EPSCoR Abstracts

Missouri has been awarded Track 1 and Track 2 EPSCoR funding from the National Science Foundation.  To understand a little more about these two incredible opportunities for science and education development in Missouri, below are abstracts for each program:

Track 1:
Missouri Transect: Climate, Plants Community

The proposed project will enhance research in the transect from climate to plants to community. These interconnected areas build on research strengths in Missouri and, more importantly, establish a platform for infrastructure investments to fill critical needs.  As evidenced by the severe drought of 2012 that afflicted Missouri and other areas of the United States, water availability is the most significant environmental limitation on plants, directly and acutely affecting productivity and consequently the broader society. Climate change will cause periods of drought to become progressively more severe and frequent, which will exacerbate plant water usage and deplete soil moisture, resulting in greater risk of future drought and increased economic and societal impacts.

The Missouri Transect project builds on established capabilities in plant sciences, remote sensing and imaging, atmospheric and environmental sciences, economics approaches, and the social sciences to better understand and predict the responses of plants and society to climate change.

Infrastructure investments in people, technology, approaches, and ideas will enable us to better understand, model, and predict (1) short- and long-term trends in temperature and water availability in the state; (2) the impact of these trends on the productivity of our state’s native flora and agricultural crops; and (3) how different stakeholder communities are likely to respond to these changes. In addition to advancing our research capabilities, the proposed research infrastructure investments will enhance our educational efforts to develop and diversify Missouri’s STEM workforce.

Track 2:
Collaborative Research on Plant Stress Response Through Innovations in
Phenomics and Molecular Imaging Technologies

This Arkansas and Missouri Plant Bioimaging Consortium will bring together multiple disciplines (synthetic chemistry, radiochemistry, imaging science, plant biology, bioengineering, computational biology and informatics) and will enable researchers to adapt food, fiber, and fuel crops to meet the challenges of a changing climate and a growing world population.  Research conducted will address the Grand Challenge of understanding the phenotypic consequences of genotypic variation.

Multi-disciplinary teams will work collaboratively on four experimental models (theme projects) to generate new discoveries in plant stress biology and develop bioimaging tools essential to the plant science community. The overarching research theme is to understand how short-term and long-range climate change impacts the resilience and productivity of crop and natural plant ecosystems.

This project will significantly benefit the agriculture-based economies of Arkansas and Missouri. It will generate new tools and discoveries to reduce crop losses to stresses such as drought, salinity, insects and diseases, which together are the single greatest limitation on agricultural yields. Moreover, it will promote diverse and inclusive workforce development practices while training students and creating linkages with private industry through internships and joint seminar series. Lastly, the consortium will promote STEM education by working with industry to develop a new competency model for primary and undergraduate education in emerging biology fields (i.e. bioimaging).

NSF Broader Impacts Training–Registration OPEN!!!

The University of Missouri Broader Impacts Network is pleased to offer a FREE one-day training on Thursday, October 2, 2014 from 8:00 am-3:00 pm on how to fulfill NSF’s Broader Impacts Criterion.


Proposals submitted to the National Science Foundation are evaluated on their intellectual merit and their broader impacts.  Most researchers understand the scientific requirement but sometimes struggle with the societal benefit. High-quality broader impacts plans increase the chance of funding.  Training topics include: What is broader impacts and characteristics of great BI plans, evaluation of BI activities, how to incorporate your state Extension office in your BI plans, and several concurrent sessions focused on specific BI activities.  The final session of the day is a panel of former rotating NSF program officers and panel reviewers who will give the NSF perspective on BI.  The training will not be taped.

Researchers will come away with information on how to address broader impacts more effectively in their next NSF proposal!!!


We are extending the invitation to MU researchers and researchers from outside of our campusRegistration includes lunch, materials, and admittance to the Broader Impacts Resource Fair.  Registration is limited to the first 150 applicants.



Are you interested in participating in the Broader Impacts Resource Fair? Click Here to sign up for table space at our event.

For more information, contact Dr. Sara Vassmer, Assistant Director of the Broader Impacts Network, at VassmerS@missouri.edu.

Missouri EPSCoR Awarded on August 1

On August 1, 2014, The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded Missouri a Track 1 and a Track 2 Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) award.

Six jurisdictions, including Missouri, received the Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) Track 1 awards from NSF.  In Missouri, this five-year $20M award will go to the “Missouri Transect: Climate, Plants and Community” project to study climate variability and its potential agricultural, ecological and social impacts in Missouri.

Missouri formed a consortium with Arkansas for an RII Track 2 awards of $6M, called “Collaborative Research on Plant Stress Response Through Innovations in Phenomics and Molecular Imaging Technologies.” Researchers in Missouri and Arkansas will work together to create an interdisciplinary, state-of-the-art Bioimaging Consortium that will enable researchers to adapt food, fiber, and fuel crops to meet the challenges of a changing climate and a growing world population. Other regional partnerships to receive RII Track 2 awards were Nebraska-Kansas and Louisiana-Mississippi.

Since the press releases published by NSF, Missouri EPSCoR has received more than 99 national and state media placements, most notably, the Associated PressEurekAlertPhys.OrgSt Louis Public Radio and The Kansas City Star.

As of September 2, notable media placements included:

National Placements:
8/4/14                   EurekAlert (#8 most visited science news website and #43 most visited science blog)
8/5/14                   NSF.gov
8/6/14                   NSF.gov
8/6/14                   Phys.org (#27 most visited science news website)
8/6/14                   Associated Press
8/17/14                Topix (#43 most visited news website)
State Placements:
8/5/14                   MU News Bureau
8/5/14                   Missouri S&T
8/5/14                   UM System
8/5/14                   Washington University St Louis
8/5/14                   St Louis Business Journal
8/6/14                   St Louis Public Radio
8/6/14                   Columbia Daily Tribune
8/6/14                   Danforth Center
8/6/14                   St Louis University
8/6/14                   Columbia Missourian    
8/6/14                   St Louis Post-Dispatch  
8/6/14                   The St. Louis American
8/6/14                   The Kansas City Star
8/7/14                   Missouri Business Alert
8/10/14                St Louis News Today
8/11/14                University of Missouri-KC
8/13/14                The Maneater
NOTE: This story also ran in 78 other national and state media outlets
Social Media:
EurekAlert: 437 views
Facebook: St Louis Business Journal (5,109 members)
Facebook: Mizzou Alumni in Kansas City (1,175 members)
Twitter Re-Tweets: 16

2014 NASA-EPSCoR Missouri Research Infrastrucure Development Competion

2014 NASA-EPSCoR Missouri Research Infrastructure Development Competition Announcement

The NASA-EPSCoR Missouri jurisdiction is accepting one-year proposals to improve NASA related research capabilities within the state. Research Infrastructure Development (RID) proposals should focus on building the core strength needed to develop and enhance competitive research and technology development methods and activities for solutions to scientific and technical problems of importance to NASA. Successful proposals will address national research interests as defined by one or more of NASA’s three Mission Directorates, the Office of the Chief Technologist, and/or one or more of NASA’s Field Research Centers and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The selected proposals will also contribute to the overall research infrastructure for science, engineering, and technology capabilities; higher education; and/or economic development in Missouri.

The NASA-EPSCoR Missouri jurisdiction expects to award a total of approximately $125,000 under this solicitation. Individual proposals with funding levels of up to $25,000 are requested.  Actual funding and pertinent dates in this program are dependent upon availability, receipt, and overall amount of funds obtained from NASA EPSCoR during the fall of 2014.  Note that a minimum one-to-one cost share match is required for all funds awarded as a result of this solicitation.  Proposals are limited to one per Principal Investigator.

More information on Notice of Intent, guidelines, proposal submission and contact information is available at 2014 NASA-EPSCoR MO RID Competition Announcement.

Alan T. Waterman Award Nominations 2014

The National Science Foundation is pleased to accept nominations for the 2014 Alan T. Waterman Award. Each year, the Foundation bestows the Waterman Award to recognize the talent, creativity, and influence of a singular young researcher. The award consists of a $1,000,000 grant and a trip for two to Washington, DC, to receive the award.  For details about the Waterman Award’s history, the nomination procedure and the selection criteria please visit http://www.nsf.gov/od/waterman/waterman.jsp. Deadline October 25, 2013.

Nominees are accepted from any field of science or engineering that NSF supports. Nominations must be submitted electronically using NSF’s FastLane system at https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/honawards/index.jsp.

Please direct all inquiries about the award and the nomination procedures to Mayra Montrose (mmontros@nsf.gov).