Major Research Instrumentation Program:


Limited Submission Program (LSP): This funding opportunity and the Limited Submission Program (LSP) is open to all Texas A&M faculty and principal investigators who meet the eligibility requirements.  Texas A&M 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.

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

Proposal Limit: Three (3) as described below.
If three proposals are submitted, at least one of the proposals must be for instrument development (i.e., no more than two proposals may be for instrument acquisition).

To ensure a balanced instrumentation award portfolio at diverse organizations, across varied research topics, and in support of a broadly inclusive science and engineering workforce across the entire Nation, the MRI program requires that an MRI-eligible organization may, as a performing organization, submit or be included as a significantly funded subawardee in no more than three MRI proposals. To promote instrumentation development, the program requires that if an organization submits or is included as a significantly funded subawardee in three MRI proposals, at least one of the three proposals must be for (Track 2) instrument development.

NSF reserves the right to carefully examine development (Track 2) proposals to ensure that they meet the requirements for this proposal type. If a proposal submitted as development is deemed to be an acquisition proposal either before or during the review, the proposal is subject to return without review or decline.

An unfunded collaboration does not count against the submission limit. Inclusion as a funded subawardee on a development (Track 2) proposal at a level in excess of 20% of the total budget request from NSF, or as a funded subawardee on any acquisition (Track 1) proposal, will be counted against an organization's proposal submission limit. Separately submitted linked collaborative proposals of either type (Track 1 or Track 2) count against the submission limit of each of the submitting organizations. However, if a subaward to an organization in a development (Track 2) proposal is 20% or less of the proposal's total budget request from NSF, the subawardee's submission limit will not be affected. For subawards within a linked collaborative proposal, the 20% threshold applies to the budget request from NSF in the proposal containing the subaward(s), not to the combined budget request from NSF for the collaborative project.

Note: The 30% cost-sharing requirement applies to only the portion of the total project cost budgeted to non-exempt organization(s), including those participating through subawards. When required, cost-sharing must be precisely 30%. Cost sharing is required for Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education and for non-degree-granting organizations. Non-Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education are exempt from cost-sharing and cannot provide it. National Science Board policy is that voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.

Summary:  The Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) serves to increase access to shared scientific and engineering instruments for research and research training in our Nation's institutions of higher education, and not-for-profit museums, science centers and scientific/engineering research organizations. This program especially seeks to improve the quality and expand the scope of research and research training in science and engineering, by supporting proposals for shared instrumentation that fosters the integration of research and education in research-intensive learning environments. Each MRI proposal may request support for the acquisition (Track 1) or development (Track 2) of a single research instrument for shared inter- and/or intra-organizational use; development efforts that leverage the strengths of private sector partners to build instrument development capacity at MRI submission-eligible organizations are encouraged.
To accomplish the program's goals, the MRI program assists with the acquisition or development of a shared research instrument that is, in general, too costly and/or not appropriate for support through other NSF programs. The instrument is expected to be operational for regular research use by the end of the award period. For the purposes of the MRI program, a proposal must be for either acquisition (Track 1) or development (Track 2) of a single instrument or for equipment that, when combined, serves as an integrated research instrument (in contrast to requests for multiple instruments that enable research in a common or focused research domain, which MRI does not support). The MRI program does not support the acquisition or development of a suite of instruments to outfit research laboratories/facilities or that will be used to conduct independent research activities simultaneously.
Instrument acquisition or development proposals that request funds from NSF in the range $100,000-$4 million may be accepted from any MRI-eligible organization. Proposals that request funds from NSF less than $100,000 may also be accepted from any MRI-eligible organization for the disciplines of mathematics or social, behavioral and economic sciences and from non-Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education for all NSF-supported disciplines.


October 1, 2013: Deadline for an email of intent including the title of the internal proposal and a 1-3 sentence description of the project.

Send email of intent to

October 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 1-3 page Research Plan Summary, 2-page Bio-sketch, and preliminary budget.

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, click HERE for help to activate your NetID. You will need your UIN and your date of birth.

If you have any questions, please contact: or 979.862.2233.

November 15, 2013: Target date for the notifications to PIs of the result of the internal competition.

January 23, 2014: Sponsor deadline for the full application (due by 5 p.m. proposer’s local time). 

The NIH will also accept applications for this program on the Fourth Thursday in January, annually

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.