NSF EPSCoR Track-4:NSF: EPSCoR Research Fellows

NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement (R II) Track-4:
EPSCoR Research Fellows (
NSF 22-535)

Solicitation of UM Pre-Proposals for Limited Submission Opportunity

UM may submit up to 4 applications to RII Track-4:NSF

UM is not eligible to submit to RII Track-4:@NASA

NSF EPSCoR Track-4:NSF fellowships fund STEM faculty to conduct extended or periodic visits to the nation’s premier private, governmental, or academic research centers. While at the host site, fellows may learn new techniques, develop new collaborations, advance existing partnerships, access unique facilities, or shift their research toward potentially transformative new directions. The fellowship experiences are intended to have lasting impacts that will enhance the fellows' research trajectories well beyond the award period. The fellowships are also expected to improve the research capacity of the fellows’ institutions and jurisdictions (states) more broadly.

Host Sites: The fellowship host site may be any academic institution, government lab, Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC), or commercial or non-profit research center within the U.S. or its territories. A host site collaborator must provide a letter of support for the application, and should not be the fellow’s prior graduate coordinators or postdoc advisor.

Research Focus: Proposals may focus on any area that NSF supports. All 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: UM tenured or tenure-track Assistant and Associate Professors may compete to be one of UM’s 4 applicants, as may faculty holding long-term (>3 years) appointments outside the tenure track. Funds may be requested for an additional trainee-level researcher (e.g., undergrad or grad student or post doc). If in doubt about your eligibility, submit an internal NOI to initiate an eligibility discussion. UM faculty who submitted Track 4 proposals to NSF in the most recent cycle should sit this competition out; however, those who competed unsuccessfully to be internally selected in a previous go-around are welcome to try again this cycle.

Budget: Each award may not exceed $300K over a 2-year period, including F&A, which is calculated at 26% of total modified direct costs for off-campus UM research projects. See NSF solicitation[1] for details on allowable costs; in short, funds may be used to cover:

  • up to 6 months’ salary and fringe benefits for the PI and (optionally) one additional trainee-level researcher (including tuition, if appropriate) during the entire fellowship;
  • travel to and living expenses at the fellowship site for the PI and trainee;
  • other research-related expenses to be incurred at the host site;
  • up to $10K for related travel expenses for the host site collaborator

UM Limited Submission Process: Prospective applicants should submit a Notice of Intent (NOI), followed by internal Pre-Proposal, via the ORSP InfoReady Review Portal[2]. ORSP Research Development will coordinate selecting 4 finalists to submit to NSF[3]; UM reviewers will score and rank proposals based on these review guidelines. Finalists who do not meet their internal proposal deadlines may have their slot taken and given to an alternate. 

12/15/2022         Updated NSF solicitation 23-535 released
01/30/2023         Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide NSF 23-1 became effective[4];
                           No effective date has been set for PAPPG  NSF 24-1 as of this ORSP announcement[5]

01/02/2024         This announcement issued via UMToday and ORSP Website[6]
Jan 8th & 18th   ORSP Info Sessions. Sign up in the myOleMiss Training Workshops app[7]
01/29/2024         Required, non-binding Internal NOI due to ORSP via InfoReady Review Portal
02/13/2024         Internal Pre-Proposals due to ORSP via InfoReady Review Portal
02/27/2024         ORSP announces which UM Pre-Proposals to move forward
02/28/2024         Selected PIs submit ORSP SPAN form[8]
03/13/2024         Project Summary & Project Description due[9] to ORSP if requesting Enhanced Review
03/29/2024         Unit-level transmittal approvals must be completed
04/02/2024         ORSP RD Target date to submit to NSF (sponsor due date is 04/09/2024)

NOIs include applicant’s name; faculty appointment; department, administrative supervisor; tentative project title, host location, & primary host collaborator; keywords. List NSF Directorate, Division, and Program that most closely aligns with the anticipated proposal's research focus, and provide brief evidence or argument that the proposed research fits that program well. Also, tell whether you’ve spoken with an NSF program officer yet about this proposal (and if so, who).

UM Internal Pre-Proposals must include the following items, combined into one PDF:

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

(2)    Abbreviated Project Description: (5 pages max)

(3)    Preliminary Letter or E-mail of Support from Primary Research Collaborator: should make it clear that the collaborator understands what is being asked of them, and is willing (or, better yet, enthusiastic!) to host the PI at their institution

(4)    Preliminary Letter or E-mail of Support from Administrative Supervisor[10] of PI (e.g., Department Chair). It should confirm how the PI is eligible for this program, and make it clear how the they think the fellowship will help—not hurt—the PI’s UM career

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

UM EPSCoR Research Fellows[11] [12] [13] [14] Ranks (then), Award Amts (YR, Host, NSF award#)

  1. Sasa Kocic, Asst. Professor of Mathematics, $161K (2017, UC Irvine, #1738834)
  2. Ryan Garrick, Asst. Professor of Biology, $110K (2017, Ohio State, #1738817)
  3. Samuel Lisi, Asst. Professor of Mathematics, $190K (2019, Ohio State, #1929176)
  4. Brian Platt, Asst. Professor of Geological Engr., $174K (2019, U. of Minn., #1929145)
  5. Wen Wu, Asst. Prof. of Mechanical Engineering, $173K (2021, Stanford, #2131942)
  6. Ayla Gafni, Asst. Prof. of Mathematics, $210K (2022, UCLA, #2229278)
  7. Vig Sundaresan, Asst. Prof. of Chemistry, $244 (2023, Texas A&M, #2327025)         
  8. Rachel Greenspan, Asst. Prof. of Crim. Just. & Leg. Stud., $163K (2023, Duke, #2327169)


[2] Ole Miss InfoReady Review Portal: https://olemiss.infoready4.com

[6] Any updates to this announcement will be posted at http://research.olemiss.edu/NSFEPSCoRTrack4

[9] Enhanced review is highly recommended to maximize competitiveness for this limited submission

[10] Administrative Supervisor will generally be the department chair. For non-tenure-track positions, the letter should describe the nature of the applicant’s “early-career, career track,” “long-term” appointment.