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Office of Research and Grant Development

Program Details

NSF: Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI)Instrument Acquisition or Development NSF 18-513

Sponsor: NSF
Internal Deadline: 11/08/2018
Institutional Submission Limit: 3
Sponsor Deadline: 01/02/2019
Program Website

NSF: Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI)Instrument Acquisition or Development NSF 18-513

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.

USC may only submit three proposals in response to this program announcement, but submissions are now based on the dollar value of the amount requested from NSF; no more than two submissions are permitted in a newly-defined Track 1 (Track 1 proposals are those requesting from NSF $100,0001 to less than $1 million) and no more than one submission is permitted in a newly defined 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. As a result the MRI program seeks to support development proposals in numbers (i.e., up to 1/3 of awards) consistent with recent competitions, depending on the numbers and quality of the proposals.

Emphasis has been provided to indicate that the MRI Program seeks broad representation by PIs in its award portfolio, including women, underrepresented minorities and persons with disabilities. Since diversity may be greater among early-career researchers, the MRI program also encourages proposals with early-career PIs and proposals that benefit early-career researchers.

MRI proposal submission will only be accepted within the specified submission window. It is NSF's policy that the end date of a submission window converts to, and is subject to, the same policies as a deadline date.

Information regarding collaborators and other affiliations must be separately provided as a Single Copy Document for each individual identified as Senior Personnel, consistent with the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG).

Statements have been added this version to emphasize that an MRI research instrument need not be physically located in a conventional laboratory setting, nor does an instrument need to be physical at all. MRI continues to support distributed/networked instruments and cyberinstrumentation that is not appropriate for support through other NSF programs.

Cost-sharing of precisely 30% of the total project cost is required. Note: The 30% cost-sharing requirement applies to only the portion of the total project cost budgeted to non-exempt organizations, including those participating through subawards.

Your application submission MUST be coordinated with the Office of the Vice President for Research. Please send a three page abstract via email to Richard White ( by November 8, 2018. The abstract needs to have a header that notes the approximate amount you will request from NSF (either below $1M or between $1M - $4M). Within the text, please include information about your management plan and proposed outreach activities. You should also submit a biosketch for the PI. All Principal Investigators resubmitting a previously non- funded proposal must also include reviewer remarks.

NSF indicates that a letter of intent is Not Required and that the full proposal submission window is January 01, 2019 - January 22, 2019. For more information:

Office of Research and Grant Development

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