Mid-Scale Innovations Program in Astronomical Sciences



Limited Submission Program (LSP): This funding opportunity and the Limited Submission Program (LSP) is open to all Texas A&M University faculty and principal investigators who meet the eligibility requirements.  The University and The Texas A&M University System Agencies jointly administer this process to select the proposal(s) that will be submitted to the sponsor in response to this solicitation.

Institutional Eligibility:  A single organization may submit a maximum of three preliminary proposals as the lead institution. Full proposals are to be submitted only when invited by NSF, and no more than two invitations will be issued to a single organization. There is no limit to participation as a partner institution.

PI Eligibility:  Any one individual may be the principal investigator (PI) or co-principal investigator (co-PI) for no more than one preliminary or full proposal.

The proposal will be prepared and submitted by Sponsored Research Services (SRS).

Proposal Limit: 3

Summary:  The Mid-Scale Innovations Program (MSIP) is designed to fill the need for a well-defined budgetary and competitive selection process to support astronomical projects of intermediate to large cost (but below the MREFC threshold). This solicitation fills part of the mid-scale gap, from $4 million to $40 million (The current, limited budget does not allow individual project costs greater than $40 million.) The demand in this funding range covers a wide variety of activities, from highly focused short-term science experiments to long-term multi-use facilities. Other opportunities for support include major new instruments for existing telescopes, laboratory astrophysics experiments, and design and development programs for possible future mid-scale and MREFC initiatives.

In order to organize this diverse range of project type and cost for strategic evaluation and review, the MSIP will be divided into the following four categories:

  1. Mid-Scale Science Projects: Self-contained, limited term projects with well-defined construction and science utilization phases. 
  2. Mid-Scale Facilities: Construction or operation of stand-alone, long-term, mid-scale facilities.
  3. Development Investments: Design and development for future large mid-scale and large-scale facilities.
  4. Open Access Capabilities: 
    1. New instruments for existing telescopes, both national and private, in return for US community access
    2. Provision of observing time for US community access on existing telescopes (e.g. providing open access nights in return for partial support of operational costs of a facility)
    3. Data archiving and data management projects leading to public access to data resources. The budgets for each of the four categories will be flexible, and distribution across categories will depend on proposal pressure modulated by consideration of programmatic emphasis. As this is a new program, the schedule for future solicitations is not yet fixed. However, it is anticipated that solicitations will be issued on a biennial basis pending the availability of funds.


July 12, 2013: Deadline for an email of intent including the title of the internal proposal and a one to three sentence description of the project.

Send email of intent to limitedsubmissions@tamu.edu

July 17, 2013: Deadline to submit an internal proposal.

All proposals for the LSP must be submitted electronically using the e-proposal on-line application system.

Be prepared to upload your internal proposal. The sections will include a one to three page Research Plan Summary and two-page Bio-sketch. 

The e-proposal site is password protected. Texas A&M principal investigators may use their NetID and password to access the system. If you do not have a NetID, from the e-proposal site, click on “Signup,” fill in the pertinent information and an account will be created for you.

If you have any questions, please contact: shelly.martin@tamu.edu or 979.862.2233.

August 5, 2013: Target date for the notifications to PIs of the result of the internal competition.

September 16, 2013: Sponsor deadline for the required preliminary proposal (due by 5 p.m. proposer’s local time). 

February 21, 2014: Sponsor deadline for the full proposal (due by 5 p.m. proposer’s local time). 

The schedule for future solicitations is not yet fixed. However, it is anticipated that solicitations will be issued on a biennial basis pending the availability of funds.

Internal Selection Procedures:
Texas A&M University has established a procedure to identify limited submission opportunities and internally select proposals for Texas A&M submissions.  Please contact us if you have any questions about the limited submission process.