Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) grants program 2023


Opportunity type:



Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)

Award amount and duration:

Up to $150,000 for one year





To be eligible to apply for and to hold RTI funds, applicants and co-applicants must each

  • meet NSERC’s eligibility requirements for faculty to apply for or hold grant funds
  • hold at least one of the following NSERC research grants (either as an applicant or co-applicant): *
    • Alliance grant
    • Canada Excellence Research Chairs (NSERC)
    • Canada 150 Research Chairs (NSERC)
    • Canada Research Chairs (NSERC)
    • Collaborative Research and Development grant
    • Discovery Development grant
    • Discovery Grant
    • Discovery Horizons grant
    • Industrial Research Chairs grant
    • Strategic Partnership grant

*Applicants and co-applicants may apply for any of the above grants while concurrently applying to 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.  



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.


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. Net cost is defined as the purchase cost of the equipment after any discount from the vendor and before taxes, customs and importation fees, transportation and shipping charges, and assembly and installation costs. The vendor discount  cannot be offered in exchange for services from users benefiting the vendor company. The research community is also encouraged to explore other avenues for funding research tools and instruments, including NSERC’s other programs that allow the purchase of equipment as eligible expenses.

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

Note: Equipment and items that are part of laboratory infrastructure or intended to render other equipment compliant with health and safety standards are ineligible for RTI support.


Not Applicable


Application deadlines

RSO detailed review deadline

October 11, 2023 - 4:00 PM

RSO final internal review deadline

October 20, 2023 - 12:00 PM

Program application deadline

October 25, 2023 - 4:00 PM


NOTE: Consult your Faculty Associate Dean (Research) (ADR) regarding Faculty-specific deadlines and submission processes.

Principal Investigators: Complete a Research Management System (RMS) record, including a copy of your complete application, and submit this for approvals in RMS.

Postdocs, students, and trainees: For fellowships and externally-sponsored research training awards or opportunities, you must complete the Research Funding Application Approval (RFAA) Trainee PDF form, and submit it, along with a complete copy of the application, to Research Services at Trainees should not use RMS at this time.

Approvals: The University of Calgary requires that all funding applications be approved prior to submission. Approval requires signatures via either RMS or the RFAA Trainee form, in the following order:

  • Principal Investigator
  • Department Head
  • Faculty ADR/Dean
  • Research Services (on behalf of the Vice-President Research)

Read the Meaning of Grant Signatures policy to understand what your approval means. Please see the agency guidelines for details about which signatures are required on your application, as it may differ from internal requirements.

Late submissions: Late submissions will only be accepted in cases of medical or family emergencies, or other exceptional circumstances. If you submit your RMS record to Research Services after the internal deadline has passed, you must secure additional approvals. Please read: Late Applications Process.

Additional Information

Application Procedure:

This competition will be run through Research Management System (RMS).

  1. Complete your application in the NSERC Research Portal by selecting the RTI funding opportunity and clicking on 'Create'. Once the application is complete (including required attachments and your CCV), verify each section, and then press "Submit". Your application will be sent to the Research Services Office. Please ensure your application is final and complete; Research Services will not review drafts, and, once received, your application may be submitted to NSERC without further notice. The final deadline for submission of your application is noon on Friday, October 20, 2023.
  2. Complete the Pre-Award record in RMS (login at and “Submit for academic approvals” (Under Save & Progress) in good time to allow for approvals from your Department Head and/or ADR prior to the Research Services deadline. Consult your department and faculty for more information on their approval processes and timelines. Ensure you receive all required approvals in advance of noon on October 20, 2023
  • Your application will not be considered submitted and will not be reviewed until both the application is submitted in the Research Portal (a paper copy is not required) and the RMS Approvals have been received.
  • The final deadline of 12:00 p.m. on October 20, is a hard deadline. The three-day deadline ensures that Research Services is able to complete a basic review of the application and secure institutional signature in a timely fashion.

3. As an optional service, if you would like a detailed review, Research Services must receive your complete RMS approvals record and NSERC Research Portal application by 4 pm on October 11, 2023.

  • The detailed review includes a detailed review of the application, checking for eligibility and UofC commitments and risk, compliance with program guidelines, completeness of application, and the opportunity for feedback to improve the application.
  • The basic administrative review involves a minimal check of the application for eligibility and any UofC commitment or risk.



Contact Details


research tools and intruments