Office of the Vice President for Research

Extramural Coordinated Funding

UM Submission Instructions: Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) 2023

Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF),National Science Foundation (NSF),National Science Foundation (NSF),National Science Foundation (NSF),National Science Foundation (NSF),National Science Foundation (NSF),National Science Foundation (NSF),National Science Foundation (NSF),National Science Foundation (NSF),National Science Foundation (NSF)
Award Title: Major Research Instrumentation (MRI)
Amount: $4M
Track 1 MRI proposals can request funds from NSF greater than or equal to $100,000 and less than $1,400,000. Track 2 MRI proposals can request funds from NSF greater than or equal to $1,400,000 up to and including $4,000,000. Track 3 MRI proposals can request funds from NSF greater than or equal to $100,000 and less than or equal to $4,000,000 for requests that include the purchase, installation, operation, and maintenance of equipment and instrumentation to reduce consumption of helium.
UM Deadline: 12/15/2022
Sponsor Deadline: 02/21/2023
Description: UPDATE: Please note new internal deadline date and option to apply for a Track 3 proposal. Cost-sharing is no longer required.

Four proposals are allowed from UMN, two from Track 1, one from Track 2, and one from Track 3.

The Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program 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 or development of a multi-user research instrument that is, 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 develop next-generation research instruments 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.
Number of Applicants University is Allowed to submit: 4
Additional Requirements: None
Sponsor Guidelines:
UM Nominations Process: Those interested in applying should send the following items as a single pdf document to no later than 4pm on December 15th:

1. Cover page including PI Name, Department; contact information; Title of program, amount requested (identify if Track 1, 2 or 3); and Abstract (1 paragraph).
2. Biosketch of PI (NSF format)
3. Project description of the proposed instrumentation, the type of research/research training conducted, the activity that would result if NSF funds the project, and if it supports and/or enhances existing instrumentation. (2-3 pages total, an additional page may be included for citations)
4. A preliminary budget
5. One extra page may be included for figures, photographs or letters of collaboration
6. Proposals may include manufacturers’ quotes but they are not required.

Questions can be sent to
Peer Review Coordination: Office of the VP for Research contact email
Status: PIs Selected. The following #applicantsallowed# PIs are the official UM nominees:
Steven J Koester, Electrical & Computer Engineering,
Bruce Moskowitz, Geology & Geophysics,
Sayan Biswas, Mechanical Engineering,
Dylan Millet, Soil, Water and Climate
Please note: To be considered for peer review and internal selection, faculty must follow the above submission guidelines and meet the UM deadline as set by the office coordinating the peer review for this opportunity.

General Information

  • Each posting has information about the external sponsor and opportunity as well as the internal application instructions.
  • Opportunities can be sorted by column headings; just click on the heading to re-sort by that column.
  • When a link redirects you to another site, it opens in a new browser window.
  • If you know of an opportunity that is not on the list, please contact Robyn Kennedy.
Column Descriptions

  • Sponsor: redirects you to the sponsor's main website
  • Title/Guidelines: redirects you to sponsor specific information regarding the opportunity which may include description, eligibility, budget instructions, forms and other requirements
  • Amount: Maximum dollar amount awarded.
  • Add’l Req: Identifies special requirements such as cost sharing, partners, etc.
  • Sponsor Deadline: External deadline identified by the sponsor.
  • UM Submission Instructions: Contains specific internal submission requirements including internal proposal instructions, deadline, eligibility, internal nomination process, contact information.
  • # Apps: The maximum number of applications the sponsor will allow the university to submit.
  • UM Deadline: Submission deadline for internal proposal as determined by the coordinating office.
  • Status:
    • Open: UM deadline has not passed and the opportunity is open for application.
    • In Review: Peer review process is in progress for the opportunity.
    • PI Selected: The PI has been selected as the official UM nominee.
    • Closed: Sponsor deadline has passed and the opportunity is closed for application.
U of M Submission Instructions (Required)

This link includes summary sponsor information, specific instructions for internal submission and contact information for the university office coordinating the nomination process.

  • Follow the directions in the submission instructions and submit required materials by the UM deadline to the contact indicated.
  • Instructions vary according to the requirements of the sponsor and the university office coordinating the nomination process.
Registration (optional)

Registration is an optional but highly recommended feature. Perhaps you are looking for a wider audience for your proposal idea, or for potential collaborators to work with to create a stronger application. Registration allows applicants to share proposal ideas and post contact information.

Registration also provides information that helps the university office overseeing the nomination to determine the level of coordination needed and guide the review process.

To register (or view registrants), click on the UM Submission Instructions for a specific opportunity, then click on the Register Interest link.

Selection Process

  • Once the internal deadline has passed, the status will change to “In Review” and proposals will undergo review.
  • If there are multiple applicants, the office managing the nomination will determine the review criteria and coordinate the review process.
  • Once review has been completed all parties will be notified via email.
  • Nominees will be provided with a letter addressed to the sponsor from the OVPR indicating that they are the university's nominee. This letter should accompany the nominee's proposal.
  • SPA is notified of the university's nominee(s) and the status is updated to “PI Selected”.

*If you have questions about the University's process related to extramural funding opportunities requiring nomination or if you have any technical issues with the site, contact

For questions, please contact OVPR's Research Advancement group.