NSF 17-592 Mid-Scale Innovations Program in Astronomical Sciences (MSIP)

Description of the Award: 

NA vigorous Mid-Scale Innovations Program (MSIP) was recommended by the 2010 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey, citing "many highly promising projects for achieving diverse and timely science." As described in this solicitation, the Division of Astronomical Sciences has established a mid-scale program to support a variety of astronomical activities within a cost range up to $30M. This program will be formally divided into four subcategories: 1) limited term, self-contained science projects; 2) longer term mid-scale facilities; 3) development investments for future mid-scale and large-scale projects; and 4) community open access capabilities. The MSIP will emphasize both strong scientific merit and a well-developed plan for student training and involvement of a diverse workforce in instrumentation, facility development, or data management.

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award:

Standard Grant or Continuing Grant or Cooperative Agreement

Estimated Number of Awards: 1 to 4

Number of awards will depend on program funding level and amounts requested.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $4,000,000 to $30,000,000

Minimum proposal budget for full award duration is $4,000,000, with the exception of open access capabilities proposals for which there is no lower limit (see Program Description). Given anticipated program budgets, no more than one proposal (and possibly none) in the upper half of the funding range will be awarded in this cycle.

Estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds. The President's FY 2018 budget request to Congress allocates $6,000,000 for the MSIP program. The final amount available for the MSIP program could be different from the budgeted amount, to be determined once NSF receives its FY 2018 Appropriation. A similar amount may be available for the MSIP program in FY 2019, again depending on the availability of funding.

Eligibility Information

Who May Submit Proposals:

The categories of proposers eligible to submit proposals to the National Science Foundation are identified in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide(PAPPG), Chapter I.E.

Who May Serve as PI:

There are no restrictions or limits.

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization: 3

A single organization may submit a maximum of three preliminary proposals as the lead institution. Full proposals are to be submitted only when invited by NSF, and no more than two invitations will be issued to a single organization. There is no limit to participation as a partner institution.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI: 1

Any one individual may be the Principal Investigator (PI) or co-Principal Investigator (co-PI) for no more than one preliminary or full proposal.

Penn State Downselect deadline: October 3, 2017 at 4 PM

NSF Preliminary Proposal (Required) Deadline: November 20, 2017 at 5 PM

NSF Full Proposal (By Invitation Only) Deadline: April 6, 2018 at 5 PM

Penn State Downselect Process:

Interested applicants should send the following documents in sequence in one PDF no later than 4:00 p.m. on the internal submission deadline:

  • Principal Investigator’s (PI's) names and departmental affiliation
  • Co-PI's names and departmental affiliation(s)
  • A list of possible participating organizations (if applicable)
  • Proposal Title
  • Project Description (no more than two pages) and identify the project scope that addresses the key aspects and elements outlined in the NSF solicitation, principal investigators, collaborators, and partner organizations.
  • 2-page current NSF Bio-sketch for all PIs and Co-PIs.
  • Budget and Budget Justification, including budgets for any subawards.
  • Facilities, Equipment, and Other Resources

Formatting Guidelines and Page Limit:

  • Font/size: Times New Roman (12 pt.)
  • Document margins: 1.0” (top, bottom, left and right)
  • Standard paper size (8 ½” x 11)

Questions concerning the limited submissions process may be submitted to limitedsubs@psu.edu.

Limit (Number of applicants permitted per institution): 
Sponsor Final Deadline: 
Nov 20, 2017
To be considered as a Penn State institutional nominee, please submit a notice of intent by the date provided directly below.
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:
OVPR Downselect Deadline: 
Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - 4:00pm