Idaho will be eligible to submit one Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) Track-1 proposal to the National Science Foundation (NSF) in August 2022. The Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Track-1 awards "provide up to $20 million total over five years to support research-driven improvements to jurisdictions' physical and cyber infrastructure and human capital development in topical areas selected by the jurisdiction's EPSCoR steering committee as having the best potential to improve future R&D competitiveness." Idaho's proposal development process for the next RII Track-1 project (2023-2028) is led by the Idaho EPSCoR Office.
A first step in the process is to conduct a strategic "analysis of R&D strengths, the opportunities that exist to further develop R&D capacity, and the challenges that must be overcome to take advantage of those opportunities. The steering committee will have evaluated the maturity of existing R&D efforts in the jurisdiction as well as the potential of new research directions that align with jurisdictional needs."
The virtual statewide Listening Sessions are to allow faculty and staff at Idaho's research universities to: 1) hear about NSF EPSCoR Track-1 priorities and process, 2) learn about Idaho's initial efforts of strategic analysis of research strengths, and 3) share thoughts on research strengths, opportunities, and possible State research priorities for this decade.
Listening Session Presentation
March 31, 2021
A next step in the process is to identify "topical areas" (i.e., research themes) that could provide a compelling research focus for an RII Track-1 proposal. As stated in NSF 20-571:
All elements of the project design are expected to advance the proposal's overarching vision and serve to improve the jurisdiction’s overall R&D competitiveness in the chosen topical area(s)… Research conducted as part of an RII Track-1 project should be hypothesis- and/or problem-driven. Research in areas of recognized national or global interest is encouraged. Appropriate research topics are those that benefit from a comprehensive and integrative approach, typically relating to a scientific area of significant regional or jurisdictional importance.
The Brainstorming Sessions are to allow faculty and staff at Idaho's research universities to: 1) hear about Idaho's NSF RII Track-1 priorities and process, 2) learn about Idaho's initial broad statement of a potential topical area for an RII Track-1, and 3) provide feedback and share ideas for Idaho's RII Track-1 research topical areas.