
  • A researcher can be an applicant or co-applicant on one application.
  • NSERC will accept applications that include various tools and instruments that form a comprehensive system intended to support a single or multiple research programs. However, bundling of unrelated tools and instruments, or of duplicate tools and instruments intended for different uses, will not be accepted.
  • RTI grants must be used to purchase only the specific type of equipment for which the grant was awarded.
  • NSERC will accept only applications for equipment that is purchased after the application deadline.


Selection Criteria:

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


Application Process

The RTI competition is held on an annual basis, due on October 25.

If you plan to submit an Application, please contact Nathan Coschi, Senior Advisor, at or extension 21581.


More Information:

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