Mid-scale Research Infrastructure-2

Grant Name
Mid-scale Research Infrastructure-2
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Country or Region
United States
Research Field
Science and Technology and other Research and Development
Dec 18, 2023 12:00:00 AM EST
Grant Size
Contact Info
National Science Foundation Grantsgovsupport@nsf.gov

Eligible Applicants:

Others (see text field entitled "Additional Information on Eligibility" for clarification)

Additional Information on Eligibility:

*Who May Submit Proposals: Proposals may only be submitted by the following: -

Proposals may only be submitted by organizations located in the United States, its territories or possessions, as follows:

  1. Institutions of higher education (Ph.D.-granting and non-Ph.D.-granting), acting on behalf of their faculty members, that are accredited in and have their main campus in the United States, its territories or possessions. Distinct academic campuses (e.g., that award their own degrees, have independent administrative structures, admissions policies, alumni associations, etc.) within multi-campus systems qualify as separate submission-eligible institutions.

  2. Not-for-profit, non-degree-granting domestic U.S. organizations, acting on behalf of their employees, for example (but not limited to) independent museums and science centers, observatories, research laboratories and similar organizations that are directly associated with the Nation's research activities. These organizations must have an independent, permanent administrative organization (e.g., a sponsored projects office) located in the United States, its territories or possessions, and have 501(c)(3) tax status.

  3. Consortia as follows:

a) A legally incorporated, not-for-profit consortium that includes two or more submission-eligible organizations as described in items (1) and (2) above. Such a consortium is one with an independent administrative structure (e.g., a sponsored projects office) located in the United States, its territories or possessions and has 501(c)(3) status.

b) Submission-eligible organizations as described in items (1) and (2) above, on behalf of an informal consortium. The cover sheet of such a proposal must identify both a PI and co-PI(s) from at least two Mid-scale RI-2 submission-eligible organizations (items 1 and/or 2 above) as lead investigators in the consortium. These consortium proposals may also include as partners other U.S. and non-U.S. organizations that are not eligible to submit Mid-scale RI-2 proposals.

In either case, the proposal title should indicate that a consortium is proposing.

For-profit commercial organizations, especially U.S. small businesses with strong capabilities in scientific or engineering research or education, are eligible for infrastructure development support through subawards/subcontracts as private sector partners with submitting organizations; they may not submit proposals. Such partnerships must be substantive and meaningful, and build capacity for infrastructure development within Mid-scale RI-2 submission-eligible organization(s). Unless otherwise specified in the award, the title to the resulting infrastructure should be retained by the Mid-scale RI-2-eligible performing organization(s). Prospective PIs may contact the cognizant Mid-scale RI-2 program officer regarding organizational eligibility, and for information on other NSF funding opportunities for instrumentation and research infrastructure.


  • Major Facilities-related Proposals: The Mid-scale RI-2 program will not accept proposals for an instrument or other infrastructure that augments an ongoing NSF Major Multi-user Research Facility (Major Facility) project in the construction stage since the scope of those projects is already defined. A list of such facilities can be found at https://www.nsf.gov/bfa/lfo/.

  • FFRDC-related Proposals: Although NSF’s Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) are eligible to submit under item 2) above, proposals involving another Federal agency or one of itsFFRDCs can only be submitted as a consor

Grant Number
NSF-supported science and engineering research increasingly relies on cutting-edge infrastructure. With its Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program and Major Multi-user Research Facilityprojects (Major Facilities), NSF supports infrastructure projects at the lower and higher ends of infrastructure scales across science and engineering research disciplines. The Mid-scale Research Infrastructure Programs are intended to provide NSF with an agile, Foundation-wide process to fund experimental research capabilities in the mid-scale range between the MRI and Major Facilities thresholds.In alignment with NSF’s goal to bring together diverse disciplinary perspectives to support convergent research, proposals submitted in response to this solicitation will be managed by a cross-disciplinary team of NSF Program Directors.
NSF defines Research Infrastructure (RI) as any combination of facilities, equipment, instrumentation, or computational hardware or software, and the necessary human capital in support of the same. Major facilities and mid-scale projects are subsets of research infrastructure. The NSF Mid-scale RI-2 Program supports the implementation of unique and compelling RI projects. Mid-scale RI-2 projects may include any combination of equipment, instrumentation, cyberinfrastructure, broadly used large-scale data sets, and the commissioning and/or personnel needed to successfully complete the project. Mid-scale RI-2 projects should fill a research community-defined scientific need, or address an identified national research priority, that enables current and next-generation U.S. researchers and a diverse STEM workforce to remain competitive in a global research environment. Mid-scale RI-2 projects will directly enable advances in any of the research domains supported by NSF, including STEM education research, and translational research. Projects may also include upgrades to existing research infrastructure. The total cost for Mid-scale RI-2 projects ranges from $20 million to below the threshold for a Major FacilityProject, currently $100 million. Preliminary and full proposals to the Mid-scale RI-2 Program with total project costs outside this solicitation's budgetary limits will be returned without review.
The Mid-scale RI-2 Program emphasizes projects that have strong scientific merit, respond to an identified need of the research community, demonstrate technical and project management readiness for implementation, include a well-developed plan for student trainingin all activities leading to and including the implementation of the mid-scale research infrastructure, and involve a diverse workforce in mid-scale research infrastructure development, and/or associated data management. Training of students in design and implementation of the research infrastructure is essential.
The Mid-scale RI-2 Program seeks to broaden the representation of PIs and institutions in its award portfolio, including a geographically diverse set of institutions (especially those in EPSCoR jurisdictions). PIs who are women, early-career researchers, members of groups that are underrepresented in STEM, and persons with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply. To improve participation in science and engineering research for persons with disabilities, Mid-scale RI-2 encourages PIs to incorporate accessibility as part of a Mid-scale RI-2 project.
Please consult NSF’s Research Infrastructure Guide (RIG) NSF 21-107, (formerly the Major Facilities Guide) for definitions of certain terms used in this solicitation, such as the Project Execution Plan (PEP). Section 5 of the RIG provides guidance specific to Mid-scale Research Infrastructure Projects, including references to other parts of the RIG, as needed. Note that the PEP should be appropriately scaled for the complexity of the project and may not require all of the elements described in the RIG, Section 4. Project teams are strongly encouraged to include professional project management expertise at the earliest stages of proposal development.
Mid-scale RI-2 will consider only the implementation (typically construction or acquisition) stage of a project, including a limited degree offinal development or necessary production design immediately preparatory to implementation. It is thus intended that Mid-scale RI-2 will support projects in well-developed states of project management and technical readiness for implementation, i.e., those that have already matured through previous developmental investments. Accordingly, Mid-scale RI-2 does not support pre-implementation (early-stage design or development) activities. Mid-scale RI-2 also does not support post-implementation research, operations or maintenance, the anticipated source(s) of support for which are expected to be discussed in the proposal.
Note:Research infrastructure and instrumentation in the range just above the current Major Research Instrumentation Program threshold and below the Mid-scale RI-2 threshold is the subject of the Mid-scale Research Infrastructure-1 solicitation (NSF 22-637).

Funding resources

Purdue Grant Writing Lab: Introduction to Grant Writing Open Link
University of Wisconsin Writing Center: Planning and Writing a Grant Proposal Open Link

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