Montana NASA EPSCoR 2020 Research Group Call for Pre-proposals

Pre-proposals are due October 11, 2019


We anticipate that NASA will soon issue an announcement for the federal fiscal year 2020 NASA EPSCoR Research Group program. There will be an opportunity for Montana to submit one Research Group proposal for potential funding. Research Group awards are up to $750,000 for three years. Funds need not be spent evenly over the life of the grant. We anticipate a 50% non-federal cost share requirement. Therefore, group funding will likely be on the order of $1.125M total over three years, including indirect costs. Funded teams and their respective departments provide cost share.

All interested faculty groups at Montana institutions of higher education are invited to submit a pre-proposal that will be used to determine which Montana group will be invited to submit a full proposal to NASA for the 2020 competition. We expect to notify the chosen group in mid-November, 2019.


  • 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 (HQ). 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 sources of cost sharing are available to them should they be selected to go forward.
  • At the jurisdiction level (Montana in this case) 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

The Scientific/Technical/Impact
section must describe the proposed work, 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. Provide baseline information about existing/current research activities. In addition, address the following key questions/points:

  • NASA Alignment. What current NASA mission(s) and needs will your research program address? In which Mission Directorate at NASA does your research activity fall? Which recent NASA solicitations are relevant to your work? What NASA personnel (names and locations) are involved in your proposed research? Identify the level of existing and planned collaborations.
  • Montana impact. Explain how funding your group will: build new connections for NASA-related science and engineering research in Montana, impact the number of Montana faculty working in NASA-related areas, and develop competitiveness for follow-on NASA funding. Will this project impact your institution’s research goals? How will this project’s research activity continue beyond the three-year award period? Will this project contribute to the state's overall economic development [optional]? Are there connections with Montana industry [optional]?
  • Research Group membership. What role does each investigator play? Highlight NASA involvement/connections.
  • Document intended outcomes and metrics to demonstrate progress toward these outcomes. Use of milestones and timetables is recommended.

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.

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.


All groups:

  • Pre-proposals are due by 5 pm, Friday, October 11, 2019.
  • Proposals must be uploaded online as a single unlocked PDF file via the submission link on the Montana NASA EPSCoR website, . We use a Submittable system for proposal submission.

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 2020 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, Friday, October 11, 2019.


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