Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) - 2019

Funding Organization: 
Type of Funding: 
Estimated Funding Amount: 
Up to $4M
Letter of Intent Deadline: 
Monday, October 1, 2018
Award/Eligibility Description: 


NSF will soon be inviting applications for the 2019 Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program. The MRI program is designed increase access to multi-user scientific and engineering instrumentation for research and research training.

MRI provides support to acquire critical, costly instrumentation without which advances in fundamental science and engineering research may not otherwise occur. The program provides support to develop next-generation research instruments that open new opportunities to advance the frontiers in science and engineering research. Additionally, an MRI award is expected to enhance research training of students who will become the next generation of instrument users, designers and builders.


An MRI proposal may request up to $4 million for either acquisition or development of a research instrument, under one of two tracks:

  • Track 1: Funding requests from $100,000 to $999,9999; or
  • Track 2: Funding requests from $1,000,000 to $4,000,000.

There is a 30% mandatory cost share requirement for all submissions.

Proposers may request an award period up to three years for acquisition proposals and up to five years for development proposals.

Institutional Limits

An institution is limited to submitting a total of three proposals, broken down as follows:

  • Track 1: No more than one proposal may be submitted; and
  • Track 2: No more than two proposals may be submitted.As this is a limited submission competition, GT will conduct an internal competition to determine the institutional applicants.

Award Timeline

  • GT Letter of Intent due - October 1, 2018GT
  • Internal Pre Proposal Packages due - October 8, 2018
  • GT internal competition notifications issued - October 31, 2018
  • NSF deadline for proposal submission - January 22, 2019

GT Internal Competition Process

1) Submit a GT Letter of Intent by October 1, 2018.

  • To submit, please complete the LOI online form at the link associated with this notification. (No actual, additional letter is required.)
  • You will receive system confirmation of acceptance into this competition.
  • You will receive an additional system notification when the LOI competition is converted to open the window for submission of GT Internal Pre Proposal Packages.

2) Submit a GT Internal Pre Proposal Packages s by October 8, 2018.

  • The GT Internal Pre Proposal Package can then be uploaded.
  • The GT Internal Pre Proposal Package must contain the following:
    • 1) Project Description, 4 page maximum, to include
      • Research Instrumentation and Needs;
      • Impact of instrumentation on current/future research and research training activities;
      • Management Plan; and
      • Budget - Projected costs, including plans for covering the cost of operation and maintenance of the instrumentation, as well as plans to meet the 30% cost-sharing requirement; and
    • 2) NSF Beneficiary List
      • A list of all NSF-funded research projects at GT that will benefit from the instrumentation, including PI name, department, project title, budget/project period, and award amount. (Not included in maximum page count above.)

GT Internal Competition Cost Share Guidance

The Office of the EVPR typically provides at least 1/3 (or 10%) of the cost share mandated in this competition. Applicants can assume this level of cost-share in all internal competition budgets. Please contact the Office of the EVPR for cost-share requests above this amount.

Additionally, the costs associated with building modifications are not allowable in this national competition and thus are not eligible to be included as cost share, therefore these costs must be considered separately. As such, all internal applicants will be asked to provide information regarding specialized infrastructure/facilities considerations and/or modifications which will be required should this equipment be funded.

Selection Criteria

All submissions will be evaluated by a GT internal selection committee using the following criteria:

  1. Proposed single, well-integrated, MRI support-eligible instrument. (Enables specific research experiment to be undertaken, removing would preclude any experiments from succeeding, not duplicative of other equipment on campus.)
  2. Impact of shared-use instrumentation on current/future research and research training activities both within and outside of GT.
  3. Management Plan which demonstrates appropriate technical expertise and infrastructure to allow effective usage of the instrument, and that multi-user accessibility will be available.
  4. Realistic budget for scope/impact of project, including a 30% cost share which demonstrates institutional commitment to the project.

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