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NSF Releases MRSEC Solicitation

June 11, 1999

The National Science Foundation's (NSF) Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences Division of Materials Research has announced that approximately $22 million will be awarded in FY 2000 for grants to support 10-15 Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers (MRSECs).

Awards are expected to range from $500,000 to $5 million per year and last for up to five years. Proposals from existing centers will compete against new proposals. Selections will be made in September, 2000.

The MSRECs are intended to support interdisiplinary and multidisciplinary materials research and education of the highest quality while addressing fundamental problems in science and engineering that are important to society. They are expected to have strong links to industry and other sectors and to develop a national network of university-based centers in materials research.

MRSECs are supported by NSF to undertake materials research of a scope and complexity that would not be feasible under traditional funding of individual research projects. An MRSEC may encompass one or more interdisciplinary research group (IRG). Each IRG involves several faculty members and associated researchers, addressing a major topic or area in which sustained support is critical to progress.

Eligible applicants are academic institutions in the U.S. with broad research and education programs in the area of condensed matter physics, solid state and materials chemistry, materials science and engineering, and related areas of science and engineering.

Pre-proposals are due September 10, 1999 and are mandatory to be considered for the competition. Only two pre-proposals may be submitted by any one institution. Any one individual may be the principal investigator for only one pre-proposal. NSF will accept full proposals for MRSECs by invitation only, based on the results of the pre-proposal evaluation. Full proposals will be due on January 21, 2000. Principal Investigators will be notified of the results of pre-proposal review on or about November 12, 1999.

Existing MRSECs are located in the following states: Alabama, Arizona, California (4), Colorado, Illinois (2), Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland (2), Massachusetts (3), Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York (4), Pennsylvania (2), Rhode Island, Texas, and Wisconsin. Information regarding MRSECs, including current awards, can be found on the NSF website at http://www.nsf.gov/mps/dmr/mrsec.htm  

Inquiries about the MRSEC program and this solicitation (NSF 99-125) should be directed to one of the program directors: Dr. Carmen Huber at 703/306-1996 or via e-mail at chuber@nsf.gov  or to Dr. Ulrich Strom at 703/306-1832 or via e-mail at ustrom@nsf.gov .