Research Western

NSERC Research Tools and Instruments Grants (RTI)

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 and installations.

RTI Grants are one-year awards that assist buying or developing research equipment that costs more than $7,000.  In exceptional cases, multiple-year requests will be accepted.  The onus is on the applicant to clearly explain the rationale.  While the RTI Grants Program provides the primary avenue through which to obtain support for tools and instruments costing more than $7,000, equipment of any value can be purchased using a Discovery Grant.

Universities are provided with a quota for the number of RTI applications that they can submit to NSERC. This quota is based on the number of NSERC-funded researchers at the university. The university decides which applications to submit to NSERC.

Important Dates

In order to put forward the highest quality applications for this year’s RTI competition (Fall 2016), Western will be accepting pre-applications for expert panel review to recommend the applicants going forward to NSERC within Western’s quota (TBD; approximately 25).

Date:                                What is Required?
June 27, 2016 Notice of Intent Deadline (Mandatory)
July 2016
September 2016
Western Review
  • All pre-applications will be reviewed by an RTI Expert Panel using NSERC’s RTI assessment criteria
  • The RTI Expert Panel will make recommendations to Western’s Core Planning Group (ADRs)
  • All applicants will be notified by September 30, 2016 to confirm whether they were selected
October 14, 2016 Western Deadline for Application + ROLA (Mandatory)
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete a ROLA proposal and;
  • Email the complete PDF application (exported from the Research Portal) to
October 25, 2016 NSERC Submission Deadline at 2 P.M.
  • Research Western will submit applications to NSERC through the Research Portal by 2PM

Eligibility to Apply

In addition to NSERC’s Eligibility Criteria for faculty, applicants and co-applicants must each currently hold, or be applying for/renewing, an NSERC research grant (Discovery, Strategic Partnerships, Collaborative Research and Development, Canada Research Chairs, Canada Excellence Research Chair) at the time of application.

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: