Major Research Instrumentation Program
The Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) catalyzes new knowledge and discoveries by empowering the Nationís scientists and engineers with state-of-the-art research instrumentation. The MRI Program enables research-intensive learning environments that promote the development of a diverse workforce and next generation instrumentation, as well as facilitates academic/private sector partnerships. Among the goals of the MRI Program are:
- Supporting the acquisition of major state-of-the-art instrumentation, thereby improving access to, and increased use of, modern research and research training instrumentation by a diverse workforce of scientists, engineers, and graduate and undergraduate students;
- Fostering the development of the next generation of instrumentation, resulting in new instruments that are more widely used, and/or open up new areas of research and research training;
- Enabling academic departments, disciplinary and cross-disciplinary units, and multi-organization collaborations to create well-equipped research environments that integrate research with education;
- Supporting the acquisition and development of instrumentation that contributes to, or takes advantage of, existing investments in cyberinfrastructure, while avoiding duplication of services already provisioned by NSF investments;
- Promoting substantive and meaningful partnerships for instrument development between the academic and private sectors. Such partnerships have the potential to build capacity for instrument development in academic settings and to create new products with wide scientific and commercial impact.
FY 2015 COMPETITION INFORMATION
If you are interested in submitting a proposal to the Major Research Instrumentation program, the FY2015 MRI Solicitation (NSF 15-504) and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are available. Proposals from women and under-represented minorities are particularly encouraged.
FY 2014 AWARD INFORMATION
In FY 2014, NSF reviewed 811 MRI proposals and made 205 awards (a success rate of 25%). Of these approximately one quarter were for development projects and three quarters were for acquisition projects. Development and acquisition proposals had similar success rates (just under 26% for acquisition proposals and 24% for development proposals). Approximately one eighth of the proposals requested budgets of greater than $1 million. The success rate for these was 20%. The success rates broken down by the directorate that was most closely aligned with a proposal’s intellectual theme were as follows: Biological Sciences 20%; Computer and Information Science and Engineering 45%; Engineering 20%; Geosciences 32%; Mathematical and Physical Sciences 25%; Social Behavioral and Economic Sciences 37%. (Several factors can cause variations in success rates. Some directorates co-fund MRI awards with non-IA program funds while others do not. Whether an award is funded with a budget reduced below the amount originally requested depends on the details of the budget proposed and so the proportion of awards with reduced budgets typically varies between directorates and from year to year.)
COMMITTEE OF VISITORS (COV)
*The 2010 Major Research Instrumentation Committee of Visitors (MRI COV) Meeting was held from June 10 through June 11, 2010 in Arlington, Virginia.
MRI Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) Dialogues
QEM MRI Workshop Presentation (November 7, 2014)
Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) Brochure
MRI ARCHIVE DOCUMENTS