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, customs and importation fees, transportation and shipping charges, and assembly and installation costs). Net cost represents the cost of the equipment after any discount from the vendor. Vendor discount must be free of conditions, restrictions, or limitations (e.g., cannot be offered in exchange for services from users benefiting the vendor company).
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.1 NSERC encourages universities to inform their faculties of their internal selection process.
|Type of Awards||
|Duration||Research Tools and Instruments Grants Program:
Operations and Maintenance Support For Research
Equipment: 1 or 2 years
|Value||Up to $150,000|
|Awards Available||For information relating to Research Tools and Instruments Grants specific to Subatomic Physics please refer to the Subatomic Physics Research Tools and Instruments Grants Program.|
|Application Deadline||October 25
Note: Your institution will have an earlier deadline for submission of the application to the research grants office. Contact your research grants office for that deadline.
|How to Apply||
To create a Canadian Common CV, select Canadian Common CV.
To view instructions, select Instructions.
|For More Information||Consult the Contact list.|
Note: This program is intended for university researchers. College researchers should apply to the College and Community Innovation Program – Applied Research Tools and Instruments Grants.
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 or fabrication of research equipment with a net cost between $7,001 and $250,000 (excluding 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.
NSERC will only accept requests:
Note that equipment and items that are part of laboratory infrastructure or intended to render other equipment compliant with health and safety standards are not eligible for RTI support.
For more information on eligible expenses under the RTI program, see the instructions on how to complete an RTI application.
RTI awards must be used to purchase only the specific type of equipment for which the grant was awarded. Grantees who wish to purchase equipment different from that specified in the application must obtain written permission from NSERC Finance prior to its purchase. Grantees may, however, buy a model different from that requested in the application without prior NSERC approval.
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, Strategic Partnerships Grants, Collaborative Research and Development Grants, Canada Research Chairs, and/or Canada Excellence Research 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.
To apply, complete and submit an Application for Research Tools and Instruments. Each applicant and co-applicant must also submit a Canadian Common CV (CCV). The application and CCV(s) must be submitted to your institution's research grants office by the internal deadline date (contact your research grants office for that deadline). The institution will then consider which applications to submit to NSERC on the basis of its own internal selection process.
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 from the organization confirming this commitment is required. Such letters must clearly explain the financial contribution that the organization will provide to the purchase of the equipment.
Cash contributions from the applicant’s or co-applicant’s NSERC Discovery Grant do not require written authorization from NSERC. However, evidence that authorization was obtained from NSERC to use funds from other types of NSERC grants (e.g. CRD grant) is required.
Incomplete applications will be rejected from the competition.
Applications for RTI grants submitted to NSERC are reviewed by experts on a competitive basis. Experts on NSERC RTI Selection Committees follow the guidelines in the Research Tools and Instruments Peer Review Manual.
Applications to the RTI Program are assessed on the basis of the five following selection criteria. The onus is on the applicant(s) to thoroughly address each criterion in their application and to provide detailed information.
Criteria for review are as follows:
Note: The proposal must clearly demonstrate the need and urgency for the equipment.
The objective is to support the use of regional and national research facilities in Canada by Canadian university researchers in the natural sciences and engineering, by providing assistance in covering the operations and maintenance costs of such facilities.
Grants assist regional and national Canadian research facilities in the natural sciences and engineering to cover their operations and maintenance costs for one or two years up to $150,000/year. They are intended to support facilities that are not routinely available in Canadian universities and cannot normally be entirely supported by using other research grants or by user fees, or those where user fees cannot be leveraged.
Research facilities supported by this funding opportunity must provide support to a regional or national base of users in the natural sciences and engineering and must be accessible to members of the community beyond the host institution, where the facility is located, and should be greater than a single project or collaboration. Such facilities may include:
For more information about research that is eligible for support by NSERC, refer to Selecting the Appropriate Federal Granting Agency.
Applicants and co-applicants must be eligible to apply for and hold NSERC funding (Eligibility Criteria for Faculty). Please note that a facility cannot be supported by this funding opportunity if it is also supported through the Major Science Initiatives Fund of the Canada Foundation for Innovation.
Only major (frequent) users should be included as co-applicants. Applications can include up to 10 co-applicants.
Support is provided to assist coverage of the following costs:
Grants for the support of operations and maintenance of research facilities cannot be used to pay for any indirect costs of research or expenses that are central or departmental institutional costs. Examples of such indirect costs include, but are not limited to, those for the maintenance and renovation of research spaces and buildings, leasing costs of spaces and equipment, utilities, general technical support to laboratories, security and occupational safety, financial and administrative support, or insurance. For more information about funding indirect costs of research, refer to the Research Support Fund.
In addition, these grants cannot be used to cover the costs of tools and equipment eligible for funding through the regular RTI program. Furthermore, these grants cannot be used to pay for the establishment, construction, or infrastructure expansion of a facility.
Other ineligible costs can be found in the Use of Grant Funds page of NSERC’s Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide.
Applications will be assessed on the basis of the four selection criteria listed below. Each criterion lists the factors that will be considered. To be eligible for funding, a facility must meet all four criteria. The onus is on the applicants to thoroughly address each criterion in their application.
To apply, complete and submit an Application for Research Tools and Instruments by the deadline date. Follow the instructions specific to the Operations and Maintenance Support for Research Equipment component of the RTI program.
Each applicant and co-applicant must also submit a Canadian Common CV (CCV).
Applications are reviewed by experts, on a competitive basis, using the four selection criteria outlined above. Experts on a multi-disciplinary Selection Committee follow the guidelines in the Research Tools and Instruments Peer Review Manual. NSERC’s Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Agreement for Review Committee Members, External Reviewers, and Observers (including grants, scholarships, fellowships and prizes) will be strictly applied throughout the review process.
At the end of the grant period, grantees may be asked to report on the impact and use of the funds. NSERC will follow-up with those awarded, as appropriate.