NSF Major Research Instrumentation 2020

UM Call for Internal Pre-proposals for NSF Major Research Instrumentation (MRI)
 Internal UM competition for 2020 NSF competition

NSF MRI seeks to improve the quality and expand the scope of research and research training in science and engineering by providing shared instrumentation that fosters the integration of research and education in research-intensive learning environments.

ORSP will conduct a review process to select up to 3 pre-proposals for advancement into full proposals to NSF. Nonbinding Internal Notice of Intent must be prepared using the prescribed format[1] and submitted to ORSP no later than Oct 13, 2019. Internal Pre-proposals must also be prepared using a prescribed format[2] and are due to ORSP on Nov 06, 2019.

Key Dates (2019-20):
September 27:      Original date of this announcement
Oct 14:                     Required Internal Notice of Intent due to ORSP via online InfoReady Review Portal[3]: 

Nov 06:                    Internal pre-proposals due to ORSP, via online InfoReady Review Portal
Nov 15:                    ORSP will announce which pre-proposals to move forward.      
Jan 08:                      All full proposal documents (including transmittal) due to ORSP
Jan 17:                      ORSP target date to submit all MRI proposals to NSF
Jan 20:                      MLK Holiday (UM Closed)
Jan 21:                      Spring classes begin; Absolute last day to submit MRI proposal to NSF
The proposal is technically due on the 19th, which is a Sunday.
                                  The following Monday is a holiday, so the proposal will actually be due Tuesday the 21st.


$100K – $4M for project periods 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 a level of (precisely) 30% of the total cost of the project (which translates to 42.86% of the requested amount). 

UM may submit up to 3 proposals, of which no more than two can 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); Budget and Justification (1 page); and Results from Previous NSF MRI Submission, if applicable (1 page, plus most recent NSF panel review summary).

Down-selection Process
ORSP Research Development 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.

The full NSF solicitation can be viewed at https://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?WT.z_pims_id=5260&ods_key=nsf18513.  

At the time of this announcement, the February 2019 release of the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (PAPPG)[6] is applicable. However, a new version of PAPPG is expected to be posted later this year with an effective date sometime in January 2020.

Recent UM History with NSF MRI

For the most recent NSF MRI competition cycle, ORSP received 3 acquisition pre-proposals and zero development pre-proposals. Two acquisition proposals were submitted to NSF in February 2019, resulting in zero awards thus far. 

The most recent NSF MRI awards to UM:

  • 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.
  • 2013. Award No CHE-1338056, “MRI:  Acquisition of a GPU Cluster for Computational Science in Mississippi,” PI: Greg Tschumper; Co-PIs: Brian Hopkins, and Robert Doerksen.
  • 2011. Award No DBI-1126379, “MRI: Acquisition of an Imaging Flow Cytometer for Multidisciplinary Organic and Inorganic Particle Research and Education,” PI: Cliff Ochs; Co-PIs: Richard Buchholz, Tamar Goulet; Jason Hoeksema.
  • 2009. Award No CBET-0923080, “MRI: Acquisition of a High Resolution Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer for the Mid-South Region,” PI: Jim Czizdiel; Co-PIs: Wei-Yin Chen, Gregg Davidson, Marge Holland, Cliff Ochs.

[1] NOI template downloadable from: http://www.research.olemiss.edu/nsfmri2020

[2] Preproposal template downloadable from: http://www.research.olemiss.edu/nsfmri2020

[3] InfoReady Review Portal: http://olemiss.infoready4.com/

[5] Internal Pre-Proposal Review Criteria: http://www.research.olemiss.edu/nsfmri2020.