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Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program (Opportunity Kick-off)

April 25, 2023

The Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program (MRI Program Website) serves to increase access to multi-user scientific and engineering instrumentation for research and research training in our Nation's institutions of higher education and not-for-profit scientific/engineering research organizations. An MRI award supports the acquisition of a multi-user research instrument that is commercially available through direct purchase from a vendor, or for the personnel costs and equipment that are required for the development of an instrument with new capabilities, thereby advancing instrumentation capabilities and enhancing expertise for instrument design and fabrication at academic institutions. MRI instruments are, in general, too costly and/or not appropriate for support through other NSF programs.

MRI provides support to acquire critical research instrumentation without which advances in fundamental science and engineering research may not otherwise occur. MRI also provides support to obtain next-generation research instruments by developing instruments with new capabilities that open new opportunities to advance the frontiers in science and engineering research. Additionally, an MRI award is expected to enhance research training of students who will become the next generation of instrument users, designers and builders.

An MRI proposal may request from NSF up to $4 million for either acquisition or development of a research instrument. Each performing organization may submit in revised "Tracks" as defined below, with no more than two (2) submissions in Track 1 and no more than one (1) submission in Track 2. For the newly defined Track 3, no more than one (1) submission per competition is permitted. As a result, it is now possible for an institution to submit up to four MRI proposals within the Track limits as described above.

Track 1: Track 1 MRI proposals are those that request funds from NSF greater than $100,0001 and less than $1,400,000.

Track 2: Track 2 MRI proposals are those that request funds from NSF greater than or equal to $1,400,000 up to and including $4,000,000.

Track 3: Track 3 MRI proposals are those that request funds from NSF greater than or equal to $100,0001 and less than or equal to $4,000,000 that include the purchase, installation, operation, and maintenance of equipment and instrumentation to conserve or reduce the consumption of helium. Institutions may submit no more than one Track 3 proposal. Submission of a Track 3 proposal does not impact limits that apply for Track 1 and Track 2 proposals.

Solicitation Link:

Limited Submissions Link:


  • Christina Birke
  • Konrad Rykaczewski

Date: April 25th, 2023 
Time: 1pm 
Location: Online