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

National Science Foundation

23 January 2024
United States of America
Research, Development and Innovation

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. NSF EPSCoR eligibility is based on a jurisdiction's recent five-year history of total funds awarded by NSF relative to the Foundation's total research budget for that same period. The current table of eligible jurisdictions is available on the NSF EPSCoR website (see RIIeligibility). Through this program, NSF establishes partnerships with government, higher education, and industry that are designed to affect 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 interjurisdictional collaborative teams of EPSCoR investigators in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) focus areas consistent with the National Science Foundation 2022-2026 Strategic Plan. Projects are investigator-driven and must include researchers from at least two EPSCoR eligible jurisdictions with complementary expertise and resources necessary to address challenges, which neither party could address as well or rapidly independently. RII Track-2 FEC projects have a comprehensive and integrated vision to drive discovery and build sustainable STEM capacity that exemplifies individual, institutional, geographic, and disciplinary diversity. Additionally, the projects’ STEM research and education activities seek to broaden participation through the strategic inclusion and integration of diverse individuals, institutions, and sectors. In addition, NSF EPSCoR recognizes that the development of early-career faculty from backgrounds that are traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields is critical to sustaining and advancing research capacity. The integration and inclusion of Minority-serving Institutions (MSIs), women’s colleges, Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs), and two-year colleges is a critical component of this sustainable STEM capacity. For FY 2023/2024, the topical focus area of RII Track-2 FEC is: “advancing climate change research and resilience capacity to expand opportunities for disproportionately affected communities."


*Who May Submit Proposals: Proposals may only be submitted by the following: - Only jurisdictions that meet the EPSCoReligibilitycriteria and are one of the types of organization listed below may submit proposals to the Research Infrastructure Improvement Program Track-2 (RII Track-2 FEC) competition. Organizations located in RII-eligible jurisdictions:

o Institutions of higher education (PhD-granting and non-PhD-granting), acting on behalf of their faculty members, that are accredited in and have a campus in the United States, its territories or possessions. Distinct academic campuses (e.g., that award their own degrees, have independent administrative structures, admissions policies, alumni associations, etc.) within multi-campus systems qualify as separate submission-eligible institutions. Campuses that plan to submit a proposal through the Sponsored Projects Office of other campuses or organizations should contact NSF to discuss eligibility as early as possible and at least six weeks before submitting such a proposal.

o Not-for-profit, non-degree-granting domestic U.S. organizations, acting on behalf of their employees, that include (but are not limited to) independent museums and science centers, observatories, research laboratories, professional societies, and similar organizations that are directly associated with the Nation's research or educational activities. These organizations must have an independent, permanent administrative organization (e.g., an office of sponsored research) located in the United States, its territories or possessions, and have 501(c)(3) tax status. Proposals may be submitted either as a collaborative from multiple organizations or from one organization with support for collaborators requested as subawards. *Who May Serve as PI: Principal Investigators of proposed RII Track-2 FEC projects must be affiliated and employed by eligible organizations in EPSCoR jurisdictions. Each EPSCoR jurisdiction participating in a proposed project must be represented by a PI or at least one co-PI. The PI and co-PIs must all have research expertise relevant to the focus area of the research being proposed. PIs and Co-PIs on current NSF EPSCoR RII Track-2 FEC awards with end dates (including any No Cost Extensions) beyond October 31, 2023/2024 (for the respective FY2023/2024 competitions) are not eligible to submit proposals as a PI or Co-PI in this competition.

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22 May 2023