Federal Program Update and Review

NSF Co-Funding NSF EPSCoR Co-funding awards provide Alabama researchers and institutions another opportunity to obtain federal NSF EPSCoR funds. When a proposal is sent to a NSF directorate and found meritorious, opportunities within NSF exist for support of the project to be jointly funded by the specific NSF Directorate and the NSF EPSCoR office. In 2012, 19 new Co-Funding awards in excess of $5.6M were received by Alabama State University, Auburn University, Birmingham Southern University, J.F. Drake State Technical College, Samford University, University of Alabama, University of Alabama in Huntsville and four individual awards to graduate students. RII Track 1 Proposal Submission In 2013 ALEPSCoR was eligible to submit a new $20M RII Track 1 proposal to NSF EPSCoR in response to the NSF RII Track 1 Request for Proposals (RFP)published in May of 2013. In anticipation of this RFP, ALEPSCoR performed a state-wide selection process to determine the topic and research team for ALEPSCoR’s response to this RFP. The proposal and proposal team selected by ALEPSCoR was: “Expanding Alabama’s Research Capacity in Cyber Security and Cyber Incident Response”, headed up by Dr. Alec Yasinsac, Dean, USA School of Computing. This proposal forms a statewide team that will focus on the high priority research area of Cyber Security and Response. This proposed Alabama Cyber Security and Response Research Team (ACSRRT) leverages both Alabama’s nationally recognized statewide strengths in cyber security education, and its commitment to cyber research, to establish infrastructure with great promise for competitive federal funding success and educational pipelining from kindergarten through postgraduate and into the cyber workforce. The program’s three main goals are to:

  • Expand Alabama’s academic excellence in information assurance into a cyber research infrastructure that will routinely achieve success in attaining competitive research funding
  • Create a kindergarten to workforce pipeline for Alabama students
  • Increase participation of underrepresented groups in all aspects of ACSRRT, from kindergarten to research laboratories, and into the cyber workforce.

In order to achieve these goals, the ACSRRT team will expand Alabama’s existing academic excellence in cyber security into a nationally recognized, integrated, statewide cyber research infrastructure. The crosscutting research objectives include transitioning usable security concepts to practice so that security tools and procedures are not circumvented. We will undertake transformative research in malware analysis, secure software engineering, and innovative testing that will mitigate large classes of threats to computer applications.

RII Track 2 Proposal Submission

On July 16, 2013, it was determined by NSF EPSCoR that Alabama would be eligible to submit a Research Improvement (RII) Track 2 proposal, for up to $2M per year for 3 years. Each Track 2 proposal requires a team of at least two eligible EPSCoR states and each teaming state has to commit to this one Track 2 proposal and no other. ALEPSCoR sent out a Request for Letters of Intent for Track 2 proposals and the ALEPSCoR Steering Committee ranked each submitted proposal. For the proposal to be viable it was necessary to convince the teaming state to sign on to Alabama’s proposal exclusively. After extended negotiations with other State EPSCoR programs, both Alabama and Kentucky committed to a joint Track 2 proposal entitled: “Cybercollaboratory to Reduce Water Resource Vulnerability to Extreme Climate Events in the Southeast.” The Co-Principal Investigators of each state are Dr. Andrew Earnest of the University of Alabama and Dr. Lindell Ormsbee of the University of Kentucky. Work is ongoing on this Track 2 proposal.

DOE EPSCoR In August 2009, Alabama DOE EPSCoR was awarded a DOE EPSCoR Implementation Award entitled, for an initial three years for $1.9M with a matching commitment of $1,1M. The award is located at The University of Alabama and has been extended until August 2013.

USDA EPSCoR The Food and Agricultural Enhancement and EPSCoR Program funded one new research project in Alabama in 2012 for $250K.

NASA EPSCoR Alabama EPSCoR received over $975K of research expenditures while $250K in new grants were funded.

NIH/IDEA (EPSCoR) Alabama is not currently eligible for Institutional Development Award (IDeA) the NIH version of EPSCoR.