NSERC Research Tools and Instruments Grants

Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) grants foster and enhance the discovery, innovation and training capability of university researchers in the natural sciences and engineering (NSE) by supporting the purchase of research equipment.

  • RTI grants provide up to $150,000 in support for research tools and instruments with a net cost between $7,001 and $250,000. 
  • NSERC will only accept requests for:
    • tools and instruments that form a comprehensive system intended to support NSERC-funded research in the NSE. A comprehensive system is one in which each tool or instrument forms part of an integrated system of operation to support the research program(s). Requests that bundle unrelated tools and instruments together will not be accepted.
    • the purchase of new, used or refurbished equipment, for the repair, upgrade or rental of equipent, or for the fabrication of equipment that is not readily available off the shelf. 
    • equipment that is purchased or rented after the application deadline.

Note: Equipment and items that are part of laboratory infrastructure or intended to render other equipment compliant with health and safety standards are ineligible for RTI support.

See the tabs below for a summary of competition updates and resources available to UBC applicants. Please note there is no longer an internal competition for the RTI competition.

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NSERC RTI Quick Facts
  • Permissible requested amount: up to $150,000 towards the purchase of equipment with a net cost between $7,001 and $250,000.
  • Applicants must hold active NSERC research grant, or presently be applying for an NSERC grant, to be eligible as an applicant or co-applicant.
  • Researchers are permitted by NSERC to particpate in only one RTI application per competition, either as an applicant or a co-applicants, but not both. There is no limit to participation as an "Other user".
  • UBC submission procedures and deadlines for the NSERC RTI Grants competition can be found on the relevant ORS webpage: Vancouver | Okanagan

NSERC Resources

SPARC Services and Resources
  • RTI Selection Committee Panel (past): Thursday August 6, 2020. 1-2PM.   
  • RTI Playbook (Updated July 2020 following CY2021 competition launch): A guide to strategic application to the NSERC RTI competition. 
  • Summary of CY2021 Competition Changes: A one-page summary of competition changes from the CY2020 to CY2021 RTI competition.
  • Sample Grant Library: Examples of successful RTI applications. CY2020 sample grants address current assessment criteria. 

SPARC Contacts

Mika Johnson, NSE Research Development Officer 
mika.johnson@ubc.ca; 604-822-8136

Alexander Unterberger, NSE Manager of Research Development
alexander.unterberger@ubc.ca; 604.822.5386

Tim Salcudean, Sciences & Engineering Research Advisor, VP Research & Innovation
tims@ece.ubc.ca; 604-822-3243