The Department of Defense announced $195 million in Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) awards for the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) competition to 28 research teams pursuing basic research spanning multiple scientific disciplines. These grants will be provided to teams located across 63 U.S. academic institutions for five years each, subject to satisfactory research progress and the availability of funds.
“By supporting teams whose members have diverse sets of expertise, the MURI program acknowledges that the complexities of modern science and engineering challenges often intersect more than one discipline and require creative and diverse approaches to tackle these problems. This cross-fertilization of ideas can accelerate research progress to enable more rapid R&D breakthroughs and hasten the transition of basic research findings to practical application,” said Dr. Bindu Nair, Director, Basic Research Office, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD (R&E). “It is a program that signifies a legacy of scientific impact and remains a cornerstone of the DoD’s basic research portfolio.”
Since its inception in 1985, the tri-Service MURI program has supported teams of investigators with the hope that collective insight from multiple disciplines could facilitate the growth of newly emerging technologies to address the Department’s unique problem sets. The highly-competitive MURI program, which complements the Department’s single-investigator basic research grants, has made immense contributions to both defense and society at large. Notable examples include advances in development of new theories, algorithms, and automated toolsets to speed synthesis of novel energetics for the DoD, including energetics; modeling and tools to understand and predict population migration due to naturally occurring and human-caused events; and development of novel materials with unprecedented optical, thermal, and mechanical properties for a wide array of DoD application. These and other important technological advances from the MURI program have had a significant impact on current and future military capabilities as well as multiple applications in the commercial sector.
For the FY22 competition, the Army Research Office, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Office of Naval Research solicited proposals in 26 topic areas of strategic importance to the Department. From a merit-based review of approximately 340 proposals received, a panel of experts narrowed the proposals to a subset, from which the 28 final awards were selected.