FIRST Awards

Funded by the National Science Foundation's (NSF) infrastructure grant to Nebraska EPSCoR, the competitive First Award grant program provides assistance to early-career, tenure-track faculty. The grants are designed to help early career faculty initiate their research programs and compete more effectively for NSF CAREER grants. Any project that could be supported by a National Science Foundation competitive research grant is eligible.


To facilitate substantive undergraduate and graduate experience in private industry in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (the STEM fields), Nebraska EPSCoR developed the Nebraska EPSCoR Science & Technology Internship Program (NESTIP) in 2001. 

  • Nebraska EPSCoR shares the cost of student internships at private companies for up to 12 months, paying for up to 50% of the student's salary and related FICA taxes but not more than $5,000 in a 6-month period.
  • NESTIP funds one student per business at a time.
  • Applications are accepted at any time and are selected on a competitive basis as funds for the program are available.

Undergraduates may also apply for summer research experiences connected with current Nebraska EPSCoR projects; for more information, look for Nebraska EPSCoR opportunities with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Summer Research Program.

Undergraduate Research at Small Colleges

Undergraduate students’ participation in research activities increases their interest in pursuing graduate and professional degrees. Nebraska EPSCoR created the Undergraduate Research Experience grant program to provide research experience for selected students in small public and private Nebraska colleges and universities that offer undergraduate degrees related to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The program, funded by an NSF infrastructure grant to Nebraska EPSCoR, is intended to increase the pool of potential students choosing careers in these STEM areas. Faculty members from groups that are underrepresented in the sciences or who are including students from underrepresented groups are particularly encouraged to apply.

A faculty member of any small public or private Nebraska college or university that offers STEM degrees is eligible to submit a proposal (maximum budget: $5,000) for research involving undergraduate students in STEM topics. Allowable budget expenses include stipends for the undergraduate students involved in research, supplies for their research project, and travel expenses to the Nebraska Research and Innovation Conference (sponsored each fall by Nebraska EPSCoR) to present research at the poster session. More information is provided in Proposals and Nebraska EPSCoR on Twitter.