Requesting Research Innovation Briefs (RIB) for next RII Track-1

Idaho NSF EPSCoR RII Track-1

Research Innovation Brief (RIB) Request

Purpose: The purpose of this Research Innovation Brief (RIB) is to solicit input from Idaho’s research community to help the Idaho EPSCoR Committee further refine and select a Research Theme for Idaho’s next NSF EPSCoR RII Track-1 proposal.  The Committee intends to select a Research Topic by October 1, 2020.

Context: The RIB reflects a creative process of ideation. The RIB process seeks to articulate possible research topics that focus Idaho’s efforts to build academic research capacity and conduct innovative research in the coming decade.  The research topic must fit within the broad theme "Multisystemic resilience for natural resource security and critical infrastructure" as described by the Idaho EPSCoR Office, as well as State and Natinoal S&T priorities:

The RIB represents an open-source process, where ideas and information are provided along with all the rights to use, study, change, and share for the purpose of Idaho’s RII program development. The RIB should NOT propose action plans, approaches, or solutions to research problems that would be considered the intellectual property of the individuals responding to this RIB. Note that the RIB phase is not a request for a proposal but for specific ideas supporting a cogent research topic that could support development of a RII Track-1 proposal in whole or in part.

RIB leads must be tenured associate or full professors at BSU, ISU, or UI, and a PI or Co-I of an NSF research award within the previous5 years.  A faculty may lead only one RIB, but may participate in other RIB submissions.
Other Contributors to a RIB can be assistant professors, associate professors, or full professors at BSU, ISU, or UI and can be PI or CO-I of research awards from other national research competitions.  There is no limit on the number of RIB submissions that Other Contributors can be named on.
All RIB leads and other contributors should have an interest and background relevant to the RII Theme description; a willingness and interest to participate in a large team-based science program, and a willingness to contribute to writing a RIB during summer 2021. 

Due dates:

  • RII Theme-Topic Workshop: June 9, 2021
  • Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an RIB with biosketch for RIB lead June 18, 2021.
    • Complete relevant portion of RFx cover sheet, upload RIB lead Bio-sketch and SAVE DRAFT before deadline.
  • Optional check-in meeting and Q&A for RIB leads: June 22, 2021.
  • Submission date for completed RIB: August 9, 2021 at NOON Pacific Time. 

Link to submit RIB

Defense Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR) funding opportunities available now

Two FY21 Defense Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR) funding opportunity announcements are now available on

DEPSCoR – Research Collaboration FOA-AFRL-AFOSR-2021-0007, and DEPSCoR – Capacity Building FOA-AFRL-AFOSR-2021-0008, (PLEASE NOTE: the Capacity Building FOA is a limited submission funding opportunity)

The Research Collaboration opportunity is quite similar to last year’s solicitation (two-person team, award amount, evaluation process), however, there are differences (specific topic areas, increased total number of awards). The Capacity Building opportunity is a new component of DEPSCoR and aims to support the strategic objectives of Institutes of Higher Education in DEPSCoR States/Territories to achieve basic research excellence in areas of high relevance to the DoD. We encourage you to thoroughly read both attached announcements. 

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.”


Click on link to view full article. 

View Full Article

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.  

Tribal Scholar News Release367.19 KB

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. ...

Please click on attachment to continue reading.

COVID-19 letter from Idaho EPSCoR Director89.6 KB

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 within the next month so please stay tuned. Thank you!

See flyer for current online material

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 ( if you have any questions regarding this event update.

Click here for more info

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.

Read full article

Chris Tennant


2018 Shreeve Award


Colden Baxter, Idaho State University biological sciences professor, is the recipient of the 2018 Jean'ne M. Shreeve NSF EPSCoR Research Excellence Award. The award was announced at the 2018 Idaho EPSCoR Annual Meeting in Sun Valley.

Baxter first participated in NSF EPSCoR in Idaho as a junior faculty member upon joining ISU in 2004. This prestigious award is for the research accomplishments resulting from his productive career, assisted by early involvement in NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement programs.

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New EPSCoR RII Award!

The new NSF EPSCoR research program seeks to understand how genetic diversity and phenotypic plasticity affect species response to environmental change, shaping both population response and adaptive capacity. Two focal taxa will be under study: one aquatic (redband trout) and one terrestrial (sagebrush). These taxa are integral to ecosystems in the American West, and are central to land-use management decisions that drive the economy of the region.

Redband Trout


Linking Genome to Phenome to Predict Adaptive Responses of Organisms to Changing Landscapes

Research Infrastructure Improvement Track-1 Award (2018-2023)

This award will advance fundamental knowledge on the mechanisms that rule genome to phenome pathways to predict how species adapt to external stressors and a changing environment. It will help translate this knowledge into evidenced-based resource management policies and practices for more adaptive and resilient species and landscapes.

Idaho's approach is through Genes to Environment: Modeling, Mechanisms, and Mapping (GEM3). This statewide project combines research strengths in bioinformatics, complex modeling, ecology, fisheries science, genomics, geospatial science, remote sensing, and social-ecological systems (SES) science to contribute to one of the most compelling and contemporary national challenges of our time – understanding the "Rules of Life: predicting phenotypes from what we know about the genome and environment".

Learn more about GEM3