Emerging Research Ideas, or ERI, is a rapid response program intended to support emerging research topics in Kentucky. A follow-on application directly to NSF at the conclusion of ERI support is required. 


Any Kentucky institution can apply for an ERI award. 

Up to $75,000*

Future NSF proposal required

Single or Multi-INStitutional


The ERI program does not have submission deadlines; applications can be submitted year-round. The proposed start date for the project can be no earlier than one month after the day the application is submitted.

ERI applications can request up to $30,000 of direct support (F&A can be included in the request also, but is subject to exclusion from an award depending on the state/federal source of support). Collaborative ERI proposals involving multiple Kentucky institutions are strongly encouraged, and up to $75,000 of direct support can be requested on multi-institutional ERI applications. The higher budget cap on collaborative ERI awards is to encourage collaboration and support coordination activities.

New guidelines for salary support are being introduced in 2022 for our RA program and these guidelines apply to our ERI program applications also; they are:

    1. One month of paid summer (off-contract) support can be requested within applications.
    2. In addition to a paid month of summer support, additional academic year buyout (for example, supporting a course lecturer to free-up time for RA research) can be included in the budget application.
    3. While not required, applications are strongly encouraged to include some academic year release time toward the project. This time can be included within the application budget in the form of direct support, or lecturer (buyout) support, or, institutionally supported academic year release time is encouraged as well.

All KY NSF EPSCoR awardees and funded participants are obligated to complete a Seed Funding Annual Awards Outcomes Report available on our website