WASHINGTON—The National Science Foundation, aiming to encourage interdisciplinary research and a more efficient use of expensive equipment in areas relating to biotechnology, is channeling up to $8 million this year into the creation of multi-user research facilities.

The Foundation plans to fund two types of research centers through its new biological centers program. This year 10 to 15 awards averaging $500,000 each are expected to be made for multi-user instrumentation facilities known as "mini-centers." The mini-centers are designed to provide expensive equipment for sharing among departments. Next year the Foundation hopes to make awards of $2 million to $4 million each for larger, multidisciplinary biological research centers.

Proposals for mini-centers are due by April 1; the deadline for the research centers is August 1. For more information, contact NSF's Biological Centers Program, (202) 357-7652.

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