October 28, 2014

NSF MRI Limited Submission Opportunities

The National Science Foundation’s annual Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program is now accepting applications. Full proposals are due at NSF Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015. Detailed information is at NSF’s website.

Selected Revision Notes

• Budget guidance for acquisition proposals (Track 1) has been modified: At least 70 percent of the Total Project Cost must fall under Equipment. Grant funds may only be requested for the Equipment budget category (as NSF requires cost-sharing for exactly 30 percent of the Total Project Cost).

• A proposal must be for either acquisition or development of a single, well-integrated instrument. The MRI program does not support acquisition or development of a suite of instruments.

• If in NSF’s opinion a proposal submitted as “development” is deemed to be an acquisition, the proposal is subject to return without review or decline.

• Proposals that fail to include in the budget justification a cost table in the prescribed format will be returned without review or declined.

Pre-Proposal Packets

Vanderbilt is limited to three proposals maximum for instrument acquisition or development. If Vanderbilt submits three proposals, at least one of the three must be for Track 2, instrument development. Interested faculty should send Elizabeth Rapisarda the following as a single pdf via email by 5 p.m., Monday, Dec. 1:

• Cover page: Approximate title of the intended proposal — indicating if it’s for Track 1 Acquisition or Track 2 Development, and a list of faculty PI and co-investigators, including other significant users for the requested instrument;

• Brief (two-page max) description of the intended use of the instrument, including the themes of the intended research;

• For proposals over $1 million: Please add a brief statement (one to two paragraphs max) addressing the potential impact of the instrument on the research community of interest, and at the regional or national level when appropriate.

• A preliminary budget, providing information about the equipment sought and the approximate targeted dollar level, and listing the 30 percent cost share required;

• Statements from the appropriate school officers or their designees regarding cost-sharing commitments (as noted above); and

• The PI’s history in the last five years with MRI submissions, including whether successful or not.


30 percent Cost-Sharing

Cost-sharing of “precisely 30 percent of the total project cost” is required for MRI submissions. Pre-proposals must include statements from the appropriate school officers or their designees (for A&S, Vicki Greene; Engineering, Peter Cummings and Janiece Harrison; Medical School/Center, Susan Meyn) indicating that area’s willingness to contribute, as appropriate, to the 30 percent cost-share, should your proposal be awarded one of the slots. Interested groups must contact them by 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17. As a reminder, inclusion of voluntary committed cost-sharing is prohibited.