Limited Submission Programs - NSF - Major Research Instrumentation Program: Recovery and Reinvestment (MRI-R2)

Summary of Opportunity
NSF - Major Research Instrumentation Program: Recovery and Reinvestment (MRI-R2) [PDF]
OSP Deadline 8/4/09
Funding Agency Deadline Full proposal: 8/10/09
Funding or Award Criteria

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 and science centers, and non-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-organizations 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 the support through other NSF programs. For the purposes of the MRI Program, proposals must be for either acquisition or development (See Section II.A.2 in the guidelines). Instruments are expected to be operational for regular research use by the end of the award period. A key recommendation of a 2006 National Academies report on Advanced Research Instrumentation and Facilities (ARIF) was the NSF should expand the MRI Program so that it includes “mid-scale” instrumentation whose capital costs are greater than $2 million, but with costs that are not appropriate for NSF’s Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction account. As a result of the enactment of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, NSF is holding a competition that is separate from the regular MRI competition. For this MRI-R2 competition only, proposals will be accepted for instrumentation development or for acquisition of a single instrument or a system of related instruments that share a common or specific research focus in the range $100,000 - $6 million from Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education and non-degree-granting organizations; up to $6 million (there is no minimum request) from the non-Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education or the disciplines of mathematical sciences or social, behavioral, and economic sciences at any eligible organization.

Please also note that 30% cost share is required. Documentation of the availability of cost sharing must be included in the proposal.

The complete solicitation (PDF) can be found online for review.



Applicable Field(s)  
Number of Nominees Allowed

THREE proposals as described below:

Proposals that wholly or substantially duplicate MRI proposals that were submitted under NSF 09-502, and were accepted for review, will not be accepted for this MRI-R2 competition.

  • To provide a balanced instrumentation award portfolio at diverse organizations, across varied research topics, and that serves to train and support a broadly inclusive science and engineering workforce across the entire nation, the MRI-R2 competition requires that an organization may, as performing organization, submit or be included as significantly funded* subawardee/subcontractor in no more than three MRI-R2 proposals. No more than two proposal submissions may be for instrument acquisition.
  • To promote instrumentation development, the MRI-R2 competition requires that if an organization submits or included as a significantly funded1 subawardee/subcontractor in three MRI-R2 proposals, at least one of the three must be for instrumentation development. NSF reserves the right to carefully examine development proposals to ensure that they meet the requirements for this proposal type (Section II of the guidelines), and that submission limited have not been exceeded.

*An unfunded collaboration does not count against the submission limit. An organization may be included as a funded subawardee/subcontractor in another organization’s development proposal, at a level of 20% or less of that proposal’s budget, without affecting the subawardee’s/subcontractor’s submission limited. Inclusion as a funded subawardee/subcontractor on a development proposal at a budgetary level in excess of 20%, or on any acquisition proposal, must be counted against the proposal submission limits.

Required Internal Review Documents

Please submit the following materials electronically to no later than 4:30 p.m. Friday, June 5:

1. Dean's or Dean Designates Letter of Nomination

2. Two to three page maximum lay abstract describing the aims of the proposed research project.

3. The bio sketch of the UT PI

** The Associate Deans for Research should rank the proposals accordingly and submit them forward.

Nominee(s) Selected to Advance

Development: Dr. Gary Hill

Acquisition: Dr. Christine Schmidt; Dr. David Hillis

Posting Date 5/19/09