Funding Opportunity: DOD Releases FY 2014 MURI BAA
Lewis-Burke Associates LLC – August 19, 2013
On August 19, the Department of Defense (DOD) released its fiscal year (FY) 2014 Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for the popular Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) program. MURI is one of DOD’s cornerstone university research programs, supporting basic research projects at the intersection of multiple scientific disciplines in areas of interest to DOD. DOD indicates that it will award a total of up to $250 million for MURI projects in FY 2014. While the BAA was released through the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the Army Research Office (ARO) and Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) also partake in the program. Each of the service branch research offices administers specific topic areas within the BAA (see below). Researchers submit proposals directly to the office responsible for the topic area to which they are responding.
The FY 2014 MURI topics reflect a number of crosscutting priority areas for DOD, including energy, advanced materials, biology and synthetic biology, and computational and information sciences. These areas map with topics recently identified by senior DOD research officials as enduring science and technology priorities despite budget pressure caused by sequestration and other spending reductions. New for FY 2014, DOD stipulates the funding amount and desired team size for each individual topic area rather than providing general guidelines, as was previous practice. Details are included in the complete description of each topic area contained in the full BAA. FY 2014 MURI topic areas by service branch are:
Army Research Office
- Attosecond Electron Dynamics
- Force-Activated Synthetic Biology
- Nonlinear Dynamics of Energy Hypersurfaces Governing Reaction Networks
- Strongly Linked Multiscale Models for Predicting Novel Functional Materials
- Multistep Catalysis
- Innovation in Prokaryotic Evolution
- Ultracold Molecular Ion Reactions
- The Skin-Microbe Interactome
Office of Naval Research
- Understanding Energy Harvesting Mechanisms in Polymer-Based Photovoltaics
- Role of Bidirectional Computation in Visual Scene Analysis
- Exploring the Atomic and Electronic Structure of Materials to Predict Functional Material Properties
- Optical Computing
- Quantum optomechanics
- Air-Sea Interaction and RF Propagation in Maritime Atmospheric Boundary Layers
- Hydrodynamics of Non-traditional Propulsion
Air Force Office of Scientific Research
- Time-resolved quantum dynamics of complex systems
- Computational Foundation of Mathematics and Information
- Transport and Utilization of Energy Using Plasmon-induced Processes
- Design Rules for Biobased and Bioinspired Materials
- Control of Coherent Structures in Plasmas for Reconfigurable Metamaterial-Based Devices
- Multifunctional Quantum Transduction of Photons, Electrons and Phonons
- Control of Light Propagation through Metasurfaces
- Goal-Driven, Multi-Source Algorithms for Complex Resilient Multi-Physics Systems
- Security Theory of Nano-Scale Devices
Letters of Intent: Letters of intent are not required. However, DOD encourages interested researchers to submit white papers to the appropriate program manager in advance of preparing a full proposal. Program managers provide feedback on the extent to which ideas align with current DOD priorities. The deadline for submitting white papers is 4:00 PM EDT on October 15. The BAA states that DOD will provide feedback on white papers by October 29.
Due Dates: As noted above, white papers are due by October 15. For those receiving positive responses to white papers, the deadline for submitting full proposals is December 16, 2013. Full proposals must be submitted electronically through grants.gov. While white papers are not required in order to submit a full proposal, DOD strongly encourages this initial step.
Total Funding and Award Size: DOD anticipates awarding a total of $250 million through this BAA subject to future appropriations. Individual awards range from $1 million-$2.5 million per year, with most awards between $1.25 million and $1.5 million. Awards are for an initial three year period with the possibility of one two year extension. Detailed funding levels for each topic area are in the full BAA.
Eligibility and Limitations: The MURI competition is open to U.S. universities with degree-granting programs in science and engineering. DOD encourages submissions from Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Institutions, but will not set aside any funding specifically for these entities. Teams of researchers from multiple institutions can apply for a topic area, but the proposal must designate one lead institution and one lead investigator from that institution to serve as the primary interface with DOD. Desired team sizes for each topic area are in the full BAA.
Sources and Additional Background:
- The full FY 2014 MURI BAA is available by searching “ONRBAA13-022” at grants.gov.
- For reference, the list of selected projects through the FY 2013 MURI competition is at http://www.defense.gov/news/2013MURITeams.pdf.