DEADLINE EXTENSION: OoR Limited Submission – Major Research Instrumentation Project – NSF

Oct 9, 2020 | Awards & Funding, Research

To: All Divisional Faculty and Researchers
From: Office of Research
Subject: Major Research Instrumentation Project

New internal deadline: Friday, October 23, 2020

Original Posting Date: October 1, 2020

The Office of Research is conducting a campus-wide competition for the following limited submission opportunity: National Science Foundation (NSF) Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI). Please forward this announcement to PIs as appropriate. Click on the link below to view more information. Thank you!

  • Internal Submission Deadline: Friday, October 23, 2020
  • Funding Organization’s Deadline: Tuesday, January 19, 2021
  • Award Cycle: 2021
  • Discipline/Subject Area: Engineering; Mathematical and Physical Sciences; Geosciences; Computer and Information Science and Engineering; Biological Sciences; Social Behavioral and Economic Sciences; Education and Human Resources; Office of International Science and Engineering; Office of Integrative Activities (OIA)
  • Funding Available: 75,000,000
  • Description:

National Science Foundation (NSF) Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI)

Please speak to your Divisional Leadership about institutional support prior to submitting a pre-proposal.

Among the salient features of this program are:

(1) Three proposals (two Track 1, one Track 2) may be submitted per institution

(2) Awards range from $100,000 to $4 million, with Track 1 (a maximum of 2 proposals from the institution) involving requests to NSF in the $100,000- $1,000,000 range; and a maximum of one proposal may be in the $1,000,000-$4,000,000 range (Track 2)

(3) A 30% institutional match is required

(4) Proposals can be for either instrument Development or Acquisition

(5) At least 70% of the budget of Acquisition proposals must be for equipment

(6) Development proposals where our campus is a subawardee to another institution and receives in excess of 20% of the total proposed budget locally are included in our own cap of three proposals. Inclusion as a funded subawardee on any Acquisition proposal also counts as one of our three submissions. Therefore, UCSC PIs intending to propose as funded Co-Investigators with another institution’s prime proposal MUST also respond to this internal call, regardless of the procedure at the lead campus.

Award Duration: up to 3 years (Acquisition proposals) – up to 5 years (Development proposals)
For more information:

See What Has Been Funded with Abstracts

Application Procedure

Please submit the following materials through UCSC Infoready by the internal deadline.

Internal pre-proposals are limited to three pages in length (as a single PDF), as follows:

1) Administrative and Project Details (2 pages)
Please include the following information:

  • Project title (follow NSF guidelines on MRI project titles)
  • Name of PI and list of UCSC co-PIs and their departments/divisions
  • MRI Categories (Development or Acquisition, Track 1 or Track 2)
  • A description of the research and research training activities that will be enabled
  • A description of the impact on the campus research and training infrastructure (e.g., Describe how the instrument will serve to attract researchers and make a substantial improvement in the institution’s capabilities to conduct leading-edge research. If appropriate, describe how the instrument will improve the quality of research training.)

2) Cost-Sharing and Space (1 page)
In the third page, please provide a detailed description of how the cost-sharing commitment will be met, the space requirements for the instrumentation, and how the needed space has been or will be obtained.

This program requires institutional cost-sharing at a level of 30% of the total proposed project costs. Arranging the specific details and commitments for cost-sharing is the responsibility of the PI. Page 3 of the pre-proposal should detail (and document) the committed sources and amounts of the cost-sharing. It is typical that contributions to the cost-sharing come from multiple parties, including but not limited to the proposers’ academic department(s), the Division/School, the Office of Research, and/or the EVC/CP (the latter coordinated through the Office of Research). Your Department/Division is the appropriate place to begin these discussions. Your local OSP representative is also knowledgeable about allowed forms of cost-sharing other than cash. Be sure to indicate and document the amount of funds that will come from each party.

In terms of space requirements to house the instrument/developmental project and conduct the research, please include either a statement that no space beyond that already allocated is necessary for the proposed work; or, if new space is needed, include a statement from the Dean(s) and/or Chair(s) pledging the required space and any required renovations. Statements such as “we will approach the Division for the necessary space” or “new space will be supplied by the Division” are not sufficient for the internal review committee to approve a pre-proposal.

Proposal Assistance

The Office of Research’s team of Research Development Specialists is available to support you in applying for large or strategically important grants such as this one. Contact AVCR John MacMillan: or David Garcia: for any questions, or reach out to your research development specialists directly for proposal support:

Thank you for considering this important opportunity, and we look forward to your pre-proposals.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact