2019 Nevada NSF EPSCoR RII Track-1 Program

Nevada System of Higher Education Announcement

Nevada NSF EPSCoR RII Track-1 Program

Researchers should start forming preliminary teams now!


The Opportunity

Nevada will be eligible to submit a new proposal to the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), Research Infrastructure Improvement Program Track-1 (RII Track-1) program in 2019. NSF limits EPSCoR-eligible states to a single RII Track-1 proposal submission. Therefore, the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) will conduct a pre-proposal competition to assist NSHE in identifying the pre-proposal most likely to result in an award under NSF’s 2019 competition.

NSF EPSCoR RII Track-1 awards

RII Track-1 awards provide up to $4 million per year for up to five years. They are intended to increase the research competitiveness of jurisdictions by improving their academic research infrastructure in areas of science and engineering supported by NSF and critical to the jurisdiction’s science and technology plan. NSF EPSCoR’s website has more details on the Track-1 program, the most recent solicitation, and active awards.

Finalized Theme Requirements

The proposed research theme must be of national importance and have the best potential to improve Nevada’s future research and development competitiveness. As determined by the NSHE Research Affairs Council and the Nevada EPSCoR Advisory Committee, proposed research topics must have these features:

  • alignment with priorities in the 2015 NSHE Science and Technology Plan;
  • alignment with current scientific and engineering grand challenges, either NSF’s Big Research Ideas[1] or NSF-relevant grand challenges put forth by other agencies or entities;
  • topics funded by NSF’s regular programmatic and cross-cutting areas; and
  • leverage the strengths of all NSHE research institutions.

Alignment with NSF’s Big Process Ideas[2] is desirable but not required.

More details on the research theme will be announced in the Request for Pre-Proposals, which will be released in mid-August 2018. Submitted pre-proposals will be peer-reviewed and one pre-proposal will be selected to move forward to full proposal development starting in January 2019. Proposal submission to NSF is expected to be in late July 2019.

What can NSHE researchers do now?

In preparation for submitting a pre-proposal, NSHE researchers should start discussions and form preliminary teams now to develop concepts, research questions, and expected impacts on strategic research topics. Since this is a statewide program, teams should be well represented with researchers from UNLV, UNR, and DRI. Working as an integrated team is essential!

Discussion Forum     Interested in joining or starting a team? Connect with researchers from other institutions through posts on the Discussion Forum.

For more information please contact:  Gayle Dana, Nevada NSF EPSCoR Project Director & State EPSCoR Director; gayle.dana@dri.edu   530-414-3170

Draft Timeline 

Pre-proposal solicitation released mid August 2018
Pre-proposal workshop early September 2018
Letter of Intent due October 1, 2018
Pre-proposals due mid November 2018
External review completed early January 2019
Winning pre-proposal selected early January 2019
Full proposal development begins mid January 2019
Solicitation released by NSF early May 2019*
Proposal due to NSF July 31, 2019*
Notification of Awards Spring 2020
Awards made Summer 2020


[1] NSF’s Big Research Ideas: 1) Harnessing the Data Revolution; 2) The Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier; 3) Navigating the New Arctic; 4) Windows on the Universe: The Era of Multi-Messenger Astrophysics; 5) The Quantum Leap: Leading the Next Quantum Revolution; 6) Understanding the Rules of Life: Predicting Phenotype

[2] NSF’s Big Process Ideas: 1) Mid-scale Research Infrastructure; 2) NSF 2026; 3) Growing Convergence Research; 4) NSF INCLUDES