RESEARCH AWARD

Sewing the Seeds of
Scientific Discovery

The Research Award is designed to help faculty start exploring interesting research ideas that would be competitive as a future proposal submitted directly to the National Science Foundation (NSF).

New and established faculty are encouraged to apply.

Seed funding for future NSF success.

KY NSF EPSCoR provides faculty seed-funding for research projects with the goal of enabling future proposal applications submitted to the NSF. Submission of a future research proposal application to the National Science Foundation is an obligation of RA awardees.

Up to
$50,000

Faculty
seed funding

Future NSF
proposal required

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

 

Are RA applications accepted from the University of Kentucky or the University of Louisville?

No, RA applications are not accepted from the University of Kentucky or the University of Louisville. Collaboration with UKY and UofL is encouraged.

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 is the maximum request amount for RA funds?

Maximum request is $50,000 of direct costs. Institutional indirect costs can be added.

What is the maximum funding request for the RA program?

The maximum request is $50,000 of direct costs.  Institutional indirect costs can also be included with the request.

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.

What kinds of costs can be covered by RA awards?

Some examples of requested budget items include: research materials and supplies, student participant support and summer support for off-contract faculty time committed to the proposed research. Other research-enabling financial requests may be proposed within RA applications if sufficiently justified and appropriate.

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

How to Cite Your KY NSF EPSCoR Support

For currently supported work, please reference 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.”

 

For work supported August 2014 to June 2019, be sure your work is recorded as Kentucky NSF EPSCoR-supported, please reference Cooperative Agreement No. 1355438.

Suggested language for the acknowledgement is, “This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement No. 1355438.” 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.

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 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?

What is the Research Award (RA)?

Research Awards provide seed funding to support high-risk, high-impact and transformative research efforts as well as novel education and training enhancements. Synergy and partnership with established researchers and industry will be especially encouraged. Research Awards can be used as seed-funding for faculty research projects or to support new-hire, research-active Kentucky faculty with the goal of enabling future proposal applications submitted to the NSF. Submission of a future research proposal application to the National Science Foundation is an obligation of Research Awardees. NSF MRI applications do NOT meet this requirement. No UK or UofL applications are accepted but collaboration with these institutions is encouraged.

The work supported by a RA must be aligned with KY NSF EPSCoR’s current research themes. Applicants must submit a statement relating proposed work current KY NSF EPSCoR research themes.

The areas of work we can support will be interpreted broadly, but you must be able to show a clear, direct, and convincing connection to our research themes. For RAapplicants, this will require showing how proposed work will directly support the research activities of the main themes: http://kynsfepscor.org/initiatives

Maximum request amount: $50,000

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.

General Terms & Conditions

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

 

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

 

  • 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.

Apply Now

Ready to start your application? Download the application forms to apply for the KY NSF EPSCoR Research Award.

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Have Questions?

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