NSERC Research Tools and Instruments Grants

NSERC's Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) grants 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.

The RTI grants program provides the primary avenue for university researchers in the natural sciences and engineering to obtain up to $150,000 in support for research tools and instruments with a net cost between $7,001 and $250,000.

Application Process & Eligibility

The RTI grant program follows one, single-stage application cycle each yearResearchers can submit one RTI application per competition, either as an applicant or co-applicant but not both. There is no limit to participation as an 'other user'.

Applicants must hold an active NSERC research grant, or be in the process of applying for an NSERC grant, to be eligible as an applicant or co-applicant. Beginning in the 2023 competition year (October 2022 deadline), RTI grant applicants and co-applicants who were successful in the previous year’s RTI competition will be ineligible to apply for one year. Eligibility will be reinstated the following competition year.

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 equipment, or for the fabrication of equipment that is not readily available off the shelf. 
  • equipment that is purchased or rented after the application deadline.

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.

Sponsor Site


November to October
Prepare and review your application
October 25 
Submit your application (See ORS procedures)

See relevant ORS application procedures and internal deadlines for your campus to ensure administrative review and timely submission: Vancouver | Okanagan


Support & Resources

Application Guide for UBC Researchers

We have prepared a comprehensive guide for applying to the Research Tools and Instruments program, exclusive to UBC faculty. CWL is required to view.

Read more

SPARC Sample Grant Library

Check out our comprehensive sample grant library and additional resources curated specifically for UBC faculty. CWL is required to view.

Read more



Alexander Unterberger (on leave)
Manager of Research Development

SPARC support services

Erin Evoy
Research Development Officer

SPARC support services

Dr. Purang Abolmaesumi
Sciences & Engineering Research Advisor (NSERC), UBC

Advocacy and advice