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Estab­lished Program to Stim­u­late Com­pet­i­tive Research

EPSCoR Investment Strategies

Research Infrastructure Improvement Program

EPSCoR uses three major investment strategies to achieve its goal of improving the R&D competitiveness of researchers and institutions within EPSCoR jurisdictions. To see if you are eligible to apply, view the EPSCoR Criteria for Eligibility.  Read about current opportunities below:

Letter of Intent due date(s) (required) (due by 5 p.m submitter's local time): July 19, 2022

Full Proposal due date(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time): August 22, 2022

RII Track-1 awards provide up to $4 million per year for up to five years. They focus on improving the research competitiveness of jurisdictions by improving their academic research infrastructure in areas of science and engineering that are supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation and are critical to a particular jurisdiction's science and technology initiative or plan. These areas must be identified by the jurisdiction's EPSCoR governing committee as having the best potential to improve the jurisdiction’s future R&D competitiveness. See Solicitation 23-587 for more information.


Letter of Intent due date(s) (required) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time): December 20, 2022

Full Proposal due date(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time): January 24, 2023

RII Track-2 Focused EPSCoR Collaborations (FEC) provides two types of collaborative awards:

  • Up to $1 million per year for up to four years for collaborations between two EPSCoR jurisdictions
  • Up to $1.5 million per year for up to four years to a consortium of three or more EPSCoR jurisdictions.

These awards build interjurisdictional collaborative teams of EPSCoR investigators in scientific focus areas consistent with NSF priorities. Please visit the following links for more information:


Solicitation 22-633

View Track-2 Webinar

Full Proposal due date(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

RII Track-4, NSF: April 11, 2023

RII Track-4 @NASA: April 11, 2023

Track-4 EPSCoR Research Fellows provides opportunities for early career and non-tenured and tenured assistant/associate professor faculty to further develop their individual research potential through extended collaborative visits to the nation's premier private, governmental, or academic research centers. Through these visits, the EPSCoR Research Fellows will be able to learn new techniques, benefit from access to unique equipment and facilities, and shift their research toward transformative new directions. The experience gained through the fellowship is intended to provide a foundation for research collaborations that span the recipient's entire career. These benefits to fellows are also expected, in turn, to enhance the research capacity of their institutions and jurisdictions. See Solicitation 23-535 for more information.

Now available: Frequently Asked Questions for RII Track-4


EPSCoR Research Fellows Informational Webinar
Credit: National Science Foundation
Learn more about the Track-4 Research Fellows Program through this recorded webinar.

The E-RISE RII program supports the incubation of research teams and products in a scientific topical area that links to research priorities identified in the submitting jurisdiction’s approved Science and Technology (S&T) Plan. E-RISE RII invites innovative proposals that will lead to development and implementation of sustainable broad networks of individuals, institutions, and organizations that will transform the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) research capacity and competitiveness in a jurisdiction within the chosen field of research. E-RISE RII projects must be designed to incubate (i) areas of research capacity building within a chosen research topic; (ii) development of a skilled workforce that is relevant to the project and its outcomes; (iii) promotion of diversity, equity, access, and a culture of inclusion of different types of academic institutions (see below) and non-academic sectors (e.g., industry and government); (iv) integration of the research with societal impacts in a timebound manner; and (v) sustainability of a clear pathway towards preserving the resulting research incubator's team and products beyond E-RISE RII funding.

See Solicitation 23-588 for more information.

The E-CORE RII program supports jurisdictions in building capacity in one or more targeted research infrastructure cores that underlie the jurisdiction's research ecosystem. Based on the evidence-based and self-identified need of the jurisdiction, capacity building supported by E-CORE RII may include (but is not limited to) development, enhancement, and/or sustainability of: jurisdiction-wide research administration; research facilities; higher education pathways; STEM education (K-16) pathways; broadening participation; workforce development; national and global partnerships; community engagement and outreach; economic development and use-inspired research; and/or early career research trainee pathways.  E-CORE RII projects must be designed to support the sustainability of the infrastructure core(s) beyond the award period. In E-CORE RII’s support of one or more research infrastructure cores in an EPSCoR-eligible jurisdiction, the program will also support the development and growth of new jurisdictional networks, and the leveraging of existing jurisdictional networks, that can drive demonstrable and sustainable impact to advance the jurisdiction-wide research ecosystem.

Through the fostering of STEM research ecosystems and research capacity pathways across institution types and sectors in a jurisdiction, E-CORE RII aims to support jurisdiction-wide research infrastructure cores based on jurisdictional variability. A jurisdiction’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) research ecosystem encompasses all new and ongoing interactions among its research environment, researchers, stakeholders, and STEM research activities to improve knowledge, or contribute to end-use or societal impacts in the jurisdiction.  

See Solicitation 23-587 for more information.


A bearded man works in a greenhouse
Improving crop resilience for global food security: A research project by Harkamal Walia at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln focuses on ensuring global food security by improving crop resilience.
Research supported by National Science Foundation grant OIA 1736192.
Learn more in the NSF News Release NSF EPSCoR awards new projects to help understand connections between genes and organisms' characteristics.
Date image taken: unknown; date originally posted to NSF Multimedia Gallery: Dec. 13, 2017

Credit: University Communication / University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Co-funding of disciplinary and multidisciplinary research

EPSCoR often co-funds proposals submitted to other NSF programs if the applicant is located in an EPSCoR jurisdiction. The proposals selected for this funding have been merit reviewed and recommended for award, but could not be funded without the combined support of EPSCoR and the co-funding directorates. Co-funding leverages EPSCoR investment and facilitates participation of EPSCoR scientists and engineers in NSF-wide programs and initiatives. 

Workshops and outreach

EPSCoR funds workshops, conferences and other community-based activities to explore opportunities in emerging areas of science and engineering, and to share best practices in strategic planning, diversity, communication, cyberinfrastructure, evaluation and other areas of importance to EPSCoR jurisdictions (See NSF 19-588).

EPSCoR also supports outreach travel that enables NSF staff from all directorates and offices to work with the EPSCoR research community on NSF opportunities, priorities, programs and policies. This travel better acquaints NSF staff with the science and engineering accomplishments, ongoing activities and new directions and opportunities in research and education in EPSCoR jurisdictions.