NSF EPSCoR RII Track-4 2017: EPSCoR Research Fellows - Internal Competition

Solicitation of UM Pre-Proposals for Limited Submission Opportunity
NSF EPSCoR RII Track-4: EPSCoR Research Fellows

Program Solicitation: NSF 17-509


Institutional Limitations: NSF EPSCoR Track-4 fellowships fund junior faculty from EPSCoR RII eligible jurisdictions (including Mississippi) to spend up to six months a research-intensive remote site forming collaborations and accessing resources. UM (Oxford) can submit three proposals. UMMC can also submit three proposals. This announcement applies to UM (Oxford) only.

Purpose: This program provides an opportunity for non-tenured faculty, or those in similar positions, to spend extended periods of time at the nation’s premier research facilities. The fellowship period may be used to initiate new collaborative partnerships, to continue existing ones, or to make use of unique equipment not available at the PI’s home institution. Any research topic within NSF’s traditional portfolio will be considered for support. The fellowship host site may be any academic institution, government laboratory, Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC), or commercial or non-profit research center within the United States or its territories. Host sites are generally expected to be outside of the PI’s home jurisdiction (Mississippi) and located at such a distance from the PI’s home institution (UM) as to make temporary relocation necessary for the fellowship period.

Proposals may focus on any area of science or engineering that NSF supports. All proposals should include motivation and context for the work to be conducted, the PI’s specific plans for the fellowship period, a discussion for how the benefits would be sustained beyond the award period (e.g., by including plans for future proposal submissions), clear specifications of research goals, performance metrics, a project timetable, and an explanation of what specific opportunities will be made possible via the visit(s) to the host site.

PI Limitations: Proposers must be non-tenured UM faculty members. Only single-PI proposals will be considered. No co-PIs should be included, although funds may be requested for an additional trainee-level researcher, such as a graduate student or postdoc in the PI’s research group.

Budget: Each award may not exceed $300,000 over a two-year period, including F&A, which is calculated at 46% of total modified direct costs. Funds may be used to cover: up to six months’ salary and fringe benefits for the PI and one additional trainee-level researcher (including tuition, if appropriate) during the period of their travel fellowships; travel and living expenses for the PI and the trainee-level researcher (up to $50,000 total) during the fellowship period(s); and other research-related expenses (up to $10,000 in direct costs) to be incurred at the host site. For example, a faculty member with a 9-month appointment might propose to conduct research during two summers at a host site with the assistance of a graduate-student trainee. That faculty member could receive salary over each three-month summer period, and the graduate student could receive a stipend, plus they could spend as much as $50,000 collectively on travel to, and living expenses at, the host site for those two summers, plus up to $10,000 in research expenses at the host site. This is just one scenario. See the NSF solicitation for details.

UM Limited Submission Selection Process: To determine which proposals will be developed for UM (Oxford)’s three submissions to NSF, a two-stage selection process will be conducted. For Stage 1, individuals interested in an EPSCoR Fellowship must submit a non-binding 1-page internal Notice of Intent (NOI) to ORSP. If more than three NOIs are received, those assessed to have reasonable potential will be invited to submit a longer Stage 2 internal Pre-Proposal to ORSP. If more than three Stage 2 Pre-Proposals are received, ORSP will coordinate the selection of the winning three pre-proposals, which the proposing PIs will then be invited to develop as full proposals for submission to NSF. If at either Stage (1 or 2) only three viable submissions are received by ORSP, the submitting PIs will each be invited to develop a full proposal to NSF. Both the Stage 1 Notice of Intent, and the Stage 2 Pre-Proposal, should be submitted to ORSP via the Ole Miss InfoReady Review portal at https://olemiss.infoready4.com, by the due dates given below.

Key Dates

10/26/2016     NSF solicitation released
11/3/2016       Early, abbreviated UM announcement issued via UMToday

11/18/2016     This announcement w/competition Instructions issued via UMToday

12/15/2016     Stage 1 Internal Notices of Intent due to ORSP

12/21/2016     Last full day before Christmas/Winter Break

1/3/2017         University reopens

1/6/2017         Stage 2 Internal Pre-Proposals due to ORSP

1/12/2017       ORSP announces which UM Pre-Proposals to move forward

1/30/2017       Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide NSF 17-1 effective.[1]
2/7/2017         Full proposal & Transmittal due to ORSP for review[2]

2/28/2017       Full proposal due to NSF (based on PAPPG 17-1)

Instructions for UM Internal Stage 1 (Notice of Intent)

Stage 1 Notices of Intent (NOI) should be no more than 2 pages long, and include the proposed host site and host collaborator, the opportunities available there, some indication that the PI’s supervisor is aware and supportive, and any other information the applicant deems most relevant at this stage. The Stage 1 NOI is required, but not binding. That is, to move to the Stage 2 competition, a viable Stage-1 NOI must be submitted; however, the Stage-1 NOI does not commit the PI to submit a Stage-2 Pre-Proposal. The NOI should be uploaded to the InfoReady Review Portal.

Instructions for UM Internal Stage 2 (Pre-Proposal)

Stage 2 Pre-Proposals must include the following components, combined into one PDF for upload to the InfoReady Review Portal.

(1)    Project Summary: 1-page NSF-style Project Summary, including working title.

(2)    Abbreviated Project Description: (3-5 pages)

(3)    Preliminary Letter of Support from Primary Research Collaborator (does not have to be the final, complete letter that would be submitted with the proposal to NSF, but should make it clear to UM internal reviewers that the collaborator is willing to host the PI at their institution.)

(4)    Letter of Support from Administrative Supervisor of PI (e.g., Department Chair). This one as well need not be final, but should make it clear that the supervisor thinks the fellowship will only help, and not in anyway hurt, the PI’s career trajectory.

(5)    NSF-Style Biographical Sketch (should be compliant and largely complete)


[2] to allow time for mandatory enhanced reviews by ORSP