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ARCHIVED – College and Community Innovation Program - Applied Research Tools and Instruments (ARTI) Grants

Instructions for completing an application – Form 103


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General information

About the program

Read the relevant grant description within the College and Community Innovation (CCI) program before you complete the application.

Who completes the application?

CCI grants are institutional grants. The application is therefore submitted by a representative of the institution, normally a senior manager in the administration of the college delegated by the college president to prepare the application and manage the grant, by completing all required documentation using the On-line System.

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 5:00 p.m. local time (at your location) on the deadline date. If it is not received by the deadline, it will be considered late and will be rejected.

Application deadlines are indicated in each of the program descriptions, as well as on the Application Deadline Table.

Material or updates received under separate cover (before or after the deadline date) will not be accepted.

Personal information

The collection, use and disclosure of personal information provided to NSERC is 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 This link will take you to another Web site 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 Information about programs and information holdings.

Help with program information

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 email to: or call 613-995-4273. Include your email address and telephone number.

Completing the application

Application profile

Title of proposal

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

Area(s) of research

Research subject codes

Consult the NSERC Code Tables. If the applied research focus of the proposal is in the natural sciences or engineering, you are required to select a research subject code for the primary area of research from the list of area of research subject codes. You can also select a secondary research subject code. Otherwise leave the fields blank.

Area of application codes

Consult the NSERC Code Tables. If the applied research focus of the proposal is in the natural sciences or engineering, you are required to select a code for the primary area of application from the list of area of application codes. You can also select a code for a secondary area of application. Otherwise leave the fields blank.

Key words

Provide a maximum of 10 key words that describe the applied research area.


Before completing this section, consult 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 CIHR's Stem Cell Oversight Committee (SCOC) to ensure compliance with This link will take you to another Web site Chapter 12, Section F of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2). 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: The Impact Assessment Form (Appendix A) may be required. For more information, consult NSERC’s Guidelines on Impact Assessment.


Since all College and Community Innovation program funds are institutional grants, faculty and staff involved with the proposal can be listed as participants. List each participant’s name, personal identification number (if known), organization name, as well as the time (in hours per month) each participant will devote to the proposed applied research/activity or the use of equipment.

Only major (frequent) users should be listed as participants, up to a maximum of five (5). Participants need to obtain their organization's approval and must provide a complete College Personal Data Form (Form 103CV) including a signed copy of the Consent to Disclosure of Personal Information Form to the applicant. The applicant’s Form 103CV is not required. Note that Form 103CVs in excess of the five permitted, as well as biographies for non-participants, will be removed from the application and not provided to the evaluation committee.

Participants, except those from the applicant's institution, must advise the authorized officer of their organization that NSERC will be seeking their signature through its secure site, agreeing to their participation.

By submitting this form, the applicant certifies that the individuals listed as participants 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.

Supporting organizations

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

CV – participants

The CV for participants is made up of two sections and a consent form. Part I collects specific information on the person using the NSERC form entitled College Personal Data form (Form 103CV). Part II is free-form text limited to five (5) pages and is used to list contributions such as the person’s relevant experience and contributions to applied research and innovation. See the instructions for completing the College Personal Data form.

When completed, the participants’ CV, together with a signed copy of the Consent to Disclosure of Personal Information Form, must be saved into one PDF document and attached to the application. NSERC does not require original signatures on applications or other documents submitted electronically through its On-line System.

Summary of proposal

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

In the space provided, briefly describe the equipment requested, and the nature of the applied research to be supported. Indicate why and to whom the applied research is important, the anticipated outcomes, and the benefits to the college’s applied research capabilities, local companies and Canada. If you wish, you may also provide a summary in the other official language in the text box identified for that purpose.


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

The following specifies the maximum number of pages permitted for the proposal (additional pages will be removed):

  • Two pages if the total amount requested from NSERC is $25,000 or less;
  • Up to five pages if the total amount requested from NSERC is between $25,001 and $75,000;
  • Up to eight pages if the total amount requested from NSERC is over $75,000.

Please refer to the Selection criteria in the ARTI grants description for a list of criteria and their related weighted scoring that will be used by the CCI Review Committee to evaluate the submitted applications. Describe your proposal using the following headings:

Relevance to applied research at the college

Consider the following aspects in preparing the proposal:

  • The need for the equipment and how it will assist in increasing the college’s capacity for applied research in the area of the proposal;
  • The equipment requested and the reason(s) for the configuration proposed;
  • The fit of the requested applied research equipment with the college’s strategic plan and existing infrastructure and equipment;
  • The research team’s experience and ability to use/operate the equipment to its full potential;
  • The impact to the applied research program resulting from a delay in acquiring the equipment;
  • The overall budget and justification for the requested equipment.

Value to the region

Consider the following aspects in preparing the proposal:

  • The potential for the proposed equipment to foster, stimulate or enable collaborations with (one or more) local companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
  • The impact of the proposed equipment on current and potential projects and collaborations;
  • The impact of acquisition of the equipment on local or regional innovation, competitiveness and productivity;
  • The current number of companies and/or collaborative projects at the college in the area that would be enhanced by the equipment;
  • The availability and access to similar applied research equipment at the college and/or in the region, for both the college and local companies.


Consider the following aspects in preparing the proposal:

  • The importance and impact of the research equipment to the training of college and partner personnel;
  • The quality and extent of student training.

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

Proposed expenditures

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

Use the Budget justification page to explain and justify each budget item.

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. The proposed equipment should support a common and specific applied research area. Provide sufficient information to allow the CCI Review Committee to assess whether the resources requested are appropriate. These pages should only contain information pertinent to the budget.

Using the following headings, please describe:

Equipment or facility

Give a breakdown of the items requested. Provide details on models, manufacturers, prices and applicable taxes. Clearly state the rationale for the model and manufacturer selected. Justify the need for each item requested. The Quotations section of the application allows you to describe the quotations to be sent with the proposal.


Explain briefly how each activity relates to the proposal. Only activities related to the purchase of the equipment or for equipment related training are eligible. These must be reasonable and well-justified within the proposal and budget justification sections of the application.

Other expenses

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


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.

Relationship to other applied research support

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

Use additional pages 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) at the college. Also explain perceived duplication in funding or, if applicable, indicate how this application would complement applied 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 this 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) for related equipment or facilities, 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, to evaluate the incremental value of additional support from the program, and to recommend the appropriate 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.

Letter(s) of support

You must provide a minimum of one letter of support from a private-sector company or business association outlining their interest in the requested applied research equipment. The letter(s) should be on company letterhead and should describe the need for the equipment and the impact on current or potential projects. Letters from companies from whom the college plans to purchase equipment or services are not considered letters of support. Applications without at least one letter of support will be deemed ineligible and removed from the competition.

There is no maximum on the number of support letters that can be provided by private sector companies or business associations. However, multiple letters comprised of similar or repeated general text will not necessarily strengthen a proposal. Impactful letters need to clearly articulate the specifics on how the company will benefit through the acquisition of the proposed equipment including opportunities to achieve economic gains.

If you have more than one letter, combine them into one document and save the document as a PDF file.

Impact Assessment Form (Appendix A)

An Impact Assessment Form (Appendix A) must be completed and uploaded to the Environmental impact page, as required.

Cover letter

The cover letter is optional and should only be used if you wish to provide NSERC with additional information that will not be shared with reviewers, such as a request that an individual or group of individuals not be involved in the review of your proposal. NSERC will take such a request into consideration. The cover letter must contain your name, the type of CCI grant to which you are applying and the title of your application.

Note: This letter may be accessible to these individuals under the Privacy Act.


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 participant, can submit your application to NSERC or link your Personal Data Form to an application, you must read and agree to the Terms and Conditions of Applying Form that appears in a pop-up window during the submission process. It is your responsibility to retain a copy of the agreed terms and conditions for your records.

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 has 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;
  • 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;
  • 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 participant and a principal of a collaborating organization, another senior official must sign on behalf of the organization.

List for a complete application

Use the following list to make sure your application is complete.

Please note that for an application to be considered complete, the college’s research grants officer (RGO) must approve the application after it has been submitted by the college applicant. Without RGO approval, the application will not be considered for funding.

Applied research tools and instruments

  • Application for a Grant (Form 103)
    • Cover letter (optional)
    • Application profile (including certification requirements, amounts requested)
    • Participants
    • Summary of proposal
    • Proposed expenditures (attachment)
    • Budget justification (attachment)
    • Relationship to other applied research support (attachment)
    • Quotes (minimum of two) - for items over $25,000
    • Letter(s) of support  - required from at least one private-sector company or business association – see instructions
    • Proposal (see instructions for page limits)
    • Appendix A (Environmental Information Form) - if required
    • College Personal Data Form (Form 103CV) - required for each college participant (faculty and researchers who will be key users of the proposed equipment). The applicant’s Form 103CV is not required.
    • Personal information (appointment, academic background, HQP)
    • Experience
    • Relevant contributions to applied research and innovation

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