The National Science Foundation issued a Dear Colleague Letter – Mid-Scale Research Infrastructure (Mid-Scale RI). This program is an NSF-wide Big Idea designed to address the research community’s growing needs for contemporary research infrastructure to support the advancement of science and engineering research, as well as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education research. Mid-Scale RI will fund the implementation of experimental research capabilities in the mid-scale range (i.e., with a total project cost of between $6 million and $70 million). The overall objective of Mid-Scale RI is to transform scientific and engineering research fields by making available new capabilities, while simultaneously training researchers in the acquisition, implementation, development, design, and/or construction of cutting-edge infrastructure.
Mid-scale research infrastructure has been identified as critical for scientific advances in many research areas. In recognition of this scientific importance, the 2017 American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (AICA) directed NSF to “evaluate the existing and future needs, across all disciplines supported by the foundation, for mid-scale projects” and to “develop a strategy to address the needs identified.” NSF issued a Dear Colleague Letter (NSF 18-0131) and received responses whose execution would require $8 billion to $10 billion in funding for projects in the $20 million to $100 million range. Click here for more information.