This is a Limited Submission funding opportunity. Please follow the campus procedure outlined below
Title:  Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) - Limited Submission
Agency:  National Science Foundation
Eligibility:  Institutions are now limited to a maximum of three proposals in revised Tracks, with no more than two submissions in Track 1 (Requests under $1M) and no more than one submission in Track 2 (Requests up to $4M). Any MRI proposal may request support for either the acquisition or development of a research instrument.
Campus Procedure:  

Campus Notice of Intent:

Investigators must submit a notice of intent to Kelly Pillsbury at by Monday , October 16th, at 5 p.m. The notice should include:

  • PI Name
  • Names of Co-PIs or collaborators
  • Descriptive title of the proposed instrumentation
  • Whether this is for acquisition or development


Both UCSB-led and consortium projects must submit pre-proposals electronically as one PDF document to no later than 5 p.m. Monday, October 23rd. Pre-proposals should include:

  • Office of Research PDF cover page including names and affiliations of the researchers who will use the equipment on a regular basis, the approximate numbers and types of other regular users (e.g., graduate student trainees), the projected total cost, and NSF request. The cover page form will be emailed to applicants upon submission of a notice of intent to apply ;
  • A narrative not to exceed three pages describing the following:
    • the new research instrumentation with particular reference to how it compares to existing equipment (both on- and off-campus);
    • the justification of its need and adequacy for the proposed research ;
    • how the instrumentation will benefit UCSB ;
    • plans for instrumentation management ;
  • If you have previously submitted a proposal to the NSF MRI program or to the campus competition for the same or similar instrument but were declined, please provide feedback/reviews and a summary paragraph of how this proposal differs from the past ;
  • Up to two-page curriculum vitae for key project personnel ;

If we receive more potential MRI submissions than we are authorized to submit, a campus review procedure will be developed. If you have any questions about this process, please contact Meredith Murr by phone at ext. 3925 or by e-mail at

Summary:  The goal of MRI is to increase access to shared-use/multi-user instrumentation for scientific and engineering research and research training. MRI is intended to be a capacity-building program that builds research capabilities across diverse institution types (institutions of higher education and not-for-profit scientific/engineering research organizations). MRI advances the National interest by providing U.S. organizations with instrumentation that opens new opportunities to advance the frontiers in science and engineering research and research training. The MRI Program provides for state-of-the-art instruments through acquisition from vendors and development of next-generation research instruments that advance the state-of-the-art in science and engineering research. For development proposals the Program seeks to leverage the strengths of private sector partners to build instrument development capacity at MRI submission-eligible organizations. Any MRI proposal may request support for either the acquisition or development of a research instrument. An institution may submit proposals in the following Tracks: Track 1: MRI proposals with requests greater than or equal to $100,0001 and less than $1,000,000 (limit: 2 proposals per institution) Track 2: MRI proposals with requests greater than or equal to $1,000,000 up to and including $4,000,000 (limit: 1 proposal per institution)
Solicitation Number:  NSF 18-513
Agency Contact:  Randy Phelps, 703/292-8040,
Area(s):  Eng, MLPS, SS
Selected Team(s):  
Notes:  1) Trevor Hayton (Track 1)
2) Matt Helgeson (Track 1)
3) Ben Mazin (Track 2)