MINI-GRANTS

Supporting Collaboration in
STEM Engagement Across Kentucky

We provide support funding for URM-serving individuals and organizations seeking to collaborate, address gaps and overlaps in service, and share exemplary practices for engaging students and citizens in Advanced Manufacturing STEM topics.

STEM for ALL.

Kentucky NSF EPSCoR provides funding to support STEM initiatives and Advanced Manufacturing education across the state.

$1,600
max request

Supports Advanced Manufacturing
Outreach and URM Engagement

A Note About Hosting Events

If you are proposing supporting a conference, workshop, symposium or other similar meeting with an EPSCoR Mini-Grant, please be advised that you will need to disclose within the project description and budget justification of your application:

(1) if there are any other pending or committed sources of financial support for the activity, and if so, identify and differentiate specifically what each source would pay for, and

(2) indicate if you anticipate collecting a registration fee.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 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:

  1. Advance the paradigm for additive manufacturing by developing the tools needed to incorporate electronic function within printed structures.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 is a Mini-Grant (MG)?

Mini-grants are awarded to URM-serving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) focused programs to support collaboration, address gaps and overlaps in service, and share exemplary practices. Mini-grants are a small amount of seed funding and are not intended to fully fund entire projects. The maximum mini-grant award is $1,600.

Why Provide Mini-Grants?

Mini-grants are designed to build collaboration between existing programs and organizations to encourage students to pursue Advanced Manufacturing-related educational programs and careers. Preference is given to applications that are innovative and involve a collaboration between two programs or organizations.

What forms should be submitted with an Annual Award Program 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. Applications should be e-mailed as attachments to epscor@uky.edu.

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

  • Coversheet
  • Project Summary
  • Project Description
  • Budget
  • Budget Justification
  • Biosketch
  • Current & Pending Support
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 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 Grant Proposal Guide (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

In its Grant Proposal 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 the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (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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General Terms & Conditions

  • Application submissions are due 11:59 p.m. ET on 8/31/19. Void where prohibited.

 

  • Applications to all EPSCoR programs can 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.

 

  • Funds cannot be awarded for time periods beyond 6/30/20.

 

  • 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. Awardees may download the reporting documents here: Download Reporting Documents.

 

  • 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 cannot be proposed.

 

  • Requests for computers cannot be proposed.

 

  • 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.

 

  • Please be advised that if awarded, a certification of completion of Responsible Conduct of Research (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.

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Have Questions?

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