(CLOSED) - NSF Major Research Instrumentation NOI

Sponsor Name: 
Description of the Award: 

Synopsis of Program:

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, not-for-profit museums, science centers and scientific/engineering research organizations. The program provides organizations with opportunities to acquire major instrumentation that supports the research and research training goals of the organization and that may be used by other researchers regionally or nationally.

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.

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 program does not fund research projects or provide ongoing support for operating or maintaining facilities or centers.

The instrument acquired or developed 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, well-integrated instrument. The MRI program does not support the acquisition or development of a suite of instruments to outfit research laboratories or facilities, or that can be used to conduct independent research activities simultaneously.

Instrument acquisition or development proposals that request funds from NSF in the range $100,000-$4 million 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.

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. Non-Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education are exempt from cost-sharing and cannot include it. National Science Board policy is that voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.

Sponsor Final Deadline: 
Jan 10, 2018
OVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

This is the requested information for the Notice of Intent, which is required and due August 25th, 2017:

  • Project Title
  • Whether the project is Instrument Acquisition or Instrument Development
  • Full Contact information for PI & Co-PIs
  • A brief description of the instrumentation
  • The anticipated location of the instrument (campus, building, and room)
  • Name of the academic administrator to serve as an advocate for the instrument (your associate dean of research or institute director)

View Notice of Intent Application

NSF-MRI Downselect 2017/2018 Timeline

June: NSF-MRI Internal call out sent out

August 24: SIRO Workshop for interested applicants

August 25:  Internal Notice of Intent (NOI) Due (REQUIRED)

September 7: Internal Downselect Application Due

Mid/Late September: Inform the applicants of selection

January 10, 2018: Proposals Due to NSF


To be considered as a Penn State institutional nominee, please submit a notice of intent by the date provided directly below.
Penn State OVPR NOI Deadline: 
Friday, August 25, 2017 - 4:00pm
This limited submission is in downselect: 
Penn State may only submit a specific number of proposals to this funding opportunity. The number of NOIs received require that an internal competition take place, thus, a downselect process has commenced. No Penn State researchers may apply to this opportunity outside of this downselect process. To apply for this limited submission, please use this link: