Call for Pre-Proposals: NSF Major Research Instrumentation (MRI)

Program: Major Research Instrumentation NSF 23-519

UMaine Pre-proposal Deadline: May 16, 2023

Submission Limits: UMaine may submit up to three proposals: up to two in Track-1 (between $100,000 and $1.4M) and one in Track-2 ($1.4M-$4M). Through the pre-proposal process, the University will select the applicants in each track.

Submission: To submit a pre-proposal please visit the infoready grant portal and follow submission instructions. The application will include the following:

  • NSF biosketch for PI
  • Letter of support from department chair, dean or center director
  • Letter of support from CORE
  • Project description (3 page maximum) that must address the following topics:
    • Intellectual merit
    • Broader impacts
    • Multi-purpose use
    • Undergraduate research experiences
    • Broadening participation
    • Alignment with UMaine research priorities
  • Brief budget and budget justification

Review: In accordance with UMaine’s Limited Competitions policy, the Office of Research Development will oversee the University’s selection process, which will include an expert panel review of submitted pre-proposals.

Notification: Pre-proposal applicants will be notified of the review panel’s decision as quickly as possible. Please note that no letter of intent to NSF is required for this proposal.

MRI Program Information

Synopsis: The MRI program 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 obtain next-generation research instruments by developing instruments with new capabilities 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. Any MRI proposal may request support for either the acquisition or development of a research instrument or an upgrade of an existing research instrument.

There are three tracks to the program: Track 1 MRI proposals request are between $100,000 and $1,400,000. Track 2 proposals request from $1,400,000 up to $4,000,000. Track 3 MRI proposals request between $100,000 and $4,000,000 for the purchase, installation, operation, and maintenance of equipment and instrumentation to reduce consumption of helium. This competition focuses on Tracks 1 and 2. Applicants interested in Track 3 should contact the Office of Research Development for consultation.

NSF Full Proposal Deadline: November 15, 2023

Solicitation Site:

Contact: Ed Derrick (, Office of Research Development