On March 28, the Department of Defense (DOD) released the broad agency announcement (BAA) for the fiscal year (FY) 2019 Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI), as part of the larger University Research Initiative (URI) aimed at institutions of higher education. The MURI program remains one of the signature DOD research programs for the university community and stands as the benchmark for building a defense-oriented research capability on campus.
This year’s 24 topics are provided from the Navy, Army, and Air Force basic research offices. Topics include:
Office of Naval Research
1) Fundamental Limits on Information Latency
2) Molecularly Programmable Graphene Architecture
3) Identifying invariances for improved modeling and prediction of oceanographic phenomena
4) Self-Assembly for High Performance Organic Electronics
5) Bio-inspired high-dimension control through models of cephalopod distributed information processing
6) Active Perception and Knowledge Exploitation in Navigation and Spatial Awareness
7) Advanced Analytical and Computational Modeling of Arctic Sea Ice
8) Topology & Advanced Dynamics of Coupled Human/Machine Systems
Army Research Office (ARO)
9) Clearing Your Head: The Glymphatic System and Restorative Effects of Sleep
10) Foundations of Emergent Computation and Self-Organized Adaptation
11) Multi-layer Network Modeling of Plant and Pollen Distribution across Space and Time
12) Near Field Radiative Heat Energy Transfer between Nanostructured Materials
13) Networked Interactions Governing Community Dynamics
14) Prediction and Control in Particulate Systems
15) Reactive and non-Reactive Scattering from Targeted Molecular Quantum States
16) Unified Decision Theory: From Bounded to Unbounded Rationality
Air Force Office of Scientific Research
17) THz Electronics Based on Antiferromagnets
18) Quantum Information Concepts from Tensor Networks and the Holographic Principle
19) 2D Heterostructures for Flexible, Lightweight Electronics and Optoelectronics
20) Feedback Control and Sparse Neural Signals
21) Dissipation Engineering in Open Quantum Systems
22) Group-IV Alloy Synthesis and Materials Properties
23) Neuromorphic Networks for Multifunctional Intelligent Systems
24) Microstructurally-aware Continuum Models for Energetic Materials
As with previous years, topics centered around materials, quantum sciences, and biology/bio-inspired basic research are presented. For FY 2019, the Navy has listed two topics pertaining to the ocean; the Air Force seeks underpinning fundamentals for novel energetic materials; and the Army wants to pursue the understanding of societal impacts on plants as well as population dynamics. Interestingly, many topics across all three Services seek mathematical models and computational approaches to provide theory and understanding to complex physical and biological processes.
DOD encourages faculty to engage with the Research Topic Chiefs assigned to each topic area (see section II.I) through the white paper process to assess the feasibility of proposed topics. Topics listed above describe the focus areas important to each Service and are not meant to restrict the possible directions awarded research could take.
Letters of Intent: Not required. Prospective awardees are encouraged to submit white
papers to minimize the labor and cost associated with the production of detailed full proposals.
Time Line for Submission:
- Questions regarding white papers are due by June 15, 2018
- White papers are due on June 29, 2018 at 11:59 PM ET
- DOD will send notification of initial evaluations of white papers on July 20, 2018
- Questions regarding full proposals are due by October 2, 2018
- Full proposals are due on October 16, 2018 at 11:59 PM ET
- Notification of selection for award will be made on March 1, 2019
- Grants will start on June 1, 2019
Total Funding and Award Size: DOD expects $170 million to be made available, pending out-year appropriations. Individual awards are expected to be $1.25 to $1.5 million per year for a base period of three years, with the option to extend the grant for an additional two years.
Eligibility and Limitations: The competition is open to U.S. institutions of higher education, including DOD institutions of higher education, with degree-granting programs in science, mathematics, or engineering. While industry, DOD laboratories, and foreign universities may not receive funding, DOD encourages universities to collaborate with entities focused on applied and transitional research for potential commercial applications of MURI-funded research.
Sources and Additional Background:
-- Lewis-Burke Associates LLC – March 28, 2018