Research Management Group (RMG)

National Science Foundation (NSF)
NSF 15-504 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.

The internal deadline has passed- this is for your reference only.

Program Guidelines (new RFP)
The NSF has just released the new RFP for this program:
http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2015/nsf15504/nsf15504.htm

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

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

# of Stanford nominees: 3*

Other eligibility criteria (published in the new NSF 15-504 announcement)


FFRDC-related [i.e., SLAC] Proposals (see the guidelines: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2015/nsf15504/nsf15504.htm#elig
Proposals for the acquisition or development of an instrument to be located at a facility of another Federal agency or one of their Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) must be submitted as a consortium proposal by an MRI submission-eligible organization as described in item 3(b) above. The proposal must include the facility/FFRDC (or its managing organization) as a partner in the consortium, even if the role of the FFRDC in the project is solely to house the instrument. The instruments must make unique contributions to the needs of researchers elsewhere or establish access to new multi-user facilities. The current list of FFRDCs can be found at: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/ffrdclist/. Preliminary inquiry to the cognizant MRI point of contact should be made before preparing a proposal for submission.


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.
160 to be awarded (reduced from 175 from previous years).

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.

ELIGIBLE FIELDS OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
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.

Purpose/Goals:
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:

 

ELIGIBLE PROJECT COSTS (REVISED with the new NSF 15-504 RFP:

a. Acquisition proposals (Track 1):
Within the Total Project Cost (see Section V.A.6), eligible project costs are limited to the cost of the instrument, installation, commissioning, and calibration, the direct and indirect costs of maintenance, and of appropriate technical support to operate the instrument during the award period. They should be commensurate with the scale and scope of the instrumentation. Salary support, including fringe benefits and indirect costs, is considered an eligible cost only for personnel directly involved in maintaining the instrument or providing appropriate technical support to operate the instrument. Any proposal including students or post-doctoral associates in operations and maintenance should justify the involvement in terms of both instrument needs and the training the next generation of instrumentalists. Reviewers may be asked to evaluate the appropriateness of this type of involvement.
At least 70% of the Total Project Cost must consist of items that can be included on the Equipment line of the NSF budget form, (Line D). Institutions that are subject to the cost-sharing requirement may only include entries on Line D and Line M of the NSF budget forms (i.e. funds requested from NSF can only be for items included on Line D) and should not include subawards. Institutions not subject to the cost sharing requirement must include at least 70% of the funds requested from NSF on Line D of the budget forms.

b. Development proposals (Track 2):
Within the Total Project Cost (see Section V.A.6), eligible project costs are limited to parts and materials needed for the construction of the instrument, commissioning costs, and the direct and indirect costs associated with support of personnel engaged strictly in the instrument development effort. Requests for personnel support must include a description of the responsibilities of the individuals involved and explain why a given position is necessary for the completion of the design, construction and commissioning of the new instrument. Any proposal requesting direct student support in development efforts must justify the involvement in terms of both project needs and training the next generation of instrumentalists. Reviewers may be asked to evaluate the appropriateness of this type of involvement. Sufficient detail should be given to allow reviewers to analyze the cost of the new technology. Support for research, research training, or education to be conducted using the instrument after commissioning, along with operations and maintenance, is not allowed. Travel costs that are integral to the development work are eligible expenses. Publication costs associated with the dissemination of information about the design and capabilities of the instrument are eligible costs.


STANFORD INTERNAL SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

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
jheschele@stanford.edu
650-245-2351

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 15-504 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.

 

STANFORD RESOURCES TO HELP REGARDING YOUR PROPOSAL:

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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