The National Science Foundation provides support for significant research equipment expenditures through the Major Research Instrumentation Program administered by the Office of Integrative Activities. Information on the MRI Program can be obtained via e-mail at or from the OIA Home Page on the World Wide Web at

Research equipment with total cost of less than $200,000 can be funded by individual or multiple programs within the Chemical & Transport Systems Division (CTS) of the Engineering Directorate or via joint funding with programs in other divisions or directorates. Alternative mechanisms for seeking equipment funding from the CTS Division are described below.

1. Include the cost of equipment in a regular unsolicited proposal for a research grant.

    These proposals will be merit-reviewed in the same manner as other research proposals. Program Directors will make recommendations for funding or declination based on the merit reviews, budget considerations, program balance, and the quality of other proposals being considered for funding. Justification must be provided for the equipment requested. Equipment that will be used by a number of faculty and students, and on projects other than the proposed research will be considered favorably; especially for more costly items. At least 1/3 institutional cost-sharing is required.
2. Submit a separate equipment proposal to the CTS Division.
    Unsolicited equipment proposals will be merit-reviewed by mail or panel. The Program Directors in five subprograms (listed below) would prefer to receive such proposals by a target date of January 15 each year. Recommendations for funding or declination will be based on merit reviews, budget considerations, program balance, and the quality of other proposals being considered for funding. The total impact of the equipment requested on related research programs at the grantee institution will be a major consideration in evaluation of "Equipment-Only" proposals. Guidelines for such proposals are given in NSF's Grant Proposal Guide. At least 1/3 institutional cost-sharing is required.

    Programs that accept equipment proposals:

    Thermal Transport & Thermal Processing
    Combustion & Thermal Plasmas
    Interfacial, Transport & Thermodynamics
    Separation & Purification Processes
    Fluid Dynamics & Hydraulics
3. Submit a request for a supplement to an existing grant.
    Proposals for equipment funds up to $25,000 or 20 % of the grant amount, whichever is less, can be submitted in the form of a request for a supplement to an existing grant. Such requests need to clearly delineate the benefits for the current research program and the potential for expanded future utilization. At least 1/3 institutional cost-sharing is required.


The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering.  Grantees are wholly responsible for conducting their project activities and preparing the results for publication.  Thus, the Foundation does not assume responsibility for such findings or their interpretation.

NSF welcomes proposals from all qualified scientists, engineers and educators.  The Foundation strongly encourages women, minorities, and persons with disabilities to compete fully in its programs. In accordance with federal statutes, regulations, and NSF policies, no person on grounds of race, color, age, sex, national origin, or disability shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving financial assistance from NSF (unless otherwise specified in the eligibility requirements for a particular program).

Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities (FASED) provide funding for special assistance or equipment to enable persons with disabilities (investigators and other staff, including student research assistants) to work on NSF-supported projects.  See the program announcement or contact the program coordinator at (703) 306-1636.

The National Science Foundation has Telephonic Device for the Deaf (TDD) and Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) capabilities that enable individuals with hearing impairments to communicate with the Foundation regarding NSF programs, employment, or general information. TDD may be accessed at (703) 306-0090 or through FIRS on 1-800-877-8339.

The information requested on proposal forms and project reports is solicited under the authority of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended.  The information on proposal forms will be used in connection with the selection of qualified proposals; project reports submitted by awardees will be used for program evaluation and reporting within the Executive Branch and to Congress.  The information requested may be disclosed to qualified reviewers and staff assistants as part of the review process; to applicant institutions/grantees to provide or obtain data regarding the proposal review process, award decisions, or the administration of awards; to government contractors, experts, volunteers and researchers and educators as necessary to complete assigned work; to other government agencies needing information as part of the review process or in order to coordinate programs; and to another Federal agency, court or party in a court or Federal administrative proceeding if the government is a party.  Information about Principal Investigators may be added to the Reviewer file and used to select potential candidates to serve as peer reviewers or advisory committee members.  See Systems of Records, NSF-50, "Principal Investigator/Proposal File and Associated Records," 63 Federal Register 267 (January 5, 1998), and NSF-51, "Reviewer/Proposal File and Associated Records," 63 Federal Register 268 (January 5, 1998).  Submission of the information is voluntary.  Failure to provide full and complete information, however, may reduce the possibility of receiving an award.

Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 120 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions.  Send comments regarding this burden estimate and any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to:  Suzanne H. Plimpton, Reports Clearance Officer; Division of Administrative Services; National Science Foundation; Arlington, VA  22230.

In accordance with Important Notice No. 120 dated June 27, 1997, Subject: Year 2000 Computer Problem, NSF awardees are reminded of their responsibility to take appropriate actions to ensure that the NSF activity being supported is not adversely affected by the Year 2000 problem. Potentially affected items include: computer systems, databases, and equipment.  The National Science Foundation should be notified if an awardee concludes that the Year 2000 will have a significant impact on its ability to carry out an NSF funded activity.  Information concerning Year 2000 activities can be found on the NSF web site at .

The National Science Foundation is committed to making all of the information we publish easy to understand.  If you have a suggestion about how to improve the clarity of this document or other NSF-published materials, please contact us at

Proposal Cover Sheet and Project Summary must by submitted via FastLane by 5:00 p.m. submitter's local time.
Copy of the FastLane Cover Sheet (with the official proposal number) must be attached to all paper copies of the proposal.
The original Cover Sheet must be signed, and together with the Project Summary, must be mailed to National Science Foundation, Attn: Cheryl Albus, Engineering FastLane Coordinator, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Room 505, Arlington, VA 22230.
FastLane questions should be directed to the FastLane Help Desk (703-306-1142) or emailed to

November 1997
August 1999 (Updated)

OMB No. 3145-0058

P.T.: 01,05,28
K.W.: 0601000,0605000, 0609000

CFDA 47.041

NSF 99-151 (Replaces 98-32) (electronic distribution only)