NSF Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)
Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) Track-2 Program
October 7, 2014
NSF EPSCoR is planning a solicitation for RII Track-2: RII Track-2 Focused EPSCoR Collaborations (RII Track-2 FEC) for FY2015. This solicitation is going through the approval process within NSF and is subject to the FY2015 budget. In anticipation of this solicitation, the EPSCoR Missouri Statewide Committee is proactively coordinating selection of one proposal that will be submitted with Missouri serving as the lead collaborator. Any changes to the selection process and timeline described herein, which are based on a webinar conducted by NSF, will be announced after the solicitation is released by NSF. Interested individuals should also regularly check the EPSCoR Missouri website for any revisions and/or updates.
RII Track-2 proposals may only be submitted by consortia of eligible EPSCoR jurisdictions. Principal Investigators/Project Directors of proposed RII Track-2 projects must be affiliated with research universities, agencies, or organizations within the consortia of EPSCoR jurisdictions. Each EPSCoR jurisdiction can submit only one proposal as the lead collaborator. Jurisdictions have no limit for the number of proposals in which they participate as non-lead collaborators.
Each participating jurisdiction in the consortium should be represented by a PI/co-PI. An individual can serve as PI/co-PI on only one RII Track-2 FEC proposal. PIs and co-PIs must be active researchers in the field of the proposed research activities.
Focus areas for RII Track-2 FEC in FY15 are:
- Understanding the Human Brain – NSF’s goal is to enable scientific understanding of the full complexity of the brain, in action and in context, through targeted, cross-disciplinary investments in research, technology, and workforce development. RII Track 2-FEC proposals on Understanding the Brain should focus on one or more thematic areas of the NSF BRAIN Initiative. (http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/brain/)
Example thematic areas
- Multi-scale integration of the Dynamic Activity and Structure of the Brain – elucidate and link dynamics of the brain and neural circuits with brain function, including its real-time physiological, behavioral and cognitive outputs.
- Neurotechnology and Research Infrastructure – create tools to image, sense, record and affect real-time brain function and complex behavior, and develop theories and systems to collect, visualize, analyze, model, store, and distribute BRAIN data.
- Quantitative Theory and Modeling of Brain Function – reveal emergent properties of the brain and provide predictive theoretical frameworks to guide future research
- Brain-Inspired Concepts and Designs – capitalize on insights gained from BRAIN to inspire novel conceptual paradigms and innovative technologies and designs that will benefit society.
- Water-Energy-Food Nexus – The WEF Nexus is a complex, global grand challenge that reflects the interconnectedness and interdependencies among these resources. Proposals in the focus area of the WEF Nexus must present a program that integrates all three elements of the nexus. In all projects, emphasis must be on transformative research that improves fundamental understanding of the underlying dynamics, processes, and interactions between WEF systems. Proposals to apply existing methods or technologies to demonstrate or quantify aspects of the WEF Nexus will not be considered.
Example thematic areas
- Integrated analysis and modeling- develop analytical methods and models to identify critical connections to global and regional energy and water resources that influence food production, investigate relationships among food, water, energy technology options and socioeconomic factors such as population fluxes in urban and rural areas, economic drivers and competing resource demands.
- Advanced materials and technological solutions- development of materials and technologies that can yield economically-relevant improvement in the water-energy-food nexus
- The integrated science behind improvements of feedstock production systems, including aquaculture – the area encompasses improved understanding of the basic processes and interactions that underpin crops, agricultural, and aquaculture techniques that improve water quality, co-production of value-added products that reduce energy intensity and environmental protection across the food production lifecycle. Basic and fundamental research bridging the hydrological, environmental, ecological, geochemical, energy, and engineering sciences is encourages.
- Advanced sensors and analytics – technologies for reliable measurement-based data of water availability, quality, and demand to support food and energy production and deliver relevant land-use and climate scenarios to support decisions related to water and resource allocation. Technologies may include subsurface sensing and characterization, remote sensing, and treatment to toke water quality to specific food and energy production requirements.
Awards are for four years and up to $6 million and are made as Cooperative Agreements. Teams may request up to $500,000 per state annually (maximum $2 million over four years) and award amounts will not exceed $1.5 million annually.
NSF has asked that State EPSCoR Project Directors and Statewide Committees reach out to investigators in their jurisdiction who are capable of submitting or collaborating on a proposal in one of the two focus areas. NSF requires junior faculty involvement and encourages recruitment and development of junior faculty through these awards.
The following is the anticipated NSF timeline.
Early November 2014 Solicitation released
Late January 2015 Proposals due
Early April 2015 Merit review
July 2015 Actions to DGA
August 2015 Award target date
Limited Submission Internal Selection Details
Individuals interested in proposing a RII Track-2 project with their organization serving as the lead collaborator must submit the following as a PDF document to the EPSCoR Missouri Office, firstname.lastname@example.org, no later than 5:00 pm, Monday, November 17, 2014.
- A two-page white paper describing the vision, goals and objectives of the consortium, methods to be employed, expected impacts of the proposed activities, role of each jurisdiction in the project activities, and intellectual merit and broader impacts of the proposed project.
- A list of primary researchers and their institutions from each jurisdiction.
- A two-page CV for the lead investigator from each jurisdiction.
Those interested in responding to this limited submission may want to review the previous solicitation. Principal Investigators from collaborating jurisdictions are strongly recommended to contact their respectively EPSCoR offices for any requirements that they need to meet.