for Associate Professors in that rank for a minimum of three years by the proposal target date of Monday, February 7, 2022.


RIO's NSF MCA Writing Program Kickoff Workshop
September 30, 2021, 12:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m. (Virtual)

The purpose of the workshop is to begin thinking about your readiness as a PI to submit an NSF MCA award proposal. You will also get a chance to hear from two CU Boulder NSF MCA award winners.

All eligible faculty interested in learning more are invited to watch the recording.

Click Here for the recording of the MCA Kickoff Workshop!


RIO's 2022 NSF Mid-Career Advancement Writing Program (MCA)

Are you considering submitting an NSF Mid-Career Advancement (MCA) award proposal in 2022? Do you feel ready to submit an MCA proposal at this point in your tenure as an Associate Professor? Our 2022 NSF Mid-Career Advancement Writing Program can help get you there.

Led by Research & Innovation Office Proposal Writer Diane Carillo, this program is designed to support your proposal development from start to finish through individual/one-on-one writing and proposal development coaching, optional peer writing groups, and red team reviews. Participants will learn the ins and outs of writing a competitive NSF MCA proposal with the goal of submitting a strong proposal by the target date.

*Attention College of Engineering and Applied Science Faculty: Please note that if you are a faculty member in the College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS), you will work with Molly Riddell, Research Services Program Manager in the CEAS Research Support Office, ( to support the development of your NSF MCA proposal. Eligible Engineering Associate Professors are encouraged to attend RIO’s MCA Kickoff Workshop. Molly will be in attendance. Everyone from Engineering is welcome!

 Click here to join RIO's NSF Mid-Career Advancement Writing Program (MCA)
Register today or no later than Friday, October 15, 2021.

In advance of the program, you can schedule an MCA Conversation with Diane to ask questions, explore ideas and consider your readiness for the program at


NSF Mid-Career Advancement Program (MCA)

NSF solicitation 21-516

An academic career often does not provide the uninterrupted stretches of time necessary for acquiring and building new skills to enhance and advance one's research program. Mid-career scientists in particular are at a critical career stage where they need to advance their research programs to ensure long-term productivity and creativity but are often constrained by service, teaching, or other activities that limit the amount of time devoted to research.
MCA Program Page
New MCA Program Page (under development)

Synopsis of Program:

  • The MCA program offers an opportunity for scientists and engineers at the Associate Professor rank (or equivalent) to substantively enhance and advance their research program through synergistic and mutually beneficial partnerships, typically at an institution other than their home institution. Projects that envision new insights on existing problems or identify new but related problems previously inaccessible without new methodology or expertise from other fields are encouraged.
  • Partners from outside the PI's own sub-discipline or discipline are encouraged, but not required, to enhance interdisciplinary networking and convergence across science and engineering fields.
  • By (re)-investing in mid-career investigators, NSF aims to enable and grow a more diverse scientific workforce (more women, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented minorities) at high academic ranks, who remain engaged and active in cutting-edge research.
  • MCA is the only cross-directorate NSF program specifically aimed at providing protected time and resources to established scientists and engineers targeted at the mid-career (Associate Professor rank or equivalent) stage. PIs are encouraged to discuss the suitability of their MCA proposal with a program officer from the appropriate directorate (see
  • MCA awards provide funds to the PI and include:
    • a total of 6.5 months of salary support to be spent over the course of the entire award (3 years), and
    • $100,000 indirect costs in support of the research and training plan.
    • In addition, a total of one month of summer support for the Partner can be requested (in lieu of summer support for the Partner, other reasonable costs may be considered).
    • The budget should also include funds to cover the cost of attendance of the candidate to a 2-day awardee meeting during the first and final years of the award; costs for one Partner to accompany the PI could be included during the first or last year, but not both.
  • Full Proposal Target Date: Monday, February 7, 2022


 As of February 7, 2022:


NSF MCA Broader Impacts Support


2022 NSF MCA Important Links


Additional MCA Resources