Multidisciplinary Research Program of the University Research Initiative (MURI)

Deadline Details: 

01 Aug 2016: White Papers

15 Nov 2016: Full Proposals

The MURI program supports basic research in science and engineering at U.S. institutions of higher education (hereafter referred to as "universities") that is of potential interest to DoD.

The program is focused on multidisciplinary research efforts where more than one traditional discipline interacts to provide rapid advances in scientific areas of interest to the DoD. As defined in the DoD Financial Management Regulation: basic research is systematic study directed toward greater knowledge or understanding of the fundamental aspects of phenomena and of observable facts without specific applications towards processes or products in mind.
It includes all scientific study and experimentation directed toward increasing fundamental knowledge and understanding in those fields of the physical, engineering, environmental, and life sciences related to long-term national security needs.
It is farsighted high payoff research that provides the basis for technological progress (DoD 7000.14-R, vol. 2B, chap. 5, para. 050201.B). DoD’s basic research program invests broadly in many specific fields to ensure that it has early cognizance of new scientific knowledge. The FY 2017 MURI competition is for the topics listed below. Detailed descriptions of the topics and the Topic Chief for each can be found in Section VIII, entitled, “Specific MURI Topics,” of this FOA. The detailed descriptions are intended to provide the offeror a frame of reference and are not meant to be restrictive to the possible approaches to achieving the goals of the topic and the program. Innovative ideas addressing these research topics are highly encouraged.

White papers and full proposals addressing the following topics should be submitted to the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR):

  • Topic 1 (AFOSR): Foundations of Interactive Protocols for Quantum Computation and Communications
  • Topic 2 (AFOSR): Bioinspired Low-Energy Information Processing
  • Topic 3 (AFOSR): Autonomous Research Systems for Materials Development
  • Topic 4 (AFOSR): Beam/Wave Dynamics in Geometrically Complex Systems with Emitting Boundaries
  • Topic 5 (AFOSR): Atmospheric disturbances at high altitudes
  • Topic 6 (AFOSR): Revolutionary Advances in Computational Quantum Many Body Physics
  • Topic 7 (AFOSR): Melanin: Unique Biopolymers for Functional Precision Nanoscale Materials
  • Topic 8 (AFOSR): Adaptive Oxides for Biomimetic Synapse Design via Modulation of Internal States

White papers and full proposals addressing the following topics should be submitted to the Office of Naval Research (ONR):

  • Topic 9 (ONR): Physics, Chemistry and Mechanics of Polymer Dielectric Breakdown
  • Topic 10 (ONR): Percept formation and scene analysis in echolocating systems
  • Topic 11 (ONR): Phase Change Materials for Photonics
  • Topic 12 (ONR): Event Representation and Episodic Memory
  • Topic 13 (ONR): Nonlinear Phenomena and Interactions Induced by Short and Ultra-Short Pulsed Lasers in the Long-Wave Infrared Regime
  • Topic 14 (ONR): High-Fidelity Simulation Methodologies for Multi-Phase Flows
  • Topic 15 (ONR): Novel Approaches to Modeling Factions and Conflict
  • Topic 16 (ONR): Assuring Composability and Correctness for Intelligent and Learning Systems that Interact with Unstructured Physical Environments

White papers and full proposals addressing the following topics should be submitted to the Army Research Office (ARO):

  • Topic 17 (ARO): Additive 3D Self-Assembly of Responsive Materials
  • Topic 18 (ARO): Anyons in 2D materials and cold Atomic gases
  • Topic 19 (ARO): Characterization of Information Content in Data for Multimodal Data Analysis
  • Topic 20 (ARO): Nutritional and Environmental Effects on the Gut Microbiome and Cognition
  • Topic 21 (ARO): Spectral Decomposition and Control of Strongly Coupled Nonlinear Interacting Systems
  • Topic 22 (ARO): Toward Room Temperature Exciton-Polgritonics
  • Topic 23 (ARO): Cyber Deception through Active Leverage of Adversaries’ Cognition Process

Proposals from a team of university investigators are warranted when the necessary expertise in addressing the multiple facets of the topics may reside in different universities, or in different departments in the same university. By supporting multidisciplinary teams, the program is complementary to other DoD basic research programs that support university research through single-investigator awards. Proposals shall name one Principal Investigator (PI) as the responsible technical point of contact. Similarly, one institution shall be the primary awardee for the purpose of award execution. The PI shall come from the primary institution. The relationship among participating institutions and their respective roles, as well as the apportionment of funds including sub-awards, if any, shall be described in both the proposal text and the budget. 

    For topic 19, proposals are invited that include participation from UK academic institutions (see Section III.2); however, UK participation is not a requirement. In the case of proposals with UK participation, there still should be a single US primary institution and one PI submitting the overall proposal. However, funding for the UK participation will be allocated separately by the UK government.

    Period of Performance. It is anticipated that the awards will be made in the form of grants to universities. The awards will be made at funding levels commensurate with the proposed research and in response to agency missions. Each individual award will be for a three-year base period with one two-year option period to bring the total maximum term of the award to five years. The base and option period, if exercised, will be incrementally funded. 

    Award Amount. The total amount of funding for five years available for grants resulting from this MURI FOA is estimated to be approximately $145 million dollars pending out-year appropriations. MURI awards are contingent on availability of funds, the specific topic, and the scope of the proposed work. Typical annual funding is in the $1.25M to $1.5M range, while funding for collaborative US / UK topics should be discussed with the Topic Chief. The amount of the award and the number of supported researchers should generally not exceed the limit specified for the individual topics in Section VIII.

    Application and Submission Process. The proposal submission process is in two stages. Prospective awardees are encouraged to submit white papers to minimize the labor and cost associated with the production of detailed full proposals that have very little chance of being selected for funding. Based on an assessment of the white papers, the responsible Research Topic Chief will provide informal feedback notification to the prospective awardees to encourage or discourage submission of full proposals. The Research Topic Chief may also on occasion, provide feedback encouraging re-teaming to strengthen a proposal. Initial evaluations of the white papers will be issued on, or about, Monday, 22 Aug 2016.