EPSCOR INTERNSHIP
PROGRAM

Connecting Students with Successful Science
and Tech Companies in Kentucky

The EPSCoR Internship Program supports hands-on learning experiences for Kentucky undergraduate students, while also providing a valuable workforce pipeline to Advanced Manufacturing companies across the commonwealth.

We work to kickstart STEM careers.

KY NSF EPSCoR provides financial support for Kentucky postsecondary undergraduate students to sponsor their internship experience with science and tech companies with an operating presence in Kentucky.

Hands-on
experience

8-week
internship

Focused on
undergrads

Ready to Submit a Proposal?

General Terms & Conditions

  • Application submissions are due no less than 45 days before the start of the internship. Proposals for the 2020/2021 EI Program will be accepted through 11:59 PM EST, Sunday, March 21, 2021. Void where prohibited.

 

  • Funds for the EI program are secured through the end of our grant year, 6/30/2021. Companies may submit a renewal proposal for internships beyond June 30, 2021, these proposals will be subject to the availability of future funds from NSF.

 

  • A suggested internship pay rate is $15 per hour but may need to be adjusted for institutional equity commensurate with applicant experience.  The internship can support up to eight weeks at full-time effort (40 hours per week).

 

  • Interns must identified by the hosting company and be in good standing at an accredited Kentucky institution of higher learning at the time of submission. Undergraduate and Graduate students welcome.

 

  • Only one application per investigator per internship is allowed. Companies may have more than one investigator apply at any time.

 

  • KY NSF EPSCoR requires the use of standardized template forms for all sections of submitted proposals. You can download the EI templates on this page.

 

  • Proposals should by uploaded as a PDF file that merges all the application documents within a single file, an editable budget spreadsheet should also be uploaded (.xlsx files only). A complete proposal for funding includes a cover sheet,  project summary and description of activities planned for each intern, RCR training plan, documentation of current and pending support, PI’s biosketch and participants’ resumes, a projected budget and budget justification.

 

  • All awardees and funded participants are obligated to provide reporting about the outcomes of their KY NSF EPSCoR-supported projects. Awardees may download the reporting documents on our website: kynsfepscor.org/reporting

 

  • Each institution that applies for financial assistance from the KY NSF EPSCoR must have a formal institutional plan to provide appropriate training and oversight in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) for undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers participating in the proposed project. KY NSF EPSCoR must receive verification and notification that participants on supported project have received appropriate training consistent with their established institutional policies.

 

  • Restrictions apply. Foreign travel; Requests for computers; and SWAG items cannot be proposed.

 

  • Any proposal submitted to KY NSF EPSCoR and declined for funding can be modified and resubmitted the next fiscal year (program cycle) but if declined more than once, can’t be submitted again.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are the funds distributed?

Awarded applications to companies not affiliated with the University of Kentucky (UK) will be established as subcontracted awards.  UK-affiliated companies (e.g., ASTeCC, Coldsteam Research Campus, etc.) receiving awards will not be subcontracted; instead, students will be paid directly from the University of Kentucky and will be required to submit biweekly timesheets and complete the necessary paperwork to be added to the UK payroll system.

What is the suggested internship pay rate?

A suggested internship pay rate is $15 per hour, but may need to be adjusted for institutional equity commensurate with applicant experience.

How long can the internship last?

The internship can support up to eight weeks at full-time effort (40 hours per week). The actual hours per week and the specific weeks chosen within the prescribed window are left up to the applicants.

What is the time window in which the internship must occur?

Year 2 funding for EPSCoR Internships is secured for the time frame of July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021. Companies may submit a renewal proposal for internships beyond June 30, 2021, these proposals will be subject to the availability of future funds from NSF.

Most EPSCoR Internships consist of 40-hour workweeks, over an 8 week period during the student’s academic break.

 

 

 

How can I find candidates for my EPSCoR Internship proposal?

The EI application requires that both the company and the student(s) are already known to each other.  If that is not the case, companies are encouraged to reach out to Rosemary Fama at rosemary.fama@uky.edu with specified educational expectations and detailed project descriptions for each requested intern (max 2). 

KY NSF EPSCoR staff will attempt to recruit participants with matching interests so that a complete application can be developed by the application deadline.

A matching of interests cannot be assured and should not be expected.

Do I have to have student participants selected prior to submitting my application?

Yes. All students chosen to receive funding through your project must be identified in your proposal.

What are the reporting obligations of awarded applicants?

All awardees and funded participants are obligated to provide reporting about the outcomes of their KY NSF EPSCoR-supported projects. Awardees may download the reporting documents at http://kynsfepscor.org/reporting

Do student participants have to complete Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training prior to receiving the award?

Yes. The responsible and ethical conduct of research (RCR) is critical for excellence, as well as public trust, in science and engineering. Consequently, education in RCR is considered essential in the preparation of future scientists and engineers. More about NSF’s policy: https://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/rcr.jsp

NSF Statutory Requirement

“The Director shall require that each institution that applies for financial assistance from the Foundation for science and engineering research or education describe in its grant proposal a plan to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research to undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers participating in the proposed research project.”

 

Please be advised that if awarded, a certification of completion of RCR training for all of the aforementioned participants, consistent with the sub-awarded institution’s policies, will need to be provided to KY NSF EPSCoR (jeff.mossey@uky.edu) before a subcontracted award can be fully executed with the University of Kentucky. View UKY’s Policy for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

 

KY NSF EPSCoR Proposal Application Requirements:

 (1) Provide a statement certifying that a RCR training plan for the applying organization is in place. If the applying organization does not have a RCR training plan in place, a statement certifying they will create and implement a RCR training plan in the event they are awarded should be provided. (Training plans are not required to be included in proposals but institutions are advised that they are subject to review, upon request.)

(2) An institution must designate one or more persons to oversee compliance with the RCR training requirement.  Identify these designees by name and provide their contact information.

Do proposing projects have to align to KY NSF EPSCoR research initiatives?

Yes. Applications must include a statement that justifies the proposed project’s alignment to one, or more, of the following research themes and initiatives: http:/kynsfepscor.org/inititatives

  • Advance the paradigm for additive manufacturing by developing the tools needed to incorporate electronic function within printed structures.
  • Exploit enhanced structural electronic capability to develop and demonstrate hardware and adaptive software for autonomous or robotic structures with substantially increased ability to sense their environment and respond to unexpected changes based on sensor.
  • Distribute a proven ecosystem of materials, tools, and software designed to embed sensing, logic, and communication capabilities within structural elements to constituents ranging from large-scale manufacturers to small maker communities.
  • Attract, train, and retain a diverse workforce with specific robotics and advanced manufacturing knowledge and skills to meet industry needs and/or continue to higher levels of educational attainment.

 

What file format should be submitted for proposals?

KY NSF EPSCoR requires the use of standardized template forms for all sections of submitted proposals. Applications should be e-mailed as attachments to epscor@uky.edu. In addition to providing the individually attached files, also attach one PDF file that merges all the application documents within a single file.

What does URM mean?

URM stands for under-represented minority. The Higher Education Act defines the term “minority” as an “American Indian, Alaskan Native, Black (not of Hispanic origin), Hispanic (including persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Central or South American origin), Pacific Islander, or other ethnic group underrepresented in science and engineering.”

KY NSF EPSCoR acknowledges that the representation of certain groups of people in STEM education and employment also differs from their representation in the U.S. population. Women, persons with disabilities, Appalachian and Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds are also included in our working definition of underrepresented groups in STEM. View data from the NSF Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering 2019 Report here.

 

What is the EPSCoR Internship (EI) program?

KY NSF EPSCoR will pay students enrolled at a Kentucky institution for their participation in an internship at a Kentucky company in a science and technology field.  The program requires the participation of the student(s) and a company mentor/supervisor. A suggested internship pay rate is $15 per hour but may need to be adjusted for institutional equity commensurate with applicant experience.  The internship can support up to eight weeks at full-time effort (40 hours per week) and must occur between July 1 and June 30.  The actual hours per week and the specific weeks chosen within the prescribed window are left up to the applicants.

EPSCoR Interns must work on science and technology projects directly impacting KY NSF EPSCoR Advanced Manufacturing Research Initiatives:

1) Develop new sensing modalities designed to be integrated into structural robotic components, along with multi-functional materials required to serve as electronic interconnects and insulators. This theme is focused on developing the materials and fabrication processes needed to embed electronic function into structural components, and involves developing new materials, device configurations, and structural forms for demonstration of basic logic, sensing, and data processing arising from co-printed electronic and structural elements, along with on-board power generation and storage.

2) Explore synthetic biology approaches to yield structural materials with programmable lifetimes, to reduce generation of persistent electronic waste.

3) Fully integrate sensing, logic, and communication into structures using 3D printing and related techniques, and develop a general “toolkit” to allow these structures to take the wide variety of forms needed for robotic systems. This theme creates the printing environment and protocols for structurally-integrated electronics, including approaches to interconnecting devices, data input and output, and appropriate structural responses.

4) Develop enhanced, adaptive software and feedback modes to maximize impact of increased sensing capabilities, and bring collaborative Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs) to the level needed for advanced manufacturing and health care applications. This theme will utilize extensive sensor data from structures made in themes 1, 2, and 3 to create the next generation of Collaborative Human-Machine Interfaces (CHMIs), broadly defined as the intelligent connection between novel multimodal arrays of sensors monitoring users and the environment, and collaborative control decisions and actions taken by machines to assist their human users.

5) Test prototype enhanced robotic systems in manufacturing environments.  This theme focuses on testing structurally-embedded electronic systems and controlling software in real-world applications. Testbeds can include co-robotic part manipulation & assembly, manufacturing of MEMS devices, and machine shop and maintenance environments. Feedback from this task will be essential to optimizing and enhancing components from the other themes.

 

What are Broader Impacts?

Broader Impacts is one of two merit review criteria, along with Intellectual Merit, that the NSF expects proposers to fully address in their proposals. The definitions of the two criteria, as noted in the NSF Proposal and Award Policy Guide ( PAPPG Ch. II Section A), are listed below:

  1. Intellectual Merit: The potential to advance knowledge, and
  2. Broader Impacts: The potential to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired societal outcomes

In its Proposal and Award Policy Guide (Ch. II Section C), the agency now only offers broad guidelines on how researchers can meet the BI requirement and potential social outcomes they can strive to achieve.

Guidance on How Broader Impacts Can Be Accomplished:

  • Through the research itself (i.e., research that has potential to lead to breakthroughs in certain industries or contribute to solutions to societal problems)
  • Through the activities that are directly related to specific research projects (e.g., using the research project as a training ground for students or early-career scientists)
  • Through activities that are supported by, but are complementary to, the project (e.g., running an educational workshop for high school students on your research topic)

Examples of Target Outcomes for Broader Impacts Activities:

  • Full participation of women, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented minorities in STEM
  • Improved STEM education and educator development at any level
  • Increased public scientific literacy and public engagement with science and technology
  • Improved well-being of individuals in society
  • Development of a diverse, globally competitive STEM workforce
  • Increased partnerships between academia, industry, and others
  • Improved national security
  • Increased economic competitiveness of the United States
  • Enhanced infrastructure for research and education

 

What is meant by Intellectual Merit?

Intellectual merit is one of two merit review criteria, along with Broader Impacts, that NSF expects proposers to fully address in their proposals. The definitions of the two criteria, as noted in NSF PAPPG Ch. III Section A, are listed below:

  1. Intellectual Merit: The potential to advance knowledge, and
  2. Broader Impacts: The potential to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired societal outcomes

The Intellectual Merit criterion encompasses the potential to advance knowledge.

 

The following elements should be considered in the review for both criteria:

1. What is the potential for the proposed activity to:

a. Advance knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields (Intellectual Merit); and

b. Benefit society or advance desired societal outcomes (Broader Impacts)?

2. To what extent do the proposed activities suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts?

3. Is the plan for carrying out the proposed activities well-reasoned, well-organized, and based on a sound rationale? Does the plan incorporate a mechanism to assess success?

4. How well qualified is the individual, team, or organization to conduct the proposed activities?

5. Are there adequate resources available to the PI (either at the home organization or through collaborations) to carry out the proposed activities?

How to Cite Your KY NSF EPSCoR Support

For work supported under the KAMPERS project, please reference NSF Cooperative Agreement No. 1849213.

Suggested language for the acknowledgement is, “This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement No. 1849213. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.”

 

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What forms should be submitted with an EI proposal?

KY NSF EPSCoR requires the use of standardized template forms for all sections of submitte proposals. You can download the templates from our dropbox folder. Proposals may be uploaded here

One PDF file that merges all the application documents listed below within a single file, and a copy of the budget spreadsheet (.xlsx extension only)

  • Coversheet
  • Project Summary
  • Project Description
  • Budget
  • Budget Justification
  • Biosketch
  • Current & Pending Support

Apply Now

Ready to start your application? Download the application forms to apply for the EPSCoR Internship program.

Get started ›

Have Questions?

Have questions or need more information? Please feel free to contact us anytime at epscor@uky.edu.