National Science Foundation
NSF funds multi-year Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) grants in amounts ranging from $4 million to $20 million. EPSCoR states must apply for the awards in a merit-based competition. The National Science Board considers the recommendations of the NSF, reviews proposals and makes the final decision. Nebraska EPSCoR has successfully received NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement awards since 1993; for a history of Nebraska EPSCoR's NSF awards, please visit our History page.
The purpose of an EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement award is to provide support for lasting improvements in a state's academic research infrastructure, as well as increased national competitiveness. EPSCoR support is intended to add specific value to the state's academic infrastructure not generally available through other funding sources. Successful infrastructure improvement plans are likely to be those that include opportunities for enhanced academic R&D competitiveness among a state's universities, including plans for generation of sustained non-EPSCoR support.
Because competitive university research programs need a robust pipeline of quality students, a major component of the RII awards is workforce development through education and outreach. Nebraska EPSCoR has developed several programs to fulfill that aim and encourage participation from those segments of the population that are underrepresented in the STEM fields; for more information, please see our Education & Outreach pages.
A Research Infrastructure Improvement grant does not support individual faculty research projects, although as part of the workforce development component of the awards, Nebraska EPSCoR offers a small grant competition for new faculty, called the First Award, in any area that NSF supports. For more information on First Awards, go here.
Current NSF Awards
RII Track-1: Center for Root and Rhizobiome Innovation (CRRI), 2016-2021
RII Track 2: Imaging and Controlling Ultrafast Dynamics of Atoms, Molecules, and Nanostructure, 2014-17
RII Track 3: Framing the Chemistry Curriculum at Nebraska Tribal Colleges