TRAINING PARTICIPANTS: NASA Kentucky EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Development (RID) Program 2022-2026

Grants and Contracts Details


The Kentucky Statewide EPSCoR Program’s mission is to enhance the research and intellectual capacity of the state''s universities and colleges by building and coordinating strategic investments in human capital necessary for Kentucky to excel in federal R&D funding competitiveness. This mission aligns with Kentucky''s economic development strategy, which stresses the transition to advanced manufacturing, leveraging growth areas like aerospace, and the development of an innovation economy driven by the strengths of its educational system: cutting-edge R&D and a highly educated workforce. Supporting this statewide mission, NASA Kentucky EPSCoR''s goals are to enhance capacity through strategic investments in NASA-priority research areas and to increase researcher competitiveness for non-EPSCoR NASA funding. A key factor in achieving the latter goal is initiation of relationships between Kentucky’s and NASA’s researchers that can develop into partnerships. Every aspect of the current RID portfolio emphasizes this process of relationship-building, including pursuing collaborations that enable commercial space partnerships. To reach these goals, four specific objectives of the NASA Kentucky EPSCoR program align with those of the NASA EPSCoR program: 1) to develop human research infrastructure in areas strategically important to NASA, 2) to gain support from non-EPSCoR sources, 3) to develop NASA Partnerships, 4) to develop science, technology and economic capacity. The centerpiece of the NASA KY EPSCoR RID Program is the Research Infrastructure Development Grant (RIDG) competitively awarded to faculty for one year. RIDG proposals to NASA KY stress collaborative relationship building with NASA. Faculty principle investigators (PIs) must include a letter of collaboration from a NASA collaborator based on prior interactions, describe a schedule for regular contact with the NASA collaborator and plans for a visit to the NASA site and, if funded, are expected to result in submission of a jointly authored paper to a conference or journal. To assist researchers in establishing initial connections with NASA and developing interdisciplinary research teams, faculty are encouraged to submit proposals for Workshop/Conference/Seminar awards (WCS). Workshop funding builds Kentucky and NASA partnerships to develop interdisciplinary teams interested in pursuing the three-year EPSCoR Research Area (RA) or other nationally competitive solicitations. Conference funding provides partial support for a local, regional, national or international meeting hosted in Kentucky focused on NASA related research. Seminar funding supports a series of seminars or webinars on an aerospace topic. Faculty Travel (FT) awards are also awarded to assist faculty in developing new relationships with NASA. Individual travel awards are awarded to researchers after review of the application, which must include a NASA invitation to visit and discuss potential collaboration. Analysis of the EPSCoR RAs awarded to KY shows that, to be competitive nationally, it is necessary for a proposed project to have multiple NASA connections. Helping new-to-NASA PIs make an all-important initial contact will enable successful submissions for RIDG awards; allowing RIDG PIs to develop relationships and expand their network will prepare them for RA submissions and national non-EPSCoR competitive solicitations in subsequent years. In addition to managing the proposal submission competitions, NASA KY management also tracks and communicates the impact of NASA Kentucky EPSCoR Programs.
Effective start/end date1/1/2212/31/26


  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration


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