Research Management Group (RMG)

National Science Foundation (NSF)
NSF 13-517 Major Research Instrumentation Program:
Instrument Acquisition or Development

Limited $100K-$4M funding opportunity for Stanford faculty with PI eligibility— a university-wide Internal selection process required. See the Stanford resources >> to help you with your proposal.

Program Guidelines:
(Note: a new RFP will be released in late September by the NSF. The program officer does not anticipate major changes. However, they know the amount appropriated for the MRI program for FY 2015 is less than FY2014.)

Dean of Research: Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014, 5 p.m., (see internal submission guidelines below)
Sponsor: Jan. 22, 2015

Stanford faculty with PI eligibility
See "eligible fields of science and engineering" and medical research restriction (& exceptions) sections below >>

# of Stanford nominees: 3*
*If three proposals are submitted, at least one of the proposals must be for instrument development (Track 2) (i.e., no more than two proposals may be for Track 1: instrument acquisition).
If an organization submits or is included as a partner or subawardee in three proposals, at least one of the three proposals must be for Track 2: instrument development.

Amount of Funding:
Instrument acquisition or development proposals that request funds from NSF in the range $100,000-$4 million will be accepted from all eligible organizations. Up to 3 years for acquisition proposals; up to 5 years for development proposals. 175 to be awarded.

COST SHARING REQUIREMENT: cost sharing at the level of 30% of the total project cost, not 30% of the amount requested of NSF, is required for Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education and for non-degree-granting organizations.
See the internal submission guidelines at the end of this message which contain instructions for the department chair letter which should acknowledge the department's commitment to find matching funds for the required cost sharing of 30% of total eligible project costs should the internal proposal be nominated. If the proposal is interdisciplinary, please have the letter signed by the co-PI's department chair as well.

Proposals for instrumentation will be considered for all NSF-supported fields of science, mathematics, and engineering. Researchers using this instrumentation need not be supported by NSF or the Federal government. Proposals will be considered for instrumentation used for NSF-supported fields of science, mathematics, and/or engineering.

MEDICAL RESEARCH RESTRICTION: The program will not provide support for instrumentation to be used in medical education (such as medical school courses). Instrumentation intended for research with disease-related goals, including work on the etiology, diagnosis or treatment of physical or mental disease, abnormality, or malfunction in human beings or animals, is normally not supported. Instrumentation for research on animal models of such conditions or the development or testing of drugs or other procedures for their treatment also is not eligible for support.
Exceptions: However, instrumentation for bioengineering research, with diagnosis- or treatment-related goals that applies engineering principles to problems in biology and medicine, while also advancing engineering knowledge, is eligible for support. Instrumentation for bioinformatics, biocomputing and bioengineering research to aid persons with disabilities also is eligible.

The primary purpose of the MRI program is to facilitate scientific and engineering research and research training through the acquisition or development of a major research instrument. The MRI program does not support requests for general purpose ancillary laboratory equipment or multiple instruments that serve to outfit a laboratory or research environment. The MRI program also does not support the acquisition or development of instrumentation used primarily for science and engineering education courses (this and other uses of the instrumentation may serve to facilitate the broader impacts of the project).

An MRI proposal must conform to the program's primary goals of:

Program Scope
The MRI program assists in the acquisition or development of major research instrumentation that is, in general, too costly or not appropriate for support through other NSF programs. An MRI proposal must be for either the acquisition or development of a single instrument or for equipment that when combined serves as an integrated research instrument.


The MRI program will NOT support proposal requests for any of the following:



Acquisition proposals:

Development proposals:


By, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014, 5 p.m., please submit one PDF file of the following (specifying whether for instrument development or acquisition proposal), of the following to:

Jeanne Heschele
Limited submission program coordinator-Dean of Research Office
Funding Opportunity Administrator-Research Management Group

PDF file name format: Last name_NSF_MRI.pdf

You do not have to generate a PDRF form or submit your internal proposals through your institutional representatives (RPM/RMG or OSR contract officers).

1) Cover page:
a) Include RFA title: NSF 13-517 Major Research Instrumentation Program
b) Indicate one:
Track 1: Instrument Acquisition
Track: 2: Instrument Development
c) Project title (which should identify the scientific discipline(s) for which the instrumentation is requested, should convey the primary purpose of the proposal., e.g., "Acquisition of ________" or "Development of ______" and should specify if the proposal is being submitted by a consortium.
d) Names, departments, addresses and email addresses for each PI
e) estimated total project costs

2) Department Chair letter- this letter should acknowledge the department's commitment to find matching funds for the required cost sharing of 30% of total eligible project costs should the internal proposal be nominated. If the proposal is interdisciplinary, please have the letter signed by the co-PI's department chair as well.

3) (Limit: 2 pages) The Project Summary:
(Format: one sided, single spaced, Arial or Helvetica font size: 11)
a) Describe the proposed major research instrumentation, the type of research/research training conducted, and the activity that would result if NSF funds the project. Where multiple schools are involved, please include a statement describing how the jointly-submitted project will be administered. Please describe existing or pending resources to support the use of the instrumentation.
b) For proposals requesting over $1 million: should address the potential impact of the instrument on the research community of interest and at the regional or national level when appropriate. For large multi-user instruments that provide service beyond a single institution, concrete plans for enabling access by external users (including those from non-Ph.D. and/or minority-serving institutions) through physical access and/or cyberinfrastructure should be presented, and the uniqueness of the requested instrumentation should also be described.

4) 4 page biosketch for each PI

5) Other support (include current and pending)

Selection process:
The Dean of Research Office internal review committee will select the three applicants to represent the university. The sponsor's deadline is Jan. 22, 2015.



Instrumentation Resources:
In order for Stanford University to make best use of its resources and to comply with federal regulations, best practices on major instrumentation acquisition are offered as guidelines to help support the research mission of the departments, labs, and schools through the university.

Stanford Medicine Resources:

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