Office of Grant Writing & Publications.

NSF Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program

Office of Grant Writing & Publications

202 Jesse Hall
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211

573 882-9500 phone
573 884-8371 fax

Limited Submission Announcement

The National Science Foundation’s Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program is designed to increase access to scientific and engineering equipment for research and research training in our nation's institutions of higher education, research museums and non-profit research institutions. We are expecting the deadline for proposals to be in January and anticipate a limit to the number of proposals MU may submit. Given the time it takes to work with vendors to prepare proposals for large equipment requests, we are going ahead with this call for internal letters of intent. In doing so, we hope to give selected PIs as much time as possible for proposal preparation.

The MRI program seeks to improve the quality and expand the scope of research and research training in science and engineering, and to foster the integration of research and education by providing instrumentation for research-intensive learning environments. It encourages the development and acquisition of research instrumentation for shared inter- and/or intra-institutional use and in concert with private sector partners. The program assists in the acquisition or development of major research instrumentation that is, in general, too costly for support through other NSF programs. For proposals over $2 million, requestsmust be for theacquisition of asingle instrument. For proposals requesting $2 million or less, investigators may seek support for instrument development or for acquisition of a single instrument, a large system of instruments, or multiple instruments that share a common or specific research focus.

Proposals will be considered for instrumentation used for any NSF-supported field of science, mathematics, and engineering. The research activities using this instrumentation need not be supported by NSF or the federal government.

Because the number of proposals MU will be allowed to submit is expected to be limited (with at least one of the proposals being for instrument development),letters of intent must be submitted to the Office of Research,, no later than 4:00 pm Friday,October2, 2009. Letters of intent should be no longer than three pages and should include 1) the investigators, types of research and sources of funding expected to use the equipment; 2) a brief description of the instrumentation; 3) a rationale for acquiring or developing the instrumentation and its potential impact on research at MU; 4) the anticipated cost of the project and sources of the required cost share; and 5) whether the application will be for instrument acquisition or development.


The maximum request is $4 million for acquisition proposals or $2 million for development proposals. Acquisition proposals over $2 million must be for single instruments only. The minimum request is $100,000 for all fields except the mathematical, social, behavioral, or economic sciences. For MU, 30% cost sharing is required.

MU Deadline:

4:00 p.m., Friday, October 2, 2009

NSF Deadline:

Letters of intent are required for all requests above $2 million. We expect letters of intent to be due to NSF in early December. MRI deadlines are annually the fourth Thursday in January. In 2010, this will be January 28th.


URL for more information: The most recent RFA is available at

This notice is being sent to deans, directors, and chairs in health and life science disciplines. Please forward it to other faculty members who may be interested.

All limited submission announcements can be tracked by deadline via the Calendar at or by announcement date via the Limited Submissions listing at