NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Program: Track-2 Solicitation

DECEMBER 20, 2019 
(5 p.m. submitter's local time)

JANUARY 24, 2020 
(5 p.m. submitter's local time)




Program Title:
EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Program: Track-2 Focused EPSCoR Collaborations (RII Track-2 FEC)

Anticipated Type of Award:
Cooperative Agreement

Estimated Number of Awards:
5 in FY 2020

Anticipated Funding Amount:
$5,000,000 to $7,500,000
Estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the quality of proposals and availability of funds.

Synopsis of Program:
The Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) is designed to fulfill the mandate of the National Science Foundation (NSF) to promote scientific progress nationwide. A jurisdiction is eligible to participate in EPSCoR programs if its level of NSF research support is equal to or less than 0.75 percent of the total NSF research and related activities budget for the most recent three-year period. Through this program, NSF establishes partnerships with government, higher education, and industry that are designed to effect sustainable improvements in a jurisdiction's research infrastructure, Research and Development (R&D) capacity, and hence, its R&D competitiveness.

RII Track-2 FEC builds inter-jurisdictional collaborative teams of EPSCoR investigators in scientific focus areas consistent with NSF priorities. Projects are investigator-driven and must include researchers from at least two RII- eligible jurisdictions with complementary expertise and resources necessary to tackle those projects, which neither party could address as well or rapidly alone. The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) research and education activities should seek to broaden participation through the strategic inclusion and integration of different types of individuals, institutions, and sectors throughout the project. Proposals must describe a comprehensive and integrated vision to drive discovery and build sustainable STEM capacity that exemplifies diversity of all types (individual, institutional, geographic, and disciplinary). The development of diverse early-career faculty is a critical component of this sustainable STEM capacity. For FY 2020, RII Track-2 FEC proposals are invited on a single topic: "Harnessing the Data Revolution to solve problems of national importance."

A single proposal is submitted for a project. Support for non-lead collaborating organizations should be requested as subawards. Separately submitted collaborative proposals are not allowed. Each participating EPSCoR jurisdiction must have at least one co-PI on the project. Proposals that do not comply with these requirements will be considered not responsive and will be returned without review.

Important Information and Revision Notes:
The following EPSCoR jurisdictions are RII-eligible for the FY 2020 RII Track-2 FEC competition: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, US Virgin Islands, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

  • There is a limit of a single proposal from each submitting organization.
  • Each proposal must have at least one collaborator from an academic institution or organization in a different RII-eligible EPSCoR jurisdiction as a coPrincipal Investigator (co-PI).
  • There must be one co-PI listed on the cover page from each participating jurisdiction. Proposals that depart from these guidelines will be returned without review.
  • For the FY 2020 RII Track-2 FEC competition, all proposals must promote collaborations among researchers in EPSCoR jurisdictions and emphasize the recruitment/development of diverse early career faculty and STEM education and workforce development on the single topic: "Harnessing Big Data to solve problems of national importance."
  • Inclusion of Primarily Undergraduate Institutions and/or Minority Serving Institutions as partners is strongly encouraged.
  • The extent and quality of the inter-jurisdictional collaborations must be clearly articulated.
  • A letter of Intent (LOI) is required for the FY 2020 RII Track-2 FEC competition. LOIs must be submitted by the Authorized Organizational Representative of the submitting organization via FastLane on or before the LOI due date. Any proposal submitted without a prior Letter of Intent will be returned without review.
  • An investigator may serve as Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-PI on only one RII Track-2 award at any given time.
  • Proposals must be submitted as "Submission of a collaborative proposal from one organization" with support for non-lead collaborating organizations requested as subawards (PAPPG Chapter II.D.3.a). Proposals that depart from these guidelines will be returned without review.
  • The project title must begin with "RII Track-2 FEC:" and follow with an informative title in the topic area.
  • Allowable RII Track-2 FEC award amounts depend on the number of participating EPSCoR jurisdictions. If two RII-eligible EPSCoR jurisdictions collaborate on a proposal, the award amount may not exceed $1 million per year. If three or more RII- eligible EPSCoR jurisdictions collaborate on a proposal, the award amount may not exceed $1.5 million per year. In either case, awards are for a maximum of four years.
  • The project team must cooperate with NSF EPSCoR's programmatic evaluation and assessment activities. Awardees are expected to work with EPSCoR and/or its designated entity for centralized project data collection and provide all required data in a timely manner. See Section V.B for corresponding budget requirements. This data collection complements but does not replace individual evaluation and assessment activities. Awardees are still required to fulfill NSF Reporting requirements.
  • Page limits apply. See Section V.
  • At the bottom of the Project Summary, PIs should indicate the Letter of Intent (LOI) number, and the NSF Directorate(s), Division(s), and Program(s) that most closely aligns with the proposal's research focus.
  • No Letter of Collaboration should be included in the Supplementary Documents. See Section V.A.10. A maximum of five letters of support may be included. See Section V.A.10.
  • The list of all organizations and companies involved in the project must include locations.
  • Collaborators and Other Affiliations Information: Proposers should follow the guidance specified in PAPPG Chapter II.C.1.e.

Any proposal submitted in response to this solicitation should be submitted in accordance with the revised NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 19-1), which is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 28, 2019.

This is not a complete list of solicitation details. To view the full solicitation, go to https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2020/nsf20504/nsf20504.pdf or https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=505263.  


Note: This information was accurate when posted on 10/15/19. Individuals are encouraged to visit the NSF website for possible solicitation updates.