Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI)
The Office for Research Development is requesting letters of intent for the National Science Foundation (NSF) –Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI)
This program 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.
Research Office Letter of Intent Deadline: September 21, 2015
Agency Deadline: January 13, 2016
Anticipated Funding Amount: $75,000,000
Estimated Number of Awards: 160
Limit on Number of Proposals per organization: 3 (If 3 proposals are submitted, at least one must be for instrument development, no more than two may be for instrument acquisition.)
In an effort to provide the highest level of excellence and viability for funding, a review process will be put in place if more than three proposals are submitted.
Information: Mary Phillips, Director, Office for Research Development at firstname.lastname@example.org
General guidance for preparation of letters of intent to the Research Office:
COVER SHEET (1 page)
- Solicitation Name and Descriptive Title
- Project Summary: 3 or 4 sentences or bullet points that provide an overview of the objective of your proposed research, how you plan to do it, and the expected outcome.
- Unique Aspects: 3 or 4 sentences or bullet points that highlight how your research/approach is different/better.
- Key PI/co-PIs: 5 or 6 sentences or bullet points that highlight team expertise as it relates to the project.
- Budget: Example: The total cost of the project is anticipated to be $ X, with $ Y being requested from the NSF. NSF funds will be used for: $ A for personnel; $ B for operations, and $ C for broader impacts/subcontracts etc.
- Justification for NSF support: One paragraph explaining why this research fits with the RFP and strategic goals of NSF.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION (1 - 4 pages)
- Problem statement - Clear and concise statement of 1) research question(s) and how the project will address the research question(s); 2) what technical barriers need to be overcome to perform the research; and 3) how the proposed research can lead to the advancement of research/knowledge in this area.
- Conceptual framework: Conceptual framework describing, for example, how the synthesis of various project components, approaches, and participant expertise are linked together to address the problem of interest. Graphics may be used.
- Proposed activities: Describe the project to be undertaken and provide the technical specifications of the research activities and timelines that will be undertaken.
- Expected results: Describe the outcome you anticipate from the research. (Remember your initial motivation for wanting to do this!)
- Peer Groups: Who else is doing something similar, why their discoveries are useful for you, and what discriminates you.
- Broader Impact/Metrics for Success: What metrics are the most appropriate for evaluating the success of the proposed project (e.g., peer-reviewed papers, policy-directed efforts, databases, models, development of new resources, etc.)? If successful, who would most likely use the knowledge or tools developed?
- Fundraising: List any matching fund requests, industry commitments etc. List any similar current proposals pending.
Suggested Reviewers: (1 page) Optional – but as you write envision who might be a reviewer of your proposal or the Program Officer.
- Reviewer 1: Area of expertise
- State why you think this person would be a good reviewer.