NSF Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program

Updated July 31, 2017 for 2018 competition

National Science Foundation’s Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) assists in the acquisition or development of major research instrumentation. This program seeks to improve the quality and expand the scope of research and research training in science and engineering, and to foster the integration of research and education by providing instrumentation for research-intensive learning environments. The MRI program also encourages the shared inter- and/or intra-organizational use of the acquired research instrumentation. NSF is in the process of developing new guidelines for MRI, which have yet to be released. For a sense of what will be required in a proposal, consult the program's previous guidelines

While this is subject to change under the new guidelines, historically we have been allowed to submit up to 3 MRI proposals (at least 1 of which must be for instrument development and no more than 2 for instrument acquisition) on which Miami is either the lead or a partner institution. The MRI program defines instrument development as not merely the combination of individual pieces of equipment into a new system, but rather as a demonstration of the need for a new or upgraded instrument that can provide enhanced of transformative use, open up new area of research, and/or have potential as a commercial product (see guidelines for a more detailed definition). To facilitate the selection of our submissions to NSF, we have set a deadline of October 2, 2017 to receive preliminary MRI proposals for internal review. You are required to provide a preliminary proposal regardless of whether you were selected as an institutional submission in previous years.

If selected, the following deadlines will apply:

  • November 20, 2017: Final draft narrative to OARS (for internal/consultant review)
  • November 27, 2017: Final budget to OARS (to allow time for ODHE Action Fund Equipment Match request to be submitted)
  • January 10, 2018: NSF proposal submission deadline (must be submitted via FastLane)

To be considered as an institutional submission, please email a preliminary proposal to Anne Schauer (schauerap@MiamiOH.edu). include the following in the preliminary proposal:

  • Cover Sheet that includes:
    • List of PI and co-PIs
    • Departments and/or collaborating institutions involved
    • Title of Project
    • Amount requested
  • List of instrumentation to be acquired or developed
  • Project Description addressing both scientific merit and broader impacts (3 pgs max)
  • Copy of all reviewer comments (if you have previously submitted an MRI proposal)

Describe the proposed major research instrumentation, the type of research or research training to be conducted, the activities and projects that would result from this instrumentation, and how students will be involved and how their education will be enhanced through this instrumentation.