NSF Major Research Instrumentation Program 2019

Limited Submission Funding Opportunity

The National Science Foundation’s Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) catalyzes new knowledge and discoveries by empowering the Nation's scientists and engineers with state-of-the-art research instrumentation. The MRI Program enables research-intensive learning environments that promote the development of a diverse workforce and next-generation instrumentation, as well as facilitates academic/private sector partnerships.

The 2019 MRI has two funding windows, one for proposals between $100,000 and $1,000,000, and the other for proposals between $1,000,000 and $4,000,000. The University is permitted to submit two proposals under the first opportunity, and one under the second. Full proposals to the NSF can be submitted starting on January 1, 2019, and closing on January 22. We strongly encourage faculty to consider applying for these awards, which can help build out the University’s research infrastructure to the benefit of current and future researchers.

I. Pre-selection

In the event that the number of candidates who apply to submit a full proposal to the NSF is larger than the number of submissions allowed, an internal pre-selection process will be conducted. As submissions are expected, and encouraged, from both the Main Campus and GU Medical Center, the two campuses will collaborate in making the decisions. Applications for pre-selection, including a one-page narrative of the planned applicant and a NSF or NIH style bio-sketch, must be submitted to Jennifer Kluge (jck67@georgetown.edu0 by Monday, October 1, 2018 as a single PDF document. Additional documentation might be requested as needed, including, for example, reviewer feedback from previous related but unsuccessful applications.

II. LSO committee

Pre-selection will be made on the recommendations of a unique five-member Limited Submission Opportunity (LSO) committee, with representation from GUMC and the Main Campus. Members of the LSO committee will be selected by the GUMC Dean for Research and the Vice Provost for Research. The committee will make a recommendation to the Dean and to the Vice Provost, who in collaboration will make the final selection decision(s).

Membership will be determined after the internal deadline, to ensure the relevant expertise is represented, while minimizing conflicts of interest and the appearance thereof. When possible, committee members will either have been awarded an NSF MRI grant previously, or have served as a reviewer for the MRI program. The committee may be instructed to contact the relevant NSF Program Officers, if necessary.

III. Selection criteria

The decision to recommend a submission to move forward to the full application stage will be based on:

  1. the anticipated competitiveness of the proposal based on NSF’s selection criteria as stated in the Program Announcement
  2. the breadth and depth of the impact that can be expected from an award, in terms of the units, research teams, and faculty members who will benefit
  3. the alignment of the proposal with the university’s goal of advancing and expanding our portfolio of sponsored research

Short written feedback will be provided to unsuccessful applicants in the interests of transparency, and with the aim of helping them prepare improved submissions in future years.