NSERC Research Tools and Instruments Grants

The Research Tools and Instruments Grants (RTI) program is the primary NSERC competition available to natural sciences and engineering researchers for obtaining funding support for the acquisition of research equipment.

For the 2017 NSERC RTI competition, NSERC has announced the following two major changes to the program:

  • Institutional quotas (used in previous years) are being eliminated for RTI applications, therefore UBC researchers will no longer be required to submit an RTI pre-selection application (to SPARC in mid-September).
  • The RTI competition is open to all eligible Canadian university researchers. However, researchers are permitted by NSERC to participate in only one RTI application per competition, either as an applicant or a co-applicant, but not both.

Support for 2017 RTI Applications:

NSERC will hold an English webinar for RTI applicants on Thursday, September 14, from 10am - 12 noon [Pacific time] (French sessions also available). NSERC's webinar slides are available via the "NSERC RTI External Resources" tab below.

Detailed Reviews are being offered for well-developed draft RTI applications, on a first-come/first-served basis. Please contact David Woods by the registration deadline of: Wednesday, September 20, 2017, for more information.

Note, the RTI instructions available on the NSERC website have been updated and revised, and a new RTI FAQ and Peer Review Manual have been produced, to reflect the above program changes. See the "NSERC RTI External Resources" tab below for the appropriate links.

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NSERC RTI Quick Facts
  • Permissible requested amount: between $7,001. and $150,000. (one time award)
  • Total net cost of equipment being purchased must be less than $250,000. (additional funding must be in place and confirmed at time of application)
  • Application deadline (annual): October 25
  • Applicants must hold active NSERC research grant, or presently be applying for an NSERC grant
  • Proposal can include items that form a comprehensive system intended to support a single or multiple research programs
  • Bundling of unrelated equipment, or of duplicate tools/instruments intended for different uses, is not permitted


NSERC RTI SPARC Services and Resources

Information on:

  • Detailed Review Requests for well-developed draft RTI applications, on a first-come/first-served basis.
    Registration Deadline: Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.
  • General Program/Informational Support

Contact: David Woods (604-822-8789)

Additional Contact (for UBC-Okanagan RTI applicants):
Rick Federley (250-807-9516)


SPARC Contacts

David Woods, NSE Research Partnership Development Manager
Email: david.woods@ubc.ca; Phone: 604-822-8789

Tim Salcudean, Sciences & Engineering Research Advisor for VP Research Office
Email: tims@ece.ubc.ca; Phone: 604-822-3243