The Department of Defense announced today 36 awards to academic institutions to perform multi-disciplinary basic research totaling $19.4 million in fiscal 2007 and $207 million over five years.
Awards are subject to the successful completion of negotiations between the academic institutions and DoD research offices that will make the awards including the Army Research Office (ARO), the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR).
The awards are the result of the fiscal 2007 competition that ARO, ONR and AFOSR conducted under the DoD Multi-disciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) program.
The MURI program supports multi-disciplinary research in areas of DoD relevance that intersect more than one traditional science and engineering discipline. A MURI effort typically involves a team of researchers with expertise in a variety of disciplines in order to accelerate both research progress and transition of research results to application.
Based on the proposals selected in the fiscal 2007 competition, 67 U.S. and two Canadian academic institutions are expected to participate in the 36 research efforts. Support for the two Canadian academic institutions will be provided by a Canadian research funding agency.
By supporting multi-disciplinary teams, the MURI program complements other DoD basic research programs that support traditional, single-investigator university research. Typically, MURI awards are larger and longer in duration than traditional awards.
The awards are for up to five years - a three-year base period with a two-year option contingent upon 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 and for associated infrastructure, such as research instrumentation.
The MURI program is highly competitive. ARO, ONR and AFOSR solicited proposals in 29 topics important to DoD and received a total of 129 proposals. The 36 proposals announced today were selected for funding based on merit review by panels of experts in the pertinent science and engineering fields.