Skip to main content
University of Wisconsin–Madison

NSF Major Research Instrumentation Program: (MRI) 2018

To:Chairs and Administrators, Departments in the Biological, Physical, & Social Sciences; Associate Deans for Research; College/School Research Administrators
From:Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research & Graduate Education
Date:September 27, 2017
Subject:NSF Major Research Instrumentation Program: (MRI) 2018 NSF 15-504


Deadline for Internal Review:October 31, 2017

Project Description

The Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) serves to increase access to shared scientific and engineering instruments for research and research training in our Nation’s institutions of higher education, and not-for-profit museums, science centers and scientific/engineering research organizations. This program especially seeks to improve the quality and expand the scope of research and research training in science and engineering, by supporting proposals for shared instrumentation that fosters the integration of research and education in research-intensive learning environments.

Each MRI proposal may request support for the acquisition (Track 1) or development (Track 2) of a single research instrument for shared inter- and/or intra-organizational use; development efforts that leverage the strengths of private sector partners to build instrument development capacity at MRI submission-eligible organizations are encouraged.

Instrument acquisition or development proposals that request funds from NSF in the range $100,000-$4 million may be accepted from any MRI-eligible organization. Proposals that request funds from NSF less than $100,000 may also be accepted for the disciplines of mathematics or social, behavioral and economic sciences.

Amount per Award: $100,000 – $4 million
Duration of Award: 1 Year
Number of Awards: 160 Awards


UW–Madison may submit 3 proposals, but at least one must be for instrument development.

NSF requires cost-sharing in the MRI program of exactly 30% of the total project cost.

*The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research & Graduate Education has a limited amount of funds available each year to assist applicants to the NSF Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program when a match is required. The VCRGE will consider committing a contribution for successful applications, up to 50% of the required match, but not more than $500,000. However, potential contributions are also subject to the availability of funds, competitive review and approval by the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education.


Internal Competition Application Instructions

Applications for Internal Review

To submit your application, follow this link:

Please include the following information:

  • Full Contact information for PI & Co-PIs
  • Indicate whether your project is Instrument Acquisition (Track 1) or Instrument Development (Track 2)
  • 2-3 page description of the proposed instrumentation, the need for the instrumentation, and the faculty/staff programs impacted.
  • 2-3 sentences on your plans for meeting the NSF cost-sharing requirement including total cost for the project.  Include this signed form with your application: NSF MRI Cost Share Form

Sponsor Deadlines

Applications are due to NSF by January 10, 2018.