Extreme-mass-ratio inspirals (EMRIs), stellar-mass compact objects (SCOs) inspiralling into a massive black hole, are one of the main sources of gravitational waves expected for the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA). To extract the EMRI signals from the expected LISA data stream, which will also contain the instrumental noise as well as other signals, we need very accurate theoretical templates of the gravitational waves that they produce. In order to construct those templates we need to account for the gravitational backreaction, that is, how the gravitational field of the SCO affects its own trajectory. In general relativity, the backreaction can be described in terms of a local self-force, and the foundations to compute it have been laid recently. Due to its complexity, some parts of the calculation of the self-force have to be performed numerically. Here, we report on an ongoing effort towards the computation of the self-force based on time-domain multi-grid pseudospectral methods. © 2009 IOP Publishing Ltd.