NSF EPSCoR Track 4 2020

NSF EPSCoR Track-4 fellowships fund junior faculty to spend up to 6 months at a research-intensive remote site forming collaborations or accessing resources that will have meaningful impacts on their careers. UM can submit only 3 proposals.

Purpose: EPSCoR Fellows spend extended time at the nation’s premier research facilities. The fellowship period may be used to initiate new collaborative partnerships, continue existing ones, or make use of unique equipment not available at the PI’s home institution. 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 U.S. 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 require temporary relocation.

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 PIs must either be non-tenured faculty (pre-tenure tenure-track) or hold an early-career career-track appointment (long-term non-tenure-track) at UM. No co-PIs are allowed, but funds may be requested for an additional trainee-level researcher (e.g., graduate student or postdoc).

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. (Most awards are well under the $300K max). Funds may be used to cover:

  • up to 6 months’ salary and fringe benefits for the PI and one additional trainee-level researcher (including tuition, if appropriate) during the period travel fellowship;
  • travel and living expenses for the PI and the trainee (up to $50K total) during the fellowship period(s);
  • and other research-related expenses (up to $10K) to be incurred at the host site.

For example, a faculty member with a 9-month appointment might propose to conduct research during 2 summers at a host site with the assistance of a graduate student. The faculty could receive salary over each 3-month summer period, and the student could receive a stipend, plus they could spend as much as $50K collectively on travel to/living expenses at the host site for those two summers, plus up to $10K in research expenses at the host site. This is just one scenario. See NSF solicitation for details[1].

UM Limited Submission Process: To be considered for one of UM’s 3 slots, prospective applicants should submit a Notice of Intent (NOI), followed by internal Pre-Proposal, to ORSP via the ORSP InfoReady Review Portal[2], by the dates listed below. ORSP will coordinate the selection the three finalists who will be invited to submit to NSF[3].

12/14/2017                              NSF solicitation released
Jan 2018                                 NSF Webinar on Track 4 (PDF slides)
01/25/2019                              Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide NSF 19-1 effective.[4]

12/02/2019                              This announcement issued via UMToday and ORSP Website[5]
Dec 10/12/16; Jan 03           ORSP Info Sessions. Sign up in myOleMiss Training Workshops app[6].
01/07/2020                              Non-binding Internal NOI due to ORSP InfoReady Review Portal.
01/21/2020                              Internal Pre-Proposals due to ORSP via InfoReady Review Portal.
01/31/2020                              ORSP announces which UM Pre-Proposals to move forward
02/17/2020                              Project Summary & Description to ORSP[7] if requesting Enhanced Review
02/25/2020                              Transmittal should be submitted to ORSP for review & routing
03/10/2020                              Full proposal due to NSF

Non-binding NOIs should include the applicant name, appointment, department, administrative supervisor name, tentative project title & host location, and keywords.

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 (does not have to be the final letter that would be submitted to NSF, but should make it clear that the collaborator is willing to host the PI at their institution.)
  4. Letter or E-mail of Support from Administrative Supervisor[8] of PI (e.g., Department Chair). This one need not be final either, but should make it clear that the supervisor thinks the fellowship will help, and not hurt, the PI’s career.
  5. NSF-Style Biographical Sketch (should be compliant and largely complete)

UM EPSCoR Research Fellows[9], Amounts (start years, NSF award numbers)

  1. Sasa Kocic, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, $161,681 (2017, #1738834)
  2. Ryan Garrick, Assistant Professor of Biology, $110,413 (2017, #1738817)
  3. Samuel Lisi, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, $190,024 (2019, #1929176)
  4. Brian Platt, Assistant Professor of Geology, $174,430 (2019, #1929145)

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

[4] NSF PAPPG 19-1:  https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappg19_1/index.jsp
Note that a new PAPPG is in the works; if its effective data is before 03/10/20, then it will apply here.

[5] Any updates to this announcement will be posted at http://research.olemiss.edu/NSFEPSCoRTrack42020

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

[8] 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.