Funding Opportunities

The Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) was started by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 1978 when Congress authorized the agency to create a new program in response to broad public concerns about the extent of geographical concentration of federal funding of research and development (R&D). Eligibility for EPSCoR participation is limited to those jurisdictions (including states and territories) that have historically received lesser amounts of federal R&D funding and have demonstrated a commitment to develop their research bases and to improve the quality of the science, technology, and engineering research conducted at their universities and colleges.

The success of the NSF EPSCoR program during the 1980s subsequently prompted the creation of EPSCoR and EPSCoR-like programs that currently exist in four other federal agencies: the Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and, the largest of all, the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

During FY 2016, ALEPSCoR was eligible to participate in EPSCoR programs associated with NSF, DOE, and NASA but became ineligible for USDA EPSCoR funding.  In addition, ALEPSCoR is currently ineligible for participation in the EPSCoR program associated with the NIH (known as IDeA: Institutional Development Award).

The following tables are designed to provide a convenient and accessible method of determining funding opportunities available through the EPSCoR program.

(Additional Information on each award can be found by clicking the award title)


Type Name   Description Number of Submissions Allowed Institutions/
Individuals Eligible to Submit Proposals
Most Recent Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Funding Amount Available Deadline for Submission Jurisdictional Status 
Research Infrastructure Improvement Awards (RII) Track 1 Statewide Research Infrastructure Improvement intended to improve research competitiveness of jurisdictions by improving academic research infrastructure in areas of science and engineering critical to the jurisdiction’s science and technology plan 1 submission per jurisdiction (state or territory) only eligible jurisdictions without a current RII Track 1 award may compete up to $4M/yr for up to 5 years Alabama was awarded a NSF Track 1 grant in September 2017
Track 2 Focused EPSCoR Collaborations build interjurisdictional collaborative teams of EPSCoR investigators in scientific focus areas consistent with NSF priorities one submission per eligible organization must include researchers from at least two RII-eligible jurisdictions with complementary expertise and resources; the FY 2019 topid:  “Harnessing the Data Revolution to solve problems of national importance” $1M/yr up to 4 years as collaborative awards between 2 jurisdictions or $1.5M/year up to 4 years for a consortia of three or more EPSCoR jurisdictions   Alabama is participating in several NSF Track 2 awards with lead institutions in other EPSCoR jurisdictions
Track 3 Broadening Participation goal of broadening participation of underrepresented groups  no submission guidelines available underrepresented groups in STEM fields up to $750K for up to 5 years no deadline available Alabama was awarded a NSF Track 3 grant from March 2014 to Feb. 2019
Track 4 Research Fellowships funding for non-tenured investigators to develop their individual research potential through extended collaborative visits to the nation’s premier private, governmental, or academic research centers limit of 3 proposals from each submitting organization non-tenured investigators maximum of $300K for 2 years 3/12/2019, second Tuesday in March, annually Alabama has several ongoing NSF Track 4 awards
Co-Funding of Disciplinary and Multidisciplinary Research Direct submissions to NSF Co-funding are not allowed, it is an internal process using a “fund-if-possible” mechanism for meritorious proposals between NSF Directorates and EPSCoR 
Workshops and Outreach support of workshops, conferences, and other community-based activities designed to explore opportunities in emerging areas of science and engineering as well as share best practices there are no restrictions on the number of submissions, a white paper submitted by the EPSCoR office is required prior to submitting a workshop proposal PI must be from an EPSCoR jurisdiction, no other restrictions or limits generally requests are up to $100K for a project not to exceed one year proposals accepted anytime



Type description Number of Submissions Allowed Institutions/Individuals Eligible to Submit Proposals Most Recent Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Funding Amount Available Deadline for Submission jurisdictional status
Implementation Grants Implementation grants are intended to improve research capability through support of a group of scientists and engineers, including graduate students and post-docs, working on a common scientific theme; graduate student education is required entities with EPSCoR jurisdictions, may include institutions from more than one EPSCoR jurisdiction $2,500,000 per year for an initial period of 3 years, may be competitively renewed for a total of 6 years a pre-proposal was required by Dec. 20, 2018; invited investigators due date March 27, 2019 Alabama has had Implementation grants in the past
State/    National Laboratory Partnership Grants advance fundamental, early-stage energy research collaborations with DOE national laboratories; participation by graduate students and/or post-docs is required.  Junior faculty are encouraged to apply applicants must be located in an EPSCoR jurisdiction; only one LOI is permitted as the lead institution, no limit on the number of LOIs an entity may participate as a team member up to $750K for a max of 3 years Alabama currently has two State Lab Partnership grants
Office of Science Early Career Awards supports the development of individual research programs of outstanding scientists early in their careers and stimulates research careers in the disciplines supported by the DOE Office of Science limited to academic institutions in EPSCoR jurisdictions, meritorious applications may be considered for joint funding between DOE EPSCoR and a DOE Program Area/Office Pre- Application due Feb 6, 2019; Pre-Application Response by March 8, 2019; Applications due April 29, 2019 Alabama currently has three Early Career Awards
DOE Office of Science Annual FOA limited to academic institutions in EPSCoR jurisdictions, meritorious applications may be considered for joint funding between DOE EPSCoR and a DOE Program Area/Office



TYPE Description Number of Submissions Allowed Most Recent Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Funding Amount Available Deadline for Submission JURISDICTION
Research Infrastructure Development Awards (RID) seed funding to enable jurisdictions to develop an academic research enterprise directed toward long-term, self-sustaining, nationally-competitive capabilities in aerospace and aerospace-related research enables jurisdictions to build and strengthen relationships with NASA researchers OR  $125K per year with a 3-year base period, with a potential one-year no cost extension announced every 3-5 years pending funding availability Alabama EPSCoR currently has a active grant in each of these three areas
Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN) Awards solicits topic-specific proposals addressing high-priority NASA research and technology needs up to $750K for a three year performance period announced annually, pending funding availability
EPSCoR International Space Station, or ISS, Flight Opportunity Awards Flight Opportunity Awards $100K for a three-year performance period announced yearly, pending funding availability