University Research Services

University Research Services
University Research Services

2019 NSERC RTI Applications

RTI application forms will be available on the NSERC Portal around mid August. There are no longer limits on the number of RTI applications that universities can submit to NSERC, so internal competitions are not necessary any more. However, each professor can only participate in one RTI application.

NSERC Webinars. NSERC will offer two webinar sessions in English to assist the research community on How to complete a Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) application using the Research Portal and the NSERC Canadian Common CV (CCV).

How to complete an RTI application
Dates: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 - Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 pm (ET)
Teleconference Phone Number: 1-877-413-4790
Conference ID: 7462843

NEW May 14 2019: NSERC will NOT change the deadline for RTI applications, it will remain October 25, 2019  for this year's competition.

Queen's firm internal deadline for full reviews by URS staff: September 27, 2019

Applicants from the faculty of applied science and engineering should send their draft (including CCV if available) to:
Applicants from the faculty of arts & science should send their draft (including CCV if available) to:
Applicants from all other faculties should send their draft (including CCV if available) to:

After the internal deadline we will not provide feedback, except an administrative completeness check as the Research Project Advisors will have to focus on Discovery Grant applications. Note that RTIs are very competitive, so getting a full URS review is highly recommended.

Mandatory internal deadline for submitting the RTI proposal on the NSERC site: October 21, 2019

TRAQ DSS for RTI proposals should be submitted by this date as well, including a draft of the proposal and the budget justifications.

Instructions for submitting a TRAQ DSS for an RTI proposal

Recent program changes:

  • 2018: NSERC has updated the evaluation criteria for RTI applications. The number of selection criteria for the RTI Program has been reduced from five (5) to three (3). In addition to this change, there will also be applied weighting for each criterion. The selection criteria are as follows:
    1. Need, urgency and suitability of equipment for the research programs (40%)
      • Demonstration that the equipment is essential for the research, and that there are no other more cost-effective ways of obtaining the results;

      • Availability of similar equipment/facilities/services in the vicinity;

      • Impact of a delay in acquisition of equipment on the research and the pace of research progress;

      • Need to upgrade or replace obsolete or failed equipment;

      • Degree of utilization of the equipment by the applicant(s) and other users.

    2. Merit of the research programs supported by the equipment and excellence of the applicant(s) (40%)
      • Quality and significance of research programs, including potential for major advances and impact in the discipline as a result of the equipment;

      • Feasibility of the plan to use the equipment;

      • The excellence of the applicant(s), including scientific or engineering calibre of the applicant(s) and extent to which the applicant(s) has relevant experience and demonstrated ability to fully use the equipment.

    3. Importance of the equipment for the training of highly qualified personnel (20%)
      • Quality and extent of training;

      • Opportunity for hands-on training;

      • Potential to provide marketable skills for students trained on the equipment.

  • There will only be a regular stream for the RTI program this year, the Operations & Maintenance for Facilities stream has been discontinued.
  • August 9, 2017: NSERC has significantly changed the RTI instructions and made some minor changes to the RTI program description.  Most important changes: the proposal is now 4 pages long. The Relationship to Other Funding section has been eliminated, but now the relationship to other funding has to be addressed in the budget justification attachment, which is still only 2 pages long. "Number of hours/month" now means hours per month devoted to the use of the equipment. Co-applicants now have less sections to fill out, only the CCV and some minor questions, e.g., how many h/m they'll use the equipment.
  • May 11 2017: RTI program updates sent by NSERC: Further to a consultation with the research community about the Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) program, NSERC is returning to the processes that were in place before the establishment of university quotas (2014 to 2017). The university quotas will be removed and the 2018 RTI competition will be open to all eligible Canadian university researchers. Researchers will be able to participate on one application per competition, either as an applicant or a co applicant, but not both.
  • NSERC requires two (2) recent quotations for any individual item(s) over $25,000 (before taxes) or for any system(s) to be purchased from a single supplier and costing more than $25,000 (before taxes). If the required number of quotations cannot reasonably be submitted, NSERC requires researchers provide a justification in the Budget Justification section. The application may be rejected if the quotations or the justification are not submitted with the application.

RTI Application Resources: to be updated in the next couple of months for 2019

NSERC Program Description: evaluation criteria updated summer 2018

NSERC Program Description for RTI proposals in subatomic physics:

NSERC Instructions for filling out an RTI application:

NSERC Webinars (English sessions): August 13 and August 20 2019, from 1pm - 3pm

NSERC webinar slidedeck on how to apply for a 2017 RTI

Queen's URS tips and advice for filling out an RTI application (netID login required):
2018 Best Practices for RTI applications (updated August 15, 2018) Newly hired faculty without a netID can email for a copy.

NSERC RTI Peer Review Manual

Note: this RTI peer review manual does not apply to SAP-RTI proposals, see note on page 2 of the RTI peer review manual.

CCV Resources

Tips and Advice for Applicants

Please note: on the Portal, the PI of the proposal can "invite" the co-applicants, and then each co-applicant can enter their sections, such as the CCV, their eligibility profile, and the hours/month they plan to use the equipment. AFTER THEY HIT SUBMIT, THE CO-APPLICANTS ARE NOT ABLE TO MAKE ANY CHANGES.

The only way to make changes in the co-applicant sections after a co-applicant hits submit is for the PI to completely delete everything from that co-applicant, to re-invite them, and then the co-applicant has to re-enter everything from scratch.

URS Contacts for RTI applications:

Applicants from the faculty of applied science and engineering:
Applicants from the faculty of arts & science:
Applicants from all other faculties: