Mid-Scale Research Infrastructure (Mid-Scale RI) is an NSF-wide Big Idea designed to address the research community’s growing needs for contemporary research infrastructure to support the advancement of science and engineering research, as well as science, technology, engineering, mathematics, training and education. Mid-scale RI will fund the “design” and “implementation” of experimental research capabilities in the mid-scale range (i.e., with a total project cost of between $6 million and $70 million, and $600,000 – $20 million for “design” proposals). The overall objective of Mid-scale RI is to transform scientific and engineering research fields by making available new capabilities, while simultaneously training researchers in the acquisition, implementation, development, design, and/or construction of cutting-edge infrastructure.
Mid-scale Research Infrastructure funding opportunities will be available through two NSF-wide solicitations: Mid-scale Research Infrastructure-1 (Mid-scale RI-1, NSF 19-537) and a second solicitation that has yet to be released, Mid-scale Research Infrastructure-2. Mid-scale RI-1 will include opportunities to propose “design” ($600,000 – $20 million) or “implementation” projects ($6 million – $20 million), pending the availability of funds. A second solicitation, Mid-scale RI-2 (not yet released) is expected to include an opportunity to propose Mid-scale RI projects with a total cost of between approximately $20 million and approximately $70 million, again, pending the availability of funds. Both Mid-scale RI programs will emphasize strong scientific merit, responsiveness to an identified need of the research community, technical readiness for implementation, sound management, and a well-developed plan for training students and involving a diverse workforce in mid-scale facility development and/or data management.
Information regarding the Mid-scale RI-1 funding opportunity is available via the NSF website. Information regarding the Mid-scale RI-2 funding opportunity can be found in the Dear Colleague Letter (NSF 19-013), with a solicitation expected this winter. The funding opportunities will list NSF-wide and directorate-specific points of contact. In the meantime, general questions about the solicitation and Dear Colleague Letter may be addressed to: MSRI@nsf.gov.