About Montana NASA EPSCoR

The NASA EPSCoR program is directed at those jurisdictions that have a small percentage of the NASA funding for competitive aerospace and aerospace-related research activities. Currently, 25 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands are eligible for NASA EPSCoR funding. Seven federal agencies conduct EPSCoR programs, including NASA. Montana NASA EPSCoR is part of the national NASA Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) designed to establish partnerships with government, higher education and industry to effect lasting improvements in Montana's research infrastructure, R&D capacity and hence, its national R&D competitiveness. In addition to the research and technology development, awards enable faculty development and higher education student support.

The goal of EPSCoR is to provide seed funding that will enable jurisdictions to develop an academic research enterprise directed toward long-term, self-sustaining, nationally-competitive capabilities in aerospace and aerospace-related research.

NASA EPSCoR currently runs four programs. 1) Research Infrastructure Development (RID), which all jurisdictions have to support local seed-grant progrmas. RID is the only NASA EPSCoR program in which the home jurisdiction has the authority to award funds. The remaining programs solicit proposals that are reviewed and awarded by NASA HQ. 2) Research Group cooperative agreements; three-year $750,000 awards. 3) ISS and suborbital cooperative agreements; one-year $100,000 awards for getting a payload to the ISS or on a suborbital flight. 4) Rapid Response Research (R3) cooperative agreements; one-year $100,000 awards for research that NASA specifically wants done. 

Submit Research Initiation proposals here*

*We use an external company, Submittable, to manage our forms. You will be asked to create a free account or sign in to submit your proposal.

Currently open: Rapid Response Research (R3) notice of intent to propose

The R3 is a collaborative effort between NASA EPSCoR and the NASA Mission Directorate programs/offices. 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.


  • NASA solicitation link.
  • Funding is up to $100,000 for one year. No cost share is required.
  • Proposals are very brief.
  • Faculty members and researchers at all Montana institutions of higher education are eligible to propose.
  • Research is only requested that is aligned with one of the topics in the solicitation.
  • As is the case for all NASA EPSCoR awards, the Montana NASA EPSCoR Director, Angela Des Jardins, must be the PI and the primary researcher is the Science-I.
  • Montana is allowed to put forward one proposal per appendix (i.e. one for “A”, one for “B”, etc.). In case we have more than one person/group interested per appendix, Angela Des Jardins (angela.desjardins@montana.edu) must receive a one-page notice of intent to propose no later than February 4, 2022. Information on the format of the notice of intent is at this link. MNE will notify PIs if they are able to move forward to submit a proposal to NASA by February 11.

National NASA EPSCoR Research Groups Awards

NASA EPSCoR Research Group grants are awarded nationally each year. For the past several years, Montana groups have been successful in winning a number of these large awards. Pre-Proposals are submitted to the Montana NASA EPSCoR office each fall and a single group is selected to submit full proposals for the national competition.

Montana NASA EPSCoR (MNE) 2021 Call for Research Group Pre-proposals - Due October 22, 2021 - CLOSED

Research Initiation Awards

Research Initiation grants are awarded competitively through internal and external review of proposals. Eligibility: junior faculty or faculty new to NASA research. Research Initiation grants are intended as seed money, are for one year of funding, and are not renewable. Awardees are required to submit a follow-on proposal to NASA for regular research funding during the year of the grant. Research Initiation funding can be used for graduate or undergraduate student support, materials and supplies, facility use fees, domestic travel, and faculty time (though this is not a funding priority). Contact us if you have questions on allowed costs.

Montana NASA EPSCoR (MNE) 2022 Call for NASA Research Initiation Grants - Due 5 PM Mountain Time on Friday, March 25, 2022 - OPEN