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Subatomic Physics Research Tools and Instruments Grants program

(Category 1)

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 according to the instructions, using the Research Portal. In addition, they must each complete the This link will take you to another Web site Canadian Common CV (CCV) and link it to the application.

Presentation standards

You must submit all requested information in the application, and the submitted application must meet the 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. Information that is not required, based on the application instructions, will be removed. Where page limits are stated, pages in excess of the number permitted will be removed.

Application deadlines

Your application must be received at your institution’s research grants office by its 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 October 25, 2022.

In instances of systems interruptions, refer to the Service standards for NSERC and SSHRC’s online application systems policy on sustained interruptions.

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

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 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.

Self-identification information (research team)

You must complete the self-identification form found in the person profile of the Research Portal when applying for funding. This data provides information on the diversity of the population applying for and receiving agency funds. This information increases NSERC’s capacity to monitor its progress on increasing equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in its programs, to recognize and remove barriers, and to design new measures to achieve greater EDI in the research enterprise. If you do not want to self-identify, you have the option to choose “I prefer not to answer” for each question, but you are required to select a response for the questionnaire to be marked as complete. Self-identification information is not part of the application and will be neither accessible to, nor shared with, external reviewers and/or selection committee members.

For more information, refer to the Frequently asked questions about the self-identification questionnaire.

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.
  • 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.

Note: Applicants are not required to submit a notification of intent to apply (NOI) before submitting a category 1 Subatomic Physics Research Tools and Instruments (SAP-RTI) grant application.


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.

Language of the application – Indicate the language in which the application will be submitted. The main body of the application must be written in either English or French, rather than a mix of both official languages. All NSERC CCVs must be submitted in the same language as the application.

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, the applicant, plan to devote to the proposed research/activity or use of equipment or facility. Do not include hours contributed by others (e.g., highly qualified personnel).

Summary of proposal

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

Provide a summary of the proposal. The summary is intended to explain the proposal in language that the public can understand, and it will be made available to the public.

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.

If you wish, you may also provide a summary in the other official language in the text box for that purpose.

Proposed expenditures

For SAP-RTI – category 1 grants, provide a one-year budget. If your request is for a longer duration, you must provide an explanation in the Budget justification section. If you do not request support for certain years, you must enter 0 for each of those years.

Verify all of your entries carefully. The Total Amount Requested from NSERC is calculated automatically by subtracting the Total Cash Contributions, if any, from the Total Proposed Expenditures.

All project expenditures are subject to the principles and directives governing the appropriate use of grant funds as outlined in the Tri-agency guide on financial administration.

Review and take into account the eligible and ineligible costs specific to the SAP-RTI – category 1 grants in the program description.

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.

Past contributions to the training of highly qualified personnel (HQP)

Refer to NSERC’s Guidelines on the assessment of contributions to research, training and mentoring.

The applicant and each co-applicant must complete this section.

A limit of 3,000 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 or team demographic data is not requested or 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 EDI considerations for research teams.

For more information on equitable and inclusive recruitment practices, refer the This link will take you to another Web site Canada Research Chairs’ (CRC’s) Creating an equitable, diverse and inclusive research environment: A best practices guide for recruitment, hiring and retention and NFRF's This link will take you to another Web site Best practices in equity, diversity and inclusion in research.

  • 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 in natural sciences and engineering or outside this area, 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., maternity, parental, personal illness, leave taken for family-related illness, bereavement, delays related to COVID-19) that are beyond your control can be considered. A pattern of prolonged periods of study or frequent student withdrawal from programs should be explained, while providing minimal personal information needed to explain the issue.

For additional context, refer to the Contributions to training and mentoring section in NSERC’s Guidelines on the assessment of contributions to research, training and mentoring.

Most significant contributions to research

The applicant and each co-applicant must complete this section.

A limit of 9,000 characters is allowed in the text box.

Describe 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 described in this section only, with a proper description of the significance.

For each contribution, describe its significance in terms of influence on the direction of thought and activity in the target community, as well as its 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.


  • Include the full reference to your contributions in this text box or provide the appropriate reference to your NSERC CCV.
  • Provide dates and clearly explain the impact of any significant delays in the research activity or in the dissemination of research results (e.g., maternity, parental, personal illness, leave taken for family-related illness, bereavement, extraordinary administrative duties, delays related to COVID-19) in the NSERC CCV under the section on employment (leaves of absence/delays and their impact on research).

Additional information on contributions

The applicant and each co-applicant must complete this section.

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

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

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

For more information, refer to NSERC’s Guidelines on the assessment of contributions to research, training and mentoring.

Activity details

Certification requirements

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 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 and/or totipotent stem cells: If you select Yes, or if the application is found to fall into this category through peer review 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.

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: For more information, consult NSERC’s guidelines on impact assessment.

Research subject codes

Consult the Research subject codes table. All applicants are required to select a primary research code.

Area of application codes

Consult the Area of application codes table. All applicants are required to select a primary area of application code.


Modify, as required, the keywords to best describe your proposal. A maximum of 10 keywords are permitted.

Eligibility profile

You must validate your eligibility profile. Review your information and ensure it accurately reflects the details of your eligible position. If your position is not in the list provided, enter free-form text. Click on Save and validate.


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

Important note: 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.

Page limit: four pages.

Address all the selection criteria for the SAP-RTI grants program, as presented in the program description. 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 HQP

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

Budget justification

This is a free-form PDF attachment.

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

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.

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.

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 exceeding $25,000, NSERC reserves the right to request quotations for the individual items after receipt and/or review of the application.

Other expenses

List all items not covered in the previous category and provide a detailed explanation.

Contributions from other sources (if applicable)

If appropriate, explain any financial contributions from other sources toward the purchase of the equipment or facility. If a contribution toward the purchase of the equipment is provided by an organization other than the applicant’s institution, a letter is required from the organization confirming this commitment.

You must use the Budget justification section only for the purpose of justifying the proposed budget. You should not use 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 will be at a disadvantage in comparison with those that do. NSERC reserves the right to remove pages from this section if they are unrelated to the budget justification.

Relationship to other research support – explanation

This is a free-form PDF attachment.

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

The explanation of other research support (held and/or applied for) is considered in the evaluation of the need for funds. The onus is on applicants to provide sufficient information to enable the reviewers to assess the relationship between this application and other sources of support, and the incremental value of additional support from the SAP-RTI program.

This section refers only to other research support that will be held or applied for, or may become active within the funding period of the proposed SAP-RTI grant, held by the applicant or any of the co-applicants. 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. These funds can 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 are encouraged to provide, in the form of a table, the number of hours per month and fraction of full-time equivalent (FTE) that all participants plan to devote to the proposed research/activity.

Failure to provide adequate information to assess the relationship to other research will result in a rating of “Insufficient” for the need for funds criterion.

List of references

This is a free-form PDF attachment.

Page limit: two pages.

  • Provide a list of literature references in support of your proposal.
  • Do not refer reviewers to websites for additional information on your proposal.
  • Do not include hyperlinks or footnotes in your list of references.


Inviting co-applicants

There is no typical number of co-applicants for a SAP-RTI – category 1 grant application, and the choice of researchers to include as co-applicants is left to the discretion of the applicant. However, without co-applicants and their NSERC CCV, the Subatomic Physics Evaluation Section may have difficulty in assessing several of the selection criteria for equipment intended to support the research activities of several researchers and their HQP.

NSERC recognizes that applications are the same and that the profile of co-applicants will vary accordingly. However, teams should strive for a diverse group of co-applicants and major users, including balanced gender representation. EDI considerations should be reflected in the rationale of the team composition and, where applicable, in the designated roles within the team. For more information, refer to the guide EDI considerations for research teams.

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

Provide the name and email address of each co-applicant. An email will be sent to each participant with instructions on how to accept the invitation.

Information required from co-applicants

As a co-applicant, you must accept the invitation as specified in the invitation email. 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 you will devote to the research or activity enabled by the requested equipment or facility (hours per month)
  • 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 participation before the application is submitted to NSERC.

Uploading your NSERC CCV (applicant and co-applicants)

To successfully upload your CCV, the first name and family name used to create your CCV site account must be identical to those used to create your Research Portal account. As well, the email address used to create your Research Portal account must be identical to at least one of the emails you listed on the CCV site.

  • 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.
  • Click Back to Application Overview.
  • Preview your CCV in the Research Portal and verify that it was uploaded correctly and that it contains all of the records that you wish to submit for peer review. Your CCV must be in the same language as your application.

Note: While the Canadian Common CV website is bilingual, you can only save your NSERC CCV in only one official language at a time, corresponding to the language of the platform you are using. For example, to save an French version of your NSERC CCV you must sign into your account using the French platform.

Submitting the application to NSERC

Click on the Submit button at the bottom of the Application Overview page. A pop-up message will appear. You will be required to extract and view your application to ensure that it is complete and that all relevant attachments extract properly. Note that the CCV will not appear in the extracted application. Save a copy of your application for your records. Once the confirmation box has been checked, click on the Submit button displayed in the pop-up message.

To complete the submission process, you will need to read and accept the terms and conditions by clicking on the I accept button. You will receive a confirmation message on the web page, as well as a confirmation email.

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.

To verify the status of your submission, return to the home page.

Note: The retention period in the Research Portal is three months after the deadline date. If you wish to keep a record of your submitted NSERC application, 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 online 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, you, as the applicant and co-applicant(s), meet the eligibility requirements for the relevant funding opportunity
  • before submitting 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.