Montana NASA EPSCoR 2023 Research Group Call for Pre-proposals

Pre-proposals are due Thursday, June 30, 2022


The purpose of this pre-proposal process is to determine which single Montana group will be selected to submit a full proposal to NASA for the federal FY 2023 NASA EPSCoR Research Group Award opportunity. Montana NASA EPSCoR has been informed that NASA will issue an announcement for the 2023 Research Group program on August 18, 2022, with proposals due November 16, 2022. Montana is allowed to submit one Research Group proposal for potential funding. Research Group awards are for three years and up to $750,000 with a 50% non-federal cost share requirement. Funds need not be spent evenly over the life of the grant. Funded teams and their respective departments and colleges provide cost share, which is usually made up of a combination of faculty research time, graduate student tuition waivers, and actual additional funding.

All interested faculty groups at Montana institutions of higher education are invited to submit a pre-proposal. Pre-proposals are reviewed by external experts as well as a panel of Montana university administrative-level stakeholders. The final decision is made by the Montana University System research officials. We expect to notify the chosen group by the end of August, 2022.

Research groups can include team members from more than one Montana campus. Groups can also include team members from other EPSCoR jurisdictions, but they cannot include team members from non-EPSCoR states. There is no US citizenship requirement for team members or funded students.


Goal 1.  Bring the capabilities of Montana’s nationally competitive researchers to the attention of NASA.

Goal 2.  Build infrastructure to enhance Montana’s capabilities and expertise in areas of importance to NASA, focusing on institutions of higher learning.

Goal 3.  Use EPSCoR sponsored research to strengthen partnerships with Montana’s high-tech companies and drive the growth of Montana's aerospace-related economy.

Goal 4.  Focus on building nationally prominent, competitive research groups at Montana's major universities while also providing collaborative opportunities to faculty members at smaller institutions.


  • The focus of NASA EPSCoR Research Group awards is to fund research that NASA currently wants performed. Excellent science or engineering is not sufficient. Therefore, all Research Group pre-proposals should include the strongest possible evidence that the group has active, well established ties to researchers at NASA Centers or Headquarters. Involved NASA collaborators/colleagues will be expected to be knowledgeable about the proposed research program and should be willing to act as advocates for funding of the proposal. NASA’s current areas of interested are available at:
  • Successful pre-proposals should demonstrate interdisciplinary collaboration. Interdisciplinary research might look different in engineering vs. science but, within reason for the proposed work, teams with larger varieties in investigator areas of expertise will be favored.
  • Pre-proposals must show that sufficient cost share sources are available.
  • At the jurisdiction level, NASA’s stated intention is to “contribute to the overall research infrastructure, science and technology capabilities, and economic development of the jurisdiction.”


All pre-proposal sections: 8.5x11” pages; at least 12-point font; one inch margins.


Pre-proposal sections

page limit

Cover page


Table of contents







as needed

Biographical Sketches

2 for each investigator

Letters of support

as needed

Budget and cost share description


Pre-proposals will be reviewed based on the following key items.

  • Science/technical merit. Describe the scientific and/or technical merit of the proposed research, unique and innovative methods, approaches, concepts, or advanced technologies.
  • NASA alignment. Describe the current NASA mission(s) and NASA needs your research program addresses. List which recent NASA solicitations are relevant to your work, to indicate follow-on proposal options. Identify NASA personnel (names and locations) that are involved in your proposed research, including the level of existing and planned collaborations.
  • Montana impact. Explain how the work will build new connections for NASA-related science and/or engineering research in the field and in Montana, positively impact Montana faculty, and develop competitiveness for follow-on NASA funding. Also include: project impact on your institution’s research goals, project contribution to the state's overall economic development [optional], and connections with Montana industry [optional].
  • Research Group membership. Describe the role of each investigator. Highlight NASA involvement/connections.
  • Evaluation. Describe intended outcomes and metrics. Use of milestones and timetables is recommended.
  • Include a basic high-level budget and list of available cost share sources. Amount and stability of cost share will be taken into consideration in the review.

Letters of support from Department Head(s) or equivalent are required. These letters should include a statement about available cost share.

Letters of support from NASA collaborators/supporters are strongly encouraged.


All groups:

  • Pre-proposals are due by 5pm, Thursday, June 30, 2022. 
  • Proposals must be uploaded online as a single unlocked PDF file via the Submittable link on the Montana NASA EPSCoR website.

 MSU-Bozeman groups only: In addition to submitting the pre-proposal on the MT NASA EPSCoR website, you must also submit the pre-proposal in the MSU limited submission pre-proposal system. Use the Office of Sponsored Programs electronic Proposal Clearance Form (ePCF) available at Prepare a “Limited Submission Pre-Proposal” and select the sponsor, “National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) [F],” and the program, “Montana NASA EPSCoR 2023 Research Group.”

  • Submit the full pre-proposal as an attachment in the form. The attachment must be in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) format.
  • Pre-proposals are due by 5 pm, Thursday, June 30, 2022.


Contact:  Dr. Angela Des Jardins, Director, Montana NASA EPSCoR,