Email Print Share
NSF 10-064

Dear Colleague Letter: Information on Gulf Oil Spill
MRI RAPID Submission

This document has been archived.

Dear Colleagues:

In light of the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has highlighted the Rapid Response Research (RAPID) mechanism ( as a means for NSF to receive and review proposals having severe urgency with regard to availability of, or access to, data, facilities or specialized equipment, as well as quick-response research on natural or anthropogenic disasters and similar unanticipated events. RAPID is a special grant mechanism developed specifically to respond to unusual circumstances where a timely response is essential to achieving research results.

Because the Gulf oil spill has created a national need to understand the impact of this event, the Office of Integrative Activities (OIA) wishes to make known that the RAPID mechanism is also available for proposals to the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program if support for such proposals serves to expedite the acquisition or development of instrumentation for quick-response research on the effect of the Gulf oil spill. Instrumentation supported by the MRI program may be housed in fixed laboratories or be deployable for research in the field. Up to $5 million is expected to be available to support Gulf oil spill MRI RAPID awards in FY 2010, pending the number and quality of proposals. Consistent with RAPID guidelines, individual awards will not exceed $200,000, and will have a duration of one year. Institutional submission limits that apply for regular MRI competitions will be waived for this call for Gulf oil spill MRI RAPID proposals.  MRI RAPID proposals will be reviewed as they are received. Proposals will not be accepted after 5:00 p.m., proposer’s local time, Friday, July 30, 2010.

Proposals must conform to the guidelines for preparation of RAPID proposals as specified in the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures (PAPP) Guide available at: Information on the MRI program, including the most recent MRI solicitation and specific guidance on the submission of a Gulf oil spill MRI RAPID proposal, can be found at: Prospective proposers are reminded that the statutorily-mandated, MRI-related cost-sharing requirements apply as specified in Section 7036 of 20 USC 9801 (America COMPETES Act).

A prospective Principal Investigator must contact one of the OIA MRI program coordinators listed below for referral to the discipline-specific MRI program officer(s) prior to a Gulf oil spill RAPID proposal submission. This will facilitate conformance to Gulf oil spill MRI RAPID guidelines and the coordination of Foundation-wide funding of these awards. The cognizant OIA program coordinators for this opportunity are:

  • Dr. Randy L. Phelps, Staff Associate, telephone: (703) 292-8040, email:
  • Dr. Craig C. Henderson, Staff Associate, telephone: (703) 292-8040, email:


W. Lance Haworth
Director, Office of Integrative Activities