Research Focus Area (RFA)

Request for Proposals

ND NASA EPSCoR Research Focus Area (RFA) RFP
FUNDS AVAILABLE: Up to $75,000
Issued: August 21, 2012
Proposals Due: Noon, September 20, 2012

TO:      NDSU Faculty in Sciences, Engineering, and Mathematics
FROM: Dr. Santhosh K. Seelan, Director, ND NASA EPSCoR
RE:       ND NASA EPSCoR Research Focus Area (RFA) RFP

Printable Version

Cover Sheet

Budget Summary Form

The North Dakota NASA Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) solicits research proposals from faculty at the North Dakota State University (NDSU) to conduct NASA relevant research in one or more RFAs that are designed to promote and expand particular NASA research sub disciplines in North Dakota. The RFAs are defined in the strategic plan of ND NASA EPSCoR and the ND Space Grant Consortium include: 1) Astronomical/planetary science research, 2) Small satellite research, development, and construction, 3) Earth sciences research, 4) Materials science research, and 5) Planetary space suit research. Research proposals should be relevant in one or more of the above RFAs, have significant scientific merit, be NASA relevant, and should include realistic budget estimates. Proposal budgets can include funding for faculty salary and benefits, undergraduate and graduate student research assistantships, project relevant supplies, research equipment, and travel to NASA field centers for direct collaborations with NASA researchers. Travel to conferences is not allowed. Funds cannot be used for furniture, filing cabinets, wall cabinets, office supplies, (including copy paper, pens, sticky notepads), telephone lines, lab renovations, building renovations, moving expenses, expenditures for teaching classes, honorariums, subscription fees, membership fees, and tuition waivers.

One of the primary goals of the RFA research emphasis and the NASA EPSCoR program is to assist faculty in developing research programs that are funded outside of the NASA EPSCoR program. Therefore, proposers should specifically include a plan to develop and expand their proposal into an independently funded research group beyond the timeframe of this funding opportunity. A goal of ND NASA EPSCoR is also to assist the development of multiple NASA relevant research clusters in North Dakota. Proposals involving multiple faculty, and collaboration with research groups/scientists at one or more of the NASA Centers are strongly encouraged.

Funding for this project will be available from October 15, 2012 through June 30, 2013. All funds must be spent by June 30, 2013. We anticipate making 2 to 3 awards of up to a maximum of $35,000 each. Preference will be given to proposals that align with ND NASA EPSCoR Research Focus Areas as listed above. Proposals that fall outside of the RFAs, but NASA relevant, may also be considered. Preference will also be given to beginning, untenured faculty who have not yet received a ND NASA EPSCoR award.

Checklist Requirements (submit in the following order):
1. Cover page that lists principal investigator (PI) contact information, amount of funding request, department chair signature, and a statement that the PI has/has not received ND NASA EPSCoR funding since July 1, 2009.
2. A 5-10 page description of the proposed research that includes the following items:
a. Description of the primary research question and/or purpose
b. Description of the methodological approach and techniques
c. Relevance to NASA
d. Preliminary research results, if applicable
e. Nature and extent of collaborations within North Dakota and with NASA personnel
f. Contact information of collaborators, if any
g. Letter from collaborators that will contribute to this research, if any
h. Letter of invitation if travel to NASA centers is involved
i. Description of the PI’s plan to secure future NASA funding after any NASA EPSCoR funding
j. Reference list, as appropriate
3. A detailed budget and a one-page budget narrative along with the Budget Summary that itemizes, describes, and justifies each budget item. Include a separate, more detailed budget, if necessary, to provide sufficient detail. No match is required. A lack of sufficient budget detail will adversely impact the evaluation of a proposal.

Original and five stapled copies of proposals are due in your campus ND EPSCoR office by Noon, September 20, 2012. Also, an electronic submission of the proposal as a single, unlocked PDF attachment must be sent to Carla Kellner at

All awards require: 1) an end-of-year award report to be filed with the ND EPSCoR office, and 2) submission of a regular research proposal to NASA or NSF within 12 months of the end of the seed research funding. Failure to submit a regular research proposal to NASA or NSF will preclude the PI from further funding via ND NASA EPSCoR.

Questions regarding this announcement can be addressed to Dr. Santhosh K. Seelan, Director, ND NASA EPSCoR, ( 701-777-2355) or Carla Kellner ( 701-777-2492).