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Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI)

Canadian University Participation in the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) MURI

Defence R&D Canada (DRDC) is introducing a pilot program to assist Canadian universities in collaborating with U.S. universities in a Department of Defence (DoD) multidisciplinary initiative. Under its University Research Initiative (URI), DoD has a Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) program, where a United States University is funded as a lead university in the MURI program. All topic areas of research are multidisciplinary in nature and relate to a technology area of interest to DoD agencies - the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the Army Research Office (ARO), and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR).

Program Description

The Multidisciplinary Research Program is a multi-agency DoD program that supports research teams whose efforts intersect more than one traditional science and engineering discipline. Multidisciplinary team effort can accelerate research progress in areas particularly suited to this approach. Multidisciplinary research also can help to hasten the transition of research findings to practical application.


MURI awards are made in research topics specified by the participating defense agencies of the DoD, each year that the MURI program is in force. Specified topics change each year (see details of the 2002/3 topics below). Awards to U.S. universities are typically for a period of three years (funded incrementally or as options) with two additional years possible as options to bring the total award to five-years. Award funding levels range from half a million to about a million U.S. dollars per year, with the size of the award dependent upon the topic, technical goals, and availability of appropriations.

Canadian Participation

In the DoD MURI announcement for 2003/4, the following message has been given to U.S. universities. "This year the Canadian government, through the Defense Research and Development Canada, has expressed an interest in encouraging collaboration between Canadian researchers and U.S. researchers on the MURI program in research areas of mutual interest. Canadian university researchers, since they are not eligible to receive MURI funds, will be using their own resources that, most likely, will be provided by Canadian government granting agencies. Potential proposers are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to collaborate and team with Canadian researchers at no additional cost to DoD if there is suitable expertise that can enhance and strengthen the MURI project."

Canadian University Funding for MURI

Canadian university researchers who wish to participate in MURI are encouraged to seek support through the regular programs of the Canadian Granting Councils. In the light of the MURI technology topic areas, NSERC research funding programs are likely to be the main funding match for MURI (see the NSERC website for information regarding funding opportunities at NSERC). For 2003-2004, some MURI projects have a biotechnology component; this area is also funded by CIHR (see the website).

Canadian Universities

Canadian university researchers are encouraged to view the 2003/4 MURI program announcement to determine whether they have expertise in the current year MURI technology topic areas. Canadian university researchers interested in MURI participation should contact their counterparts at U.S. universities to develop proposals as appropriate. For information on U.S. universities that have been awarded MURI grants in the past see the following websites:

MURI 2003 awards
MURI 2002 awards
MURI 2001 awards

For further information regarding Canadian participation in the MURI program, please contact:

DRDC MURI Helpline

Phone: (613) 992-0781

Last Updated: 2003-08-07 Top Important Notices