Skip to content

Equipment, Facilities & Instrumentation

Instrumentation grants tend to differ from standard research grants. They usually involve mutiple PI's and must demonstrate who will use the equipment, how the equipment will be managed, how the equipment will be shared and what the research impact will be. When proposals involve facilities or infrastructure, they can be very complex with a multitude of issues to address.

Funding Search

An up-to-date comprehensive list of opportunities for research development, funding equipment, and instrumentation acquisition can be found through a Pivot search. Some of those opportunities are also mentioned here:

  • AFOSR Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP)
    • Award Ceiling: $1,500,000.
    • AFOSR Research Areas: Dynamical Systems and Control; Quantum and Non-Equalibrium Processes; Information, Decision and Complex Networks; Complex Materials and Devices; and Energy, Power and Propulsion.
  • DOE Nuclear General Scientific Infrastructure Support
    • Award Ceiling: $2,000,000 (DOE anticipates a range from $150,000-$300,000).
    • This FOA seeks applications for equipment and instrumentation infrastructure to support nuclear energy-related engineering and science teaching and research laboratories. The infrastructure requested by a university should be individual, discrete, and definable items or capabilities that will support, maintain, or enhance the university's capacity to attract and teach high quality students interested in nuclear energy-related studies; build the university's NS&E basic research or education capabilities; or facilitate the university's capacity to perform R&D that is relevant to DOE-NE's R&D mission.
  • NASA ROSES: Planetary Major Equipment
    • Award Ceiling: N/A; requests must exceed $400,000.
    • This program allows proposals for new or upgraded analytical, computational, telescopic, and other instrumentation required by investigations sponsored by the Planetary Science Research Program's science research programs. Planetary Major Equipment (PME) proposal may be submitted in one of two ways: (1) as a special section that is appended to a new science-research proposal to one of the programs in the NRA; or (2) as a stand-alone equipment proposal submitted to one of the programs listed.
  • NIH Shared Instrumentation Grant (SIG) Program
    • Award Ceiling: $375,000 over a 3 year period
    • This program encourages innovative applications for the development of new or improved instrumentation for biomedical research. Projects should propose tools that can be used by a wide range of biomedical or clinical researchers, and not limited to a specific organ or disease.
  • NIH Shared Implementation Grant Program
    • Award Ceiling: $600,000.
    • The ORIP Shared Instrumentation Grant (SIG) program encourages applications from groups of NIH-supported investigators to purchase or upgrade a single item of expensive, specialized, commercially available instrumentation or an integrated system that costs at least $100,000. Types of instruments supported include, but are not limited to, confocal and electronc microscopes, biomedical imagers, mass spectrometers, DNA sequencers, biosensors, cell-sorters, X-ray diffraction systems, and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometers among others.
  • NIH High End Instrumentation Grant
    • Award Ceiling: $2,000,000.
    • The ORIP High-End Instrumentation Grant (HEI) program encourages applications from groups of NIH-supported investigators to purchase a single major item of equipment to be used for biomedical research that costs at least $750,000. Instruments in this category include, but are not limited to, biomedical imaging systems, NMR spectrometers, mass spectrometers, electron microscopes and supercomputers.
  • NIH Shared Instrumentation for Animal Research (SIFAR) Grant Program
    • Award Ceiling: $750,000. (direct)
    • The SIFAR encourages applications from groups of NIH-funded investigators to purchase or upgrade scientific instruments necessary to carry out animal experiments in all areas of biomedical research supported by the NIH. 
  • NSF Mid-scale Research Infrastructure-1 (Mid-scale RI-1)
    • Award Ceiling: $20,000,000.
    • The Mid-scale Research Infrastructure Big Idea is intended to provide NSF with an agile,  Foundation-wide process to fund experimental research capabilities in the mid-scale range between the MRI and MREFC thresholds. Within Mid-scale RI-1, proposers may submit two types of projects, “Implementation” and “Design”. Design and Implementation projects may comprise any combination of equipment, infrastructure, computational hardware and software, and necessary commissioning. 
  • NSF Earth Sciences, Instrumentation and Facilities
    • Award Ceiling: $1,000,000.
    • The Instrumentation and Facilities Program in the Division of Earth Sciences (EAR/IF) supports meritorious requests for infrastructure that promotes research and education in areas supported by the Division. EAR/IF will consider proposals for the acquisition or upgrade of research equipment that will advance laboratory and field investigations, and student research training opportunities in the Earth Sciences.
  • NSF National Facilities
    • Award Ceiling: N/A
    • The National Facilities program supports the operation of national user facilities: National Facilities are research facilities with specialized instrumentation available to the scientific research community in general and the materials research community in particular. These facilities provide unique research capabilities that can be located at only a few highly specialized laboratories in the Nation. They provide open user services for scientists and engineers from a broad range of disciplines including biology, chemistry, geosciences, materials research, and physics.
  • NSF Major Research Instrumentation (MRI)
    • Award Ceiling: $4,000,000.
    • The MRI Program services to increase access to shared instrumentation for scientific and engineering research and research training. This program especially seeks to improve the quality and expand the scope of research and research training in science and engineering, by supporting proposals for shared instrumentation that fosters the integration of research and education in research-intensive learning environments.
  • NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC)
    • Award Ceiling: $2,000,000-$5,000,000/year for up to 6 years.
    • Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers (MRSEC's) provide sustained support of interdisciplinary materials research and education of the highest quality while addressing fundamental problems in science and engineering. MRSEC's address research of a scope and complexity requiring the scale, synergy, and interdisciplinary provided by a campus-based research center. A MRSEC may be located at a single institution, or may involve multiple institutions in partnership.
  • NSF Oceanographic Facilities and Equipment Support
    • Award Ceiling: Unspecified
    • Oceanographic facilities and equipment awards are made for the procurement, conversion and/or up-grade, enhancement or annual operation of platforms in the ocean, coastal, near-shore and Great Lakes. Awards are generally directed specifically to support facilities that lend themselves to shared used within the broad range of federally-supported research and education programs. Individual project-based facilities and instrumentation, limited to one, or a small group of investigators, should be supported through appropriate research programs, including: Ship Operations, Oceanographic Technical Services, Oceanographic Instrumentation, Shipboard Scientific Support Equipment, Ship Acquisition and Upgrade, Other Facility Activities.
Last Updated: 4/28/21