(OPEN) Limited Submission: Materials Innovation Platforms (MIP)


Materials Innovation Platforms (MIP) is a mid-scale infrastructure program in the Division of Materials Research (DMR) designed to accelerate advances in materials research. MIPs respond to the increasing complexity of materials research that requires close collaboration of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary teams and access to cutting edge tools. These tools in a user facility benefit both a user program and in-house research, which focus on addressing grand challenges of fundamental science and meet national needs. MIPs embrace the paradigm set forth by the Materials Genome Initiative (MGI), which strives to “discover, manufacture, and deploy advanced materials twice as fast, at a fraction of the cost,” and conduct research through iterative “closed-loop” efforts among the areas of materials synthesis/processing, materials characterization, and theory/modeling/simulation. In addition, they are expected to engage the emerging field of data science in materials research. Each MIP is a scientific ecosystem, which includes in-house research scientists, external users and other contributors who, collectively, form a community of practitioners and share tools, codes, samples, data and know-how. The knowledge sharing is designed to strengthen collaborations among scientists and enable them to work in new ways, fostering new modalities of research and education/training, for the purpose of accelerating discovery and development of new materials and novel materials phenomena/properties, as well as fostering their eventual deployment.

The second MIP competition, in 2019, focuses on the convergence of materials research with biological sciences for developing new materials.

Please read the full program announcement linked above before preparing your internal application.

Award Amount

Awards totaling $15,000,000 to $25,000,000 over a five-year period are anticipated. The proposed budget must be commensurate with the scope of the project and thoroughly justified in the proposal. MIP funding is provided yearly. Pending the availability of funds, it is anticipated that $12,000,000 will be available in Fiscal Year 2019.


Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) – Two- and four-year IHEs (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in the US, acting on behalf of their faculty members.

The institutions that were awarded a MIP in the 2015 competition as the lead institution are not eligible to submit a MIP proposal as a lead institution in the 2019 competition.

Individuals may appear as Senior Personnel (Principal Investigator/Project Director, co-PI, and other faculty or equivalent with biographical sketches included in the proposal even though their names may not be listed on the proposal Cover Sheet) on only one MIP proposal.

Proposals submitted in response to this solicitation may not duplicate or be substantially similar to other proposals funded or concurrently under consideration by NSF or to proposals previously declined by NSF and not substantially revised. Proposals not satisfying this condition will be returned without review.

Selection Criteria

  • Vision/Motivation: How well is the proposal motivated by addressing a grand challenge or challenges of fundamental science aligned with national priorities?
  • Convergence/Knowledge Sharing: To what extent will the proposed MIP substantially accelerate materials discovery and development beyond current approaches, through sharing of knowledge (tools, codes, samples, data and know-how)? How effective will the knowledge sharing mechanisms likely be? Does the MIP have a sound plan to take advantage of opportunities that the emerging data science provides?
  • Research: How well is the proposed in-house research focused and targeted to addressing a critical scientific challenge? How well does the proposed research use a tightly closed collaborative loop process with accelerated, iterative feedback among materials synthesis/processing, materials characterization, and theory/modeling/simulation?
  • Infrastructure: To what extent does the proposed MIP meet a critical infrastructure need for the materials community? What is the degree of uniqueness of the proposed key instruments for materials synthesis/processing and materials characterization in the national context? Do the proposed instruments enable new ways of synthesis/processing of complex materials? Are the plans and timelines for equipment acquisition, development, and commissioning well thought out?
  • Facility Operation: Are the plans for the user facility operation (e.g., access modes, user proposal review and selection process, staffing, instrument time/resource allocation, user training, and safety) well thought out? To what extent does the MIP provide access to a diverse group of users (including those under-represented in science and engineering), and from a broad range of academic institutions in the United States (e.g., R1 and non-R1 institutions, minority serving institutions)?
  • Education/Training: To what extent will the proposed platform serve as an educational focal point for training the next generation of instrument developers and users?
  • Knowledge Transfer: To what extent does the proposal include industrial involvement through, for example, sharing instruments, samples and expertise, for commercialization of new instruments and deployment of novel materials?

Limitation Details

An Institution may submit one proposal.

If you are interested in submitting for this program, you must first submit an internal application to limsub@uga.edu according to the required instructions below.

Internal Applications must include the following:

  • A cover page listing
    • The name of this funding opportunity and title of your proposal
    • Your name, UGA position, home department, email, and UGA contact information
    • Collaborator names, positions, and institutions (if any)
  • A (maximum two-page) proposal summary
  • One paragraph describing why this proposal should be UGA’s submission (i.e., why it will be the most competitive for this program)
  • Curriculum vitae

Internal Selection

Limited Submission announcements often generate multiple competing proposals.  UGA reviewers judge proposals as they would in any peer review process, so PIs are urged to put their best foot forward.  Along with typical criteria, reviewers will evaluate internal proposals based on their fit with the sponsor’s articulated goals and criteria.

Internal Submission Instructions

The above internal application materials should be submitted via email as a single .PDF file to limsub@uga.edu by the internal deadline listed above.


Please submit questions regarding the internal competition to limsub@uga.edu.

For questions directly related to this program, please contact the following program officers:

Z Charles Ying

(703) 292-8428


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