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Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI)

Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI)

Most recent NSF announcements

Due Dates

  • WVU Internal Application: Monday August 21, 2023
  • Agency Full Proposal:  November 15, 2023

In FY23 the RO made significant changes to the internal timeline for MRI internal proposals. To provide more time to craft competitive proposals with the opportunity for external review, the RO pushed back the internal deadline by several months. All other NSF based details remain the same.

General NSF details

Each MRI proposal may request support  ($100K to $1M) for acquisition or development of instrumentation  (Track 1) or support ($1M to $4M) for acquisition or development of instrumentation (Track 2). WVU is allowed a maximum of two Track 1 and one Track 2 proposals. Sub-awards on external proposals may count against our institutional maximum (please contact if you are considering being a sub-awardee to discuss details and the potential impact on the WVU submission allowance.


If you are interested in submitting for this solicitation, you must first submit an internal proposal by the above internal due date for external review and selection. Selected teams will be required to submit a solid draft proposal for external review by October 1. This external review will help the team submit the most competitive proposal to the NSF for the agency deadline. 

Internal Proposal Guidelines (5 pages)

Email with subject line: “MRI 2024 Internal Proposal”

To include:

  • PI(s) and Departmental and University Affiliations
  • Proposal Title specifying Track 1 or Track 2
  • Description of the Research Instrument and Needs: Description of the requested instrumentation, including manufacturer and model number where appropriate. This section should clearly explain why the requested equipment is needed. The existence and availability of comparable instrumentation (at organizations in close geographical proximity, or otherwise accessible through collaborations or cyberinfrastructure) should be included.
  • Estimated Budget
  • Outline: In two (or more) separate paragraphs address the intellectual merit and broader impacts of the project. The summary should be informative and understandable to a scientifically or technically literate reader.
  • Research Activities: Briefly describe and motivate the specific research and research training activities and projects that will be enabled with the desired instrumentation. The degree to which the planned uses of the proposed instrumentation constitute exciting, ground-breaking, or transformative research is a significant factor in the merit review evaluation of MRI proposals.
  • Users: In narrative or tabular form describe the personnel by research area, number, and type (e.g., senior personnel, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, undergraduate students). Include only those who will most actively use the instrumentation for research and research training on a regular basis. Indicate whether the instrument will be part of Shared Research Facilities or not.
  • Impact on Research and Training Infrastructure: Briefly describe how the instrument will serve to attract researchers and make a substantial improvement in the institution's capabilities to conduct leading-edge research.
  • Brief Management Plan:
  • A description of the space or the facility in which the instrument will be placed.
  • A description of how and by whom the requested instrumentation will be operated and maintained over the expected lifetime of the instrument.
  • The anticipated costs and the technical expertise needed to maintain and operate the instrument. If the expertise is not currently available, describe how it will be obtained.
  • A description of procedures for allocating the instrument time, if appropriate, and plans for attracting and supporting new users. Include information on anticipated usage and downtime.
  • The following applies only to proposals that are MRI resubmissions to the NSF from the last 3 years (you may ignore the instructions above) and just include all reviewer and panel comments and provide a 1-2 page discussion as to how your revised proposal will address those concerns. 

Feel free to contact with questions.