National Science Foundation

NSF: EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Program: Track-2 (RII Track-2)

Program Summary

The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) is a program designed to fulfill the National Science Foundation's (NSF) mandate to promote scientific progress nationwide. The EPSCoR program is directed at jurisdictions that have historically received lesser amounts of NSF Research and Development (R&D) funding. Thirty-one jurisdictions including twenty-eight states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands, and Guam currently are eligible to participate. Through this program, NSF establishes partnerships with government, higher education, and industry that are designed to effect lasting improvements in a state's or region's research infrastructure, R&D capacity and hence, its national R&D competitiveness.

Research Infrastructure Improvement Program: Track-2 (RII Track-2) awards provide funds in the range of $1.5 to2.0 million per year for up to 3 years to consortia of EPSCoR jurisdictions. The awards promote opportunities for collaborations among EPSCoR jurisdictions in all areas of science, engineering, and education supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF). RII Track-2 proposals must describe a clear, comprehensive, and integrated vision to drive discovery, and train a skilled workforce capable of solving science and engineering challenges of regional, thematic, and national relevance. Proposals should also include a strong rationale for the establishment of the consortium and clearly demonstrate that the consortium is well-positioned to produce results that cannot be obtained by any single partner working independently. The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) research and education activities should broaden participation by different types of institutions, individuals, and sectors in the project.


RII Track-2 proposals may only be submitted by consortia of eligible EPSCoR jurisdictions. No jurisdiction may participate in more than one project (active or proposed). The fiscal agent designated by the EPSCoR steering committee for each jurisdiction within the consortium, acting on behalf that jurisdiction, must submit a separately submitted collaborative proposal.
Principal Investigators/Project Directors of proposed RII Track-2projects must be affiliated with research universities, agencies, or organizations within the consortia of EPSCoR jurisdictions.
Eligible jurisdictions can participate in only one consortium, and can submit only one collaborative proposal.
Selection Procedure
The Regent Institutions (Iowa State University, University of Northern Iowa, and the University of Iowa) have established a review procedure to select the EPSCoR nominee. Applications will be reviewed according to the sponsor’s selection criteria. Potential applicants must submit the following information:
1.  A three page CV for the PI and all major collaborators;
2.  A budget and justification (one page maximum); and
3.  A description of the proposed project (no more than 5 pages). It should have the following elements:
  1. A cover sheet with the project title, your name and department, and the title of the program you are responding to;
  2. Identify PI and qualifications to lead the Track 2 project;
  3. Identify consortia participants and why they are essential for the proposed project; and
  4. Description of project. The RII Track-2 projects must address national challenges in disciplinary or interdisciplinary areas of regional, national, or thematic importance with clear plans for research, workforce development, broadening participation, and sustainability of activities beyond the project period.
  5. The application must additionally address how the following will be incorporated into the project:
    • Add significantly and measurably to research capability in S&T areas of high priority to the consortium as a whole and to member jurisdictions, as appropriate;
    • Engage the full diversity of the consortium's resources in STEM workforce development;
    • Contribute to the consortium's strategy for future research and innovation; and
    • Present a detailed strategy to generate subsequent, sustained non-EPSCoR funding from federal, jurisdictional, or private sector sources.
    • Overall, the RII Track-2 proposal should summarize the coordination and synergy among all of the consortium's participating jurisdictions, and with other NSF investments in each of the jurisdictions. The proposal should define the leveraging role for the proposed NSF EPSCoR RII Track-2 project within the broader context of research infrastructure improvement.
  6. Proposed budget and consortia funding distribution.  Cost share is not allowed, however, institutional commitment is a component of NSF consideration
5.  Please be sure the project is identified on each page and number the pages.

Pre-Proposals will be evaluated based on the criteria and requirements outlined above.  Additional evaluation criteria for NSF are described in the Program Solicitation NSF 13-509.

Send pre-proposal electronically to the following no later than 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 15, 2012:
Leslie Weatherhead
Associate Director, Research Development & Communications
Office of the Vice President for Research
201 Gilmore Hall
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA  52242
(319) 335-2131
The selected nominee will be asked to complete the full application package in accordance with the sponsor's deadline of Wednesday, January 30, 2013.

Date Due to DSP or UIF01/23/2013
Date Due to Sponsor01/30/2013
Required LOI Due DateN/A
Non-Required LOI Due DateN/A
Sponsor URL:

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