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.

As of 2017 the following two major changes to the RTI program were instituted and will be carried forward to future years:

  • 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.
  • 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.

Note, the RTI instructions and review criteria, available on the NSERC website, have been updated and revised for the 2018 Competition, 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. 

NSERC will hold English language webinars for RTI applicants on Thursday, August 30th, and Thursday, September 13th, 2018 from 10am - 12 noon [Pacific time] (French sessions also available). NSERC's webinar slides are available via the "NSERC RTI External Resources" tab below.

SPARC Support for October 2018 RTI Applications:

Detailed Reviews are being offered for well-developed draft RTI applications, on a first-come/first-served basis. Please contact Mika Johnson by the registration deadline of: Wednesday, September 20, 2018, for more information.

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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
  • 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.


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: Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018.
  • General Program/Informational Support

Contact: Mika Johnson


SPARC Contacts

Mika Johnson, NSE Research Development Officer 
Email: mika.johnson@ubc.ca

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