NSF Solicits Proposals for Research Instrumentation FYI No. 10, January 26, 1994 In an eff

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NSF Solicits Proposals for Research Instrumentation FYI No. 10, January 26, 1994 In an effort to alleviate the backlog of equipment and facility needs experienced by universities, the National Science Foundation will provide $110 million in competitively-awarded grants this year. Half of the funds will go toward facilities modernization, and half toward research and research training instrumentation. This is more than double the amount appropriated last year, which totaled $37.5 million for facilities and $17.2 million for instruments. NSF has recently issued a solicitation for Instrument Development and Acquisition; a solicitation for facility grants will come out separately. Proposals for the instrumentation grants are due by March 15. The awards, which will range from $100,000 to $2 million and require cost sharing of 30 to 50 percent, will be announced in the fall. Their purpose is to provide support for the purchase or development of major state-of-the-art instrumentation; to improve accessibility to, and greater utilization of, modern research equipment by scientists, engineers, and students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels; and to foster the development of next-generation research instrumentation through academic-private sector partnerships. The solicitation states that "proposals may be for a single instrument, a large system of instruments, or multiple instruments that are used to address a common research problem, . . . in those fields of science and engineering normally supported by NSF." The research activities making use of this instrumentation need not be supported by NSF, however. The 30 to 50 percent cost-sharing may be provided by any private or non-federal public source. The grants are available to institutions of higher education, independent non-profit research institutions, research museums, and consortia of the aforementioned. Small manufacturers need to submit an associated Small Business Innovation Research proposal in order to act as a partner in instrument development. The primary criteria for proposal evaluation include: quality of existing research and training activities and qualifications of investigators; demonstrated need and adequacy of instrumentation for the intended activities; impacts of the project on future research and infrastructure needs; the institution's plan for operation and maintenance; and adequate research funding to utilize the instrumentation. In addition, NSF will also look at such issues as the distribution (by geography and type of institution) of funds, the ability to achieve the 50 percent cost-sharing, and whether the research addresses a major theme such as advanced materials and manufacturing, biotechnology, global change, human or environmental resources, or high performance computing and communications. Inquiries should be directed to the Office of Science and Technology Infrastructure, Academic Research Infrastructure, National Science Foundation, Room 1270, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22230; (703) 306-1040; ari@nsf.gov. ############### Public Information Division American Institute of Physics Contact: Audrey T. Leath (301) 209-3094 ##END##########

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