Murdock Scientific Research Instrumentation Program

The M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust Scientific Instrumentation program supports scientific research in the form of major research instrumentation. It is a limited submission program, interested applicants will submit a letter of inquiry (see below). Principal investigators who submit letters indicating a project with good potential for success will be invited to submit complete proposals. Of these, the two strongest proposals that best align with institutional priorities will be submitted to the Trust.

Program Information

Funding Amount

  • $700,000
    • $600,000 for the equipment
    • $50,000 to attract additional users
    • $50,000 for indirect costs.

Number of Applications

Two (2) applications may be submitted from WSU.

Eligible Groups

Faculty in all colleges and at all campuses are eligible to submit a letter of inquiry and eventual application if requested.


Proposals must support major instrumentation that benefits multiple users, preferably spanning two or more departments and optimally (but not necessarily) more than one school or college. Proposals should highlight four to five core faculty users as well as have in mind the potential for specific secondary users and user groups. An individual with the capacity to lead and coordinate a proposal agrees to serve as the PI on behalf of the core user group; a co-PI may also be identified; the core user group agrees to provide content to support the proposal and participate in a half-day site visit. The PI must commit to the submission timeline as well as to timely reporting back to the Trust.

The instrumentation should be supported by the PI’s department, school, or program and college and be viewed as an institutional priority. Proposals should be scoped in the $1M to $1.2M range for the instrumentation itself.

Mandatory Cost Share

Up to $600,000. The amount budgeted for equipment must be matched by WSU funds on a one-to-one basis.


Funding is intended to support scientific research in the form of major scientific instrumentation. WSU may submit three proposals in a two-year period. For this call, one to two proposals will be selected, one of which must be submitted by 3/4/2024. If a second proposal is chosen, it can be submitted later in the year. Proposal review by the Murdock Trust typically takes five or six months.

Application Process and Instructions

Please submit your materials online at this link by 5:00 PM Monday, March 4, 2024. Proposals are due to the sponsor 5/1/2024, so you will need to have your materials in to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs by 4/24/2024 if given the go‐ahead by the review committee.

Pre-Proposal Submission Materials Required

All of the elements below will be submitted via the linked web form.

  1. Answers to the Murdock letter of inquiry prompts listed below. Questions will be addressed in separate fields in the web form, the questions are listed below so you can prepare responses in advance.
  2. Curriculum vitae for the principal investigator
  3. Letter from Dean confirming support for the application, including space and matching funds.
  4. Matching funds plan:
    1. The proposal group must be able to come up with the minimum 1:1 institutional match on the instrumentation (~$600K in total matching funds). Matching funds typically comprise one-half from the associated school(s)/college(s), and one-half from the associated department(s) — approximately $300K each for the typical proposal. Other distributions are possible. Only proposals with documented matching commitments will be selected.

Murdock Letter of Inquiry Prompts

  • Principal Investigator Details
  • Co-Principal Investigator Details (if applicable)
  • Project Description:
    • Project Title
    • Number of Users
    • Anticipated Date of Application Submission
    • Project Summary (1000 words)
    • Summary of Project Budget including the total project cost and the amount requested (500 words)
    • Description of how the Trust funds will be used, including the cost share (500 words)
    • Additional project information (500 words; optional)


February 8, 2024Request for Proposals announced
March 4, 2024Deadline to submit internal letter of inquiry
March 5 – March 18, 2024Internal review of LOIs
March 19, 2024Applicants notified
April 24, 2024Deadline to submit eREX to ORSO
May 1, 2024Sponsor deadline for submissions

Inquiries and Contact Information

The WSU Office of Foundation Relations serves as the WSU liaison for the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust. The Office of Research supports the OFR.  If you have any questions and/or would like to learn more about the opportunity, the proposal preparation and submission process, please contact Tamara LaFrance in the Office of Foundation Relations at