Funding Opportunities

We want to fund your science.

Kentucky NSF EPSCoR provides funding support for scientists, educators, and companies across the commonwealth. Discover which of our funding programs is right for you.

Which of our award programs is best for you?


NSF EPSCoR now requires that ALL supported projects be aligned with the current themes of KY NSF EPSCoR research. Applicants must submit a statement relating proposed work current KY NSF EPSCoR research thrusts:

The areas of work KY NSF EPSCoR can support will be interpreted broadly, but applicants must be able to show a clear, direct, and convincing connection to our research thrusts. Extra consideration will be given to projects that more closely align to our annual goals and objectives. *

For RA applicants, this will require showing how proposed work will directly support the research activities of the main thrusts:

For URE and EI proposals, this requires that the students supported will be involved in any of:
a) additive manufacturing of embedded devices,
b) robotics and human-machine interface, or
c) synthetic biology and plant-based materials

All K-12 activities, EOC and M-G awards, the proposed activity must relate to:
a) additive manufacturing
b) sensing,
c) robotics, or
d) plant-based materials

Request for Proposals


Research Award

Faculty seed-funding for new or existing research projects with the goal of enabling future proposal applications submitted to NSF. No UK or UofL applications are accepted but collaboration with these institutions is encouraged.

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Education, Outreach, and Communication

Funding to support STEM education, outreach and communication events and activities. Apply as an individual or an institution.

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EPSCoR Internship

Funding to support internships at science or tech companies with an operating presence in Kentucky.

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Undergraduate Research Experience

Funding for faculty-mentored research projects supporting underrepresented undergrad students in STEM fields.

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Mini-Grants for STEM Outreach

Funding for URM-serving STEM programs to support collaboration, address gaps and overlaps in service, and share exemplary practices. Apply as an individual or an institution.

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Additional Terms & Conditions

KY NSF EPSCoR requires the use of standardized template forms for all sections of submitted proposals. You can download the templates on this page. Applications should be e-mailed as attachments to

In addition to providing individually attached files, also attach one PDF file that merges all the application documents within a single file.

  • Applications to RA, URE, EI, and EOC Programs will be accepted until 11:59PM Friday May 15, 2020. Anticipated award start dates are July 1, 2020.


  • Applications to all programs should include requests for federally-negotiated institutional F&A/indirect costs. Maximum budget request amounts indicated apply to direct costs. F&A costs can be added to these direct cost maximums.


  • Submission of a future research proposal application to the National Science Foundation is an obligation of RA awardees.


  • Funds cannot be awarded for time periods beyond 6/30/2021.


  • Only one application per investigator per program per year is allowed.


  • All awardees and funded participants are obligated to provide reporting about the outcomes of their KY NSF EPSCoR-supported projects.


  • 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 and ethical conduct of research to undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers participating in the proposed research project. KY NSF EPSCoR must receive verification and notification that participants on supported project have received appropriate training consistent with their established institutional policies.


  • Foreign travel can’t be proposed.


  • Any request for computers must receive approval from prior to submission of the proposal, or the proposal will be returned without review.


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

Helpful Links

  • Download proposal templates from our Dropbox folder.


  • All NSF proposals are evaluated through use of two National Science Board approved merit review criteria: Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts. NSF EPSCoR also requires the additional criteria of research alignment to specific objectives of certain programs and activities of KY NSF EPSCoR. Read more about NSF Merit Review Principles here and here.


  • When evaluating proposals, KY NSF EPSCoR reviewers will be asked to consider what the proposers want to do, why they want to do it, how they plan to do it, how they will know if they succeed, and what benefits could accrue if the project is successful. These issues apply both to the technical aspects of the proposal and the way in which the project may make broader contributions. View our rubric here

Have Questions?

Have questions or need more information? Please feel free to contact us anytime at or by phone at 859.257.0351.

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