The Department of Defense announced today that it will issue 23 awards to academic institutions across the country to perform multidisciplinary basic research. The program expects to award $155 million over the next five years. The Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) supports the research of teams of investigators whose backgrounds intersect multiple traditional science and engineering disciplines 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.
“Research funded by the MURI program opens up entirely new areas of scientific inquiry, and builds the foundation for future capabilities that will benefit our joint forces,” said Zachary J. Lemnios, the assistant secretary of defense for research and engineering. “We are also employing new processes to share research results with our industry partners at a much earlier point to accelerate the transition of concepts from research to end-use products.”
The awards are the result of the fiscal 2012 competition that the ARO, ONR and AFOSR conducted under the DoD MURI program. Based on the proposals selected in the fiscal 2012 competition, a total of 63 academic institutions are expected to participate in the 23 research efforts.
The highly competitive MURI program complements DoD basic research programs that support traditional, single-investigator university research. Multidisciplinary University Research Initiatives incentivize research by multidisciplinary teams through larger and longer awards. The awards announced today are for a five-year period, subject to availability of appropriations and satisfactory research progress. Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative awards provide greater sustained support for the education and training of students pursuing advanced degrees in science and engineering fields critical to DoD.
Army Research Office, the Office of Naval Research, and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research solicited proposals in 21 topics and received 251 white papers, which were followed by 78 proposals. The awards announced today were selected based on merit review by a panel of experts.
The list of projects selected for fiscal 2012 funding may be found at http://www.defense.gov/news/2012MURI.pdf .