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Subatomic Physics Research Tools and Instruments Grants Program

(Categories 2 or 3)

Instructions for completing an application

General information

About the program

Read the program description before you complete the application.

Am I eligible to apply?

Consult the Eligibility Criteria for Faculty to ensure that you can participate in this grant program as an applicant or a co-applicant.

Who completes the application?

The applicant and co-applicant(s) must complete their respective sections of the application as per the instructions, using the Research Portal. In addition, the This link will take you to another Web site Canadian Common CV (CCV) must be completed by the applicant and co-applicant(s) and linked to the application.

Presentation standards

In the application, applicants and co-applicants must submit all requested information in agreement with Research Portal Presentation and Attachment Standards. 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. Information that is not required, based on the application instructions, will also be removed.

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.

The application must be received at NSERC by 8:00 p.m. (ET) on the deadline date. If it is not received by the deadline, it will be considered late and will be rejected. The application deadline is indicated in the program description, as well as on the Application Deadlines and Notification of Decision page.

Once an application has been submitted to NSERC, before or after the deadline, it cannot be updated or modified.

Collection and use of personal information

The information you provide in your application is collected under the authority of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Act and 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. Details on the use and disclosure of this information are described in Use and Disclosure of Personal Information Provided to NSERC, in the NSERC program literature and below. The information is used in accordance with the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.

Whom should I contact for help?

Completing the application

Create an application

  • Sign in to the Research Portal.
  • Select the Funding Opportunity and click Create.
  • Select your Notification of Intent (NOI); it will form the basis for your application.
  • Complete your Eligibility Profile and click on Validate
  • Click on Continue and Create Application
  • Under Applications, Open the application.
  • Click on Edit to complete the different sections.

Some fields are pre-populated based on the information provided in your NOI. You may edit some of these fields as needed.

Note: If you have not submitted an NOI for this program, you cannot create or submit an application. Consult the program description for more information.


Administering organization

Organization – Select the organization that will administer the grant.

Department – If your department is not in the list, select Head Office.


Application title - The title must be short and descriptive. It may be used for publication purposes. Restrict the use of acronyms (e.g., DNA, NATO, etc.), and avoid company or trade names. The title of the application can differ from the title provided on the NOI.

Language of the application – Indicate the language in which the application will be submitted. The main body of the application should be written in either English or French and not in a mix of both official languages. The NSERC CCV should be submitted in the same language as the application. The applicant and co-applicants can download their NSERC CCV in either official language.

Suggested Evaluation Group (not editable)Only researchers undertaking research in subatomic physics at a Canadian university can apply to the Subatomic Physics Research Tools and Instruments (SAP-RTI) program. Applications that do not meet this requirement will be rejected.

Hours per month to be devoted to the research/activity, or use of equipment or facility—Enter the number of hours per month you plan to devote to the use of the equipment or facility.

Summary of proposal

A limit of 3,000 characters is allowed in the text box.

Provide a summary of the proposal in language that the public can understand.

Using simple terms, briefly describe the equipment or the facility that is requested, what it will be used for, and the research activities it will enable. Indicate why and to whom the research activities are important, their anticipated outcomes, and the benefits to the research field and to Canada.

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

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.

Moreover, review and take into account the eligible and ineligible costs that are specific to the SAP-RTI – Categories 2 and 3 grants in the program description in the Program Guide for Professors.

Provide your budget. SAP-RTI – Category 3 grants are typically multiyear awards. SAP-RTI – Category 2 Grants can be requested over multiple years. Regardless of the number of years over which your budget is proposed, you must provide an explanation of the proposed duration in the Budget justification section. If you do not request support for some years, you must enter 0 for each of those years.

The distribution of the requested funds over the years can be changed with respect to what was submitted in the NOI (i.e., different values in each year, different duration).

For SAP Research Tools and Instruments grants the amount requested in the application should not differ by more than 20% from that included in the NOI. Should there be a deviation larger than 20% the applicant needs to justify the latter and obtain NSERC's approval before submitting the grant application.

Use the Budget justification section (free-form attachment) to explain and justify each budget item and any contributions from other sources towards the purchase of the equipment or facility.

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.

Past contributions to highly qualified personnel training

Refer to NSERC’s Policy and Guidelines on the Assessment of Contributions to Research and Training.

The applicant and each of the co-applicants must complete this section.

A limit of 2,500 characters is allowed in the text box.

Discuss your most significant contributions to the training of highly qualified personnel (HQP) over the last six years.

Training supported by NSERC ranges from undergraduate theses and summer projects to postdoctoral levels, and includes technical and other research personnel.

You must clearly explain your role in any co-supervision of HQP.

The assessment of past contributions to HQP training focuses on the quality and impact of training, as demonstrated through three components. Each component should be supported through your CCV and/or application text:

  • Training environment

    Describe the research training and development opportunities provided for HQP (e.g., HQP science outreach and engagement, interdisciplinary research, collaborations, interaction with the private and public sectors).

    Describe qualitatively any challenges or barriers encountered in ensuring an inclusive research and training environment.

    Describe specific actions implemented to support equity and inclusion in recruitment practices, mentorship approaches, and initiatives aimed at ensuring an inclusive research and training environment and trainee growth (if applicable).

Important: trainee demographic data is not requested, nor required to assess impacts resulting from consideration of equity, diversity and inclusion in the research and training environment.

For more information on equitable, diverse and inclusive research and training environments, refer to NSERC’s Guide for Applicants: Considering equity, diversity and inclusion in your application questions 1-4. For more information on equitable and inclusive recruitment practices, refer the CRC’s This link will take you to another Web site Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: A Best Practice Guide for Recruitment, Hiring and Retention.

  • HQP awards and research contributions

    Describe research contributions produced by HQP (e.g., publications, patents, key presentations) and highlight awards, scholarships and fellowships won by HQP.
  • Outcomes and skills gained by HQP

    Describe your most significant examples of HQP and explain how your training contributed to their success (e.g., skills and experiences gained, outcomes such as further studies or career). A successful outcome can be broadly defined as an HQP doing something that has impact. This impact can be either in the NSE or not in the NSE, but it needs to be clear how the skills gained in the applicant’s research training environment are being used by the HQP.

    Cases of HQP delays (e.g., HQP parental leaves, medical leaves) that are beyond your control can be considered. A pattern of prolonged periods of study or frequent student withdrawal from programs should be explained.

Most significant contributions to research

The applicant and each of the co-applicants must complete this section.

A limit of 7,500 characters is allowed in the text box.

List up to five of your most significant contributions to research and/or to practical applications over the last six years. Contributions made more than six years ago but for which the impact is being felt now (e.g., exploitation of patent, inclusion in a code, etc.) may be included.

For each contribution, describe its significance in terms of influence on the direction of thought and activity in the target community; and significance to, and use by, other researchers and end users. For collaborative contributions, describe your role.

A contribution does not have to be a single publication or report. For example, a group of publications on a specific subject could be discussed as one contribution.


  • You may include the full reference to your contributions in this text box or provide the appropriate reference to your NSERC CCV.
  • Applicants are asked to explain and give dates for any significant delays in the research activity or in the dissemination of research results (e.g., parental leave, bereavement, illness, extraordinary administrative duties) in the NSERC CCV under the section Employment (Leaves of absence / Delays and impact on research).  

Additional information on contributions

The applicant and each of the co-applicants must complete this section.

A limit of 2,500 characters is allowed in the text box.

Provide details, as appropriate, on the contributions listed in your NSERC CCV. Such details may include:

  • the nature of collaborations with other researchers;
  • the rationale or practice used for:
    • the order of authors in the publications listed, and
    • the inclusion of students in the list of authors;
  • your role in joint publications;
  • the reason for selecting certain venues (journals, conferences) for publications, and particular features of the venues (e.g., target audiences, review procedures);
  • the impact or potential impact of patents and technology transfer;
  • the nature of industrially relevant R&D activities;
  • the significance of technical reports;
  • attestation to the nature and the significance of confidential technical and internal reports;
  • original research reported in books or technical reports.

Activity details

Certification requirements

Before completing this section, consult the Requirements for Certain Types of Research.

Research involving human: 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 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 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 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.

Environmental impact

If you select Yes to any of the questions, you will be asked to answer additional questions as appropriate to address the requirements of the This link will take you to another Web site Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012).

NSERC is subject to CEAA 2012. The Guidelines on Environmental Review and Assessment describe the circumstances under which environmental reviews or assessments must be conducted, and the administrative processes that will be followed by NSERC to ensure that legal obligations are met with respect to CEAA 2012.

Research subject codes

Consult the Research Subject Codes. A primary research subject code is required.

Area of application codes

Consult the Area of Application Codes. A primary area of application code is required.

Key words

Modify, as required, the key words to best describe your proposal.

Eligibility profile

You must re-validate your eligibility profile. Click on Save and validate


In the Application Overview page, click Attach to include each required document. Attachments are free-form and must respect NSERC's presentation standards and page limits, where appropriate.

IMPORTANT: You must preview all of your attachments in the Research Portal to ensure that the documents have been uploaded correctly and that the content is viewable. NSERC will not accept corrupted or protected files that cannot be opened or viewed.


This is a free-form PDF attachment.

The following page limits apply:

  • For SAP-RTI - Category 2 grant applications (total net cost of equipment between $150,001 and $324,999), a maximum of 15 pages is allowed.
  • For SAP-RTI - Category 3 grant applications (total net cost of equipment of $325,000 or more), a maximum of 20 pages is allowed.

Using the headings below, address all the selection criteria for the SAP-RTI grants program as presented in the Program Guide for Professors. The onus is on the applicant to thoroughly address each criterion and provide detailed information to the Subatomic Physics Evaluation Section.

  • Excellence of the applicant and co-applicant(s).
  • Merit of the proposed research program(s).
  • Need and urgency for the equipment, including availability of, and access to, similar equipment.
  • Suitability of the requested item(s) for the proposed research program(s).
  • Importance of the requested item(s) for the training of highly qualified personnel.
  • Organizational structure, accessibility and synergy.

Budget justification

This is a free-form PDF attachment.

There is no page limit. The file size limit is 10 Mb.

Provide a detailed explanation and justification for each budget item. For each item, provide sufficient information to allow reviewers to assess whether the requested support is appropriate.

In this attachment, provide two recent quotations for items or systems costing more than $25,000 before taxes. You must provide a justification if two quotations are not available.

Note: When individual items costing less than $25,000 each are intended to be assembled together and integrated into a single new system with a resulting overall cost above $25,000, NSERC reserves the right to request quotations for the individual items after receipt and/or review of the application.

Refer to the NSERC CCV instructions for information on obtaining consent to name individuals in your proposal.

Applicants must only use this section for the purpose of justifying the proposed budget. They should not make use of any part of it to provide additional information on the proposal and further address the selection criteria. Applications that do not comply with this requirement would be at a disadvantage in comparison with those that do. NSERC reserves the right to remove pages from this section if they do not relate to the justification of the budget.

Salaries and benefits

Only salaries of technical support personnel for the initial phase-in period of operations, for up to two years, are eligible. Give the names (if known), categories of employment and proposed salaries (with explicit indication of the non-discretionary benefits) of the technical support staff employed for the initial phase-in period of operations.

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. Ensure that you include quotations, when applicable.


Explain briefly how each activity relates to the proposal. Only activities related to the purchase of the equipment can be included.

Other expenses

List all items not relevant to previous categories, and provide a detailed explanation. Training costs of technical support personnel for the initial phase-in period of operations, for up to two years, should be reported and discussed in this section.

Contributions from other sources (if applicable)

If appropriate, explain any contributions from other sources towards the purchase of the equipment or facility.

Relationship to other research support - explanation

This is a free-form PDF attachment.

There is no page limit. The file size limit is 10 Mb.

This section refers only to other research support that will be, or may become, active within the funding period of the proposed SAP Research Tools and Instruments grant. This includes sources held by the applicant as well as all of the co-applicants (if applicable).

Do not provide additional information related to the proposal or further address the selection criteria. Applications that do not comply with this requirement would be at a disadvantage in comparison with those that do. NSERC reserves the right to remove pages from this section if they do not relate to explaining relationships with other research support.

Refer to This link will take you to another Web site  Selecting the Appropriate Federal Granting Agency for additional information.

Sources of research support other than CIHR or SSHRC

The explanation of other research support (held and/or applied for) is considered in the evaluation of the Need for Funds. Applicants may hold funds from other sources for the same research ideas/objectives, as long as they are used to cover different expenses and the funding sources are not CIHR and/or SSHRC. Other sources of support include grants and contributions from funding agencies, organizations, the private sector, institution start-up funds, research chairs, the primary place of employment (for adjunct professors), and other institutional research support.

You must clearly demonstrate that the funds requested from the SAP-RTI program will be for expenses that are distinct from those covered by support from other sources. For funding applied for, you must demonstrate that there will be no duplication of funding for the same expense(s) by explaining how funds will be used if all applications are successful. The onus is on applicants to provide sufficient information to enable the Subatomic Physics Evaluation Section to assess the relationship between this application and other sources of support, and the incremental value of additional support from the SAP-RTI program. Failure to meet these requirements will result in a rating of Insufficient for the Need for Funds criterion or the application may be rejected.

Letters of support

This is a free-form PDF attachment.

Limit of two pages.

  • SAP-RTI - Category 2 and 3 grant applications

    A letter from the applicant's head of department is required. The letter must indicate the importance and priority that the department places on the proposed equipment and the extent to which the department proposes to provide support.

  • SAP-RTI - Category 3 grant applications

    A letter from the president of the university or delegated representative is required. The letter should explain the extent to which the university will provide support, such as the provision of space, financial contributions to the purchase and installation, the purchase of ancillary equipment, funding of technical support staff, etc.

In the case of SAP-RTI - Category 3 grant applications, each letter of support (head of department and president of the university or delegated representative) should each be on one page. The two letters must be combined in a single two-page PDF file.

List of references

This is a free-form PDF attachment.

Limit of two pages.

  • Provide a list of literature references in support of your proposal.
  • Do not refer readers to websites for additional information on your proposal.
  • Do not introduce hyperlinks in your list of references.


Inviting co-applicants

From the Application Overview page in the Invitations section, click on Manage Invitations.

Provide the email address and the last name of each co-applicant. An email will be sent to each participant with instructions on how to accept the invitation. Co-applicants who were already invited at the NOI stage must accept it again at the application stage. The list of co-applicants may be modified from the time when the NOI was submitted.

Information required from co-applicants

As a co-applicant you must accept the invitation as specified in the invitation email (even if you may have previously accepted it at the NOI stage). In the Research Portal, complete or update your Eligibility Profile, upload your NSERC CCV and provide the following information using the instructions specified above:

  • Time to be devoted to research/activity (hours per month devoted to the research/activity enabled by the requested equipment or facility).
  • Past contributions to the training of HQP.
  • Most significant contributions to research.
  • Additional information on contributions.

Note: 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 authorized officer's signature and agreement to the co-applicant(s)'s participation before the application is submitted to NSERC.

Uploading your NSERC CCV

  • In the Application Overview page, click Attach.
  • Enter your CCV confirmation number. (Refer to the NSERC CCV instructions for professors for details on how to obtain your confirmation number.)
  • Click Upload.

The applicant and each co-applicant must link their NSERC CCV to the application. Note that the applicants and co-applicants can update their NSERC CCV prior to the submission of the full application.

Important note: Preview your CCV in the Research Portal, and that of your co-applicant(s) if applicable, before submitting your application and ensure that the file(s) uploaded correctly.

Submitting the application to NSERC

Before submitting your application, you will be required to extract and view your application to ensure that it is complete and that all relevant attachments extract properly. Once validated, the Submit button will be displayed. Save a copy of your application for your records, then click Submit.

When you submit your application it is sent to your Research Administrator for approval and submission to NSERC. The status of your application will be changed to Received by Administrator. Once your Research Administrator has approved and forwarded your application to NSERC, the application status will be changed to Received by Agency.

Note: The retention period in the Research Portal is three months after the deadline date. Applicants wishing to keep a record of their submitted NSERC application should use the “Export application and attachments to PDF” function and save a copy.


NSERC does not require original signatures on applications or other documents submitted electronically using the Research Portal. User ID/password-based "signatures" allow applicants, supporting organizations and authorized institutional representatives-such as Research Grants Officers, Scholarships Liaison Officers and Business Officers-to "sign" and submit on-line applications and other documents to NSERC. Refer to the Frequently Asked Questions in the Program Guide for Professors for more details.

What do “signatures” mean?

For applicants and co-applicants

Before you, as an applicant or co-applicant, can submit your application to NSERC or upload your NSERC CCV to an application, you must read and agree to the Terms and Conditions of Applying that appear in a pop-op 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 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 ("the Agreement") 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 Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide, and the relevant program literature;
  • as required by the Agreement, the applicant and co-applicant(s) meet the eligibility requirements for the relevant funding opportunity;
  • prior to submission of the application, the institution has obtained written approval from any other institutions involved in the application process;
  • you will not use or disclose any information that you obtain or view on the Research Portal for any purposes other than your participation in the agency's process;
  • you understand that the agency reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to terminate or restrict your access to the Research Portal at any time, without notice.

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 co-applicant and a principal of a collaborating organization, another senior official must sign on behalf of the organization.