NSF EPSCoR Track-2-FEC: Food, Energy, Water, and the Brain

Solicitation of UM Pre-Proposals
for NSF’s EPSCoR Track-2-FEC 2016 Funding Opportunity for Research in
Sustainable Food, Energy, and Water Systems or
Understanding the Brain

E-mail pre-proposals to Jason Hale (jghale@olemiss.edu) by 5 p.m. December 9th.

Institutional Limitations: NSF EPSCoR Track-2 grants fund research collaborations among two or more EPSCoR RII eligible jurisdictions (AL, AK, AR, DE, GU, HI, ID, KS, KY, LA, ME, MS, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, ND, OK, PR, RI, SC, SD, VT, VI, WV, and WY).  A jointly-developed, collaborative proposal that includes researchers/institutions within at least two (or more) of these states will be required.  This is an institutional limited submission, for which UM can submit only one proposal.

PI Limitations: An individual can serve as a PI or co-PI on no more than one proposal to this solicitation (but may participate in multiple internal pre-proposals). Individuals who are serving as PIs or co-PIs on a current EPSCoR award (any track) with an end date later than 10/31/2016 are not eligible to serve as a PI or co-PI on a submission to this solicitation. Each proposal will have one PI, and must identify at least one co-PI from another EPSCoR jurisdiction/state, and should include at least one co-PI from another MRC institution (Jackson State, Mississippi State, or Southern Mississippi).

Budget: The maximum budget request allowed per four year project/proposal is $1.0M annually (for collaborations involving two RII-eligible jurisdictions, or $4M total) or $1.5M annually ($6M total, for collaborations involving 3 or more eligible jurisdictions). Cost sharing is prohibited. Full F&A is in effect.

Key Dates

11/6/2015           NSF solicitation released
11/10/2015        This UM announcement released
11/23/2015        UM Collaboration Pop-Up meeting for those interested in finding collaborators
12/9/2015           UM and UMMC internal pre-proposals due to ORSP
12/17/2015        ORSP announces which UM pre-proposal to move forward
1/11/2016           Required Institutional Letter of Intent due to NSF (from ORSP)
1/20/2016           Full proposal due to ORSP for review
1/25/2016           New NSF Grant Proposal Guide 16-1 goes into effect
2/4/2016              Full proposal due to NSF

For More Information

·       Full Solicitation: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf16511.

·       EPSCoR Track-2 FEC Program Page: http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=505263

Faculty in search of collaborators for this and other opportunities may participate in the UM Collaboration Pop-Up on November 23rd. http://research.olemiss.edu/popupNov2015


Instructions for Pre-Proposals:

Pre-proposals should be 6 pages max, in 11 or 12 point Times New Roman or Arial font, single spaced with one-inch margins, and include the following sections, in order, with these names.

(1)   Project Summary: one-page NSF-style Project Summary of the project, including title and focus.

(2)   Collaborators: one page that lists the proposed collaborating institutions and individuals—the UM PI and up to four co-PIs, including at least one co-PI from another EPSCoR jurisdiction (NSF requirement), and at least one co-PI from another MRC institution. This page should summarize what the specific role/contribution of each proposed collaborating investigator will be, and why each is critical to the project. Must also include the contact information and signatures of the proposed PI and each proposed co-PI. 

(3)   Intellectual Merit: Overarching goal, anticipated objectives, and anticipated contribution to discovery and innovation in the proposal’s focus area.

(4)   Anticipated Outcomes: what kinds of outcomes are anticipated through this collaboration that would not be possible by the investigators working separately, including:

a.     workforce development outcomes

b.     benefits to the jurisdictions, (especially Mississippi), the nation, and society

c.     research capability improvements in the designated focus area

(5)   Early Career Development and Diversity Plan: specific plan for how the project will lead to the recruitment and development of diverse early-career faculty, and how the full diversity of the participating jurisdictions’ resources will be engaged

(6)   Sustainability Plan: the potential of this collaboration, if funded, to become self-sustaining with non-EPSCoR funding from federal, jurisdictional, or private sector sources.

RII Track-2 FEC 2016 proposals must be aligned with one of the following two focus areas:

Understanding the Brain – Enabling scientific understanding of the full complexity of the brain, in action and in context, through targeted, cross-disciplinary investments in research, technology, and workforce development. Proposals should pursue innovative and integrated solutions to advance the ability to predict how collective interactions between brain function and the physical and social environment enable complex behavior. Projects will develop research and infrastructure designed to transform the view of who we are and how we relate to and interact with the ever-changing environment. Efforts may include the work of biologists, physicists, chemists, engineers, computer scientists, and social and behavioral scientists studying humans or other relevant model systems.

Sustainable Food, Energy, and Water Systems – The interaction of water, energy, and food systems represents a complex global challenge. For a solution within any one of these systems to be sustainable, interactions and interdependencies among systems must be considered. Proposals in this focus area should address foundational science and engineering questions related to food, energy, and/or water systems, and may also consider the social, behavioral, and economic sciences that underpin decisions made by individuals, organization, and institutions. In all projects, the emphasis should be on research that improves and potentially transforms fundamental understanding of the underlying dynamics and processes of the interacting water, energy, and food systems.  While it is not necessary for each system to receive equal emphasis in proposed projects, the degree to which interactions are considered will be a factor in review.

2015 Recipients of EPSCoR RII Track-2 FED Awards:

·       The University of Mississippi: Feeding and Powering the World - Capturing Sunlight to Split Water and Generate Fertilizer and Fuels (Nathan Hammer, PI)

·       New Hampshire: Strengthening the scientific basis for making decisions about dams: Multi-scale, coupled-systems research on ecological, social, and economic trade-offs. http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1539071&HistoricalAwards=false

·       University of Kansas: Catalysis for Renewables: Applications, Fundamentals and Technologies

·       Medical University of South Carolina: RII Track-2 FEC: Bridging Cognitive Science and Neuroscience Using Innovative Imaging Technologies

·       University of Rhode Island: RII Track-2 FEC: Innovative, Broadly Accessible Tools for Brain Imaging, Decoding, and Modulation

·       The MIND Research Network:  RII Track-2 FEC: Developmental Chronnecto-Genomics (Dev-CoG): A Next Generation Framework for Quantifying Brain Dynamics and Related Genetic Factors in Childhood

Brown University: RII Track-2 FEC: Low-Cost, Efficient Next-Generation Solar Cells for the Coming Clean Energy Revolution