The National Science Foundation (NSF) has updated a primary grant program to provide Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) for increased access to shared scientific and engineering instruments for research and research training. Eligible institutions include not-for-profit higher education, museums, science centers and scientific and engineering research organizations.
The MRI program assists with the acquisition or development of a shared research instrument that is, in general, too costly and not support through other NSF funding programs.
NSF is now accepting proposals that request funds from NSF in the range $100,000-$4 million from any MRI-eligible organization. Proposals that request funds of less than $100,000 are also being accepted for disciplines of mathematics or social, behavioral and economic sciences and from non-Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education for all NSF-supported disciplines.
Cost-sharing of precisely 30% of the total project cost is required for Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education and for non-degree-granting organizations.
Commercial U.S. organizations, especially small businesses with strong capabilities in scientific or engineering research or education, are eligible for instrument development support only through subawards as private sector partners with submitting organizations. Such partnerships must be substantive and meaningful, and build capacity for instrument development within MRI submission-eligible organizations.
Proposals submitted in response to the solicitation will be competing for about $90 million in funding with an anticipated 175 awards, pending availability of funds and quality of proposals. Up to $35 million of these funds will be available to support proposals requesting $1-$4 million from NSF, depending on overall proposal pressure and quality.
Further details are available under funding announcement NSF 13-517. The current proposal deadline is February 21, 2013.