Office of Research, UC Riverside
Search Funding

Program TitleNSF 23-519: Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program: Instrument Acquisition or Development
Program WebsiteLink
Number of Submissions Allowed4
Internal UCR Deadline8/15/2025
Agency Final Deadline10/15/2025


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 of a multi-user research
instrument that is commercially available through direct purchase from a
vendor, or for the personnel costs and equipment that are required for the
development of an instrument with new capabilities, thereby advancing
instrumentation capabilities and enhancing expertise for instrument design and
fabrication at academic institutions. MRI instruments are, 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
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.

An MRI proposal may request from NSF
up to $4 million for either acquisition or development of a research
instrument. Each performing organization may submit in revised
"Tracks" as defined below, with no more than two (2) submissions in
Track 1 and no more than one (1) submission in Track 2. For the newly defined
Track 3, no more than one (1) submission per competition is permitted. As a result, it is
now possible for an institution to submit up to four MRI proposals within the
Track limits as described above.

  • Track 1: Track 1 MRI proposals are those
    that request funds from NSF greater than $100,0001
    and less than $1,400,000.
  • Track 2: Track 2 MRI proposals are those
    that request funds from NSF greater than or equal to $1,400,000 up to and
    including $4,000,000.
  • Track 3: Track 3 MRI proposals are those
    that request funds from NSF greater than or equal to $100,000 and less
    than or equal to $4,000,000 that include the purchase, installation,
    operation, and maintenance of equipment and instrumentation to conserve or
    reduce the consumption of helium. Institutions may submit no
    more than one Track 3 proposal. Submission of a Track 3 proposal does not
    impact limits that apply for Track 1 and Track 2 proposals.

Cost sharing requirements
for new awards in the MRI Program are waived for a period of 5 years beginning
with the FY 2023 MRI competition. Institutional submission limits for Track 1,
Track 2 and Track 3 proposals remain.

  • Limit on Number of ‘Track 1’
    Proposals per Organization:
  • Limit on Number of ‘Track 2’
    Proposals per Organization:
  • Limit on Number of ‘Track 3’
    Proposals per Organization:

Anticipated Type of Award: Standard Grant

Estimated Number of Awards: 100. The final number of awards will depend on the availability of funds
and the quality of the proposals.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $75,000,000

Window Date(s)
(due by
5 p.m. submitter's local time):

  • October 15, 2025 - November 14,
  • October 15, 2026 - November 16,

Database Key: 2126966007