National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation

Date Posted:
Deadline for Notice of Intent (NOI):09/06/17
Agency Deadline:01/10/18
Limit on Number of Proposals:Three - KU-L and KUMC: Considered independent organizations. At least one must be for instrument development.
Sponsor Website:
Pivot Link:

The NSF Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program is an important opportunity for acquiring critical research infrastructure through instrument acquisition and instrument development.  This 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.  Proposals must be either acquisition or development of a single instrument or for equipment that, when combined, serves as an integrated research instrument.  The MRI program does not support the acquisition or development of a suite of instruments to outfit research facilities or to conduct independent research activities simultaneously.  Cost-sharing of 30% of total project costs is required for both acquisition and development proposals.  The upper limit for both acquisition and development proposals is $4M.  The minimum request for either program is $100K, though proposals requesting less than that will be considered from the disciplines of mathematics or social, behavioral, and economic sciences. 

An unfunded collaboration does not count against the submission limit. 

Inclusion as a funded subawardee on a Development proposal at a level in excess of 20% of the total budget request from NSF, or on any Acquisition proposal, will be counted against an organization’s proposal submission limit.  However, if a subaward to an organization in a Development proposal is 20% or less of the proposal’s total budget request from NSF, the subawardee’s submission limit will not be affected. 

In the event the number of NOIs received exceeds the number of proposals that can be submitted we will request applicants to submit a pre-proposal for scientific review.  In addition to conducting the usual scientific review of the pre-proposals, we will conduct a parallel review of the total budgetary commitment of the institution to each projects, and how that commitment aligns with KU strategic initiatives.

Limited Submission Proposals Procedure:
Notice of Intent Procedure:

If you have not already done so, please contact Nancy Biles at to indicate whether you intend to submit an MRI NOI, and to inform her whether you will be submitting an acquisition proposal or a development proposal.  Please also include whether you will be submitting an acquisition or development proposal in the “Known Team Members” box on the NOI form.

In addition to contacting Nancy, if you are interested in submitting to this opportunity, please Click Here * to submit a Notice of Intent form. You will be asked to provide your name and the names of any KU Co-PIs or senior personnel on the project team.

Please contact if you have questions or experience any difficulty submitting the NOI form.

Please submit your NOI form or send an email NOI to, by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 06, 2017.

If the number of interested parties exceeds the mandated limit, the respondents will be asked to submit a brief pre-proposal for review by an internal selection committee.

If you have any questions about the solicitation or the process described above, please contact Nancy Biles at or 864-7434.

Contact:Nancy Biles: 785-864-7434