NSF Major Research Instrumentation Program: (MRI) 2021
|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 04, 2020|
|Subject:||NSF Major Research Instrumentation Program: (MRI) NSF 18-513|
|Deadline for Internal Review:||October 06, 2020|
The Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program serves to increase access to multi-user scientific and engineering instrumentation for research and research training in our Nation’s institutions of higher education and not-for-profit scientific/engineering research organizations. An MRI award supports the acquisition or development of a multi-user research instrument that is, in general, too costly and/or not appropriate for support through other NSF programs.
MRI provides support to acquire critical research instrumentation without which advances in fundamental science and engineering research may not otherwise occur. MRI also provides support to develop next-generation research instruments that open new opportunities to advance the frontiers in science and engineering research. Additionally, an MRI award is expected to enhance research training of students who will become the next generation of instrument users, designers and builders.
An MRI proposal may request up to $4 million for either acquisition or development of a research instrument. Each performing organization must submit in “Tracks” as defined below, with no more than two submissions in Track 1 and no more than one submission in Track 2.
- Track 1: Track 1 MRI proposals are those that request funds from NSF greater than or equal to $100,000 and less than $1,000,000.
- Track 2: Track 2 MRI proposals are those that request funds from NSF greater than or equal to $1,000,000 up to and including $4,000,000.
Amount per Award: $100,000 – $4 million
Duration of Award: 1 Year
Number of Awards: Up to 150 awards are anticipated
Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation will be competing for up to $75 million, pending availability of funds and numbers/quality of proposals, with approximately 1/3 of the available MRI funding expected to support Track 2 awards. NSF strongly encourages MRI proposals that seek to develop next-generation research instruments that open new frontiers of research; therefore up to 1/3 of the MRI awards are expected to support instrument development in either track; therefore within their submission limit organizations are encouraged to submit proposals for innovative development projects.
The number of MRI proposal submissions allowed per institution is a maximum of three and is based on the dollar value of the amount requested from NSF; no more than two submissions are permitted in Track 1 (Track 1 proposals are those requesting from NSF $100,000 to less than $1 million) and no more than one submission is permitted in Track 2 (Track 2 proposals are those requesting from NSF $1 million up to and including $4 million). Proposal submissions within the two tracks may be either for acquisition or development of a research instrument. NSF strongly values MRI proposals that seek to develop next-generation research instruments that open new frontiers of research.
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, attach a single PDF to an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please include the following information:
- Full Contact information for PI & Co-PIs
- Indicate whether your project is (Track 1) $100,000 to less than $1 million or (Track 2) $1 million up to and including $4 million
- Indicate whether your project is Acquisition or Development
- 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
Applications are due to NSF by January 19, 2021.