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Restructuring of the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) Program Creating New Opportunities for Collaborations and Partnerships in.

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Presentation on theme: "Restructuring of the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) Program Creating New Opportunities for Collaborations and Partnerships in."— Presentation transcript:

1 Restructuring of the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) Program Creating New Opportunities for Collaborations and Partnerships in Materials Research & Education Zakya H. Kafafi, Division Director Janice Hicks, Deputy Division Director Sean L. Jones, Thomas P. Rieker, Z. Charles Ying, Program Directors Division of Materials Research Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences National Science Foundation

2 History of the MRSEC Program 1972 * Establishment of the Division of Materials Research (DMR) * Establishment of Materials Research Laboratories (MRLs) in place of 10 Interdisciplinary Laboratories (IDLs) transferred from ARPA to NSF 1986 Establishment of Materials Research Groups (MRGs) 1994 Establishment of Materials Research and Engineering Center (MRSEC) program in place of MRLs and MRGs 2010 Establishment of Centers of Excellence for Materials Research and Innovation (CEMRIs) and Materials Interdisciplinary Research Teams (MIRTs) in place of MRSECs

3 Current MRSECs 27 current MRSECs, each with one or more interdisciplinary research groups (IRGs) Year Number of Centers1 IRG2 IRGs3 IRGs4 IRGs5 IRGs

4 Future of National Science Foundation Materials Research Centers Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers Program: Looking Back, Moving Forward MRSEC Impact Assessment Committee Solid State Sciences Committee Board on Physics and Astronomy Division of Engineering and Physical Sciences National Research Council of the National Academies

5 MRSEC awards continue to be in great demand and in intense competition, suggesting a strong perceived value within the community MRSEC program has had important impacts of the same high standard of quality as those of other individual- or multi-investigator programs The effectiveness of MRSECs has been reduced in recent years as a result of increasing requirements without a commensurate increase in resources Committee did not observe strong cooperation among discrete centers of the program MRSEC program needs to evolve, in order to successfully meet their objectives in the coming decade 2007 NRC Assessment of the MRSEC Program

6 General Recommendations Increasing mean grant size for MRSEC programs is necessary for fulfillment of mission goals NSF should restructure the MRSEC program to allow more efficient use and leveraging of resources NSF should enable its materials research centers to play a greater role in advancing materials research The new program should fully invest in centers of excellence, as well as in stand-alone teams of researchers with a unified review mechanism

7 Proposed New Structure To respond to changes in the budgetary landscape and changes in materials research in the coming decade, NSF should restructure the MRSEC program to allow more efficient use and leveraging of resources Materials Centers for Excellence (MCEs) * Support several coordinated teams of interdisciplinary research groups, carry out educational and industrial outreach, and support state-of-the-art facilities Materials Research Groups (MRGs) * Support interdisciplinary research groups that do not have separately mandated educational and industrial activities or facilities

8 FY 2011Competition for Materials Research Centers and Teams Centers of Excellence for Materials Research and Innovation (CEMRIs) Materials Interdisciplinary Research Teams (MIRTs) One CEMRI or MIRT proposal per institution Two Types of Awards

9 Materials Interdisciplinary Research Teams (MIRTs) Support single interdisciplinary research groups (IRGs) High-risk, high-payoff, potentially transformative interdisciplinary materials research Focus on integrating research with education (support REU) Have well-thought out strategic diversity plans with measurable metrics No separately mandated educational & industrial activities No separately mandated facilities (support for equipment) Awards: –$0.70M to $1.5M annual budget per team –FY 2011 Budget Request: $10-$12M to support 8-12 awards

10 Centers of Excellence for Materials Research and Innovation (CEMRIs) Consist of several (2-5) coordinated interdisciplinary research groups (IRGs) Carry out educational and industrial outreach activities Support state-of the art experimental and computational facilities Have well-thought out strategic diversity plans with measurable metrics Conduct extensive international collaborations in research and education Awards: –$2M to $5M annual budget per center –FY 2011 Budget Request: $20-$24M to support 8-10 awards

11 Review Process Due Dates for Pre-proposals: September 1 st (CEMRI) and 3 rd (MIRT) Center and Team pre-proposals will be reviewed together by topical panels Full proposals are by invitation only for both Centers and Teams Mail review of full proposals Reverse site visit review for Center proposals

12 Questions ?

13 Please clarify the a limited number of education activities. REU is required, industrial and cooperative interactions are required. Are they counted towards the limited number of education activities? Centers are expected to pursue education outreach activities where they can have impact. It is up to the center to define what they will pursue beyond a Research Experiences for Undergraduates program. Question and Answer

14 A multidisciplinary team requires faculty from different schools/centers to collaborate together. Is there an advantage/disadvantage to submit a proposal through a school/a center on a campus? There is a limit of one CEMRI or MIRT proposal per institution. Use the internal structure that provides the most flexibility and resources across departments and schools. Question and Answer

15 The solicitation calls for development of shared experimental and computational facilities. Does it include the further development of an existing and well-operated shared facility? Yes. Question and Answer

16 MIRT supports experimental and computation instrumentation but this was not explicitly discussed in CEMRI. Will CEMRI support instrumentation? Yes. Question and Answer

17 Are non-Ph.D granting institutions eligible to participate in this MRSEC program? Yes. Question and Answer

18 Can an NSF supported national facility submit a CEMRI or MIRT proposal independent of the managing institution? No. Question and Answer

19 On page 8, item a of NSF Materials Research Centers and Teams the statement is made that Faculty level and equivalent individuals may be participating senior investigators. Can you please define equivalent as it is used in this instance? Might it refer to university staff who are Research Scientists and Research Engineers but who are not on the faculty? Researchers in industry and at national laboratories as well as research faculty that have equivalent positions / experience to tenured (e.g. research associate or full professor) or tenure track (e.g. research associate or assistant professor) faculty can be included as participating senior investigators. Question and Answer

20 I see from the announcement that institutions that were awarded a MRSEC in 2008 are not eligible to be lead institutions for the CEMRI/MIRT competition. My institution was awarded a MRSEC in 2008 in an unrelated area to what we wish to propose. Does this imply that we would be ineligible to submit a proposal as a lead institution even though our proposed research is entirely different from that of the existing MRSEC? Institutions that were awarded a MRSEC in 2008 are not eligible to be lead institutions for the CEMRI/MIRT competition. Question and Answer


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