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NSF MRI Competition

Internal proposals are being solicited from teams of investigators wishing to submit proposals to the National Science Foundation (NSF), Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program.  The program supports the development and/or acquisition of research instruments with an emphasis on increasing shared access to shared scientific instruments for research and research training. Drexel may submit to NSF only two proposals for instrument acquisition, and one for instrument development. 

We are soliciting internal MRI pre-proposals that align with one of Drexel’s three research priority areas: life sciences, bio- and biomedical engineering; computing; and, energy and the environment.  

The MRI program assists with the acquisition or development of shared research instrumentation that is, in general, too costly and/or not appropriate for support through other NSF programs. A full description of the NSF MRI program may be found on the. NSF website

Faculty member teams interested in submitting an MRI proposal to NSF must participate in the internal pre-proposal competition.  Pre-proposals must be submitted by 5 p.m. Wednesday, November 27, 2013 via email to, with NSF MRI and the priority area of relevance (e.g. NSF MRI – Energy and the Environment) in the subject line.  

Each pre-proposal should be submitted as a single pdf document attachment that includes the following information:

  • One page that describes the project title, the PI and co-PIs, and a list of Drexel faculty whose work will be supported by the instrument;
  • A project description of no more than two pages that identifies the shared use instrument to be acquired and/or developed, and the research to be enabled.  The project description must indicate whether the instrument will be acquired or developed;
  • A budget and budget description described in no more than one page.  The description should identify potential sources of the required 30% cost-share;
  • NSF style bio-sketches of the PI and co-PIs.

Pre-proposals requesting over $1 million should address the potential impact of the instrument on the research community of interest and at the regional or national level when appropriate. For large multi-user instruments that provide service beyond Drexel, concrete plans for enabling access by external users (including those from non-Ph.D. and/or minority-serving institutions) through physical access and/or cyberinfrastructure should be presented, and the uniqueness of the requested instrumentation should also be described.  The upper budget limit per proposal is $4 million.  

Priority will be given to pre-proposals that enhance the University’s existing shared research facilities, including core facilities or that create new shared resources.  The PIs for the proposals chosen for submission to NSF will be notified by December 6, 2013. Proposals are due at NSF by January 23, 2014.