Dear Colleague Letter: CHE Mid-scale Research Infrastructure Planning Workshops
The target date for proposal submission is January 14, 2022.
Through this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), the NSF Division of Chemistry (CHE) in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) Directorate invites requests to fund workshops addressing critical needs for unique research infrastructure at the national level, with potential to significantly advance chemistry research, broadly defined. With this DCL, members of the academic chemistry research community, broadly defined, are invited to propose conferences that identify specific gaps in existing research infrastructure that are needed to address important chemistry research questions and may/will also impact other disciplines.
The Mid-scale Research Infrastructure program is representative of infrastructure programs intended to provide NSF with agile, Foundation-wide processes to fund research infrastructure capabilities in the mid-scale range between the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI; currently up to $5.2M, including required matching) and Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC) thresholds (currently >$100M). In FY 2020, the NSF released two mid-scale solicitations: Mid-scale RI-1 (NSF 21-505) for design and implementation projects requesting up to $20 million and Mid-scale RI-2 (NSF 21-537) for implementation projects between $20 million and $70 million.
Mid-scale infrastructure projects directly enable advances in fundamental science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in one or more of the research and education domains supported by the NSF. Successful mid-scale proposals emphasize strong scientific merit and must clearly establish that the infrastructure will serve an identified need for a broad research community. Well-developed technical and project management plans are required, as are plans for student training and the involvement of a diverse workforce during the operational phase of a midscale facility.