Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI)

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23-519

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 22-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after October 4, 2021. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 22-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.

Instrument Acquisition or Development

Supports requests for up to $4 million from NSF for the development or acquisition of multi-user research instruments that are critical to the advancement of science and engineering.

Synopsis

The Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program (MRI Program Website) 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 of a multi-user research instrument that is commercially available through direct purchase from a vendor, or for the personnel costs and equipment that are required for the development of an instrument with new capabilities, thereby advancing instrumentation capabilities and enhancing expertise for instrument design and fabrication at academic institutions. MRI instruments are, 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 obtain next-generation research instruments by developing instruments with new capabilities 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 from NSF up to $4 million for either acquisition or development of a research instrument. Each performing organization may submit in revised "Tracks" as defined below, with no more than two (2) submissions in Track 1 and no more than one (1) submission in Track 2. For the newly defined Track 3, no more than one (1) submission per competition is permitted.  As a result, it is now possible for an institution to submit up to four MRI proposals within the Track limits as described above.

  • Track 1: Track 1 MRI proposals are those that request funds from NSF greater than $100,000[1] and less than $1,400,000.
  • Track 2: Track 2 MRI proposals are those that request funds from NSF greater than or equal to $1,400,000 up to and including $4,000,000.
  • Track 3: Track 3 MRI proposals are those that request funds from NSF greater than or equal to $100,000[1] and less than or equal to $4,000,000 that include the purchase, installation, operation, and maintenance of equipment and instrumentation to conserve or reduce the consumption of helium. Institutions may submit no more than one Track 3 proposal. Submission of a Track 3 proposal does not impact limits that apply for Track 1 and Track 2 proposals.

Cost sharing requirements for new awards in the MRI Program are waived for a period of 5 years beginning with the FY 2023 MRI competition. Institutional submission limits for Track 1, Track 2 and Track 3 proposals remain.

The MRI Program especially seeks broad representation of groups, institutions, and geographic regions that are underrepresented in STEM disciplines. Proposals from women, underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities and early-career PIs are encouraged, as are proposals that benefit early-career researchers and proposals with PIs from geographically underserved regions, including EPSCoR jurisdictions. Additionally, proposals are encouraged from under-resourced institutions, including from emerging research institutions, where MRI can significantly build capacity for research.

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[1]Track 1 proposals requesting funds from NSF less than $100,000 will be accepted only from: a) eligible performing organizations requesting instrumentation supporting research in the disciplines of mathematics or social, behavioral and economic sciences; or b) non-Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education requesting instrumentation supporting research in any NSF-supported disciplines.

Updates and announcements

Program contacts

Additional MRI Program Contacts

BIO

DBI

Fleischmann, Robert

rfleisch@nsf.gov

BIO

DBI

Weller, Jennifer

jweller@nsf.gov

CISE

CNS

Medhi, Deep

dmedhi@nsf.gov

CISE

CNS

Goldsmith, Nicholas

nicgolds@nsf.gov

CISE

OAC

Suarez, Alejandro

alsuarez@nsf.gov

CISE

OAC

Kanaev, Andrey

akanaev@nsf.gov

EDU

HRD

Dearo, Jessie

jdearo@nsf.gov

EDU

HRD

Cubano, Luis

lcubano@nsf.gov

ENG

ECCS

Lukaszew, Rosa Alejandro

rlukasze@nsf.gov

ENG

ECCS

Chakrabortty, Aranya

achakrab@nsf.gov

ENG

ECCS

Goldberg, Lawrence S.

lgoldber@nsf.gov

ENG

ECCS

Nash, Richard

rnash@nsf.gov

ENG

CBET

Daily, John

jdaily@nsf.gov

ENG

CBET

Shojaei-Zadeh, Shahab

sshojaei@nsf.gov

ENG

CMMI

Crone, Wendy

wcrone@nsf.gov

GEO

AGS

Anderson, Nicholas F.

nanderso@nsf.gov

GEO

EAR

Kelz, Russell

rkelz@nsf.gov

GEO

EAR

Lambert, David

DLambert@nsf.gov

GEO

OCE

Binkley, Kandace S.

kbinkley@nsf.gov

GEO

OPP

Rack, Frank R.

frack@nsf.gov

MPS

AST

Ninkov, Zoran

zninkov@nsf.gov

MPS

CHE

Carter, Kenneth

krcarter@nsf.gov

MPS

CHE

Whitmer, Tanya

twhitmer@nsf.gov

MPS

CHE

Almirall, Jose

jalmiral@nsf.gov

MPS

DMR

Omar Diallo, Souleymane

somardia@nsf.gov

MPS

DMR

Spinu, Leonard

LSpinu@NSF.gov

MPS

DMR

Tessema, Guebre

gtessema@nsf.gov

MPS

DMR

Ying, Charles

CYING@nsf.gov

MPS

DMS

Bartoszynski, Tomek

tbartosz@nsf.gov

MPS

PHY

McCloud, Kathy

kmccloud@nsf.gov

MPS

PHY

Coles, Mark

mcoles@nsf.gov

SBE

BCS

Yellen, John E.

jyellen@nsf.gov

General information for the MRI Program is available as follows:

Office of Integrative Activities (OIA)
Major Research Instrumentation Program
National Science Foundation
2415 Eisenhower Ave.
Alexandria, VA 22314

E-Mail: mri@nsf.gov

OIA MRI Website: http://www.nsf.gov/od/oia/programs/mri

Randy L. Phelps
Staff Associate
mri@nsf.gov (703) 292-5049
Jonathan Friedman
Program Director
mri@nsf.gov (703) 292-7475 OD/OIA

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