Grant Details

Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI): Acquisition or Development

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    47.041, 47.049, 47.050, 47.070, 47.074, 47.075, 47.076, 47.078, 47.079, 47.080, 47.081

    Funder Type

    Federal Government

    IT Classification

    A - Primarily intended to fund technology


    National Science Foundation (NSF)


    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, and not-for-profit museums, science centers and scientific/engineering research organizations. This program especially seeks to improve the quality and expand the scope of research and research training in science and engineering, by supporting proposals for shared instrumentation that fosters the integration of research and education in research-intensive learning environments.

    Each MRI proposal may request support for the acquisition (Track 1) or development (Track 2) of a single research instrument for shared inter- and/or intra-organizational use; development efforts that leverage the strengths of private sector partners to build instrument development capacity at MRI submission-eligible organizations are encouraged.

    To accomplish the program's goals, the MRI program assists with the acquisition or development of a shared research instrument that is, in general, too costly and/or not appropriate for support through other NSF programs. The instrument is expected to be operational for regular research use by the end of the award period. For the purposes of the MRI program, a proposal must be for either acquisition (Track 1) or development (Track 2) of a single instrument or for equipment that, when combined, serves as an integrated research instrument (in contrast to requests for multiple instruments that enable research in a common or focused research domain, which MRI does not support).

    The MRI program does not support the acquisition or development of a suite of instruments to outfit research laboratories/facilities or that will be used to conduct independent research activities simultaneously.


    History of Funding

    Recent awards are available at:

    Additional Information

    The program will not provide support for instrumentation to be used in medical education (such as medical school courses). Instrumentation intended for research with disease-related goals, including work on the etiology, diagnosis or treatment of physical or mental disease, abnormality, or malfunction in human beings or animals, is normally not supported. Instrumentation for research on animal models of such conditions or the development or testing of drugs or other procedures for their treatment also is not eligible for support. However, instrumentation for bioengineering research, with diagnosis- or treatment-related goals that applies engineering principles to problems in biology and medicine, while also advancing engineering knowledge, is eligible for support. Instrumentation for research in bioinformatics and biocomputing, or for bioengineering research to aid persons with disabilities, is also eligible.


    Randy Phelps

    Randy Phelps
    4201 Wilson Boulevard Room 935
    Arlington, VA 22230
    (703) 292-5049

  • Eligibility Details

    The following are eligible:

    • Institutions of higher education (Ph.D.-granting and non-Ph.D.-granting)
    • Not-for-profit, non-degree-granting domestic U.S. organizations
    • Commercial U.S. organizations
    • Legally incorporated, not-for-profit consortia

    Deadline Details

    Upcoming submission windows are between January 29, 2018 to February 5, 2018 and between January 1, 2019 to January 22, 2019. Applications are to be submitted between January 1 to January 19, annually thereafter.

    Award Details

    $75,000,000 is anticipated to be funded for this program. Up to $30,000,000 of these funds will be available to support proposals requesting $1,000,000 to $4,000,000 from NSF, depending on overall proposal pressure and quality. 150 awards are expected. Proposers may request an award period up to three years for acquisition proposals and up to five years for development proposals. 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. Cost sharing/matching is not required from non-Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education.

    Proposals that request funds from NSF in the range $100,000 - $4,000,000 may be accepted from any MRI-eligible organization. Proposals that request funds from NSF less than $100,000 may also be accepted from any MRI-eligible organization for the disciplines of mathematics or social, behavioral and economic sciences, and from non-Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education for all NSF-supported disciplines.


    Related Webcasts Use the links below to view the recorded playback of these webcasts

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    • Funding High Performance Computing in Support of University Research – Sponsored by NetApp - Playback Available
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