Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program Request for Applications

The Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program serves to increase access to shared instrumentation for scientific and engineering research and research training in our Nation’s institutions of higher education and not-for-profit-museums, science centers and scientific/engineering research organizations. The program seeks to improve the quality and expand the scope of research and research training in science and engineering, by providing organizations with opportunities to acquire instrumentation that supports the research and research training goals of the organization. The program emphasizes shared-use instrumentation that will enhance the capabilities of researchers both within and outside the proposing organization. Development efforts that leverage the strengths of private sector partners to build instrument development capacity at MRI submission-eligible organizations are encouraged.

This is a limited submission solicitation and as such, the UNTHSC will be allowed 3 maximum submissions by the January 11, 2017 deadline.

A pdf copy of the complete solicitation can be found here.

If you are interested in submitting an application to this solicitation, you will need to take part in our internal selection process. The three step process begins with the submission of a Letter of Interest (Step 1) and may progress to the need for the submission of a Pre-Proposal (Step 2) before a final decision (Step 3) can be made on which PIs/Research Projects from the institution will be allowed to submit applications to the funding agency .


Step 1: Submit a Letter of Interest

The letter should be a Word or PDF file which includes the following information (#1-6 below). This should be emailed to with copies to your Dean/Director by Monday November 21, 2016 at 5pm CT.  The subject line of the email should include “MRI program LOI”.

  1. Principal Investigator with School/Dept/Institute:
  2. Co-Investigator (s) with School/Dept/Institute:
  3. Project Title:
  4. Proposal Track (Track 1 or Track 2):
  5. Abstract (≤250 words):

In the event that more than three UNTHSC investigators are interested in applying, or more than 2 would like to apply for Track 1 funding, an internal review process will be necessary to make the final selections. In this case, you will be notified via email by November 22, 2016 of the need to prepare a pre-proposal for internal review.


Step 2: Submit a Pre-Proposal

The pre-proposal should be written in 11-point font with 0.5 inch margins and must contain the following information:

  1. Cover Page (1 page)
    • Principal Investigator with School/Dept/Institute
    • Co-Principal Investigator(s) with School/Dept/Institute
    • Project title
    • Proposal Track (1 or 2)
    • Proposed starting date and award period
    • Project Summary/Abstract (≤250 words)
  2. Main Body (3 pages)
    • Justification of Need– Describe the resource and specific novel features; compare with comparable available equipment
    • Research Projects– Briefly list the proposed users along with a short description of how the requested instrument will enhance his/her research projects. Present sufficient technical details about types of samples or specific experimental protocols to be employed to allow evaluation of whether the instrument is appropriate, would be effectively employed, and would provide advantages over other methods and other similar existing or new instruments.
    • Technical Expertise– Describe the technical expertise present at the institution to set up, run and maintain the instrument/resource.
    • Administration– Describe space in which the instrument/resource will be placed. Describe the organizational plan to manage the instrument/resource. Specifically, address plans for training, access and scheduling use.
    • Budget– Cost of equipment (quote as well if possible in time for pre-proposal submission), as well as estimated costs for supplies, service contracts and maintenance for the requested award period.
  3. References

The pre-proposal would need to be emailed to  with copies to your Dean/Director by Monday November 28, 2016 at 5pm CT.  The subject line of the email should include “MRI program pre-proposal”.


Step 3: Internal Review

Submissions will be reviewed and the Vice President of Research will make the final decision regarding the internal competition. Applicants and their Dean/Director and the Office of Grants and Contracts Management will be notified by email within 1 week whether they were selected to apply to the funding agency. PI’s whose projects were not selected will be notified as well.


Submission of Final Proposal to Sponsor

The PI(s) selected to apply for a limited submission opportunity has the responsibility to submit the application in a timely manner through the Proposal Development section of the Office of Grants and Contract Management.

Should the candidate wish to decline the nomination, they need to do so in writing within 5 business days of selection notification to