WASHINGTON–The Department of Defense (DoD) announced plans today to make 32 awards to academic institutions to perform multidisciplinary basic research. The total amount of the awards is expected to be $227 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: 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 2010 competition that ARO, ONR, and AFOSR conducted under the DoD Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) program. The MURI program supports research by teams of investigators that intersect more than one traditional science and engineering discipline in order to accelerate both research progress and transition of research results to application. Most MURI efforts involve researchers from multiple academic institutions and academic departments. Based on the proposals selected in the fiscal 2010 competition, a total of 67 academic institutions are expected to participate in the 32 research efforts.
The 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.
The MURI program is highly competitive. ARO, ONR, and AFOSR solicited proposals in 30 topics important to DoD and received a total of 411 white papers, which were followed by 152 proposals. The awards announced today were selected based on merit review by panels of experts.