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. 


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

Up to $75,000*

manufacturing BASED

Future NSF proposal required



Request for Proposals


Deadline for Proposals


Funding Decisions


  • 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 research project should have a general connection to “advanced manufacturing,” but this connection need not be restricted to the specific topical areas supported under our RA program (e.g., structurally embedded electronics, robotics and the human-machine interface, etc.). Proposals will be evaluated based on novelty, urgency, and impact on manufacturing.
  • 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.
  • Collaborative ERI 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 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

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