The Department of Defense announced today it will issue 27awards to academic institutions to perform multidisciplinary basic research. The program expects to award $191million over five years. The Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) program supports research by teams of investigators who intersect more than one traditional science and engineering discipline in order to accelerate research progress. The awards will be made by the Army Research Office (ARO), the Office of Naval Research (ONR), and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), and are subject to successful negotiation between the institution and DoD.
"MURIs are an important vehicle for engaging the brightest researchers on ideas with major impact for the department," said Zachary J. Lemnios, the assistant secretary of defense for research and engineering. “These projects constitute significant investments in multidisciplinary research with the potential for making rapid progress in cutting-edge science. DoD relies on such programs, in line with our S&T priorities, to pave the way for revolutionary breakthroughs supporting tomorrow’s warfighter.”
The awards are the result of the fiscal 2011 competition that ARO, ONR, and AFOSR conducted under the DoD MURI program. Most MURI efforts involve researchers from multiple academic institutions and academic departments. Based on the proposals selected in the fiscal 2011 competition, a total of 70academic institutions are expected to participate in the 27research efforts.
The highly competitive MURI program complements other DoD basic research programs that support traditional, single-investigator university research by supporting multidisciplinary teams with larger and longer awards. The awards announced today are for a five-year period subject to availability of appropriations and satisfactory research progress. Consequently, MURI awards can provide greater sustained support than single-investigator awards for the education and training of students pursuing advanced degrees in science and engineering fields critical to DoD, as well as for associated infrastructure such as research instrumentation.
Army Research Office, the Office of Naval Research, and the Air ForceOffice of Scientific Research solicited proposals in 25 topics important to DoD and received a total of 332 white papers, which were followed by 113 proposals. The awards announced today were selected based on merit review by a panel of experts.
The list of projects selected for fiscal 2011 funding can be found at: http://www.defense.gov/news/d20110422MURI.pdf .