NSF Major Research Instrumentation (MRI)

UM Call for Internal Pre-proposals for NSF Major Research Instrumentation (MRI)
 for 2023 and 2024 NSF competitions

The NSF MRI[1] program supports requests for $100K to $4 million from NSF for the development or acquisition of multi-user research instruments that are critical to the advancement of science and engineering.

ORSP solicits internal Notices of Intent (NOIs) and internal pre-proposals from investigator teams interested in being selected to lead UM proposals to the current or following year’s NSF MRI competition.  Nonbinding NOIs and subsequent pre-proposals must be prepared using the prescribed respected formats[2], and submitted to ORSP RD via InfoReady[3] no later than the dates indicated in the corresponding schedule below.

Key Dates
10/19/22:       Original date of this announcement

For January 2023 Submission to NSF
10/26/22:       Internal NOI due to ORSP RD 

11/14/22:      Internal pre-proposals due to ORSP
11/21/22:       ORSP will announce which pre-proposals to move forward.               
01/11/23:       Unit-level approvals of transmittal must be complete
01/16/23:       MLK Holiday (UM Closed)
01/19/23:       Absolute last day to submit MRI proposal to NSF

For January 2024 Submission to NSF
04/03/23:       Internal NOI due to ORSP RD: 

05/01/23:      Internal pre-proposals due to ORSP, via online InfoReady Review Portal
09/04/23:       ORSP will announce which pre-proposals to move forward.               
12/18/23:       Unit-level approvals of transmittal should be complete
01/11/24        Unit-level approvals of transmittal must be complete
01/15/24:       MLK Holiday (UM Closed)
01/19/24:       Absolute last day to submit MRI proposal to NSF

Funding:  $100K – $4M for projects of up to 3 years (acquisitions) or 5 years (development). Proposals of less than $100K are OK for mathematics, or social, behavioral, and economic sciences. For acquisitions: at least 70% of total project cost must fall under the Equipment category; grant funds may only be spent on equipment.

Cost Sharing:   Required at 30% of the total project cost (42.86% of the requested amt.).

Limitations:  UM may submit up to 3 proposals per competition, of which no more than two can be Track 1 proposals—that is, proposals requesting less than $1,000,000. For most disciplines, the minimum request is $100,000. However, UM could submit proposals of less than $100,000 to acquire or develop instruments for use in mathematics or social, behavioral, and economic sciences.

The internal pre-proposal format includes: Cover sheet (1 page); Project Summary (1 page); Abbreviated Project Description (3-7 pages); Draft Budget and Justification (1 page); and Results from Previous Submission to NSF of this MRI proposal, if applicable (1 page description, plus most recent NSF panel review summary).

Down-selection Process:  ORSP RD will oversee a down-selection review process consistent with our standard procedures for limited submission competitions[4], according to established internal review criteria[5] we have defined for this competition—consistent with criteria in the NSF solicitation. However, the PI of winning pre-proposal will have the option of either submitting in either the current competition window, or deferring for submission in the next year’s competition. If they defer, the open slot for the current competition will be offered to runner-up pre-proposal team, if viable. Similarly, particularly viable runner-up may be offered a conditional slot in next year’s competition based on their strength in the current year’s competition.

See the full NSF solicitation and PAPPG for detailed proposal preparation instructions. At this announcement time, the Oct. 4, 2021 release of the NSF Grant Proposal Guide PAPPG (NSF 22-1)[6] is applicable, but new PAPPG versions[7] are published most years, so whichever version is in effect at the time of the submission to NSF must be adhered to.

Recent UM History with NSF MRI Funding:

·       2021. Federal Award No 2116597, “MRI: Acquisition of an Advanced FTIR Imaging Microscope for Multidisciplinary Research and Training in the State of Mississippi”, PI: James Cizdziel; Co-PIs: Matteo D'Alessio, Vijayasankar Raman, Carolyn Freiwald, Courtney Roper. $217,163.00.

·       2017. Federal Award No 1726880, “MRI: Acquisition of a Field-Emission Scanning Electron Microscope to support multidisciplinary research and education at the University of Mississippi”, PI: Jit Majumdar; Co-PIs: Jennifer Gifford, Amal Dass, Brenda Prager, Vijay Raman. $346,641.00

·       2016. Federal Award No 1625813, “MRI:  Acquisition of a Goniometer-Based Light Scattering System for Research and Training at the University of Mississippi”, PI: Adam Smith; Co-PIs: Seongbong Jo, Susan Pedigo, Esteban Urena-Benavides. $110,314.

·       2015. Federal Award No 1532079, “MRI: Acquisition of a Raman Spectrometer for Research and Training at the University of Mississippi”, PI: Nathan Hammer; Co-PI: Charles Hussey. $201,666.

[2] NOI and Preproposal templates downloadable from: http://research.olemiss.edu/nsfmri (see attachments at bottom of page)

[3] Use InfoReady Review Portal to submit NOIs and Pre-Proposals: http://olemiss.infoready4.com/

[5] Internal Pre-Proposal Review Criteria: http://www.research.olemiss.edu/nsfmri (see attachments at bottom of page)

[7] A “for-comment” draft of NSF 23-1: https://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=304969&org=OPP