NSF MRI Internal Call for Expressions of Interest

URL: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2018/nsf18513/nsf18513.htm

Full Proposal Submission Deadline: January 19, 2023 (due by 5 p.m. submitter’s local time)

Scope: “The goal of the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program is to increase access to shared-use/multi-user instrumentation for scientific and engineering research and research training. MRI is intended to be a capacity-building program that builds research capabilities across diverse institution types (institutions of higher education and not-for-profit scientific/engineering research organizations). MRI advances the National interest by providing U.S. organizations with instrumentation that opens new opportunities to advance the frontiers in science and engineering research and research training.”

An MRI proposal may request support for the acquisition or development of a research instrument or components that when combined serve as an integrated research instrument. An MRI-supported instrument is intended to serve multiple users both in research and in the training of the next generation of instrument users and/or developers. 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 develop next-generation research instruments that open new opportunities to advance the frontiers in science and engineering research. 

The MRI Program is intended to assist with the acquisition or development of a single research instrument that is, in general, too costly and/or not appropriate for support through other NSF programs. An instrument acquired or developed with support from the MRI program is expected to be operational for regular research use by the end of the award period. The program does not fund research projects, including research that uses an instrument acquired or developed with support from the program. The program does not support the operation and maintenance of facilities or centers.

Proposals to the MRI Program, must be for either Acquisition or Development, and must be for only a single, well-integrated instrument.  A well-integrated research instrument means that the ensemble of equipment that defines the instrument enables a specific research experiment or type of research experiment to be undertaken; separating or removing an element or component of such an integrated instrument would preclude any experiments from occurring or succeeding. The MRI program does not support the acquisition or development of a suite of instruments to outfit research laboratories/facilities or to conduct independent experiments simultaneously. 

Each institution is limited to a maximum of three proposals in “Tracks” as defined below, with no more than two submissions in Track 1 and no more than one submission in Track 2. 

·       Track 1: Track 1 MRI proposals are those that request funds from NSF greater than or equal to $100,000 and less than $1,000,000. 

·       Track 2: Track 2 MRI proposals are those that request funds from NSF greater than or equal to $1,000,000 up to and including $4,000,000. 

Internal Expressions of Interest Procedures

·       Expressions of Interest may be up to 3 pages in length and should adhere to NSF formatting requirements

·       Submit only to mcrimi@clarkson.edu by November 4, 2022.  

·       Selection Notifications: mid-November 2022

  • Cost sharing of 30% of the total project costs is REQUIRED. (NOTE: this is not 30% of the NSF request, but rather 30% of the total project cost.)  Consult SRS for example cost share approaches that have been proposed in the past.  
  • As part of the budget, specifically, describe how this cost-sharing requirements will be met.  

Selection process – the Interim Provost in consultation with Deans, Center/Institute Directors, and the Acting AVPR will select applicants according to the NSF merit review criteria and consideration of university priorities/needs.   

·       Others’ expertise may be sought to assess the merit of the request, impact on Clarkson, or cost of installation.

·       The Deans, Center/Institute Directors, and Interim Provost will discuss the 30% cost-sharing requirement during the selection review.

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