UHM internal competition guidelines for this limited submission opportunity are described below. Please circulate to faculty investigators as appropriate.

Program Synopsis


The Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) serves to increase access to shared scientific and engineering instruments for research and research training in our Nation’s institutions of higher education, not-for-profit museums, science centers and scientific/engineering research organizations. The program provides organizations with opportunities to acquire major instrumentation that supports the research and research training goals of the organization and that may be used by other researchers regionally or nationally.

Each MRI proposal may request support for the acquisition (Track 1) or development (Track 2) of a single research instrument for shared inter- and/or intra-organizational use. Development efforts that leverage the strengths of private sector partners to build instrument development capacity at MRI submission-eligible organizations are encouraged.

The MRI program assists with the acquisition or development of a shared research instrument that is, in general, too costly and/or not appropriate for support through other NSF programs. The program does not fund research projects or provide ongoing support for operating or maintaining facilities or centers.

The instrument acquired or developed is expected to be operational for regular research use by the end of the award period. For the purposes of the MRI program, a proposal must be for either acquisition (Track 1) or development (Track 2) of a single, well-integrated instrument. The MRI program does not support the acquisition or development of a suite of instruments to outfit research laboratories or facilities, or that can be used to conduct independent research activities simultaneously.

Access the full program solicitation at the following URL: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2015/nsf15504/nsf15504.htm

Limit on Number of Proposals

Three proposals per institution. If UHM submits three proposals, at least one of the proposals must be for instrument development (i.e., nor more than two proposals may be for instrument acquisition).

Funding Amount, Duration of Award, and Cost-Sharing

Instrument acquisition or development proposals that request funds from NSF in the range $100,000-$4 million may be accepted from any MRI-eligible organization. Proposals that request funds from NSF less than $100,000 may also be accepted from any MRI-eligible organization for the disciplines of mathematics or social, behavioral and economic sciences and from non-Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education for all NSF-supported disciplines.

Cost-sharing of precisely 30% of the total project cost is required for Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education and for non-degree-granting organizations. Non-Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education are exempt from cost-sharing and cannot include it. National Science Board policy is that voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.

Please see the solicitation text for definitions of organizational types used by the MRI program.

UHM Internal Competition

Prior to submitting a pre-proposal for UHM’s internal competition, applicants should consult with their Dean/Director to ensure cost-sharing requirement can be met.

Pre-proposals for this internal competition should include the following in the order listed below in one PDF file using the filename: Last name_NSF-MRI_pdf

  1. Cover page. Include the following:
    1. NSF program title: Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI)
    2. Proposal track: Track 1-Instrument Acquisition or Track 2-Instrument Development
    3. Project title: Title should convey the primary purpose of the proposal (e.g., “MRI: Acquisition of _____,” or “MRI: Development of _____.” Consortium project title must be identified in the title: “MRI Consortium: Acquisition of _____,” or “MRI Consortium: Development of _____.”
    4. PI name, position title, department, address, phone, email address. Include list of collaborators, likely prime and auxiliary users, and their units and/or institutions
  2. Project summary. (Limit 2 pages). Describe the proposed major research instrumentation, justify the instrument procurement, and explain how its shared use will improve the quality and expand the scope of research and research training.
  3. Brief facility management plan (e.g., operations, maintenance) and summary of additional resource commitments that would be needed to be successful.

Estimated budget. Include the amount of the cost-sharing and the proposed source(s). Prior to submitting a pre-proposal for UHM’s internal competition, applicants are required to consult with their Dean/Director to ensure cost-sharing requirement can be met.

  1. 2-page Biosketch for each PI and any Co-PI(s)

Submit the PDF file to ovcr@hawaii.edu by 4:30 PM, Monday, October 24, 2016.Submissions will be reviewed by an Internal Advisory Committee convened by Velma Kameoka, iAVCR. NSF’s full proposal deadline is January 11, 2017.