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CMSE Research Funding Opportunity - Internal Competition for Research Groups

The Center for Materials Science and Engineering (CMSE) is starting the important process of assembling research teams for the next competition for an NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) grant.

MRSEC proposals are evaluated primarily on the quality of the Interdisciplinary Research Groups (IRGs) proposed. These groups are composed typically of four to six faculty researchers. The MRSEC program is funded by the Division of Materials Research of the Directorate of Mathematical and Physical Sciences.

IRGs must address fundamental scientific issues. However, a focus on technological applications, especially with industrial collaboration/support, is highly valued. In previous competitions, we were very successful because we proposed research groups that were selected by means of a rigorous internal competition.

We are asking potential groups, including IRGs that are presently funded by the MRSEC, to submit 10 page proposals no later than January 31, 2013. These proposals will be reviewed by experts both inside and outside MIT. Based on these reviews, the CMSE director will decide which groups to include in the NSF proposal.
As we did last time, we will ask the reviewers to evaluate each IRG using the following criteria:

  1. Past research performance: are the faculty investigators "world class"?
  2. Likelihood of important scientific results from proposed research.
  3. Coherence of the group.
  4. Interdisciplinary quality of the group.
  5. Potential technological impact and visibility to industry.

Our intention is to provide some transitional funding to the new IRGs by early 2013 to get them started. If you and your colleagues have ideas for a potential research group, I encourage you to put a proposal together for our internal competition. If you know of others who might be competitive, please encourage them to do so.

The process we have developed for selecting IRGs is arduous for everyone involved, but our success in past MRSEC competitions shows that the hard work pays off. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Prof. Michael Rubner, CMSE director, rubner@mit,edu.

To view guidelines for the proposal, click here.

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