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  NSF: Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) (11-503)

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, museums, science centers, and not-for-profit organizations. This program especially seeks to improve the quality and expand the scope of research and research training in science and engineering, by providing shared instrumentation that fosters the integration of research and education in research-intensive learning environments. Development and acquisition of research instrumentation for shared inter- and/or intra-organizational use are encouraged, as are development efforts that leverage the strengths of private sector partners to build instrument development capacity at academic institutions.

To accomplish these goals, the MRI program assists with the acquisition or development of shared research instrumentation that is, in general, too costly and/or not appropriate for support through other NSF programs. Instruments are expected to be operational for regular research use by the end of the award period. For the purposes of the MRI program, proposals must be for either acquisition or development of a single instrument or for equipment that, when combined, serves as an integrated research instrument (physical or virtual). The MRI program does not support the acquisition or development of a suite of instruments to outfit research laboratories/facilities or to conduct independent research activities simultaneously. Further guidance on appropriate requests can be found in the MRI Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) at http://www.nsf.gov/od/oia/programs/mri.

Instrument acquisition or development proposals that request funds from NSF in the range $100,000-$4 million will be accepted from all eligible organizations. Proposals that request funds from NSF less than $100,000 will also be accepted from all eligible organizations for the disciplines of mathematics or social, behavioral and economic sciences and from non-Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education for all NSF-supported disciplines.

Note: Cost-sharing at the level of 30% of the total project cost is required. The Office of the Vice President for Research will support 15% of this cost-share. The PI is required to provide the other 15%.

USC may only submit three applications in response to this program announcement. Your application submission MUST be coordinated with the Office of Research and Graduate Education. Please send a two page abstract via email to Richard White (whitejrw@mailbox.sc.edu) by December 3, 2012. In addition to the 2-page abstract, you should also submit a biosketch for the PI.

NSF indicates that a letter of intent is NOT required and a full proposal is due by January 24, 2013. For more information: http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5260
   
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