Research Management Group (RMG)

NIH Office of Research Infrastructure Programs
High-End Instrumentation Grant Program (S10) PAR-16-053

**A university-wide internal vetting process is required for all applications**
This program accepts applications from groups of NIH-supported investigators to purchase or upgrade a single item of expensive, specialized, commercially available instruments or integrated systems that cost at least $600,000. The maximum award is $2,000,000.

The deadline for 2016 has passed. This webpage is for your reference only.

[See the separate internal vetting process required for the NIH Shared Instrumentation Grant program (S10) PAR-16-054 ($50K-$600K)-March 22nd deadline-more >> ]

**NOTE: the NIH requires for both the High End Instrumentation and Shared Instrumentation Grants that the PD/PI chosen for this application should have documented (in the biographical sketch) technical expertise directly related to the type of the chosen instrument. The PD/PI does not need to have an NIH research grant or any other research support but is expected to be an expert on the requested instrument. The PD/PI may be a Core director or non-tenured faculty member of the applicant organization. See eligibility.



Internal vetting process deadline*: Tuesday, March 22, 2016 (see the internal vetting process submission guidelines below)
Applicants will be notified about the status of their proposals as soon as possible.
Letter of intent: not applicable
Institutional representative deadline: May 9, 2016 (per the internal proposal deadline policy)
Application deadline: May 16, 2016

*Note: Rare Exception-PI waiver request packet* deadline for Core Directors: Monday, March 14, 2016 p.m.
*contact Jeanne Heschele at for the waiver request packet instructions.

Program guidelines:
Important: please see Stanford's eligibility requirement and internal vetting process submissin below.
Program announcement:

HEI award recipients (FY2006-2015)


Amount of funding:
Applications will be accepted that request a single, commercially available instrument or integrated system which costs at least $600,000. There is no upper limit on the cost of the instrument, but the maximum award is $2,000,000. Since the cost of the various instruments will vary, it is anticipated that the size of the award also will vary.   Awards are for one year and for direct costs only.
NIH ORIP intends to fund about 20 awards in FY2017.

Number of applicants:
Even though the program announcement indicates unlimited applications are permitted (no duplicate instruments), the university is requiring a vetting process. Only internal "vetted" proposals approved by internal review committee(s) will be able to submit a subsequent full application.
Why the vetting process is necessary:

There is no restriction on the number of applications an institution can submit to the SIG and/or High-End Instrumentation (HEI) Programs each year provided the applications request different types of equipment. However, concurrent SIG and/or HEI applications for the same instrument (or the same type of instrument with added special accessories to meet the HEI budget requirement) are not allowed, in general. If two or more S10 (either SIG or HEI) applications are submitted for similar equipment from the same institution, documentation from a high level institutional official must be provided stating that this is not an unintended duplication, but part of a campus wide instrumentation plan. [Jeanne Heschele will assist PIs with obtaining a letter of support from Dr. Arvin justifying any similar instrument requests.] The vetting process will also confirm the PI for the proposed instrumentation has the documented technical expertise related to the proposed instrument.


The ORIP High-End Shared Instrument Grant (HEI) program encourages applications from groups of NIH-supported investigators to purchase or upgrade a single item of expensive, specialized, commercially available instruments or integrated systems that cost at least $600,000. The maximum award is $2,000,000.


Types of instruments supported include, but are not limited to, X-ray diffractometers, electron and light microscopes, mass and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometers, protein and DNA sequencers, biosensors, cell sorters, and biomedical imagers. Applications for "stand alone" computer systems (supercomputers, computer clusters and storage systems) will only be considered if the instrument is solely dedicated to the research needs of a broad community of NIH-supported investigators.

Foreign made equipment is allowable.

The HEI program supports instruments for research purposes only.

Applicants are advised to discuss with the HEI Scientific/Research Contact (see the guidelines) any questions about appropriate types of equipment, eligibility, and Program requirements, prior to submitting an application.


Eligibility criteria:


Special Use Instrument (SUI)
In rare special circumstances, to extend the outreach of the HEI Program to cases when an Institution cannot justify sole use of the high-end instrument for NIH-supported and other biomedical research, the Institution may contribute a portion of the cost of the requested instrument commensurate with the proposed use of the instrument for other than biomedical research. This rare request will be designated as a Special Use Instrument (SUI). In such situations, the instrument’s Biomedical Research Time (BRT) must be at least 50% of the Accessible User Time (AUT) or the portion of the NIH funds of the cost of the instrument, whichever is larger. Definitions of how to calculate BRT and AUT appear in Section IV in the "Justification of Need" Section of the Instrumentation Plan. If an Institution makes a request for SUI, the non-NIH funds must not be less than 25% of the total instrument price. All other requirements outlined in this FOA  still apply.

The non-biomedical research activities supported by the instrument may include research in other fields, curricular instructions, and billable clinical care. The Institution must provide specific long term plans to secure and protect access to the instrument for biomedical researchers, as detailed in Section IV.2 under "SUI Request".

If an Institution is considering a SUI request, the applicant is strongly advised to consult with Scientific/Research Contact(s) and Financial/Grants Management Contact(s) before submitting an application as it is likely that special administrative procedures will have to be followed.


The HEI program will not support requests for:


University-wide Internal Vetting Process Submission Guidelines

If you plan on submitting a proposal-please send a brief email alerting Jeanne Heschele about your instrument. Please also note if it is a "SUI-Special Use Instrument" request.

By Tuesday, March 22, 2016, 5 p.m. all faculty from all schools must send the following, in the order listed below, in one PDF file via email attachment to:

Jeanne Heschele
Research Management Group

File name: Last name_NIH_HEI_2016.pdf

Proposal format: single-spaced, 1/2 inch margins, Arial or Helvetica size 11 font or larger

1) Proposal (4 pages):
Name of the RFA: NIH High-End Instrumentation Grant Program (S10) PAR-16-053
PI name, title, department, address, email address
Proposal Title
Type of Instrument (make, model)
Estimated total cost (reminder: the base cost of the instrument should be at least $600,000)
Indicate if the instrument is a “SUI-Special Use Instrument"
Location of instrument (name of core facility, building location)
Major user groups, names, titles, departments (see eligibility: a major user group of three or more investigators who are Principal Investigators on active NIH research grants or cooperative agreements (i.e., P01, R01, U01, R35, R37, DPI and DP2) must be identified.
To demonstrate the clear need for the requested instrument, the projects supported by NIH research grants should together require at least 75 percent of the Accessible User Time (AUT). Major Users supported by NIH grants should together require at least 35 percent of the AUT.

2) Letter of support from your department chair addressed to the NIH High End Instrumentation Internal Vetting Process Committee

3) Biosketch for the PI.
This biosketch should document the required technical expertise for the proposed instrument.

4) List of similar instruments (for 2017):
The require a letter of support about inventory of instruments at the institution which are unavailable to the PD/PI.
Contact the Property Management Office PMO contact information >> and request that they generate a list of similar instruments for you.
Please ask Property Management include the search terms that were used to generate the list they provide you.

5) Copy of the approved "Rare Exception PI waiver request packet" - this applies only If the PI is the Core (Service Center/Shared Facility) Director is the PI for the proposal because he/she has the required, documented technical expertise for the proposed instrument and a faculty member does not)
If you are a Core Director and will be the PI for the NIH SIG proposal because a faculty member does not meet the criteria,
download the Rare Exception PI waiver-Core Director HEI instructions   pdf

6) For Resubmissions ONLY.
Please see the “resubmission” policy in the guidelines (about checking with your program officer and discussing the new requirement that this year, the PI must have documented evidence in your attached biosketch that you have the technical expertise that is directly related to the type of instrument chosen, and if, you’ll have to have someone who meets the criteria be the PI. If that PI is a Core Director, then that Core Director will need to contact me to obtain instructions for obtaining a “Rare Exception PI waiver” request. If you have the required expertise and want to “resubmit” your HEI proposal- for this internal vetting process you will:

  • include an Introduction describing the changes that have been made in response to comments in the previous review.
  • obtain new letter of support per instructions (#2 above)
  • attach the previous internal vetting process proposal


Selection Process

Jeanne Heschele will be the point person for ALL High End Instrumentation proposals from ALL schools.
She will compile master lists of instruments, including separate lists for each school, and identify any duplicate instrumentation requests. Jeanne will distribute the proposals to: School of Medicine's, Humanities and Sciences', and the School of Engineering Dean's Offices'. Each school will have it's own respective internal review "vetting" committee. Each school's Dean's office will inform their respective PIs if their proposal is approved or not.

Duplicate proposals: If any of the proposals are duplicates, each school will then send ONLY the "vetted" duplicate proposals to the Dean of Research Office internal review committee. The DoR internal review committee will determine which of the duplicate instrumentation proposals is the strongest.

Only proposals which are approved by the vetting process will be able to submit their full applications.

Stanford Resources:

Shared Facility/Core Facility Resource
You are encouraged to discuss shared facility, service center, core facility resources with Bruce Koch, Senior Director, Discovery and Technological Services Centers, Office of the Senior Associate Dean for Research in the School of Medicine at

Property Management Office (PMO) as a resource:
You are also encouraged to use your Department Property Administrator (DPA) or Property Service Representative in the Property Management Office (PMO) as resources. They can generate an inventory list of existing instruments similar to the one you are proposing that includes locations, and "stewards". To find your DPA or PMO Property Service Representative contacts:

DoResearch Shared Facility webpage:

School of Medicine/Spectrum webpage "Enabling Technologies" (includes links to shared facilities):

School of Medicine Service Centers links:




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