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.

RTI Grants are one-year awards of up to $150,000 that assist in the purchase, fabrication or rental of research equipment with a net cost between $7,001 and $250,000 (before taxes, customs and importation fees, transportation and shipping charges, 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, such as Discovery Grants.

Important Dates

  • October 18, 2018 at 2 p.m.:  Internal submission of:
    • ROLA proposal for e-approvals, and
    • 1 PDF copy of the application exported from the Research Portal to researchoffice@uwo.ca (drafts accepted)
  • October 25, 2018 at 2 p.m.:  Final application deadline (there is no Notice of Intent stage for the RTI program)
N.B. When you 'submit' your application in the Research Portal, it does not go directly to NSERC. It is routed first to Research Services for review and final submission to NSERC.

Important Notes:

  • NEW: NSERC has revised and "weighted" the application assessment criteria. Please refer to the RTI Peer Review manual link below for details.
  • 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.
  • There is no longer a quota on the number of RTI applications an institution can submit.
  • As a result of the elimination of the quota system, Western no longer has a formal internal review process in place; however, the Research Development team may be able to provide internal reviews and feedback on RTI proposals on a best-effort basis if submitted to Antoinette Martin by/before Friday, September 21. Applicants who take advantage of this service will receive proposal content feedback by October 5.
  • Quotations: You must provide two (2) recent quotations for any individual item(s) over $25,000 (before taxes) or for any system(s) to be purchased from a single supplier and costing more than $25,000 (before taxes). If the required number of quotations cannot reasonably be submitted, you must provide a justification in the Budget Justification section of 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. Please thoroughly review the application instructions at the link below.
  • Applicants are encouraged to promote approaches that increase the inclusion and advancement of women and other under-represented groups in the natural sciences and engineering, as one means to foster excellence in research and training. Applicants must strive for diversity and increased gender equity when developing their group of co-applicants, collaborators and trainees. For more information, refer to the NSERC Framework on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
  • Applicants and co-applicants will be prompted to update their profile (one time only) in the Research Portal by responding to equity, diversity and inclusivity questions, before proceeding to the application module.

Eligibility to Apply

In addition to NSERC’s Eligibility Criteria for faculty, applicants and co-applicants must each currently hold, or be applying for one of the following NSERC research grants at the time of application: Discovery Grant, Discovery Development Grant, Strategic Partnerships Grants, Collaborative Research and Development Grants, Canada Research Chairs, Canada Excellence Research Chairs or Canada 150 Resaerch Chairs.

In the event the applicant is not successful in obtaining a Discovery Grant while concurrently applying to the RTI Program, each case will be reviewed to determine if there are ample funds from other NSERC research grants to conduct the research linked to the RTI request.

Resources and Documents


If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact: researchoffice@uwo.ca