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Research Initiation (RI) Grants

Grants to Montana IHE Faculty for
Aerospace and Space Exploration Research

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Deadline Date:

10/12/18 5:00 PM MT


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Grants of up to $50,000 to Montana IHE faculty to support science and engineering research related to aerospace and space exploration. Proposals are invited from a range of scientific fields normally funded by NASA.

Research Initiation Grants from the Montana NASA EPSCoR Program are intended to help junior faculty or faculty new to NASA research at Montana institutions develop nationally competitive research programs in fields related to NASA missions. In addition, the awards can assist in Montana's economic development in aerospace-related fields by strengthening existing Montana high-tech companies, seeking new connections between Montana faculty researchers and state industries, and building university research enterprises that will foster "spin-off" startup enterprises.

For NASA EPSCoR Research Initiation proposals, the panel will consider:
1) Scientific/Engineering impact,
2) NASA connection,
3) Feasibility,
4) Broader impacts;
5) Suitability of the proposed research team,
6) Probability of the work resulting in further NASA funding, and Optionally:
i) Montana undergraduate and graduate student impact, and
ii) Economic development/technology transfer impact. While EPSCoR will make sure at least one reviewer on the panel is in your field, most of the reviewers will not be in your field; aim your proposal at the general science/engineering level.

At least one Research Initiation or Montana Space Grant Education Enhancement award will be set aside for smaller Montana campuses. This means any member campus other than MSU-Bozeman and UM-Missoula. The purpose of this reserve fund is to encourage proposals from institutions that might not normally feel competitive against the large research schools. Funding successful seed projects at smaller campuses is a goal of Space Grant and NASA EPSCoR.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 162120

Estimated Size of Grant:

Budget requests are allowed up to $50,000 total.

Term of Contract:

Research Initiation grants are for one year. EPSCoR will to be able to accommodate start dates as early as January 2019 (ending December 2019). Proposals should state the desired start date. Typically, no-cost extensions are allowed up to one year.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Faculty or appropriate professionals at Montana institutions of higher education are eligible to apply. Research Initiation Awards are intended for junior faculty or faculty new to NASA-related research. Faculty who already have substantial off-campus funding or who are already well established members of research groups with substantial off-campus funding are not encouraged to apply, unless working with NASA represents a significant new direction.

Recent recipients of a Research Initiation grant who have not submitted a follow-on proposal directly to NASA are generally not be considered eligible for additional funding. If you have recently (three years) held a NASA EPSCoR Research Initiation Grant, include in your proposal a discussion of your efforts to obtain competitive NASA funding since the original award, including a listing of all proposals submitted to NASA and other agencies, indicating whether declined, pending, or awarded.

Pre-Application Information:

Proposal submission deadline: 5:00 p.m., Friday, October 12th, 2018

It is strongly suggested that faculty make contact with NASA researchers in their field before submitting a proposal to determine and document NASA's interest in the proposed research area. Proposals should include evidence of interest and potential support from NASA, e.g., in a letter(s) of support. The stronger the indicated support, the better the chance of obtaining funding from Montana NASA EPSCoR.

Campus Clearance and Certification:
All investigators are required to advise the appropriate administrator and/or department head on their campus of their plans by submitting a copy of the proposal to them. All proposals must include a campus proposal clearance form complete with signatures including budget approval and certification of non- federal cost share by your campus research office. The form should be an electronic copy attached to the primary submission.

NASA EPSCoR also offers assistance to those who don’t have experience in proposal writing. Assistance includes refining proposal ideas, proposal preparation, and budget planning.

Due to stiff NASA EPSCoR cost share requirements, all RI proposals must still include at least 1:1 non-federal cost share for requested funds. If you have questions on what can or cannot be counted as cost share and/or do not have a grants and contracts office, please contact the office for advice.

Any proposal that is a resubmission of a previously declined MT NASA EPSCoR entry must include a separate page addressing the weaknesses stated in proposal’s review. Only reentries that address previous weaknesses will be reviewed.

For more information about science and engineering fields typically supported by NASA, please refer to:

See the Montana NASA EPSCoR goals here:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Proposals must be uploaded as a single PDF file at:

Chris Harmon, Program Coordinator
(406) 994-4223

Angela Des Jardins, Director
(406) 994-4223

Physical Office Location:
416 Cobleigh Hall
Montana State University

Mailing Address:
PO Box 173835
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Montana