OSP FO# 12-042

AGENCY: National Science Foundation (NSF)/ Office of Integrative Activities (OIA)/Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO)/Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE)/Directorate for Education & Human Resources (EHR)/Directorate for Engineering (ENG)/Directorate for Geosciences (GEO)/Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences (MPS)/Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences (SBE)/Office of Polar Programs (OPP)/Office of Cyberinfrastructure (OCI)

PROGRAM: Major Research Instrumentation Program: Instrument Acquisition or Development

OBJECTIVES: The Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) serves to increase access to shared scientific and engineering instruments for research and research training in our Nation’s institutions of higher education, museums, science centers, and not-for-profit organizations. This program especially 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. Development and acquisition of research instrumentation for shared inter- and/or intra-organizational use are encouraged, as are development efforts that leverage the strengths of private sector partners to build instrument development capacity at academic institutions.

Please see the link to the program announcement below for further details.

ELIGIBILITY RESTRICTIONS: An organization may submit or be included as a partner or subawardee in no more than three proposals. 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 instrument development. Inclusion as a funded subawardee on a development proposal at a level in excess of 20% of the total budget request from NSF, or on any acquisition proposal, will be counted against an organization’s proposal submission limit. However, if a subaward to an organization in a development proposal is 20% or less of the proposal’s total budget request from NSF, the subawardee’s submission limit will not be affected. For subawards within a linked collaborative proposal, the 20% threshold applies to the budget request from NSF in the proposal containing the subaward(s), not to the combined budget request from NSF for the collaborative project. An unfunded collaboration does not count against the submission limit.

NSF reserves the right to carefully examine development proposals to ensure that an institution does not exceed its proposal limits. If NSF determines that a development proposal is an acquisition proposal, and such determination results in an institution exceeding its acquisition proposal limit, then said proposal will be returned without review.

BU Internal Deadline: January 7, 2013 (revised)
Agency Deadline: February 21, 2013 (revised)

FUNDING INFORMATION: NSF intends to commit $90 million to fund approximately 175 standard grants, pending availability of funds and quality of proposals. Up to $35 million of these funds will be available to support proposals requesting $1-$4 million from NSF, pending overall proposal pressure and quality. Proposals that request funds from NSF in the range $100,000-$4 million will be accepted from all eligible organizations. Proposals that request funds from NSF less than $100,000 will also be accepted from all eligible organizations for the disciplines of mathematics or social, behavioral and economic sciences and from non-Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education for all NSF-supported disciplines. Proposers may request an award period up to three years for acquisition proposals and up to five years for development proposals.

Cost-sharing at the level of 30% of the total project cost is required for Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education and for non-degree-granting organizations. Non-Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education are exempt from the cost-sharing requirement.

Dr. Randy L. Phelps
Office of Integrative Activities
Major Research Instrumentation Program
National Science Foundation, Room 1270
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, Virginia 22230
Telephone: (703) 292-8040
Fax: (703) 292-9040
Email: mri@nsf.gov
Web: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2011/nsf11503/nsf11503.htm

INTERNAL REVIEW PROCESS: To screen proposals for this competition, an internal deadline has been established. Principal Investigators (PIs) interested in submitting an application should provide the following proposal information to their Associate Dean by Monday, January 7, 2013 for internal review purposes:

1.  Project description (maximum length 4 pages) should include items a–e:
(a) describe the research and research training activities and projects to be conducted
with the instrumentation;
(b) provide a technical description of the requested instrumentation;
(c) describe how the instrumentation will contribute to meeting the research and
educational goals of the organization;
(d) provide a management plan addressing maintenance and operation provisions for
instrument acquisition projects and addressing the design and construction phases of
instrument development projects;
(e) address the intellectual merit and broader impacts of the proposed activity (the NSF
Merit Review criteria).
2. Investigators proposing the acquisition of a mid-range ($2-$4 million) instrument must include an additional page addressing the potential impact of the instrument on both the national level and on the research community of interest.
3. Budget and budget justification (two pages). Itemize all cost-sharing commitments being requested from the University.
4. Biographical sketches: include 2-page NSF format biographical sketch for PI and Co-PIs who will be major users of the research instrumentation.
5. Review comments from any previous MRI submission.

Following the Dean’s assessment of the internal application, it will be forwarded to India Adams in Sponsored Programs and then to the Office of the VP for Research for final selection. PIs will be informed if their proposal is selected for submission and advised of institutional cost-sharing commitments in time to complete and process their proposal for final review.

REMARKS: Applications must be submitted electronically using either the NSF FastLane system or Grants.gov. Collaborative proposals must be submitted via FastLane. For more information about FastLane, or to register as a FastLane user, please contact A. B. Effgen (abeffgen@bu.edu) or India Adams (adamsi@bu.edu) in the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) at x3-4365. Information about Grants.gov for BU Investigators can be obtained on the OSP website at: http://www.bu.edu/osp/proposal-preparation/electronic-submission/. In addition, for investigators interested in submitting proposals via Grants.gov, NSF has published the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide which may be found online at: http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/docs/grantsgovguide.pdf. Investigators should contact the OSP Research Administrator assigned to their school or department as soon as possible to coordinate submission through either FastLane or Grants.gov.

Complete program guidelines and application material (NSF 11-503 and NSF GPG 13-1) may be obtained from the website listed above or from the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP). Please distribute this notice to any faculty or staff members who might be interested in the information. For more information, please contact the OSP at X3-4365 or ospinfo@bu.edu, or visit the OSP website at http://www.bu.edu/osp.