NSF to Dole Out $200 Million for Facility Upgrades

May 29, 2009

By Tom Ichniowski
A version of this story first appeared in Engineering News-Record

The National Science Foundation is seeking applicants for $200 million in grants to rehabilitate research facilities at academic institutions. The funding is coming from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Letters of intent are due on July 1 and full proposals are due August 24. Universities, colleges, community colleges, research museums, and other research organizations and consortia are eligible to apply. According to the NSF, “funding will be limited to facilities where research and research-training activities focus on NSF-supported fields of science and engineering." The agency says it does not intend to use the money to finance new construction.

The maximum grant per project under the program is $10 million, but the NSF expects to give only a handful of grants in the $5 million and $10 million range. In all, NSF said that it anticipates giving a total of 100 to 120 grants, including about 100 in the $250,000 to $2 million range; six to 10 grants in the $2 million to $5 million range; and three to five grants in the $5 million to $10 million range.

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Beyond renovating research facilities, the NSF says one of its goals is to add or augment "cyber-infrastructure, other than general-purpose computing systems or data storage systems, to create environments that enhance research and integrate research with education."

To learn more about the grants, visit the NSF Academic Research Infrastructure Program site.

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