Date Open: 
National Science Foundation
ORD Notice of Intent Deadline: 
Agency Deadline: 
Limit per Institution: 
1 application per cycle

National Science Foundation (NSF) – Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers (MRSEC) 2022 program

NSF 21-625

Research Office Letter of Intent Deadline:  January 31, 2022, 5 pm PT.

Agency Deadline:    Preliminary Proposal:  June 20, 2022

                                   Full Proposal: MRSEC full proposals may be submitted by invitation only.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $31,500,000

Estimated Number of Awards: 8-10

Limit on Number of Proposals per organization: 1

Only one MRSEC preliminary proposal may be submitted by any one organization as the lead institution in this competition. An institution proposing research in several groups should submit a single MRSEC proposal with multiple Interdisciplinary Research Groups (IRGs). An MRSEC proposal must contain a minimum of 2 IRGs and a maximum of 3 IRGs. The IRGs in a center may be thematically related, or they may address different aspects of materials science typically supported by DMR. A single center at an organization allows efficient use of resources, including common infrastructure, and better coordination of education and other activities of the center.

Synopsis of Program:

The Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers (MRSECs) program provides sustained support of interdisciplinary materials research and education of the highest quality while addressing fundamental problems in science and engineering. Each MRSEC addresses research of a scope and complexity requiring the scale, synergy, and multidisciplinarity provided by a campus-based research center. The MRSECs support materials research infrastructure in the United States, promote active collaboration between universities and other sectors, including industry and international organizations, and contribute to the development of a national network of university-based centers in materials research, education, and facilities. An MRSEC may be located at a single institution, or may involve multiple institutions in partnership, and is composed of up to three Interdisciplinary Research Groups, IRGs, each addressing a fundamental materials science topic aligned with the Division of Materials Research, DMR.

The general guidance for the preparation of letters of intent to the Research Office:


  • To aid in the development of a competitive MRSEC proposal, ideas for Interdisciplinary Research Groups (IRGs) are being solicited as part of an internal competition.

  • The individual IRG proposals will be evaluated for their potential contributions to the technical merit and broader impact of the proposed MRSEC center

  • The MRSEC proposal itself will be organized in a manner that integrates three of these IRGs

Interested parties should submit the two-page document outlined below - Guidelines clarified and updated - 1/20/22

PROJECT DESCRIPTION (2 pages) – Suggested Items to Include  - please use an 11 point or higher font with one-inch margins.

  • Research question(s) and how the project will address the research question(s);
  • Proposed activities: Describe the project to be undertaken and provide the technical specifications of the research activities and timelines that will be undertaken.
  • How the proposed research can lead to the advancement of research/knowledge in this area.
  • Expected results: Describe the outcome you anticipate from the research
  • Budget Overview: The total cost of each IRG is anticipated to be ~$1M.  Provide a brief overview of the main budget categories, including equipment, personnel, subcontracts, etc.  Details are not needed, merely a broad overview of the main parts of the budget.
  • Key PI/co-PIs: A paragraph or bullet points that highlight team expertise as it relates to the project
  • Abbreviated CV or biographical sketch of the principal investigator – separate page
  • Optional - Suggest one or two names to serve on the internal review committee.


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