What is the R3 opportunity? 

The R3 is a collaborative effort between NASA EPSCoR, NASA Centers and mission directorates. The goals of R3 are to provide a streamlined method to address research issues important to NASA, and to enable NASA EPSCoR researchers to work with NASA to solve research issues impacting the agency’s programs/missions. 

What are the parameters? 


  • Each NASA EPSCoR jurisdiction may submit up to a total of six proposals.  
  • Full proposals shall be 2 to 3 pages, but may be slightly longer if specified in the solicitation. 
  • $100,00 total for one year of performance, cost sharing is not required.  
  • Full proposals must be submitted by the State NASA EPSCoR Director.  

Montana NASA EPSCoR 

  • MT EPSCoR will need to down-select to six proposals. 
  • Interested parties must provide a one-page notice of intent white paper (11-point font Calibri) that describes the intrinsic merit of the proposed research.  
  • Provide a separate simple bulleted list of what will be included in the budget.  
  • Submit the white paper by no later than 5pm, October 21st, 2022 to angela.desjardins [at] montana.edu.
  • In the project title, state which research focus area in the NASA EPSCoR Rapid Response Research (R3) solicitation the proposed research addresses. Focus areas are listed below and in more detail in the full NASA solicitation.  
  • MT EPSCoR will select six proposals and send announcements on October 28, 2022. Approved researchers will have until December 9, 2022, to write their 2 to 3 page proposal for full submission.  

Evaluation of full proposals to NASA

Successful R3 proposals shall provide sound contributions to both immediate and long-term scientific and technical needs of NASA as explicitly expressed in the current R3 solicitation. 

NASA will use the following criteria: Intrinsic Merit, Management, and Budget Justification. The bulleted lists after each criterion below should not be construed as any indication of priority or relative weighting. Rather, the bullets are provided for clarity and facilitation of proposal development. 

Intrinsic Merit (65% of score) 

  • Proposed research shall have clear goals and objectives; address the expectations described in the announcement; and be consistent with the budget, effectively utilize the program management, and demonstrate a high probability for successful implementation. 
  • Proposals shall provide a narrative of the proposed research activity, including the scientific and/or technical merit of the proposed research, unique and innovative methods, approaches, concepts, or advanced technologies, and the potential impact of the proposed research on its field. 
  • Existing Research Proposals shall provide baseline information about current research activities in the proposed research area currently funded under NASA EPSCoR R3. 

Project Management (20% of overall score)  

  • This section shall describe the proposer’s project management structure in reasonable detail.  
  • Proposals shall describe the use of NASA content, people, or facilities in the execution of the research activities. They should describe current and/or previous interactions, partnerships, and meetings with NASA researchers, engineers, and scientists in the area of the proposed research, and discuss how future partnerships between the institution’s researchers and personnel at the Mission Directorates and/or Centers will be fostered. The name(s) and title(s) of NASA researchers with whom the proposers will partner shall be included. NASA shall consider the utilization of NASA venues for recipients to publish their accomplishments.  

Budget Justification (15% of overall score)  

  • The proposed budget shall be adequate, appropriate, reasonable, and realistic, and demonstrate the effective use of funds that align with the content and text of the proposed project. Preparation guidelines for the budget can be found in the NASA Guidebook for Proposers, Section 3.18 and Appendix C.  
  • Because the budget will be evaluated based upon the clarity and reasonableness of the funding request, a budget narrative shall be included that discusses relevant issues such as the extent and level of jurisdiction, industrial, and institutional commitment and financial support, including resources (staff, facilities, laboratories, indirect support, waiver of indirect costs). 

What are the research focus areas? 

Safety of Electro-mechanical Powertrains for Electrified Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) Vehicles  

High power density power grids, power electronics, motors, and electromechanical powertrains  

High reliability and robustness for safety-critical propulsion systems including but not limited to a) arc fault protection; b) EMI/filtering; c) fault tolerant architectures; d) power management.  

Novel thermal management of the propulsion components and/or of the propulsion system.  

Application of advanced materials and manufacturing to achieve above 

Analytical and/or experimental fundamental research is sought for power grids and electro–mechanical powertrains for electrified vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicles. 

Development of Characterization Techniques to Determine Key Composite Material Properties for the LS-DYNA MAT213 Model 

Astrophysics Technology Development

Fundamental Physics – Quantum Science 

Complex Fluid/Soft Matter-Based Materials 

Fluid Physics – Oscillating heat Pipes (OHP) 

Combustion Science – High Pressure Transcritical Combustion (HPTC) 

Materials Science – Extraction and Utilization of Materials from Regolith 

Effects of Regolith Simulant on Growth, Survival, and Fitness of Animal Models 

Effects of Space-Associated Stressors on Plant and Microbial Interactions 

Repair, Manufacturing, And Fabrication (RMAF) Facility for the Common Habitat Architecture

In-Space Welding 

Materials and Processes Improvements for Chemical Propulsion State of Art (SoA) 

Materials and Processes Improvements for Electrical Propulsion State of Art (SoA) 

Improvements to Space Solar Power State of Art (SoA) 

Small Reentry Systems

Other Commercial Space Topic 

Document the Current State-of-the-Art/Practice of Ethical Decision making by Humans in Operational Systems 

Explore and document the parameters in play in the transition of ethical decision making from humans to autonomous systems 

Current & projected autonomous performance capabilities and limitations 

Document legal ecosphere of ethical decision making in off-nominal scenarios 

Policy/Standards/Law Making Assessment 

Design, Development, & Implementation of Highly Automated/Autonomous Systems to abide by ethical decision making policy, standards, guidelines, and laws 

Societal ramifications of ethical decision making models

Synthesis activities that combine multiple data sets to analyze the vulnerability and resilience of Arctic and boreal ecosystems in the Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) domain, across North America, and across the circumpolar region. 

Research that contributes to furthering our understanding of climate change impacts in high-latitude drainage basins, including coastal zones, and advance humanity’s understanding of the potential feedback(s) of naturally- or anthropogenically-driven change in such zones 

Integration of research results and remote sensing data from ABoVE into a coherent modeling framework to diagnose and predict the impacts of environmental change on ecosystem dynamics and the consequent impacts on ecosystem services and society. 

Filling critical research gaps in our understanding of how environmental change impacts the dynamics of boreal and Arctic ecosystems within the ABoVE domain. 

Nitrogen/Methane Plasma Experiments Relevant to Titan Entry 

Thermal Conductivity Heat Transfer of Porous TPS Materials 

Deposition of Ablation/Pyrolysis Products on Optical Windows 

Predictive Modeling of Plasma Physics Relevant to High Enthalpy Facilities 

Tissue and Data sharing for space radiation risk and mitigation strategies 

Space radiation sex-differences 

Compound screening techniques to assess efficacy in modulating responses to radiation exposure 

Inflammasome role in radiation-associated health impacts 

Portable, non-ionizing radiation based, high resolution disease detection imaging 

Pilot studies to adopt terrestrial precision health solutions for astronauts 

Pilot studies to demonstrate the utilization of full systems biology approaches in addressing human spaceflight risks 

Development and elaboration of Functional aids and testing paradigms to measure activity for use by parastronauts during spaceflight 

Evaluation space capsule and spacesuit activity in stable and fit lower or upper extremity amputees and compare their responses to non-amputee fit individuals

High-Temperature Subsystems and Components for Long-Duration (months) Surface Operations 

Aerial Platforms for Missions to Measure Atmospheric Chemical and Physical Properties 

Extreme Environment Aerobot 

Addressing Knowledge Gaps in Planetary Protection for Crewed Mars Mission Concepts - Microbial and Human Health Monitoring 

Addressing Knowledge Gaps in Planetary Protection for Crewed Mars Mission Concepts - Natural Transport of Contamination on Mars