Boise State hydrologist lauded for research excellence
A Boise State University hydrologist is the recipient of the 2022 Jean’ne M. Shreeve National Science Foundation (NSF) Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Research Excellence Award. James McNamara, a professor in Boise State’s Department of Geosciences, received the award during October’s 2022 Idaho NSF EPSCoR meeting in Boise.
The award recognizes the accomplishments of faculty members at Boise State University, Idaho State University, University of Idaho and other state institutions of higher education who have been active participants in the NSF EPSCoR program. McNamara’s significant body of published works in hydrology and contributions to Boise State programming, facilities, and students over the course of his 25-year career with the institution were key factors in his selection.
FY22 DEPSCoR funding opportunities available now
Two FY22 Defense Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR) funding opportunity announcements are now available on grants.gov. DEPSCoR is a capacity building program that is designed to strengthen the research infrastructure at institutions of higher education in underutilized States/Territories.
NEW EPSCoR Funding Opportunity - RII-BEC: Bridging EPSCoR Communities
The Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) is designed to fulfill the mandate of the National Science Foundation (NSF) to promote scientific progress nationwide. Jurisdictions are eligible to participate in the NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) Program based on their level of total NSF support over their most recent five years (see RII eligibility). Through this program, NSF facilitates the establishment of partnerships among academic institutions and organizations in governmental, non-profit, and commercial or industrial sectors that are designed to effect sustainable improvements in a jurisdiction's research infrastructure, Research and Development (R&D) capacity, and hence, its R&D competitiveness.
In response to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (H.R. 1319, sec. 7502), the National Science Foundation (NSF) established the EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Program: Bridging EPSCoR Communities (RII-BEC) initiative. The RII-BEC initiative seeks to enable institutions in EPSCoR jurisdictions to set up bridge programs to facilitate the transitions of Affected Groups (e.g., women, underrepresented groups, research trainees, and graduate fellows) from one stage of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) training to the next, with particular focus on providing support for individuals from groups underrepresented in STEM and those transitioning from or to minority-serving institutions (MSIs) within EPSCoR jurisdictions.
The RII-BEC initiative will accept proposals that support those individuals most strongly affected by the pandemic at vulnerable career transition points (e.g., first two years of college, or preparation for entry into graduate programs and/or the STEM workforce) within EPSCoR jurisdictions. The RII-BEC initiative will provide up to $1,000,000 total per award for up to 5 years to support the strategic goal of reducing student attrition at these key junctures to improve future R&D competitiveness of EPSCoR jurisdictions. Proposals may include partnerships within and/or across two-year and four-year institutions (including community colleges). A key feature of projects will be a program strategy and plan for recruitment, mentoring, retention, and graduation of students (U.S. citizens, nationals, and permanent residents) in NSF-supported STEM fields, with specific efforts aimed at underrepresented groups in STEM.
The RII-BEC initiative is aligned with NSF’s commitment to increase access for underrepresented groups to the Nation’s STEM enterprise.
Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time): April 04, 2022
Quantum DNA research receives $5M grant from DOE
Boise State's Quantum DNA (qDNA) Research Group received a $5M grant from the Department of Energy Basic Energy Science's (BES) EPSCOR as part of a broader announcement of funded energy-related research projects.
Composed of five research teams that span multiple departments and colleges at Boise State, and involving almost 30 faculty, professional staff and students, the qDNA Research Group is pioneering the use of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) as a programmable, self-assembling architecture that organizes light-absorbing dye molecules to achieve quantum entanglement.
University of Idaho scientists working to develop COVID-19 cure
MOSCOW, Idaho - Scientists at the University of Idaho are currently working to identify a cure for COVID-19.
According to U of I, the Department of Biological Sciences team expects to finish preliminary tests within a year. Researchers will also develop a pipeline for identifying drugs that can block viruses from infecting human cells.
The project was funded through a $100,000 National Science Foundation EPSCoR grant issues to U of I physics professor Marty Ytreberg.
“Funding agencies are giving leeway to researchers with existing grants to shuttle resources toward the COVID pandemic,” Ytreberg said. “We decided this was a good investment, because it has the potential to lead to a therapeutic and fits within the theme of the grant.”
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New Visiting Tribal Scholars Program at UI Aims to Create a New Generation of Scientists
A new Visiting Tribal Scholars Program at the University of Idaho will connect Native American students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) with Indigenous scientific methodology providing high impact mentorship that will pave a way for native student success.
The aim of the program is to increase completion rates for Native American students by providing culturally responsive support in the form of mentoring to Indigenous students, Indigenizing curricula in the affiliated programs, and by providing direct linkages to regional tribes to engage in research or projects of mutual interest to the scholar and college. The intention is that visiting scholars might also model the value of STEM training for Indigenous students in regional communities to increase enrollment.
The Program, which receives partial seed support for visiting scholars from the Idaho Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), funded by the National Science Foundation, will implement activities aligned with Idaho EPSCoR's current research initiative, the GEM3 program.
Visiting scholars shall be recognized for their professional contributions in a natural resources or environmental science field and will be appointed to a term of up to two years, starting fall 2020.
For more information and application details, please view the full flyer.
Idaho EPSCoR Statement: Guidance and Restrictions during COVID-19 emergency.
During this COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, which is likely to extend for some time in Idaho and the U.S., I want to assure all GEM3 personnel that we will work with you to accommodate changes to your personal, work, and study arrangements as is necessary. The health and wellbeing of you, your family, your friends, and colleagues are paramount and are the first priority at this time. Any GEM3 project needs, deadlines, or work will necessarily become a secondary priority.
For all GEM3 project work please refer to and observe the COVID-19 guidance and restrictions issued by your institution. Guidance from each of Idaho’s public research universities can be found at these respective links: University of Idaho, Boise State University, and Idaho State University. These links will include guidance on social distancing, restrictions on travel, and restrictions on in-person classes, meetings, and gatherings. ...
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Idaho Diversity Network Regional Mentoring Conference, April 27
Due to COVID-19 concerns and current U of I safety policies, we will be canceling the upcoming Idaho Diversity Network Regional Mentoring Conference, originally scheduled for April 27, 2020. In the near future, however, we plan to provide online mentor training opportunities that will incorporate mentoring strategies for diverse populations from across the state. We encourage you to participate in our future online mentor training opportunities which will be posted to IdahoDiversity.org within the next month so please stay tuned. Thank you!
The Idaho Diversity Network will be holding a 1-day conference on Monday, April 27th, 2020 which will focus on providing professional development for faculty and students on effective strategies for mentoring students from under-represented groups in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and related fields.
Topics will include discussion on importance of establishing a culture of mentorship, understanding implicit bias, and the science behind effective mentoring strategies. We will also discuss mentoring structures and hear from faculty, administrators, and students from the region regarding current mentoring practices and strategies for success.
Deadline to register is Friday, April 17th, 2020.
See the flyer for more information.
[EVENT CANCELLED] NSF Program Officer to host online seminar to discuss EPSCoR Funding Opportunities, March 23
Due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions, NSF Program Officer, Dr. Timothy VanReken is unable to travel to Moscow for the planned March 23 visit. The scheduled virtual platform for his presentation on NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) Track-1, Track-2, and Track-4 programs as well as new cross-cutting initiatives has been canceled, but we hope to offer this seminar sometime next academic year. Please note that we are in the process of finalizing virtual one-on-one meetings with Dr. VanReken for those that have registered.
Please contact RFD (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions regarding this event update.
ISU Grad Receives Editor's Choice Award
Former ISU geosciences graduate student, Chris Tennant (PhD, 2018), has received an Editor's Choice Award by the journal of Water Resources Research. Tennant, formerly funded under a NSF EPSCoR Track-1 award Water Resources in a Changing Climate and a Track-2 award for the Western Consortium of Idaho, Nevada, and New Mexico is being recognized for his research paper that uses data collected by lidar imaging to better measure snowpacks in Western U.S. mountains.