DePaul University Research Services > Pre-Award Services > Identifying Funding > Instrumentation Grants

Instrumentation Grants

Instrumentation Grants

Instrumentation Grants are targeted grant initiatives that provide funding for an institution to develop or update its research facilities or instrumentation. Typically such proposals include multiple investigators and a requirement to address issues such as long-term management of the facility or instrument, institutional procedures for use of and sharing of the facility or instrument among multiple investigators or units, etc. Institutional cost sharing may also be encouraged or required on such submissions. A select list of facilities and instrumentation grant opportunities is detailed below. 

As facilities and instrumentation grants may require new space, construction, or institutional resources, we suggest discussing plans for a submission with your relevant Dean or Department Chair in addition to Office of Research Services (ORS) staff in advance of initiating a proposal.

NIH Shared Instrumentation Grants (SIG) Program

Agency: National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Mechanism/Program #: S-10/PAR-13-008
Deadline: 03/21/2013

Program Details

Shared Instrumentation Grants (SIG) Program supports the purchase of research equipment costing $100K to $600K. Examples of instrumentation supported by SIG funding include nuclear magnetic resonance systems, electron and confocal microscopes, mass spectrometers, protein and DNA sequencers, biosensors, x-ray diffractometers and cell sorters.

A major user group of three or more investigators who are Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) on active NIH research grants with the following activity codes, P01, R01, U01, R35, R37, DPI and DP2 must be identified. Once this eligibility requirement has been met, additional users with other types of active NIH research grants (such as but not limited to R03, R21, R55, P30, P41, P50) mechanisms can be added as major or minor users. NIH training grants and contracts are not eligible.

To demonstrate the clear need for the requested instrumentation, projects supported by NIH research grants should require at least 75 percent with the major user group accounts for at least 35 percent - of the total usage time. Applications will be accepted that request funds to purchase or upgrade a single, commercially-available instrument or integrated instrument system which costs at least $100,000.

There is no restriction on the number of applications an institution can submit to the SIG program each year provided the applications request different types of equipment. However, if two or more applications are submitted for similar equipment (for example, two 600 MHz NMR spectrometers) from the same institution, documentation from a high level institutional official must be provided stating that this is not an unintended duplication, but part of a campus wide institutional plan. A single application requesting more than one type of instrumentation (for example, a mass spectrometer and a confocal microscope or a new NMR and an upgrade to an existing NMR) will not be considered appropriate for this FOA and will not be reviewed. Number of PDs/PIs: Multiple PDs/PIs are not allowed under the S10 mechanism.

NIH will not accept any application in response to this FOA that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial peer review unless the applicant withdraws the pending application. NIH will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed.

Check out the National Institutes of Health grants page here. ​

NIH High-End Instrumentation (HEI) Grants Program

Agency: National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Mechanism/Program #: S-10/PAR-11-228
Deadline: Not currently open

Program Details

High-End Instrumentation (HEI) Grants Program supports the purchase of research equipment costing $750K to $2M. Instruments in this price range include structural and functional imaging systems, macromolecular NMR spectrometers, high-resolution mass spectrometers, electron microscopes, and supercomputers.

This is a semi-annual program. There is no limit on the number of applications an institution may submit provided the applications are for different types of equipment. A major user group of three or more investigators who are PD/PI on active NIH research grants with the following activity codes, P01, R01, U01, R35, R37, DP1 and DP2 must be identified. Once this eligibility requirement has been met, additional users with other types of active NIH research grants (such as but not limited to R03, R21, P30, P41, P50) mechanisms can be added as major or minor users. NIH training grants and contracts are not eligible.

To demonstrate the clear need for the requested instrumentation, projects supported by NIH research grants should require at least 75 percent of the total usage time. Although the focus of the HEI Program is on a new generation of instruments that cost over $1,000,000, the floor for the program has been set at $750,000. Applications for routine instruments such as midfield NMR spectrometers and other applications for requests totaling over $750,000 which are the result of an over-estimation of price and/or an excessive number of accessories, are not appropriate.

Cost-sharing is not required. NIH will not accept any application in response to this FOA that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial peer review unless the applicant withdraws the pending application. NIH will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed. Resubmission applications may be submitted, according to the NIH Policy on Resubmission Applications from the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide. Number of PDs/PIs: Multiple PDs/PIs are not allowed under the S10 mechanism.

Read more about the NCRR High-End Instrumentation Grant (HEI) program here. ​

NSF Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program

Agency: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Mechanism/Program #: N/A / NSF-11-503
Deadline: 01/24/13

Program Details

Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program supports the purchase or development of shared research equipment costing $100K to $4M. Development or acquisition of research instrumentation for shared inter- and/or intra-organization use are encouraged, as are development efforts that leverage the strengths of private sector partners to build instrument development capacity at academic institutions. Up to 3 proposals per institution allowed (max. 2 acquisition proposals). Instrument acquisition or development proposals that request funds from NSF in the range $100,000-$4 million will be accepted from all eligible organizations. Proposals that request funds from NSF less than $100,000 will also be accepted from all eligible organizations 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.

Instruments are expected to be operational for regular research use by the end of the award period. For the purposes of the MRI program, proposals must be for either acquisition or development of a single instrument or for equipment that, when combined, serves as an integrated research instrument (physical or virtual). The MRI program does not support the acquisition or development of a suite of instruments to outfit research laboratories/facilities or to conduct independent research activities simultaneously.

Further guidance on appropriate requests can be found in the MRI Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Cost-sharing at the level of 30% of the total project cost is required for Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education and for non-degree-granting. For the purposes of this program, NSF describes a Ph.D.-gramtsing institution as ). Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education are accredited colleges and universities that have awarded more than 20 Ph.D.s or D.Sci.s in all NSF-supported fields during the combined previous two academic years. Additionally, any organization that awards Ph.D. or D.Sci. in NSF-supported fields is considered to be a Ph.D.-granting institution if the only degrees it awards in NSF-supported fields are post-Bachelor's degrees. Non-Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education are exempt from the cost-sharing requirement. Eligible organizations may, as a performing organization, submit or be included as a significantly funded subawardee in no more than three MRI proposals.

Learn more about the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program here. ​

NSF Instrument Development for Biological Research (IDBR)

Agency: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Mechanism/Program #: N/A / NSF-10-563
Deadline: Last Friday in July

Program Details

The Instrument Development for Biological Research (IDBR) Program supports the development of instrumentation that addresses demonstrated needs in biological research. The program accepts two types of proposals:

  • Innovation Proposals: Proposals for the development of innovative instrumentation that permits new kinds of measurements, or instruments that significantly improve current technologies by at least an order of magnitude in fundamental aspects (such as accuracy, precision, resolution, throughput, flexibility, breadth of application, cost of construction or operation, or user-friendliness).
  • Bridging Proposals: Proposals for transforming, ‘one of a kind' prototypes or high-end instruments into devices that are broadly available and utilizable without loss of capacity. If appropriate, PIs should seek SBIR, STTR or similar support mechanism for implementation of broad distribution following an IDBR award.

The requested funds and award duration should be commensurate with the proposed activities. There are no specific limits on the amount of funds that may be requested; however, the requested period of support should not exceed 36 months, except proposals whose focus is transformation of currently available high-end devices, which are limited to 24 months. There is no limit on the number of proposals that may be submitted by an investigator or institution. However, multiple submissions (including submissions to the CMI program) must be distinct. Moreover, the program seeks to diversify numbers of PI, gender, geography, etc. in each competition, so it is unlikely that multiple awards to a single PI or institution would be made.

Learn more about the Instrument Development for Biological Research (IDBR) Program here​​. ​

NSF Instrumentation and Facilities Program in the Division of Earth Sciences (EAR/IF)

Agency: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Mechanism/Program #: N/A / NSF-11-544
Deadline: Accepted at any time

Program Details

The Instrumentation and Facilities Program in the Division of Earth Sciences (EAR/IF) supports requests for infrastructure that promotes research and education in areas supported by the Division.

Specifically it funds:

  1. Acquisition or Upgrade of Research Equipment that will advance laboratory and field investigations, and student research training opportunities in the Earth sciences. The maximum request is $1,000,000. The maximum request for upgrade of research group computing facilities is $75,000.
  2. Development of New Instrumentation, Analytical Techniques or Software that will extend current research and research training capabilities in the Earth sciences. The maximum request is $1,000,000.
  3. Support of National or Regional Multi-User Facilities that will make complex and expensive instruments or systems of instruments broadly available to the Earth sciences research and student communities.
  4. Support for Early Career Investigators to facilitate expedient operation of new research infrastructure proposed by the next generation of leaders in the Earth Sciences.

This opportunity allows for submission of a proposal for Acquisition or Upgrade of Research Equipment that includes budget line items associated with support of a new full-time technician who will be dedicated to manage the instrument(s) being requested.

Any request for technical support under this opportunity is limited to three years duration. The maximum request is $1,000,000. Proposals requesting equipment, infrastructure or personnel that will also serve disciplines outside the Earth sciences may be jointly reviewed with other programs within the Foundation. EAR/IF will consider co-funding of projects with other NSF programs and other agencies.

Learn more about the Instrumentation and Facilities Program here​.

NSF CISE Computing Research Infrastructure (CRI)

Agency: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Mechanism/Program #: N/A / NSF-11-563
Deadline: 10/23/12

Program Details

The CISE Computing Research Infrastructure (CRI) program drives discovery and learning in the computing disciplines by supporting the creation, enhancement and operation of world-class computing research infrastructure. Further, through the CRI program CISE seeks to ensure that individuals from a diverse range of academic institutions, including minority-serving and predominantly undergraduate institutions, have access to such infrastructure.

The CRI program supports two classes of awards:

  1. Institutional Infrastructure (II) ​awards support the creation of new computing research infrastructure or the enhancement of existing computing research infrastructure to enable world-class research and education opportunities at the awardee and collaborating institutions.
  2. Community Infrastructure (CI) awards support the planning for computing research infrastructure, the creation of new computing infrastructure, or the enhancement of existing computing research infrastructure to enable world-class research and education opportunities for broadly-based communities of researchers and educators that extend well beyond the awardee institutions.

Learn more about the CISE Computing Research Infrastructure (CRI) program here​.

NSF Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science (TUES)

Agency: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Mechanism/Program #: N/A / NSF-10-544
Deadline: Type 1- Not yet announced for 2013, typically in May.
Type 2/3 and for TUES Central Resource Project proposals- 01/14/13.
In addition, TUES Central Resource Project proposals for small focused workshops may be submitted at any time after consulting with a program office.

Program Details

The vision of the TUES program is excellent STEM education for all undergraduate students. To achieve this vision, the program supports efforts that bring advances in STEM disciplinary knowledge into the undergraduate experience. It also supports the creation and adaptation of learning materials and teaching strategies that embody what we know about how students learn. It encourages projects that develop faculty expertise, promote widespread implementation of educational innovations, and prepare future K-12 teachers.

The program supports projects that enhance our understanding of how students learn STEM topics and how faculty members adopt instructional approaches. It invites projects that build capacity to assess learning and evaluate educational innovations. It also supports projects that further the work of the program itself, for example, synthesis and dissemination of findings across the program. This solicitation especially encourages projects that have the potential to transform the conduct of undergraduate STEM education, for example, by bringing about widespread adoption of classroom practices that embody understanding of how students learn most effectively. Thus transferability and dissemination are critical aspects for projects developing instructional materials and methods and should be considered throughout the project's lifetime.

More advanced projects should involve efforts to facilitate adaptation at other sites. Projects that explore cyberlearning, specifically learning with cyberinfrastructure tools such as networked computing and communications technologies, are of special interest. The program supports projects at all scales and stages of development, ranging from small, exploratory investigations to large, comprehensive projects as described in Section II-C of the program guidelines.

Instrumentation and equipment requests are appropriate in implementation projects, based on their stated potential impact on student learning, and provided a convincing case is made that the planned effort will contribute to understanding how to achieve widespread adoption of the approach.

Learn more about the TUES program here​.

DOD Defense Universtiy Research Instrumentation Program

Agency: Department of Defense (DoD)
Mechanism/Program #: N/A / PA-AFOSR-2012-0004
Deadline: 09/28/12

Program Details

The Defense University Research Instrumentation Program is administered through the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Army Research Office, and the Office of Naval Research. The DURIP program is for the acquisition of major equipment to augment current or develop new research capabilities to support research in the technical areas of interest to the DoD.

The competition is open only to U.S. institutions of higher education, with degree granting programs in science, math, and/or engineering. Proposals to purchase instrumentation may request $50,000 to $1,000,000. Awards are typically one year in length. A central purpose of the DURIP is to provide equipment to enhance research-related education. Therefore, proposals must address the impact of the equipment on the institution’s ability to educate students, through research, in disciplines important to DoD missions.

Visit the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base site here​.

NASA Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (Roses)

Agency: NASA
Mechanism/Program #: N/A / NNH12ZDA001N
Deadline: Various depending on program focus

Program Details

ROSES is an annual omnibus NASA Research Announcement. It contains more than 50 different proposal opportunities. Some of them include announcements for equipment and/or instrumentation.

2012 Announcements include:

  • Planetary Major Equipment
  • Airborne Instrument Technology Transition
  • MARS Instrument Development Project
  • Instrument Incubator Program
  • Astrobiology Science & Technology for Instrument Development Program

Read more about the NASA Research Announcement here​.

Keck Foundation Grants

Agency: W.M. Keck Foundation
Mechanism/Program #: N/A
Deadline: Contact DePaul Development Office

Program Details

The W.M. Keck Foundation makes grants in support of science and engineering research that is distinctive and novel in its approach. It is very important that your idea not be eligible for funding by NSF and NIH.

Funding is awarded for projects in science and engineering research that:

  • Focus on important and emerging areas of research
  • Have the potential to develop breakthrough technologies, instrumentation or methodologies
  • Are innovative, distinctive and interdisciplinary
  • Demonstrate a high level of risk due to unconventional approaches, or by challenging the prevailing paradigm
  • Have the potential for transformative impact, such as the founding of a new field of research, the enabling of observations not previously possible or the altered perception of a previously intractable problem
  • Fall outside the mission of public funding agencies

Contact the DePaul Development Office

Dreyfus Foundation Grants

Agency: Dreyfus Foundation
Mechanism/Program #: N/A
Deadline: Contact DePaul Development Office

Program Details

To advance the sciences of chemistry, biochemistry, chemical engineering, and related sciences as a means of improving human relations and circumstances.

The foundation assists organizations which afford facilities for the production, collection, or dissemination of scientific information; support mainly for postsecondary academic institutions through sponsorship of Dreyfus New Faculty in Chemistry Program, the Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards Programs, the Dreyfus Special Grant Program in the Chemical Sciences, the Dreyfus Faculty Start-Up Grant Program for Undergraduate Institutions, and the Dreyfus Postdoctoral Program in Environmental Chemistry.

Contact the DePaul Development Office ​

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