North Dakota Economic Diversification Research Funds


North Dakota State University (NDSU) and University of North Dakota (UND) announce a joint call for the University Research Collaboration Program, funded by the Economic Diversification Research Funds (EDRF) appropriated in the 2023 Legislative session. The University Research Collaboration Program requires a project where faculty from UND collaborate with faculty at NDSU and include faculty or students from a third North Dakota institution (i.e., a predominantly undergraduate institution, polytechnic institution and/or a Tribal college or university). A call next fiscal year is also anticipated for the year two funds.

The newly launched University Research Collaboration Program seeks pilot collaboration projects that foster research collaboration across institutions. The funds should support activities (data collection, materials, experimental or instrumentation needs, etc.) for a pilot project to for submission to an external funder. All proposals must include NDSU, UND and a third higher education institution (NDUS or NDTCS) to be considered for funding. 

Review process
The lead research institution will conduct an internal review of the proposals and submit a slate of proposals recommended for consideration by the non-lead research institution.  Final decision-making will take into consideration the goals of the EDRF legislation, the research priorities and investments of the universities providing funding, the strength and record of the research team, and the portfolio of institutions represented outside of UND and NDSU.

Available funding
This fiscal year, $200,000 is available for this initiative, contributed equally from the two research universities; the third partnering institution is not required to contribute funds. The University Research Collaboration Program will fund Level 1 proposals of up to $25,000 for the combined total budget and Level 2 proposals, where the combined total budget is between $25,001 and $50,000.

Proposals should be submitted by February 19, 2024 at 5:00 p.m. to the designated lead institution.  NDSU will use Infoready as the submission portal for proposals led by NDSU; the point of contact for NDSU is Dr. Heidi Grunwald: If UND is the lead institution, email the proposals to Dr. Justin Berg:

The start date for activities should be no earlier than April 1, 2024.  Project activities should conclude no later than May 1, 2025. 

Funded projects may have monthly executive summaries required of project progress; additional annual reporting deadlines will be aligned to the State Board of Higher Education approved timelines, currently under consideration.

Proposal and Budget Format
Proposals should be submitted as directed above and provide the following information:

  1. Title
  2. PI/Co-PI Names, Email addresses, and Institutional Affiliation
  3. Lead Institution
  4. Project Description (up to 3 pages)
  5. Additional Sections (up to 2 pages)
    1. Details on collaborating institution(s), industry partners
    2. Student Involvement
    3. Outcomes
    4.  Research Priority Alignment with Institution Priorities
    5. Anticipated Economic Diversification Impacts
  6. Estimated Budget and Justification (up to 3 pages)
    1. UND budgeted funds
    2. NDSU budgeted funds
    3. Third ND Institution budgeted funds (costs will be split evenly by NDSU and UND)
    4. Optional: Match or other sources of funding
  7. Timeline of the project activities, including start date and end date
  8. Proposed plan and timeline for external grant submission, including agency/foundation and specific program.
  9. Project References
  10. CV / Biosketch for PI, Co-PI and Senior Personnel (max 3 pages per investigator)
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