Limited Submission Announcement:

National Science Foundation (NSF)

Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI)

The Major Research Instrumentation Program serves to increase access to shared scientific and engineering instruments for research and research training in institutions. This program 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. Proposals must be for either acquisition or development of a single well-integrated instrument.

MRI Program Basics

  • Requests in the $100,000-$4 million range may be for instrument development or acquisition of a single instrument, a large system of instruments, or multiple instruments that share a common or specific research focus.
  • Proposals that request less than $100,000 from NSF will be accepted for the disciplines of mathematics and social, behavioral, and economic sciences.
  • Instrumentation for bioengineering research that applies engineering principles to problems in biology and medicine while also advancing engineering knowledge is eligible.
  • Instrumentation for bioinformatics, biocomputing, and bioengineering research to aid persons with disabilities is eligible.
  • Operation and maintenance are eligible expenses for acquisition proposals only.
  • Salary support is allowed only for personnel directly involved in the operation and maintenance of the equipment or for those strictly engaged in the development effort.
  • Cost share (acquisition or development) equals exactly 30 percent of total proposal project cost.
The full program announcement is available at:

Limit on the number of full proposals per organization:
Three proposals may be submitted by an institution. Of the three, at least one must be for instrument development no more than two for instrument acquisition.

The program requires full proposal submission by Jan. 13, 2016.

Since the NSF limits the number of proposals, the Division of Research is conducting a pre-proposal selection process. If you are planning to develop a MRI proposal, please summit a two-page summary of your planned application by Dec. 11, 2015. Include the following in your submission:

  1. A summary that describes:
    1. the instrumentation requested and the scientific rationale for the request, including specific known research projects to be conducted using the instrument;
    2. collaborators/users and/or potential collaborators/users within and outside FAU and how the instrument will be used by and benefit each; and
    3. the broader impacts that will result from use of the instrument.
  2. Estimated total project budget, including planned source(s) of cost-share funds.
Please submit the summary as an email attachment to Camille Coley, Associate Vice President for Research, at The Vice President for Research, Daniel Flynn, Ph.D., will convene a small panel of impartial reviewers to provide guidance on which projects will be pursued this year for full proposal development. It is anticipated that the decision and notifications will be made by Dec. 15, 2015. If you have any questions about the MRI program, or the pre-submission process, please contact Camille Coley by e-mail or phone at 561.297.3461.

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