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Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) Grants Program

Research Admin Offices:


Funding Type:


Opportunity Type:

  • Grant


Up to $150,000.


  • Health Sciences
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering



Internal Deadline:

October 18, 2022

Sponsor Deadline:

October 25, 2022

Additional Dates:

  • ROADS Intent to Apply Deadline - ASAP -
  • RAODS Notice of Intent for Optional Peer Review Deadline - August 22, 2022
  • ROADS Draft Application for Optional Peer Review Deadline - August 31, 2022
  • ROADS Draft Application Deadline (no Peer Review) - October 4, 2022
  • ROADS Final Draft Application Deadline - October 18, 2022
  • Sponsor Deadline, by 8:00 p.m. (ET) - October 25, 2022


The Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) competition is now open on NSERC’s Research Portal. 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 (excluding taxes, shipping and handling). 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.

NSERC will only accept the following requests:

  • For tools and instruments that form a comprehensive system intended to support NSERC-funded research in the natural sciences and engineering
    • 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
  • For 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
  • For equipment that is purchased or rented after the application deadline.

Additional Program Information:

NSERC has produced a video outlining the RTI program and application process and will host live Q&A sessions in September. Please view the video before the Q&A session, as information included in the video presentation will not be repeated in the live session.

Please note that the video and Q&A sessions are available in English and French. Links to the videos, presentation slides and live sessions can be found at

You can also use the individual links below:


Video: Presentation Slides:

Live Q&A (September 6, 2022, 1-2 PM ET)

Live Q&A (September 29, 2022, 1-2 PM ET)



Presentation Slides:

Q&R en direct (September 8, 2022, 1-2 PM ET)

Q&R en direct (September 27, 2022, 1-2 PM ET)


  • In addition to NSERC’s Eligibility Criteria for faculty, applicants and co-applicants must each currently hold one of the following NSERC research grants at the time of application: Discovery Grant, Discovery Development Grant, Alliance Grant, Strategic Partnerships Grants, Collaborative Research and Development Grants, Industrial Research Chairs, Canada Research Chairs, Canada Excellence Research Chairs, or Canada 150 Research Chairs.
  • Applicants and co-applicants may apply for any of the above grants while concurrently applying for 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.
  • Beginning this year (i.e., competition 2023, with a deadline of October 2022) Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) grants applicants and co-applicants who were successful in the previous year’s RTI competition are ineligible to apply for one year. Eligibility will be reinstated the following competition year.

Application/Nomination Process:

Applicants must submit their RTI application through the Research Portal by the deadline date. Each applicant and co-applicant must also submit a Canadian Common CV (CCV). Researchers can submit one RTI application per competition, either as an applicant or a co-applicant, but not as both. Teams should strive for a diverse group of co-applicants, including balanced gender representation. EDI considerations should be reflected in the rationale of the team composition and, where applicable, in the designated roles within the team.

Internal Peer Review and Deadlines:

  • ROADS will establish an internal peer review process to allow McMaster researchers the opportunity to receive valuable feedback on their draft proposals from colleagues who have served as Evaluation Group members or who have a strong track record of securing NSERC funding.
  • If you wish to be included in the internal peer review process, please notify Nathan Coschi of your intent to apply to
    the RTI program by August 22, 2022, in order to start the selection of internal peer reviewers for your application. Please include the title of your proposal, a list of the team members, and a brief summary of the proposal in your email.
  • Draft applications for peer review must be received by ROADS no later than August 31, 2022
  • For applicants who do not wish to participate in the internal review process, the initial draft of the application is due to ROADS by October 4, 2022. Please note applications received after this date may not receive a full review
  • The final draft is due to ROADS by October 18, 2022
  • ROADS will forward applications to NSERC on behalf of applicants by 4:30 p.m. on October 25, 2022.


Additional Details


Tabitha de Bruin, ROADS