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Division of Research - Wayne State University

NSF Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program

Some external grant opportunities have limits on institutional submissions. In those cases, internal competitions are organized by the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR). Limited submission funding opportunities and details on how to apply internally are listed on Division of Research's Limited Submissions website.

Below is information on an upcoming limited funding opportunity. The program name is linked to the sponsor’s program announcement. Be sure to read through the program guidelines carefully to assess fit and eligibility.

NSF's Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program

WSU internal deadline: August 17, 2020

To be considered, please contact OVPR at on or before August 17, 2020 to set up a meeting to discuss the details of your proposal. Guidelines for the discussion will be provided in advance. A preliminary version of selected sections of the final proposal will be due in mid-October and provided to an internal review committee. All applicants will be required to present their proposal to the internal review committee in late October. Those selected to go forward will be informed shortly thereafter.

Sponsor application deadline window: JANUARY 1 – 19, 2021

The OVPR expects proposals to be submitted to SPA 1 week before the NSF deadline.

The Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program serves to increase access to shared instrumentation for scientific and engineering research and research training in our Nation's institutions of higher education and not-for-profit-museums, science centers and scientific/engineering research organizations. The program seeks to improve the quality and expand the scope of research and research training in science and engineering, by providing organizations with opportunities to acquire instrumentation that supports the research and research training goals of the organization. The program emphasizes shared-use instrumentation that will enhance the capabilities of researchers both within and outside the proposing organization. Development efforts that leverage the strengths of private sector partners to build instrument development capacity at MRI submission-eligible organizations are encouraged.

The MRI Program is intended to assist with the acquisition or development of a single research instrument that is, in general, too costly and/or not appropriate for support through other NSF programs. An instrument acquired or developed with support from the MRI program is expected to be operational for regular research use by the end of the award period. The program does not fund research projects, including research that uses an instrument acquired or developed with support from the program. The program does not support the operation and maintenance of facilities or centers.

Proposals to the MRI Program may be for either acquisition or development and must be for only a single, well-integrated instrument. A well-integrated research instrument means that the ensemble of equipment that defines the instrument enables a specific research experiment or type of research experiment to be undertaken; separating or removing an element or component of such an integrated instrument would preclude any experiments from occurring or succeeding. The MRI program does not support the acquisition or development of a suite of instruments to outfit research laboratories/facilities or to conduct independent experiments simultaneously. Similarly, the MRI program does not fund common, general purpose ancillary equipment that would normally be found in a laboratory and/or is relatively easily procured by the organization. Further guidance on appropriate requests can be found in the MRI FAQs at