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 Deadline8/15/2026
Agency Final Deadline10/15/2026


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 $100,000
    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
  • 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
(due by
5 p.m. submitter's local time):

  • October 15, 2026 - November 16,


Database Key: 2126966008