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Research Tools and Instruments Grants

Instructions for Completing an Application – Form 101

For information concerning Research Tools and Instruments Grants specific to Subatomic Physics please refer to the program description.

General Information

About the Program

Read the program description in the Program Guide for Professors before you complete the application.

Who Completes the Application?

The applicant must complete the application and include all required documentation using the On-line System. In addition, the Personal Data Form (Form 100) must be completed by applicants and co-applicants and linked to the application form.

Presentation Standards

You are responsible for submitting a complete application that conforms to the presentation standards established by NSERC. Incomplete applications and applications that do not meet the presentation standards may be rejected, or be at a disadvantage, in comparison with those that are complete and respect the presentation standards. Where page limits are stated, pages in excess of the number permitted will be removed.

For more information, read the NSERC On-line Presentation and Attachment Standards.

Application Deadlines

Your application must be received at your institution’s research grants office by their internal deadline date; contact your research grants office for those deadlines.

For programs with deadlines, the application must be received at NSERC by 8:00 p.m. (Eastern time) on the deadline date. If it is not received by the deadline, it will be considered late and will be rejected.

Personal Information

The collection, use and disclosure of personal information provided to NSERC are outlined in the following policy statements:

The information you provide in your application is collected under the authority of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Act. NSERC is subject to the This link will take you to another Web site Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act (ATIP). The information you provide is stored in a series of NSERC data banks described in This link will take you to another Web site Info Source.

Help with Program Information

  • Contact the staff responsible for the program to which you are applying.

Help with the NSERC On-line System

  • Check the Frequently Asked Questions on how to use the On-line System;
  • Review the instructions available in the application;
  • Contact the On-line Services Helpdesk. Send an e-mail to: or call 613-995-4273. Include your e-mail address and telephone number.

Completing the Application

Application Profile

Type of grant - Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) Grant

RTI grants are one-year awards of up to $150,000 that support the purchase or development of research equipment with a total net cost is of between $7001 to $250,000 (excluding taxes, shipping and handling).

NSERC will accept applications for equipment with a total net cost of more than $150,000 up to $250,000, provided the applicant can secure funding from other sources to bring the amount requested from NSERC to $150,000 or less. This funding must be in place and confirmed at the time that the application is submitted. Such sources may include NSERC Discovery Grants held by the applicant or co-applicants. The use of other types of NSERC grants is permitted, provided a prior written authorization is obtained from NSERC.

NSERC will accept applications for various tools and instruments that form a comprehensive system intended to support a single or multiple research programs. However, bundling of unrelated tools and instruments, or of duplicate tools and instruments intended for different uses, will not be accepted.

NSERC will pay a portion or all of the applicable taxes as well as of the shipping and handling expenses, as long as the overall grant does not exceed $150,000. The applicant will be responsible for any amount in excess of $150,000.

Title of proposal

The title should describe the equipment applied for and will be used for publication purposes. It should not contain a company or trade name. Spell out scientific symbols and acronyms.

Enter the estimated time that will be devoted (in hours per month) to the use of the equipment or facility.

Area(s) of Research

Research subject codes

Consult the NSERC Code Tables. All applicants are required to select a primary research code.

Key words

Provide a maximum of 10 key words that describe the proposal.

Certification Requirements

Before completing this page, consult the Policies and Guidelines of the Program Guide for Professors concerning the requirements for certain types of research.

Research involving humans: If you select Yes, you must provide your institution's administration with the appropriate certification indicating that research involving humans has been reviewed and has received the required approval.

Research involving human pluripotent stem cells: If you select Yes, or if through peer review the application is found to fall into this category and is recommended for funding, it will be forwarded, with your consent, to the Stem Cell Oversight Committee (SCOC) to ensure compliance with This link takes you to another Web site Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Research: Guidelines for CIHR-Funded Research. The SCOC review is in addition to the normal review by local Research Ethics Boards (REBs). Funding will not be released until approval has been obtained from the SCOC.

Research involving the use of animals: If you select Yes, you must provide your institution's administration with the certification from the animal care committee at the institution that the experimental procedures proposed have been approved and that the care and treatment of animals is in accordance with the principles outlined in the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) guide.

Research involving hazardous substances: If you select Yes, you must provide your institution's administration with the certification from the biosafety committee at the institution that the laboratory procedures being used comply with the safety precautions necessary for the level of containment required by the research.

Environmental impact: Appendix A (Environmental Information) must be completed and submitted with the grant application ONLY if at least one of the following situations applies to your research activities: (A) any phase of the proposed research will take place outdoors and on federal lands in Canada, as defined in This link takes you to another Web site section 2(1) of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012); (B) any phase of the proposed research will take place outdoors and outside of Canada; (C)(i) the grant funds will permit a designated project (listed in the CEAA 2012 This link takes you to another Web site Regulations Designating Physical Activities (RDPA)) to be carried out in whole or in part; or (C)(ii) any phase of the proposed research will depend on a designated project (listed in the This link takes you to another Web site RDPA) that is being carried out by an organization other than NSERC. If none of these situations apply to your proposed research activities, then no Appendix A is required.

Note: On July 6, 2012, CEAA 2012 came into force. As a result, the review process for applications submitted to NSERC has been revised. Grant applicants are required to provide more specific information under a completely revised Appendix A (Environmental Information), and Appendix B (CEAA Pre-Screening Checklist) no longer exists. In addition, the NSERC Policy on Environmental Assessment has been revoked and replaced by NSERC’s Guidelines on Environmental Review and Assessment.


For team applications, list each co-applicant's name, personal identification number (if known), organization name, as well as the time (in hours per month) each co-applicant will devote to the proposed research/activity or the use of equipment or facility.

Only major (frequent) users should be listed as co-applicants and need to obtain their organization's signature and submit a Personal Data Form (Form 100).

By submitting this form, the applicant certifies that the individuals listed as co-applicants have been informed of the precise uses and disclosures of their personal information by NSERC (see Use and Disclosure of Personal Information Provided to NSERC) and have authorized the release of the information by the applicant.

Co-applicants, except those from the applicant’s institution, must advise the authorized officer of their organization that the applicant, or the applicant’s institution, will be seeking their signature prior to submitting the application to NSERC, agreeing to their participation.

Supporting Organizations

Enter information about each co-applicant organization's signing officer (other than the applicant’s organization). For supporting organizations such as an industrial partner or a government department, enter information about the authorized representative(s).

The applicant must ensure that the co-applicants from other institutions obtain the appropriate signature from the authorized officer of their organization prior to submitting the application to NSERC (see Signatures requirements within this document).

Summary of Proposal

The summary is intended to explain the proposal in language that the public can understand.

Using simple terms, briefly describe the equipment or the facility that is requested, and the nature of the work to be supported. Indicate why and to whom the research is important, the anticipated outcomes, and how your field and Canada will benefit.

This plain language summary will be available to the public if your proposal is funded.

If you wish, you may also provide a summary in the other official language in the text box identified for that purpose.

Proposed Expenditures

Before completing this page, read the instructions and consult the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide for information about the eligibility of expenditures for the direct costs of research and the regulations governing the use of grant funds.

Use the Budget Justification section to explain and justify each budget item.

Type of Expenditure RTI
Salaries and Benefits Not eligible
Equipment or Facility Purchase or rental is eligible
Travel Not eligible
(transportation costs for purchased equipment, extended warranty, brokerage and customs charges for the importation of equipment and supplies, the costs of training staff to use equipment or a specialized facility)

Costs that are not eligible include:

  • Insurance costs for equipment and research vehicles;
  • Costs of the construction, renovation or rental of laboratories or supporting facilities;
  • Software licensing or upgrades for subsequent years.

Indicate, in the space provided, any contributions from other sources to the cost of the equipment.

Budget Justification

Provide a detailed explanation and justification for each budget item identified in the Proposed Expenditures page. Provide sufficient information to allow reviewers to assess whether the resources requested are appropriate. This page should only contain information pertinent to the budget.

Equipment or facility

Give a breakdown of the items requested. Provide details on models, manufacturers, prices and applicable taxes. Justify the need for each item requested.

Other expenses

List all items not relevant to previous categories, and provide a brief explanation for major items.

Relationship to Other Research Support

See This link will take you to another Web site Selecting the Appropriate Federal Granting Agency and Relationship Between NSERC Proposals and Other Sources of Funds.

Any relationship and/or overlap, conceptual or financial, with work supported by NSERC or other funding sources must be explained.

Use an additional page to provide the following information:

  • Clear and concise information on the conceptual and budgetary relationship or difference between this application and all other support currently held or applied for by the applicant and co-applicants. Also explain perceived duplication in funding or, if applicable, indicate how the current application complements research funded by other sources.
  • For each grant currently held or applied for, clearly describe the main objective, and provide a brief outline of the methodology, budget details and details on the support of highly qualified personnel. In addition, the relationships to the NSERC application must be explained. Such information may be provided, for example, in the form of a brief summary of the necessary details for each grant.

If you have received or applied for funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), provide details on how the money was or will be spent.

The onus is on the applicant to provide sufficient information to enable the reviewers to evaluate the relationship between this application and other sources of support, the incremental value of additional support from the program, and to recommend the appropriate NSERC funding level.

The consequence of not providing adequate information to assess the relationship to other research support is that the reviewers may recommend reduced or no funding.


Provide two recent quotations for items or systems costing more than $25,000 before taxes. Provide justification if two quotations are not available.

Note: For upload purposes, all the quotations must be saved into a single PDF document.


Use the guidelines outlined in the NSERC On-line Presentation and Attachment Standards to provide the requested information in a document to be attached to the application.

Page limits

Up to three single-sided pages are permitted for all RTI applications.

Using the headings below, describe:

  • the research program(s) to be supported;
  • the equipment requested and the reason(s) for the configuration proposed;
  • the need to purchase the proposed equipment or facility to undertake the research programs effectively;
  • the availability of similar equipment in the same department, elsewhere in the university, or at nearby institutions;
  • the accessibility and degree of utilization of such equipment and, where applicable, the need to replace existing equipment;
  • the impact on the research program of a delay in acquiring the equipment; and
  • how the proposed equipment will be used for training.

Applications for computing equipment are considered on the same basis as all other equipment applications, including proposals to develop computing facilities to support research programs. RTI grant funds may be used to purchase hardware and/or to pay for the acquisition of software.

Letter(s) of Support

If a cash contribution towards the purchase of the equipment is provided by an organization (other than the applicant’s and or co-applicants’ institution[s]), a letter is required from the organization confirming this commitment.

Such letters should clearly explain the support that the organization will provide, including its involvement in the research and its contribution (cash or in-kind) to the purchase and installation of the equipment. If more than one letter is required, letters should be combined in a single PDF file.


NSERC does not require original signatures on applications or other documents submitted electronically through its On-line System. The electronic submission of applications through this system represents approval and replaces the traditional "physical" or "wet" signatures. Refer to the Frequently Asked Questions in the Program Guide for Professors for more details.

What do the Electronic or Original Signatures on the Application Mean?

For applicants

Before you, as an applicant or co-applicant, submit your application to NSERC or link your Personal Data Form to an application, you must read and agree to the following terms and conditions.

By submitting your application or linking your Personal Data Form, you are certifying that:

  • You have provided true, complete, accurate information in your funding application and related documents, and you have represented yourself, your research and your accomplishments in a manner consistent with the norms of the relevant field.
  • If you are the applicant, you have ensured that others listed on the application have agreed to be included in the application.
  • If you are a co-applicant, you agree that the applicant will administer the grant/award on behalf of the group/team.
  • You are not currently ineligible to apply for and/or hold funds from NSERC, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), or the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), or any other research or research funding organization worldwide for reasons of breach of policies on responsible conduct of research, such as ethics, integrity or financial management policies. If at any time you become ineligible for any of these reasons, you will advise your institutional officials and NSERC immediately, in writing.
  • You have read, understood and agree to comply with the This link will take you to another Web site Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research both in the submission of your application and in carrying out the research funded by NSERC.
  • If you are or have been (at any time during the past 12 months) a federal public servant, you have complied with and will continue to respect the This link will take you to another Web site Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector.
  • Consent has been obtained from trainees to include limited personal information about them in the application.
  • You understand the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act and the Use and Disclosure of Personal Information Provided to NSERC as they pertain to your information.
  • You consent to the sharing among the three federal granting agencies (NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR) and with any academic institution to which you are, or may become, affiliated, of any and all information, including personal information, in any way related to the application and to the grant/award.
  • In the event of any change in your eligibility status, you will inform NSERC and your institutional officials immediately, in writing.

By submitting your application or linking your Personal Data Form, you are also confirming that, during tenure of the grant/award, you will comply with the terms and conditions of the grant/award.

Consent to disclosure of personal information: You understand that maintaining public trust in the integrity of researchers is fundamental to building a knowledge-based society. By submitting any application, by linking your Personal Data Form (Form 100 or 103CV) as a co-applicant to an application, or by accepting funding from CIHR, NSERC and/or SSHRC, you affirm that you have read and you agree to respect all the policies of these agencies that are relevant to your research, including the This link will take you to another Web site Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research. In case of a serious breach of agency policy, the agency may publicly disclose your name, the nature of the breach, the institution where you were employed at the time of the breach and the institution where you are currently employed. You accept this as a condition of applying for, or receiving, agency funding, and you consent to such disclosure. If you do not agree to the disclosure of your personal information, you cannot participate in this application.

Note: If you have any concerns about your ability to comply with the terms and conditions listed above, contact your institutional official or NSERC staff responsible for the program immediately. Do not agree to the terms and conditions and do not submit your application or Personal Data Form until you are certain that you can and will comply with all of the requirements.

The signatures of the institutional authorities certify that:

  • the institution will abide by the roles and responsibilities as set out in the This link will take you to another Web site Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions with the three federal granting agencies, including the This link will take you to another Web site Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research;
  • the applicant and co-applicant(s) have met, or will meet, the eligibility requirements;
  • prior to submission of this application, the institution has obtained written approval from any other institutions involved in the application process; and
  • if the applicant discloses any potential intellectual property (IP) arising from the research, he or she and the institution will endeavour to obtain the greatest possible economic benefit to Canada from the resulting commercial activity. Note: This requirement for disclosure is not intended to supersede any IP ownership policy that the institution already has in place.

The signatures of authorized officers of other supporting organizations certify that the organization:

  • agrees with the content of the application and will provide the committed resources; and
  • agrees to the release of the public summary of the award and to the publication of the organization's name as a supporter of the initiative.

If you are both the applicant or co-applicant and a principal of a collaborating organization, another senior official must sign on behalf of the organization.

Environmental Impact – Appendix A

An Environmental Information Form (Appendix A) must be completed and uploaded to the Environmental impact page if required.

List for a Complete Application

Research tools and instruments

  • Application for a Grant (Form 101)
    • Application profile (including certification requirements, amounts requested)
    • Co-applicants
    • Summary of proposal
    • Proposed expenditures
    • Budget justification (attachment)
    • Relationship to other research support (attachment)
    • Quotes (minimum of two) - for items over $25,000
    • Letter(s) of Support - see instructions
    • Proposal (see instructions for page limits)
    • Appendix A (Environmental Impact) – if required
  • Personal Data Form (Form 100) for the applicant and each co-applicant
    • Personal information (appointment, academic background, HQP)
    • Experience
    • Research support
    • List of HQP
    • Contributions
    • Appendix A (Personal Data) – one original only – do not photocopy
    • Appendix B (Eligibility Questionnaire) – one original only – do not photocopy (if required)
    • Appendix C (Description of Applicant's Activities) – if required
    • Appendix D (Consent to Provide Limited Personal Information About Highly Qualified Personnel [HQP] to NSERC): form(s) must be retained by the applicant and made available to NSERC upon request.

NOTE: Pages in excess of the number permitted will be removed.

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