The Idea Award, or IA, is a rapid response program intended to support emerging research topics in Kentucky. A follow-on application directly to NSF at the conclusion of IA support is required. 


Unlike our RA program, University of Kentucky and University of Louisville faculty can submit AI applications. IA applications from Primarily Undergraduate Institutions in Kentucky are also encouraged. A follow-on application directly to NSF at the conclusion of IA support is required. 

Up to $75,000*


Future NSF proposal required



Request for Proposals


Deadline for Proposals


Funding Decisions


  • The IA 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.
  • IA research project should have a general connection to the CLIMBS project, but this connection need not be restricted to the specific topical areas supported under our RA program. Proposals will be evaluated based on novelty, urgency, and impact on climate resilience.
  • IA 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 IA proposals involving multiple Kentucky institutions are strongly encouraged, and up to $75,000 of direct support can be requested on multi-institutional IA applications. The higher budget cap on collaborative IA awards is to encourage collaboration and support coordination activities.
  • Collaborative IA proposals involving multiple Kentucky institutions should develop separate: (1) coversheets, (2) budgets, and (3) budget justification forms for each institution involved. All other proposal sections (e.g., project summary abstract, description, etc.) should be developed and submitted within a single application packet of documents.
  • New guidelines for salary support are being introduced in 2022 for our RA program and these guidelines apply to our IA 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

Project proposals should be submitted electronically as a single, merged PDF document to