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Office of Research and Grant Development

Program Details

NSF/EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) Track 4: EPSCoR Research Fellows NSF 23-535

The Office of the Vice President for Research is conducting a limited submission competition for the EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Track 4: EPSCoR Research Fellows (RII Track-4).

EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Track-4: EPSCoR Research Fellows offers the following two sub-tracks:

1) RII Track-4:NSF and

2) RII Track-4:@NASA

While the two tracks are similar in achieving the same goals, RII Track-4:NSF is open to a broad community and RII Track-4:@NASA focuses on faculty from institutions with high enrollments of students from underrepresented populations in STEM (See Section "IV. Eligibility Information" for more details) to collaborate with researchers at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) research centers.

PIs who are eligible for both tracks may apply for only one track per competition cycle.

In both sub-tracks, the RII Track-4 provides opportunities for the participation of one trainee, who must be an undergraduate or graduate student enrolled full-time in an accredited degree program, or a postdoctoral researcher from an EPSCoR jurisdiction. Staff members, such as technicians or lab assistants could be considered as trainees when properly justified.

For RII Track-4:NSF, USC may submit a maximum of four proposals in response to this solicitation in an RII-eligible jurisdiction.

For RII Track-4:@NASA, USC may submit a maximum of four proposals in response to this solicitation in an RII-eligible jurisdiction.

In the case that the institution is eligible to submit both RII Track-4:NSF and RII Track-4:@NASA proposals, a maximum total of eight proposals, including a maximum of four RII Track-4:NSF proposals and four RII Track-4:@NASA proposals, may be submitted in response to this solicitation.

If more than the maximum allowable proposals are submitted from any single institution, all proposals from that institution are subject to return without review.

The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) is designed to fulfill the mandate of the National Science Foundation (NSF) to promote scientific progress nationwide.

RII Track-4 provides opportunities for non-tenured investigators to further develop their individual research potential through extended collaborative visits to the nation’s premier private, governmental, or academic research centers. Through these visits, EPSCoR Research Fellows will be able to learn new techniques, benefit from access to unique equipment and facilities, and shift their research toward transformative new directions.

The experience gained through the fellowship is intended to provide a foundation for research collaborations that span the recipient’s entire career. These benefits to the Fellows are also expected to in turn enhance the research capacity of their institutions and jurisdictions.

PIs must hold a non-tenured faculty appointment or its close equivalent, either in the form of a not-yet-tenured tenure-track position or a long-term non-tenure-track position. Persons holding transitional (< 3 years) fixed-term postdoctoral appointments are not eligible for this program.

An investigator may serve as PI on only one proposal submitted in response to this solicitation, and only single-PI proposals will be considered. PIs who have received awards under previous RII Track-4 competitions are not eligible.

The internal deadline for this competition will Monday, February 13, 2023. (The NSF deadline is April 11, 2023.)

Interested applicants must submit the following to the internal competition:

• Project Summary (1 page): Provide an overview which briefly describes: the vision and goals of the fellowship project; the role of the host site and its personnel in achieving the project’s vision and goals; a summary of the objectives and methods to be employed; the expected impacts of the proposed activities; and plans for sustaining the project’s impacts beyond the award period. In separate statements provide a succinct summary of the intellectual merit and broader impacts of the project. The summary must also identify the proposed host site and primary research collaborator(s).
• Project Description (2 pages): Provide a brief description of the proposed activities, focusing on how these activities will lead to long-lasting impacts for both your career and USC.
• Letters of Support (2): Provide a letter from your department chair or dean, confirming his/her support of the plans and verifying that you will receive release time from other academic duties to complete the project as proposed; and from the identified primary research collaborator (s) at the host site – confirming support of the proposed collaborative research activities. Proposals without one or both of these letters will not be considered in the internal competition.
• Biosketch: An NSF-formatted biosketch.

Please send the above as a single PDF file to Beth Herron( 5 pm on February 13.

For the full solicitation, see

Office of Research and Grant Development

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