Applications for this grant are no longer being accepted.

NSF Major Research Instrumentation Program 2022

Application Deadline: Friday, November 12, 2021 – 5:00 PM



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.
An MRI proposal may request up to $4 million for either acquisition or development of a research instrument. MGH is eligible to submit "a maximum of three proposals, with no more than two submissions in Track 1 and no more than one submission in Track 2." 
Track 1: MRI proposals that request funds from NSF greater than or equal to $100,000 and less than $1,000,000.
Track 2: MRI proposals that request funds from NSF greater than or equal to $1,000,000 up to and including $4,000,000.
Any MRI proposal may request support for either the acquisition or development of a research instrument.
Consistent with the America COMPETES Act of 2007 (Public Law 110-69), "cost sharing of precisely 30% of the total project cost is required" of MGH, a non-degree granting organization. The MGH Executive Committee on Research (ECOR) has committed institutional funding to support the required cost share for Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program proposals



MGH Internal Pre-Proposal: Friday, November 12, 2021 at 5pm

NSF Deadline: Wednesday, January 19, 2022 at 5pm



As previously stated, the NSF Major Research Instrumentation program awards range from $100,000 to $4,000,000 for the acquisition or development of a research instrument. Cost sharing of precisely 30% of the total project cost is required. Proposers may request an award period up to three years for acquisition proposals and up to five years for development proposals. 



  • Applicants must have a full-time MGH appointment at the time of application and during the entire award period
  • Applicants must hold their primary appointment at MGH and their research must be based at MGH
  • Cost sharing is required for Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education and for non-degree-granting organizations including MGH and subcontracts. Cost sharing funds must be used for eligible project costs. Please see Section V, Part B. of the NSF program solicitation  



Applications will be reviewed to determine the level of institutional support. In the event that the number MGH applicants exceeds the institutional limit, the applications will be used to assess candidates and a review and selection process will take place. If selected to submit an application to the NSF, the applicant will receive the following:

  • A signed statement certifying that MGH is a non-degree granting organization
  • A signed letter documenting the MGH's commitment to ensuring successful operations and maintenance over the expected lifetime of the instrument. This letter will include a list of MRI awards made to MGH and the status of the instrument obtained from each award (two-page maximum)
  • A signed letter documenting the organizations commitment for cost sharing (one page maximum)



  1. Title of Submission. The project title must be concise and convey the primary purpose of the proposal, e.g., “MRI: Acquisition of ____” or “MRI: Development of ___.”  Consortium project titles must also be identified in the title: “MRI Consortium: Acquisition of ___,” or “MRI Consortium: Development of ___.”
  2. Track Number:  Choose one of the following two categories based on the type of grant application being submitted to NSF:
    •  Track 1: MRI proposals that request funds from NSF greater than or equal to $100,000 and less than $1,000,000.
    •  Track 2: MRI proposals that request funds from NSF greater than or equal to $1,000,000 up to and including $4,000,000.    
  3. Equipment Requested.
  • Include the name of the equipment and a URL for specifications. 
  • Select "Acquisition" or "Development"
  • Does the equipment already exist on an MGH campus?  If yes, explain why the equipment is not accessible or cannot be used.  Here is a link to the equipment at MGH, 
  • Description of research instrument and needs.
  • Description of how the requested instrumentation will be operated and maintained over the expected lifetime of the instrument
  1. Budget and Budget Justification
  2. Planned Location of Equipment.  Include Building, Floor and Room #
  3. Renovation Required.  Will any renovations be required to install the equipment? Select Yes or No.  If yes, who will be paying for the renovations?
  4. Potential Users. List a minimum of 3 Major Users. Include name, degree(s), department and institution. 
  5. Significance. What is the significance of procuring this piece of equipment to your research lab, department and the institution?  Please be specific in discussing your field of study and the impact of this equipment. What research activities will be enabled?
  6. Use of Institutional Funds.  If approved for institutional support from MGH, how do you plan to use the funds? 




  • Use margins of 0.5 inches or greater for the list of publications, biosketch and other support
  • Use 11pt font size or greater for the list of publications, biosketch and other support
  • Upload PDF documents only.  Limit characters to A-Z, a-z and 0-9 when naming PDF documents.  Do not use periods, commas or dashes in the file name.



ECOR accepts all applications online via the MGRI Online Grant Management Portal.  The system has been designed to allow users to:

  • Create a personal profile, which will auto-populate your future ECOR applications
  • Assign a delegate to submit applications on your behalf (optional)
  • View current calls and apply to open opportunities 
  • Save and edit current applications in progress
  • Submit completed applications
  • View all your ECOR applications that have been submitted via the Online Grants Management Portal.

Instructions for Applying Online:

  1. Create your account: Log in using your Partners credentials and fill-out the profile information.
  2. Complete the application: Once your profile is complete, you will automatically progress through the online application. If you cannot complete the application at one time, “save” the application and return to it at a later time to finish. Before submitting your application, you will have the ability to make changes to the application.
  3. Submit your application: Once you have completed the application click on the “submit” button at the bottom of the page. Once you submit it, you will not be able to make further changes unless you send a request to ECOR (note that once the deadline passes, requests to make changes will not be accepted).

Useful tips:

  • To avoid losing your work, remember to save frequently
  • You can only upload PDF documents
  • If you previously created a profile, please ensure your information is current prior to submitting an application.

  Click 'Apply' below to begin the application.



If you have any questions, please email ECOR.

For more information on the NSF application, click here.