NSF 16-545 -

The Office for Research Development is requesting letters of intent for the National Science Foundation (NSF) – Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers (MRSEC) 2016 program.

Research Office Letter of Intent Deadline:  November 30, 2015

Anticpated Agency Deadlines:

Agency Deadline:    Preliminary Proposal: July 1, 2016 

                                  Full Proposal: December 2, 2016

Anticipated Funding Amount: $25,000,000

Estimated Number of Awards: 7-10

Limit on Number of Proposals per organization: 1

Synopsis of Program:

MRSECs provide sustained support of interdisciplinary materials research and education of the highest quality while addressing fundamental problems in science and engineering. MRSECs address research of a scope and complexity requiring the scale, synergy, and interdisciplinarity provided by a campus-based research center. They support materials research infrastructure in the United States, promote active collaboration between universities and other sectors, including industry and international institutions, and contribute to the development of a national network of university-based centers in materials research, education, and facilities. A MRSEC may be located at a single institution, or may involve multiple institutions in partnership.

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 one proposal is submitted. The finalist will be asked to represent Oregon State University and to submit their proposal to the NSF – MRSEC program by the NSF deadline of August 26, 2013.

Information:  Mary Phillips at mary.phillips@oregonstate.edu or (541) 737-8390

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. 


  • 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
  • Name
  • Title
  • Contact
  • State why you think this person would be a good reviewer.


Monday, November 30, 2015
Date Open: 
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
National Science Foundation