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.

The RTI Grants program provides the primary avenue for university researchers in NSE to obtain up to $150,000 in support for research tools and instruments with a net cost between $7,001 and $250,000. Net cost is defined as the purchase cost of the equipment after any discount from the vendor and before taxes, customs and importation fees, transportation and shipping charges, and assembly and installation costs. The research community is also encouraged to explore other avenues for funding research tools and instruments, including NSERC's other programs that include the purchase of equipment as eligible expenses.

Important Dates

  • Tuesday October 11, 2022 at 10 a.m.:  Internal submission of:
    • ROLA proposal for e-approvals, and
    • Submission in the Research Portal of a complete draft application, including CCV(s) (applications can be returned for editing, as needed)
  • Tuesday October 25, 2022 at 10 a.m.:  Final application submission in the Research Portal (there is no Notice of Intent stage for the RTI program)
When you submit your application in the Research Portal, it does not go directly to NSERC. It is first routed to Western Research for review and final submission to NSERC.

Important Notes

  • NEW for this competition: Research Tools and Instruments (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. This change is being implemented to increase access to the RTI program to the largest number of eligible researchers.
  • As of last competition: Changes to the budget justification instructions to clarify and emphasize that an application will be rejected if the necessary quotations or the budget justification are not submitted with the application.
  • As of last competition: "Excellence of the Researcher" will no longer be assessed. Instead, the review committee will evaluate the extent to which the research team has relevant experience, or present a training plan to demonstrate how they will gain the ability to use the equipment.
  • The application assessment criteria are weighted (see RTI program overview page for the detailed sub-criteria):
    • Need, urgency and suitability (40%)
    • Feasibility and impact (40%)
    • Training of highly qualified personnel [HQP] (20%)
  • Researchers can submit one RTI application per competition, either as an applicant or a co-applicant, but not as both.
  • Each applicant and co-applicant must complete a Canadian Common CV and link it to the application.
  • Co-applicants:  Include only major users (who frequently use the equipment) as co-applicants. Note that co-applicants have action items that must be completed before an application can be submitted.
  • Applicants are encouraged to increase the inclusion and advancement of under-represented and disadvantaged groups in the natural sciences and engineering as one way to enhance excellence in research training. Where applicable, consideration of sex, gender and diversity in the research design should be addressed in the research proposal. Equity, diversity and inclusion considerations should be developed into the rationale of the composition of research teams and trainees. For more information, refer to the Guide for Applicants: Considering equity, diversity and inclusion in your appplication.
  • Please thoroughly review the application instructions at the link below.

Eligibility to Apply

To be eligible to apply for and to hold RTI funds, applicants and co-applicants must each:

  1. meet NSERC’s Eligibility Criteria for faculty
  2. hold one of the following NSERC research grants: Discovery Grant, Discovery Development Grant, Alliance Grant, Strategic Partnerships Grant, Collaborative Research and Development Grants, Industrial Research Chairs, Canada Research Chairs, Canada Excellence Research Chairs or Canada 150 Research Chairs.

*Note: Applicants and co-applicants may apply for any of the above grants (those still accepting applications) while concurrently applying to the RTI program. However, if any applicant or co-applicant does not hold one of the above grants by the RTI award start date, or is not successful in obtaining one of these grants while concurrently applying to the RTI program, the applicant and/or co-applicant will be deemed ineligible and removed from the application.

Resources and Documents


For more information, or questions relating to the RTI program, please contact researchoffice@uwo.ca.