The Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) is designed to fulfill the mandate of the National Science Foundation (NSF) to promote scientific progress nationwide. EPSCoR jurisdictions that are eligible for Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) competitions are listed in the RII Eligibility table, which can be found here. Through this program, NSF establishes partnerships with government, higher education, and industry that are designed to effect sustainable improvements in a jurisdiction's research infrastructure, Research and Development (R&D) capacity, and hence, its R&D competitiveness.
EPSCoR RII Track-4: EPSCoR Research Fellows directly aligns with NSF EPSCoR strategic goal of establishing sustainable Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) professional development pathways that advance workforce development in STEM and effects engagement in STEM at national and global levels. EPSCoR RII Track-4: EPSCoR Research Fellows provides awards to build research capacity in institutions and transform the career trajectories of investigators and further develop their individual research potential through collaborations with investigators from the nations premier private, governmental, or academic research centers. The fellowship provides opportunities to establish strong collaborations through extended or periodic collaborative visits to a selected host site. Through collaborative research activities with the host site, Fellows will be able to learn new techniques, develop new collaborations, advance existing partnerships, benefit from access to unique equipment and facilities, and/or shift their research toward potentially transformative new directions. The experiences gained through the fellowships are intended to have lasting impacts that will enhance the Fellows research trajectories well beyond the award period. The benefits to the Fellows are also expected to improve the research capacity of their institutions and jurisdictions more broadly.
EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Track-4: EPSCoR Research Fellows offers the following two sub-tracks:
1) RII Track-4:NSF and
2) RII Track-4:@NASA
While the two tracks are similar in achieving the same goals, RII Track-4:NSF is open to a broad community and RII Track-4:@NASA focuses on faculty from institutions with high enrollments of students from underrepresented populations in STEM (See Section "IV. Eligibility Information" for more details) to collaborate with researchers at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) research centers. PIs who are eligible for both tracks may apply for only one track per competition cycle.
In both sub-tracks, the RII Track-4 provides opportunities for the participation of one trainee, who must be an undergraduate or graduate student enrolled full-time in an accredited degree program, or a postdoctoral researcher from an EPSCoR jurisdiction. Staff members, such as technicians or lab assistants could be considered as trainees when properly justified.